The Walking Dead S3E7: When the Dead Come Knocking
Original Airdate: November 25, 2012
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
Poor Glen. Clearly the Woodbury welcome wagon hasn’t extended any greetings to our plucky young hero. In fact, it looks like Merle has been doing all of the welcoming. Merle seems to be in a talkative mood. He wants to know about the other members of the Grimes Gang. Of course, his only point of reference is the group that he saw back in Atlanta. Like T-Dog. T-Dog was sympathetic to Merle’s cause back when he was strapped to the pipe with no key. Glen reveals that T-Dog is dead. Merle hopes it wasn’t a quick death. It’s pretty clear that Glen isn’t afraid of being tortured. He doesn’t know where Maggie is (she’s in the next room, and she can hear every time Merle strikes Glen) and for the first time perhaps since this show started, Glen has a reason to fight back. He has to protect his girl.
But Merle won’t be dissuaded. If his brother is alive, Glen has no right to keep that information from him. When Merle gets too close to him and threatens Maggie, Glen head-butts him, sending blood cascading down Merle’s face. To Glen’s credit, though, even a blade across the face doesn’t make him talk. But he will talk, Merle vows. He will talk.
Rick gets a good look at the stranger standing among the Walkers at the fence. Michonne stands there resolutely, determined to get in. The Walker beside her looks over at her conversationally. Carl and Hershel join Rick at the fence. Michonne has to fight off several Walkers, and she trips and falls to the ground. As she passes out, Rick and Carl pick off the onslaught of Walkers. Carl fetches the basket full of baby formula and Rick inspects the new arrival. Hershel asks if she has been bitten, but Rick reports that it’s a gunshot wound. He picks her up and brings her inside. They bring her to a cell, unwilling to let her near their protected cells. Rick tells her that they won’t hurt her unless she tries something stupid. She struggles, and he kicks her sword out of reach. Daryl comes in and sees the newcomer. He’s suspicious, but his normal apprehension is gone for the moment. He wants Rick to see something. They lock Michonne in her cell and offer to help clean her wounds if she’ll cooperate…but until then they can’t let her leave. As you might imagine, Michonne is probably wondering which scenario is worse—being locked up at Woodbury or being locked in this prison. I’d imagine that she can appreciate the upfront honesty coming from Rick Grimes. At least he’s clear that she isn’t going anywhere.
Daryl leads Rick and the others into their cell block. There, in one of the cells, is Carol. She looks exhausted, but she’s alive. She leaps into Rick’s embrace. Daryl explains that she fought her way into a cell and passed out. She’s dehydrated but otherwise ok. Carol sees the baby in Beth’s arms and smiles, but then Lori’s absence dawns on her as she sees the haunted look on Rick’s face. She hugs Rick. With Lori dead and Maggie captured, it will be nice to have another woman around. She holds the baby. Michonne looks on thoughtfully.
Back in Woodbury, Milton tells the Governor that Mr. Coleman is ready. The Governor nods and agrees to meet him soon. Then he goes back inside, where Andrea is dressing after what we can only assume to be their long night of romance. (I can’t wait til she figures out what a creep he is) He tells her he needs her help with something.
Rick goes to see Michonne. They want to help clean her leg, feed her, and send her on her way. But they want to know how she found them, and why she was carrying baby formula. Michonne explains that she saw Glen and Maggie and watched as they were captured by the same man who shot her. She doesn’t tell them anything else, though. She’s a smart woman who doesn’t know who she can trust anymore. Rick demands answers, grabbing her wound to convince her to talk. This doesn’t work on Michonne, who isn’t intimidated by the crossbow Daryl has pointed at her head. Rick knows she came to the prison for a reason. She tells them that she came to the prison from Woodbury. She describes the Governor as a handsome, “Jim Jones” type. Daryl asks if he has “muscle,” which she confirms. Michonne explains that they have guards on the wall, but they could get through their defenses. She knew about the prison because they mentioned it and said it was a straight shot. Rick takes this in. He tells her that Hershel will take care of her leg while they figure out what to do.
Merle has done a thorough job with Glen’s face. He praises Glen for being a lot stronger than he was the last time they saw each other. Glen promises that Rick will come looking for them, and he’ll be sorry. Merle isn’t convinced. Rick doesn’t seem like the type to come after other people, based upon Merle’s experience. Things are different now, Glen says in a low voice. They have been on the run, not hiding in a basement. The whole gang is there. Then he starts listing names. Shane. Dale. Andrea. Merle’s eyes widen. Oh, crap. Poor Glen was doing great until that moment. Now Merle knows he’s bluffing. But Merle doesn’t know exactly what he’s bluffing about. And Glen realizes that he’s in trouble.
