Wow, Mr. Chomps, way to bring me down with the most depressing Doors song possible. You do know that it’s just the end of season 3, right? That the finale got monster, huge ratings and Rick, Daryl and the whole gang will be back next season. Well, not the whole gang, which brings me to the task at hand. Season finale recap. What a season it has been for everyone on The Walking Dead, we’ve seen death and birth, and lots of rebirth, we’ve seen shoot-outs and sit-downs, and kerfuffles of all sorts, we’ve seen fire and we’ve seen rain, we’ve seen sunny days that we thought would never end. Wait, that’s depressing James Taylor. Regardless, there are folks that I’m sure we’ll see one more time again, no matter where they ended this episode. Let’s get to it, shall we…
We open on a blue eye, at first I thought it was Andrea’s, but nope, it’s the Governor’s and he’s beating the ever-loving crap out of someone. Then I thought that was Andrea, but nope, it’s Milton. And Milton is admitting to burning up the pit walkers, which we all knew. The Governor blames Milton for the deaths of eight of his men. Milton’s conscience has grown three sizes today, as he won’t look the other way anymore, even if his face looks like a big pile of poo. The Governor is also admitting to enjoying killing folks, “you kill or you die” he says. Milton is still trying to bring Philip back to the surface, asking what his daughter would think of who he’s become. The Governor thinks she’d still be alive if he’d been like this from the start. Wait? Does he mean Walker Penny? Because I’m pretty sure actual Penny died in that car crash with her mom. Right? Anybody? Bueller? Milton also wants to know if the Governor killed Andrea.
Turns out not, because Andrea is still trying to talk sense. There is no sense in there, none whatsoever, only e-vil, murderous thoughts. The Governor sends Milton for the tools he intended to use on Michonne. Milton drops them and uses an uncommon amount of cunning to leave some pliers behind the chair. Uh oh, the Governor wants Milton to kill Andrea to show he’s learned his lesson, and also as the only way he’ll leave that room. Milton takes the knife, starts toward Andrea, then turns to attack the Governor. Unfortunately, he gets way, way stabbed in the stomach for his troubles. The Governor locks a dying Milton in the room with a handcuffed Andrea. His new motto is, “In this life, you kill or you die, or you die and you kill.”
At the prison, Carl is packing his bags, so is everyone else. The gang is clearing out. He takes his dad’s sheriff badge out of his bag puts it in his pocket and walks out.
In the yard, he angrily shrugs off Rick. Glenn approaches Rick saying he’s never seen Carl this mad, Rick reminds him that Carl’s still a kid, which I think means impulsive and given to fits of irrational anger. As he gets into the Hyundai of Yuck, Rick looks up and sees pregnant Lori on the catwalk and shakes his head. Daryl is packing up, he’s still baffled by Merle’s actions, saying to Carol, “Merle never did nothing like that his whole life.” Carol points out that he gave them a chance. Back in the cell block, Michonne tells Rick that they’re ready, she also tells him it’s okay that he considered the Governor’s deal for her. She also thanks him for taking her in, he says he wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for the baby formula. Michonne points out that he could have just taken the formula, Rick’s response, “Musta been something else then.” He also sort of gives her an up and down look with those baby blues. Wait, hold up! Is the Ricker getting his flirt on with Michonne?!?! WHAT?!?! He tells her it was Carl’s call that she join the group. Uh huh, Carl’s getting a new mommy.
In Woodbury, the Governor is foaming at the mouth, telling the remaining able-bodied citizens of his town that the prison folk have killed a mess of their people and won’t stop until they’re all dead. Tyreese and Sasha are standing, watching. A quavery-voiced Tyreese tells him that they won’t fight against other people, that they’ll stay behind and watch the children, and that if he wants them gone when he gets back, they’re cool with it. The Governor takes a rifle from one of his men, Sasha clearly thinks he’s going to shoot them (foreshadowing), but he hands the gun over and thanks them, in the flattest most crazy way possible. They roll out to the prison.
The Woodbury Army rolls through the gates of the prison, Caesar rocking some sort of grenade launcher, taking out the guard towers, everyone else wasting a shit-ton of ammo killing walkers. I guess El Gov is a big fan of the “shock and awe” form of war fare.
With a musical heartbeat punctuating it, the WA goes into the prison, and finds… nothing.
