The Walking Dead Recap: Welcome to Woodbury!

The Walking Dead Season 3 Woodbury GovernorThis week, after an intense pair of episodes set almost entirely at the prison, The Walking Dead follows Andrea and Michonne to the safe haven (ha!) of Woodbury and introduces perhaps the only character scarier than Daryl’s “late” brother, Merle. Wanna come along for the ride? Buckle up and read on!

DEAD TO FLIGHTS | The crash of a military chopper draws the attention of not only our post-apocalyptic Thelma and Louise but also a well-armed band of survivors led by (as if you didn’t know) the Governor of comic book infamy. To keep from being discovered, Michonne beheads her noisy zombie pack mules. But her sacrifice turns out to be for naught: Just as the men start to leave — or so we think! — someone gets the drop on our heroines from behind. “How about a big hug for your ol’ pal, Merle?” asks the creepiest redneck this side of Deliverance. Shudder.

MAYBERRY 2.0? | After the women and injured chopper pilot are transported to the Governor-run smalltown of Woodbury — think: a Norman Rockwell painting, only with machine guns instead of apple pies — Andrea and Merle play an uncomfortable game of catch-up that includes such segments as (and I paraphrase) “So that’s how come I have a bayonet where my hand used to be!” and “Want me to tell you who died in chronological order or alphabetically?” It’s the Governor, though, who gets to deliver the biggest news flash: He explains to Andrea and Michonne that he brained the deceased servicemen because, even if you aren’t bitten, you still come back as a walker. (Or a biter… or a lurker… Dude’s got name’s for everything!)

THERE’S ONE BORN EVERY MINUTE | At first, both Andrea and Michonne are beyond skeptical of Woodbury and the Governor. However, once he turns on the Clintonian charm, Andrea becomes blonde putty in his hands. (Oh, Andrea. First Shane, now this?) Anyway, unbeknownst to either gal (yet?), once the Governor learns from the pilot where the rest of his squadron is located, he and his men stage an ambush and murder them all in cold blood. Afterwards, the Governor winds down by banging the town welcome wagon, pouring a drink and gazing at his wall of aquariums full of walker heads. Again, shudder.

CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER | If right-“hand” man Merle is the Governor’s brawn (not that he seems to need any help in that area!), his brain, we learn, is a scientist named Milton. Over breakfast with the Governor, Andrea and Michonne, he reveals his hypothesis that some aspect of the people that walkers used to be remains even after they’ve been turned — “like an echo.” He then asks Michonne if she knew the zombies that she and Andrea used as camouflage. “No,” Michonne says. “Yes,” Andrea can tell she means. This leads to the women later having an argument about how, even after months together, Michonne refuses to open up to Andrea. It also leads me to think that maybe the wife and kid whose picture the Governor has framed are still semi-alive… maybe in one of those ghastly fish tanks?

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Did the Governor live up to your expectations? What do you make of the “new” Merle? And how crazy did it make you to have to go this whole hour without finding out who or what was stalking Carol at the end of last week? Hit the comments with your, um, comments.

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54 Comments
  1. Andrew says:

    This episode was borrrrrrring. The prison is where its at!

    • JC says:

      Lemme guess . . . another gamer who’s only interested in zombie kills?

      • Rain says:

        Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean you need to be rude. I agree with Andrew, I was bored to tears by this episode – and I’m one of the few that liked the slow ride of the farm episodes.

        • Gary says:

          Are you a fan of the comics? I’m guessing that’s where the biggest difference is for the love of this episode. Those of us who aren’t fans or are unfamiliar with the comics have no investment in Woodbury or the Governor going in, where as I know a lot of comic fans have been really looking forward to these things. As a viewer I just don’t care about them at this point.

          • tripoli says:

            I’ve read the comics and the book about the Governor’s back story, “Rise Of The Governor” and I was pretty bored with the episode. Sure, it sets up what will soon be some pretty great stuff, but it was too slow and lacked in a little action. Not to mention that Andrea is damn near insufferable.

          • roadi says:

            I didn’t read the comics of the Woodbury-storyline (just some earlier ones) and felt much more interested in this new place with new rules and characters. It brought a freshness and more voices to this show. I enjoyed episode 3×03 the most as of now during this season.

      • Matt says:

        Yeah, I was bored by the episode too, but not because I only like zombie kills (in fact I was a little bit bored by the season premiere because it felt like all that happened was zombie killing). I hope going forward that we don’t have anymore episodes that are solely in Woodbury. Maybe I’ll feel different after spending some more time there.

        • Emily H says:

          Yeah, it wasn’t as must see as earlier episodes. At this point, I just care more about the Grimes Gang than Andrea and Michonne.

    • sash fan says:

      I loved this episode. Nice to have a break from the prison and some other folks to worry about, and The guy who plays the Governor was awesome.

      But yes, who is stalking Carol during her zombie c-sectiion?

