RECAP: ‘The Walking Dead’ – S03E08 – “Made To Suffer”

NOTE: Let’s be mindful of all the new viewers participating in this conversation and try not to spoil plot points taking place deep into the run of the comic series. Mild speculation is fine and encouraged, as well as talking about things that have happened in the comic up until the point they are at in the show, but don’t get too explicit with regard to future surprises. They will be deleted. Thanks!

“Made To Suffer”


“Tyrese is Already Awesome”

Last week, Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Oscar made it to the gates of Woodbury to prepare their assault on the fortified town to rescue Glenn and Maggie.

This week, our mid-season finale, begins with a scream in the misty woods! It’s Tyrese! He’s leading his own band of survivors, but unlike Rick’s group this one has a member with a tendency to scream while fighting zombies. And not war-like screams, either. Like, 16 year old girls at the haunted Mansion screams. But she doesn’t last too long, getting bit by a zombie while Tyrese and the gang try to make their escape from a pack of zombies towards a structure in the distance. One member of the group wants to leave her behind but Tyrese, in a decision that I’m sure won’t come back to haunt him, vetoes that bill and they drag her along into the structure which turns out to be… the back way into the prison!

Roll credits!

Back in The Governor’s quarters, Andrea finds a picture of his family and she feels a moment of pause. Imagine how she’ll feel once she finds about about what he’s done to Glenn and Maggie.

Hidden away in his creepy private room, The Governor sits down, turns on some soft music, opens a cage, and summons forth his zombie daughter Penny. She runs at him snarling and biting, but her neck chain keeps her from taking a chunk out of daddy. Recognizing that this scene isn’t creepy enough as it is, The Governor softly sings to her, but Zombie Penny only has eyes for the bowl of raw meat by his chair. No love for Daddy? Back in the cage you go, girl!

New cellies Glenn and Maggie commiserate over how awful people are, and how the zombie apocalypse can sometimes make you forget that. After some hugging and reassuring each other, Glenn notices their other cellmate, a zombie corpse, and he has an idea. Much to Maggie’s initial horror, he gets to work ripping the zombie’s arm off and de-boning said arm for material to make prison shanks.

Outside the walls of Woodbury, Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Oscar take in the situation. Michonne, acting very much like Snake Eyes, decides to head off on her own and disappears into the woods. This annoys Rick, but what also annoys Rick is how much noise they are making loaded up with so many weapons. Daryl is more concerned with the sheer size of the town and the number of guards. (This plan is going to hell already! Quick, dress someone up like Andre The Giant pretending to be the Dread Pirate Roberts!) Michonne returns and gestures for everyone to follow her. It would just be easier if she said, “Hey, I found a way in.”

The Governor and Merle consult a map and The Governor praises the idea of making camp in the prison, but alas he doesn’t think the people of Woodbury will give up the veneer of small town life to live in cells even if it would be much safer. He tells Merle that they will just have to go in and kill the group living in the prison which will allow the area’s zombies to return to wandering around the prison and not attacking their walls. Which seems… like a weird plan, but okay. The Governor wants to take out Rick and the gang the same way we saw them take out the National Guard unit, with a fake flag of friendship distracting from surprise attacks from the sides. (The Governor plans his attacks like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park.) Merle is primarily concerned with his brother Daryl not getting killed in the attack. The Governor tells Merle not to worry. Merle asks about Glenn and Maggie and The Governor is worried that Andrea will find out about them so he instructs Merle to “take them to the Screamer Pits” which sounds like just a delightful place!

Michonne leads Rick, Daryl, and Oscar into the building in which she was once held. They want to know where Glenn and Maggie are being held but Michonne has no idea, which upsets everyone else despite the fact that they all know that Michonne wasn’t in the town when their friends were captured. WHY AREN’T YOU PSYCHIC, MICHONNE?! The men confer on their own and Oscar worries that they are being lead into a trap. Daryl wants to split up the group and have everyone work alone. They don’t get a chance to decide because a well-meaning older gentlemen enters the building to investigate the movement he saw from outside. Rick grabs the old man and puts a gun to his head asks where his people are. The old man pulls a Colonel Klink and tells Rick that he knows nothing.

