The Walking Dead Season Finale Review: The Last Stand

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The Walking Dead Season 3 exploded out of the gate a few months ago, offering up fast-paced, tense and shocking moments that really defined the direction this season was headed.

And yet, after the hiatus, it felt as if the episodes stumbled a bit, providing some great moments like the shocking first attack on the prison, but also ones where Andrea was still making up her mind on what to do. Really, a lot of it felt like the waiting around for the big confrontation between the prison and Woodbury.

"Welcome to the Tombs" delivered a solid ending to the season, wrapping up character arcs, providing the battle between good and evil, shifting the story and those involved in a new direction, and of course, showering us in a variety of exploding guts, head shots and gruesome deaths the show seems to relish.

The Walking Dead Season Finale Pic

A lot of the episode, as was much of the season, focused on the two opposite paths taken for the almost mirror image characters of the Governor and Rick.

The Governor - who may have been a good person in the past, according to Milton - had descended into a twisted and sadistic evil with no real hope of returning from. He may have been a little unstable with his heads in fishtanks or keeping his zombified girl alive, but it's become so obvious now what type of man The Governor has become.

He beat the crap out of Milton before stabbing him violently, and then locked him in the room so he might turn into a walker to rip Andrea apart. He even led an all out assault to finish off every survivor at the prison.

But it was slaughtering his own innocent army of Woodbury citizens without so much as a blink that really tipped him over to full dark side. I felt bad for Martinez and the other guy for having to get back in the truck with him.

I think his words, "You kill or you die. Or you die and you kill" do hold a certain truth, but not the ultimate truth. And certainly not the way in which the Governor chose to make his decisions.

But it's that same thought process that had slowly seeped into Carl's mind. This is a boy who has grown up in this apocalyptic time, experiencing the harshness of the world including the deaths around him, so it does make sense for him to come to a similar conclusion.

It was a shocking moment when he shot the Woodbury guy who was handing over the gun. You want Carl to turn into that good hero, but taking such an action has him headed down a path that could turn him into the next Governor.

He is still a kid, after all, so his mind is impressionable. Which I think is something Rick realized after Carl explained what he had done, and really, without remorse.

Rick himself has been conflicted on the course of actions to take, but ultimately, he chose the right one in not giving Michonne up and trying to take out the bad guy Governor instead.

More so, he's really turned a corner in illuminating that chance for hope and the reality that there is still a sense of good and humanity among people. Now, why he chose to bring them to the prison instead of all going to Woodbury is beyond me, but I understood what the resolution meant.

It was a great moment watching him proudly stand in the sun, as the Woodbury survivors joined the prison group. At the same time, where Rick had seen his ghost wife at the start of the hour, she was no where to be found, as if he had turned a positive corner.

You hope the move is the right influence on Carl, but the little Grimes wasn't at all happy about Rick's decision. Could it mean negative consequences down the line? Sure, but keeping hope alive and showing that it's not all about killing was the right move to make.

In a lot of ways, that idealistic notion of good was what Andrea had been preaching the whole time. She was so stuck on the concept of not killing and saving everyone that it cost her dearly.

I was bummed that she had to die, even if watching her make poor decisions has frustrated me to no end this season. Certainly, down to the last moment, she stuck to her terms and was essentially that extra catalyst for pushing Rick towards bringing the two groups together.

Similarly, I wished Milton didn't have to die. He was such a quiet good guy, but his last moments were standing up to the Governor and trying to save Andrea. I was really hoping we might have gotten to see what he would have been like with the prison.

That said, his moments with Andrea were riddled with tension. I never knew if he was dead or if he had finally turned, at the same time I was cringing in anticipation as Andrea took forever in trying to free herself.

Even the attack on the prison, the walk-through in the dark recesses of the jail, Rick and the group making moves, were laced with pulse pounding moments that really drove the characters and story to the next level.

It felt like things were happening, the characters all getting their moments to shine (I mean, Beth was even killing walkers!), and the story wasn't dragging it's feet anymore.

I even appreciated the quiet, hopeful end of the hour, rather than some wild cliffhanger. Sure, the Governor's still out there, but for the time being, amongst all the carnage, conflict and consternation, rose a sense of peace. The sun rising was like a new beginning.

Overall, an engrossing finale to a rather entertaining season, although it really does make me wonder where The Walking Dead will be headed next.

