"Arrow on the Doorpost" is the thirteenth episode of the third season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the thirty-second episode of the series overall. It premiered on March 10, 2013 at 9/8c on AMC. It was written by Ryan C. Coleman and directed by David Boyd.
The Governor removes his 9mm Beretta 92SB Nickel pistol and sits at a table, inviting Rick to do the same. Rick holsters his .357 Colt Python revolver, but stays standing. Taped under the table on The Governor's side is a Glock pistol.
Milton, Andrea and Caesar arrive. Andrea realizes the meeting has started without her. She strides inside and tries to mediate, but Rick and The Governor ignore her. "I heard about the raids, the heads, Maggie." Rick says, glaring at The Governor.
Outside, Milton introduces himself as The Governor's "adviser." Daryl and Martinez eye each other aggressively.
Back at the barn, Rick hands The Governor a map. "Woodbury takes west of the river, prison takes east," he proposes. The Governor laughs at Rick's proposal and demands his surrender. Andrea tries to calm them down but The Governor orders her out, to which Rick agrees they need to speak in private.
Rick challenges The Governor's leadership: "You're the town drunk who knocked over my fence and ripped up my yard," he says. The Governor asks if Rick ever misjudged someone, referencing Judith's unknown paternity and accusing Rick of "failing to see the devil beside you." Rick replies "I see him, all right," referring to The Governor.
Outside, Milton scribbles in a notebook, explaining he's making a record of events post-apocalypse. A small group of walkers approaches. Daryl, Andrea and Martinez take turns killing them, competing in their combat skills.
Afterwards Daryl and Martinez share cigarettes taken from a walker's pocket. Martinez calls The Governor's meeting a "joke." "They'll do their little dance," he says, "but eventually they'll give the word."
Milton and Hershel bond as well, as Milton questions Hershel about how he staved off walker infection by amputating his leg.
Meanwhile, The Governor explains that he'll look weak if he leaves Rick's group alone. "That's your problem," Rick says. The Governor then shares a story about the day his wife died in a car crash. She had left a message on his voicemail asking him to call her back. "I sat there clutching that phone thinking, what did she want?" The Governor says, smirking as Rick becomes visibly rattled.
At the prison, Merle packs a duffel bag full of guns and announces his plan to kill The Governor. "This guy cops a feel of your woman and you pussy out like this?" Merle asks when Glenn tries to stop him. The two brawl, in which Maggie and Michonne intervene, while Beth ends the fight by firing a single shot from a .38 Colt Detective Special revolver into the ceiling, without saying a word.
Andrea privately asks Hershel what The Governor did to Maggie. "He's a sick man," Hershel replies. Andrea despairs and says she can't go back to Woodbury. Hershel agrees that she belongs at the prison. "But if you join us, it's settled," he warns.
The Governor tells Rick that between the size of his army and the combat readiness of Rick's group, the fight between Woodbury and the prison will come down to the last man. Then he offers Rick a deal: "I want Michonne," he says as he shows his damaged eye to Rick. "Turn her over and this all goes away."
At the prison, Merle tries to enlist Michonne on his assassination mission. Michonne hears him out but declines.
Maggie joins Glenn on the loading dock. He apologizes for his recent behavior, and they abandon their guard post to have sex.
Meanwhile, Rick asks The Governor why he'd waste time on a personal vendetta, then wonders if he can even trust The Governor to honor his end of the deal. The Governor gives Rick two days to decide.
Then The Governor, Milton and Martinez get in their truck to leave. Andrea joins them.
Back in Woodbury, The Governor gives instructions to surround the feed store and kill everyone except Michonne when the time comes. "What about the deal?" Milton asks. "We're going to have to eliminate Rick sooner or later," The Governor reasons. "No way we can all live side by side."
Rick's group returns to the prison, where Rick briefs everyone: "He wants us dead, for what we did to Woodbury," he says. "We're going to war."
Rick privately tells Hershel about The Governor's offer for Rick to hand over Michonne, explaining he lied to the others so they'd be scared enough to accept it. "She's earned her place," Hershel says of Michonne. Rick asks if Hershel would sacrifice his daughters' lives for Michonne's.
"Why are you telling me?" Hershel asks. "Because I'm hoping you can talk me out of it," Rick replies.
- William Tokarsky as Woodbury Guard
- Wilson Acedera, Ellie Decker, Jay Cavanaugh and John Jaret as Walkers
- Martinez's Wife (Confirmed Fate)
- Martinez's Kids (Confirmed Fate)
- This episode was originally titled "Pale Horse" but was later changed to "Arrow on the Doorpost"
- Which refers to a scene that supposedly be made into the episode before the final cut, where Daryl encounters a headless rider on a living horse.
- In this episode, Daryl is shown wielding his new crossbow that Rick took from Morgan's weapon stash in the previous episode.
- Norman Reedus actually picked out the new crossbow himself; it's a 380 Stryker.
- The Governor reveals his last name to be Blake, similar to the Comics.
- The song playing when both groups return to their homes is called "Warm Shadow" by Fink.
- When Andrea appears to open the sliding door of the feed store you can see the shadow of the stagehand who actually opened it through the holes in the door.
- When Hershel and Milton are seated and talking outside the barn (while Rick and The Governor are inside trying to strike a deal), you can see a hearing aid in one close up shot of Hershel. You don't see the hearing aid again.
- When Caesar, Andrea, and Daryl are fighting the walkers, in some camera shots Caesar's baseball bat has blood on it, but in some it's clean.
- Before Glenn and Maggie have sex, Glenn shuts the door all the way, but in later camera angles, the door is ajar.
- In the final scene of the episode, Rick and Hershel are talking while looking out over the prison yard. Near the end of the conversation, Rick squarely faces Hershel and says "I'm hoping you could talk me out of it." The camera then changes to Hershel, and Rick is now immediately facing 90° to his left looking over the yard. When the camera changes back to Rick, he is now looking directly at Hershel.