The Walking Dead (season 3)
|The Walking Dead (season 3)|
Promotional poster and home media cover art
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Original release||October 14, 2012– March 31, 2013|
The third season of The Walking Dead, an American horror-drama television series on AMC, premiered on October 14, 2012, and concluded on March 31, 2013, consisting of 16 episodes. Developed for television by Frank Darabont, the series is based on the eponymous series of comic books by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. It was executive produced by Kirkman, Glen Mazzara, David Alpert, and Gale Anne Hurd, with Mazzara assuming the role of showrunner.
The season was very well received by critics, and won for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series at the 39th Saturn Awards. The series and cast were also nominated in several categories at the 19th Screen Actors Guild Awards and 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
As in the comics, the season is set in both an abandoned prison and an active rural town of survivors. It adapts material from issues #13–38 and introduces several notable characters from the comics, including The Governor, Michonne, Axel, and Tyreese. It also marks the return of Merle Dixon, Daryl's volatile older brother who went missing in season 1. It also features the return of Morgan Jones, the first survivor Rick encountered who he lost contact with in season 1. The season follows Rick Grimes assuming a dictatorial-like leadership over his group of survivors as they survive in a world infested with zombies, called "walkers" in the series. The group inhabits a large, fortified prison, but this security is threatened by the nearby community of Woodbury, led by the nefarious Governor.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Episodes
- 5 Reception
- 6 Home media releases
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Eight months after abandoning the Greene farmstead, Rick leads his near-term wife Lori and the other survivors to a large prison complex. They systematically clear it of walkers, though are forced to amputate Hershel's foot when he is bitten by a walker. They encounter a group of surviving prisoners Rick is highly distrustful of, and kills their leader and abandons another, Andrew, when they try to assassinate him. Andrew, bitter, leads a group of walkers to a breach in the prison's fence, infesting the prison at the same time Lori enters labor while T-Dog sacrifices himself to save Carol just after getting bitten. Maggie is forced to perform a caesarean section to deliver the child which kills Lori; Carl is forced to shoot Lori to prevent her reanimating, and Rick, after killing Andrew and the walkers, is devastated by the loss. Rick starts to have visions of Lori, and the rest of the group question his leadership abilities.
Meanwhile, Andrea, separated from Rick's group after fleeing the farmstead, has befriended Michonne as they travel. The two are captured by Merle, Daryl's brother who survived being stranded in Atlanta by Rick. Merle takes them to Woodbury, a small fortified community of survivors led by the Governor. Though welcomed by the community, they are appalled at the Governor's ruthlessness, sending his men to kill other survivor camps to gain their supplies, and learn that the Governor is bitter over the loss of his family, keeping the reanimated body of his daughter Penny locked up. Michonne urges Andrea to leave with her, but Andrea is exhausted from the last eight months and stays behind to try to convince the Governor to change his ways while confiding with his assistant Milton on his dangerous personality.
Michonne witnesses Glenn and Maggie get captured by Merle and taken to Woodbury; there the Governor uses brutal methods to interrogate them about Rick's group. Michonne goes to the prison to warn Rick; though not fully trusting her, Rick and Daryl go with Michonne and launch an attack on Woodbury to rescue Maggie and Glenn. During the attack, Michonne kills Penny and stabs the Governor in one eye. Glenn and Maggie are freed and, after Daryl is briefly captured, he and Merle are reunited and also escape. Andrea recognizes Rick's group but stays quiet, fearing the Governor's reaction. Meanwhile, another group of survivors led by Tyreese and Sasha enter the prison via the breach. Hershel and Carl allow them to stay, but Rick, during one of his visions of Lori, commands them to leave. Tyreese's group comes across Woodbury, and to gain the Governor's trust, Tyreese offers details of the prison's layout. The Governor launches a preliminary assault on the prison, leading Andrea to try to negotiate peace between the two sides. The Governor offers peace if Rick's group turns over Michonne, whom the group now judge as a valued asset. Rick, still trying to make decisions for the group in his remorseful state, arranges a plan to turn her over but changes his mind. However, Merle secretly kidnaps Michonne to take her to the Governor. Michonne convinces Merle to let her go. Having had a changed of heart, Merle instead uses the situation to take out many of the Governor's men before being attacked by the Governor who, while struggling with Merle, bites off two of his fingers before shooting him dead. Daryl finds Merle reanimated and, sadly, kills him by stabbing him multiple times in the head with his hunting knife.
