A season that has seen some of its best episodes in the last few weeks ended on a sour note. Seriously Walking Dead, building up the finale, and delivering, is what you are supposed to do. This week was a disappointment on too many levels. There was an aspect or two I really enjoyed, but I’m going to go ahead and start with everything that was wrong with the episode.
I guess I should begin with the “prison assault”, If there was one thing that this episode was promising, it was 27 deaths and a big showdown in the prison. I’m going to go ahead and say they failed on both accounts. Many of the deaths this week were very tame zombie kills and Woodbury extras. There could have been an amazing amount of gun fire back and forth for the whole episode. I would be lying if I said that having Woodbury walking through the underground in the dark quiet basement of the prison wasn’t getting me excited. Then the lights and alarms started to go off, I figured ok, here we go. This was not the case as we get the people of Woodbury run away with their tails between their legs to get away from the prison. On top of this, The Governor follows and doesn’t stay to have a fire fight. The Governor I had hoped to see all season showed up and killed a bunch of defenseless people when he stopped the convoy in the road. This was the man who was such a badass in the comics I was afraid of him in real life. He was pure evil in this little moment. This was one of the good things about this episode. Want to know another bad thing, after killing off his army he drives off with Martinez and Shupert and you never see them again during the episode. Seriously, what the heck? I understand you want to keep him around for another battle, but come on! This is not ok to do.
Earlier in the episode we got another glimpse of the new and improved crazy Governor when he was beating up on Milton for killing his zombies. Milton didn’t back down really either and brought up his daughter, a no- no when dealing with The Governor. Milton is one of the few characters who had a good episode. He had the choice of killing Andrea or dying, and instead took a swipe at The Governor. Milton tried to go out in a blaze of glory. The Governor wasn’t having any part of it though and killed him stone cold. He did leave Milton to go kill Andrea, still strapped to the chair. I guess it’s about time we talk about Andrea. She is a perfect example of what is wrong with this show sometimes. She is finally coming around to be likeable, and what happens, she dies in the stupidest way possible. She continuously talks to Milton as he is dying in front of her and not trying to get out of this situation as quickly as possible. Finally when she does get the pliers by her feet, she doesn’t rush to cut herself free, she gets bitten by Milton, off-screen of course, which stinks. This seemed to me like a way to appease the fans who don’t like this character. I’m not going to lie, I was very happy that she was killed off here, but I felt nothing. Merle killed me last week, no pun intended. But this week two major characters died, and to be honest I wasn’t surprised or upset about either. The show never knew what to do with Andrea and without being surprised; they didn’t know how to kill her off either. I found it funny that one of her last lines was, “I tried”, and when talking about giving her best effort in not having anyone die. This seemed like the writers being like “well we did what we could, sorry everyone”. This was such a waste of a character that is one of the best in the comic series.
One thing this episode did do ok with was Carl. Was the kid he shot in the face going to give the gun up? Probably, but with what has happened in the past, could Carl really take a chance with Hershel, Beth, and Judith being right there? No, he really couldn’t. Yes, they are pushing the point that he has no morals because of the “society” he is growing up in, but I was ok with this in the long run. You could also see in the beginning of the episode that he was pissed he wasn’t in on the plan to trap The Governor and Woodbury in the prison. He feels like he belongs with the others in the group during these times. Again, I don’t blame him for feeling that way, but most likely he doesn’t belong in the gun fights. He also straight up told Rick to stop fucking around when it comes to The Governor, and any other situations like this. With every missed opportunity, another member of the group has a chance to die. In his eyes, it’s us vs. them. This is the same sentiment The Governor has had all season. Carl is a cold mofo and it should be interesting where next season takes him now that the rest of Woodbury has moved into the prison.
Michonne didn’t have much to do this episode except to thank Rick for taking her in early in the season. Maggie and Glenn got to shoot at The Governor for a bit. Tyreese and Sasha are finally in the group, after not doing much this episode either. So much was wasted in this episode it isn’t fair to the viewer. To have the sun rising and Rick not see Lori one last time I guess was a way of saying Rick isn’t crazy anymore. There was so much anticipation for this episode with how the season has been winding down, but all we were told was The Governor will be back and we won’t write Andrea anymore. The potential of this show is really amazing, but now 3 seasons in I don’t have much hope of it coming anywhere close to where the comic books are. Maybe the show should end like this season did, a slow montage of zombies moving in a field and focusing in on a cross, telling all of us they have laid it to rest. Change my mind Season 4.
Review by Bryan Lasky