Written by John Edward Betancourt
Here we are ladies and gentlemen. The buildup has been slow and steady, we've seen good people fall along the way and likely more will come. The Walking Dead has never been afraid to push the envelope and last night set the stage for what will likely be a punishing four part story arc to wrap up season three with the excellent "Arrow on the Doorpost". So let's get right down to it because as the Governor said; "we have a lot to talk about."
The Good: The first thing that struck me immediately about last night's episode was the incredible amount of tension that permeated through every scene. Even in the lighter moments, the tension was ridiculously thick and with good reason, things are getting ugly quick.
I am thankful we had a little bit of time amid the tension to develop our characters a little further. Andrea finally seems to be coming into focus after spending most of this season lost. I still stand by my point that she is a leaf in the wind waiting for a place to land, but for the first time she seems to have an idea of where she should land and that her current "home" is one dangerous place. The question now is what will Andrea do with her newfound knowledge of just how disgusting a man the Governor really is now that Rick and Hershel have spilled the beans on his little incident with Maggie? I also love the fact that for the first time, Milton is finally seeing the light on his beloved boss. Judging from next week's teaser he may end up being a powerful ally to Andrea and through her the prison gang in the days to come.
But of course, this episode's main focus was the long awaited face off between Rick Grimes and Philip "The Governor" Blake and the show did not disappoint. Everything Philip did in these scenes oozed pure evil. My favorite part of the show, was the Governor at last confirming the fact that in the old world he was indeed a nobody. His one line where he described his idiot boss finally let us know that this was the guy who went into work every single day, fantasizing about the horrible ways that boss would die at either his hands or whatever his imagination would muster, but when he went home at night, those day dreams came and to an end, only to be replaced with new ones where he was finally somebody that mattered. Sure he loved his wife and daughter but he clearly dreamed of power. Philip Blake lived in the shadows, but when the end of man came to pass he stepped into the light and now every sick fantasy he ever had can now be brought to fruition without penalty.
For some time now, I've been debating in my mind which version of the Governor I like more, comic or television and after much deliberation, I like the television version more. Don't get me wrong, the comic one is a twisted monster. But the television Philip Blake has a sense of realism to him. We have met men like him, those weasels that you can't stand and avoid at any cost, and that is absolutely terrifying. This man will get his just desserts, and I'm glad that there are so many possible candidates on the show who may get the honor of putting this piece of garbage down.
The Bad: Everything in between the Governor and Rick was mostly fluff and I guess it wasn't exactly terrible, but it did nothing to advance the story along. It was just filler, plain and simple.
The Verdict: This episode gets an incomplete and I will tell you why. This is just the beginning. I see this episode and the next three as one giant episode and I can't quite give you a thumbs up or down until we see the credits roll in the series finale. Really I think the only way to summarize this episode is to quote Rick Grimes himself, only because we are along for the ride my friends and like he said: "we're going to war."