Alas, Season 3 has come to end and what a season it was with action, tension, some surprising deaths and the introduction of 2 much-loved characters from the books and the villainous Governor.
Yeah, there’s going to be spoilers
This episode was built up as the big showdown between Woodbury and the prison, Rick and the Governor. Did it live up to the hype? Not so much. They did a good job at pumping up the anticipation of war with the Governor giving a rallying speech to his soldiers and the initial assault on the building as the Woodbury army entered the prison; blowing up the guard tower and shooting the shit out of the walls. And once the crew makes it inside…the prison is empty except for Walkers. Ha, I saw that coming but what I didn’t see coming was the alarm sounding and as the Governor and his people flee, Glenn and Maggie shooting in their general direction and not hitting anyone. So that was the big plan. Scare them away and hope for the best? Nope. Rick, Daryl and Michonne are heading to Woodbury to finish the job.
The next couple of events were unexpected. As the Woodbury army scatters, a teen boy is running through the woods and encounters Beth, Hershel and Carl who were waiting for the fight to be over. The boy is terrified and is about to put his gun down in surrender when Carl shoots and kills him. Rick talks to Carl about this after and the boy states it the way the Governor had earlier: kill or be killed. Carl tells Rick that because he has let people live, like Andrew, that has caused the deaths of Lori and others. He killed the kid with this idea, that it was the only option to keep them safe and essentially isolated. The boy then basically bitch slaps Rick and tells him that he is a shitty leader. Kids.
The Governor is pissed that his crew ran away and after they start protesting about attacking the prison, he mows down everyone except for Martinez and that other guy and Karen who hides under a body. Then he gets in the truck with the two guys and drives off to somewhere and that is the last we see of the Governor. Well, if that isn’t enough of the Governor being a crazy prick, how about what he does to Milton and Andrea. Andrea is still tied to the chair but it doesn’t look like Phillip has actually touched her. Milton on the other hand is paying for burning up the zombies in the pit as the Governor beats the shit out of him. Phillip stops long enough to give him a choice: kill Andrea or be killed. Milton is a good man and the Governor guts him for it leaving the dying man with a chained up Andrea, locked in the room. Slowly manoeuvring to get a pair of pliers to free herself, things are looking pretty grime for Andrea. After some chit-chat, she finally gets the pliers, frees herself but Milton has already turned.
The dream team arrives in Woodbury after coming across the carnage left by the Governor. They pick up Karen and she is able to stop Tyreese and Sasha from killing them after she tells them what happened. Rick and the others head to the building where they rescued Maggie and Glenn and find Milton dead, again, and Andrea in a heap on the floor. She has been bitten and is turning. Rick, Daryl and Tyreese leave Michonne and Andrea and we hear a gunshot. The episode ends with Rick and the others returning to the prison with a bus full of Woodbury residents. The rest of Rick’s group isn’t too certain what to make of this and Carl is particularly unimpressed and further disappointed with his Father’s decisions.
Final Thoughts: There were parts of this episode that I liked – Carl and Rick’s conversation, the passing of Andrea and the Governor’s true self coming out for all to see. What I felt didn’t work: the lead up to the attack on the prison was energy filled but fell felt when no one was there; the Woodbury army running away so quickly and just the general lack of delivery after so much build up. There was a lot of hype and anticipation for the confrontation and in the end it came off as anticlimactic.
Overall Season 3 was pretty good with the new characters and the tension and drama that erupted from having the two communities at odds. There were some slow episodes, particularly near the end, and the season finale was a bit of let down. Season 4 should present some interesting new relationships and conflicts.