Nothing except for Herschel’s Bible with an appropriate passage highlighted. OH, SNAP! I’m kind of surprised the Governor didn’t shoot the Bible. There’s a noise in the tombs, so the Governor leads them on down there. They tentatively move forward, until a flashbang grenade goes off and then they all run fucking everywhere, screaming. The WA scatters, running out of the prison and back to the trucks. This is what you get, PHILIP, for trying to turn the people that you coddled while there was a damned zombie apocalypse going on into soldiers overnight.
In Andrea’s cell, Milton comes to, he tells Andrea that there are pliers on the floor behind her. He directs her, while she tries to pep talk him. Milton knows he doesn’t have long, he tells her that when she gets free, she has to find something sharp and stab him in the head.
Tyreese goes back to check on Sasha, tells her that all is quiet. She wants to know what will happen when they come back, saying that if Andrea’s at the prison, leaving didn’t work out so well for her. Well, SASHA, Andrea’s not at the prison, shows what you know. Tyreese is tired of her Miss Mary Sunshine routine and goes back out on watch.
Andrea finally reaches the pliers and notices that Milton seems kind of dead. He wakes up long enough to ask her why she stayed. She wanted to save everyone. Fuuuuck I am so Andrea, I would have wanted as little bloodshed as possible too. But, I do realize you can’t reason with crazy, and the Governor has been crazy for quite some time. Milton tells her to hurry her ass up, because he is seriously dying over there. Andrea slips off her socks and shoes, revealing that homegirl has the best pedi in the apocalypse. I guess it makes sense that Woodbury would have a nail salon, all the comforts of home and whatnot.
Glenn and Maggie are on the catwalks in riot gear, shooting at the feet of the Woodburians. Herschel, Beth, Carl and Judith are in the woods waiting, I guess that’s why Carl was so pissed. Rick wouldn’t let him join in the reindeer games. Anyway, the Woodbury folks tear ass for home. I was genuinely a little scared for Glenn when he took his helmet off. A rando Woodbury kid comes across the crew in the woods, he tries to hand over his weapon, but Carl’s all, “BLAM! You’re dead!” Herschel rightfully looks a little terrified.
(Ad thoughts: The World War Z movie is probably going to suck donkey balls. If any of you haven’t read Max Brooks’ World War Z, go read World War Z right now. Well, as soon as you finish reading this, go read that. Also, AMC, there’s a reason that there’s only one taxidermy reality show on TV.)
Our intrepid band of survivors is stoked to have driven the Woodbury Army back from their gates. Some think it’s finished, but Glenn, Daryl and Rick know it’s not. They have to give chase and finish it. They go to check on the rest of the fam and Herschel spills the beans that Carl is a stone, cold killer. Rick doesn’t so much want to believe that.
On the road, the Governor is freaking the fuck out. Screaming at his people telling them they need to dig in. Caesar and Jean Jacket want to keep on fighting, Caesar helpfully calling everyone a bunch of pussies. As the group argues, the Governor’s world goes all “wha wha wha” like he just did some nitrous, and he starts shooting folks. I mean, really mowing them down as they run away. Jean Jacket shows his first lick of sense and draws on the Governor, who promptly shoots him in the head. Caesar and that Other Guy look on as the Governor goes out delivering head-shots to some of his people. Luckily for Teen Wolf Mom, he gets bored with that and turns back.
That’s right, Teen Wolf Mom played dead. Looks like I better start calling her Karen, cause she may be the savior of us all. Hooray for Teen Wolf Mom! Teen Wolf Mom is dead! Long live Karen! (I bet that kid who left Teen Wolf for the CW’s Arrow is totes jeals that Teen Wolf‘s mom is Karen on a way better show. Not to mention the rest of the cast of Teen Wolf. He’ll be even more jealous if Arrow from Arrow actually gets cast in the 50 Shades movie. *Sad trombone.*) The Governor stomps on back to the truck, Caesar and the Other Guy look at him for a second and hop in. Probably because they don’t want to die. Holy shitballs, you guys, the Governor just took one giant leap off the precipice of precarious sanity, didn’t he?
Andrea is still trying to get the pliers with her sweet, pedicured monkey toes, and reassuring herself that Milton is only mostly dead, which means he isn’t dead enough to rise up and eat her yet. YET. She finally gets the pliers and as she goes to work on her left handcuff, we see Milton’s bloody hand clench.
(Ad thoughts: Aiyeeeeeee! Star Trek: Into Darkness! Pine! Quinto! Cumberbatch!)
