The Walking Dead Episode 3.13 'Arrow on the Doorpost' Review

Posted by k4tzm4n (44235 posts) - - Show Bio

We all knew going into this episode that war between Rick's crew and Woodbury is pretty much inevitable, so for me, that took away a decent amount of intrigue in 'Arrow on the Doorpost.' Tonight's episode focused around a meeting between Rick (who is seemingly cured of the crazies now) and the Governor. Both clearly know there's no peaceful resolution here, but it's more than transparent they agreed to this in an attempt to further their own agendas. For the Governor, he wants revenge and to take Rick out in a surprise attack, therefore minimizing his own causalities and not having the fight take place on his turf. Rick, on the other hand, is fully aware the man on the other side of the table is sick and twisted, but you can't blame him for holding onto some degree of hope in an attempt to avoid total war.

What really sells these scenes are Andrew Lincoln and David Morrissey's performances. Both are engrossing actors and manage to keep the scenes tense, even if there were dull moments scattered throughout their interactions. My highlight was taking place outside of their chat, though. This gathering forced characters from opposing sides to pair up and the result was hilariously amusing. The competitive bromance between Daryl and Martinez was a romp and generated some incredibly fun zombie kills. Suddenly, a bat feels like the mightiest weapon of them all and those swings were epic. Meanwhile, Hershel's team up brought out the best in him. He's always serious business, delivering Obi-Wan-esque advice or life lessons, but now it gave him a chance to lighten up a bit and provide a surprisingly funny line.

Andrea, you're seriously the worst character ever. Look, I get optimism is a good quality, but there reaches a point where it renders a character painfully oblivious to the obvious. Thankfully previews indicate she'll start changing in the next episode, but her reactions (or lack thereof) continue to frustrate in the meantime. Yeah, the Governor initially seduced her and she wants to believe he's a good dude, but enough is enough and it's nice to see she's going to finally see the blatantly obvious.

I'm not a prude guy, but Maggie and Glenn's fun time session felt excessively long and reached a point where it was just awkward to watch. I obviously understand the significance here -- the incident with the Governor created a wedge between them and, thanks to Glenn being understanding and down to Earth, they've now worked through it. I would have loved to see that scene cut a bit shorter and dedicated that time to other matters. For example, seeing Merle and Michonne's interaction fleshed out more. Speaking of Merle, I thought it was odd how he was all gung-ho to "save" his brother, but then completely gave up after being stopped once. It felt a bit out of character for him to give up so quickly, especially since he was so steadfast in his belief that he's protecting his brother.

Minor point here, but did anyone else notice zombies are all over the fence during Glenn and Maggie's funky town scene, but when characters return, said swarm of walkers are conveniently scattered and the path is clear? Sure, they could wander around, but having teammates come to open the fence should lure them back, yes?

Overall, 'Arrow on the Doorpost' is a fairly tense episode bogged down with some seriously drawn-out moments. In the end, the biggest accomplishment here is making us question how Rick will proceed. It's interesting to see both leaders lied to their people, but now comes the true test for Rick. Has he truly lost his humanity and he'll toss away Michonne's life to save everyone else's... or will he come up with something else? I think we're all leaning towards the latter, but it'll hopefully be fascinating to see how this takes a toll on him and the others.

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. This is the part where he shamelessly plugs his Twitter page in hopes of getting a new follower or two.

Staff
#1 Posted by The Stegman (24413 posts) - - Show Bio
I agree with everything, especially Andrea's freakin' worship of The Governor, come on  girl, seriously.
#2 Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy (7849 posts) - - Show Bio

Boring episode, same as last weeks.

#3 Posted by benblanks (65 posts) - - Show Bio

For some reason, I really liked seeing Darryl and the Governor's henchman getting along even though they'll be trying to kill one another soon. It's kind of cool that THESE two guys could set aside the whole foolishness of the whole 'this is MY land' way of thinking and just get along when their 'leaders' can't. Also, I won't be some internet dullard and say horrible things about Ms. Holden, she's a fine actress I guess, but holy shit that is NOT Andrea. That is just a character they created for the show whose name also happens to be Andrea. That's what I keep telling myself because the Andrea in the comics has more character in one fingernail than the character has in her whole body; they are just worlds apart..

#4 Edited by Urban_Ronin (9935 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice review man. Agree with pretty much everything. This episode was obvious filler aimed towards humanizing characters as well as giving fans a needed calming episode before all hell breaks loose. Get ready, cause some of, if not most of, the fan favs and long standing cast members are going down.

