The Walking Dead Recap: Beyond Thunderdome

The Walking Dead Season 3 AndreaBack at last from its winter hiatus, The Walking Dead picks up right where it left off — with the Governor ordering Daryl and Merle to “fight to the death.” Of course, the outcome of their brawl isn’t nearly as shocking as what happens afterwards…

BROTHERS IN ARMS | After throwing a coupla sucker punches, Merle lets Daryl know that he has a plan to get them both out of Woodbury (alive, it bears mentioning). However, before he can execute it, Rick and Co. ride the rescue. Once outside the city limits, Merle reveals to the group not only that Andrea is, er, bunking with the Governor, but that Michonne knows her — and has withheld that information all this time. (Quel scandale!) Natch, this only solidifies Rick’s decision to banish the tight-lipped swordswoman as soon as she’s well enough to fend for herself. As for Merle, no way, no how is the Governor’s lapdog going to be allowed to return with the gang to the prison. Unfortunately, Daryl refuses to leave his sibling again and instead leaves behind his family of friends! (Even — sniff — Carol.)

PANIC IN THE STREETS | Back in Woodbury, all hell breaks loose. The townspeople try to escape for fear of more gunfire, so the guards respond by pointing even more guns at them. (Riiight, that’ll work.) Meanwhile, biters sneak in where Rick and Co. snuck out. At her wit’s end, Andrea attempts to get answers from the Governor, but, since he’s in the middle of a macho-man hissy fit, he tells her that she’s not entitled to any. “You’re just a visitor here,” he snaps. (Ouch.) Left with no alternative, Andrea steps up herself and calms the masses with a speech about how future generations will cheat on pop quizzes in history class about their post-apocalyptic Camelot.

TROUBLE IN PARADISE | Though Glenn and Maggie are miraculously “home,” together and breathing, there’s as much tension in the air as love. He’s in a rage over the fact that, after what the Governor did/almost did to his girlfriend, Rick didn’t kill the one-eyed bastard. And she… well, maybe she’s post-traumatically-stressed, because she just kinda withdraws. Hopefully, by next week, Santa’s… er, Hershel’s words will have gotten through to them: He tells Glenn, “You’re like my own son,” and Maggie, “Don’t disappear on me.” (Oh, Santa, you always know just what to say!)

FIRE IN THE HOLE | Before Rick & Co. return to the prison, Tyreese shuts down Alan and son Ben’s hare-brained scheme to steal Carol and Carl’s weapons and take over the joint. Sadly, his good deed still gets punished. Just when it appears that the sheriff is about to listen to reason (again, Hershel) and grudgingly incorporate the newcomers into their group, he sees a vision of Lori and has the mother of all freak-outs. In the ensuing chaos, Tyreese, Sasha et al are forced to run for their lives, and really, if I were them, I would have done the same. (Somehow walkers don’t seem quite as scary as a crazy man waving around a gun.)

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the show’s comeback episode? Were you surprised that Daryl would ditch Carol and Lil’ Asskicker for Merle? How awesome was it when Rick coldcocked Merle just to shut him the frak up? (Seriously, who hasn’t wanted to do that!) Was it just me, or did you get a sense that maybe Beth was beginning to nurse a crush on Rick? And how much do you want a pawprint T-shirt like Carl’s? Hit the comments with, you know, your, um, comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Jon says:

    Is it just me or was this episode ridiculously boring?

    • Elyse says:

      not just you! I was not impressed.

    • Bailey says:

      Soooo boring.

    • Joe says:

      I actually think AMC is causing all the negative reactions to this episode. They gave away bits of the episodes for the past weeks during the marathon, the super bowl, online. There weren’t very many surprises so I think a lot of us just felt like we’ve seen all this already and let’s move forward. They honestly gave too much of the episode away before airing it and should learn to just follow the LOST model where you get random clips/shots of next week’s episode and that’s it. Showing truncated scenes where Andrea tries to stop people from leaving Woodbury and her trying to stop the Governor from killing Darryl was a big miss in my opinion.

      • KevyB says:

        I disagree. I don’t watch spoilers and it was still boring. Watching Rick arguing THE SAME ARGUMENT over and over again is not exciting television and it never will be. Rick is a moron and should never be allowed to make decisions. If he lived in Woodbury, he’d be one of the guys on the wall.