  2. Patrick Maloney says:

    Best episode of the three, I am ready to forgive the show for the lopsided second season, even though I don’t think it really was.

  3. Katie says:

    I somewhat understand why Governor didn’t bring the Guard unit to Woodbury, but why did he kill the pilot, too? The pilot wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon and probably would have fallen for his schtick…

    • joy gill says:

      Military = authority
      The governor wants no other authority but his.
      Merle was not watching the prison, just another dog sent out to kill off any other large groups which already have an alpha…which will mean trouble for Woodbury/Governor.

  4. Ed says:

    Loved it!! But I’m glad they return to the prison next week

  5. Venkman007 says:

    Unfortunately, the show will NEVER faithfully cover the comics, specifically the Governor. After what he does to Michonne (and what SHE does to HIM)?
    *SHUDDER*

    • tripoli says:

      Which is a shame. I’m already pretty disappointed in the actor they chose for the Governor. He’s just not right in my humble opinion. Nothing against the actor but he’s too soft, a little too pretty, not edgy enough to pull off what the Governor is supposed to be. I know they’ve taken a lot of liberties, but the Governor in the comics is incredibly evil and captivating as a result. Seems they chose to go in some different directions and I’ll try and stay open to what’s to come, but so far, not impressed by the portrayal.

  6. adam says:

    Perfect Loved The Ending Directly From The Comics!

  7. Eve says:

    It’s odd that u shoul fear the living more than the dead on this show…

  8. Melinda says:

    This episode bored me silly. I have NO emotional investment in anyone who inhabits Woodbury. I never liked Andrea but I did find myself being drawn to Michone. The Govenor is physco. Michone already suspects that. Get back to the prison and The Ricktator. If we get a lot of Woodbury I may have to jump ship.

    • Lena120 says:

      I never liked TV Andrea, the comics version is more enjoyable. As for Woodbury, I think they gave it a solo episode to establish everything. After this, they’ll probably go back to more balanced storytelling. The Governor is a psychopath, and Merle is oddly submissive. He’s not his usual aggressive self. I hope he returns to that when he reunites with Rick, Daryl, and T-Dog. They have unfinished business with each other.

    • Alan says:

      the whole point of this episode was to create investment in the woodbury story. honestly this kind of opinion is just ridiculous. plus the episode was really good, great acting, serious setup for stuff to come and the governor was fantastic

      • n8dogg says:

        I agree totally. Everyone just wants to dismiss woodbury because all they care about is seening zombies getting hacked up

        • Jaime Jorge Quinones III says:

          aaawwwooooooo! If it be for the will of a fellow moon child, Its crest has reached event horizon stay on the samaritanhood ship, but I cannot encant this enetity for too long, as I am what I am, and that is whatno way,

    • Ruby says:

      Just calm down and take it as it comes. There is a LOT of story here to be told between Woodbury and the Prison, and it will NOT be boring. Stories need to build sometimes. You won’t be sorry.

  9. Gary says:

    Got to admit I was kind of bored in this episode. Governor seems like an interesting character, and good to have Merle back, but was not really feeling the ep overall.

  10. GIGIR says:

    OKAY, WHAT WAS WITH THE TEA? AND, why did they kill the military guys? And is this going to be like are they killing the men and only bringing in women type place in Woodbury? And I dont get what is up with the governor.

    • CR says:

      My guess is that the tea is drugged with benzodiapines like Xanax or Valium keeping the “citizens” of Woodbury complacent and happy. Which in a world of zombies, I’ll stick with the guy who could hook me up with some.

      • Alan says:

        or maybe the guy just likes tea

      • Jaime Jorge Quinones III says:

        lucky he didn’t drink it all or he would have been cast to the helvens of county logorythyms. Yet then he would have manifestoed his right-brained Heaven-Sent divinities of the arts and his left-brained, logic of the multi-faceted mega hustler to build rank and authority though ingeneous inventions and his former life’s Hell Born Super-con which was born in him on October 30th 2000.

    • Alan says:

      the governor is a psychopath and a control freak, they killed the army guys because they represent authority and he wants to be the only authority in the town. and there seemed to be a fairly even distribution of men and women in the town from what i saw

  11. Deb says:

    LOVED the episode…it was nice to see Merle as a central figure….and i actually don’t think it was a ‘new’ Merle at all b/c 1) Merle was about to freak out on that ‘brainy’ dude and 2) When the Governor suggested Merle talk with Andrea to get more information, the other guy questioned the decision, saying sending in ‘the hammer’ wasn’t a good idea, and insinuating Merle alone with two women was not a good idea….

    i think it’s the same old Merle, but somehow the Governor has managed to earn his respect, so he follows orders for now….that makes me both fear and respect him, to be able to contain a man like Merle is awe-inspiring.

    also, a slightly insignificant detail….it’s going to drive me CRAZY wanting to know his name now…lol

    • Ari says:

      I don’t think Merle has changed much. Other than getting more deadly (a bayonet instead of a hand) he seemed to be exactly as we left him. I can’t wait until the Grimes Gang meets Woodbury and the Dixon brothers are reunited. Daryl HAS changed a lot since we first met him and we all know the Merle has always bullied Daryl. Will we see a Dixon vs. Dixon standoff (maybe Daryl kills Merle to save Rick)? Or will Daryl join up with his brotehr? A huge portion of my thoughts about this season (once I learned Merle would be back) have been centered on the Dixon family dynamics. It’s shaping up to be another good season. I don’t think the second season was as bad as people want to think it was but I don’t mind the slow character drama stuff. Best thing about this episode? No LORI!