The Governor becomes more unhinged. After discovering Andrea's betrayal, he forces her into a makeshift torture chair and locks her there, planning on using Milton, whom he killed for his betrayal too, to reanimate and kill her. Milton regains his wits long enough to guide Andrea on how to escape the chair. The Governor launches an all-out attack on the prison but Rick and his group repel it, sending the Governor and two of his commanders fleeing. On the way back to Woodbury, the Governor forces his convoy of vehicles to pull over before turning on his own people, who arguably refuse to assist the Governor in going back, and gunning them down. Rick and others take Woodbury to rescue Andrea, and find they are too late, as Andrea has been bitten by Milton. Andrea says her goodbyes to Rick and Michonne before killing herself. Rick's group help escort the surviving Woodbury citizens to the prison to integrate them into their group.
The third season features ten actors receiving opening credits billing, with eight returning from the previous season and two new cast members introduced; six were listed as main cast members in the second season, while Lauren Cohan, Michael Rooker and Scott Wilson are promoted from recurring status, and Danai Gurira and David Morrissey are added to the main cast as Michonne and The Governor, respectively. However, Scott Wilson and Melissa McBride are credited as "also starring".
- Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, the series' protagonist, a former deputy sheriff who has established himself as the group's leader. Rick has become a more cold and calculating leader, willing to leave strangers to die and abandon group members if it means everyone else survives, and comes into conflict with the Governor. Rick has also become distant, secretly resentful of Lori for her affair with Shane.
- Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes, Rick's wife and Carl's mother who is 9 months pregnant but is resented by Rick and Carl for her affair with Shane and the problems it led to.
- Laurie Holden as Andrea, a former successful civil rights attorney, who was separated from the group at the end of the second season. She befriends Michonne and forms a relationship with the Governor.
- Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, an antihero-like Southern redneck who's also the group's primary hunter. He has become Rick's right-hand man and closest ally since Shane's death.
- Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee, a former pizza delivery boy and Maggie's boyfriend. Glenn has found something in Maggie that he doesn't want to lose and has become very protective of her.
- Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene, Hershel's strong-willed and determined elder daughter and Glenn's girlfriend. Maggie has come to terms with the walker virus and has since become a good fighter and an integral member of the core group.
- Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Rick and Lori's young son who has also become more cold and brutal following his father's example, but is often frustrated when he is forbidden to contribute more often, as the elder members of the group seek to retain his innocence.
- Danai Gurira as Michonne, the katana-wielding hooded figure who saves Andrea in the season two finale. Michonne is a quiet and seemingly ruthless survivalist who immediately dislikes the Governor. She forms a bond with Rick's son Carl and begins to shed her brutality for a healthier mindset.
- Michael Rooker as Merle Dixon, an unruly Southern redneck and Daryl's older brother who disappeared in the first season. Merle is the right hand of the Governor, but Daryl, being his brother, could change that.
- David Morrissey as Philip Blake / The Governor, leader of the town of Woodbury, father of Penny, and the main antagonist of the season. The Governor is a ruthless, paranoid, and dangerous sociopath who will murder anyone he sees as a threat to his community, and seeks to eliminate Rick's group when they move into the prison nearby.
- Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, a former victim of domestic abuse who is now the last surviving member of her family, having lost her daughter Sophia last season. Carol also has a close bond with Daryl, and dislikes his brother Merle for his influence over him but sees Daryl's potential in him too.
- Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene, a religious farmer, trained veterinarian, and father of Maggie and Beth, as well as a father figure to Glenn. He serves as the group's primary moral compass and Rick's main adviser.
- Emily Kinney as Beth Greene, Hershel's soft-spoken younger daughter and Maggie's half-sister who has accepted the world's new state, having previously tried to kill herself, and has become more skilled at killing walkers. She often tries to boost morale by singing.
- IronE Singleton as Theodore "T-Dog" Douglas, a survivor of the original Atlanta group who struggles to prove his worth to the group, but is a brave individual willing to risk his life for everyone else's sake.
- Jose Pablo Cantillo as Caesar Martinez, one of the Governor's men. Martinez is a loyal, slightly egotistical, member of Governor's forces, but is reasonable and has honor, and is even disturbed by the Governor's actions but is willing to do what is needed to stay alive.
- Dallas Roberts as Milton Mamet, a scientist and old friend of the Governor who studies the walkers believing there can be a way to restore their humanity, but is reluctant to accept the Governor for the monster he is as he knew him before the outbreak.
- Travis Love as Shumpert, a silent bow using member of the Woodbury army who is very loyal to the Governor and a good friend of Martinez.
- Melissa Ponzio as Karen, a former teacher and Woodbury citizen who disagrees with the Governor's plan to raise an army from the Woodbury citizens, which includes the children.
- Alexa Nikolas as Haley, a cocky and overly confident female Woodbury guard.
- Lawrence Kao as Tim, a member of the Woodbury army.
- Arthur Bridgers as Crowley, a member of the Woodbury army.
- Donzaleigh Abernathy as Dr. Stevens, a doctor living in Woodbury.
- Nick Gomez as Tomas, a violent convict and the leader of a group of prisoners who survived within the prison.
- Lew Temple as Axel, a convict and survivor, found by the group in the prison, who tries to keep the peace but often speaks more than needed. He also forms a friendship with Carol.
- Vincent Ward as Oscar, a survivor found in the prison and Axel's best friend who is very honorable and brave, even in the face of death, and is willing to risk his life to help those in need.
- Markice Moore as Andrew, the smallest and weakest of the prisoners which Rick's group encounters who is also the most mischievous and cunning of them.
- Theodus Crane as Big Tiny, the largest of Tomas' group of prisoners but is also the most kind who has trouble killing walkers.
- Chad L. Coleman as Tyreese Williams, a survivor leading a small group of people to safety who finds the group in the prison, but is tossed out by a mentally unstable Rick against everyone else's advice. He eventually joins Woodbury, unaware of the Governor's true nature. Tyreese is a man of morals and principles willing to do what it takes the earn his place and to find a safe haven for his sister and friends, but is hesitant to hurt people even if needed.
- Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha Williams, Tyreese's sister who is trying to find shelter with her brother and finds the group in the prison but is tossed out by a mentally unstable Rick, against everyone else's advice, and joins Woodbury unaware of the Governor's true nature. Unlike Tyreese, Sasha has a colder survival mindset which sometimes puts her into conflict with her brother, but she is still compassionate enough to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
- Daniel Thomas May as Allen, part of Tyreese's group, father of Ben, and husband of Donna, who is a survivalist willing to kill innocent people even if they show him compassion. He also has a feud with Tyreese as Donna became smitten with him after he saved her from walkers.
- Tyler Chase as Ben, Allen's teenage son who is willing to do what his father tells him regardless of how dark these actions are.
- Lennie James as Morgan Jones, the first person Rick encountered after awakening from his coma who, along with his son Duane, were believed dead. Though a kind and moral father, Morgan has suffered a psychological break after his son was killed by his undead wife after Morgan failed to shoot her earlier. Morgan now believes his life's purpose is to clear Rick's hometown of all walkers and people and unintentionally almost kills Rick.
- Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh, the second season's main antagonist and Rick's former fellow deputy sheriff and best friend who had an affair with Lori and lost his sanity, due to his obsession with Lori. He was killed by Rick whilst trying to murder him in the second season, and reappears as a hallucination to Rick during the Woodbury battle.