    • Dave says:

      They are trying to make the plot too complicated. This is a continuing trend since the mid season two episodes. All this infighting and emotional monologs who should be saved for daytime TV. When are the writers going to get over themselves and realize we just want to see as many walkers killed in as many possible ways as they can stuff into the time slot. More shooting, less whining PLEASE!

      • Alan says:

        no i want an adaptation of the walking dead comics and guess what, this is how the comics go. this story isnt lets kill loads of zombies and be happy, its about how people would react in a post-apocalyptic world. how is it people still dont get this three seasons in?

      • GeekGirl13 says:

        Personally, and I doubt I’m the only one, I am quite happy with the level of carnage the show delivers already and would hate to see more zombie-slayage in place of character/storyline development. I’d probably be a bit happy with less slayage, but then for me, that’s the part of the show I have to accept in return for the characters/storylines.

        • Alan says:

          glad there are people out there who actually want character development, was beginning to be convinced that people just wanted lots of zombie kills with no plot

  2. Courteous Vampire says:

    Terrible episode is terrible.

  3. Michael says:

    Rick may die by seasons end. Governor should die ASAP.

  4. Mike says:

    Episode was a little slow, but it included a large amount of necessary developments. The beginning and ending were excellent, the middle were below par. Dissapointed Daryl abandoned Rick for Merle, hopefully he returns soon. Excited for next week, which looks awesome.

  5. tvaddict says:

    Do Rick has definitely lost his mind now….

  6. Mo says:

    Sad Daryl left, but not surprised. I think Carol hit the nail on the head when she said some people get in your head & make you believe you don’t deserve better. Hopefully it won’t take long for Daryl to see that Merle is not a good guy, even if he is family. And Andrea is still stupid as hell if she’s staying with the governor after seeing his true colors.

  7. courtland says:

    really people? you’re saying this ep was boring/terrible….there were enough set pieces and the just spoken no violence scenes actually had tension and were interesting (unlike the same type of scenes in s2)…great comeback episode for setting up the second half

    • Mike says:

      I agree this episode is setting up for great episodes to come. Will this be one of the episodes I remember when talking about season 3 later on..,no, but I enjoyed it.

    • emma says:

      agreed this episode was AMAZING and the acting was BRILLIANT I could rewatch all the scenes on repeat forever

    • A says:

      Agree, this episode was great. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I don’t understand how people can say this episode was boring, I just don’t get it. This show is seriously redeeming itself from the flop that was S2.

  8. Kevin says:

    How was this episode terrible? It was a slower transition episode that the show needed right now and it was executed very well.

  9. jonathon says:

    this was a great episode to keep storylines going. Is Rick going completely crazy, is the group gonna split at all ends, will Woodsbury attack the prison and will Andrea do anything to help or hurt this? Will Michonne go off on her own like Darryl and Meryl? So much left to see with 7 eps left this season. can’t wait till next week!

  10. will pinde says:

    Not good tonight maybe too high expections.

  11. Tony says:

    Sick of the going crazy Rick. Ghost Laurie was LAME. Hate to say it – but based on just this episode, The Following is better – but TWD has bullt up enough capital with me – but seriously – snap out of it Rick….

    • Olive says:

      Lol, The Following is not better than Walking Dead and it is less believeable than a show, well a show about a zombie apocolypse.

  12. Elaine Bondra says:

    I am sick to death of Rick & his delusions. If he doesn’t snap out of it soon, I’ll be an ex-fan. They lose Daryl & he won’t accept new people? And I’m supposed to believe Andrea will stay with the Gov after she sees what kind of man he is? No, except for Rick cold cocking Merle, there’s nothing much I liked about this episode. Next week had better be a whole lot better.

    • Rhyan says:

      Totally agree. They have the rest of the season to turn it around for me, but tonight was not good at all. Season 3 started so strong and now…. dullsville. AMC’s head honchos better pull their collective heads out of their rears and let the showrunners run this show the way it should be run.

  13. Teag says:

    Great episode. OF COURSE people are complaining it was too slow… idiots…

  14. Bailey says:

    I had no idea that was Lori, couldn’t tell in the light! Had to come here to check. And Rick being so stubborn about new people has gotten old. And him loosing his mind. This episode just seemed like a repeat!

    Separating Darryl from the group was also the stupidest thing ever.

