Walking Dead Podcast Episode 36: “Arrow on the Doorpost” with special guest Randy Dankievitch

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This week, special guest and Sound On Sight contributor Randy Dankievitch joins Simon, Ricky and Kate to discuss “Arrow on the Doorpost,” the long-awaited episode that features the Rick/The Governor showdown we’ve been wai– oh, hold on. Sorry, false alarm: it turns out to be the episode where they have a meet n’ greet. Discussed: the problems of open-ended storytelling, some confusion surrounding the last scene, the black-and-white reruns, and…hair.

  1. o.t. says

    overall I do enjoy watching this show, but what the audience witnessed is a by-product of conflicting interests on how to manage and produce meaningful material in a season’s storey arc. it’s no secret glen mazzara is leaving the show as front show runner due to creative differences. unlike frank darabont beef with amc over money, mazzara’s approach and direction to 16 episode storey arc became unappealing to Robert kirkman’s vision.

    in this particular episode, the location of the meeting between rick and the governor was changed at the last minute (sort of speak). the screen play was changed. although the grainery location was visually appealing, it didn’t serve any purpose. the whole scene between rick and governor fell flat. it had no emotional beat to it. I expected david morrissey to lead that scene and he did, but I wanted to see a more super-villain approach instead of captain charisma. I wanted to see rick relapse into another delusion breakdown during talks with the governor, it would have added more spice rather than having andrew lincoin looking(and acting) like a dead-head himself.

    1. Ricky says

      Excellent comment and I agree with every word. The location was the best thing about the episode. It was originally supposed to be shot in the forest. Can you imagine how terribly boring that would have been. At least here they had a nice looking set to play around with.

  2. Matt D says

    Firstly… the whole point of the Rick / Hershal conversation at the end is that Rick knows that there is a 99.9% chance that the Gov will backstab him even if they give up Michone, but part of him wants to believe in that 0.01%. He wants Hershal to convince him to NOT give up Michone…

    And secondly, this show is terrible. I don’t understand how anyone can find a single character likeable. This whole episode was filler, and they chose to fill it with dialog… that accomplished nothing. The Darryl and Martinez segment was cringe worthy… Darryl gets called a bitch and Martinez gets called a pussy… so the writers gave them dialog suited for 13 year olds. I liked Norman Reedus in Season 1 simply because he was from Boondock Saints, but now I hate him because his character is so 1 dimensional it’s ridiculous. The Governor and Rick sit down for an entire episode, and talk about absolutely nothing we don’t already know… like, wow. I have absolutely no problem with episodes that have nothing but dialog, but at least make it interesting for Christ’s sake. For example: Season 2 of game of Thrones, the dialog scenes between Arya Stark and Tywin Lannister… I could watch an entire episode of them talking back and forth. Those scenes were not in the books at all, those characters never even interact directly in the books, yet the writers managed to make compelling dialog between them that gives great insight into both characters and makes the audience FEEL SOMETHING. That is an unfair comparison tho, since GoT is the best thing on TV, and Maisie Williams (A child with no acting experience prior to GoT) has more talent than the entire cast of TWD combined…

    1. Ricky says

      LOL – well if we are going to compare Walking Dead to Game of Thrones, we might as well stop watching the series. The Walking Dead is the Star Wars of Television in the sense that it did something new and became a huge success. But as the franchise continues to grow, fans begin to resent the creators for continuously disappointing them. When I started the podcast, I believed the series had the potential to join the ranks of such shows as Deadwood, Twin Peaks, The Wire and so on. But just because there is nothing else like it on television, doesn’t mean they are doing a stellar job. It needs improvement. But here we are at the end of season three, and it is clear that it might be far too late to ever consider it one of the greats.

  3. ArC says

    Horrible review for a great episode. Rick and The Governor’s meeting was essential. There was more intensity in this episode than an episode full of action.

    As for Andrea, why wouldn’t she confide in The Governor?… maybe to get home comfortable enough to kill him.

    1. Ricky says

      I agree… it was a horrible review. Seriously I agree. I am going to apologize for this next week.

      My problem with Andrea telling the Governor what she told him … has more to do with the fact that viewers downright hate this character. The creators of the series know this and Laurie Holden has been doing interview after interview across the net trying to defend her character. I just feel that by deciding to have her character tell The Governor this piece of information, it pretty much leaves no hope in fans every forgiving Andrea. I guess what I am trying to say here is, I think she is a great actress, and would like her to stick around. Lori was hated so much that the actress was booed of stage at NYC Comic-Con. Than they killed her. I see no hope in having Andrea stick around much longer … but I could be wrong. They still have three episodes left.

