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'The Walking Dead' season finale recap, episode 316: 'Welcome to the Tombs'

Executive BranchMusicTed Nugent

Well, we wanted carnage in the season finale of The Walking Dead, and we got it.

I have a feeling most viewers will consider this episode tame, though, since the Governor is still kicking and the war between the prison and Woodbury still hasn't quite been resolved.

We'll just have to wait until season four to find out how this story ends!

AMC has us eating out of its hands...

When you think about it though, this episode was pretty strong.

There was an actual skirmish between the prison and Woodbury, the Governor lost his mind and killed off almost all of his troops, two major human characters died (and a boatload of insignificant ones), and there was some serious storyline progression.

This is the way things set up for the season four debut (October, 2013): the prison has acquired a bunch of new folks including Tyreese (they're going to need to thin the herd a bit, methinks), the Governor is still on the loose with Martinez and Shumpert as his only remaining lackeys, Carl and Rick seem to be in some sort of awkward father-son power struggle, and they still haven't solved this little head-scratcher with the dead coming back to life.

That makes for some pretty compelling television in my estimation.

I'd like to know how long this Governor-Rick fight is going to play out. I wouldn't be totally surprised if both of those characters were still alive after NEXT season's finale! And by then we'll all be driving hovercrafts to work at the lazer factory.

I also wouldn't be surprised if Carl becomes the Governor's main adversary, and Rick falls back! I really hope that doesn't happen, though, because Carl annoys the hell out of me. What was all that "...now go" business, trying to act all hard? And earlier in the episode Rick tried to console him and Carl was like "Get off me! Get off me!" like some power forward who was being hand checked in the post. I think Rick had every right to slap some manners into that young man right then and there. Spare the rod and spoil the child, I say. I don't really mean that, but this is the zombie apocalypse...

How about the way this episode was set up, you guys? It started off with a close-up of the Governor's eye, and the season three debut (way back in mid-October) started off with a close-up of a zombie's eye! By the way something, the Governor's eye looked really banged up, almost like a zombie's eye! We now know from that nerd doctor back in season one that everyone has the disease, so it's not that far fetched to think that you could see signs of decomposition by peering into ones eyes, after all the eyes are the window to the soul.

I also liked how the episode began with Milton and Andrea being tortured in a room, and ended with zombie Milton and Andrea engaged in a mortal struggle in that same room. When it went to the commercial break with Andrea and zombie Milton fighting behind the closed door, I said "Andrea killed him." But then I remembered that this show isn't traditional, and I said "Andrea is going to be a zombie when it comes back."

The episode ended with a bunch of zombies shuffling around in the tall grass as insects buzzed, as if to say: "we ain't going nowhere, got nowhere to go." As if to say, this is nature now, this is just the backdrop to your existence and it's something you'll have to deal with everyday, for the rest of your life.

In summary, I think sometimes this show gets a little more credit than it deserves, but these last two episodes were pretty solid, and leave me wanting more.

Thanks to everyone for reading, and making comments, it's been fun! Yay, that's a wrap on me, now I can return to spending my Sunday nights watching baseball and trying to sell crummy junk on eBay! Happy opening day to everyone!

Did you know or notice?

  • Dallas Roberts (Milton) nearly vomited when they put the zombie contact lenses into his eyes. (Per Making of video).
  • Daryl briefly talked about Merle's death, applauding his bravery.
  • Rick and Michonne briefly talked about their relationship. Why didn't they just start kissing?
  • When Andrea took off her boots to grab the wrench with her toes, she had really nicely manicured tootsies, for all of you foot fetishists out there...
  • When Rick handed Andrea his service revolver toward the end, she said "I know how the safety works," harkening back to earlier in the series when he and Shane were teaching her how to shoot.

