Well, it took me longer to get this episode review up than I originally had planned, so hopefully most of you Walking Dead fans have seen the episode already. But if you haven’t, there be spoilers ahead.
I’m going to be honest here. This episode kind of bored me. It’s not that I think it’s filler like the last episode, which was interesting in its own right. “Arrow on the Doorpost” is much needed to the development of the plot, but I sort of felt that it went nowhere. And if you’re wondering why it took me so long to get this review up, it’s because I really didn’t like this episode. Compared to all the other episodes, it’s a little underwhelming.
“Arrow on the Doorpost” begins with Rick, Daryl, and Hershel arriving at some abandoned farm-like place so Rick can have a sit down with the Governor, who arrives moments later, followed by Andrea, Martinez, and Milton. Andrea’s the one who set up the meeting, in a rare moment where she is one of the more sensible characters—because, as this episode clearly demonstrates through Daryl and Martinez getting along and Hershel and Milton bonding with each other, there is no need for violence between the two groups. However, Andrea’s still somehow under the delusion that the Governor can be reasoned with, and that’s kind of why this episode was pointless in the overall scheme of things.
At the beginning of the episode, we know that the Governor wants all of the Atlanta survivors dead, and at the end of the episode we still only know that the Governor wants all of the Atlanta survivors dead. So it really felt as if this episode wasted forty-some minutes of my time. To be honest, the thirty-second preview for the next episode tells me more about the characters and what’s going to happen than the forty minutes I spent watching “Arrow on the Doorpost.”
“Arrow on the Doorpost” does have its moments, so I wouldn’t write it off completely. There’s some interesting insight into the characters Martinez and Milton, and neither of them seem completely comfortable with the Governor’s methods. While bonding over some cigarettes after killing some walkers, Martinez tells Daryl, almost regretfully, that whatever truce Rick and the Governor come to won’t last, which Daryl knows. Furthermore, Milton doesn’t like the Governor’s plan to kill all the Atlanta survivors and says that murdering them would be a slaughter. And hey, I’ve been waiting all season for Milton’s friendship with Andrea to grow while his friendship with the Governor breaks down.
On top of that, we learn that the Governor wants Michonne alive, in revenge for his walker daughter, whom she killed in an earlier episode. But that plot point could have honestly been explained elsewhere. While most everything else is character development, such as Maggie and Glenn helping each other move on from what happened in Woodbury, the truce talk and wanting Michonne alive are the main plot-related issues going on.
I would really like to talk about how strong the characters all are, but “Arrow on the Doorpost” didn’t really give me anything to work with. And, well, what is there to say? The Governor’s evil and he has a vendetta. I knew that beforehand.