This week's The Walking Dead recap is full of ugly situations and withheld information! [SPOILERS]

We're getting closer and closer to a very merry Dixon reunion, but first, there is some business to attend to -- checking in on Glen and Maggie, seeing if Rick let Michonne into the prison, and eventually introducing the survivors to Woodbury and the Governor. Have you been waiting for the Gov to show us his nasty side after weeks of seeing him act merely weird and a little dickish? You're in luck, if you like watching awful people do awful things! But meanwhile, what's going to happen when Merle and Daryl see each other again, now that Daryl has made himself very comfortable with the survivors who abandoned his brother, and Merle... hasn't changed all that much?

As usual, a discussion that includes spoilers will commence after the jump.

At the end of last week's episode, Michonne had shown up at the prison carrying groceries procured by Glen and Maggie with a gunshot wound in her leg (courtesy of Merle). At the start of "When the Dead Come Knocking," Rick and a few others see her, but are all hesitant to let her in. To prove her worth, she kills a rash of zombies while favoring her un-shot leg. One-legged Hershel is impressed. After a graphic zombie beheading, Michonne collapses and passes out, and is brought inside.

When she wakes up, she discovers that once again, her weapon has been confiscated by potentially untrustworthy strangers. She keeps her guard up, observing everyone welcoming Carol back to the group and Carol learning of Lori's death. They seem nice, so Michonne tells Rick about Woodbury and the Governor, "a Jim Jones type," and says that's where Glen and Maggie are. What she doesn't tell them: that Merle was the one who took them.

Merle, meanwhile, is violently interrogating Glen while Maggie sits alone in another room, listening to the whole thing. Glen, who knows how much stronger he's become, refuses to give up his group, saying that they had all been on the road and learned a thing or two. When he names Andrea as part of their group, Merle realizes that they have no idea that she's in Woodbury, and the whole rest of the episode becomes a game of "what knew what when." It's like that episode of Friends when everyone finds out Monica and Chandler are together!

After Michonne's gunshot wound is treated, Rick forms a group (with Daryl and Oscar) to go to Woodbury. He has a now-routine "If I die" talk with Carl, who is pretty much completely prepared to lead the entire group by himself if necessary. The talk ends with a name for the baby: Judith, after Carl's third grade teacher. Because calling her "Lori" would have been weird for everyone, and Carl doesn't know any other girl names.

In this episode, we see what Milton, the doctor, has been up to. (I think I referred to him as "Dr. Stevens" earlier, so I apologize for the error.) A bedridden gentleman named Mr. Coleman, who was dying of prostate cancer, has volunteered for Milton's experiment: finding out if there is any humanity left in zombies, specifically their memories. Mr. Coleman had been infected with the zombie virus and was expected to die shortly; Milton makes him go through a series of tests first, then asks Andrea to kindly murder Mr. Coleman once he reanimates. Uh.... sure? Sure.

Since Glen has still not given Merle what he wants, Merle decides to sic a zombie on him -- but Glen, in a scene that would make Black Widow proud, breaks free from the chair to which he's duct-taped and kills the zombie. What else you got? Oh, right -- Maggie in the next room. The Governor decides he'll deal with that.

This was the part in the comics that got seriously icky. In case you aren't familiar, the interrogation had Michonne in Maggie's place, and the Governor beat, raped, and tortured her. (She later got some equally violent revenge.) It was, to say the least, viciously awful. It served to push the Governor and the extent of his evil over the edge, and it was effective. To be honest, I was really hoping this wasn't going to happen on the show because of the monumentally icky feelings. Fortunately, it didn't go quite as far as the comics -- David Morrissey's Governor threatened to take it as far as the comics Governor did after leaving Maggie physically vulnerable. For me, that was plenty. We now have a man who will use his position and his penis as a weapon to get what he wants, and that's scary.

Maggie eventually gives up the prison when she is brought to Glen and the Governor holds a gun to his head. And that's over.

Michonne has brought Rick's group about a mile outside of Woodbury, saying that they'd do better on foot. Rick thanks Daryl for taking care of things while he collected himself. Daryl says, "That's what we do." This is noteworthy because Daryl, if he hadn't proved it already, really has adopted this group as his own -- something that Merle will probably not take well.

They come across a shack that is housing a member of the Tinfoil Hat Society, and Michonne kills him. This scene basically proved that Michonne will take care of any threat to the living, even if that includes killing one of the living.