What did you all think? Did you love it or hate it? Shocked at the deaths? Surprised by Rick's final decision or Carl's thoughts?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (528 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Am I the only one who thought this episode and season finale was more than disappointing, ? outright SUCKED !!! They had already dragged out this "governor" storyline waaay too far by making it last an entire season, the final battle was anti-climactic, and how many times can the governor realistically escape death. It was infuriating and unsatisfying to have him just ride off into the sunset at the end instead of getting the violent death he deserved. I HATE when writers think they are being so clever with this kind of crap, I think they go home and masturbate to the fact that they are going to piss so many people off, they are not clever they are just A-holes. Andrea was a major player in the comics, to kill her off was a waste of an important character and a good actress, and Milton was a very interesting character that I would have liked to see more of, another wasted opportunity, they already telegraphed that he would be killed by the governor, if they really wanted to be "clever" they could have had the governor die at the hands of the unassuming Milton.
Overall, a very disappointing and infuriating end to a season that dragged on too long to begin with . 2/5 stars


It seems some people want just action scenes and zombies, but this show would not be nearly as popular as it is without the storytelling, character development.


★★★☆☆TV Dead Finale Mostly everything has been said below except, "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead". Okay sorry that's rough. The writers never got a handle on Andrea's character. She was more catalyst than character, especially this season. Comic books have her and Rick together, no love. SHAME . Also I was partly right last week when I said the group would leave the prison for Woodbury. Although them going back to the prison was a twist. Oh Gov SL why won't you die???? Next Season.


I'm in the minority, because I really liked this episode. Loved how the Governor's inhumanity has fully come to bloom -- his scenes with Milton and the slaughtering of his own people. This is what he's been from the beginning, but the reasons to hide it from others have finally all been stripped away. That his two henchmen stayed with him is not ridiculous. Fear, lack of decisiveness, or the sense that he might be their only hope for survival: whatever it was, history is full of examples where people followed sadistic and sociopathetic leaders. I also love the development in Carl, showing how the path toward becoming the Governor can start with small steps and self-justifications that appear reasonable from a certain perspective. "I did what had to be done." Contrast that with both Rick's and Andrea's seemingly endless waffling. It's a powerful and meaningful tension in the world they occupy.


I was overall disappointed.. i felt let down, but i will tune into season 4... as for people commenting about why they went to the prison and didn't stay in woodbury, well it's simple really, there are too many ways for woodbury to be infiltrated... and since it was the gov's town, he'd know all the places to sneak in. The prison has a better line of defense.


i say this episode was a satsifying end with andrea and milton dying which i didn't expect i thought both whould make it and join rick and comp. and i'm gald that daryl made it back. BUT I'M COURIUOS WHERE THE HELL DID THE STUPID GOV. , MARTINEZ, AND THE BOWMAN WENT? CAN'T BELIEVE THOSE IDIOTS ARE STILL ALIVE! i guess the writers want to keep them around for next season to keep the STORYLINES INTERESTING. As for carl if i was him i would've killed that kid as well. CAN'T TAKE ANY CHANCES. ALTOUGH THAT KID SHOULD'VE DROP THAT GUN THE MOMENT CARL AND HERSHEL SAW HIM. BUT CARL IS STARTING BECOME 'COLD' and that's not good at all. (DID ANYBODY NOTICE AT THE END THEY BROUGHT BACK ANDREA'S BODY IN THAT PICK UP TRUCK. I THINK AT THE START OF SEASON 4 THEY MIGHT SHOW THEM BURYING HER.)


This show was always about people, the zombies were a catalyst for action. I thought it was a good season finale, they held thier home, Rick found himself and some peace and the Governor was sent fleeing. When the Governor turned and starting killing his own people that suprised me, he totally went off the rails. Sucks about Andrea and Milton, but Andrea had plenty of opportunities to save everyone by killing the Governor earlier. Next season will be interesting, they have to save Carl, the kid is in deep trouble. Too bad the ghost of his Mom doesn't show up and paddle some sense into the kid!


You can not be serious ....the Gov is coming back ..... Enough is enough !!


I did what happen to it? I will write it again


page 2 Since they obviously didn't go back to the town. Rick has now acquired 'refugees' from the town...older people, more kids...they left a place where they had security and comfort and now they are in a cold, uncomfortable prison...more mouths to fee and care for. The show seems to be going away from the fight of humans against WD and more into humans fighting each other. I too would like to know where they are going, since staying at the prison forever doesn't move the show along. The first season was great with coming to terms with what has happened and meeting people on the way. Rick has lost his focus and so has the show I think. At least he didn't see Laurie again!

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