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3/31/13

Open Thread: The Walking Dead Season Finale


Ladies and gents, the Walking Dead season 3 finale has come and gone. What did you think? Here's your place to discuss the events of the episode--the attack on the prison, Andrea's fate, Carl--speculation on what's in store for next season.

I'll update with some thoughts when I get the chance! Edited: My thoughts after the jump!


Apologies for the delay in getting this up - often times real life, family and real job have to take precedence!

Overall
A mixed bag, in my opinion. Some really good stuff--the Andrea/Milton scenes, Governor going totally nutso, mowing down walkers with a .50 cal, the expansion of the group. And some disappointing stuff--namely, the showdown we've been waiting for since the show returned from the mid-season break.

The Attack on the Prison
I was almost certain that Team Rick had actually abandoned the prison--I mean, it is an old, dirty, walker-infested prison that only provides so-so protection. The grenade launcher and .50 cal action was cool. But the actual turn into an ambush was over in flash; the only member of Team Rick who I really saw doing any shooting was Glenn and Maggie, and then it was over. Rick, Daryl and the others emerged from hiding and I wasn't sure what part in the prison's defense they'd even played.

I mean, the Governor's first attack on the prison--with the walker-bomb and Axle getting headshot--was much superior. Obviously, the action isn't the only thing that makes this show good, but when you're waiting for half a season for an eventual showdown, you've got to live up to some expectations. Heck, despite the gun run they went on a couple episodes ago, the group didn't seem to use any of that extra firepower.

The retreat of the Governor's forces was pretty accurate to what would happen. Untrained, poorly motivated average everyday people aren't going to fare very well during an ambush in the spooky bowels of a walker infested prison.

BTW, the Governor had to leave one of their vehicles behind--was that the Deuce with the .50 cal? Hope we'll see more of that.

Andrea/Milton
I haven't been a fan of Andrea for a while now, though her flight from Woodbury did something to redeem her. Milton started to step up the past couple episodes and well, the Governor wasn't going to tolerate any of that.

Pretty excellently diabolical scenario to throw someone into and quite well done. TEOTWAWKI Wife could barely watch.

I was surprised that Andrea actually got bit by zombie Milton, though. I figured she might make it--but I guess it was the season finale and somebody's gotta die. Her parting words--her explanation that she just didn't want anyone to die--were some of the best bits of the episode. That whole not wanting anyone to die didn't work out very well.

And yes, the sound effect guy who added the spent brass casing sound effect from the revolver's gunshot needs to a refresher course. Unless, of course, it was actually Michonne who performed the coup de grace with her pistol (she's carried a semi auto as a backup, I think)...but the signs point to bad sound editing.

Carl
Carl has become a survivor, and has come to see life as his group/family versus the rest of the world. Either you're with them or you're a threat, which is exactly how its been for him since the walkers rose. I thought that the shotgun armed Woodbury kid was going to try something--else why wouldn't he drop his gun as ordered, instead of trying to hand it over.

Sure, the Woodbury kid was just a kid, but he was older than Carl, a member of the Woodbury attack squad and, well, could have been every bit as deadly as Carl. You just don't know. He's not following orders, he's part of an attack force, he's armed and moving towards you, while you're trying to protect your baby sister. When you're in Carl's shoes, really, the choice is pretty clear--shoot him.

Tyrese
I also thought for sure that Tyrese was going to bust into the Governor's torture chamber and rescue Andrea. At one point, he said he was going to go check something out--did we ever find out what that was?

Glad he's a part of the crew now--pretty obvious you've chosen the wrong side when your leader machine guns down everyone else.

For those that have heard Tyrese played a prominent role in the comics--he was dead at this point in the comics, so it's an entirely blank slate for him at this point. Who knows what will happen.

The Governor
Well, machine gunning down your townspeople is one way to vacate a leadership position. That'll teach them for disobeying orders. Yikes.