Back in the prison, Axel compliments Beth’s ability to care to new baby Judith and then he asks how old she is. “17? Interesting…” which, you know, is super creepy. Carol agrees with me and pulls Axel aside and tells him to leave Beth alone. He apologizes and says that it’s just been so long since he’s seen a woman and all the other women in the group seem to be paired off already and Carol is a lesbian, so… Carol reveals that despite he pixie haircut she is in fact not a lesbian, a fact that Axel finds even more interesting than Beth’s being 17. (Which… really? She’s 17? I would have guessed 14, max. She’s aging quicker than the blonde in The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom.)

Merle and a thug go to bring Glenn and Maggie to the Screamer Pits and once they open the cell door, Glenn and Maggie come bursting out, bone shanks in hand. Glenn grapples with Merle while Maggie sticks her shank into the neck of the thug who fires off his machine gun with his final death spasms. The gunfire not only catches the attention of Rick and the gang, but a whole passel of Woodbury gunmen who run toward the noise. Merle gets the drop on Glenn and is just about to cut his throat when Maggie picks up the thug’s machine gun and points it at Merle’s head. She forces Merle to let Glenn go but her victory is short-lived once a bunch of Woodbury reinforcements show up with their own machine guns!

Rick and the gang make their way to the sound of the gunfire. They spy Merle putting hoods over Glenn and Maggie’s heads before he leads them out of their storage shed cells. Rick and Daryl throw some smoke grenades and in the confusion and smoke, Rick and the gang swoop in and rescue Glenn and Maggie, ducking only a few blind shots taken by the Woodbury gunmen.

The gunshots are heard throughout the town and Andrea tells The Governor that she wants to check it out. The Governor can’t have her finding out about Glenn and Maggie so he puts the kibosh on that plan. Andrea doesn’t have time to argue because shouts for help alert them to the kindly old man who Rick and the gang tied up. He tells them that six or seven armed men he’d never seen before attacked him. The people without guns start to panic and The Governor tells them that everything is okay and that they will be fine but as a precaution maybe they should all return to their homes and turn off all their lights. I’m sure that wouldn’t make anyone panic! After the civilians leave, The Governor tells more gunmen that the town is under attack and to try to take prisoners if they can but to shoot to kill.

Rick and the gang escort Maggie and staggering Glenn down a deserted street and into a building. Michonne drifts to the back of the group and doesn’t enter, instead heading off on her own, probably to look for Andrea. And probably kill The Governor. No one notices that she’s gone until it’s too late. Glenn informs Daryl that Merle was the one who beat him and tried to kill them. In a little bit of inside joking Daryl asks, “Merle’s The Governor?” Daryl wants to find Merle but Rick says no, it’s too dangerous. Daryl agrees but he doesn’t do it with a whole lot of conviction.

A war council convenes, including The Governor, Merle, Andrea, Milton, and a bunch of random thugs. The Governor assigns Andrea the duty of… you know, checking on the houses of the civilians. She’s not to happy with being demoted to basically nightwatchman.

Michonne enters The Governor’s quarters, pulls her sword, takes a seat, and waits.

Rick and the gang prepare to make their run for it. The toss a bunch of smoke grenades and make their way down the street firing machine guns at the Woodbury gunmen who fire at them from the rooftops. Andrea hears all the shooting and heads towards it. Because they are the stars of the show, Rick and the gang are having much better luck shooting through the haze and smoke. Andrea reaches the street and spots the only member of the group she doesn’t know, Oscar, and takes a few shots at him. The Governor spots her and runs to her side and she tells him that she spotted the group. He’s on edge as to what she’ll say next but she only describes Oscar and his prison jumpsuit. The Governor is relieved that she clearly did not recognize her old friends.

Rick and the gang regroup in an alleyway. They’re taking a lot of fire and it’s only going to get worse. They need a plan to escape, and they need one now. Daryl volunteers to stay back to law down cover fire while the rest head to the closet wall. They don’t like letting Daryl lag behind but they have no choice so they go. Daryl lays down cover fire as the rest make it to a wall held up by a school bus. Rick takes up position to cover the people climbing up on the cab of the bus but is startled when he starts hallucinating that someone coming at them with a shotgun is Shane with Wolverine hair. He’s so stunned to see Shane that he stops shooting which allows Wolverine Shane to shoot Oscar. That snaps Rick out of his trance and he shoots Wolverine Shane who, as it turns out on closer inspection, is just a dude with a beard. Maggie yells for Rick to escape as she shoots Oscar in the head lest he become a zombie. Rick goes to make his escape while calling for Daryl to follow them, but Daryl is busy holding off the Woodbury gunmen (including his brother Merle, though neither one knows that they are shooting at each other).

