by Sherry Lipp
Warning: Spoilers Below
The inevitable showdown between The Governor (David Morrissey) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is building up like a volcano on the verge of erupting. Episode seven of the third season, “When the Dead Come Knocking,” is the penultimate episode before the “winter finale.” Already the two worlds are colliding with Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) being held captive in Woodbury, and Michonne (Danai Gurira) finding her way to the prison. This episode was a supreme tension builder. There was a lot of setup for the eventual crossing of paths between Rick’s group and The Governor and his henchman.
While we know a confrontation is a must, we don’t know quite how things will turn out. This show has proven that you never really know who the casualties of battle will be. The other unknown factor is how Merle (Michael Rooker) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) will react to each other. It’s kind of easy to predict that Daryl will reject his brother now that he has a new “family,” and that Merle will stay loyal to the Governor, but that might be too obvious. While I don’t think Daryl would intentionally betray Rick, he also harbors guilt over Merle’s loss in the first place. He may go out of his way to try to save him. Merle himself may not be as loyal to The Governor as he says. We already know he lied about killing Michonne. So there’s quite a bit up in the air concerning a Dixon brothers reunion.
After Michonne finds her way to the prison and eventually wins over Rick (at least to the point the incredibly cynical Rick can be won over), she tells them Glenn and Maggie are in Woodbury. She never mentions Merle, maintaining suspense over how Daryl will react to the news. So Rick, Michonne, Daryl, and Oscar (Vincent Ward) set off for Woodbury. Rick’s group and Woodbury are kind of like parallel universes that should never cross. Just as Merle stands with The Governor, Daryl stands with Rick. When Michonne comes to the prison she isn’t welcomed with open arms the way the Governor had welcomed her and Andrea (Laurie Holden). I have to wonder if that made her trust Rick more, because he was honest.
Speaking of honesty, The Governor has Andrea under his spell completely. All while she’s sleeping with him and building a relationship, he is torturing her friends. In a rather unsettling sequence, The Governor sends her to assist Milton (Dallas Roberts) with his research. An old man is on the verge of death and Milton wants to see if he retains any latent memory after he passes away and then reanimates as a walker. I thought these scenes were pretty sad. The dying man thought he was doing something to help, but we know the main motivation is selfish on the part of The Governor. However, I guess Milton seems pretty genuine (if naïve) in his motivations. I wish we knew more about the people in the town of Woodbury. Do they know the Governor is bad and they go along with it because they are relatively safe?
While there was a lot of drama going on, there were also a couple of pretty cool action sequences. One of them was a full on walker attack as Rick’s group walked through the woods on the way to Woodbury. The area was teeming with walkers. Eventually the group finds themselves in a rickety cabin that turns out to be occupied while the cabin is under a full walker siege.
Meanwhile in Woodbury, Merle interrogates Glenn, who refuses to give up any information about the prison. Glenn proves he is pretty tough during a bad ass fight sequence with a walker. As a side note, The Governor proves to be quite despicable in his interrogation of Maggie – who also proves to be pretty strong. But she has her breaking point. Should she have caved in and provided the location of Rick’s group, even if it meant Glenn dying? Would they have even followed through with shooting Glenn, knowing they definitely wouldn’t discover the group’s location at that point? Regardless, it’s difficult to blame Maggie for giving in.
This season of The Walking Dead continues to prove itself as both a great drama and thriller. Next week is the winter finale, which should be exciting. I’m not going out on a limb to predict it will end in a cliffhanger. Perhaps it will even spin the show in a new direction. You never can tell. One little puzzler of this episode – why do you think Carl (Chandler Riggs) wanted to name his little sister after his third grade teacher? If I was Rick, I might’ve politely asked.
Photos: Blake Tyers/Gene Page/AMC