    The first part of the season was so good, I guess my expectations were too high.

    • Tony says:

      Can you blame him, the last group he trusted ended up betraying him, and resulted with Lori and T-dog dying, he needs to be wary and it’s not without reason since both Allen and Ben were considering killing Carol and Carl.

      • Rhyan says:

        The last group he trusted? When did he trust the prisoners? Not ever. Rick is the reason Lori died. He locked that young convict out and told him “run”. I would have come back for revenge too.

        • Mike says:

          Ok, maybe trusted was the wrong word, but the last group he gave chance resulted in his wife dying, Rick being apprehensive to a new group makes sense.

      • A says:

        I don’t know how much you can blame Allen and Ben for saying that they wanted to kill them and make off with the weapons. As we know, this IS a survival of the fittest situation, and I’m not sure that Rick or someone in the group wouldn’t suggest the same if the situation were reversed. I do think that if they were brought into the group they wouldn’t feel so adversarial, or at least we have no real reason to think they wouldn’t easily become part of the group.

      • I think people are forgetting that even though for us, it’s been months, on the show it’s only been a week (little asskicker is only a week old). Cut the guy a break, in a week, he’s lost his wife, found T-Dog chewed up, thought Carol was dead, almost lost Glenn and Maggie, found out about another group of violent psychos, including Merle, been shot at, killed a random hobo to escape a hoard of zombies, watched Oscar die, learned that Andrea was alive and chummy with the governor and lost Daryl. The guy needs some downtime to cope with everything, and some good old fashioned old man advice from Hershel.

  15. The Kaibosh says:

    Boring episode? Terrible? Not good? Um lets see….the show opens with a fight to the death involving 2 characters not in the comic book who’s fates are not known. One character who we’ve grown to respect for his contributions to our heroes is forced to fight his brother who is a character the viewer has grown to love to hate. Yeah soooo boring there. Its followed by a daring rescue which spring boards into further plot and character conflict when the brothers leave together. We also see that Andrea finally learns that her friends are alive and well and is beginning to see what the Governor actually represents. Yeah terribly mundane stuff there. Nothing to see there. All this culminates with the hero further deteriorating into madness. Yeah a real snooze fest. Idiots.

  16. Razor says:

    I thought the episode is fine, but someone’s going to have to explain Andrea’s character to me. It’s like she’s done a 180 character-wise. There’s no explanation why she has such a loyal bond with the Governor, or why she’s so bought in to Woodbury (ESPECIALLY since she knows her friends are now still alive). She’s giving them the speech after she’s been there for what, a few weeks? This seems like a complete deterioration from her independent character earlier, but without a reason as with Rick.

    I like the show and didn’t have any major issues with the episode, but some of the character writing baffles me sometimes. Laurie (sp?) might have been the most frustrating character I’ve ever watched with all the inconsistency, and now I’m thinking Andrea is headed down the same path. Or maybe I’m missing something?

    • Andrea is addicted to psychos. She has absolutely no ability to judge people. Has this helped? :)

    • A says:

      Andrea is a terrible character, is why. Lori was too. It almost makes me think that these writers just have absolutely no idea how to write female characters, but then again Maggie and Carol are evidence that they can. I hope Maggie and Carol get a more central role in the upcoming episodes.

    • kg says:

      Its simple really: Andrea gets that the Governor’s a nutjob now (notice how she’s questioning him and getting pissed when she realizes he deliberately kept her friends from her, and that her first response to seeing Daryl captured was to try and get him free) but that the citizens of Woodbury are just terrified people who are caught in the middle of a war. Her actions were not motivated because she’s loyal to the Governor, but because she is trying to protect the innocents from the Governor’s insane vengeance. In the next few episodes, she’ll go to the prison and try and help her old friends as best as possible. Its not inconsistency; we’ve seen from the start that Andrea wants to protect people (her desire to help keep the camp safe from Walkers in season two, the fact she was a civil rights lawyer) and this is just that trait manifesting itself.

      Also, until she saw the Governor’s head collection and Daryl in the arena, she had no idea what was happening in Woodbury. Michonne didn’t tell her anything, and the Governor deliberately hid things from her. She wanted – as everyone would want in a post-apocalyptic world – a safe haven after spending eight months in the wilderness, where she was near-death from starvation and illness. And once she’s seen the hell that Woodbury hides, she can’t leave because, as we saw, the Governor isn’t letting anyone leave. So she’s making do with what she can. She’s being incredibly independent by taking charge and saying “okay, if the Governor won’t lead these people, then I will.” If people actually took the time to understand her character and not just hate her mindlessly, this would be pretty understandable.

