The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 3 Recap: Heads Up! The Governor Lies, Merle Is Handy, [Spoilers] Are Dead
SPOILERS AHEAD! Stop reading if you don’t want details on The Walking Dead episode that aired on October 28.
So that was weird.
For the past two weeks, we’ve been following Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and company at their prison on The Walking Dead Season 3. Now we’re in a new kind of prison — Woodbury, introduced on Episode 3, "Walk with Me.” Once again, Andrea’s (Laurie Holden) weapons have been taken away from her, but for some reason she’s not that mad this time. Maybe because The Governor (David Morrissey) is much hotter than Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn). Maybe she’s imagining a future sexy car ride with him as the new Shane (Jon Bernthal).
Right now, we’re just imaging what it would look like to see Michonne (Danai Gurira) do anything but frown. Sure, she’s a fan favorite from the comics — and we know she's one of the "good guys" — but at this point even Milton the new scientist guy has shown more personality. (Maybe he and Carol can compare notes when it comes to experimenting on walkers/biters.) Michonne was quick to use her katana to chop off her beloved pets’ heads (RIP, boys! We hardly knew ye...), but even Andrea doesn’t know their story.
But Michonne is right about the Governor. He’s bad news — protective of his group, like Rick; and fond of his own voice making speeches, also like Rick. But The Governor is a liar and a deceptive politician, unlike our former sheriff, who is an honest dictator. Sure, he held onto that “we’re all infected” secret for a little too long, and he also has an extreme fear of human strangers, and he's kind of losing his mind (or at least losing his Old Rick mind on the path to being more like Shane). But last time we checked, Rick was not collecting heads in an aquarium. Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) probably wouldn’t let him. The clutter!
Speaking of Lori, never thought we’d say it, but we kinda missed her this week. No Rick. No Daryl. No Maggie. No Glenn. No prison. All Woodbury, Merle (Michael Rooker), The Governor, Michonne’s twice-dead pets and some newly offed soldiers. (RIP, boys! Not sure why you needed to die...)
Read on for a full recap of the strange, quiet, very headless Episode 3.
HELICOPTER CRASH There are three guys in the chopper. If this isn’t the exact helicopter we’ve seen before, it’s probably with the same group, right? What is their objective, herding walkers to select places to clear areas for humans? No? Something goes wrong. They crash hard. Michonne and Andrea see the crash. They wander over, along with her pets. And her grimace. Yeah, it sucks being stuck in the zombie apocalypse, but at least Michonne has a cool new friend in Andrea. A smile goes a mile!
MEET THE GOVERNOR — AND FRIENDS Andrea is super sick, throwing up and just looking like hell. One of the chopper guys is literally chopped up. While Michonne checks out the damage, two cars pull up. It’s The Governor! (Go David Morrissey for continuing the tradition of handsome British men sharing good American accents on U.S. cable shows.) His human pals kill some walkers outside the chopper. The Gov finds one surviving guy in the helicopter. Andrea wanted them to show themselves right away, when it was clear The Gov was planning to save the survivor. Michonne was more cautious. The Gov got his own good knife kill to the head. It’s a new trend. First Rick last week and now the Gov. Soon everyone will be doing it.
RIP, ARMLESS WALKER DUDES Michonne just killed her two pets to make sure they didn’t give away her location. She’s been dragging them around this whole time, just to off them so quickly? How sad.
MERLE! It’s especially sad since, right after the Gov and friends leave, Merle Dixon spots them in the woods. Michonne almost gets her katana out but Merle said his is a lot bigger than hers. Oh, Merle. Nothing changes. He remembered Andrea, of course. She was there back in Atlanta when Rick handcuffed him. NICE kill with his new fake hand. (Luke, I am your father.) That thing is HANDY. Andrea offers the appropriate reaction to seeing handless Merle again, which is to immediately pass out. She’s blindfolded and driven somewhere. Merle is creepy even without all the “shhh” moves and blindfolding. However, on Season 2, Rick and company basically treated Randall the same way, trying to drag him onto the farm without knowing where he was. This group is actually much nicer to Andrea and Michonne than they ever were to Randall. Of course, Randall's group tried to kill Rick and company, but Rick started that fight by killing Randall's friends. Anyway...
THE NOT HOT DIXON IS STILL A PAIN IN THE ASS At least Andrea is getting some medical attention. They want to leave their new spot, but really they should say thank you. “Where are we?” Andrea asks. The doctor lady wouldn’t answer. “He’ll” tell them when it’s time. From one dictatorship to another. Merle comes in to make a speech about how it’s a small world. (Yeah, but it’s not like Georgia is just one little town. Have they all been herded into one specific area?) Merle said when he was found, he was starving. He almost opted out. Andrea said she hasn’t seen Merle’s brother Daryl (Norman Reedus) in a long time. Daryl did go back for Merle, she said, but he was already gone. “Rick, he’s that prick that cuffed me to the rooftop.” Show some RESPECT to The Ricktator, please. Merle said Daryl’s “always been the sweet one, my baby brother.” And the hot one. Don’t forget. Andrea gave Merle the death list. Jackie, Sophia, Amy. (It goes on...) Merle said Amy was a good kid. Andrea recaps Season 2 for Merle, emphasizing how Daryl stepped up and became a valued member of the group. It’s been seven months since Andrea was separated from the group. She knows what it feels like to be left behind. Merle doubts that. Don’t feel sorry for this guy, he was going full racist plantation owner on T-Dog before Rick stepped in. What does Merle want?
