I am so honoured to have been able to review The Walking Dead at No White Noise. It was truly a good run and hopefully I’ll be back when the show returns for season 4!
The season finale was exciting, thought-provoking, and all together great. If you’ve read my past reviews, I’ve been pretty hard on The Walking Dead since it came back with its midseason premiere. I was not a happy reviewer at the rate the show was going downhill. Tonight’s finale, however, definitely managed to muster up any hope I had left in the show and adequately surpassed my expectations. I say adequately because, after all, I do watch this show with a critical eye and constantly expect my mind to be blown—maybe even more than the walkers, hah! Not funny? Anyway, I may not be one hundred percent happy at the characters who died (of course I’m talking about Milton here) and the characters who stayed, I can fully say I’m satisfied with the results though because I have hope in however the writers use the remaining characters for season 4.
There were a couple of themes that ran throughout the episode tonight: 1) kill or die, 2) can’t do it alone, and 3) resurrection. Btw, Happy Easter everyone! Let’s talk about each theme just a little.
1) Kill or die
I wasn’t expecting Milton to be the one The Governor was beating up at the beginning of the episode. That was quite surprising for me, maybe just me, even though I somewhat recall the previous episode ending on that note. I was expecting it to be Andrea but needless to say The Governor gets to both, no doubt. I thought Andrea would have been more beaten up or more tortured-looking but it didn’t look like The Governor used his toolbox much. Milton’s never been an antagonistic character per say, he’s just been on the bad guys’ side but never really on the team. He was just stuck with The Governor before the world ended and stayed to do his research as long as he could “look the other way”. The Governor tries to justify his actions when Milton brings up his bi-daugh-ter (get it?!), if The Governor had been as psychopathic from the beginning, his little girl might still be alive. In this post-apocalyptic world, one must either kill or die or die then kill. Milton of course doesn’t choose to kill and is left with the other option. Andrea is faced with this predicament as well. She chose not to kill The Governor when she had the chance and her delayed punishment catches up with her. She is again forced to kill walker-Milton or face death herself, which is where she eventually ends up anyway.
Team Prison faces this ultimatum too but it hits Karl the most. Karl turning into a cold-
hearted killer was a serious concern since the beginning and how can children really be raised in this life? If this show gets far enough, I’m really interested into seeing how Judith is raised. Karl loses his father’s humane-touch and kills that poor dude in one shot. The scary thing was when Karl pointed out all of Rick’s mercies as mistakes. Only Rick gets to not kill and live. Even at the end of the episode, Karl is reluctant to accept the newcomers and there’s not a hint of humanity left in him—just survival instincts.
We all knew, I guess except The Governor, that the townspeople of Woodbury as soldiers was a bad idea. They chickened out, and of course they would, so they died.
**Note: ‘Getting with the program’ should have been another major theme. Woodbury people finally see The Governor for who he truly is. Martinez’s face was priceless, and Team Tyreese finally got with the program.
2) Can’t do it alone.
Rick sees Lori and didn’t even bother questioning it. I feel as though her ghost has somewhat helped Rick stay on track with his decisions so far as ironic as that may seem. Without his entire prison team backing him up, Rick would be nothing. When they succeed in the end, Lori disappears.
Andrea, at her near-death moment, finally gets recognized as “us”, as part of the group. I acknowledge the show’s final effort to make her character likable. She just wanted everybody to get along; she “just didn’t want anyone to die”. Although her previous behaviour came off as wanting to take charge and poking her nose into everything where it didn’t belong, her last words and her courage didn’t make me happy (because I would have been happy otherwise, yet I’m not sad) to see her go and I applaud her for that. The “I know how the safety works” line to Rick was so precious to viewers as it emphasizes just how far she’s come. In the end, she did not die in vain.
Michonne thanks Rick for taking her in, Daryl admits he never could have made it alone, Team Prison sticks together, and the rest of Woodbury joins them.
How fitting is this episode to fall upon Easter Sunday? The bible verse in the episode was so perfect and this theme was so perfect that I am simply in awe and this is why the finale receives an A+ from me. “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” (John 5:29). This final theme ties the episode and season completely together. The bible says that if we believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God will see that our sins have been washed away and we will receive eternal life. The only way to eternal life is through Jesus. The Walking Dead cleverly plays on this truth in the finale that ties back to the second theme; no one can do it alone. If you do good things and stick together, “unto the resurrection of life” for you.
There are still some unresolved conflicts as The Governor is still alive driving around and we all know the elderly and children can’t stay at the prison forever. What are they going to do about food? Are we going to have to endure more Governor episodes next season? Did you enjoy the finale as much as I did? What are you expecting for seasons to come?