March 11, 2013

Episode Review: THE WALKING DEAD, "Arrow on the Doorpost"

It seems like I write an awful lot about balance when putting together these Walking Dead recaps, and that's because this show in particular needs to fine tune its episodes for them to be effective. Last week's standout episode, "Clear," was a good example of everything just clicking, but I knew that it was an exception, and "Arrow on the Doorpost" temporarily halted the progress the season's made unfortunately.

The majority of the episode focused on a sit-down between Rick and the Governor, which was orchestrated by Andrea, while everyone left at the prison tried to keep Merle on a short leash since he felt the need to chase after his brother who accompanied Rick. After some posturing and exposition, the Governor tried to strike a deal with Rick: Woodbury would leave the prion alone if Rick gave up Michonne. Rather than divulge the truth, Rick prepped his people for war, and the Governor revealed his plan to kill everyone anyway. But Rick was not completely devoid of emotion because he came clean to Hershel hoping that the old man would talk him out of serving up Michonne.

On paper, everything that transpired during "Arrow" should have really captivating and exciting, but the episode stumbled when it came to execution. In a lot of ways, it once again exposed The Walking Dead's weaknesses because it relied too much on dialogue, rants about surviving in this new world, and weak characters. Now, it could easily be argued that "Clear" did the exact same thing, but at least it packed an emotional punch that was lacking in "Arrow." On top of it all, there was also an absence of action and tension. Sure, we got a zombie-killing pissing contest between Daryl and Martinez, but it wasn't enough.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • I'll say it again, The Walking Dead is at its best when no one talks, and the opening where Rick, Daryl and Hershel arrived at the meeting was by far the highlight of the episode.
  • Honestly, I probably would've liked this episode more if it had less Andrea.
  • Maybe I'm giving the writers too much credit, but I did appreciate how the representations of each camp's psyche were paired up: Rick and the Governor (ego), Hershel and Milton (super-ego), and Daryl and Martinez (id).
  • I was seriously crushing on Beth before, but her firing a gun in the air to stop Glenn and Merle's fight cemented my love for her. She's at least 18, right? I hope so because I don't want to sound all pervy.
  • Speaking of pervy, Glenn and Maggie. That's all I'll say.
  • Andrea picking Woodbury over the prion was a clear indication that she's up to something.
  • As for scheming, Rick just needs to tell Michonne what's what so she can be apart of the plan to take the Governor down.
I'll admit that I'm probably being too harsh on "Arrow on the Doorpost" because it wasn't able to follow-up "Clear" in an equally mesmerizing fashion, but The Walking Dead's in the homestretch and it needs to finish strong, and this episode just wasn't at this show's highest level in my opinion. Maybe it can rebound next week.


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