I’m a reader of The Walking Dead comic book, so going into this last episode of season 3, I expected to see the grand shoot-out that was the end of the prison vs. Woodbury story arc. Of course, they’re changing things up a bit for the television series, so that shoot-out never happened. What we got instead was something that almost worked, but felt less like a finale and more like just another of the better episodes.
We start out with poor Milton, having his face punched in by the Governor. In order to get some revenge on both his former buddy and the captured Andrea, the Governor stabs Milton in the gut and locks him in with the girl so that he will turn into a zombie and eat her. She’s all tied up, but Milton does manage to get a tool nearby so that she can at least attempt to escape. A tense game of Andrea’s speed vs. Milton’s ability to stay alive ensues.
Meanwhile, back at the prison, the Governor brings in his troops to have a full-on war. But Rick and his gang are smarter than that and they set a trap for the incoming enemy. Zombies are released, snipers shoot down the invaders and the whole thing goes straight to hell. The survivors run, but their worries are not over yet. The Governor, upset about the loss, goes nutso on his allies and guns most of them down. So much for Woodbury’s army.
But one person survives by playing dead and when Rick and the gang come chasing after the Governor to finish him off, she lets them know what happened. They then head off to Woodbury, find Tyreese and Sasha waiting and let them know exactly what went down. The end result is that the remaining residents of Woodbury move into the prison, to become a community (and probably zombie-fodder) for season 4.
While I am a bit jaded because of the mass character deaths in the comics, I still think this episode was less than it could have been. There is a nice story arc started concerning the evil growing within young Carl and the complications of Rick having to look out for dozens of people now, but the Governor is still alive despite his presence being played out enough as it is.
All-in-all, it made me want to stop watching The Walking Dead altogether. If this is the best twist they can come up with, how will a fourth season get any better? Well, Scott Gimple is taking over as showrunner next season, and he’s the guy who put together episode 15, which I consider to be the best of the show thus far. So, we might see some truly deep character development and great atmospheric scenes. I guess I’ll be around after all, even if I am feeling a bit disappointed.