“Arrow on the Doorpost,” this week’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” was by and large a snoozefest, with hardly any excitement, but lots of negotiation.
Rick and the Governor convene for a mediation set up by Andrea.
“We have a lot to talk about,” the Governor says to Rick evilly.
“You attacked us,” Rick shoots back. “You made things pretty clear.”
Andrea tries to lighten the mood and bring the two men together, telling them that they both stepped up for the great good of others, despite personal risk.
“We should hammer out boundaries and leave each other alone,” she says.
It doesn’t work. Andrea is shunned outside to wait with the Governor and Rick’s crews, who are on alert in case the negotiations take a turn for the worst.
In an amusing twist, the two parties—perhaps bored and sick of the back-and-forth going on inside the barn—begin to hang out together. Daryl and Martinez team up and kill a passing group of walkers, then lament to one another about the depressing state of their post-apocalyptic world, while Hershel and Milton bond while talking about Hershel’s walker bite and amputated leg.
One person isn’t ready to make friends, though: Merle. He’s back at the prison packing up his weapons to go kill the Governor at the meeting.
“I’m not going to let you put them in danger,” Glenn protests, preventing an angry Merle from leaving.
Meanwhile, the negotiations are finally getting somewhat exciting, as the Governor tells Rick that he can end it before a war.
“You have something I want,” he says. “One thing that makes this all right.”
He wants Michonne.
“Turn her over and this all goes away.”
The Governor tells Rick he has two days to think about it and saunters out of the barn. The groups then head back to their respective camps, off to wait for Rick to mull the ultimatum.
Rick doesn’t tell his gang back at the prison what the Governor really wants, though.
“He wants the prison,” he says. “He wants us gone. He wants us dead for what we did to Woodbury. We’re going to war.”
That’s okay, because the Governor lied too. Back at Woodbury, he tells a shocked Milton that getting Michonne does not mean he’s sparing the others.
“We’re going to have to eliminate Rick sooner or later,” he says.
Rick does decide to tell Hershel the truth, as the two stand guard outside at the prison. Hershel asks Rick why he lied to everyone instead of just telling them that giving the Governor Michonne could end everything.
“They need to be scared,” Rick says.
With three episodes left in the season, it looks like everything will (finally) becoming to a head soon. “The Walking Dead” airs at Sunday nights on AMC.