We made it through 16 episodes of guts and gore (and I don't mean the writing) to arrive at the climax of the third season of The Walking Dead.
One would get the impression there's going to be a showdown or something, right?
Today's episode is called "Welcome to the Tombs" - that seems like a pretty bad ass place for a battle, no?
pink floyd is always cool.
There's plenty in the air, and plenty (or so they want you to believe) at stake in tonight's episode.
Will Andrea make it out of Woodbury alive?
Will Team Prison remain Team Prison, or instead Team On-The-Road-Again ?
How will Michonne react to the group sort of ousting her?
How will Daryl react to the death of Merle?
Does Rick have his stuff together enough to keep this gang together?
Is this episode going to provide more closure than questions?
Hit the jump with us, and we'll talk a bit about how we got here.
it's hard to keep stuff like this straight.
8:00 - seriously, do you remember how we got here?
at the end of last season, after being big time dickheads, and very poor house guests, Gang Grimes inadvertantly drew a horde to Hershel's farm. In the process, people were killed, the group dispersed and confusion ensued. Everybody hit the road, with Shane dead, Andrea on her own and the rest of the Group without a home.
Rick declared a dictatorship, and some Prison loomed in the background - oh, then we met Michonne!
Fast forward to this season.
It starts off with Michonne and Andrea on their own in the woods and Gang Grimes installing themselves in the Prison. Along the way, the group loses T-Dog (but not Carol, as they thought.) Michonne and Andrea find Woodbury, and consequently the Governor - oh! and Merle's there!
The rest of the season shakes back and forth in pretty weird fashion.
The Governor turns out to be an obvious creep.
Carl ends up having to murder his kill his mother to deliver his baby sister.
Rick ends up slowly going crazy seeing ghosts and having imaginary conversations.
poor crazy bastard.
So after some stupid shenanigans, Maggie and Glen are abducted by Merle (while looking for supplies for Judith), and the beef between Woodbury and the Prison is started. On the way, Michonne switches sides, kills the Governors walker-daughter, and because a general bargaining chip throughout the season. Andrea stays with the Gov and does stupid, stupid stuff for another season because the writers hate her. She's eventually held captive in a torture room... ummm, Glen and Maggie sort of get married. Rick starts going super crazy but on a trip to find weapons meets his old buddy Morgan and regains some sanity (while making friends with Michonne a little bit)
Later, Rick and company attack the Woodbury camp. This of course later leads to retaliation, and then the first meeting of the United Nations of ButtFuck Georgia. During said meeting, the Michonne Treaty is struck. Governor says that if Rick turns over Michonne, the Prison will be spared. Rick is - well, isn't - an idiot, and this decision takes way too long. Merle (who for a cup of tea switched over to the prison side) kidnaps Michonne, intending to turn her over to the Gov. He's is however given his bullshit villian face turn retribution as he ends up letting her free and taking out a small portion of the Woodbury crew all on his own before getting killed by the Gov and turning into a walker that's later killed by Daryl. That bit was sort of rough.
it was 'walking dixons' all over again.
all of this leads up to what promises to be a powerful showdown tonight.
it's been an eventful season, to put it lightly.
They've introduced some pretty interesting characters in the Governor and Michonne.
They've killed off some characters they've had difficulties writing well in Lori and T-Dog.
Rick has gone crazy rather believably, and that's a nice touch.
Carl is developing into a rather strong and nuanced character... ha - okay. Well, he doesn't talk a lot, and seems to have feelings, I guess. Hey, he shoots way better now.
like mother like son.
Either way, some people and a lot of walkers are going to die tonight. Let's enjoy it!
8:15 - Make sure you pop some beers in the fridge, and get 'em out before this one gets started. It's sure to be something fierce, and you'll need a little something to take the edge off! Tonight we're having some Heineken and some James Ready 5.5
8:30 - Programming note:
Do you like Game of Thrones?
Yeah, us too.
So much so, we're going to liveblog it!
Pretty crazy, no?
We'll be doing a liveblog on a delay immediately after this finale.
Come check it out!