#5 Posted by Decept-O (7278 posts) - - Show Bio

I understand trying to give some character development and setting things up for the inevitable confrontation between Rick's group and The Governor's group, but seriously, this episode could have been a bit....well....not so boring. What little action and drama there was, including between Glen and Maggie, just seemed forced and not very interesting. I also couldn't buy how Andrea is playing into the Governor's schemes...unless. and this is a remote possibility...she has plans of her own.

While possibly the slowest episode to date, it still left open some questions which are intriguing. I just don't know about Rick "wanting the group to be scared". Kind of odd. Criticisms aside, I hope the pace picks up soon. Still a great show.

#6 Posted by secondfallen616 (119 posts) - - Show Bio

Andrea...........Oh how they've destroyed your character, turning your strong and noble personage into a complete mockery. I'm okay with the seperation between the show and the comic, even alright with the little tweaks to the characters and what not, BUT why inject the whole Gov. & Andrea relations?.....yuck! Going forward (i don't see how anyone would want her back in the group considering she only goes for the "Unhinged Murderer" type) with this forced zero chemistry pairing serves no purpose in the end.

#7 Posted by secondfallen616 (119 posts) - - Show Bio

........also, with each episode i'm starting to believe more and more that Rick is going to die. I just don't see AMC doing some of the things that happen during the Final Battle. Even though Lori's already gone, theres still another Grimes to go and i just can't see them doing that.

#8 Edited by Decept-O (7278 posts) - - Show Bio

@secondfallen616: While I've not read the comic ( sadly ) and realize there are distinct differences between the show and the comic, I understand what you're saying about Andrea and the Gov's relationship being forced to a degree. That is why I am wondering if...perhaps...Andrea may have a scheme behind everything. Unless I am giving too much cred to her character. I mean, she did essentially try to mastermind this whole meeting in the first place, trying to be "peacekeeper" when we really know, as you mentioned, she prefers the psycho murdering types. She loves the excitement, it is her own twisted soap opera I guess.

#9 Posted by haydenclaireheroes (9064 posts) - - Show Bio

Here is my review for the episode:

#10 Posted by StarKiller809 (1238 posts) - - Show Bio

The Andrea hate has surprised me a little. Sure, she is with the other side; but people aren't looking at things from her perspective and don't really see what she is trying to accomplish. 
 
She want's everyone to survive but Rick isn't going for it and neither is the Governor.  
 
At the beginning of the season, she found a place that was safe; where she wouldn't have to worry about losing someone she cared about (ex. Amy and Dale). She was lied too and had no other reason to believe otherwise.  
 
I think that she will redeem herself, even if it means her dying, to viewers when she tries to take the governor down and in doing so, hopefully save the lives that she has tried so hard to protect.  
 
Sorry, she's not my favorite character but she is better then what people keep making her out to be. 

#11 Posted by TheNameIsWayne (49 posts) - - Show Bio

@BiteMe-Fanboy: Last week's episode was note worthy. This is more about acting and character development than just mindless zombie killing...

#12 Posted by Bestostero (5618 posts) - - Show Bio

this episode was a bit dry for me, usually ill stick around and watch all the encore showings, but i kinda turned the tv off after talking dead lol

the remaining episodes should all be good though

#13 Posted by The Stegman (24413 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheNameIsWayne said:

@BiteMe-Fanboy: Last week's episode was note worthy. This is more about acting and character development than just mindless zombie killing...

This, I don't understand how people keep saying that the show is boring, zombie shows should be about the people, not the dead, I frankly enjoy that they have time to sit and develop plotlines and characters, not every episode has to be them fighting hordes of zombies. 
#14 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

About the only exciting parts of this episode were the Maggie/Glenn scene and Martinez swinging the bat the way he did. Other than that, its clear that this was only a filler episode designed to carry us to the penultimate chapter. It was obvious there was going to be no mutually agreeable arrangement between Governor and Rick...now lets just get to "Made to Suffer" already and make the most of this mutually assured destruction between the prison and Woodbury. Seriously..drawn out way too much now. Just get to it!

#15 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

I like. Is good episode.

#16 Posted by ARMIV2 (8529 posts) - - Show Bio

I think I might be one of the only viewers out there who watches this show and totally digs the slower "humanizing" episodes. I love me some zombie-killing action, but if even more than that, I also enjoy seeing these characters really flesh themselves out and really respond to what is going on. And to that point, the Governor pretty much reminds me of the Judge from Blood Meridian, just with added pretenses of humility and righteousness. The whole conversation between Rick and Patchy even reminded me of the final dialogue between the Judge and the Kid in the final chapter of that book. "Bears that dance, bears that dont" .