    2. Marcus says

      what was horrible about the review? i enjoyed this podcast a lot. like another poster said, this discussion between these two was more exciting than the rick/gov scenes.

      1. Ricky says

        Well I am glad that we had Randy as a guest. He and Kate had a lot to say.
        I just wasn’t feeling very well and should have sat out. So I guess I am speaking for myself only.

  4. Marcus says

    Kate was absolutely correct! you guys need to rewatch the scene. He clearly tells Hershell that the Gov gave him a choice. he does say “he’ll kill us anyways” but shortly follows up with “what if he doesn’t, what if this is the answer”

    he then states he told them a lie because they need to be scared. followed by “that’s the only way they’ll accept it”, meaning that’s the only way they’ll accept him giving up michonne. hershel then goes to bat for Michonne, citing that she’s saved their lives. Rick counters by saying “are you willing to sacrifice your daughters lives for her?”

    he’s looking for hershel to talk him out of giving up michonne, hershel says nothing. we’ll all see who was correct in the next episode! but i’m rocking with kate!

    1. Ricky says

      hmmm – well living in Canada, it is hard to catch AMC. I don’t have a DVR so I can’t watch it again. This is one of the problems in reviewing something you only watched once.

    2. Marcus says

      lol, the actress who played Lori was booed @ Comic-Con? is there any footage of this on youtube? i’ve got to see this.

      makes no sense to purposely turn such an important character into a heel, just so they could kill her off because of it. although i’ve noticed they’ve replaced Andrea’s sniping skills with Maggie.

      1. Ricky says

        I don’t know of any footage. I read about it in two different posts online way back when it happened. I just hope Tyrese is back next week.

  5. Matt L says

    Hey Guys,

    I want to thank you for being one of the few that realizes The Walking Dead is in a downward spiral, you don’t have more fans because I think a lot of critical fans of Walking Dead are starting to drop off.

    In my spare time I review restaurants, which cannot be more subjective and opinion based and I get hate mails from angry chefs with cleavers coming for me because their shepards pie was soso. Please, don’t let criticism get to you. It’s getting to a point where it is affecting your show. I miss your earlier attitudes. Please quit making your intro to the episodes a pitty party for the passion of the critic; it sets a downer tone and it doesn’t sound like you are having fun anymore, you sound defeated.

    If you have seen the Star Wars prequels video reviews on redlettermedia, the critic shows his basement where he has female hostages and toys in the dirt/dust and that’s how a critic feels or at least is viewed when they are attacking a landmark topic and you all need to take more pride in your work. Don’t be thrown off or dismayed because a director didn’t like your review, let that motivate you, because a director READ YOUR REVIEW…and RESPONDED!! That’s awesome!! High five!

    Sharp criticism is why I listen to your show. You argue your original opinions well and have a good time.

    My biggest complaint about walking dead is every episode ending in a slow, reflective song. This was used well a couple of times, but they are really over doing it and this isn’t Gray’s Anatomy or Dawson’s Creek! Truth be told, the walking dead bores me now to where I play on my laptop while I watch it and I’m not sure what my commitment will be next next year. Long live The Americans.

    Kate, we should get married sometime. Ricky, walk with your chest out, brother! If you need a self assurance mentor, head to Raleigh, NC and spend a weekend with me. We will sling heavies, attend a beerfest, go to some poetry readings or something, not pay for things, and probably go to Target where we can high five the masses and kiss babies.



  6. Andreamustdie says

    Another thing I want to comment on is Ricky’s points about the comics and every time he brings them up on the podcast. He gets the “this is TV and not the Comicbook” treatment by everyone. I don’t think Ricky wants the show to be exactly like the comics. But he wants the show to at least start clearly focusing on the characters the same way the comics did. Because in the comics at this point we clearly knew full well about most of the characters and their history. Thats what irritates me about the show also because instead focusing on the characters. We get endless scenes of annoying Andrea and the Governers pointless romance that I care nothing about.

    1. Ricky says

      Thanks Andreamustdie … lol – Best name ever.

      Yesterday I spoke to a colleague who had to give up reviewing and watching Community because he couldn’t handle the negative feedback he received. But I realized yesterday that I shouldn’t let it effect me. I actually liked the last episode. I didn’t think it was terrible but I found it hard to find joy in talking about it after everything that happened recently with feedback. However, than I came across Laremy Legal’s book Film Critic, and realized that doing what we do is important. Criticism is important in every aspect of life , not just in entertainment. When I listen to other podcasts that only recap the episode, it frustrates me beyond belief. With that said, my frustration comes from having the knowledge of readin the book and knowing that everyone who works on the series minus the writers bring their A game week after week. So it is frustrating that the writers can’t figure out how to resolve the issues that are bothering everyone … Given they have the comic to adapt, the writing should be the easiest part of creating the series.

