When the Dead Come Knocking

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"When the Dead Come Knocking"
The Walking Dead episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 7
Directed by Dan Sackheim
Written by Frank Renzulli
Original air date November 25, 2012 (2012-11-25)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Made to Suffer"
The Walking Dead (season 3)
List of The Walking Dead episodes

"When the Dead Come Knocking" is the seventh episode of the third season of the post-apocalyptic horror television series The Walking Dead. It was directed by Dan Sackheim and written by Frank Renzulli, and originally aired on AMC in the United States on November 25, 2012.


At the prison, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl (Chandler Riggs) observe Michonne (Danai Gurira), who remains at the prison fence with infant formula and other supplies collected by Glenn and Maggie, the walker guts she is covered in keeping her undetected by the walkers that roam outside the prison. As they debate, they notice the walkers starting to turn towards Michonne, and due to being shot in the leg earlier by Merle, she stumbles as she tries to defend herself. Rick and Carl quickly stop the walkers and bring her inside, locking her in a cell near their cell block and taking away her katana. Michonne refuses to talk when they ask her questions. When they see the supplies that she had brought, they know she is aware there was a newborn at the prison, and both Rick and Daryl (Norman Reedus) threaten her. She explains, she had overheard Maggie and Glenn before they were taken to Woodbury by the man who shot her, though she does not reveal either Merle's or Andrea's names while describing the town. Rick determines that they need to rescue Glenn and Maggie, and Michonne offers that she can help get them into the town. Rick asks for volunteers, and while many offer, Rick decides to limit the group to himself, Daryl, Michonne, and Oscar (Vincent Ward). As they arm themselves from the prison's supply, and prepare to leave, Rick thanks Daryl for taking charge of the group while he struggled with the loss of his wife Lori, and agrees with Carl's name for the newborn, Judith, borrowed from one of his teachers.

In Woodbury, Merle (Michael Rooker) reminds Glenn (Steven Yeun) how he left him to die in Atlanta. Merle first threatens to harm Maggie to coerce him to talk, and then turns to violence. Glenn stays quiet, though, states that a large battle-hardened group will come to rescue him. When pressed for names, Glenn iterates several, including Andrea's name, unaware that Andrea is safe within Woodbury. Merle realizes Glenn is lying, and locks a walker in the room with Glenn while he is still tied to a chair. Glenn manages to fend off and kill the walker while breaking free of his restraints. Separately The Governor (David Morrissey) interrogates Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and when she refuses to talk, he makes her take off her shirt and bra, threatening to rape her. Maggie remains silent and refuses to cooperate, even as the Governor threatens to harm Glenn, forcing him to leave her alone. The Governor then brings the two of them together, he then threatens to kill Glenn in front of Maggie. Maggie finally relents, revealing that they come from a small group at the nearby prison. Leaving the two alone, the Governor and Merle are surprised that a group so small could take a prison that deep in the dangerous Red Zone. The Governor becomes nervous that he is still being lied to, and begins to question Merle's loyalty to him, though he asserts he still is loyal to Woodbury. The Governor assigns Merle and Martinez (Jose Pablo Cantillo) to scout the prison to verify Maggie's information.

Elsewhere in Woodbury, Andrea (Laurie Holden) continues her affair with the Governor, and to avoid informing her of Maggie and Glenn's capture, he assigns her to help with Milton's (Dallas Roberts) research into walkers. Milton is observing a volunteer, Michael Coleman (Peter Kulas), who is slowly dying from cancer, to learn about how much memory retention walkers keep. Coleman finally dies and reanimates while secured to a bed. Milton believes that un-securing Coleman would help Coleman provide better responses for his study. Andrea quickly kills the reanimated Coleman before it can harm him. Milton realizes his theories are wrong, and Andrea escorts him from the room.

Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Oscar drive about a mile from town, planning to go on foot the rest of the way. As they travel, they are caught in a pack of walkers, and forced to take shelter in a small cabin. The cabin is occupied by a hermit (Alex Van) who panics and tries to hold them at gunpoint while shouting at them, attracting the walkers. Michonne kills him, and they push his body out the front of the cabin to lure the walkers away while they escape out the back. With Woodbury in sight, the group takes cover near a freight train to assess the situation, while on the other side of Woodbury's walls, Andrea approaches the Governor, explaining how she felt about Milton and Coleman's death, and the Governor holds her to explain everything will be all right.


Critical response[edit]

Zack Handlen, writing for The A.V. Club, rated the episode an A− on an A to F scale; citing the copious amounts of happenings within the episode and declaring most of them exciting.[1] Eric Goldman at IGN gave the episode an 8.9 out of 10, praising the director's lack of music for scenes depicting Michonne and Carl's character development.[2]


Upon its initial broadcast on November 25, 2012, "When the Dead Come Knocking" was watched by an estimated 10.42 million viewers,[3] reflecting an increase in viewership from the previous episode which had 9.21 million viewers.[4]


  1. ^ Handlen, Zack (November 25, 2012). "'When the dead come knocking'". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ Goldman, Eric (November 25, 2012). "'When the dead come knocking' Review". IGN. Retrieved December 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ Bibel, Sara (November 20, 2012). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Dominates Night, 'Soul Train Awards', 'Liz & Dick', 'Dexter', 'Homeland', 'Boardwalk Empire' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (November 20, 2012). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Walking Dead' Wins Night + 'Breaking Amish', 'Real Housewives of Atlanta', 'Dexter', 'Sofia the First' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 

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