#17 Posted by popcaffen (1 posts) - - Show Bio

it was incredible.

#18 Posted by Super_SoldierXII (6360 posts) - - Show Bio

The Governor's crazy ... and his 'people' even crazier for following the nut job.

Going back a few episodes, I'd like to think a group of the US military were slightly better trained to be taken out so easily by a blue collar turned 'leader' nutcase and his civilian posse. But that's just me.

If I were Rick, I'd take Michonne, Daryl and maybe Merl, wear zombified clothing to avoid the walkers, infiltrate at night and kill the Governor. Judging by what I've seen of their defenses, it really doesn't look like rocket science ...

#19 Posted by SavageDragon (2252 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought this episode was just ok.

#20 Posted by KRYPTON (1891 posts) - - Show Bio

Best episode yet

#21 Posted by Urban_Ronin (9935 posts) - - Show Bio

@secondfallen616 said:

........also, with each episode i'm starting to believe more and more that Rick is going to die.

I started thinking the same thing. In fact tonights episode was so boring I was convinced it was going to end with Rick's death.

#22 Posted by doordoor123 (3721 posts) - - Show Bio

@secondfallen616 said:

........also, with each episode i'm starting to believe more and more that Rick is going to die. I just don't see AMC doing some of the things that happen during the Final Battle. Even though Lori's already gone, theres still another Grimes to go and i just can't see them doing that.

Without spoiling anything, lets just say there will be a big shocking moment that will change the way we look at Rick. And it will happen soon.

#23 Posted by SavageDragon (2252 posts) - - Show Bio

#24 Posted by ARMIV2 (8529 posts) - - Show Bio

@SavageDragon said:

Heh-heh!

#25 Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy (7849 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Stegman said:

@TheNameIsWayne said:

@BiteMe-Fanboy: Last week's episode was note worthy. This is more about acting and character development than just mindless zombie killing...

This, I don't understand how people keep saying that the show is boring, zombie shows should be about the people, not the dead, I frankly enjoy that they have time to sit and develop plotlines and characters, not every episode has to be them fighting hordes of zombies.

Never said that a good episode must contain mindless zombie killing. Yes, the past two episodes are really getting in depth with character development, but they are dragging it out and IMO, it's getting boring.

#26 Posted by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

It was an okay ep. If Rick gives up Michonne though, he's even dumber than I thought. Hopefully that's just a distraction because when he gave his speech of war to the public I was proud that the show wasn't going to have him chase that ball. Then they backtracked right before the end so that was a bummer. It seems like his craziness was short-lived and he's back to sanity, but maybe not if he trusts the Gov. at all.

Andrea, you're seriously the worst character ever.

Well, the idiot ball had to go to someone after Lori and Dale died. But yes, she's been trying this season. Luckily the preview seems to be implying that she'll finally start being proactive again.

I'm not a prude guy, but Maggie and Glenn's fun time session felt excessively long and reached a point where it was just awkward to watch.

Maybe it's because Game of Thrones is screwing up the curve these days, but it didn't seem excessive to me at all. Cue my surprise when I went on the twitters and saw so much pearl clutching over it. "Oh my, that wasn't PG-13 at all!" Once again I am shocked at how much gore and "torture porn" people can accept without a problem but god forbid we see any side-boob.

#27 Posted by k4tzm4n (44235 posts) - - Show Bio

@Quintus_Knightfall said:

Nice review man. Agree with pretty much everything. This episode was obvious filler aimed towards humanizing characters as well as giving fans a needed calming episode before all hell breaks loose. Get ready, cause some of, if not most of, the fan favs and long standing cast members are going down.

Thanks!

Staff
#28 Posted by _Nexus_ (804 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm with the majority on this one that Andrea is the worst character this season what happen to the badass she was turning into last season. Whether she has a plan or not she could have gone back with the Rick's group and made her break from the Governor. She knows full well how evil he is and yet she stills stick with him because she has some werid fetish for nut jobs she knew what she was doing when shen went back and stood over his body with the knife and did nothing she made that concious choice. She trying to play this oh let's be friends and fight for a better future card because she literally wants her cake and eat it too. I think she is upset that Rick's group left her, they accepted Michone so easily yet she is not trusted, and this goes to both sides she can't fit in with either there she is trying to be with both.

To me its a continuation of her suicidical mindset from the end of season 1 into the beginning of season 2 but not she is sleeping with the most dangerous men she can find to live on the edge a little and everyone else just has to deal with it. I hope she tries to take out the Governor in the season finale and either fails and dies or succeds but sarifices herself in the process even though I have a feeling she will have a hand in the Governor's death and I think I know what role from the comics.

