The Walking Dead - Season 3, Episode 13: “Arrow on the Doorpost” TV Episode Review

Written by Steve Pattee and TGM

Official Site


Directed by David Boyd
Written by Ryan C. Coleman
2013, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on March 10th, 2013

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Danai Gurira as Michonne
Michael Rooker as Merle Dixon
David Morrissey as The Governor
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier
Dallas Roberts as Milton Mamet
Jose Pablo Cantillo as Caesar Martinez
Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene


Warning! This discusion contains spoilers for this episode.

Steve Pattee: Sunday night saw the long-awaited sit-down between The Governor and Rick, each laying out their own set of demands. While the two leaders hashed things out, Herschel and Daryl played nice with Milton and Martinez respectively, and Andrea wandered around as clueless as always. Meanwhile, back at the prison, Merle had a tussle with Glenn and words with Michonne.

SP: So before I get into how much of a bitch Rick is (again), let me take a moment to say that I am just about on Team Merle. Out of everyone this week, he is the only one to make any sort of sense. His idea to go kill The Governor while they had a prime opportunity was shot down by Glenn of all people. While I truly like Glenn’s character, this is exactly why he is (and will always be) not a good leader. He can’t make the hard (and obvious) decision.

TGM: Yeah. Glenn seemed to be turning into a major badass back when he was fighting off that zombie in Woodbury, but ever since he’s really regressed to that whiney bitch that he was during the first season. He’s about as intimidating as a marshmallow peep. Merle is becoming such a great anti-hero. He’s Ash and Han Solo and Hannibal Lecter all rolled up into one dirty kickass redneck.  

SP: So, I am already hearing and reading people complaining that this is another filler episode, and I couldn’t disagree more. Yes, there is no disputing that the last three episodes have moved slower than the prior, you know, TEN. But this can’t be all zombies all the time. That would just get old. Granted, while I’m one of the few that really enjoyed the second season (and I can't and won't defend the drawn out Sophia storyline), I’m fine with a few episodes where things slow down a bit. Look, they can’t be always be fighting the undead. That’s ridiculous.

TGM: I do enjoy these slow-burn type episodes as they truly set apart the human drama that is The Walking Dead from being just a mindless zombie-carnage bloodbath that you might catch on the SyFy channel. Not that I am diametrically opposed to zombie-carnage bloodbaths mind you. You can’t please all the people all of the time. If it were constant wall-to-wall zombie action you’d have a large population bitching that it didn’t have enough character development.  

SP: Exactly. And I really liked this episode. I don’t know about you, but I got this Apocalypse Now vibe. You know how at the end of that movie, Willard (Martin Sheen) finally meets the big, bad Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando)? And while Kurtz is obviously insane, he still makes a lot of sense, you still fear him, and he makes Willard his little bitch? That’s what happened here, and The Governor was Kurtz and Rick was the little bitch. Not only did the Guv bring up Shane possibly being the father of Judith (!), but at one point he almost made the man cry. That’s leadership right there. Meet the guy you are about to go to battle with, and get all weepy.

TGM: Well, any mention of Shane gets you weak in the knees so I’m not surprised you liked that particular exchange between Rick and the Gov.  

SP: Of course! See, Shane wouldn’t have had the conversation with him because he would have taken care of business far before it got to a discussion. TSFL (Team Shane For Life).

TGM: Too bad Rick made Shane his little bitch at the end, right? Look, I enjoyed this episode, probably not as much as you though. My biggest gripe, especially as a Rick apologist, is that I feel like the writers don’t know what to do with his character right now. Not too long ago he shot those two hillbillies in the bar because he saw them as a threat. He ditched Harry Hitchhiker without blinking an eye. But then, when he gets a chance to blow off the head of The Governor, essentially ending this conflict in heartbeat, he fails to act. Couple that with his crazy visions and moodiness and he’s a tough character to root for these days. I was also disappointed in Rick for having second thoughts about turning Michonne in to the Governor.  When he left without agreeing to turn her over (which would certainly condemn her to death), I thought “yeah, fuck you Steve, THAT’S a leader right there”. But then he goes and confesses to Hershel essentially pleading to be swayed into doing the right thing. I will admit Rick is testing my patience nowadays.

