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So, The Walking Dead has wrapped up for another season. How was the ending?
The whole season was building up to a showdown between Rick and The Governor. Having read the comic books, I thought I knew how this would play out. I was wrong. In the previous episode, Andrea was tied to a torture chair in what looked like a basement, Michone had just come back from being told that Rick wanted to give her over to The Governor to save the group, and Merle died after having taken out some of The Governor's gang.
In this episode, The Governor convinces Woodbury that Rick and crew are nasty and hellbent on destroying their town. He manages to rouse the able bodied and they storm the prison.
Once they get inside, the place appears to be empty. The group head into the prison and start their search for the other survivors. This is when Glen and Maggie pop up, armed with automatic rifles and turn the prison into a shooting gallery. The attack seemed to borrow heavily from 300, showing how tactics can out-fight the sheer weight of numbers. The army from Woodbury retreats.
Meanwhile, Andrea is trying to retrieve a pair of pliers from the floor so she can free herself from her tied chair. All the while that she's doing this, we see that the man who has just recently died in the room with her, is starting to turn into a zombie. It's a race against time and Andrea finally manages to free herself as the man turns. We hear a fight between them but don't see it. The assumption is that Andrea got out in time. Especially as she's still in the comic books that left the Woodbury storyline behind years ago.
Once The Governor catches up with his fleeing troupe, he executes them all for cowardice. Only one woman, who plays dead, survives.
One of the looters stumbles upon Carl, who is with Hershel and his daughter. The looter is about to give himself up but Carl shoots him anyway. Later on, Hershel tells Rick what Carl has done. Carl justifies his actions by saying that if other people had been so ruthless then a lot of deaths would have been prevented. This world is turning Carl into something that doesn't sit right with his father.
After the Governor has gone, Rick, Daryl, and Michone, head to Woodbury to finish things. On the way they find all the people that the Governor has killed, and the survivor. When they arrive at Woodbury, the survivor gets them in and The Governor still hasn't returned. This is where we find that Andrea was bitten in the fight with the zombie. She takes a gun from Michone and says that all she wanted to do was save lives. She then kills herself.
The episode ends with Rick bringing all of the people from Woodbury back to the prison. All of the women, children, and injured people. Carl seems confused by the act of compassion as he watches the people get off the bus. Roll credits.
Andrea dying came as a huge shock. After seeing her have sex with both Shane and The Governor, I suppose that it was the only thing they could do to redeem that character. Maybe Robert Kirkman recognised how annoying she was and could see that there was no saving her. I like that the show deviates from the comics so much. It makes the experience more exciting to not know what's coming. Like in the comics, anyone can die at any point.
This episode also showed that Rick has a heart. It was a real turning point for him. Carl killing the member of The Governor's gang reminded Rick that he had a little boy to be a role model for. We saw a moment with Michone and him where he appologised. He also confessed that he only took her in because of the baby food that she was carrying. Michone said that he would have taken her in anyway. His hallucinations of Lori continued but he's learning to live with them now. It seemed that he was stepping out of the long dark tunnel that he's been lost in for most of the series, and is becoming the compassionate leader that he has the potential to be.
I would have liked to see something else happening with The Governor. I was hoping that he would die in this episode and my worry is that the next series will drag out a storyline that could have been wrapped up in this one. Maybe the prison was an expensive set and they want to use it some more.
Overall this was a good series. It suffered at points for being a little too slow. This is a complaint I would also level at the comics. However, what Kirkman always does is gives you enough to keep you coming back. Also, when he delivers the big moments, the knock you on your arse.
Roll on season 4.