P.S. KILL MIlTON! That dude is the biggest creeper I have ever seen and the Governor keep heads in an aquarium. I get the feeling he is what Glen would have turned into if not for Maggie and becoming a bad ass. Milton seems like he is as disconnected from the world they are in as you could get even more so then the Woodbury

#29 Posted by MikeStark (157 posts) - - Show Bio

Loved this episode, just wanna know anyone know the name of the song playing near the end? Thanks!

#30 Posted by The Average Bear (2079 posts) - - Show Bio

Decent episode. These conversation episodes are necessary because of how realistic the show is. There isn't just glorious battle after glorious battle in real life, is there? No, there's set up. Boring for the audience, but needed for the shows universe.

Honestly though, these episodes could slow to a painful drag and I would still tune in every Sunday

#31 Posted by ADAMocracy (132 posts) - - Show Bio

@BiteMe-Fanboy: @BiteMe-Fanboy said:

Boring episode, same as last weeks.

Whoa! Its still called Walking Dead.. I thought they'd rename it to boring conversations featuring zombies every now and then.... but really, the show has fallen from grace in my opinion. This zombie apocaclypse seems fairly easy to survive.

#32 Posted by ADAMocracy (132 posts) - - Show Bio

@BiteMe-Fanboy: @BiteMe-Fanboy said:

@The Stegman said:

@TheNameIsWayne said:

@BiteMe-Fanboy: Last week's episode was note worthy. This is more about acting and character development than just mindless zombie killing...

This, I don't understand how people keep saying that the show is boring, zombie shows should be about the people, not the dead, I frankly enjoy that they have time to sit and develop plotlines and characters, not every episode has to be them fighting hordes of zombies.

Never said that a good episode must contain mindless zombie killing. Yes, the past two episodes are really getting in depth with character development, but they are dragging it out and IMO, it's getting boring.

Would it be too much to ask for zombies to get more than 10 minutes screen time.. I mean Idk bout you guys, I could care less about the characters, I just want zombie action which is why I watch the show. They draw out every bit of drama to the point where I have no want to watch the next weeks episode. Like when Carl was shot and in bed and 3 episodes surrounded that I stopped watching it until that part of the season was over.

#33 Posted by The Stegman (24413 posts) - - Show Bio
@ADAMocracy said:

@BiteMe-Fanboy: @BiteMe-Fanboy said:

@The Stegman said:

@TheNameIsWayne said:

@BiteMe-Fanboy: Last week's episode was note worthy. This is more about acting and character development than just mindless zombie killing...

This, I don't understand how people keep saying that the show is boring, zombie shows should be about the people, not the dead, I frankly enjoy that they have time to sit and develop plotlines and characters, not every episode has to be them fighting hordes of zombies.

Never said that a good episode must contain mindless zombie killing. Yes, the past two episodes are really getting in depth with character development, but they are dragging it out and IMO, it's getting boring.

Would it be too much to ask for zombies to get more than 10 minutes screen time.. I mean Idk bout you guys, I could care less about the characters, I just want zombie action which is why I watch the show. They draw out every bit of drama to the point where I have no want to watch the next weeks episode. Like when Carl was shot and in bed and 3 episodes surrounded that I stopped watching it until that part of the season was over.

I think the zombies get plenty of time. The thing I love about the show are the humans, not the dead, it shows that humans are just as dangerous, if not more so than the walkers are. I care entirely about the characters, they are first and foremost who should matter, if you want mindless zombie killing, go play Left 4 Dead or something. 
#34 Posted by Batnandez (511 posts) - - Show Bio

this show is starting to suck, it's not suspenseful or scary anymore it's like watching a sh&*&y soap opera with an occasional zombie.

#35 Edited by Vortex13 (12250 posts) - - Show Bio

Once again, I have no shame, Here's the facebook page for the Walking Dead show on. Go to view videos and please vote. Me and my friends video is called "Never Too Busy" and is posted by Patric Regan. Please vote. Oh and here's the thread I made promoting it.

#36 Posted by mickoreo_LZ (250 posts) - - Show Bio

An obvious filler episode that's only delaying the inevitable. I liked the character interaction between the "henchman" if you will. Interesting to show the parallels between the two groups. I really hope this final battle is satisfying. Andrea could die. They totally destroyed her character. In the comics she's intelligent, tenacious, and a fighter. She's tough in the show but way too naive and just sort of a dumb blonde IMO. She's ready to assassinate the Governor one week, then tries to broker peace, then finally comes to the conclusion the Governor is a bad dude? The way her mind works is beyond me

#37 Posted by The Mast (788 posts) - - Show Bio

I've thought this show was dire from day one. Yet, I tried to abandon my hang-ups and persevere.

