TV Review: The Walking Dead: When the Dead Come Knocking

Note: This review and the accompanying comments will contain The Walking Dead episode spoilers. You have been warned.

Things are rocketing toward the inevitable showdown between Rick’s folks in the prison and the Governor and his cronies at Woodbury, and last night’s episode of The Walking Dead covered a lot of ground in setting things up for next week’s mid-season finale.

The Walking Dead Episode 307

In Woodbury, things aren’t going so well for Glenn and Maggie. Glenn gets the old fashioned torture, at least at first. He’s beaten senseless by Merle, but manages to hold his tongue. After that, he has to fight off a zombie while still duct-taped to a chair. Luckily, this isn’t Glenn’s first rodeo, so he manages just fine. It’s a pretty tense fight, but I don’t think any of us were too worried for ol’ Glenn.

The Governor sees to Maggie’s interrogation, and does so through terror rather than his fists. He makes her strip to the waste, and then acts like he’s going to rape her, but Maggie is steadfast. Me? No so much. The whole scene is extremely creepy and I can’t wait for it to be over. Even after the Governor walks out I kept waiting for him to make good on his implied threat.

(The following paragraph contains comic spoilers, so skip ahead if you don’t want anything in the comics revealed). The scene with Maggie and the Governor feels a lot like it was thrown in to address Michonne’s rape in the comic. That was one of the defining moments for the Governor, showing us just how depraved and evil he really was. Here, you have to wonder if he was ever going to really do it. With a guy like the Governor, I think Maggie’s complete lack of fear dissuaded him.

Eventually, the Governor loses patience. He gets Glenn and Maggie in the same room and holds a gun to Glenn’s head. One of them can talk, or he’s pulling the trigger. Maggie lasts maybe a minute before cracking, and just like that the bad guys know all about the prison.

Back at the prison, Michonne almost gets eaten by the zombies outside the gate, who finally figure out she isn’t one of them. Luckily for her, Carl intervenes. He and Rick clear out all the nearby dead, and bring her inside. Like the Governor, Rick takes Michonne’s sword away, which sets up a bit of conflict between the two, but from the word go her experiences at the prison and Woodbury are completely different.

Unlike the Governor, Rick doesn’t put on a show. He’s rough and demanding, but ultimately caring. There aren’t any ulterior motives for her to investigate here, so Michonne slowly begins to trust them. Of course seeing them all hugging and passing a baby around probably did a lot to get Michonne to let down her guard.

I guess she needed to see the baby and Carol’s return to the group to help cancel out the part were Rick hit her bullet wound to get her to talk faster, an eerie echo of Glenn’s interrogation at the hands of Merle.

Once Hershell patches up her bullet wound, they decide to head out to Woodbury to try to get Glenn and Maggie back. It’s sudden, but that’s pretty much how Rick does things.

Rick takes the toughest people left: Daryl, Michonne, and that one inmate whose name I still don’t know. They leaves very little to defend the prison; mostly Carl. This is obviously a big setup. Rick and company are going to attack Woodbury, but Woodbury knows about the prison now, so they can counter-attack while the prison is relative undefended. It’s a pretty great setup, but I wish it was a touch less obvious.

This week also has a couple of interesting subplots: one of which reveals a bit about Woodbury, and the other is just out of left field.

In the first, Andrea is charged with assisting Milton (the creepy scientist) in one of his experiments. Milton wants to find out if the zombies retain any of the memories on an unconscious level, so he’s been working with a man who is dying of prostate cancer for weeks to establish a pattern of questions. Things go predictably enough: the man dies and doesn’t respond to the questions, but Milton wants to remove the restraints and try again. He almost gets his face eaten for his trouble, but Andrea is there to drive a knife through the zombie’s skull.

It’s an interesting scene that implies more than it says. Woodbury is safe, and has some luxuries that few others can enjoy. But that safety comes at a cost: they don’t understand the zombies. Sure, they use them for fake fights, and do creepy experiments, but their safety has let them humanize the walking dead to a dangerous extent. I’m curious to see how, if at all, this plays into future episodes.

In the episode’s other subplot, Rick and company flee from a horde of zombies into a cabin in the woods. Inside, there’s a dead dog and a very confused man with a shotgun. The man seems to have no idea that civilization is gone and the world is beset by a plague of shambling corpses. He demands the police, and orders everyone out of his cabin. Rick calms him for a moment, then wrestles the gun away. But the guy is quick; he breaks free and makes a run for it, but gets stabbed by Michonne for his trouble. Ultimately, them dump him on the porch for zombie chow while they all run out the back door.

I’m not really sure what the point of all this was. Everyone is shocked by Michonne’s action, but it’s never really addressed. I guess it demonstrates the lengths people have to go to in order to survive, but it was just bizarre.

Next week is the mid-season finale, which promises to be explosive. The Walking Dead is a much stronger show this year, so I’m really hoping for big things.

Grade: 4 zombie heads out of 5


Silver Fox

Aye, that was intense for some of it. Clearly it was a lone survivor type in the cabin, didn’t even know about the ‘collapse”.

Looks like next episode, things will come to even more of a header.


Yeah, this was a big setup episode, but man was it intense.

That crazy survivor guy was good at being crazy, not so much at being a survivor.


Overall, good episode, the guy in the cabin probably just went nuts, I don’t think he didn’t know what had happened, his windows and door were all boarded up. Very random but it was also a good way to show Rick that Michonne means business, it also showed Michonne that Rick is not to be messed with by disarming the guy who had a shotgun on his face without even blinking.

Did you guys see in the trailer that they show a shot of the governor behind a wire screened door that looks a lot like the ones seen in the prison? in the area where they have the living quarters, I wonder if we’re going to see some sort of faceoff in the prison after they attack woodbury.


Yeah, I think the guy probably lost it too. Just snapped from the loneliness and stress of it all.

I saw part of the promo. I assumed the Woodbury folks would end up at the prison since it has been left only slightly defended. Should be a great mid-season finale.

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