The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 16 Recap: Welcome to the Tombs

He didn’t even die.

They didn’t even kill him.

After all the plotting and scheming, season 3 of the Walking Dead ends not with a bang, but a wimper: par for the course considering how dragged out the plot lines have been.

Sixteen episodes.  Countless murders.  A dead daughter.  Unnumerable threats, pensive stares and furrowed brows.  Culminating in…. the Governor’s getaway.

It’s disappointing that the Walking Dead has gone so far off the trail that they can’t even get the season finale showdown right (maybe the show runners should catch Season 4 of Breaking Bad –now those guys know how to kill off a bad guy).

Mercifully, not everyone made it through the episode.  The casualties of Milton and Andrea, drawn out like taffy to achieve the least amount of suspense and highest amount of pseudo-poignancy, were the Governor’s final act of psychopathy.  Before heading out to dispatch with Rick’s group at the prison, the Governor punishes Milton for his insubordination.  After being beaten to a bloody pulp, Milton is shown the cell built especially for Michonne and ordered to clean up the dentistry formerly designated for her torture.  Seems a moot point, considering Andrea’s tied up and the Governor’s about to head out to war.  Milton, having been beaten nearly senseless, is a bit of a butterfingers and accidentally drops the tools on the ground – Mon Dieu! He spies an opportunity and surreptitiously leaves a wrench within Andrea’s reach.

But the Governor is not done with his sadistic torture yet.  He orders Milton to kill Andrea, telling him he won’t leave the room until he’s done so.  Milton makes a valiant effort to maim the Governor and takes a knife right in the gut.  The Governor can barely contain he glee as the bleeding nerd sinks to the floor, giving what’s sure to be the night’s most enduring line: You kill or you die, or you die then you kill.

Bet you wish you let Andrea shoot the bastard now, doncha Milton?  That’ll learn ya.

Like any good bad guy, the Governor departs to leave Andrea and Milton to their slow, impending deaths.  Milton tells Andrea about the wrench stashed behind her, and so begins their long dance toward death.  As Milton dies slowly in the corner, Andrea struggles more than a Rhesus monkey to pick up the wrench with her toes.

Finally, after minute upon minute of struggle, she gets the wrench in her hands, just as Milton’s corpse begins to quiver with undead-life.  Luckily, the hard work of picking up the tool is over and she is able to break out of her handcuffs in mere moments – leaving not a nanosecond to spare before Zombie Milton descends upon her.

Back at the prison, Carl is throwing a tiny temper tantrum about being forced to hide in the woods with the (weak) womenfolk and the gimp instead of fighting it out with Rick, Maggie and Glen.  The plan is this: make the camp look abandoned, lure the Governor’s henchmen into the bowels of the prison and sic a bunch of walkers on them, taking them out unawares.

The plan works like dream – the Woodburyians flee after only moments of loud noises.  The henchmen take off toward home, leaving the group at the prison with a big decision to make: remain holed up behind the prison gates, or finish this battle by striking the prison?

Throwing a wrench in the works is Carl.  With an itchy trigger finger coupled with a chip on his shoulder the size of an SUV, he comes face to face with a retreating foot soldier from Woodbury and shoots the boy even as he is surrendering.  Ah, here we are: with Shane gone and Rick turned back from the brink, Carl will be the next member of the prison camp to go through a moral crisis.

On the road between Woodbury and the prison, the Governor comes upon his retreating legion.  He spurs them back towards the camp, but they resist.  In his furor, the Governor turns his automatic rifle upon his own constituents, gunning down everyone save Martinez and Bowman.  After striking nearly everyone, the Governor methodically walks among his former followers and delivers a final bullet into their heads.

Despite having witnessed his homicidal rampage, Martinez and Bowman decide to throw their lot in with the Governor and ride off into the sunset.  And that’s the last we see of them this episode – the final showdown didn’t even deliver a face-to-face between Rick and Evil Incarnate.  A shoddy job of storytelling if I’ve ever seen one.