Relaxing With Michael Rooker
(This is that commercial freeze frame thing)

  1. When it's time to relax and get away from it all, I retreat to a hot bath with a little coconut oil added — twice a day if possible.
  2. The principles of aikido and kyokushin karate play a big role in my activities, from working on set with other actors to actually being in the dojo itself and training.
  3. Unifying body and spirit leads to an inner calm which can help in our everyday life, as it would during  a zombie outbreak.
  4. I admire the writings of Robert Service and Flannery O'Connor.
  5. Owls are roosting outside my bedroom window, which help me sleep.
  6. I love my bed. I like to read, tweet, go on Facebook and study my scripts in it, among other things, like sleep.
  7. I enjoy anything that has to do with hitting a target: rifle, pistol, shotgun shooting, longbow, compound bow, throwing knives, axes, hatchets, rocks. You name it, I throw it and hit it.
  8. I've been known to throw a lemon drop 4 stories in the air and catch it in my mouth, all the while praying that it does't go down my throat.
  9. I am quite sensitive and bruise very easily emotionally and physically.
  10. I used to pay my sisters 25 cents to scratch my back. I still owe them money.
  11. After a long hard day on the set, I enjoy a good old-fashioned Long Island iced tea.

Such an amazing man! Seriously, what planet is this guy from? Two hot baths a day, training in the dojo, throwing rocks, catching lemon drops in his mouth from four stories, bruising easily emotionally and physically, drinking Long Island iced teas??? I love this guy!

John 5:29

This is the Bible passage that Hershel left out for the Governor to read when he invaded the prison.

"And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."

Sick Hershel, just sick! :-)

Ironically, this episode's production number is 316. John 3:16. This episode aired on Easter Sunday. Yup, you're only going to get analysis like that here!

Carl is evil Dennis the Menace

It was funny when Carl shot that prisoner of war and Hershel was tattling on him to Rick. Hershel was like "Rick! Im telling you, he gunned that kid down." as if Hershel was Mr. Wilson and Carl had thrown a baseball through his bay window.

Rest in peace...

Even though he was a huge poindexter and a bit of a space cadet, I liked Milton. So it was a little bit heartbreaking to watch the Governor thrust that blade into his abdomen a dozen times. And give credit to Milton, he REALLY hung in there while he was bleeding out. Who is he, Rasputin? It also seemed like a bad call on the Governor's part, since Milton pretty much was the Woodbury R&D department. Then again, the Governor hasn't really been making smart life decisions recently.

Andrea was not exactly a fan favorite, but she was good people. As she tells us about a dozen times in this episode, she just didn't want people to die. In short, she was too good for this world, and nice guys finish dead in the zombie apocalypse. She was kind of annoying, sometimes nagged, was pretty good with a gun, and was fairly attractive. At least now she can be reunited with her sister Amy in the afterlife. Maybe if she had amputated her neck the way Hershel did with his leg she could have survived...

Lesser rest in peace....

The character that Carl shot was named Jody, portrayed by actor Tanner Holland. Another Woodburian who died was named Paul, played by E. Roger Mitchell. (Thanks Walking Dead wiki!)

F YOU GOVERNOR!

There was a time when it wasn't quite clear whether we were supposed to see the Governor as a villian or not. Well that's all over. He bullied the heck out of Milton, and then went beyond bullying and murdered him (hey Governor, we are judged by how we treat our weakest members. You fail. You don't clear.) He also succumbed to massive road rage (don't do it guys, just don't get road rage, count to ten or think about a forest or something, there are idiot drivers all over and getting all riled up doesn't solve anything) and gunned down a crowd of people. The Governor has definitely made a heel turn. Who is he, Jim Jones?

YOU'RE ALSO BAD AT GOVERNING, CLOWN

The Governor's strategy of attacking the prison is pretty laughable. He rolls up guns ablazing and shoots out the prison's crows nest guard towers. Great job. (sarcasm) Then he leads his whole team into the catacombs of the prison, which seems to be unoccupied. Great idea, Governor. So of course it becomes a hot mess, as any sane person could have predicted, and the Governor ends up killing almost his entire team anyway. A country that's divided surely will not stand. Maybe instead of "The Governor" he should be called "The Idiot" from now on...

Tyreese is my new Merle

Now that Merle is gone, Tyreese is my fave character. I wish he'd show a little more personality, but I like his beard, the way he wears a backpack, and he seems to be pretty genuine and friendly. That's why I was really scared for a minute when he was pinned down defending Woodbury. I felt really sorry for him and I thought he might die. Thank goodness for small miracles. And now he's on the good guys' team.

