Home Movies Movie Lists

‘The Walking Dead’: Biggest Surprises of Season Three, Pt. Two

Plot twists and changes-of-heart marked a strong second half

the walking dead

Sunday night marks the third season finale of AMC's hit show The Walking Dead. The second half of this season featured its fair share of gross-out zombie gore and some surprising deaths (we'll miss you, Axel! And even you, Merle!), but its defining features were the often-surprising character developments and less-than-credible plot twists. Admittedly, a show about what happens after a zombie apocalypse takes out most of humanity is guaranteed to present situations that require even the most devout viewers to suspend their disbelief – we all know zombies aren't real . . . or are they? But the last installments under recently-deposed showrunner Glen Mazarra's reign provoked fans into screaming at their TV screens at least once an episode. Bite into our list of the biggest surprises of the second half of Season Three. (It should go without saying that there are multiple spoilers here for anyone not caught up with the show.)

By Bex Schwartz

the walking dead

Gene Page/AMC

10

Andrea Makes a Choice (Episode 13, ‘Arrow on the Doorpost’)

Andrea wants to broker a peace treaty between the Governor and Rick, but her boyfriend kicks her out of the barn when she tries to use her fancy lawyering skills to help smooth out the negotiations. While she pouts outside, stunned at her ouster, Hershel consoles her. He tells her that the Governor is all sorts of nasty, and Andrea finally finds out what he was going to do to Maggie. Hershel urges Andrea to abandon Woodbury and return to her friends living in the prison. But Andrea has seen their dank and zombie-threatened home, and in the end she chooses to return to Woodbury with the man who keeps detached heads floating in aquariums. Really, Andrea?

Gene Page/AMC

9

Michonne Has a Sense of Humor (Episode 12, ‘Clear’)

When Rick takes Carl and Michonne on a guns-and-ammo run to his hometown of Kings County, we're shocked to learn that his onetime neighbor Morgan is still alive. But more on that later! What's almost as surprising is that this episode marks the first time we see Michonne speak in full sentences. What's more, it appears she has a pretty awesome sense of humor. Carl is desperate to retrieve a family portrait from a zombie-infested bar, and Michonne insists on helping him do it. When their mission is almost aborted by a horde of ravenous walkers, Michonne slips back inside the bar to grab Carl's cherished photo. She also grabs a hideously garish statue of a cat, because it was "too gorgeous to leave behind." Atta girl! Lighthearted moments in this show are few and far between, but this was a delightful bit of character development for the usually stoic Michonne.

the walking dead

Gene Page/AMC

8

Andrea Comes This Close to Murdering the Governor (Episode 11, ‘I Ain’t a Judas’)

When Andrea pays a visit to her friends living in the prison, they urge her to abandon Woodbury, or at least to put an end to the Governor's evil machinations. During a girl-talk catch-up, Carol urges her to sleep with the governor to make sure he's not suspicious and then murder him after giving him the "night of his life.”"Whoa, Carol! We didn't know you had it in you! Excellent plan – wear the Governor out with a lusty bout of sexual healing and then kill him in his post-orgasmic slumber. Andrea returns to Woodbury and (we assume) has some hot and heavy bedroom time with the Governor. She slips out of their bed while he snores in post-coital bliss. She grabs her knife and holds it to his throat, but hesitates at the last minute and loses her chance. A nation of fans moan and groan at her decision. Dangnabbit, Andrea! You were this close.

the walking dead

Gene Page/AMC

7

Rick Goes on Walkabout (Episode 10, ‘Home’)

At the end of the previous episode, Rick hallucinated a vision of his dead wife, Lori, wearing a wedding dress, and he shrieked at her to get the hell out. Of course, because no one else could see this ghostly apparition, Tyrese and his gang assumed Rick was shouting at them, and they hightailed it to Woodbury. In episode 10, Rick spots the ghost of Lori wandering through the woods outside of the prison yard. Abandoning his leadership position and putting the security of his people in danger, Rick goes cavorting through the wilderness in search of visions of his dead wife. When Hershel begs him to return and demands to know what he's doing, Rick utters the immortal line "I've got . . . stuff out here," before finally confessing that he's seeing things that most likely don't exist. And yet he thinks there must be some sort of mystical message behind his hallucinations, and he needs to find an answer. We've got an answer for you, Sherriff – get your head right, dude.

the walking dead

Tina Rowden/AMC

6

Daryl Chooses His Brother Over His Buddies (Episode 9, ‘The Suicide King’)

After the prison gang stages a dramatic rescue and frees Daryl and Merle from the Governor's death match, Rick puts his foot down: Merle will not be allowed into the prison, no way, no how. After all, he beat Glenn to a bloody pulp and led Maggie straight to the Governor's rape lair. But Daryl abandoned his brother once, way back in season one, when they left him handcuffed to a roof in the middle of a zombie invasion. And he's not going to do it again. If Merle isn't welcome at the prison, then Daryl will give up his newfound family of friends and will seek his destiny alone with his racist brother. Bad news bears, Daryl. This is never going to work out. You've matured so much! You've evolved! And Merle is still a racist jerk!