8:45 - oh boy, oh boy, oh boy... it's close now.
who's expecting to be disappointed?
who's expecting lots of deaths?
who's expecting some stupid cliffhanger or some such thing that leads into next season?
drink if you fit into any of those categories.
ladeeda. fancy pints.
8:50 - in its way, it's sort of sad this season is coming to an end.
in another way, it's not so bad at all.
either way, pretty excited for this finale!
8:55 - five minute warning! turn down the lights and close up the shutters!
9:00 - wow, tuned in early and saw Merle got smashed upon again. He was a walker and whatnot, but that was rough.
So, previously. We're reminded that the Gov is a piece of Junk, and Rick is set up as the inverse.
9:00 - we open on a crazy zoom on the Gov's good eye.
He's punching someone who is obviously Andrea.
He really looks like he's moving a camera, not a face.
Oooh, he's not hitting Andrea, it's Milton.
He's pissed about those walkers getting burned up.
Pins the death of all those men Merle killed on Milton for that.
"And you knew those men. They kept you safe. They kept you fed."
"As long as I looked the other way" Milton tells him.
"Time for you to graduate," Gov retaliates.
9:02 - Milton's crying.
Governor tells him a secret: he enjoys this.
"the smell of gun powder and the sight of blood. you know what that means? you're alive."
Gov goes on being creepy, with really stylized crappy blood splotches on his face.
"What would your daughter think? About what you are?"
Governor gets in his face.
"She'd be afraid of me. But if I was like this when this began she'd still be alive."
fuck OFF, you abusive psychopath. i will be so glad when you are over.
9:03 - Governor throws Milton into Andrea's room.
Andrea tells him they don't have to go to war. That it'll be okay.
"Your friends at the Prison. I want to kill them."
He goes on that he lied to all the people to get them worked up about the Prison so they will kill Rick&co.
9:04 - Gov tells Milton to gather up his tools.A stupid scene unfolds where Milton drops a bunch of stuff, plays around and maybe stashes a weapon.
Governor tells him to leave, but then grabs him and thrusts a knife in his face.
"You're going to kill her now..."
"...there is no way you're going to leave this room without doing it. Don't make it hard. Just do it."
Milton staggers up to Andrea, then turns around and tries to stab the Gov.
Gov blocks it and brutally knifes the guts out of Milton.
"I told you you're going to do it. And you're going to do it. You're going to turn... and then you'll tear the flesh from her bones."
Governor leaves with some crazy kill or die line, thinking Walker Milton will take out Andrea, but he should know better. If a warehouse of walkers didn't kill him two days ago, how's one going to kill Andrea? But seriously, it's a terrible line. "You kill or you die. Or, you die and you kill." SO CLEVARRRRR. why are these writers so obsessed with ham-handed parallels?
opening credit time!
oh, also - Milton is dead. Drink pre-emptively.
...so, crappy dialogue and poor makeup? weird start to this one. hopefully it picks up.
steven from ohio is your number one walking dead fan apparently...
and apparently i give a fuck?
and not a single rose was thrown that day.
9:10 - whelp, we're back at the Prison in the morning.
Melissa McBride shouldn't be al also starring.
So Carl's in his cell packing up memories; pictures, a badge, presumably for Judith during some nice, yet sappy piano music. Hershel's packing too, in the background.
Carl's bag is epically huge. He puts on his Sheriff's hat for levity and goes outside.
These proportions aren't doing you any favours, little buddy.
Rick tries to talk to Carl, but he blows by and doesn't even say anything.
Poor Carl. And also, poor us having to deal with all this heavy-handed symbolism. The picture Michonne rescued, thus proving her worth! His dad's badge - does he really deserve it anymore?
Glen approaches Rick.
"I've never seen him this mad. Even with Lori, he just shut down."
"He's still a kid," Rick replies. "It's easy forget."
Rick goes to get in a car, but gets distracted by ghost Lori, one last time.
9:12 - Daryl and Carol talk about Merle briefly, and how he gave them a chance.
Inside now apparently?, Rick stalks about and meets Michonne.