Where did the drive off to, anyways? I was worried that he would double back and hit the prison while Rick, Daryl and Michonne were in Woodbury, but that didn't turn out to be the case. I mean, you'd think he'd roll back to Woodbury and pack up some gear even if he was heading off elsewhere.

Why did Martinez and the other dude not open fire? Well, they've accompanied the Governor on lots of murderous raids where they've gunned down masses of people before. From that POV, this was another massacre--a shocking one, obviously, but they've sold their souls in the service of the Governor. Where he goes, they go.

The New Additions
Carl's reaction pretty much said it all from a survivor's point of view--what is this? The people they brought back were all non-combatants...and let's not forget that the Governor conscripted pretty much anybody who could walk, so they're not really able bodied, either. They're mostly going to be a liability...a mouth to feed.

Of course, it's a tough decision to just abandon those people to die in the ruins of Woodbury. From the moral/feel good point of view, taking them in is the right call. From the pure survival standpoint...well, we'll see.

I don't imagine we'll see much of the new prison guests next season. A walker outbreak or attack from the Governor and they'll be gone pretty darn quick.

Next Season
Definitely looking forward to it. They've switched up showrunners yet again, so we'll see if the show's direction changes at all. At this point, they're charting totally new territory from the comic, so it's anybody's guess what adventures Team Rick will go on next.

33 comments :

  1. i'm late to the party but the kid seems to have the least morals and the right idea. everytime they show mercy, it bites and bites hard. i didn't shed a tear when Andrea died. good riddance. how people couldn't see past the Governors craziness is beyond me. speaking of which. where did he go? overall lots of chance taking for no good reason, i would think someone would have a 22LR with big mags or glocks by now all equipped with silencers but we're still stuck with the idea that a heard of 50 or so walkers can threaten the group. seriously poor tactics. i forgot the name of the guy they found in there old hometown but he had the right idea and somehow they aren't using it around the prison yet! good show (i'm late to it...i watched the marathon) but sorry tactics. i'll still watch though!

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  2. I don't get the two guys who stuck around when the Governor went out-and-out berzerker mode. They were obviously horrified, they had weapons, and yet not only didn't they neutralize the obvious threat, they turned around and got in the vehicle with him when he left. Surely the risks of being the right hand man to a sociopath are not worth the perks.

    Not sure how to feel about Carl's decision to take out the kid. Maybe the guy was surrendering his weapon, but if so, why didn't he drop it when directed to do so? He just kept inching closer--I can see why Carl perceived a threat, especially with his little sister's safety in his hands. He makes a good argument for the adage "He who hesitates is lost."

    Milton and Andrea--wow! Intense and suspenseful. Milton won my affection in this episode. Who knew he was made of such stern stuff? There was a sense of redemption in his struggle to help Andrea, even in death.

    My favorite moment of the series so far: Andrea - "No one can make it alone now." Daryl - "They never could."

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    Replies
    1. - Every psycho has their lieutenant(s). They probably figured they'd have more of a chance to shoot people if they stuck around ;)
      - Carl did the right thing, IMO, because the kid *was* inching closer saying "Take it". That's a trap if there ever was one. His actions fit his speech to his father about not giving people a chance to screw them over after saving them. "Now, go" my jaw dropped when he slapped his dad with that dismissal. I think I'd have dope slapped my kid for doing that :)
      - I liked Milton in the end. It's too bad his character was such a foot-stool wimp the whole time
      - Andrea - eh - glad to see her character go. I was tired of her :( I DID really like to see Mishone show emotion, though I really couldn't figure out what the two of them did for her to be so attached to Andrea. Maybe the time on the road was enough to form a bond?

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  3. Well the Governor sure went nuts didn't he.

    Seems like the newly formed super-friends group has chosen the prison as the site for Fort Zombieland. Not sure why they picked the Prison over Woodbury as their friendship base. Seems like Woodbury is actually much more secure than the Prison. The "walls" are just crappy chain link fences that apparently anyone can either bolt cut their way through or ram open with a crappy pickup truck. Plus half of the prison is still full of zombies and pretty unsecured. And Woodbury has like nice houses and beds and running water and electricity and stuff. Plus seems like they have plenty of food and supplies there--are they gonna move all that over to the prison?

