With the enormous buildup to the fated meeting between Rick Grimes and the Governor being built all season, it came as little surprise in last night’s episode ‘Arrow on the Doorpost’ that the tension in the room could have been cut with a knife. Or maybe with Michonne’s katana. The deadly war of words between the pair of leaders was the main focus of the episode, while the rest of the gang back at the prison dealt with their own struggle to keep Merle from running off or stabbing Glen with his arm-knife. Walking Dead executive producer Robert Kirkman sat down with EW to talk about the Rick/Governor tete-a-tete and more.
When asked why they decided to differ from the comics and defer the meeting between Rick and the Governor for so long, Kirkman says that it was all a matter of pacing. “The way the story was told had shifted. In the comic book, those characters met very early on and that’s actually how the Governor was introduced,” says Kirkman. “As we were working on this season and as the actual meeting between the Governor and Rick kept happening later and later in the season it became clear to us that we needed to have some kind of big moment around this so we could get to watch Andrew Lincoln and David Morrissey match actor wits and have some really cool scenes. We felt the meeting deserved to have this air of importance around it.”
Rick was noticeably angry during his meeting with the Governor, but compared to the past few weeks, he seemed to tone down the crazy by about 10 notches during themeeting. This change in his demeanor is less of an act of healing than it is an act of survival says Kirkman. “I wouldn’t say that he’s quite healed just yet. But I will say that his encounter with Morgan last episode did help him in leaps and bounds to kind of get ahold of his madness and see the path that he was on so that he would make an effort to get off that. I also think that his conversation with Michonne, now that he’s kind of admitting to his shortcomings, are helping him heal at least enough that he can fake it in front of the Governor when he needs to.”
For those of who raised an eyebrow or two at last night’s sex scene between Maggie and Glen, Kirkman hints that maybe we should be more surprised that Glen isn’t naked more often. “This show has tons of violence and it all serves the story but it’s still a very violent show,” he says. “Sometimes we find that we’re lacking in sex and so this episode we tried to remedy that. I have to add that Steven Yeun can’t go a day on set without asking to get naked so it was also about helping that guy out and making him happy.”
As for what is coming next on the show, Kirkman says that we can expect things to get much nastier quite soon. “I think it’s a clear path to the finale at this point. We’ve had Rick and Michonne’s side mission and we’ve had the war council where Rick and the Governor sit down and have their little pow wow. Now that we just have 3 episodes left, things ramp up pretty quickly and really don’t stop until the finale is over. And they may not even stop then. I’m not going to spoil anything.”
What did you think of last night’s episode of The Walking Dead?