- Emma Bell as Amy (voice), Andrea's younger sister and a former member of the group who was bit and was put down by Andrea; heard in Rick's hallucinations over the phone.
- Jeryl Prescott Sales as Jacqui (voice), a former employee of the City of Atlanta, and former member of the group who committed suicide after losing hope by staying in CDC with Dr. Edwin Jenner as it exploded from fail-safes; heard in Rick's hallucinations over the phone.
- Andrew Rothenberg as Jim (voice), a former member of the group who was bit and, per his request, left to reanimate; heard in Rick's hallucinations over the phone.
- Julio Cesar Cedillo as Lt. Welles, a member of a group of military personnel who are involved in a helicopter crash, and saved, but eventually slaughtered by The Governor while Welles himself is decapitated and has his head placed in a fish tank.
AMC renewed The Walking Dead for a third season on October 25, 2011 after the season two premiere broke cable ratings records in the 18–49 demographic. On January 14, 2012, AMC announced that the third season will contain 16 episodes.
Filming for the season began in May 2012 in Coweta County, Georgia, with the city of Senoia being used as the filming location for the town of Woodbury. Ernest Dickerson directed the season premiere episode. Greg Nicotero, co-executive producer and special make-up FX artist on the series, directed the fifth episode of season 3 after already having directed the season 2 episode "Judge, Jury, Executioner". He also returned as a zombie in the episode "The Suicide King", after portraying two different zombies in the first season. In November 2012, Glen Mazzara announced that Ernest Dickerson would direct the season finale.
After the conclusion of the third season, Mazzara stepped down from his position as showrunner and executive producer for the series, in a mutual agreement by both Mazzara and AMC. The press release read, "Both parties acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward, and conclude that it is best to part ways."
A second season had been commissioned in May 2012. To coincide with a marathon of the show, a special episode was aired in July 2012 following the marathon's end, featuring a tour of the various props/sets used in the third season, as well as cast/crew interviews, and a snippet of exclusive footage featuring the newly introduced character Michonne.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|20||1||"Seed"||Ernest Dickerson||Glen Mazzara||October 14, 2012||10.87|
|Eight months after abandoning Hershel's farmstead, and Lori at the end of her pregnancy, Rick leads the group into securing a prison presently overrun with walkers. While clearing out the cells, Hershel is bit on the foot by a walker, and they are forced to amputate it to save his life, discovering that five surviving prisoners are present. Meanwhile, Michonne watches over an ailing Andrea.|
|21||2||"Sick"||Billy Gierhart||Nichole Beattie||October 21, 2012||9.55|
|Rick's group discuss what to do with the five prison survivors, and initially lock them in a separate but walker-free part of the prison. When the prisoners agree to help them clear walkers, Rick allows them to come, but finds their leader Tomas unstable and is forced to kill him, while abandoning another, Andrew, in a yard full of walkers. The others tend carefully to Hershel's health to make sure he does not turn.|
|22||3||"Walk with Me"||Guy Ferland||Evan Reilly||October 28, 2012||10.51|
|Andrea and Michonne witness a group of men investigate a helicopter crash, but are captured by Merle and taken to the fortified town of Woodbury, where they meet the Governor whom Michonne is distrustful of. One of the survivors of the crash tells the Governor of where their group is based out of, and the Governor leads his men to kill the other group and secure their weapons and vehicles for themselves.|
|23||4||"Killer Within"||Guy Ferland||Sang Kyu Kim||November 4, 2012||9.27|