"We're ready," she tells him.
"The deal the Governor offered about me? You had to think about it. You had to. I get it"
Rick says apologizes and says they came real close.
"But you didn't" Michonne says.
They walk and they Michonne says that she never thanked him.
"What?" Rick drawls.
For taking her in that day, when she came to the fence.
Rick says it was the baby formula, but she knows it wasn't.
Rick goes on to say that it was Carl that made the call.
I don't really understand Michonne's motivation here. Also, did rick just look at her boobs?
9:14 - Well, over at Woodbury, the Governor is all psyched up, talking like a wrestler, talking about "ending this once and for all".
Tyrese says they won't go fight the prison.
"We'll stay here and defend the children." He acknowledges that when the Governor et al return, it will be their call whether he and Sasha stay or are exiled.
Governor grows silent, but then gives Tyrese a gun and says "Thank You" all steely like.
"Let's roll" he says.
Yeah. That gun?
Definitely one of these:
9:15 - wow!
The Woodbury guys roll up on the Prison guns-blazing, automatic gatling guns killing walkers, and taking down fences, and missiles taking out the guard stands? Absolute chaos! Drink.
9:17 - All the Biters dispelled (lots of drinks there.), they exit the trucks and fan out amidst some pulsing awesome Bear Mcreary shit. Where'd they get all this ammo?
The Prison seems fairly deserted though.
Woodburians press on though, using trucks to tear down the fences to Cell-Block C.
White Dude from Tyrese's group opens up the gates to the Prison and in they go.
Man, this music is great.
The men inspect the eery prison interior, the Governor walking about quietly and rather menacingly.
They're being pretty silent about the whole thing.
Gang Grimes is gone, aren't they?
Martinez comes out and shakes his head.
Gov is pissed.
9:19 - Governor stops passing a cell.
Something caught his attention.
A passage is highlighted. It's a bible, I'm not trying to read it.
Governor gets pissed and tosses it down.
Ugh, fine. Don't ever say we're not nice.
blah blah walking dead bible passage blah blah psalmthing
Must have been a message. I would have gone with something like this.
Governor decides the groups should spread out.
Walkers are heard in the background.
9:20 - Back with Andrea and Milton.
He's alive, barely.
"When the tools dropped," he sputteres "I left some pliers on the floor. If you can drag your right foot back you can get them."
Nice. A stupid struggle scene. It's nice that Milton was there to direct her, otherwise she probably would have sat and stared until he chewed her eyes out.
This is very Gerald's Game.
Andrea says they're going to get out of here, and he'll be okay.
"When you get free, you are going to find something very sharp, and you are going to stab me in the head. That is what you are going to do. Keep trying."
Nice acting by this guy. The lack of contractions is a good touch. But yeah, intense scene to go to commercial on.
9:25 - we're back, and the Governor is winding his way through the catacombs.
They hear something.
A door closing.
"This way," he barks.
9:26 - Back at Woodbury, Tyrese and Sasha discuss the issues at hand.
"What do you think happens when they return?"
"Might have to slip out, Andrea did it."
yeah, about that.
Tyrese leaves, although it's Sasha's shift.
9:26 - Andrea's got her pliers, maybe... But Milton isn't talking or moving anymore.
Oh no, little noises escaping his throat.
Oh, shit. He's back conscious.
He asks her why she stayed.
"I wanted to save everyone. Even the Governor. I had a chance to kill him."
"I stopped you." Milton says.
she explains it was a different situation, and she did it because she "didn't want anyone to die."
Andrea smiles (makeup looking better now)
and Milton says "I'm still here. I'm still alive."
They have a sweet moment, but then he tells her she needs to hurry.
no SHIT! she wasn't even trying to do anything while they were talking. if there ever was a time for multitasking, this is probably it.
She takes her boots off and gets to hurrying.
9:29 - The Governor's people are heading through a section of the tombs and gas bombs and flashes start going off. Booby traps! This attracts a bunch of biters.
They run outside and are ambushed by GLEN! Glen opens fire and shit breaks out.
