Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the crew get the week off as season 3, episode 3 (airing Sunday October 28, 2012) of “The Walking Dead” catches up with Andrea (Laurie Holden) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) this week and introduces some new characters.
As the episode opens a military helicopter with a full crew is flying through the sky. It has mechanical problems and begins to lose altitude. Try as he might the pilot can’t save it and they crash into the trees. Andrea and Michonne, complete with her two pet zombies, watch the crash unfold. They rush to the crash site where they find one crew member dead. As they look through the rubble they see a truck pulling up so they fall back into the bushes around the crash site. Andrea is clearly still feeling sick and has to force herself to not vomit or cough. A few more trucks pull up and empty out. The men search the crash site and quickly dispose of any zombies that have wandered in. They find the pilot breathing, but unconscious. One of the dead crew members turns and becomes a zombie. The leader of this group stabs him through the eye with a knife and kills him. As the group prepares to pull out Michonne’s pet zombies start making a lot of noise. She scurries over and uses her sword to quickly behead them both. The two women think they are safe as the men go back to their trucks with the wounded pilot when behind them Merle (Michael Rooker) appears and holds them at gunpoint. He immediately recognizes Andrea. He now has a metal stub/weapon for a right hand that he uses effectively to dispatch of a zombie.
The women are blindfolded and taken to a base camp. We next see them in a room where Andrea is being attended to by another woman. She tells them that she can’t say where they are. Merle comes in and explains that when these people found him he was nearly dead. He had lost a lot of blood (from cutting off his own hand) and was starving. He was thinking of killing himself. He asks about his brother. Andrea fills him in on what happened to their group since they last saw him. She tells him how Daryl is a good man and a valuable member of that group. She also tells him that is has been 7-8 months since she got separated from them so she doesn’t know where they are or who is still alive.
The Governor (David Morrissy) enters. They recognize him from the crash site and confront him about killing the soldier who was on the ground. He tells them that the man had turned. It doesn’t matter that he wasn’t bitten. No matter how you die, you turn when you die. He takes them for a walk and welcomes them to Woodbury, the town they are now in. He shows them the big walls made of tires, wood and metal and the heavily armed men on them. He tells them they are free to go if they want and that they will even give them food, a car and other gear, but he invites them to stay. He takes them to a house that has electricity, hot running water and soft beds. Andrea thanks him, but Michonne is skeptical. When Andrea asked him how he got the name The Governor he simply tells her some nicknames stick.
At the medical building the helicopter pilot, LT. Wells, is awake. He tells The Governor that he and some other military guys were hold up along with other people. They were doing fine until someone got bit. They turned and attacked others and all hell broke loose. He escaped along with about 10 other military guys. They took some gear and have a makeshift camp. He was using the helicopter to scout ahead. The Governor leaves there and heads to a lab where finds Merle and a scientist named Milton. He tells Merle that he wants him to talk to Andrea again and try to get more information from her. After Merle leaves Milton says he isn’t sure that is the right way to go about this. He also explains how Michonne’s pet zombies worked. If you cut off their jaws and hands they lose their ability to feed and along with it their desire to feed so they become more docile. They slowly starve to death, but it takes a long time. By having them with her they worked as a sort of camouflage and kept the other zombies from attacking her.
The next morning The Governor and Milton are having breakfast with Andrea and Michonne. The Governor explains that here everyone has a home and a job. Kids go to school and they have strict rules. He tells her that they plan to take the world back again and rise up (earlier we learned that there 73 different people in Woodbury, but soon to be 74 because one woman is pregnant). Milton pries and wants to know about Michonne’s pet zombies, but she won’t talk. He speculates that she knew them when they were human. She finally speaks and says she wants her weapons back. The Governor says they can leave if they want, but he thinks they should stick around for a few days. They might like what they see.
At the makeshift camp where Lt. Well’s men are they see The Governor pull up in a car. He is holding a white flag out the window. A corporal, the apparent leader now that Wells is gone, steps out to greet him while the rest of the men ready themselves. The Governor tells them they rescued Wells and that Wells sent him to get them. They are rescued! As they lower their weapons The Governor draws a pistol and shoots the corporal. Gunfire erupts from the perimeter as the rest of The Governor’s men kill the soldiers. Once they are all dead The Governor tells them to gather up the gear. He wants to see what Uncle Sam has brought them.
Back at Woodbury the men pull in with the military vehicles and their supplies. The people gather around as The Governor gets up on a truck and tells them all about rescuing the pilot and how they went out to get the rest of his group, but they were all dead when they arrived. He tells them the good news is that they got some much needed supplies and that everyone should honor the sacrifice those soldiers made. When he jumps down and walks off Andrea comes up to him. She asks him what his real name is and he tells her that he will never tell then he walks away.
That night The Governor is in his house having a drink. A woman is asleep in bed. He walks over to a mantle and looks at a picture of him, a woman and a child then he goes into another darker room that has an eerie glow to it. He sits down and takes a drink from his glass. As the camera pulls back we see that the glow is from a wall of fish tanks that are full of severed heads. There are dozens of them. He gazes at them fondly with his eyes falling on the newest addition, the head of Lt. Wells.