The Walking Dead Zombie Round-Up: Welcome to the Tombs
What’s up Evil Geek zombie heads?!?! It’s our final Zombie Round-Up of season 3 and it feels worse than the last day of summer camp. The Evil Lair’s Sunday night’s will be a little less hectic and sadly undead free, but fear not my dear minions, for we shall rise again from our graves like the undead masses for Season 4! Before we say good-bye for the Spring and Summer though, we’ve got a finale to talk first. WAR! Good God what IS it good for?!?!? Well, how about entertaining television for starters. All season long we’ve been building towards this confrontation with Woodbury and everything comes to a head tonight. Will we be saying good-bye to TV’s best villain in the season three ender? How’s Andrea’s stay in the torture shack going? Can the folks at the prison be convincing when they tell Darryl that they’re sorry Merle died? Read on and find out!
We expected a bloody war, but what we got was completely unexpected although just as horrific. As a wise, chicken selling, cowboy once told me, “you’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.” When the Governor shows up at the prison, guns blazing with a force of about two dozen armed people, it appears that Rick and the gang have indeed “folded ’em” and have gotten the hell out of dodge. Looks of course, are always deceiving. The prison folks have led the people of Woodbury right into a zombie laden trap, causing them to scatter. During this frantic ordeal, the true hero of the battle emerges and saves the day for Rick and his people: The jammed .50 caliber machine gun mounted atop the Humvee from Woodbury. If you think about it, if that gun hadn’t misfired the Governor and his army wouldn’t have needed to flee. They easily would’ve been able to fend off the prison’s forces. Luckily fate intervenes, necessitating a hasty retreat on behalf of the people of Woodbury. I don’t recall anyone dying in the prison or when they were escaping the prison (except for the Carl incident, but more on that later), so the bloodbath we were expecting was avoided completely. Although that mostly may be because of Glen’s stormtrooper like aiming capabilities. Did you see him firing that machine gun? It’s a miracle he didn’t end up accidentally shooting himself. It’s at this turning point that the Governor cements his title as TV’s nastiest villain. When faced with the prospect of defeat, a man who had a tenuous grip on sanity to begin with does the most unthinkable thing possible and begins mowing down those whom he was sworn to protect. Sparing only his henchmen Martinez and Other Guy Who Isn’t Martinez, the Governor ends up vanishing in the aftermath of his psychotic break. I enjoyed this turn of events for two reasons: #1.) The show will still have an amazing villain to go back to at some point in the future. He may not be back immediately in the season opener, but he DEFINITELY will be back and he will be a force to be reckoned with. Reason #2.) The Governor’s escape gave us a little bit of a cliffhanger to ponder over the break, but not one that ends the episode leaving us on the edge of our seats. The ending we do get is satisfying, because as the massacre was the end of this portion of the Governor’s story arc, Rick welcoming the people of Woodbury to the prison ends this portion of his story arc.
Rick and the Governor have been traveling in opposite directions along the same spectrum of hero to villain this season. The Governor began as the seemingly more heroic of the two men, but along the path of this season he has been closing himself off to those people in his charge; the people who kept him grounded and on the right path. Rick on the other hand was in pretty rough shape for the first half of season 3. After losing his wife and kind of going a little crazy, he hadn’t really been coming off as leadership material. He’d isolated himself from others and stopped trusting people, especially strangers. Across the course of his journey this season, Rick’s been reminded that he needs to be more open and trusting. Rick’s experience with Morgan was the reminder that made him the leader he needed to be in order to get his people through the Woodbury crisis alive. Rick’s been rewarded with a new society to build and more hands to help out around the prison. With more people there, it’s bound to be easier to secure the entire facility and start thinking of long-term survival necessities like planting crops to ensure a food supply. On the other end of that equation, the Governor is left almost alone and with almost nothing. I wouldn’t put it past Martinez or Other Guy to put a bullet in the Governor’s head the second he drops his guard for even a fleeting moment just to get away from him safely. The Governor’s clearly gone insane and faces a rough road ahead because of his distrust of others.
If you wanted to argue that there was indeed one casualty of the raid on the prison, a strong case could be made for that casualty being Carl. A significantly stronger case could be made in favor of the poor dope who actually died at Carl’s hands though, but I want to talk Carl so that’s the story I’m going with. When faced with the option of allowing a fleeing teenager (who’d been involuntarily conscripted into the Governor’s army) to surrender or burying a bullet in the poor sap, Carl chose option B. In his defense, the kid was a little slow in dropping his shotgun, so it can be somewhat reasonably inferred that he was about the pull a fast one, but in all likelihood Carl is just a stone cold killer. He’s been heading that way for a while, but after that he’s clearly camping out in psycho country these days. Carl points out to Rick that every time he or someone else has opted for mercy, it has resulted in people dying. It’ll be interesting to see if Rick can bring Carl back next season, although the addition of children to the group of survivors could be a step in the right direction. Carl seems to bristle at the idea of new survivors living amongst them, because he’s now in that same distrustful place that Rick began the season in, but having others around might remind him that trusting others isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’ll be up to Rick to show him that allowing other people into his life is an option he should always consider.
So how’d Andrea’s trip to the torture shack go? Well, it went about as well as Milton’s unannounced trip to the torture shack went. It went about as well as you’d expect any trip to a torture shack during the apocalypse would go: zombifyingly bad. I hate to bad mouth the dead, but even when she’s fighting for her life, Andrea is still wicked annoying. She ABSOLUTELY could have freed herself from the handcuffs before Milton turned into a zombie if she didn’t spend so much time talking to him and just blankly staring at him. The zombie thing is going to happen one way or another, you don’t need to stop and see if everything is ok. Everything is clearly NOT OK!!! He will inevitably die whether you get out of the handcuffs or not, so you should be focusing on nothing else but getting those cuffs off. Oh and OF COURSE she’s going to drop the pliers when she grabs them the first time, OF COURSE!!! Arrgggghhhh!!! Anyway, she’s gone now and I’ve vowed to remember her as she was; grating and annoying. The same can be said of Milton too. Both of these characters committed the sin of not stopping the Governor before he murdered his own people and karma has a way of smoothing those things out, so they both paid the ultimate price for their inaction. If there’s one thing that I’ve said over and over again for decades, it’s that if you’re ever standing naked over someone while holding a knife, always stab them!
I thought this was a great finale to a season that has been pretty fantastic as a whole. There are some questions left unanswered at the end, but there was enough finality in the ending for it to be satisfying. Best of all, there was a happy ending for the innocent people caught in the crossfire of the battle between the prison and Woodbury. Well, except for those innocent people who were literally caught in the crossfire as the Governor was killing them, but for those who survived they now have a place to call home and a leader who actually has their best interests in mind in Rick. It’s going to be a long six months until October, but you can be sure C-Mart will be back for a whole new slew of Zombie Round-Ups for season 4. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you in the fall!
C-Mart will return in “You Only Live Once, Then You Zombie Live Once”
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