Daryl, Michonne and Rick are preparing to head to Woodbury. Rick heads over to Carl and asks him about the whole shooting business. Carl rationalizes, in a very sensible way, that all of the people Rick has let live have come back to bite him in the ass. Or, Dale in the ass, like that walker that killed him, Andrew sort of getting Lori killed, and the Governor killing Merle. Carl did what he had to do. Then he tells his dad to go, so the Governor doesn’t kill any more of them, and drops the sheriff’s badge like a hot mic. Carl-OUT!
Glenn and Maggie offer to stay in case the Governor comes back. Daryl’s all, “Just the three of us, cool.” and they head out. Which, totally, if you were heading out to finish some shit, wouldn’t you want Michonne and Daryl on your team? You know you would.
On the road, they come upon the scene of the Governor’s carnage, taking out some walkers until Karen pops up in the window of a truck.
Andrea is still working her way out of her binds when she realizes that Milton is indeed re-birthing. The make-up transition here was just brilliant. I’m a frustrated make-up artist at heart and it was really a subtle, but beautiful, progression from not dead, to mostly dead, to dead, to undead. Andrea’s just gotten her hands free when Milton comes at her, mouth a chompin’. We cut to a shot of the door, Milton’s walker-groans and Andrea’s screams. YIKES!
The crew approaches the Woodbury gates, Tyreese and Sasha take some shots. Rick, Daryl and Michonne return fire, no one shooting to kill. When the initial burst stops, Karen calls out to Tyreese. Rick tells her to get down, but Karen stands. Tyreese wants to know where the Governor is and Karen begins relaying the story. Tyreese wants to know why she’s with Rick and Company, she says that they saved her. Rick holsters his gun and walks out hands up, Daryl reluctantly does the same. Tyreese opens the gate and asks what they’re doing there. Rick admits that they were coming to finish things, until they saw what the Governor did. Tyreese is shocked, as you would be, if you think the Governor’s a generally okay guy. Rick says that Andrea never made it to the prison and that he thinks she may be in Woodbury.
They head down to the Governor’s holding cells, Tyreese still flabbergasted. They see a pool of blood under a door, Michonne asks Rick to open it, which I thought was a really subtle way to convey how scared she is that Andrea’s dead. Milton lies on the floor,extra-dead, and Andrea is slumped against the wall. Michonne runs to her friend, who is burning up, Milton bit her before she killed him. Andrea wants to know if the rest of them are alive, Rick assures her that the rest of us are alive. *Sniff.* Andrea turns to Michonne, telling her that it’s good Michonne found them because no one can make it alone now. Daryl says that he never could. *Sob.* REEDUS! Reedus, you beautiful bastard, it’s raining on my face again! Andrea just didn’t want anyone to die. She tells them that she’ll kill herself while she still can. Andrea tells Rick that she tried, he answers that she did. Rick and Daryl leave the room as Michonne stays with her friend until the end. The guys are outside the room as we hear the final gunshot.
Oh, Andrea, I didn’t always like you, I may have called you WaaAndrea for the better part of two seasons, but maybe I had my own stuff going on. You took the legacy of Dale wanting to stay civilized and held on to it, even though it eventually killed you. I didn’t think I’d be this torn up by your death. Sadface. Major sadface. (Salute.)
Over sad, plinky piano, led by Daryl’s bike, they bring Tyreese, Sasha and the non-able bodied of Woodbury back to the prison. Carl’s all WTF? Rick’s all, this is The Walking Dead: A New Hope, get with the program kiddo. Glenn and Maggie look scared. Rick looks to the catwalk and doesn’t see Lori. The walkers are still walking, as they always will, and we close on one of the homemade crosses in the yard. Which, hey, at least the Woodbury folk cleared for them. I guess Herschel can start his farm now.
Oh, the Governor? That crazy son of a bitch is still out there, with Caesar and that Other Guy, waiting to strike.
So, you guys, season 3. I think it was pretty good. Some internet folks mentioned sharks and the jumping of them, and maybe I’m just a sap, but I really loved the episode. I was engaged and the suspense was right, I watched it live and I kept reaching for my remote to fast forward through commercials for crying out loud. What will next season bring? More learning to live together in the prison, more wacky hijinks from that Governor fellow, some Rick/Michonne action for the shippers? A Carl rebellion, mayhaps? Whatever it is, I’m in, and I’ll be right back here, same walker time, same walker channel.
And this picture is everything, ships! Ships all around!