I got half way through this season and I just couldn't take it anymore. I am so sick of seeing the characters I love get butchered along with their stories.

"IT'S NOT THE COMIC!" Yeah, and the Nolan Batman trilogy isn't either. Neither are the Marvel movies. They still know what they come from and respect the source. This doesn't. This absolutely does not. It is, at best, a tense zombie show. It is NOT The Walking Dead.

Don't even get me started on how much of a Mary Sue Daryl is. He absolutely isn't needed. Ever.

#38 Edited by ThomasElliot (362 posts) - - Show Bio

@ARMIV2 said:

@SavageDragon said:

Heh-heh!

And... just imagine how entertaining its going to be having to watch Tyrese's group go through the same revelations. I mean, it wasn't enough that we saw this ALREADY with Michonne... then Glen... and Maggie... then Merle... and Rick.... and Andrea... and the Governor's scientist bitch.... but we get to see it yet again with Tyrese with only 3 episodes left. Bleh.

"... how realistic the show is. There isn't just glorious battle after glorious battle in real life, is there?"

No, more than likely 'in real life' is what happens in the comic... where Woodbury ambushes the prison, overwhelms them, the group has to make a run for it. How many modern day conflicts do you know of where 2 people sit a table and basically tell each other they are going to kill the other? I hate to sound like one of those 'its not like the books' guys... I don't EXPECT it to be like the books and I welcome the differences... but 'lets sit down to work things out but really just wag our dicks at each other and talk about how we're going to kill you' is plain silly.

I admit though... with all the problems this show has... I keep watching week to week. But then again, I watch Arrow every week too, so it doesn't really mean much.

#39 Posted by ARMIV2 (8529 posts) - - Show Bio

@ThomasElliot said:

@ARMIV2 said:

@SavageDragon said:

Heh-heh!

And... just imagine how entertaining its going to be having to watch Tyrese's group go through the same revelations. I mean, it wasn't enough that we saw this ALREADY with Michonne... then Glen... and Maggie... then Merle... and Rick.... and Andrea... and the Governor's scientist bitch.... but we get to see it yet again with Tyrese with only 3 episodes left. Bleh.

"... how realistic the show is. There isn't just glorious battle after glorious battle in real life, is there?"

No, more than likely 'in real life' is what happens in the comic... where Woodbury ambushes the prison, overwhelms them, the group has to make a run for it. How many modern day conflicts do you know of where 2 people sit a table and basically tell each other they are going to kill the other? I hate to sound like one of those 'its not like the books' guys... I don't EXPECT it to be like the books and I welcome the differences... but 'lets sit down to work things out but really just wag our dicks at each other and talk about how we're going to kill you' is plain silly.

I admit though... with all the problems this show has... I keep watching week to week. But then again, I watch Arrow every week too, so it doesn't really mean much.

I don't think anybody's Governor revelation will quite top Andrea's in terms of "you should've seen that one from miles away!".

#40 Posted by DonFelipe (1096 posts) - - Show Bio

Let the battle begin and get this (increasingly) boring season over with already.

The whole Governor/Woodbury arc was so much better in the comic than it is on television.

#41 Posted by k4tzm4n (44235 posts) - - Show Bio

Yay or nay: should I provide a score at the end of the review?

Staff
#42 Posted by TDK_1997 (14896 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: Yes,you should.

#43 Posted by ADAMocracy (132 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Stegman:You don't really think the zombies get plenty of time do you. Since the second half of this season started which I believe is 4 episodes now, altogether the zombie action equals out to less than 10 minutes... tell me how thats plenty of time. Im not saying I don't care about the characters.. I do, i really, but last sundays episode was incredibly boring. They could of gotten the point across in a short conversation but they cheaped out and focused most of the episode on talking, I thought that was what The Talking Dead was about afterwards? The show has definately started going downhill since they extended the seasons from 6, to 13, now to 16. They should of kept it down to 6, season 1 was amazingly good for being so short and thats what made it so good. Even though it was only 6 episodes, you felt like you got a lot more. But now they just add a bunch of drama drama drama. I can't help too think they're doing it to sell out to the networks saying, "We need more drama in this, lets draw out this kid being shot for as long as we want.. oh yeah lets also draw out sophias search until people are basically over it... oh by the way, how about limit the zombies on a ZOMBIE show." Whats next a Batman movies, where Bruce Wayne won't show up until the 10 minutes or only be in the first 10 minutes.. or how about Star Wars Episode VII not have any Jedi's?

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