|As Hershel recovers, the prison's alarms go off, and walkers, lured by the sound, overwhelm Rick's group, and they are forced to scatter within the prison, while T-Dog sacrifices himself to protect Carol. Rick, aided by surviving prisoners Oscar and Axel in shutting down the alarms, discovers the walkers were lured through a breach in the prison fence by Andrew, and kills him. Lori, Carl, and Maggie secure themselves in a boiler room as Lori goes into labor. Maggie is forced to perform a Caesarean section to deliver her daughter but which is fatal to Lori, and Carl shoots her to prevent reanimation. As the survivors regroup, Rick is devastated to discover Lori's death.|
|24||5||"Say the Word"||Greg Nicotero||Angela Kang||November 11, 2012||10.37|
|Michonne discovers the Governor's secret captivity of walkers, and decides to leave Woodbury, despite Andrea staying behind and learning more about the Governor from his second-hand man, Milton. The Governor, on learning of her departure, has Merle and a group of men try to find her. The group at the prison continue to search for Carol while Rick is still emotionally upset about his loss.|
|25||6||"Hounded"||Dan Attias||Scott M. Gimple||November 18, 2012||9.21|
|Rick, still in mourning, seems to receive phone calls in the boiler room from where Lori died, from previous survivors that had died. While evading capture, Michonne witnesses Glenn and Maggie scavenging for baby supplies for Lori's child before they are captured by Merle who recognizes Glenn as one who abandoned him in Atlanta. Michonne, having deduced where Glenn and Maggie originated from, takes the supplies to the prison and encounters Rick there.|
|26||7||"When the Dead Come Knocking"||Dan Sackheim||Frank Renzulli||November 25, 2012||10.43|
|Though distrustful of her, Rick has Michonne's wounds tended to while she explains Glenn and Maggie's capture and Woodbury. At Woodbury, the Governor harshly interrogates Glenn and Maggie to learn where they are from, and when he threatens to kill Glenn, Maggie reveals the group is at the prison. The Governor sends Merle to scout the prison, while Rick, Daryl, Oscar, and Michonne approach Woodbury.|
|27||8||"Made to Suffer"||Billy Gierhart||Robert Kirkman||December 2, 2012||10.48|
|Rick's party invade Woodbury and rescue Glenn and Maggie, where Daryl learns Merle is still alive. Michonne, attempting to kill the Governor, finds he keeps his reanimated daughter Penny still chained up and kills her; the Governor discovers Michonne and they fight, which ends when she stabs him in the eye. Oscar is killed in covering their escape while Daryl is captured and forced into fighting Merle. Meanwhile, a new group of survivors led by Tyreese and Sasha enter the prison through the fence breach.|
|28||9||"The Suicide King"||Lesli Linka Glatter||Evan Reilly||February 10, 2013||12.26|
|While Daryl and Merle fight, Rick and Maggie return to Woodbury to free Daryl. They are forced to bring Merle along, which Rick and Glenn fear will harm them, and Daryl and Merle go on their own. The residents of Woodbury begin to question their safety, and Andrea tries to calm the Governor down from taking drastic action. At the prison, the survivors discover Tyreese and Sasha's group, and though wary, allow them to stay. When Rick returns, he is still seeing visions of Lori and becomes angry and violent, and Glenn suggests it is best for the new group to leave.|
|29||10||"Home"||Seith Mann||Nichole Beattie||February 17, 2013||11.05|
|Though distrustful of her, the Governor offers to give leadership of Woodbury to Andrea. The Governor secretly leads a group of his men to attack the prison, killing Axel, and breaching the outer fence to allow walkers in. The survivors hold back the attack, forcing the Governor to retreat, while Daryl and Merle, having decided it is best to stay part of the group, arrive to save the other survivors.|
|30||11||"I Ain't a Judas"||Greg Nicotero||Angela Kang||February 24, 2013||11.01|
|Andrea learns of the attack on the prison, and demands to go there to try to calm the situation. The Governor allows her to go but with Milton along. En route, they find Tyreese and Sasha's group, and Milton takes them back to Woodbury, where they offer to give the Governor the layout of the prison in exchange for being allowed to stay. At the prison, Andrea explains the situation and that the Governor really wants Michonne, and the group suggests she try to kill the Governor herself before all-out war breaks out. Back in Woodbury, Andrea finds she cannot come to kill the Governor.|