      (Also, let’s be real: the Governor was never a psychopath in front of her. He seemed like a charming fellow. If the viewers didn’t know something was wrong with Woodbury, then her actions would make more sense. However, as viewers are told the Governor’s evil, we expect the characters to know what we know, regardless of the fact that until the heads and the arena, Andrea never saw the Governor doing anything evil.)

      • Olive says:

        Yes! You articulated many of my issues with all the Andrea hate. People don’t take anytime analyzing her character and her situation and just make the same lazy complaints.

  17. Razor says:

    Ha – thanks for trying :) At this point, I’ll take any explanation that makes the slightest bit of sense at all. Or maybe they just have a hard time writing female characters.

  18. For Anyone saying this episode was boring you have no idea what youre in for. This episode just sets up literally the best parts of the comic. There is gonna be so much going on. I like the way theyre portraying Rick’s breakdown, the man did just lose his wife how do you expect him to be reacting? I’d be more worried if he was just fine about it. Keep it up. I’m enjoying it, better than the first half of season 2.

    • Brigitte says:

      I think that a huge fact in Rick’s meltdown was that he hasn’t slept in several days. The group really could have waited for Rick to sit down for a few minutes before putting into another important decision. They are locked up so they really couldn’t have done anything.

  19. The Kaibosh says:

    Want to add. I DID notice that Beth’s kiss on Rick’s cheek did linger a bit. What are the producers cooking up here? I say this because there has been some chatter about Beth’s character developing romantically with Carl which would take up Sofia’s plot from the comic book. On paper there is nothing wrong with this idea because Carl and Beth are only 3-4 years apart in age. In reality though Chandler Riggs who plays Carl is 13 but Emily Kinney who plays Beth is 28! So if the show were to continue for another 3+ years which would bring Carl to age 16; Emily Kinney will be in her 30’s which regardless of how young she may look or be made to look; I still don’t see the producers going there. Everything you see on TV is deliberate so what are they planning?

  20. Ken L says:

    Some people obviously got spoiled by how unbelievable the first half of this season was. Every story has to have chapters that set up the rest of the story. This was a MAJOR chapter in doing that. Rick’s meltdown, Tyrese’s offer to help against other groups(hugely important towards his storyline), Glen feeling guilty about not being able top prevent what happened to Maggie, Daryl and Merle reuniting, Andrea stepping up (hugely important towards her redemption). Herschel being the father figure, Beth developing a crush on Rick, Carol’s devastation at Daryl’s leaving….yet showing her newfound strength about it and not letting it bring her down……the rescue and impending war with Woodbury….Woodbury starting to fall apart…….God..there were so many important pieces…necessary pieces. If you were bored.,….that’s on you…but this was a great episode and very important for the rest of the season.

  21. Polly says:

    wow, were they drunk when they wrote this episode?!
    worst episode since the cdc ones, imho.
    lori’s ghost?! really?!
    the season restarts on a huge misstep.

    • ken1313 says:

      wow…..not even sure what to say to you….but there is no “Lori’s ghost”. It’s Rick’s imagination….have you even been paying attention to the show?

  22. AGM says:

    The people complaining about being tired of Rick’s delusions perhaps are not putting things in perspective. In this episode, Hershel makes it clear to one of the newcomers that the baby is only a week old (even though she looks like she’s three months old). Just because we haven’t seen an episode in a while doesn’t mean the same amount of time has passed for the characters. So that means that a week ago, Lori died. Rick’s wife has died without him being able to resolve the issues between them. She dies because of one of his mistakes. His own son had to shoot her in the head. Rick now has a baby to take care of (even though everyone else seems to be doing that for him). On top of that, while Glenn and Maggie go on a run to get formula for that baby, they get kidnapped, then tortured and almost raped. Rick has to go save them. He has to figure out what’s going on with this seemingly crazy woman who won’t talk. He finds out Andrea is alive and sleeping with a crazy dictator that’s about to attack his prison. He’s still living with the guilt of killing his best friend. He took on the leadership position because no one else wants it. Let’s not forget the zombies everywhere. On top of all of that, Daryl’s gone (in my mind, the most important issue). Why in the world would Rick still be sane after all that has happened within a week? Would you be sane? Frankly, I would be a little suspicious of his character if he was still the strong leader. Any normal man with a heart and conscience would probably act the same way. Otherwise, he’d be the governor. So while everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion about the value/cheapness of Rick’s sanity, I think it’s unfair to say that it is unrealistic.