Carl's hiding in the woods.
The Woodburians get back to their killing truck.
Glen keeps firing from his foothold, and it seems as though the Woodburians have retreated.
Glen (and Maggie who was apparently there, posted across from him in relatively identical tactical gear) have/has a moment of jubilation.
Dammit, they're so cute.
9:31 - Hershel and Carl (and Beth) come upon one of the Woodburians fleeing through the woods.
Carl stops him, and has him squarely in his sights. (with that massive fuckin silencer.)
Woodbury boy, looking a lot like Pete Wentz, is offering his weapon in a tense standoff, but Carl pops him anyway.
Hershel is horrified. Carl is hard. or...horrible? I mean, OMG Carl. You're killing people to make a point to your dad?!
Zombie-Apocalypse teenage rebellions are the worst!
why the hell did woodbury retreat when they had that kind of firepower?
9:35 - back at the Prison, the group is discussing what to do now.
Will the Woodbury folk come back? Should they go after them?
Inside it turns out Judith and Beth are okay.
Interesting. Judith's actually in this one.
"Dad, I'm coming to Woodbury," Carl tells Rick. "I took out one of the Governor's soldiers."
Hershel says the soldier was just a kid.
Rick says he was sorry he had to do that. Carl wasn't sorry.
Then Rick and Hershel have a conversation about self-defense in which Hershel raises his voice.
"I'm telling you. He gunned that kid down."
9:37 - Holy shit. Division in the ranks with the Gov?
He pulls over the truck that took off. His people are freaking out and saying he won't go back.
The Governor goes crazy (you can tell by the ringing sound effects, and the fact that i start saying "no no no no no" as the tension builds)
and kills nearly all the would-be deserters.
Martinez and Whitey back up.
Whitey draws his gun. The Governor stares at him coldly and shoots him point blank.
Martinez looks on, frightened, as the Govgeoes out into the field and starts putting bullets into heads.
He comes upon a woman (Karen?) hiding under the dead body of a man - luckily the governor is out of bullets (although I do seem to recall Carol using Axel as a pretty effective human shield earlier this season!).
The Governor is left with two soldiers, who look on, befuddled and obviously concerned. They eventually just get in the truck and drive off. I mean, there are two of them, though? Maybe they could overpower him while he's driving?
That was crazy.
9:40 - back in her cell, Andrea awkwardly tries to pick pliers up with her feet while maybe talking to a dead guy?
she's super beat up.
Time to play a game of picksies-dropsies.
Man, Milton sure is hardy, hanging on this long.
Oop! She almost has them now!
Seems Milton is dead.
Stupid freshly-turned Walkers all strong and not decayed. How long has it been since Andrea's seen one of those?
We head to commercial with her fumbling with handcuffs as Milton's hand begins to twitch.
9:46 - we return to Daryl revving up his bike at the front of the Prison.
Rick goes to talk to Carl.
"Hershel told me about the boy you shot."
"He had a gun."
Rick hmms. Good idea.
"Was he handing it over?"
"They were just attacking us."
Rick repeats his question.
"I couldn't kill the walker that killed Dale. I couldn't take the chance. You didn't kill Andrew who came back and killed mom. You were in a room with the Governor, and you didn't kill him. And then he killed Merle."
wow, Carl walks off and drops Rick's badge.
okay. Snotty prick. I'm the sheriff now, DAD.
Carl seems to forget the past, and him kinda killing Lori? And that she basically died in childbirth?
Anyway, Rick and Co., go off, but Daryl, Carol, Glen and Beth stay back? Maybe Maggie too.
Beth gets a kill, but still no talking.
9:49 - Grimes and Co., come up on the Governor's kill scene where the few that haven't turned are feeding on the others.
Gang Grimes cleans up the scene, and meets the woman in the truck.
She's pulled out at gunpoint.
9:49 - back with Andrea - HURRY THE FUCK UP!!
So she's still not got it, even though she's had a whole commercial break, and Milton is turning.
He's to his feet, but she's got one hand out.
Her panic and fear sweat will surely help.