The Governor can't really believe that a group of ten puny humans overtook an entire prison, so he expresses interest in throwing them a fancy dinner and asking them, "How did you do it? See, I run this whole town and stuff, but what I'm really hoping for is total world domination, millions of desperate people to control. Any hints? I'm just at a loss!" Or killing everyone. One of those things.

Photo credit: AMC

Previously: This week's The Walking Dead recap has sex, guts, and creepy phone calls in it! [SPOILERS]


  1. Why is this even a weekly feature?  Either you watched it and you know this or it is a giant spoiler – who is the audience for this?!?!

    1.  I’m part of the audience. I’m not especially interested in watching the show (time constraints when it’s on, commitment to watch a backlog of seasons, wife hates zombie stuff), but I do  enjoy hearing about it. And the description is much better than what I’d find on Wikipedia.

      Jamie, please keep writing these weekly features. I actually look forward to them.

    1. I like reading these types of overviews on a couple of different websites. I wouldn’t want to review every show I watch, but for a couple of series, I really enjoy this type of discussion. 

  2. There seems to be an element of ongoing tension between people who have completely written off the zombies as non-human, and the people who continue to think (in spite of all the evidence) that zombies must retain some bit of humanity.

    Exactly the type of tension that arises among Democrats. Some of whom see reality as it is, and know that Republicans have become ideological zombies, totally bereft of humanity. Others of whom would like to continue to pretend that there must be some humanity somewhere under the ideological zombie flesh.

    1. Not unlike the tension between people who have written off trolls as sub-human scum, and those that feel pity for their desperate attempts to provoke reaction. 


    I knew the show would not have the guts to get as dark as the comic got. There’s still the looming threat of someone needing to lose a hand (My prediction: Rick’s hand cut off by Merle, since T-Dog is unavailable for revengin’ upon) and of course, the Governor needs to get his just desserts too. (My predicition: Either eaten by his own zombie daughter or Andrea f-cks him up for what he’s done to her – hopefully with a spoon to the eyeball)

    1.  “hopefully with a spoon to the eyeball”

      ***Spoiler For Comic***

      As the Maggie/Governor scene was playing out to a very uncomfortable level, “Do what you are gonna do” made me shudder, all I kept thinking about was how the Governor did indeed receive what he deserves in the comic.

      If I recall Michonne’s katana works just as well as a spoon for eyeball scooping. For the sake of plausibility I hope Rick keeps his hand in the show, radical shift from the comic be damned. Merle’s contraption annoys the crap out of me, an arm without a hand is never going to have a cap on it that makes it 5 inches longer than the other arm with a hand. The knife blade tries to hide this reality of a tv show budget, but not very well. Two long armed yet hand-less characters, along with the requisite spotless brand new SUV of the month appearances would get to be a bit too much.

      Andrea seems like the real wild card, as a major character she has diverged the farthest from her comic counterpart while remaining alive. Carol’s reemergence, and baby Judith notwithstanding. Andrea seems to be relishing her inner circle status, while her and the Gov. manipulate each other to mutual benefit. I am interested to see how she responds to Rick and Company’s arrive to Woodbury next week.


      Kirkman has said that he now considers having Rick’s hand cut off to be a major mistake, plot-wise, and will not be doing it in the show. And as someone else noted, the FX just isn’t practical at a TV show budget.

  4. Good episode. It had me very nervous at several points, especially the interrogation scene. And I agree it was right to stop where it did – I think going further might have been too blunt. And this version of the governor, while sick, is also relatively pragmatic. Raping Maggie wouldn’t have gotten him the answers he needed, so it wasn’t something he needed to actually do, just threaten.

    I don’t exactly understand why Andrea was chosen for kill duty on the old zombie test patient – why not one of the Governor’s trusty henchman? They’re plenty used to dealing with that sort of thing. Is he trying to ease her bit by bit into all of his behind-the-scenes dealings? It did show how delusional the governor is: Milton may not know how this all works, but the Governor is intimately familiar (see his daughter). He should already know that zombies don’t retain memories.

    For my one gripe this week: I still don’t get Michonne’s character – I feel like there’s something I’m intended to respect about her being hard-nosed and independent, but her unexplained, unfriendly scowly-ness is just downright annoying at this point. She’s like a sulking teenager. How is she allowed to sneer “I didn’t ask for your help” when she showed up uninvited and collapsed on their doorstep?!
    She’s too much of a one-note comic book character to make sense in a TV show, if we don’t understand why she is the way she is.

