The Walking Dead Season 3 (2012–13)
The third season begins several months after the group escaped the farm, and Lori is in the final days of her pregnancy. The group stumbles upon an overrun prison and sets about converting it into their new home. While trying to clear the prison of walkers and searching the place for supplies, Hershel is bitten in the ankle by a walker, and Rick is forced to amputate his lower leg to prevent the bite from causing a systemic infection. They soon find several surviving inmates who have been trapped in the cafeteria. While Rick, Daryl and T-Dog help clear a separate cell block for the inmates to live in, most of the prisoners are killed, allowing the remainder — Axel and Oscar— to join Rick’s group. A walker breakout later splits everyone up: T-Dog is bitten in the struggle and sacrifices himself to save Carol, while Lori goes into labor and insists that Maggie perform an emergency C-section to save the baby. The operation kills Lori, and Carl is forced to shoot her to prevent reanimation. After several days of mourning, Carl and Rick name the baby Judith.
Meanwhile, Michonne and Andrea are taken to the town of Woodbury, a haven from the walkers. They meet The Govenor, the town’s leader, and learn that Merle Dixon — Daryl’s older brother — has taken refuge there as well. Michonne is immediately suspicious of The Governor and the settlement and decides to leave, but Andrea refuses to go with her. Merle is ordered to hunt down Michonne but only manages to wound her; he subsequently captures Maggie and Glenn while they are out scavenging. Michonne, who witnessed the abduction, eventually arrives at the prison and then guides Rick, Daryl, and Oscar back to Woodbury on a rescue mission. The team saves the couple, but Oscar is killed, and Daryl is captured. Michonne stays briefly and attempts to slay The Governor; she kills his undead daughter Penny (whom The Governor had kept chained in a back room closet in his apartment) and stabs him in the eye with some broken glass during a scuffle. In the aftermath, The Governor calls an assembly and publicly accuses Merle of treason, reuniting him with Daryl in front of the angry mob. Rick and Maggie come back and rescue them, but after regrouping outside of town, Daryl decides to leave with Merle, as Rick won’t allow Merle to join their group.
Back at the prison, Carl meets another band of survivors — led by Tyreese and his sister Sasha — and shelters them. Rick returns, but while speaking to the newcomers, he hallucinates and sees Lori, causing his sanity to crack in front of everyone. He expels Tyreese’s group, which finds sanctuary in Woodbury. The Governor and a small team attack the prison the next day, killing Axel and breaching the outer fence before retreating. Merle and Daryl, having decided to rejoin Rick’s group, return and help him fight off attacking walkers. Rick and Carl, with Michonne in tow, return to the Grimes’ hometown to gather weapons. There, Rick finds Morgan again and learns Duane was killed by his reanimated mother, whom Morgan couldn’t bring himself to put down. Instead of joining Rick, Morgan chooses to stay behind.
Andrea arranges a meeting between Rick and The Governor, which results in The Governor’s declaring a truce if Michonne is handed over to him, though secretly he plans to slaughter the prison group anyway. Andrea discovers the plot and attempts to escape to the prison, but The Governor captures her. Merle learns of the deal and, doubting Rick’s willingness to follow through, kidnaps Michonne on his own. Merle and Michonne talk, and Merle has a change of heart and releases her. He goes on to foil The Governor’s planned ambush and is killed. Daryl then finds Merle reanimated as a walker and is forced to kill him.
The Governor stabs his former advisor Milton and leaves him locked in a room with Andrea, to die and reanimate. He then leads an assault on the prison, but Rick’s group stages an ambush and repels the attack. When the frightened Woodbury soldiers suggest leaving the prison alone, The Governor guns most of them down. Rick, Daryl and Michonne find Karen — the massacre’s sole survivor — on their way to Woodbury to finish off The Governor; Karen convinces Tyreese and Sasha to allow them in when they arrive. They then find Andrea, who had killed the zombified Milton but not before he bit her. Andrea uses Rick’s pistol to commit suicide with Michonne by her side. The season ends with Rick’s group returning to the prison along with the remaining Woodbury survivors, while The Governor’s whereabouts remain unknown.