    I dunno--all the prison has ever been good for is protecting against walkers--and it actually doesn't do all that great a job of that. And its always been too dang big to properly secure. Oh and all the guard towers just got exploded--can't use those no more. And everything got all machine-gunned to pieces. Even their precious pallets!!! I guess they had to leave Woodbury cuz that is the "bad guy town" and they are all good guys now, but just seems like it would be a much better base (in every way) than the prison.

    Of course its just a show--no need to take the tactics of everything too seriously. A great show and this is by far the best season thus far. Can't wait till season 4!!!

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    1. Woodbury is a good sized town which means lots of wall thats been breached on several occasions. More wall means more security is needed to cover it. The prison fences is out in the open and can be watched by a few people. Now with more people, the prison can be cleaned out, cleaned up and gardens planted in the yard.

      Woodbury is like home, soft and comfortable. Easy to forget the reality of whats going on outside the wall. The prison doesn't let you forget that there is still a war with the walkers.

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    2. I dunno, warm water and electricity sounds pretty good to me. If the perimeter is too big, you can always shrink the amount of turf you've got behind walls...

      The REAL reason they moved to the prison is that the prison is a set and Woodbury was the main street of an actual small town in Georgia.

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    3. The "REAL reason" explains lots of decisions on this show. Be it logistical or dramatic reasons. IMO the prison is the better choice.

      I do have one question. Where was Woodbury getting its electricity?

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  4. I was hung up on the fact that Team Rick is a crack shot when shooting at walkers - head shots every time from 100 yds out, but if you put people in a bottleneck all bunched together coming out of a door not one can be hit with an automatic rifle. Seriously? I thought I was watching the A-Team for a few minutes.

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  5. Carl did the right thing. That "kid" looked like he was inching closer for a gun/Carl grab to me. He let him get too close, IMHO.

    I too welcomed the loss of Andrea. How much bloodshed could have been avoided had she just slit his throat?

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  6. Worst ending ever. I was expecting an epic gun fight or some tactics that would surprise me. Instead, we got a retreat and a slaughter by the governor.

    Although the finale was really poor, I can't imagine next season being better then this one. I think the show is dying out now.

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  7. Weak and disappointing season finale. All the build-up for the big battle between The Gov and Team Rick and it goes limp at the end. I'm glad Andrea is put out of everyone's misery and Carl's going all hard now. He's "little Shane" now. I'd had enough of Andrea's annoying stupidity this entire season.

    I loved the look of horror, confusion and terror on the faces of Martinez and silent black guy after the Governor goes berserk. Would you still roll with someone like that? And where did the three go if not back to Woodbury? That must've been an awkward car ride.

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  8. Carl did the right thing, if you are truly seurrendering and scared shitless you drop your weapon and put your hands up and mayby even get on your knees, anything like the kid did is still a threat. I agree about the taking in of people biting them in the ass but your still have to have numbers to survive. It will be interesting to see how the new people inegrate, I think(someone let us know) but Tyresee is a major player in the comic books so we will see what ark that plays out. As for the Gov I would have shot his ass a long time ago, and sure as hell would not have got in the truck with them but maybe Martinez and the other guy thought that was their only choice, sure as hell can't go to the prison and ask for help.

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  9. Good episode, in my opinion. Character development and advancement abounds. Rick 'regains' his humanity, Carl accelerates the loss of his, Michonne's reaction to Andrea's passing suggests all sorts of possibilities, Herschel quietly watches and judges, the Governor snaps and let's his freak flag fly, and Tyreese seems to be the 'voice of decency and good' that was lost when Dale died.

    Everyone who clamors for more shoot-em-up action is overlooking the point that what makes the series compelling isn't so much the 'ohmigod zombies!' aspect, but rather the characters and their reactions/behaviors/interactions/adaptations to thier horrific new environment. Sure, the gunplay is entertaining...but without complex characters it's just a repetitive zombie-shoot-of-the-week show...I could get that by watching 'Dawn Of The Dead' over and over every Sunday night.