Hershel stitches Michonne’s leg. Carl keeps watch, his fingers tapping his gun. Michonne looks up at Hershel and thanks him. I’m (fairly) certain that she knows all about each and every one of these people. We should assume that Andrea talked about them while they traveled together. However, Michonne likes to play her cards close to her vest. She isn’t going to divulge anything until she knows she’s safe. While he works on her leg, Rick, Beth, Daryl, Axl and Oscar try to figure out what to do. Do they believe her and go after Maggie and Glen in this fortified town? They all volunteer to join Daryl on a rescue mission.
Ultimately, Daryl, Oscar, Michonne and Rick go on this mission. As they pack the car, Michonne asks Beth if the prison was truly overrun with Walkers. It was, she confirms, and they cleared it out. There had been more people in their group, but they’re all gone now. Axl looks on silently, looking very much like T-Dog in the second season with nothing much to say.
Rick pulls Carl aside and finally talks about what he did for Lori. Carl says he did what he had to do. Rick apologizes that he had to do it. Carl doesn’t want to get emotional. If anything, this experience has aged the poor kid. He promises to take care of the group while they’re away. Oh, and one more thing. What should they call the baby? Daryl has been calling her “Ass Kicker.” Rick looks amused and shocked at the same time (and it’s funny to think of Andrew Lincoln and his British accent saying “ass kicker” for some reason). He asks Carl what he thinks they should call her. Carl suggests Judith, which was the name of his third grade teacher. Judith it is.
Daryl says goodbye to Carol, who is holding baby Judith in her arms. She reminds him of her nine lives, which makes him crack a teeny tiny smile as he gives the baby a glance before leaving. The group departs, leaving an ex-con, a one-legged man, a boy, a teenage girl, a woman and a baby behind. Surely that’s not a good idea.
The Governor brings Andrea to Milton’s lab. There is an old man in a bed and there is music playing. A painting is suspended near the bed. The whole room has been made to look very peaceful, even though it’s clearly a converted warehouse. The Governor greets Mr. Coleman and thanks him for his gift. Or sacrifice. He leaves Andrea with Milton, who asks her to restart the record. Milton uses a singing bowl to create a peaceful tone, and then he asks Mr. Coleman a series of questions, instructing the man to raise his right hand to confirm the answer to the question. At the end of the little interview, Milton sits back. Now they wait.
Glen is bloody. Merle bursts into the room with a Biter on a stick. He asks one last time where the group is hiding out, and when Glen refuses to divulge their location, he thrusts the Biter at Glen, promising that “he’ll be hungry again in an hour,” hungry enough to finish off Maggie. Merle doesn’t stay to watch what happens. He ends up missing quite the fight. Glen, though strapped to a chair with duct tape, manages to keep the Biter at bay. He breaks the chair and stabs the Biter in the head just as the biter tries to chew through the duct tape on his arm. Then Glen lets loose a primal scream. Who would have thought he’d come so far? (Note to self—body armor made of duct tape might be a good idea in the event of a zombie apocalypse and in the absence of Kevlar swat gear)
In Milton’s lab, Mr. Coleman is near death. The plan is that Milton will ask the same questions of Mr. Coleman in his “reanimated” state to see if there is anything left of his human memories. Andrea is there to “end” Mr. Coleman’s reanimated state should the need arise. Up until that point, there hasn’t been a chance for him to study the process. Mr. Coleman had prostate cancer and Woodbury didn’t have the technology needed to treat him, so he volunteered to allow them to study his body. Andrea informs Milton that there is no awareness of any kind after people go through the process. Clearly, she is thinking of her sister and Dale and all of the other people she watched over the past months. He doesn’t believe her. He dismisses her with clinical coldness. Then we learn that Milton had been in his house when all of this happened. He’s the only child of dead parents, so he really had no contact with the outside world. It’s at that moment that Mr. Coleman passes away. It’s time. They strap him down; Milton’s hands are shaking so badly that she has to help him.
The Governor gets briefed by Merle. Glen’s friends don’t know that Andrea is with them, but he still won’t divulge their location. They may need him as a bargaining chip, so they have to keep him alive. Merle admits that he tried to kill him with the Biter because he “pissed him off,” but evidently a winter out in the wilderness has put some “hair on his balls.” The kid is tough. The Governor asks about Maggie, and he decides to talk to her personally since Merle hasn’t talked to her yet.