the walking dead

Gene Page/AMC

5

Axel Bites the Dust (Episode 10, ‘Home’)

Poor, poor pitiful Axel! We were just getting to know him! He shared his backstory with Carol, and it sort of seemed like they were flirting just a tiny bit. After all, how bad can a man who conducted a stick-up with a watergun actually be? Just as viewers were lulled into a sort of peaceful Zen watching Axel banter with Carol, all hell breaks out at the prison. The Governor's army attacks, spraying the prison yard with bullets as Axel's head explodes. Alas, poor Axel. We barely knew you.

the walking dead

Gene Page/AMC

4

Rick Has a Change of Heart (Episode 15, ‘This Sorrowful Life’)

After his meet-cute with the Governor, Rick has a lot to consider. The Governor promised he'd call off his impending war on the Prison Gang if only Rick were to turn over Michonne. Rick confides in Hershel and lies to his people, trying desperately to concoct a plan to deliver Michonne straight into the heart of evil. Merle, who knows the Governor better than anyone, cautions Rick that there is no way the Gov is going to hold up his end of the bargain. But Rick is determined to protect his family at any cost, and he convinces himself to be a bad guy and hand over Michonne, even though she's saved everyone's lives at least once so far. Merle warns that they'll need wire instead of rope to restrain the katana-wielding warrior, and Rick heads outside to scavenge supplies. As he winds an Ethernet cable around his wrist, he sees another vision of Ghost Lori – and this time she's pregnant and dressed in her casual, zombpocalypse clothes. Rick experiences an epiphany and rushes inside to announce that he's changed his mind. Too bad the news doesn't make it all the way to Merle in time.

the walking dead

Gene Page/AMC

3

The Return of the Prodigal Daryl (Episode 10, ‘Home’)

So Daryl chooses blood over water and heads off to seek survival with his brother Merle. However, his older brother is not the man Daryl wants him to be, and our favorite crossbow enthusiast realizes he belongs with the Prison Gang. While Rick is chasing ghosts, and zombies are seeping into the prison through breaches in the walls, the Governor and his men open fire on our friends. Rick is trapped on the outside of the prison yard, separated from his people by several hundred feet and several dozen zombies that the Governor's henchmen unleashed from a cargo truck. How will our fearless crazytown leader ever survive? At the last minute, Daryl and Merle emerge from the woods to save Rick from certain zombie death. Welcome back, Daryl! And, uh, please try to get along with your new housemates, Merle.

the walking dead

Gene Page/AMC

2

Morgan Is Alive and Somewhat Unwell and Living in Kings County, GA (Episode 12, ‘Clear’)

Rick and Carl's homecoming is sort of strange – the town they left behind is now booby-trapped to the gills, and there's a mysterious gunman shooting at them from the rooftops. Who could this masked man be? My goodness gracious, it's Morgan! Remember him? He and his young son Duane rescued Rick back in the early days of the zombpocalypse, and Rick gifted him with a walkie-talkie so they could keep in touch. But now Morgan lives alone, after his son turned zombie due to a bite from his undead mother. Tough times, Morgan! Morgan covered the walls of his house with strange and incoherent graffiti, and he seems to be suffering from some sort of psychotic break. Rick pleads with him to join the prison gang but Morgan holds fast – his lot in life is to stay in Kings County, keeping the town clear. So he's still alive! But we'll probably never see him again? Although it would be a delight if he returns, because Lennie James is quite possibly the greatest actor on this show.

the walking dead

Gene Page/AMC

1

The Governor Is Still Alive! (Episode 14, ‘Prey’)

Andrea tries to escape Woodbury and rejoin her friends at the prison. But the Governor chases after her, tearing across a field in a rugged truck as she somehow outruns him. (Huh?) He stalks his former lover through an abandoned warehouse teeming with walkers. Andrea manages to evade him, slipping through the rubble as she takes out zombies right and left. Finally, the Governor corners her, and it looks like she has no way out – the Gov is in front of her and he is full of murderous rage, and there's a stairwell full of walkers right behind her. Andrea somehow manages to open the door to the stairwell while hiding behind it, and a throng of zombies surges out to attack the Governor. He's surely a dead man, right? Finally?

Andrea flees the warehouse and schleps to the prison on foot, despite the Governor's truck just hanging out a few feet away. Just as Andrea makes it to the outskirts of the prison, she pauses and waves to try to catch Rick's attention. And suddenly the Governor lurches out of nowhere, fully alive, unbitten and hell-bent on revenge. How the hell did he survive? He had one gun and a shovel! And yet he somehow dispatched dozens of walkers and emerged without a bite? Is the Governor some sort of uber-man? If the show uses season four to reveal that the Governor is actually some sort of supernatural immortal, there are going to be lots of horrible epithets being screamed at screens across the country. Let's hope they at least explain this miraculous survival.

Show Comments