      • Deb says:

        right there with you on the Dixon Family Reunion!!!! i have been anxiously anticipating this since he was left on the rooftop…..while Daryl has drastically changed since Merle’s departure, i think initially he’ll return to Merle’s side, if only out of 40 years of habit, but what i don’t even think he realizes is how much he has come to care for this group….i think Merle will want some payback and Daryl will go along for awhile, but eventually Merle will cross the line, and Daryl will realize where he belongs, and that’s with our band of survivors. i know we never saw the brothers interact before(the hallucination doesn’t count), but i have to assume Daryl was kind of Merle’s lapdog, and the first two episodes with Daryl in them showed that up until that point, he didn’t really play well with others. Now he as their respect, and i don’t think that’s something he’s had before and won’t be willing to give up

  12. Michelle says:

    Martial law was probably declared at some point. Therefore the military would be in control as the government. No way The Governor is going to relinquish control over Woodbury!

  13. Shows says:

    The people that think that the only element of this show that is entertaining is the action and the endless gore of killing the walkers drive me crazy!! Although it is pretty cool most of the ” boring ” part of this episode had some major developments. Humans can walk among walkers lol and not be detected like michonne did. If you were in an apocalypse I think u would be more worried about living and not endless killing.

    • tripoli says:

      Not everyone is of that mindset so stop generalizing. I’m fine with less or even no zombie killing in an episode. This episode had a number of kills but was pretty slow and boring as a whole. I understand the need to set things up, but it could have been done better.

  14. Tom Charles says:

    I for one loved the episode. They cast the Governor PERFECTLY. It’s going going to be a great season

  15. jonathon says:

    another great episode for one of my favorite shows on t.v. awesome!

  16. Dopeymug says:

    Yeah, I’m sorry, but the reason why I watch this show is for the people in the prison. I’m not screaming for a zombie slaughter in every episode, but I don’t give a rats behind about some sociopath with a boner for power/control. The sooner they bypass this part of the comic the better. This better not drag on all season. Like if they introduce the prison group into the whole mess the better. Rick kills governor, goodbye boring side story.

    • jackie says:

      I agree although they introduced the sociopath, and Woodbury I kept wondering what
      was happening at the prison. Love the warrior woman, and the blonde is so stupid.
      I want Rick to kick his ass, and Darrell to meet his brother again.

    • MLO says:

      I liked the introduction of new characters. Let’s face it, the group at the prison is dwindling… if they keep killing them off, there’d be no show. New characters = more people to die, satisfying you bloodthirsty lot and giving the core group of characters a chance to breathe.

    • Alan says:

      the whole idea with this episode was to introduce this storyline and make you care about it, if you just blindly say “wah, wah. no rick, no care” then you should just go watch something else. there needs to be a bigger world around for things to be interesting. anyway the governor and woodbury is still the best part of the comics and to call it a side story is a joke

    • n8dogg says:

      Well you better stop watching then because woodbury isn’t going anywhere and is going to be featured through out the season

  17. Stephanie says:

    I think the tea may be drugged with something. Andrea completely changed after breakfast. Also I think the Governor shot down the helicopter. Or someone in his entourage

    • Mark says:

      I agree that someone shot down the chopper. The Governor arrived pretty soon after the crash. I wouldn’t think he goes on routine patrol very often. I’m sure they are laying the ground work for conflict between Rick’s group and the Woodbury group. Having a “disagreement” with a known group will be more interesting than a random roving band.

  18. Jo says:

    I loved the episode. The human dynamics were far more intruiging than running around the prison killing walkers (although that is fun too).

  19. Laurag says:

    Too much Andrea and not enough Rick and Daryl. I “GET” what the show is trying to do, I just didn’t like it as much as Rick and the gang. This is the only episode that I haven’t wanted to watch again right away. I hope from now on they give time to each place. I wouldn’t watch to many more episodes that are all in Woodbury,

  20. Rainman says:

    The Governor is a Psychopath. I hope Rick uses the Colt Python on him or Michonne cuts his head off with her Samurai Sword.

  21. Bored says:

    Boring episode

  22. doron says:

    thanks andy, love your recaps, although this one was less entertaining than the previous one but not much went on this episode so thats not your fault.
    keep it up :)

  23. Kate says:

    I liked the episode. A lot. And I think David Morrisey will surprise you.