The Governor goes into Maggie’s holding cell. She is seated at a table with her hands tied behind her back. The Governor pulls out a knife and slowly cuts her hands free, making it look like his intentions are peaceful. She won’t tell him where her friends are, and she claims she knows nothing about leaving Merle on a roof, forcing him to cut off his own hand to escape. He tries a different tack. He tells her to stand up and take her shirt off. She says no, and he replies that they can bring Glen’s hand in if she doesn’t comply. She removes her shirt, and then he tells her to take her bra off as well. It looks like he’s going to rape her as he pulls his belt off and walks around the table to stand behind her. She trembles as he reaches up to caress her hair. Then he slams her down on the table. She tells him to do whatever he’s going to do. Slowly, the Governor backs away. But that doesn’t mean he’s done.
Out in the woods, the Grimes car stops about a mile from Woodbury. Night is coming, but Michonne tells them that they have patrols out so the car would attract attention. They march into the woods. Rick takes this moment to thank Daryl for what he did for Carl while Rick was sorting himself out. Daryl shrugs. “It’s what we do.” Their bonding moment is interrupted when they are overrun by a herd of Walkers, who quickly surround them. They make a run for it, and soon they come across a house. Inside there is a horrible smell (it’s a dead dog), and under the blanket they find a man who seems to have no idea what is going on in the world around him. He has a gun and he threatens to call the police if they don’t get out of his house. Rick tells him that he’s a cop, but instead of reaching for his badge, he grabs the gun away from the man, who makes a run for the door. Michonne stabs him before he can open the door and let the Walkers in. “Remember the Alamo?” Daryl asks. “You’ve got to be kidding,” Oscar says. The back door is clear, so they throw the man’s body on the front porch and run out the back. The Walkers have a very bloody Thanksgiving feast on his body. I haven’t seen that much blood for a while.
In the makeshift lab, Mr. Coleman slowly starts to “reanimate.” Milton starts the singing bowl and Andrea starts the record. Milton asks the questions and Mr. Coleman doesn’t pay any attention. However, he clenches his fingers. Maybe they should untether his hands. Andrea protests, but Milton doesn’t listen. As soon as his hand is free, Mr. Coleman lunges at Milton so Andrea stabs him in the head, killing him. Milton is completely shaken by this. He leaves her to go document his findings while they’re fresh in his mind. But he has been transformed by this experience.
Glen is armed and ready to take down the next person to come into his cell. Merle is ready, too, and he has a gun aimed at Glen’s head. The Governor comes in with a half-naked Andrea in tow. He points a gun at her head and asks where their friends are holed up. Sensing a weakness, he aims the gun at Glen’s head, and Maggie spills everything. They’re staying at the prison and there are ten of them left. The Governor can’t believe that ten people cleared the prison that was infested with Biters. Satisfied with his information, the Governor turns to leave the room. But before he goes, he caresses Maggie’s cheek and comforts her before pushing her into Glen’s arms. She breaks down in tears.
Back in the Governor’s room, it’s time for answers. How could ten people clear out that prison? Their teams couldn’t even get that job done. So either she’s telling the truth about the ten people, or there is an army of people and they’ll be heading to Woodbury. Either way, it doesn’t look good. And the group is being led by Merle’s brother…which makes the Governor wonder where Merle’s loyalties lie. He orders a team to go scout the prison to see what they’re up against.
Outside Woodbury, Rick’s team scouts the barricade.
On the other side of the barricade, Andrea wanders along the street before returning to the Governor’s residence. He seems surprised that she kept her word about returning. Then he asks about Mr. Coleman, and she pours herself a drink in response. She tells him he died. He wonders if Milton found what he was looking for, and she breaks down. He comforts her, but his expression is grim. There is so much to be done….
And that’s it, boys and girls. Next week is the midseason finale and it looks like things are coming to a head between the residents of #TeamPrison and Woodbury. At this point, I can safely say that I’d rather be in the prison than in Woodbury any day. Hell, I think I’d rather take my chances in the woods. The Governor is one messed up son of a bitch. Clearly, though, it wasn’t a good idea to leave the half of the gang at the prison. That’s just begging for trouble. However, it will be fun to see Rick face off against the Governor with Michonne at his side.
Remember to leave your comments below. Where do you see yourself? Team Prison or Team Woodbury?