Carl is starting to act like the Man of the prison. He loads bullets into a gun clip and asks Hershel about their baby formula supply. Carl declares that he’ll lead a search party for some more formula at the end of the week. Suddenly, there’s a familiar scream! It’s coming from inside the prison and it’s not Carol! Carl wants to investigate but Hershel doesn’t want to let him. Carl has a gun and he’s a little scary so Hershel lets him pass. Moving through the halls with gun and flashlight in hand, Carl gets closer and closer to the anguished cries and screams. He comes upon Tyrese and his gang fighting a bunch of zombies. He shoots the nearest zombie in the head which causes everyone to pause and go, “Whoa! Kid with a gun with a homemade suppressor and a sheriff’s hat!” before Carl snaps them back to attention and gets them to follow him if they want to live. They make their way through the tunnels, fighting off zombies as they go. Carl tells Tyrese to leave the screaming woman behind, but again Tyrese is having none of it.

At The Governor’s quarters Michonne continues to wait. A banging noise draws her attention and she kicks in the door to The Governor’s private room and discovers his lovely collection of human heads displayed like Hummel figurines. She also discovers The Governor’s zombie daughter who she at first mistakes for a regular human girl due to the hood over her head. When Michonne discovers that Penny is a zombie she makes a move to decapitate her but The Governor appears with his gun drawn and pleads with her to stop. He holsters his guns and removes his gun belt and offers himself up to Michonne in his daughter’s place. Michonne decides instead to put the sword’s blade through Penny’s head. The Governor screams and attacks her which leads to an absolutely brutal fight between The Governor and Michonne. Punching, kicking, biting, slamming, gouging, smashing are all involved until finally Michonne manages to grab a piece of glass from the shattered zombie head tank and sticks it in The Governor’s eye. She staggers to her sword and makes a move to finish him off when Andrea appears with her gun drawn. They circle each other silently, gun and sword in their respective hands. Michonne ends up near the door and she makes her exit. Andrea rushes to the side of The Governor but she stops short when she notices the zombie heads everywhere, including those in the one unbroken tank. The Governor cradles Penny in his arms and weeps through the one eye he has left.

Carl, Tyrese and the gang finally come to a resting spot only to find that the screaming girl, Donna, is dead. Carl offers to “take care of her” but Tyrese insists on doing it himself with a hammer. Just as he’s about to bring the hammer down, he gets distracted by Carl swinging a door shut and locking them in. Tyrese’s lady friend freaks out about being locked up but Tyrese calms her down and says they have to respect the man in his own house. Plus, they are finally safe for the first time in weeks. Beth, who had been standing at the door asks Carl if they should help the new people. “I did,” Carl says with all the emotional depth of a sociopath.

The town doctor checks on The Governor’s eye wound which has been cleaned. It doesn’t look good, but that not stopping The Governor from wanting to get out there and seek revenge. Andrea asks the doctor to give them a minute because she has a lot of questions: Michonne, the fish tanks full of heads, the zombie daughter. These are things you generally want to know about before you start sleeping with someone. The Governor doesn’t get a chance to answer before Milton and Merle, which is not the name of a vaudeville team but should be, burst in. The Governor, looking as scary as he has all season, tells them that he was attacked. Merle tells him that the attackers made it over the wall and escaped. Merle wants to go after them at first light.

Merle might not have to wait that long because Rick, Maggie, and Glenn haven’t made it very far from the walls of Woodbury. They are waiting for Daryl but there’s no sign of him. But there is Michonne who shows up covered in blood. It’s not a happy reunion, however because the rest of the group is not happy that Michonne bailed on them at the worst possible time. Michonne tells Rick, with something akin to pleading in her eyes, that they still need her help to get back to the prison and/or go back into Woodbury to rescue Daryl.

