"Hounded" is the sixth episode of the third season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the twenty-fifth episode of the series overall. It premiered on November 18, 2012. It was written by Scott Gimple and directed by Dan Attias.
Rick talks to the person on the phone. The person on the other line, a woman, says she will think about allowing Rick and his group to merge with hers. She then hangs up, prompting Rick to check on Carl and the others.
Merle, Tim, Crowley, and Gargulio search the woods for Michonne. Michonne ambushes them, decapitating Crowley and impaling Tim. Walkers then approach them, and she makes her escape. Gargulio and Merle give chase after preventing their allies' reanimation.
Andrea and the Governor get to talking and Andrea tells him that she belongs on the wall as a lookout. He allows it, and Andrea is seen talking to Haley. They notice a walker and Haley attempts to shoot it with a bow, missing twice. Andrea hops the wall, killing it with a knife. Haley becomes irritated with Andrea, stating that people don't go over the wall. Andrea realizes that she enjoyed the arena fights from the previous night.
Rick gets a call from a man from the woman's group. He begins to question Rick, including the means of Lori's death. Rick refuses to talk about it, and the man hangs up, causing Rick to break down. Rick then informs Hershel of the other group, but when Hershel picks the phone up, he hears only static. Hershel asks Rick if he wants to talk, but Rick declines the offer.
Merle and Gargulio are ambushed once again by Michonne. She nearly kills Gargulio, whose skin is slashed, but is saved by Merle. Merle and Michonne then get into a scuffle, but are once again ambushed by walkers. Gargulio saves Merle by stabbing a walker that had cornered him, while Michonne scrambles away from a walker. In the process, she cuts its abdomen open, spilling its guts onto her. In the confusion, she escapes again, but this time with a bullet wound in the thigh from Merle. When Michonne is again accosted by walkers, they walk right past her as if she is not even there, which leads her to deduce that walker guts had created a sort of camouflage against the other walkers, similar to when Rick and Glenn smeared guts all over themselves in Season 1's "Guts". After losing sight of Michonne, Merle suggests that they go back to Woodbury and inform the Governor that they killed her, but Gargulio fears lying to the Governor and advises that they continue the search. Merle then shoots him in the head, going back himself.
Glenn and Maggie have made their way to town. Michonne sees them from behind a car and watches as they gather supplies, including a toy for the baby. Merle then sneaks up, and Glenn and Maggie raise their guns toward him. Merle recognizes Glenn and they have a conversation about each other's survival. Merle asks about Daryl and Glenn reveals that he's alive, which causes Merle to want to return to their camp along with Maggie and Glenn, but Glenn refuses, causing a scuffle. In the ensuing confusion, Merle grabs Maggie, holds his gun to her head, and orders Glenn to drive the three of them to Woodbury.
Daryl, Carl, and Oscar are searching the lower levels of the prison. Daryl talks about his mother and how she had died in a house fire. Carl admits that he shot Lori in the head so she wouldn't turn. The two share condolences with each other. Eventually, the three come upon a walker. Daryl kills it, and notices Carol's knife in the side of its throat. Angered, he begins to stab the knife into the floor and wall. He slides down the wall and sits down. He notices a door budge and opens it, revealing a weakened, but alive, Carol inside. He carries her back to the others.
Andrea and Philip talk about Andrea's behavior on the wall. Philip tells her that she's no longer suitable for the wall. She admits that she enjoyed the fights and was angered that she enjoyed them. Philip then alludes to her that she likes him as well. Later on, they enjoy a drink outside and the two end up sleeping together. Soon after this, Merle returns with Glenn and Maggie and informs the Governor that Michonne is dead. When asked for her head and katana, Merle can not produce them.
Rick talks again on the phone and the woman on the other end tells him that she is Lori and that he was "talking" to the people who had died in the group previously —Amy, Jim, and Jacqui— and Rick breaks down again, telling her how sorry he was for not telling her how he felt about her and allowing her to die. The connection breaks up and Rick hangs up, as he can no longer understand her. Feeling better after having his "conversation" with Lori, he walks out of the prison with the baby and the group, before handing it to Carl. Curious, he spots a figure carrying a basket and a bag along with a group of walkers. He approaches the fence and realizes that the figure is actually a survivor: Michonne, carrying her bag and the supplies that Glenn and Maggie had been forced to leave behind.
- Emma Bell as Amy
- Andrew Rothenberg as Jim
- Jeryl Prescott Sales as Jacqui
- Arthur Bridgers as Crowley
- Dave Davis as Gargulio
- Lawrence Kao as Tim
- Vincent Ward as Oscar
- Haley's Father (Confirmed Fate)
- Haley's Brother (Confirmed Fate)
- Mrs. Dixon (Confirmed Fate)
- Amy and Andrea's Parents (Confirmed Fate)
- First appearance of Haley.
- First appearance of Owen.
- First (and last) appearance of Gargulio.
- Last appearance of Tim.
- Last appearance of Crowley.
- Last appearance of Jim. (Voice, Hallucination)
- The title of the episode, "Hounded", refers to Michonne being hounded by Merle and the Woodbury soldiers.
- It may also refer to Rick being hounded by voices from dead people.
- In response to the question, "Why did the Governor send out Merle and his gang to hunt down Michonne?", Robert Kirkman explained, "The Governor has been a leader in Woodbury for such a long time. He's maintained the status quo and I think the way he's done that is by not really letting any loose ends dangle out there. Getting rid of the National Guard platoon — that was a situation where there was a group of people that could question his leadership or show an alternative to the people of Woodbury. And the idea that Michonne would be out there knowing about Woodbury and would be able to tell someone about it and possibly bring other people there is something that he just couldn't allow happen."
- A.V. Club quipped, "[Just before Merle attacked] Maggie said it was a good day, an equivalent of saying "Bloody Mary" three times at a mirror in The Walking Dead."
- The telephone that Rick talks into is a Western Electric Model 500 rotary phone, made in 1951.
- This was the last 6th episode of a season that Rick Grimes appeared in present day, having been absent in "Live Bait", "Consumed", "Always Accountable", and "Swear", until the Season 8 episode, "The King, the Widow, and Rick".
- Rick's conversations on the phone with Lori and dead members of his group is adapted from Issue 51.
- Merle lying to the Governor about killing Michonne and not having her katana as proof is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 46, where Gabe lies but has the katana instead.
- Daryl finding Carol in a cell after she had been presumed dead is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 16, where the group discovers Tyreese in the gym instead.
- Rick holding Judith for the first time and kissing her on the head is adapted from Issue 46.
- Michonne arriving at the prison is adapted from Issue 19.
- During the conversation between Haley and Andrea, Haley's ponytail alternated on and off her left shoulder between shots.
- During the conversation with the Governor about contributing to the group, Andrea's shirt is alternately on and off her shoulder between shots.
- Clark Collis, 'Walking Dead' executive producer Robert Kirkman talks about tonight's show, 'Hounded', Entertainment Weekly, (November 18, 2012).
- Chris Kirk, Andrea’s Head Would Look Great in the Governor’s Fish Tank, Slate, (November 19, 2012).
- Zack Handlen, Hounded S3 / E6, A.V. Club, (November 18, 2012)
- Kevin Fitzpatrick, ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 3 Comic-to-TV Comparison: “Hounded”, Screen Crush, (November 18, 2012).