The tunes

GREAT tunes in this episode! There was classical piano music, there was pulsating synthesizer music, and what else do you need? It would have been cool to have a few classic pop songs like last week when they played Motorhead and Ted Nugent, but I'll take it.

A "Scared Straight" reference

When all the Woodbury refugees are being escorted into the prison, Hershel is standing out there welcoming everyone in, like a greeter at Wal Mart. I thought it would be funny if they were leading all these grandmamas into the prison and then once they got inside it was like "Scared Straight." If Tyreese was like "HOLD MY POCKET, GRANDMAMA!"

Stray observations

Just a few things I want to get off of my chest:

  • I liked watching the prisoners pack up all of their belongings. I only wish they had some funnier items. Like Carl could have packed up a bunch of candy and action figures and Hershel could have packed up a pipe and a bunch of issues of Field and Stream magazine.
  • Hershel has a cute little ponytail that I like to gaze at in addition to his moustache.
  • Again with Lori's ghost? What if it's really her and she never died and everybody's just messing with Rick by pretending they don't see her. That would be screwed up.
  • Tyreese is a conscientious objector of the war between the prison and Woodbury.
  • It would have been a good bit if they had assailed the prison, and then halfway through they figured out that they were attacking a different prison XD.
  • They made a big deal out of showing Daryl's poncho again. We get it, Daryl is a stoner...
  • Zombies don't blink, I guess. Because when Milton blinks it seems to be evidence for Andrea that he's not a zombie.
  • Michonne tried to seem all aloof toward Andrea, but when Andrea is dying Michonne has a sad (#MEME). It's a lesson that you shouldn't try to swallow your emotions because you might throw them up at some point.

Quote board

Governor: "You smell the gunpowder and you see the blood, you know what that means? It means that you're alive, it means that you won."

Governor: "She'd be afraid of me, but if I'd been like this from the start she'd be alive today."

Governor: "Your friends at the prison, I'm gonna kill 'em all."

Governor: "And now you're gonna die, and you're gonna turn, and you're gonna tear the flesh from her bones … in this life now, you either kill or you die, or you die and you kill."

Rick: "He's still just a kid, it's easy to forget."

Milton: "And 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."

Andrea: "I wanted to save everyone … I didn't want anyone to die."

Milton: "I am still here, I am still alive. You need to hurry…(all creepy and slowed down)"

Carl: "I did what I had to do…now go."

Karen: "He fired on everyone, he killed them all."

Andrea: "No one can make it alone now." Daryl: "I never could." (Aww, Daryl!)

Winner: The Governor

Playlist

  • Fear, "Let's Have A War"
  • Vangelis, "Fading Away"
  • The Police, "Every Breath You Take"
  • 38 Special, "Second Chance"
  • Donald Fagen, "The Nightfly"
  • Type O Negative, "An Ode To Locksmiths"
  • Danzig, "Her Black Wings"
  • Tool, "Sober"
  • Goblin, "Death Dies"
  • Helmet, "Enemies"

Best zombie kill

Honestly, none of them stood out that much, so I'll give the nod to Carol, who chopped the living heck out of a zombie's head and neck with a machete.

Creepiest zombie

Again, the zombies really didn't stand out too much in this episode, so I'll say Milton zombie. Just because that bite mark it left in Andrea's neck was pretty gnarly!

Death count

Zombies: The official tally, per AMC Story Sync, was 29. So we can say roughly 287 for the season. That's pretty good!

Humans: Hard to say at this point. The main ones were Milton, Andrea, and that dumb guy Allen. So that's 37 main characters on the season. But there were also a bunch of Woodbury residents that the Governor gunned down. I'll go back and count later but for now I'll just conservatively say 13, making the season total 50.

Lingering questions

  • How do Milton's inventions work? I guess now we'll never know :-(
  • What is Morgan going to do with himself in King County?
  • Did Andrea shoot herself, or did Michonne pull the trigger?
  • What was Carl's silencer made out of? It looked like a space "Star Trek" phaser. It almost looked like he used the fat end of a baseball bat or something.
  • Zombies have a lifespan, right? So eventually all of the zombies will die off, and then what? How long would that take?
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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