The Walking Dead Season 3 ended back on March 31, and Season 4 starts on Sunday, October 13. AMC is airing another full series marathon before the big premiere, but sometimes you just need a quick refresher to get yourself up to date. So here’s a recap of where Season 3 left us, with some previews of what’s to come.
Quick Recap of Season 3
Entering Season 3, Andrea (Laurie Holden) was sick and on the move with katana-wielding Michonne (Danai Gurira), who saved her on the Season 2 finale when Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) farm group basically left her for dead. There was a time jump of several months from Season 2 to Season 3, and Michonne and Andrea had already survived a winter together. They ended up at the small town of Woodbury, where sick Andrea was healed. Andrea wanted to stay, but Michonne didn’t trust The Governor (David Morrissey), who was running Woodbury. They fought about it, with Michonne deciding to leave on her own. Andrea fell in love with The Governor, and had no idea he was a sadistic liar. The Governor’s right-hand men were mild-mannered scientist Milton (Dallas Roberts) and aggressive hitman Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), who had been left for dead by Rick’s group back in Season 1.
Meanwhile, Rick — who announced on the Season 2 finale that this was not a democracy anymore — moved the former farm group into a prison. Inside, they tried to flush out both the walkers and the five remaining prisoners. Two of the prisoners joined the group (Axel and Oscar) but the others were either killed or left for dead. (Running theme!) The one left for the walkers, Andrew, set up traps at the prison so walkers could get inside and attack the group. T-Dog (IronE Singleton) was killed in an attack. Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) died after giving birth during the attack; Carl had to shoot Lori so she wouldn’t turn into a walker. Rick is raising baby Judith as his own daughter, even though no one knows if Judith is his baby or Shane’s. In an earlier walker attack, Hershel (Scott Wilson) lost a leg. He was bit but Rick quickly removed the leg, thereby removing the threat of Hershel turning. So now we know that move can work.
Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) were abducted by Merle while out on a supply run. Merle took them to Woodbury where they were both tortured for information on the location of their group. The Governor kills outsiders, viewing strangers as a threat. Merle just wanted to be reunited with his brother, Daryl (Norman Reedus), whom he hadn’t seen since Merle was left on that roof in Atlanta in Season 1. Merle beat the crap out of Glenn and The Governor made Maggie take her shirt off, then bent her over, threatening to rape her. When they put a gun to Glenn’s head, Maggie revealed that they were staying in a prison nearby.
While that was going on, Michonne made her way to the prison and told them about Maggie and Glenn being abducted. (She was hiding and watched while it happened; Merle also tried to kill her when she left Woodbury, on The Gov’s orders.) Rick, Daryl and company went to Woodbury to rescue Maggie and Glenn. Oscar was killed, and Michonne got into a big fight with The Governor killing his zombie daughter, Penny, in the process. She also took out his eye, leaving him with an eye patch. Daryl was taken prisoner and put in the zombie fight club pit with Merle. They were saved, but Glenn refused to allow Merle back into the prison group after what he did, so Merle and Daryl went out on their own.
The Governor’s group made a brief attack on the prison, unleashing walkers. Axel was killed, but Merle and Daryl returned just in time to save Rick and help Team Prison. Merle rejoined the group, but never really fit in. Michonne, Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Rick went back to Rick’s town to try and get more ammunition to prepare for for the eventual Woodbury attack. In town, they met up with Morgan (Lennie James), who had saved Rick’s life in Season 1 when Rick emerged from the hospital with no idea what had happened to the world. After Rick left to find Lori and Carl, Morgan lost his mind to paranoia; he was plagued with guilt from never shooting his zombie wife, who ended up biting their son. Rick wanted Morgan to join them at the prison, but Morgan wouldn’t go.
Rick and The Governor had a little peace talk where The Gov lied and said he’d leave the prison alone in exchange for Michonne. Rick considered taking the offer, but changed his mind. Merle decided to abduct Michonne and take her to Woodbury. On the way, she basically changed his mind about selling her to The Gov. He decided to go after The Governor and his guys on his own. The Governor eventually shot Merle, and zombie Merle was put down by his own brother Daryl in a heartbreaking scene on the episode before the season finale. But hey — Glenn and Maggie got engaged! So at least there was some good news.
The Season 3 Finale
On the Season 3 finale — Episode 16, "Welcome to the Tombs" — The Governor stabbed Milton and left him in a room with Andrea, who had been trying to make nice with both Team Prison and Team Woodbury. Andrea eventually killed zombie Milton, but not before he bit her. Rick and company, including Andrea’s old friend Michonne, reached the Woodbury room where Andrea and Milton were kept, but it was too late. Milton was dead, and Andrea was bit. Andrea shot herself behind a closed door as Michonne sobbed.
Also in this ep, The Gov made another attack on the prison. The prison was ready for them this time and The Gov’s group was ambushed. Fleeing Woodburians weren’t up for a return fight with Team Prison, so The Gov unleashed on them, killing many of his own people. Carl also went rogue, killing a teenage Woodbury kid who was too slow to lower his gun. Now Hershel and Rick are worried that Carl has a little too much of The Governor/Shane in him.
The episode ended with about 50 Woodbury survivors — including Tyreese, his sister Sasha, and a woman named Karen — moving into the prison. (Carl is not happy about that.) Tyreese and Sasha were part of a small group that tried to join Team Prison earlier in the season, but Rick had gone loco after Lori’s death, and his crazy visions/paranoia ruined that potential relationship. Tyreese and Sasha briefly joined Team Woodbury before becoming uncomfortable with The Governor’s war plans. Now Rick has abdicated his throne as The Ricktator and we’re back to a democracy.
What to Expect From Season 4
Season 4 premieres Sunday, October 13 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. There will be 16 episodes, with another mid-season break for a couple of months after Episode 8. There will be a six or seven-month time jump between Seasons 3 and 4, including upgrades and other changes to the prison setup to account for the influx of people.
The premiere — written by new showrunner Scott M. Gimple and directed by Greg Nicotero — is called “30 Days Without an Accident.” Check out more episode titles and details here.
In the big pre-season trailer, we see that Tyreese and Sasha now have expanded roles with the prison group. Comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman said Tyreese’s role will be closer to his role in the comics, where he was Rick’s right-hand man. (He may also have a new romance...)
The Governor is still out there, and at least two Season 4 episodes will be standalone eps for his character. Michonne will still be obsessed with tracking him down, which could bring trouble for herself and the prison. However, rumor has it that The Gov will not be seen in at least the first two episodes. Team Prison will be too busy worrying about other things, but don't forget about him out there...
Apparently there’s a big new threat out there that’s even worse than walkers and humans. (Illness? Natural disaster?) Someone may also be sabotaging the prison, leaving food for the walkers outside the gates to draw them in. At least a dozen people are lost early on, it’s noted in the pre-season trailer, including two “in cold blood.”
Many new characters are joining the group (check out a roundup here), including Bob Stookey as a series regular. He’s from the comics, and is featured heavily the Season 4 trailer, which covers at least the first three or four episodes.
Four “major” characters died in Season 3 — Lori, T-Dog, Merle and Andrea — and Kirkman said that number would not be the same for Season 4. It could be more, it could be less, but four main characters will not die.
Catch up on a bunch of other Season 4 spoilers, including more general season themes and the promise of a zombie baby. Are you ready to return to the apocalypse?