  7. Andreamustdie says

    Best podcast episode ever.

    Kate and Ricky your argument was 100 times more brutal and more entertaining than Rick and the Governors face off. Please make all your episodes like this.

    Keep up the good work.

  8. Giuseppe Hernandez says

    Hi,so Hershel is a gentle, levelheaded, wise man. Why would Rick look to Hershel to convince him to sacrifice Michonne? Rick wouldn’t do that because Hershel wouldn’t convince Rick to kill someone so valuable and a who has earned her place. Rick is scaring the group because in their fear they would agree to giving up Michonne.

    1. Ricky says

      I agree. I am not sure what reading Kate had, but there is no way Hershel would agree to give up Michone and RIck, deep down inside knows this. I think he is desperately looking for an easy way out of a tough situation for once, but he knows it won’t be easy.

      1. Kate Kulzick says

        Nope, Ricky, you don’t agree. Giuseppe is saying that Rick’s line to Hershel about hoping he’ll change Rick’s mind is about him wanting to be convinced to *not* give up Michonne, because Hershel would never try to convince him he should do that. Glad to hear I’m not the only one with that reading, Giuseppe- thanks!

        1. Ricky says

          OK I am confused. This is my reading of the last scene:

          Rick goes to the prison to scare the group because he can’t let them know there is perhaps an alternative solution … that being giving up Michonne. This would only cause more tension within the group. He also knows that she has earned a place in the group. . . so he can’t just give her up… if he did, nobody in the group would feel safe and trust him.

          He is confiding in Hershel because he knows deep down inside there is no other choice – he knows The Governor is not going to hold to his deal… but Rick is desperately looking for an easy way out … but he knows asking Hershel is pointless because he knows he would never give up Michonne or anyone else in the group. He isn’t really looking for an answer so much as he is letting it all out – clearly he is hoping that for once… just once … they find a lucky break… maybe Andrea can provide this … who knows … we shall see.

  9. Lori C says

    Well, I must have been watching a different episode, because I only truly enjoyed the Rick/Gov scenes and everything else was… meh.

    It was character development – which is something ya’ll complain is lacking in the show.

    The Gov used various tactics to discover Rick’s weakness; quickdraw, family, jealousy, anger, alcohol, etc. He does find Rick’s weakness… Rick doesn’t want a war and will try to find a peaceful outcome which is why the Gov offers an “out” by way of turning over Michonne. This places doubt in Rick’s mind because he doesn’t want to fight and lose more people.

    Meanwhile, Rick was in “cop mode” and trying to analyze when the Gov is telling the truth. Rick knows, he knows the Gov is lying, but he has that teensy hope for peace.

    1. Kate Kulzick says

      Good points, Lori- thanks for commenting! I think I’ll watch those scenes again and try to take them out of the context of the dramatic irony. We the audience know the Governor is full of it, so that probably colored my reading of those scenes. Rick’s early statement that he knows about everything is a significant one for me- everything messed up we’ve seen about the Governor either Merle or Michonne are aware of, so theoretically, Rick should know what we do. Theoretically, that should mean Rick should have the same qualms about the Governor we do, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Maybe I’ll like the scenes more, or feel more engaged, if I try to put aside that information.

    2. Ricky says

      Hey Lori,

      I agree everything outside of the meeting area … ex : The prison scenes was meh… but I did the small interactions between Hershel and Milton and Darryl and Martinez.

      I am not sure if it was character development. It was good dialogue …. which again, I stated on the podcast. I even recited two lines.

      I just wish it was either shorter or we came away, and I mean we the audience, knowing something we didn’t already know.

      We discussed all this on the podcast:

      “The Gov used various tactics to discover Rick’s weakness; quickdraw, family, jealousy, anger, alcohol, etc. He does find Rick’s weakness…”

      I mentioned this in my written review, but I may have forgotten to mention it on the show.

      “Rick doesn’t want a war and will try to find a peaceful outcome which is why the Gov offers an “out” by way of turning over Michonne. This places doubt in Rick’s mind because he doesn’t want to fight and lose more people.”

      Randy wrapped this up nicely by mentioning this but just wishing they explored it a little more.

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