The Walking Dead Season Finale Review: “Welcome to the Tombs” (Season 3, Episode 16)

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The Woodbury people fire some volleys in return, but they flee pretty quickly and seem none too eager to return. One of them, however, winds up in the woods, and there he is gunned down by Carl as he attempts to surrender. Carl has been an important character with a burgeoning role in the group, and it was stunning to see him slip in this moment. I’m not sure why he pulls the trigger initially – fear, uncertainty, accident – but he quickly rationalizes the decision as the right thing to do. Hershel doesn’t agree though, and tells Rick what happened.

The relationship between Rick and Carl has been strained all season, and it was good to see them get a scene wherein Rick has to realize that he will never be able to raise a normal son in this world. Carl has already been taught that the world is a vicious place, and he quotes a long list of moments wherein the failure to act cost lives. Carl may be the person now best suited to survive, but his youthful humanity is gone.

Rick, however, gains his humanity back, prompted in part by Carl’s ruthlessness. The Governor, it seems, has finally snapped entirely. He begins the episode by beating Milton and trying to make his old friend kill Andrea. When Milton balks, however, The Governor guts Milton and leaves him locked in the room with Andrea so that when he dies his reanimated corpse will consume her. It’s a grim final sentencing for both of them, and one that David Morrissey delivers with aplomb. This leads to a ticking time bomb scenario for Andrea, one which becomes infuriating because of her ineptitude. This character, even in peril, is completely unsympathetic.

Meanwhile, following the failed assault, The Governor decides to deal with his disloyal and cowardly group of psuedo-warriors the only way he knows how: by shooting everyone on of them while no one does a single thing to stop him! This moment was shocking in that it took him from a position of evil to outright villainy, but it also was notable for its utter lack of sense. After watching him kill roughly a fourth of the population of their own, why would the two remaining men get into his car willingly?

We will never know, because this is the last we hear of them this episode. Yes, the big bad for the season goes on a homicidal rampage, two flunkies do nothing to stop him and join him against all logic or reason, but that’s all we get. Later, when Rick and the group go to finish him off, they find a girl who explains everything, run into the very reasonable Tyreese, and then get ushered into Woodbury – to which the Governor never returned – to find Andrea.

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