    1. FWIW, I thought they played the scene so that you could imagine the rape did in fact happen, but not have to see/hear it.  The scene change at that moment means we don’t actually know how long he was alone with her before he brought her into the room with Glen.  Which makes perfect sense to me.  We don’t *know* how far he took it, but we know he went far enough to terrorize her.

      Interesting point about the Governor already knowing the answer that Milton is testing for the first time.  Could be a script error, or could be foreshadowing that Milty doesn’t really know what the Guv is up to, either.  He does seem to keep his henchmen compartmentalized…..

    2. Andrea chosen for kill duty – I think the Governor wants to ‘test’ her, make sure she does as she’s told.  Especially since she didn’t follow the rules when she took up the sentry post on the wall. How about that creepy welcome home back at the Gov’s apartment, huh? I think Andrea’s going to feel pretty near to suicide again once she realizes she’s made one terrible mistake after another.

      Milton & Gov testing zombie emotions – I think the Governor, in his slightly whacked-out mental state, wants to believe there is a way for his zombie daughter to still have memories of her time with him. She was the ONE thing he was proud of pre-zombie apocalypse.

      Michonne – if she gets zombie blood in her gun shot wound, will she turn? What’s the difference between that and receiving a zombie bite? Why is she not mentioning Merle & Andrea? Can’t wait to see how her character shifts. Really.

    1. Take your time, and never catch up. The only thing worse than waiting for the next show each week is waiting for the next book each month.

  5. Some episodes are so good that zombie scenes are usually the boring ones! In this one for example the most disgusting scene didn’t have a drop of blood.

  6. I love the Walking Dead and will happily suspend my disbelief for an hour a week but after each episode I nearly always reflect on how stupid they all are…. no one wears leather clothes, they have droppable weapons and are constantly getting zombies sneaking up on them… trip wires and a few bells, no more surprises… why the hell they wander around dark rooms instead of ringing a bell and stabbing them through the barred door when the walkers come to investigate first I will never understand… I’d have that place cleared in a day all alone….

    1. How about the fact that the prison generator works and they aren’t using it to make the fridges or the washing machines work?

      1. Fridges wouldn’t help much at this point… most of the food they salvage is already the kind that stores well… sure, they shoot occasional game, but with 10 people that meat probably goes pretty fast.  Laundry I’d imagine they’d get to.  I remember in the comic they just started wearing (unused) prison clothes just to have fresh clothes. 

  7. Unsure why this keeps being posted…. more Zombie Mania that I just don’t understand, I guess….

    Maybe next week we can have someone post their thoughts about their favorite soap opera instead – just as useful to those of us no entranced by Zombie World

      1. Oh now, show a little understanding for yet another victim of the twitterverse.  Someday we will look back on this time when some succumbed to the need for every thought, no matter how meaningless, to be publicly expressed and be thankful (I hope) that it was nothing more than a brief technologically driven cultural aberration. 

    1. I am truly sorry that you have no ability to skip over content that you don’t want to read. I can only imagine the burden of looking at a picture, reading a headline, then reading the paragraph or two before the jump. And how awful that you have to click on the jump and read the entire article!

      I mean, I enjoy Cory’s novels quite a bit, but I don’t really need to know that his latest novel has been translated into Portuguese, nor do I need to know that he’ll be in New York for a book signing.

      On the other hand, it’s not my blog, and I actually *DO* have the ability to skip content, so…

    2. Looks like this is your first post on BB.  How long did you wait until you found a thread that fired you up enough to feel the need to respond?

  8. Some quick thoughts: Glen is a badass.  Period.  Michonne has got to crack a smile eventually: but being poked in her GSW by Rick would not engender trust and positive feelings seemingly…

    The fact that Rick so quickly used pain as an interrogation technique showed a wee bit of dehumanization: not that I blame the poor fellow, he’s been through a lot.  But it’s a slippery slope.  Darn zombies….they mess up Everything.

    I agree the Maggie vs Guv scene was done right: plenty creepy without getting graphic…I predict some troubles for the Governor in the coming days; he is not a leader one should put too much trust in.