They cut to outside of the room and a bunch of swinging light and yelling occurs to make us wonder what happened. WTF? these writers and their hackneyed suspense.
Daryl's on Talking Dead.
He's okay, right?
9:56 - oh shit. Rick and his small group are at the walls of Woodbury and shots are being exchanged.
Karen, which is apparently the woman's name, is now calling out to Tyrese and explaining what's happening.
Shots are held.
"Why are you with them," Tyrese asks
"They," she pauses "saved me."
9:57 - "we're coming out," rick half-shrieks.
he repeats himself, in a deeper more assertive voice, then comes out without his weapons. Daryl is a regular disgruntled goat, but he follows suit.
Tyrese asks what they're doing here.
"We were coming to finish things... 'til we saw what the governor did."
Welp, they start asking about Andrea and then go looking.
9:58 - they come upon that door, all their weapons drawn.
Walker Milton is dead on the floor and Andrea is off to the side.
"You're burning up," Michonne says.
She's been bitten!
Andrea asks about Judith and Carl, the rest of "them."
Rick says "the rest of us," and grabs her hand, and it's pretty sweet.
"It's good you found them," she tells Michonne
and there's a super cute goodbye scene with everybody smiling at her.
"I just didn't want anyone to die," she says.
"I can do it myself," she says.
Michonne tries to stop her.
"oooh, I have to. While I still can."
Great! Finally Andrea gets to kill herself!
Remember how much she wanted to do that in season one? And then you guys wouldn't let her?
Slow claps. All around.
"Please," she asks Rick. "I know how the safety works."
aww, super cute throwback. very sad.
Michonne says she's "not going anywhere." so I guess they're all going to stay and watch?
Note: It is super hard to watch Danai Gurira cry. It's not quite at Norman Reedus levels, but it's by far the most emotionally vulnerable we've ever seen her, and she seems so gutted at having let down her friend. And i LOVE that she wants to stay with Andrea and bear witness to what happens - it's so fitting with her character and so honouring of their relationship (not that we got to see much of that).
"I tried," Andrea says.
"Yeah, you did." Rick tells her.
Daryl and Rick leave Michonne and Andrea to themselves.
They share one last look.
okay, new OTP, Andrea and Michonne 'til the end
We cut to Daryl and Tyrese and Daryl outside of the room.
The gunshot rings out, and the screen goes black.
10:02 - we head back to the Prison, and my Game of Thrones blog is starting even later.
There's a sunsoaked reunion scene, and everybody at camp Prison is confused, because apparently Rick has gone ahead and rescued all the children and adults who were left behind at Woodbury.
"What is this," Carl protests.
"They're going to join us," Rick tells him.
Well, that's an interesting turn.
Things get really sweet as a bunch of people move into the Prison.
Everybody looks on, shocked by Rick's turn.
Rick though? He's just busy looking around at stuff and thangs.
We end the seasons on some shots of walkers in the field and Lori's grave, which was coincidentally the first shot of the prison in this episode.
Not bad. But almost cloyingly hopeful?
Everything bathed in sunlight, an influx of innocents, mellow guitar music, and no trace of the show's theme song?
We'll give a synopsis in a bit!
Overall, I suppose we received more closure than I was expecting. While Woodbury itself is no longer a threat, a rabid Governor (along with two minions who should tooootally kill him!) is driving around, poised to become a menace all over again. However, how much threat can one man really pose? As the first scene demonstrated, the Joker he ain't.
We lost Andrea, Milton, and many Woodburians. And even more over the course of the season! I expect you'll want some kind of run-down here, but I'm not a fucking magician. Use Google!
Anyway! So some episodes of this season were pretty cool!
But overall, I'd say this season sucked. I can't help but hold everything to a standard of potential set by the first season, if not basic theories of storytelling - and it nearly always comes up wanting.
That said, compared to last season?
Join us back here this fall (or y'know keep checking back in the interim) for all your Walking Dead fun. In the mean time, stay safe, and keep starting off into the distance at y'know, stuff, and thangs.
that'll do Rick. that'll do.