It’s town meeting time! The residents of Woodbury meet under torch light to listen to the now one-eyed Governor address them. First he reminds them that they are all afraid (gotta make sure everyone stays under his protective thumb), then he apologizes for failing them, then raises the specter of terrorism and outside forces who want to take what it theirs. Then, like a master-level maestro he brings his sermon to a crescendo by naming Merle as a traitor and the man who lead the outside forces to their door. Then two Woodbury thugs drag out a shackled and hooded Daryl who The Governor identifies as Merle’s brother. This is an alarming development for Andrea. The crowd calls for blood. “Kill them! Kill them! Kill them!”


The third season ends its first half in exciting fashion, which is no real shock considering that this season has been extremely tense and exciting and an overall joy to watch every week. The highlight was, for me, the debut of Tyrese played by Chad Coleman who I have loved since he played Cutty on The Wire. It’s no surprise that in an episode written by series creator Robert Kirkman we learned so much about what kind of man Tyrese is in just a few scenes. I look forward to seeing his role expanded and I hope that nothing bad ever, ever, ever happens to him! A close second highlight for me was The Governor being tipped over the edge after losing an eye and after the “death” of his daughter and the exposure of his… unusual hobbies. I am genuinely scared as to what he’ll do in the second half. February can’t come fast enough!


  1. TYREESE!!! I’m gonna go ahead and consider that my Xmas present from AMC.

    This season continues to bring the thunder, and I’m really curious to see how some of these threads come together.

    – Carl saving Tyreese and the gang was badass. That kid has the best gig on TV. I’m not quite as disturbed by him as Conor seems to be, but I do feel that they may be speeding up his evolution a little too quickly.

    – TV Andrea continues to infuriate me. I’m really beginning to lose all hope that she’ll eventually be something resembling the Andrea I know and love.

    – The scene with Axel and Carol was hilarious. Nice to have some humor thrown in once in a while.

    – The fight between Michonne and The Governor was not only great TV, it was the clearest example I can come up with of this show finally striking a balance between entertaining the newcomers while still keeping fans of the book guessing. That struggle could’ve gone either way, and it was really intense.

    – My only serious gripe about this episode is that now the Governor can be interpreted as a sympathetic villain, having his “life” ruined by one of the good guys. Not sure how I feel about that. Though I did enjoy watching him tip over the edge. Morrissey did a fantastic job with this episode.

    – Chris Hardwick needs to shut the fuck up. I wanna put a katana through my TV every time he ruins a commercial cliffhanger. Which is once every goddamn episode!

    – The creation of the Dixon brothers has been the greatest addition to the story, and now that it’s coming to a turning point, I’m really excited to see what happens next. Although they shouldn’t have shown Daryl in the preview, I was really concerned for his safety until I saw that.

    Good mid-season finale. Great season so far. I know it may sound like I have a lot of complaints, but I finally care about this show, and it’s really starting to give me all the things I was hoping for from the beginning. Including Tyrese. Can’t wait for February.

    • “- My only serious gripe about this episode is that now the Governor can be interpreted as a sympathetic villain, having his “life” ruined by one of the good guys. Not sure how I feel about that. Though I did enjoy watching him tip over the edge. Morrissey did a fantastic job with this episode.”

      Agreed on all points here… I understand that Michonne has never trusted the Governor, and that she knows/guessed that he sent Merle and his cronies after her when she left Woodbury, but Michonne’s personal vendetta against the Governor seems ill-formed and based on circumstantial evidence at best, at least based on what she’s witnessed (and not what we, the viewers, have witnessed).

      If anything, I would think she would want revenge on Merle for trying to kill her. At least the comic book version of Michonne had a concrete reason to go after the Governor; this just seemed like a sloppy way to push him over the edge.

      I think she ended up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy all around. She suspected that The Governor was a monster, and now she’s gone and created one who will stop at nothing to destroy her now.

    • AMC has a bad habit of ruining their cliff hangers 20 seconds after they drop with teaser previews. Its annoying. This whole “its about the journey not the outcome” thing that we love to talk about gets annoying in times like this. I dunno, sometimes i want a bit of a surprise.

    • To me it seemed like Michonne was going after the Governor because he’s the reason for all of this, she knows he’s the hand that guides all the decisions in Woodbury so if she kills him, game over.

    • @RoiVampire: Exactly. She saw through everything right away.