  23. Ali says:

    Only thing better than Rick knocking out Merle with the gun was Daryl knocking the dude to get his beloved cross bow back. Never take that man’s crossbow…you…will…pay!

  24. Mikael says:

    It’s hard to judge the season when it has a huge hiatus halfway through. I think it will be much better when viewed all at once. I’m frustrated that Rick won’t accept Tyreese or Michonne, but I guess I can understand why after what happened with Tomas. We know they’re ok, but he doesn’t. I just hope Michonne doesn’t go anywhere.

    • Tom says:

      That’s a very good point. I was certainly in the camp that thought season 2 was slow-paced and frankly, boring. I’ve changed my opinion because those episodes,when viewed over a short time frame (e.g. the marathon), were very good in terms of character development and arguably set the stage for the season 3 success. Granted, season 2 was no splatter-fest, and character development does not lend itself to instant gratification, but it was an integral part of the show we have today. So give the 2/10/13 episode time to percolate. We may find it was a springboard to even greater heights.

  25. JACOB says:

    Once again, there are so many idiots saying “People with no brains don’t get this episode,” blah blah. I love slower paced things, things that actually are given time to boil and stew and make sense and resonate. DAMAGES is my favorite show ever, because things were always slowly teasing along all season. But that doesn’t mean an episode can be BORING. The only things that happened last night was the beginning with Daryl and Merle, the part where they left the group, and the part with Rick’s delusion. All of that could have, and was, told in the span of 15 minutes. That leaves another 30 minutes of useless crap. Face it, this episode was just bad.

  26. Shane Grimes says:

    His wife died a week ago and left him with a baby. It’s been months for the audience but only 5-7 days for Rick.

  27. Alan says:

    exactly what i expected from the episode, a decent reaction to all that went down in the previous one. it was fine but not a stand out like the past few have been.
    michonne’s lack of any common sense when talking to someone is finally getting to me but im still cautiously optimistic about where they are going with her.
    at least we furthered the rick going crazy plot.
    ive got good odds on daryl making it back to the prison by the end of the next episode.

  28. Debbie says:


    LOVED IT but please, will someone burn Carl’s stupid hat??? I just don’t like Andrea. It is not even the character, it is Laurie Holden I have an issue with. I just don’t believe her in anything I have ever seen her in.

  29. Gail91 says:

    Excellent episode. Like others though I agree with the comment re Rick’s automatic rejection of newcomers – it’s overdone – makes him look too human and in a comic book adaptation I want a solid leader to take care of the weaker ones. The only thing I’m not sure off is where the story line is going concerning Rick’s delusions – does he have a brain tumor or is he being haunted by someone from his past. I don’t agree the woman was Lori. He would have jumped at an opportunity to have her back, not tell her “you don’t belong here”. Yes, I think that statement was for the apparition and not the newcomers. Not seeing the ghost they would think it was meant for them.

    • Alan says:

      it was lori, they flew the actress in specifically so people couldnt come up with crazy theories about it being someone else.
      is it really that unlikely that rick wouldnt trust new people after all the crap he has gone through since the world went to hell and especially now he has a baby to look after?

      • Gail91 says:

        Then why didn’t they show her face and why did Rick reject her.

        • Alan says:

          because she is dead so he knows he is going insane, wouldnt you scream at your dead wife to go away if you were in that situation?
          i guess they wanted to emphasise the stark contrast between the blindingly white dress and the dark, dirty surroundings

          • Gail91 says:

            Alan you have a lot of good things to say – insightful, but your tone is condescending which discourages dialogue. Your comment “Wouldn’t you scream at your dead wife to go away if you were in that situation” and earlier you said they flew Lori in so people wouldn’t come up with crazy theories. These statements were unnecessary. So on that note, I won’t be returning to this website. Thank-you though for the insight re the juxtaposition.