Rick and the group have to seriously consider if the prison is worth defending as The Governor’s impending attack looms over their heads.
Milton, those Woodbury residents dead at the hands of The Governor, and Andrea.
The seemingly slow third season of The Walking Dead proved it wasn’t as predictable as some of us thought. The baleful face of The Governor was the first thing we saw tonight. The first time we saw him, the facade was still intact, but slowly over the course of the season we ended up with the monster we knew tonight. Call it destiny, call it the evil that men do, just don’t call it a comeback. The apocalyptic world can take some of the responsibility for Phillip’s true colors, but the lion’s share of the blame falls on his already evil heart. If this show teaches us anything, it’s that we all have choices. Michonne stresses that point when she thanks Rick for taking her in. If claimed he wouldn’t have if she didn’t have the life-saving baby formula. Here’s one more example of the contrast between season three’s chosen leaders.
The finale began with Phillip beating the hell out of Milton as he’s lectured about loyalty and the error of his ways. Phillip demands he kill Andrea before they progress any further. When given a knife, Milton does a 180 and charges The Governor. Like fish in a barrel, Milton is left to become a disemboweled walker with his first meal tied to a chair. Milton’s earlier clumsiness netted a pair of pliers at Andrea’s feet and she escapes, but not before Milton takes a bite out of her neck. Never saw it coming. Dammit.
Tyreese flat-out tells The Governor his feelings on fighting people rather than walkers, but offers to stay behind and defend the kids. He leaves it for Phillip to decide if he’s booted out upon the assault team’s return. When The Governor and his merry squad of thugs arrive the prison they find an unexpected empty reception. The squad is halfway through the prison before the booby traps spring, forcing The Governor’s men outside to retreat. Maggie and Glenn, armored to the core, seal the deal under a reign of bullets. On the outskirts of the prison, Carl and Hershel are surprised by a young Woodsbury resident who has all intentions to surrender. Carl kills him in cold blood and Hershel notices. After Hershel pushes the issue and Rick has an uncomfortable conversation with his son. The seething tween calls his dad out and tosses Rick’s badge to the ground. Carl is showing his mini-Governor traits already, telling Rick that he let innocents die by not killing The Governor when he could. People die when you don’t make the right decision. Carl might be right to some degree, but what a little asshole. Will he have a Fall Out Boy shirt on next season as he grows into his legit emo feelings?
The most shocking part of tonight’s finale was The Governor’s cold-blooded murder of nearly 20 of his own Woodbury residents that refused to go back to the prison. The bloodlust was practically oozing from his pores. Temporarily defeated and regrouping, God only knows what the resolution in season four will be.
Rick and the group return to Woodbury for Andrea, not really surprising Tyreese when he learns Rick was never the bad guy. Sadly, when they find Andrea, she’s on her last leg, bleeding from the gaping wound in her neck. Michonne stays with her, watching over her as Andrea forces her way into eternity. The show wraps with the Woodbury refugees entering the prison. Carl clearly isn’t happy about it, and that’s where we end tonight. I was halfway expecting a shot of crazy Phillip cackling over a bubbling cauldron. I was very surprised that Rick and the group took on the Woodbury overflow. If anything this season, Rick cemented the fact that he was tired of responsibility. Season four is already rich with potential with Tyreese and the refugees occupying the prison. If The Governor was crazy before, God only knows what he plans for his next wave of revenge.
Season three was a slow burn, a little too slow at times, but overall a great exercise in characterization. I’m already excited for the next season.