    • @RoiVampire: No, I get that. I understood immediately why Michonne was waiting for him. I don’t see how you could interpret that any other way.

      My complaint was that Michonne’s actions in the secret room (the daughter kill, the eye gouging, etc.), while it qualifies as self defense, served to push the Gov into his next phase of psychosis. So now any action he takes against our little gang can be PERCEIVED as justifiable retaliation or revenge, instead of purely cruel and evil rage. I’m not saying that his potential future crimes ARE justifiable. I’m just saying it can be spun that way now, and I don’t care for it.

    • I found myself not quite believing that Michonne (TV Michonne, not comics Michonne) would split off from the group and lurk in waiting for the Governor to get revenge on him. His assault on her was relatively impersonal (sending his men after her, not doing anything to her directly himself). When she broke into his apartment I first thought she was looking for Andrea to get her out of there as well. The rest of the scene could have played out exactly the same, just altering her motivation for being there in the first place to something I would have found a little more believable. To give them the benefit of the doubt, though, we don’t really know that much about her character at this point, so maybe she just holds a mean grudge.

      And yeah, that fight scene was brutal. I legitimately was not sure if Michonne was going to walk away from it or not. That is probably my favorite thing about the show deviating from the comics, it gives me the same sense of not being sure who is going to live or die at any given time.

      Bring on the second half!

    • Absolutely with you–Tyreese was my favorite character in the book, so his arrival was as exciting for me as Michonne’s was for most everyone else. And Andrea’s question of why Michonne would have attacked was a very fair question indeed…unless we are missing a lot of stuff that would fail to make sense in light of what we’ve seen, Michonne had no clear motivation.

  2. Is there some rule to the Walking Dead TV show that they can only have one black guy in the cast at a time?

  3. The scene where Tyrese stopped Carl from shooting the dead chick only to pull out his hammer made me giggle like a schoolgirl.

    Great episode. My only concern now is that a certain “moment” might now happen to everyone’s favorite badass redneck with a heart of gold as opposed to a certain other member of the suddenly expanded cast. Although if they did it to Andrea, I’d probably throw a parade at this point.

  4. This slightly off topic, but why is there a mid-season finale? i am british and it has never been explained to me.

    • i think its to maximize their audience over the year. By splitting the show up they can do another ad blitz in the new year and build up hype again and have it go into winter/spring without having to compete with Christmas and the NFL playoffs (HUGE DEAL over here)

      Personally i love it. I hate having to wait an entire year from season to season.

    • Also, by having one big break, it minimizes the need for off-weeks, where you either get a re-run or some other show entirely every few weeks. This allows a consistent block of new episodes week after week after week, helping to maintain the momentum (and ratings) of a serial show like Walking Dead.

      Broadcast TV, where we typically get 20+ episodes of a show in a season here in the states, has finally caught on to this idea, and it’s been a great thing!

  5. I got to go to a Q&A at Wizard World New Orleans with the guys that play (or played) Shane, Merle and Darryl yesterday afternoon. Then went home and watched the episode. Great day.

  6. I think Conor mentioned not too long ago that it was a good thing the Governor wasn’t the stone cold, blackhearted sunuvabitch he was in the book because it would be too much to take in this medium. While I generally agree, the unintended side effect is that in my opinion, he hasn’t done anything evil enough to be considered all that much of a threat or bad guy. In the book, by the time Woodbury raided the prison, the Governor Had To Go. He was despicable. Here?… Well, the head gallery is certainly weird, and gunning down the National Guard is not a nice thing to do, but so far this guy would get eaten alive by his comic counterpart. Even when he’s doing underhanded or molesty things, he’s doing them in that Mister Rogers way of his. The words are there, but the music’s off.

    What is the point of spontaneously turning on Merle? The only way it makes sense is if it’s part of a larger plan, with the Guv allowing the brothers to escape so Merle can be his inside man at the prison.

    • I think you hit the nail on the head with that theory. That’s gotta be it

    • i think the reason why he turned on Merle, is because the Governor knows that if he can find a scapegoat for the attack..a betrayal from inside, then it wasn’t his fault of leadership. Throw someone else on a sword and blame them for all the problems and you still look strong. Its all about keeping power through manipulation for him.

      i agree with Jim though…i was like I know WHY Michonne is supposed to hate and want to kill the Governor, but in the show she doesn’t have much of a reason to.