|31||12||"Clear"||Tricia Brock||Scott M. Gimple||March 3, 2013||11.30|
|Rick, Carl, and Michonne travel back to Rick's home in King County to gather more weapons for the pending battle, and discover Morgan Jones is still alive, though has lost his son Duane. Rick tries to convince Morgan to return with them, while Michonne protects Carl while he recovers supplies and a personal photograph from a bar. As they return, Rick and Carl realize Michonne is an asset to their group.|
|32||13||"Arrow on the Doorpost"||David Boyd||Ryan C. Coleman||March 10, 2013||11.46|
|Andrea arranges a face-to-face meeting between the Governor and Rick, where the Governor demands they turn over Michonne to him. Believing that the Governor wants to kill them regardless, Rick and the Governor prepares their respective groups for combat.|
|33||14||"Prey"||Stefan Schwartz||Glen Mazzara & Evan Reilly||March 17, 2013||10.84|
|Andrea learns of the Governor's duplicity and intent to kill Rick's group from Milton, and manages to escape Woodbury to warn Rick, but the Governor is able to capture her just before she reaches the prison. While they are gone, someone burns all of the captured walkers that the Governor has kept, and he suspects either Milton or Tyreese.|
|34||15||"This Sorrowful Life"||Greg Nicotero||Scott M. Gimple||March 24, 2013||10.99|
|Rick decides on his own to deliver Michonne to the Governor, discreetly asking Merle for help, but Merle insists he do it alone. As Merle takes Michonne to the spot, Merle becomes sympathetic towards her, and lets her go. Merle uses the opportunity to lead a group of walkers to the meeting point, and then to attack the Governor, but is eventually killed. Michonne returns to the prison and on her way back she meets Daryl telling him that Merle let her go. Daryl goes to the meeting point and finds Merle, now reanimated, before he kills him. Michonne finally arrives back at prison.|
|35||16||"Welcome to the Tombs"||Ernest Dickerson||Glen Mazzara||March 31, 2013||12.42|
|The Governor, no longer trusting of anyone, fatally wounds Milton and locks him in the room he has kept Andrea, expecting him to turn and kill her; Milton manages to keep his wits long enough to explain to her how to escape. The Governor leads an attack on the prison, but Rick's group is prepared and ambushes them, forcing the Governor and stragglers to flee; he later kills his own people when they do not want to return and continue the fight. Rick and the others return to Woodbury, and are too late to save Andrea, having been bitten by Milton. She kills herself. The surviving residents of Woodbury are brought to the prison as walkers overtake the town.|
Early reactions to the third season of The Walking Dead were positive, garnering "universal acclaim" from a score of 80 out of 100 on Metacritic. On Rotten Tomatoes, 93% of 30 critics gave it a positive review, with an average score of 8.3/10. The site's consensus states, "The palpable terror and visceral thrills continue in the third season of The Walking Dead, along with a deeper sense of the people who inhabit its apocalyptic landscape."
The series was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble at the 19th Screen Actors Guild Awards and also in several categories at the 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards. At the 39th Saturn Awards, The Walking Dead won for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series.
Home media releases
The third season was released on DVD and Blu-ray in region 1 on August 27, 2013, in region 2 on September 30, 2013 and in region 4 on September 25, 2013. Special features include eight featurettes—"Rising Son", "Evil Eye", "Gone, But Not Forgotten", "Heart of a Warrior", "Michonne vs. The Governor", "Making the Dead", "Safety Behind Bars", and "Guts and Glory". Five audio commentaries, for episodes "Killer Within", "Say the Word", "Made to Suffer", "The Suicide King", and "This Sorrowful Life". Also included are 13 minutes of deleted scenes across six episodes.
The third season was also released in limited edition Blu-ray packaging, a replica of The Governor's walker head aquarium as seen in season three. The limited edition packaging was designed by Greg Nicotero and sculpted by McFarlane Toys.
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