Rick leads a small group into Woodbury, picking up a lone survivor from the Woodbury cavalcade.  Tyreese leads them through town to the Governor’s inner sanctum – but it’s too late for Andrea.  By the time Michonne and the group find her, she’s been bit by Zombie Milton.  Her final moments are glorious in their glibness – she chooses to shoot herself in the head before she can turn, with only Michonne remaining to hold her hand as she ends her reign of ennui.

Dawn breaks over the prison as Rick returns with the remaining survivors of Woodbury.  A rude awakening is in store for these folks, who only this morning had hot and cold running water, electricity and were comforted by the belief that their leader would protect them from the danger outside their walls – dangers both of walking dead and vandals living inside a prison.

With the Governor still on the loose, the group has many more trials ahead of them, now with Woodbury’s sick and infirm to look after.  Rick has come full circle, now a far cry from the cold, businesslike Rick who discovered the prison in the first place.

I don’t know if the Governor’s story is complete or not, but I do know one thing – after all this, I’m pretty sure I don’t care.  Here’s hoping next season resets with a new set of goals, and that the writers are able to see them to completion.

See you next season!


Tags: Popular The Walking Dead The Walking Dead Season 3

  • Patrick Allen

    Pretty much a mostly terrible season followed up with a horrid finale.

  • KitKat

    I must say that for The Walking Dead this was a horrible end to a mediocre season. I was really disappointed in the way the show just didn’t deliver this time around. I
    was telling my co-worker that I will be the first person to trumpet the amazingness of this show but the end that season three offered made me angry. There is probably a good explanation for the lack of explosiveness in the end that may be explained next season but let’s be honest – the death of Milton and Andrea isn’t something we were waiting for. It’s going to be a long six months.

    • Patrick Allen

      It was just weak for most of the season. Frankly, I haven’t been as into it since the first season. I feel like Season 1 moved much better and there was a lot more action. The last two, on the farm and in the prison, it has just felt like they are dragging out story lines to excruciating lengths. Like when Sofia was missing. It kind of got to the point where I just wanted to stop hearing about her. Either she was alive or dead but get on with it already.

      Same thing with the Governor. They made it clear so early on that at some point there would have to be a showdown between the prison and Woodbury. Probably way too early on. That was what the entire season was about. So everything is leading up to this big showdown. Then, they cit the stupid season in half which draws things out even longer. Then bafflingly, the season finale arrives and they don’t actually settle it.

      Made me want to throw my beer at the TV.

    • Mag McCloskey

      The Governor just isn’t a good cliffhanger. That story needs to be resolved… it was just like in season 2 when Sophia went missing. I was into it at first, but then it dragged on and on until I just didn’t care any more. The show needs to get back to what it does well — action.

  • Daryl Dixon

    God damn so many people complain. If you didn’t like the season or finale then quit watching the show instead of bitching about it.

    • Patrick Allen

      Yeah we wouldn’t want anyone to use their brain to think critically. Either everyone likes the show as much as you do or they aren’t entitled to have an opinion to the contrary. Or if they do, they need to keep it to themselves.

    • Mag McCloskey

      I do like the show… that’s why I’m disappointed when it misses the mark. It has such potential, hopefully it can be realized. One thing’s for sure … the zombie killing is always awesome.

  • Danny W

    I loved last season when Rick and his crazy deputy Shane had one last dance. Then Carl finishes the job when he becomes a zombie. Then this season end’s like it does and I’m thinking it sucks. On the whole Carl killing the other guy I personally think it was just. The guy was “handing over the shotgun” which seemed to me to be a trap to grab what he thought was a weak kid. When I tell someone to drop a gun I don’t mean hand it to me I mean put it on the ground. The other guy was up to no good and I would have shot him too. In no way did he gun him down. My two cents good write up.

    • Emily Fhe Domingo

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    • Patrick Allen

      Yeah it was kind of weird. I think they did say drop the gun and he was kind of getting close trying to hand it to him. Also, they were at the prison to murder them all so I am not sure surrendering is really an option.

  • Luke

    I liked it. Okay, the Governor didn’t die, but that aside it was a good episode. Scene with Andrea and the pliers seemed a bit drawn out though, she sat there looking at Milton for a good 5 minutes instead of trying to escape. She was a boring character anyway, about time she died.