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    1. Zero -

      Agree r.e. the character development, BUT the series had built to a big confrontation between the forces--lots of "we're going to war" and stocking up of weapons--they turned out to be a relative non-event.

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    2. So far...

      There's nothing that says there won't be a big showdown. Everyone is assuming that if it didnt happen in the season finale it isnt happening at all. I think thats a bit shortsighted. Heck, the dropped bombshells in the first season that they waited until the end of season two to resolve (the guy at the CDC telling them that everyone was infected) so there's a precedent here for setting something up and then waiting...waiting..waiting.......

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    3. Wolf; Well there's no one left to fight from the Gov's forces cept the 2 that stuck around.
      I think Rick's team outnumbers them now? Personally I wanted to see the prison crew riding to Woodbury to finish it off and take over :)

      I think those saying there was a retreat missed the tactical feint they pulled. I thought it was masterful to lay low, suck them in, then engage them on the way OUT. My jaw dropped when they opened up on them! My question is who was dropping the flash bombs in the catacombs? Was that just a triggered trap possibly?

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    4. Zero -

      Guess I'm thinking 'bout last season's closing couple episodes...heck, look at the closing episode prior to the mid-season break with the raid on Woodbury. That's more along the lines that I think most people were expecting.

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  10. Anyone else glad Andrea bit the dust? She annoyed the hell out of me since season 1. Carl, I would have shot that twerp in the face too. Did not drop the gun fast enough.

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    1. My need for her to be around was done when they gave us all a wonderful butt-shot silhouette as she cheaped out on knifing the psycho :D

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  11. For all those wanting more action, take a look at the Walking Dead comic book series. The two stories, TV and Comic, are a lot alike but still enough different that it almost feels like you are experiencing two completely different stories. I would say that I love them both equally but in different ways.
    And let me say, Carl did what he had to do from the perspective of his past experiences. The kid with the shotgun looked to me as if he was trying to hand Carl the gun but with the muzzle end first. In that world and with their past experiences, I would have shot the kid also.

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  12. Good ending of series, I was hoping to see the Guvanuh git his, but I guess that gives me something to look forward to in Fall. Man, its going to be a long summer . . .

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    1. That wasn't the end of the series, it was the end of the season and a weak one at that. I agree with a few people above. WTF was that? Way too much build up for such a soft finale.

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  13. The way the kid held on to the shotgun and kept inching closer, I was expecting him to try something. I was glad Carl made the first move. As for Andrea, she wanted to save everyone. Noble aspiration, but impossible on your own. I ain't gonna miss her. Martinez and "silent black guy" burnt their bridges. The governor was their only option. No way they could go back to Woodbury or to the prison.

    Overall, good finale to a good season. The show can go in any direction next season.

    "Is it october yet?"

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  14. I have a feeling that the governor is going to find some new forces to lead and this time their will be no question that they are mutant zombie biker types that will have little issue with killing and pillaging. If I rememeber correctly the two guys in the bar that Rick shot were part of a larger group that was eluded to be not so nice. I thought they were part of woodbury but now seeing how woodbury really was I am not sure they were. They seemed to be a little to seedy for woodbury overall and it was not the governors MO to send just two guys out like that.

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  15. I heard the spent brass too but figured it must have actually been the revolver hitting the ground. I dunno...

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  16. Ok I'm military (18 years Infantry and Signal) so bear with some of my technical rants. I'll also touch on why the "finale" was like foreplay with no sex.

    1) HMMWVs have run flats. They are also impermeable to anything short of 7.62 mm. No nail board is going to take out a tire.

    2) Deuce and a half. Don't have keys, (soldiers tend to lose them), just a starter. Would have been easy for the girl to punch a button and drive somewhere. Guess she had to stay as a plot device.

