The Walking Dead Season 3 Finale Review
The Walking Dead arguably is one of the biggest parts of popular culture right now. The comics are popular amongst its many readers, merchandise sells like hotcakes and the show is a highly rated and watched program and one of AMC's big money makers.
I am pretty fan of the franchise, I've read every volume of the comic series released to date and I've seen every episode to date. Considering its popularity, it might benefit readers of the Mountaineer to hear how the show is going. What better way to start this trend than with the season 3 finale.
Obviously, some spoilers lie ahead, so keep that in mind.
Ok, the big plot point of season 3 was the war between Rick with his survivors (the good guys and protagonists) versus the Governor and the people of Woodberry. In the comics, this a huge part and the ongoing fight took many lives of big characters and was a huge turning point for the book. As any fan could imagine, AMC has been hyping this fight for months on end with its episodes and advertisements. The previews for the episode even showcase Governor and his forces attacking the prison. Sooooooo what do we get with the finale? The polar opposite, including actions that are sending the show in a questionable direction.
Now yes, people will argue that this is a show, not the book. Viewers want something different from the show, yet at the same time there are certain events that fans want to see. Also yes, this show should not just be made for fans of the book, there are plenty of viewers that have never even touched the books. However, both kinds of viewers have plenty to be dissapointed in.
Last week, one of the biggest and most important characters of the show passed away. Merle is the brother of Daryl, and these characters are creations of the show, arguably the best thing the show ever did. Merle's death was a huge emotional point of the show and it should've had massive ramifications. NOTHING, not a single mention of Merle's death is in the finale. No one mentions his death, Daryl doesn't even tell anybody, and nobody asks about it?! Even if they hated Merle, why did no one bring this up?! This is a huge plot hole in my opinion and is very sloppy writing.
The finale opens with the Governor, who by now has lost all signs of humanity and is now on a murderous and insane spree (just like the book.) The difference with the show Governor is that we got alot of depth with him. It was fascinating to watch him transform from a leader to a murderous psychopath. He was the representation of what our hero Rick could have become if Rick had taken the wrong path. That concept is now gone. The Governor is a monster now.
In the opening, the Governor kills his right hand man, Milton and locks him in a room with the trapped Andrea. Every review of the Walking Dead show has hated on Andrea. Everyone hates Andrea, for 2 reasons primarily. Fans of the book will absolutely loathe Andrea in the show because the book has her as a strong and endearing character that is always there for Rick and the survivors and is a valued member, who is still alive to this day. In the show, this can be applied to all viewers, she is a horribly written character. She sleeps around with the villains, her loyalties and motivations change at the tip of the hat frequently in a fashion that is downright frustrating and she says she does it all so that no one has to die as she shoves horrid speeches down everyone's throats while doing stupid things. The climax of this episode is her dying by zombie Milton, and it is for the better. Now fans can be done with this annoying butchering of a beloved comic book character.
One of the most frustrating aspects of this episode though, is the prison fight, or lack there of. Within the first 10 minutes of the episode, The Governor rallies his Woodberry followers, who he claims are foaming at the mouth to kill Rick and the gang, and they assault the prison. Complete with machine guns, grenade launchers and a bloodthirsty Governor. They kill every zombie on the front lawn and enter the prison. This is the point where the entire concept of the "war" leaves the show. The Governor and his forces continue to search the prison for the survivors to no avail. Team Rick seems to have left the prison, until Team Governor walks into one small part of the prison where flashbangs and the alarm go off, attracting more zombies that magically were in the prison still. Team Governor retreats like puppies with their tails between their legs, although the Governor just leaves infuriated chasing his forces. Outside the prison, Glenn and Maggie (Team Rick) are in riot suits shooting at the Governor's people. This part was so facepalmingly bad because these supposed "bloodthristy" citizens ran at the first sign of danger and didn't even pick off 2 people (Glenn and Maggie). And Glenn and Maggie, didn't hit a single enemy. It could be argued they were not trying to hit them, but that is debatable. That is all it took, The Governor and his people fled, with no sign of the Governor's thoughts on the matter. THAT'S ALL IT TOOK?! Are you serious?! Some "war."
In the ensuing chaos, it appears that Team Rick was just hiding outside the prison, witnessing their trap (that went too well if you ask me.) Carl (Rick's son) and Hershel (the one legged old man) find one teenager from the Governor's army and Carl tells him to put his gun down. The idiot teenager says ok, but walks closer to Carl with gun in hand and Carl offs him. Ok, Carl made the right move here, big deal. The problem is that throughout the rest of this episode, they made a big deal out of it. Hershel tells Rick about it like Carl did the wrong thing. When Rick confronts Carl (by the way Carl is all pissy through the whole epsiode, it came off very annoying) about doing this and that it was wrong, Carl says we have let too many people live and they have come back to kill us. Carl is becoming a little Governor here and it will be interesting to see where Carl goes from here. However once again, I much prefer the book Carl. Show Carl is more whinny and a jerk.
After Team Governor leaves the prison, the Governor commands them to pull over on the side of the road. Then without any remorse, the Governor slaughters his entire army with the exception of his top 2 guards. WHAT?! The book Governor may have been nuts, but this Governor is downright evil. This is horridly stupid, but then it gets worse, the entire slaughter, not a single person tries to fight back at the Governor. No one tries to shoot him, hit him or even defend themselves. They all just run away like scared dogs. I understand they are trying to beef up the Governor's evil status, but SERIOUSLY?! Not a single person would consider defending themselves from this monster? Especially the 2 he kept alive, don't you think that they should, I don't know, STOP HIM?! It makes absolutely no sense and was downright frustrating to watch. Then, the worst part, the Governor and his 2 men just drive off. THAT'S IT. That's the last we see of them this season. No conclusion, no direction, nothing. I mean sure, they are keeping the Governor alive, but for what purpose? In the book, the Governor dies in the prison war. What are they going to do with him now? This could be good or horrible, I'm leaning towards the latter.
Lastly in the complaints department, the ending. My God. Rick, Daryl and Michonne travel to Woodberry with intent to kill the Governor after his retreat. Long story short, he is not there. They find Tyreese and his wife/girlfriend(?) defending the base. After a very long discussion that should've happened earlier this season, Tyreese and the woman join Team Rick. They find Andrea and have their last goodbye/she is gonna die scene. After hating Andrea this entire show, the scene hardly hits any emotions other than joy for her dying. Then, Rick brings all the elderly and children from Woodberry to the prison.
.......WHAT?! Rick, you already have enough people to care for, including: a brat of a son, a couple-months old baby and an old man with only one leg. Why on earth would you take in all of these people?! Sure, they are probably just trying to protect innocent people from the Governor, but it totally defies their decisions throughout THE ENTIRE SERIES. Sure, let a couple people in at a time, like Michonne. At the farm in season 2, it was understandable to have the survivors from Hershel's farm join Team Rick, but this is baffling. Why would Rick take on this much responsibility, for people that can't really fight for themselves? They don't even give us a sentence of explanation, the finale ends with them showing up, no words said, and then fade to black. Hopefully season 4 will explain this, but this is not a good direction for the show.
Anything positive from this finale? I guess if you are fans of Team Rick, then yay for you, everybody lives. In the book, many lives are lost in the prison war. Andrea is now gone, so that is a big plus. Lastly, Tyreese is now where he belongs, with Team Rick. Other than that, there was not alot of good things to come from this finale. Of course I will watch season 4 this fall, but I am not excited for the direction one of my favorite shows is going. Maybe the new writer will clean up this mess, but he has a lot of muck to clean through.
I give the season 3 finale of The Walking Dead a very dead-panned 1.5 out of 5.