The prison versus Woodbury has been one of the prominent focuses of The Walking Dead season 3, and as we draw closer to the finale, the stresses are running high for the inevitable clash of sides.
"Arrow on the Doorpost" was an attempt to seek out some sort of peace between Rick and the Governor, leading to a lot of posturing, a deal being offered and the rest of the characters waiting around for any good news.
The episode got off to a great start with a silent sweep through of the meeting place that was highly reminiscent of the season premiere, "Seed." I really enjoy seeing the characters move in a more tactical and thought out manner, rather than running through with no regards for their surroundings.
The whole meet up was interesting in the sense that both sides have certain basic similarities, at least regarding the characters brought along.
Rick and the Governor are the respective leaders, Hershel and Milton are the so-called brains and Daryl and Martinez are the brawn of their groups.
I even enjoyed the sides getting to do a bit of conversing, especially with Daryl and Martinez trying to show off their skills and prowess. But, let's face it, Daryl's going to win that prize hands down.
The best parts of the episode ultimately came from the mini standoff between Rick and the Governor. There was some great tension throughout as the two "tried" to find a solution.
There was an effort to humanize the Governor with his story about his wife being killed. He still questions what the reason for his wife calling might have been and how on some level it haunts him.
Yet, even still, it's hard for me to find any sympathy for his character. He may have been a nice guy before the zombie apocalypse, but he hasn't shown any real signs now. At all. Let's face it, he's a bad guy.
Even Hershel tried to point out to Andrea how the Governor is a "sick man" in reference to his actions against Maggie. You'd think with Andrea pouting that even now she'd come to some realization and leave.
Andrea even says she can't go back to Woodbury, and she still goes back to Woodbury. I feel as if all her poor decisions are going to end up meaning that she makes the most important one when it comes to perhaps the final episode of the season.
But will that be redemptive for her? Can she be redeemed?
It was kind of funny that Andrea kept trying to butt in and give her two cents on the situation, but was pretty much shut down every time. Neither the Governor nor Rick really wanted her there or even cared what she was trying to do.
The Governor even kicked her out of the meeting, which was rather humorous, especially because she's always trying to be another leader when it comes to big situations.
Really, in her desperate attempts for making an ideal peace, she can't seem to find a place. If you really think about it, she's the odd chick out.
At least Glenn back at the prison was able to hold the fort down in Rick's absence, even if Merle tried to be a hassle. Glenn has a lot more common sense when it comes to determining actions. Plus, he got to have a little action of his own with Maggie.
Those two really are a couple of bunny rabbits.
I was a bit disappointed that Rick didn't immediately dispel the Governor's offer of handing over Michonne to his prison crew. I understand his consternation over the whole idea, and was at least glad that he was able to confide in Hershel. Even more, Rick came to the conclusion that even if he did hand over Michonne, they would probably all be killed still. It was good to see there was some sensibility involved.
On the other hand, just the tiny sliver of hope that the Governor might leave them alone if Rick follows through seemed to be enough for him. Sure, he wanted Hershel to talk him out of it, but faced picking their own kids over the new member of their group? Not even Hershel could respond in a definitive answer to sway him.
A lot of conversation in this episode and again sort of squaring off for what's to come. Did we really think there would be peace? No, but I wonder how the whole eventual situation is going to go down, because no matter what choice is made, the end result is going to probably be with a lot of blood splatter and bodies. There's no easy way out. Not in this Walking Dead world anyway.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.