Merle: “I plucked you and your mute here out of the dirt, blondie. Saved your asses. How ‘bout a thank you?”
Ugh. Merle. Thank the doctor lady, but don’t bother thanking Merle. Ever.
TO EVERYTHING TURN, TURN, TURN The Governor has to inform Michonne and Andrea that they are all infected. That’s right, they missed Rick’s big speech at the end of Season 2. They didn’t know that when humans die, they automatically turn into walkers. Life isn’t complicated enough!
WELCOME TO WOODBURY It’s like Stepford meets the creepy village in The Prisoner. Maybe a huge white ball will come along and wipe them out. Andrea correctly points out that “Governor” is a title, not a nickname. Important note? Andrea and Michonne are given their own room. They have a guard outside the door, but this is not meant to be a prison — not like the one Rick is in. (Rick, we miss you!) This is an especially quiet episode. Unnaturally quiet.
TIME FOR A TOUR They have 73 people there, plus a pregnant woman who will make it 74. Good place for Lori to have Little Shane? The walls haven’t been breached in well over a month and they haven’t suffered any casualties on the “inside” since early winter. The Governor has a strict curfew. The woman tour guide won’t make excuses for the soldiers risking their lives every day. They should rename this town Rationalization.
HELICOPTER GUY’S STORY One of the men inside his camp got bit. People went crazy and the whole place went to hell in a few hours. He and his team grabbed supplies and abandoned their post. How many of them escaped? Ten in his group. They got maybe 60 miles from the post before getting jammed up on the highway. He took the bird up in the air to scout ahead. OK, so they weren’t herding. His guys didn’t make it. The Gov looked sympathetic. He said he’d go find the rest and bring them in to keep them safe. He promised the injured guy if the others were alive, he’d bring them in. Sounds like a lie...
MEET MILTON, THE NEW FRANKENSTEIN The prison group has Carol experimenting on walkers, and this group has Milton (Dallas Roberts). He’s some kind of scientist. Milton calls Merle a “dog.” Team Milton already. Gov’s tip: Keep poking the bear and you’re bound to get mauled. Gov asks Merle about Andrea. He wants to know if she knows Daryl. He tells Merle to keep talking to Andrea to see what he can find out. Milton thinks that’s a bad idea, ‘cause Merle is Merle. He’s not exactly the ideal diplomat. Milton does zombie tests, figuring out the benefits of Michonne’s pets. Take away their ability to eat, they lose interest in doing so. They’re no longer in attack mode. They become docile. Michonne’s pets were repellent. Camouflage. Walk with a biter, they think you’re a biter. Zombie, walker or biter? What’s your preferred term?
DOUBLE DATE WITH GOVERNOR AND MILTON Andrea, Michonne, Gov and Milton sit down for dinner. They talk about walkers. Milton is curious to know if the walkers retain any trace of who they were. Like an echo. Yeah, some do. Remember on Season 1 — the wife who kept returning home? Milton asks Michonne about her pets. She did know them, didn’t she? Michonne says nothing. Michonne needs to say something or show some kind of personality! It’s not fair that the Gov is already showing more personality. The Gov tells Andrea he’ll die before he lets anything happen to this community. Gov is taking back what’s theirs — civilization. “We will rise again. Only this time we won’t be eating each other.” He’s a soundbite machine. Rhetoric like a politician. Andrea toasts to civilization. Meh. Why bother. It’s overrated.
MICHONNE VS. ANDREA Andrea wants to know why Michonne doesn’t trust the governor. Better question, why does Andrea trust him so quickly? That doesn’t sound right for her. She’s never been this naive. Is she blinded by the hotness? Andrea doesn’t know the story of the pets either. Has Michonne ever trusted anyone? Yes. Andrea still doesn’t feel like she knows Michonne, even after seven months together. Who is this woman?
SURE ENOUGH, THE GOV KILLS THE MILITARY GUYS Somebody’s pants are on fire! His team shoots up the guys he promised to bring back, if they were alive. They were alive, until they got shot. Rick would never have lied to the guy. There’s still too much Old Rick. Sheriff Rick. Trustworthy Rick. Gov’s team takes the soldiers’ weapons. No one dares stand up to him. Maybe they all approve.
THE GOVERNOR’S SECRETS The Gov tells everyone they brought in three new people. The new soldier guy told them about the men he left behind. Gov promised he’d bring them back there alive. They didn’t have Woodbury’s walls or fences. Biters got there before we did, he said. Liyyaaaahhhh! Gov says they’ll honor the soldiers’ sacrifice by not taking what they have for granted. Ugh. Andrea wants to know the Gov’s real name. Maybe she wants to know what name to scribble in her diary. He said he never tells. “Never say never,” she said. He repeats “never,” which is a little childish. Isn’t his name Philip? In his room, there’s some dark-haired woman in his bed. A photo of him with a blonde woman and little girl — wife and child? He also has fish tanks filled with heads, including the soldier guy’s. That’s not creepy or anything! Wow. We knew The Governor would blow our minds, but keep them?
What did you think of this episode? Did you like the change of pace? Miss Rick’s prison group? Do you think The Governor let Michonne and Andrea live because they are women? Somebody needs to make the babies. Or did he appreciate Michonne's resourcefulness with her pets? Was he threatened by the soldier guys?