    Stupid, useless bit players: Mr ‘release the bounds so the zombie can bite me’ and ‘I live in a shack surrounded by the living dead, but I still retain some measure of respect for law enforcement, but my people skills are so atrophied I got murdered and all the zombies got a taste of my deliciousness…’  

    That last part was the best laugh of the night: As the hands were writhing in the blood and entrails the screen quick cut to a bucket of chicken and The Colonels smiling face “This episode brought to you by Kentucky Fried Chicken!!!”  I wonder if that was really the best time for that particular plug…

    1. The Kentucky Fried Carcass ad placement could not have been better, it had me laughing anyway.  Also getting tired of Michonne’s hard nosed attitude, there’s only so far you can go before you start to lose interest (seriously, she’s ceased to be mysterious at this point, will we ever get any background from her at all?)   Also didn’t quite get the cabin in the woods guy: I’m crazy so I’m gonna open the door to a bunch of zombies, oops, nope now I’m dead (thanks for sparing me from being eaten by those zombies Michonne).  Wait a minute, now you’re going to open the same door and use me as zombie food?  Ok… 

      Seriously, he lived less then a mile from the town and he never was found by the Guv and his boys?  Guess their routine patrols must stick to the main roads (so why did Rick and crew park on the side of the road then?)  Meanwhile, the pointless scenes continue with the Andrea on deathwatch (seriously, why?)  Eh, suspension of disbelief is great with this episode.

      Also, Andrea is fast becoming the Carl of this season IMHO, I really just don’t care for her much, she deserves to die with the Gov.  I also hope Carl loses the hat.  He looks ridiculous.

      So far Season 3 had been a disappointment.  I hope the town and the jail both burn (along with several characters).

  9. The comments that actually discuss the shoulda wouldas and the why the f did they do this or that are far more interesting and worth reading than the boring recap, which, in all fairness, is indeed just called a recap. Methinks I’ll just skip the recap next week and go straight to the comments… And thank you to people noting your comic spoilers.

  10. I’m confused about the Governor’s motivations and inconsistencies.  I suppose he’s driven by the fact that he’s set up his own fiefdom and wants to protect his position of authority.  I also think that he feels his daughter zombie needs to be kept secret. This sort of explains why he killed the national guardsmen, as they would have been a threat to his leadership.

    At first, I was confused as to why he would sweet-talk Michonne and Andrea but torture Glenn and Maggie. 

    *minor spoiler from the comics* 

    In the comics, the Governor convinced the townspeople to attack the prison by convincing them that everyone in the prison was dangerous, evil, barbaric, etc.  In the show, it seems that Merle has convinced the Governor that Rick’s group is bad because they left him handcuffed on the rooftop.  Still, if it made any sense why the Governor thinks it is so important to know where Rick’s group is, it would have been much smarter for him to convince Glenn and Maggie that he’s on their side (and he could have easily used Andrea to do it).  Merle’s lies are going to catch up to him.

    Another inconsistency, in a previous episode, the Governor refused to allow Merle to go search for Daryl because it “wasn’t safe”.  But then the Governor sent Merle and a group out to kill Michonne, three of them died, and he barely batted an eye.

    Why are the Governor and Merle surprised that a small group of people could clear the prison?  They easily defeated a group of national guardsmen and routinely go out and capture walkers for their games.

    The Governor is in a pickle now as he can’t let Glenn, Maggie, and Andrea talk.  I doubt he’d mind killing all/any of them though.

    I thought the zombie experiment scenes were interesting.  I love how they create tension by always having people check if someone has died by leaning in very close to their mouth (and teeth).  Too bad they didn’t get a chance to feed the zombie and see if he acted differently sated.  (Even though we know, from the CDC in the first season, that there is no humanity left in zombies.)

    Why is there always a big group of zombies outside the relatively quiet, sparsely inhabited, prison but hardly any zombies around Woodbury?  Wouldn’t all the light at night, noise of 75 people, loud music gladiator events, and lemonade social parties attract hordes of zombies that could easily overrun three or four amateur guards armed with arrows?

    Ok, enough devil’s advocate for today!

    1. The big mob that overran the farm was just some random mob that had left Atlanta, wandering in lemming style. The prison is probably just on the wandering route of more of the same big numbers of walkers. And Michonne did say the Governor sent out patrols, so presumably, they go out and clear the area  surrounding Woodbury every once in a while…

      The walkers can’t climb over the tire/truck wall, so even if there were 50 of ’em, they’d just get picked off one by one from above. What I want to see is what Woodbury has down the sidestreets to keep the walkers out. Chainlink fence+ shit piled up, I presume….

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