    3) Attack on prison: Ok, I get the straight on approach. But a .50 cal is about useless against a zombie (read World War Z specifically the Battle of Yonkers). Besides that, the Gov's forces ran because of some flares and noise makers? Huh. Who knew you could defeat an overwhelming force with firecrackers?

    3b) Where did you get the grenade launcher and ammo? That's not exactly National Guard standar issue.

    4) Prison defense: Glenn and Maggie. You are Prima Facie evidence why you need to practice with your weapon. Maybe daily. On the walkers at the fenceline. (Why that isn't cleared at least with iron rods is another "tactic" I don't understand)

    5) Carl: Remember what Lonnie James said, "Never apologize for doing what is necessary". Watch the scene again, then count to yourself how long between when Carl said "Drop the weapon" to when he shoots.

    6) The Gov: I've lost track as to how many people have had the drop on him but he draws from the hip and shoots them square between the eyes. Dude makes Wyatt Earp look like Pee Wee Herman.

    6a) The Gov's "Army": 15 of you standing there, and instead of, oh I dunno...FIRING BACK....you run?

    7) Andrea: Talk AND pick up the pliers with your immaculate, glossed toes. It's called 'multi-tasking'. Never mind she's not wearing socks, wearing boots and it's a year after running water.

    7a) Andrea (part II): You've got to try REAL hard to take the 'Most Annoying Character' award away from Rick's dead wife. But you succeeded. What part of: a)Keeps heads in a fish bowl, b) keeps Zombie daughter in cage, c) STAGES fights with Zombies, d) Forces Merle and Darryl to fight didn't clue you in as to his (the Gov) character? The fact that she was a lawyer pre-apocalypse makes PERFECT sense. Never mind the fact that she's getting character refereces from MERLE and Michonne bails ASAP. (we call those 'clues')

    8) Rick: So you grab the elderly and bring them back to that indefensible prison, you don't grab supplies....do I need to go on?

    Herschel said it best in S2: "How the Hell have you people survived until now?"

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  17. I can understand the Governor's "army" making a hasty exit out of the cell block. There are flash bangs, zombies (which they do gun down) and I thought Rick and others were down there shooting at them??

    And then Glen and Maggie spraying them when they exit makes them keep running to the trucks. Then the .50 is jammed. On top of that the Governor has whipped them up with all this fear about how dangerous and aggressive Rick's team is, these people are freaking out. I understand why they run.

    My biggest beef was Maggie and Glen. My dog could shoot straighter with his hind legs... wtf happened? They really should have shown at least some of the Governor's guys go down as they ran.

    I guess at the massacre point there were not that many people left, so possibly we are supposed to believe some died in the ambush and some died running. Some visual evidence would have been good though.

    Second beef... Governor mows down about 8 of his own people. They were all armed. Can no one shoot back?

    I think from here they need to raid Woodbury's supplies, weapons and fuel, and then make a convoy to leave the area. Look for a barracks or military base, or even go remote and look at farms further out where populations are lower. Fortify and sustain.

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  18. To be fair it did look like the truck that Rick drove back from Woodbury along with the bus had a tarp covering the back with what could have been supplies and we also don't know if a bunch was not put in the bus with the people.

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  19. A lot of people are saying Carl did the right thing, but I think he was too quick to pull the trigger and too slow to repeat is order. An "I said DROP UP! NOW!!!" would have forced the kid to either drop it or go for an attack, and with his shotgun out of alignment and in one hand, and Carl's gun on the kid's head, it would have been a no contest. I think giving someone a quick second chance to (re)consider their actions before killing them when you have the easy drop on them would have been more... moral? Righteous? Humane? Not sure what word to use...

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  20. along with the spent shell casing that was heard....

    Andrea said she still knew how to work the safety. On a revolver??

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    1. Revolvers have safeties. These days I think ALL guns do.

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    2. Are you talking about the child lock S&W and Taurus build into their guns? Revolvers do not have safeties.

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  21. I thought the spent brass noise was the revolver tapping the ground when her arm went limp. I will have to watch it once more to listen if it had more of a hollow sound like a spend casing.

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