This whole blog started as an outlet for me to vent my disappointment in M. Night Shyamalan’s bastardization of The Last Airbender. I thought it only fitting that I my first post in about a year and a half be another bit of my whining about being let down. This time about the season 3 finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead. If you haven’t watched the episode yet be warned - spoilers are ahead.
I’ll start with what I really enjoyed about the episode, as that list is much, much shorter. The first scene before the opening credits with Milton, the Governor, and Andrea was outstanding. It really set the stage for an action-packed, exciting episode (unfortunately it all went downhill from there). Milton finally stood up for himself and for his town and got nothing for it but stabbed in the gut. Why he decided to take 2 or 3 steps forward before lunging at the Governor rather than just knife him in the throat as it was handed to him is beyond me, but that was one of the more minor displays of non-logic from the episode so I’ll let it slide.
The other outstanding and totally redeeming part of the episode was basically any scene Carl was in. I hated this kid for the first two seasons and to see how he’s evolved over the course of this whole prison debacle – killing a guy in cold blood, and then telling his father “you made me this way by making so many mistakes and causing so much more death” – was just fantastic. I can’t even believe the acting chops on Chandler Riggs. This kid carried the episode in a big way and definitely proved he’s more of an acting force than his 14 years may let on.
So that was the good news. The disappointment came in basically every other part of this episode. Frankly, I haven’t been too keen on season 3 as a whole to begin with and the finale just disappointed that much more. I’ll start with Andrea. She’s been annoying as sin this season. Flip-flopping all over the place, never taking a stand until it was way, way, way too late. But then when she’s locked up on a chair knowing that her buddy Milton here is about to die and could turn at any moment, she decides to make peace with him and pause dramatically instead of fighting for her life and scrambling to get unlocked. For somebody who fought so hard last episode she really slowed down. Another lack of logic from the episode. I know you’ve gotta have some drama in a, well, drama series, but she can’t talk and reach for the pliers at the same time?
Then we turn to what should have been the bulk – if not the entirety – of the episode; Woodbury vs. the Prison. It’s what the whole season has been building toward; this epic clash of the titans that are the Governor and Rick. Instead we get a five-minute “showdown” that includes a grenade launcher being shot at a very clearly empty guard tower, a huge truck with a massive gun that plows down zombies and is then abandoned, an empty prison that is very obviously a trap, and then 25+ well-armed people running scared from two people in hiding (Glenn and Maggie). Where’d the grenade launcher go? One shot there and the whole fight would be over. Or the truck with the gun; why leave it in the middle of an open area that quite literally anyone could just walk up to and use when you can drive it up through the gates and just go to town unloading hell? For how prepared and devious the Governor has been all season this counter-logic really drove me quite nuts.
Finally as the Woodbury residents run with their tails between their legs we get to see the Governor truly snap and just full-on murder everyone. Now I know Martinez and Shumpert have seen the Governor do some shit, but come on! He just murdered all your friends and potentially family, and for all you know is about to drive back to Woodbury to finish the rest of them off. You’ve got to draw the line somewhere, and on Arrow on the Doorpost when the Governor and Rick met and Daryl got to bond with Martinez we learned he’s not exactly a sociopathic, homicidal maniac. Why in the hell would you ever get in a car with this guy after seeing that? Forget not getting in the car - why wouldn’t you just shoot him right there?! I mean, of all the terrible logic in the finale, this was the most glaring. It makes no sense.
The finale for season 3 of The Walking Dead was, in a word, anti-climactic. They’ve been building for a huge showdown for months and just didn’t deliver in the least. It’s a disappointing finale for a (fittingly) poorly-paced season that gave no sense of conclusion or closure to any of the major storylines this year. The prison has become an old folk’s home, but for the first time since it’s started The Walking Dead has a season finale with no true cliffhanger. Okay, the Governor isn’t dead and Carl’s kinda turning to the dark side, but it’s nothing compared to seasons past. Hopefully the new showrunner Scott Gimple can really step it up and deliver and season 4 reminiscent to season 2. Gimple wrote some amazing episodes including the outstanding season 2 mid-season finale that revealed Sophia emerging from the barn, but he also wrote the episode I just devoted a thousand words to ripping in to. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the former.