SP: Rick has been testing my patience for three seasons.

SP: Don’t get me wrong, now. While I did enjoy this episode quite a bit, it’s also by far the weakest of the season. I just happen to like a lot of the little things in it. Aside from the  aforementioned Kurtz moment, Andrea being kicked out of the meeting was pretty fantastic. I loved the look of bewilderment on her face when she realized that she really is useless. Plus, the pissing contest and eventual bonding between Daryl and Martinez was both hilarious and sad. Neither want this war that’s coming. Oh, and Glenn stepping to Merle? Yeah, nice try. Merle is ruthless.

TGM: Oh, Andrea’s dismissal was fantastic. It reminded me of that great line from Robocop, “Bitches leave.” I loved the interactions between Daryl and Martinez and Hershel and Milton. It’s like everyone squared off with their own personal Bizarro Superman.

SP: I know I said last week that this would be an action episode, and it’s quite obvious I was wrong. I want to believe that next week this pot is finally going to start to boil over, but I’m not ready to make that commitment. However, I did see a glimpse of Tyrese in the teaser, so maybe we’ll see the beginnings of the inevitable conflict start this upcoming Sunday.

TGM: Yeah, next week’s teaser has Andrea using her worthless mouth to seemingly organize a coup in Woodbury.  Good plan, dipshit.  If only you could simply boink the guy, then stab him to death while he slept in post-coital glow. Oh wait...

Speaking of do realize that the Glenn and Maggie sex scene basically cemented one of their deaths before the end of the season, right?

SP: Well, you said you heard three major deaths. We already lost Lori and T-Dog. I don’t think Oscar or Axel were big enough to be major (and, sadly, even T-Dog is debatable), so that leaves one. If we’re talking major major, I’m calling Andrea over Maggie or Glenn. If we’re talking minor major, my money is on Beth. I really don’t see anything happening to Glenn, and would be a bit surprised if they offed Maggie. But, at the end of the day, as long as they keep Daryl, Merle, Hershel and Tyrese, I’m happy. I’m even going to throw Michonne and Carl in that mix if they keep heading down the path they are currently on. I guess we’ll see soon enough.

TGM: If I remember correctly, it was three major deaths after the midseason break, which, by my math, means we still have three to go.

SP: Well that changes things. Okay, I’m calling Beth, Andrea and Carol. But only if The Governor doesn’t count as a major character dying, because his demise is inevitable.

TGM: Well I don’t know about you, but I am about ready to be done with Woodbury and the prison. This show works best when these people are constantly on the move, like some prolonged season long chase sequence. Once they start to squat, like on the farm, or at the prison, things start to get a little stale. I guess I just miss Dale’s Winnebago.

SP: Ug. Dale. I’m just going to let that guy stay dead.

TGM: I said I missed the Winnie, not the man. At any rate, next week’s episode does look like it’s ratcheting up the action-o-meter, so hopefully we can find a nice balance to appease each polar opposite group of fanboys. I’ll wrap it up by saying this: I have very limited time to watch television these days, and it is all mostly done off of the DVR at random times. There are very few shows on television that currently demand my attention, that I consider to be appointment viewing, and make me willing to slog through commercials for tampons and auto insurance. So despite all of our minor bitching, they are apparently doing something right. IS IT SUNDAY YET!?

Video, Audio and Special Features:

Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a TV episode.


Steve: 3 stars
TGM: 3 stars



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Steve Pattee
US Editor, Admin
He's the puppet master. You don't see him, but he pulls the strings that gets things done. He's the silent partner. He's black ops. If you notice his presence, it's the last thing you'll notice — because now you're dead. He's the shadow you thought you saw in that dark alleyway. You can have a conversation with him, and when you turn around to offer him a cup of coffee, he's already gone.
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