Dallas Roberts in THE WALKING DEAD - Season 3 - "Welcome to the Tombs" | ©2013 AMC/Gene Page

Dallas Roberts in THE WALKING DEAD - Season 3 - "Welcome to the Tombs" | ©2013 AMC/Gene Page

Stars: Andrew Lincoln, David Morrissey, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Michael Rooker, Melissa Suzanne McBride, Scott Wilson, Emily Kinney, Dallas Roberts
Writer
: Glen Mazzara
Director: Ernest Dickerson
Network: AMC, airs Sunday nights 
Original Telecast: March 31, 2013

It goes without saying, if you’re reading this review of THE WALKING DEAD Season 3 finale, then you’ve either seen the episode or you’re wanting to spoil all its secrets.

So be warned, MASSIVE SPOILER ALERTS! Can we be any clearer?

With “Welcome to the Tombs,” THE WALKING DEAD wraps up the Woodbury arc is glorious fashion. While a bloodbath was expected, because that’s the direction the comic books headed in, it was an entirely differently bloodbath when it came to the TV series.

After all, there have been so many major character deaths throughout the season, to end Season 3 with more ongoing characters dying, it would have actually been a little too much.

The episode digs deep into the war between the Governor (David Morrissey)/Woodbury and Rick (Andrew Lincoln)/The Prison.

The Governor has lied to his people, making Rick and his people out to be monsters. The town is angry and heads into a battle they’re not ready to fight.

The Prison however is heavily fortified and Rick and his team fight hard – and lure the group deep into the prison (the tombs of the title) where they ambush them. The Woodbury folk are not fighters and have had it way too good, so they retreat.

This pisses off the Governor who then slaughters EVERYONE except his #2 and #3. It’s a really dark moment and as the Governor drives off to live another day, it’s pretty obvious it’s not over between him, Rick, Michonne and the Prison.

The Governor also has his day with both Andrea (Laurie Holden) and Milton (Dallas Roberts). Andrea has been beat up badly by the Governor, and he’s working on beating the crap out of traitor Milton who tries to kill him, so he fatally wounds Milton and leaves him in a room with Andrea (who happens to be tied up). When Milton turns, she’s toast.

There are some wonderful moments between Andrea and Milton before he dies, and quite surprising, she kills Milton, but not before he bites her. Rick and his group head to Woodbury to finish off the Governor, but he hasn’t returned. Instead, they find Andrea, barely alive and wanting to finish herself off. Michonne (Danai Gurira) stays with her in her final moments.

Other standout moments include Carl (Chandler Riggs) upset with his dad that he couldn’t fight with him in the battle, but then he kills one of the Governor’s men who retreated in cold blood. It’s questionable if Carl is becoming a mini-Governor, but there is something to be said for his reasoning.

Dallas Roberts in THE WALKING DEAD - Season 3 - "Welcome to the Tombs" | ©2013 AMC/Gene Page

Dallas Roberts in THE WALKING DEAD - Season 3 - "Welcome to the Tombs" | ©2013 AMC/Gene Page

By episode’s end, the remaining Woodbury folk including Tyreese (Chad Coleman), his #2 and the women and children who couldn’t fend for themselves head to the prison where Rick makes an attempt to rebuild some kind of normal life for his son and the other survivors.

“Welcome to the Tombs” writer and partial Season 2 and full Season 3 showrunner Glen Mazzara goes out with a bang. He really wraps up the season quite sweetly and sets up a very intriguing Season 4 for new showrunner Scott M. Gimple to run with. There have been so many layers to this season and “Welcome to the Tombs” really pays off many important themes and elements that have been woven into the series.

I think it was smart for the Governor to survive as well. When you have someone as amazing as Morrissey, you want to give him more time to play – and with him full tilt crazy now, the role just got even more interesting. He’s become the outright villain we know from the comic book – so even though he didn’t kill many people at the prison at the end of Season 3, there’s still that major threat moment looming perhaps during Season 4.

THE WALKING DEAD continues to amaze with its expert storytelling and ample mix of drama and zombie carnage. It knows exactly what it is, spending time with the characters and fleshing them out, but also making sure there is more than enough flesh eater action per episode.

It’s not surprising the series is as popular as it is and here’s hoping it stays on course for Season 4 4. It’s been one amazing season and this finale is everything a fan could have hoped for.

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