The Walking Dead Season 3 Review “Arrow on the Doorpost”

After last week’s incredible episode “Clear”, I really wanted tonight’s installment “Arrow on the Doorpost” to keep that momentum going. We’ve only got three episodes left of The Walking Dead in season three, so I was really hoping for this episode to send the series in a positive direction towards a satisfying conclusion to the season. Unfortunately, this was a definite step back from last week, and a bit of a disappointment over all.

The majority of tonight’s installment revolved around a negotiation that Andrea brokered between The Governor and Rick. The idea of a Rick/Governor showdown sounds great on paper, but there were so many problems with these scenes that it made it very difficult to enjoy. First of all, The Governor seemed to be either playing dumb or had very selective memory tonight. “I could have killed all of you, but I chose not to” he boasts. Um, they actually killed a bunch of your dudes at the prison and you left all by yourself. Between the raid on Woodbury and on the prison, I would say that Rick’s group is actually ahead in total body count.

I also wasn’t quite sure why he kept playing innocent concerning Maggie and the jars full of heads. “I know what I did, and I know what you did.” Um…Rick may not be perfect, but he’s never tried to rape anybody or keep body parts as a trophy.

I did like hearing a little more about The Governor, especially the stuff about his wife, but this whole “negotiation” was just an exercise in futility. We know this whole season has been leading up to a big showdown between Rick and The Governor, and we know that they aren’t just going to communicate their differences and hug it out, so why do we have to see all of these negotiations when we know they won’t be successful? The Governor ends up giving Rick an ultimatum to either give up Michonne or die, but then he just reveals to Milton that he plans to kill Rick’s group anyway. So…we learned that The Governor wants to kill Rick and he wants to kill The Governor? Glad we got that sorted out…

Andrea was also pretty frustrating, as per usual. The lady needs to pick a side by now. Now she finds out that on top of all of the other terrible things she knows The Governor to have done, like keeping his daughter as a zombie pet and tending a zombie head aquarium, he’s also sexually assaulted her friend! And she still whines about not knowing what to do and she still goes back to Woodbury at the end of the episode! Honestly, if she catches a bullet next week I wouldn’t lose any sleep.

I did like seeing Caesar and Daryl get to know each other a little bit, as well as Hershel yucking it up with Milton. Character development has never exactly been a strong suit of The Walking Dead, especially for the minor characters, so I was glad to have seen this.

I didn’t even mention all of the stuff going on at the prison, mostly because none of it amounted to much. I’m glad to see Maggie and Glenn doing better as a couple, but I would have preferred them to just leave out the prison scenes altogether. Last week we had an episode with only four characters in it, and it was incredible! You don’t need to include every character in every episode if it doesn’t make sense, Walking Dead writers!

A little character development wasn’t enough to save tonight’s episode from being a disappointment for me, especially considering how great last week’s installment was. I’m hoping that the last few episodes wrap up this showdown in a satisfying way, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– We got to see the detailed interior of The Impossibly Clean Hyundai this week! As you would probably guess, it was beautiful! Apparently there’s an ample supply of Armor All wipes in the zombie apocalypse.

– Remember back in the season one episode “Guts”, when everybody was so concerned to get zombie blood and guts anywhere near their skin or mouths? What happened to that?! Now they grab walkers with their bare hands and stab them through the head while keeping their mouths wide open the whole time!

– Were Maggie’s grimaces at the end of her sex scene supposed to be from pleasure or pain? I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to show that she was having unpleasant flashbacks to her experience with The Governor, or if she was just really enjoying herself.

  • Bronxsta

    About “Guts” and worrying about zombie blood, etc:
    1) Those details were from Darabont’s time as showrunner. His tone and ideas are quite different from the rest of the show. (Zombies maintaining basic memories, using rocks and climbing fences…)
    2) And that was before everyone knew they were infected. So then they were still worried about catching the virus from contact.

    • Luke_Gelineau

      Those are good points, but:
      1) The audience doesn’t know, and shouldn’t care, that the showrunners have changed behind the scenes. Just because the showrunner changes doesn’t mean that you can change the mythology or your world. All they need to do is say acknowledge it on the show, or say something like “Hey, I guess touching them and getting blood on us isn’t a big deal after all!” Well, hopefully something not so on-the-nose…
      2) The “everybody is infected” is a different thing. That means that if they die, then they come back as a zombie. I think the rule still holds true that if you get zombie blood, saliva, etc. in your bloodstream, then you’ll turn without dying first. That’s why they were concerned about Hershel’s bite on his leg.

  • Bogdobbler

    Last week’s episode was one of the best; this week’s episode was the very worst. To call it simply “a bit of a disappointment” is much too kind. They insulted us with this crap. There isn’t a version of (their) reality in which Rick doesn’t shoot the governor right between the eyes the first moment he sees him. Period. It just isn’t even possible for that to not happen. Rick knows exactly what a psychopath the governor is, what he’s already done to people in his group, and that war is inevitable, so to pass up taking him out is simply unthinkable. And the b.s. about trading Michonne . . . I’m going to pretend this episode never happened, otherwise it would ruin the rest of the series for me.

  • simon says

    this wasn’t a very good episode. especially because we ended up exactly where we started. but i think it had some good qualities to it none the less. i feel like it could have been a good episode if the rest of episodes had a faster pace to them and this one had actually accomplished anything. this would have been a good way to slow things down.

    i was wondering at first why rick wouldn’t shoot the governor. but what would that accomplish? the rest of the town would come after them. i guess a battle is inevitable. but not because of the circumstances, it just makes better tv. i think rick hopes he will find a way to kill him without having to kill the rest of the town. but that might be impossible unless milton or andrea finally stop being stupid.

    i also enjoyed the bonding scenes between herschel and milton/daryl and martinez(or whoever). they showed the complexity of war. the know that killing each other is pointless and aren’t even sure why they should. they liked each other and probably woulb be the best of friends but come tomorrow (or three weeks later) they will be trying to kill each other.

    i had the same problem with maggie’s sex grimaces. but i missread the hole scene. i thought the entire time that one of them will get a bullet in the head or something. i didn’t expect the scene to be about repairing the relationship between them. who would have guessed that?

    i thought it was rather clever that the gouvernor used the information that andrea gave him about lori and the baby. why else would he have brought up his wife. if that story is even true. but i was disappointed that rick fell for it. but maybe lori didn’t call and told him to expect that.