    • The betrayal of Merle made no sense. It was unmotivated so it was just written that way which for me is bad writing.

      And the fact that the Governor knew that Daryl was Merle’s brother was unbelievable. Ok, they caught Daryl which seems far fetched, but then he confessed that he’s Merle’s brother? NO. The ending was just dumb. It’s obviously just so that Merle can switch teams and either help Daryl escape and die himself in the process or escape as well and make it ok for him to join Rick’s group and fight against the Governor.

      To your other point about the Governor’s personality. He’s actually sympathetic not scary. Having Andrea care about him and sleep with him makes the viewer to consider him likable, too. The Governor and Woodbury actually remind me a lot more of the place that Rick’s group end up in later in the comics. It’s sort of like they combined the two and in the process watered down the Governor and his community. The Governor is pretty much of a good guy in the TV show doing what he needs to do to protect his people. He doesn’t seem any more crazy than anyone else. His description of Rick’s group as terrorists is accurate from the Woodbury point of view.

      Generally speaking I find the TV show to be unsatisfyingly cheery and bright compared to the comic. It’s an action oriented story with lots of gore effects. People die only to be replaced by new characters. There’s no sense of psychological dread and hoplessness that the title of the comic refers to. The double meaning of the title is gone from the TV series. Only the zombies are the Walking Dead on TV.

    • It seemed clear to me that he turned on Merle because dictators always need a scapegoat to appease the people when something goes wrong. It’s certainly possible that he is doing so to send Merle to join the other side but I saw it more as classic dictatorial behavior. “Something went terribly wrong? Well, it certainly wasn’t MY fault or the fault of my leadership!”

    • I assumed the Governor turned on Merle because he lied to him about killing Michonne. I’m sure it wasn’t too difficult for the Governor to put together that Michonne led them there, which never would have happened if Merle did his job, or was honest about her getting away.

    • Totally agree that Merle is going to be a mole inside the prison.

    • I agree with Wally and Conor. The Gov dumping the blame on Merle, combined with his eye wound, helps to gain back the trust and sympathy of his little kingdom. If he and on taking the prison, he’s going to need these people. I am confused on how he knew Daryl was Merle’s brother, but that could easily be written off.

      If Merle does come back to the prison with Daryl (judging from the preview it looks pretty likely), I’m not sure I’m looking forward to half a season of “Can we trust him? … He has proven trustworthy. … Oh no! … I knew we couldn’t trust him!” That’s the kind of tension I can do without. Though come to think of it, the book is rife with those scenarios, so it works on some level.

    • *if he PLANS on taking the prison.

    • I *completely forgot* Merle lied about Michonne.

    • That was my thought…. The Governor turned on Merle, because he knows that Merle lied about Michonne’s death, so indirectly, Merle is responsible for Penny’s “death”.

    • also its a smart defensive move. Merle seemed to be asserting more power and leadership with the armed men and the only one in the town that had the ability to threaten the Governor’s power. If there was ever a coup, Merle would be the one leading it. Get rid of your strongest rival when you can is a good play.

  7. Another good episode though I wish they would have ended the Prison/Governor storyline this week. I’m ready to see what’s next. The good news is I’m getting the Walking Dead Compendium 2 for Christmas so the show won’t spoil the next phase of the comics for me.

    If Daryl get’s the Tyreese ending this season I’ll be so disappointed. He’s clearly the best character on the show.

  8. What is Daryl asking if Merle is the Governor an in-joke reference to?

  9. I wonder if this show would be as good/popular if they had just focused on completely new characters inhabiting the Walking Dead world instead of butchering the characters from the comic. That at least would have been interesting. Why bother with an Earth-2 version of Rick and crew?

  10. Remember earlier in this episode when the Governor told Merle he wanted Merle to be his inside man with the prison group? I think the Governor turning on Merle is all an act so he can plant Merle inside with Rick’s group. All he has to do is banish Daryl and Merle, let them head to the prison, and come along later. Merle could do some damage from the inside while the Woodbury forces attack from the outside. As far as the Gov. knowing Daryl was Merle’s brother, Daryl could have told him off-camera “Hey, that’s my bro, don’t kill him” or something.