So, what was all that build-up for? The fourth season? Because the ‘Walking Dead’ third season finale left me feeling like there has to be another episode after this. It falls just as flat as many of the filler episodes that we saw this season.
Sixteen episodes later and Season 3 went out with a whimper rather than a guttural growl. Instead of acting hungry, the show looked lethargic, like it had already bitten off more than it could chew and was just waiting to digest. I kept staring at my clock wondering how much time was left, thinking, “This is when everything is going to go down. This is when they’re going to try to blow us away with some epic flip of the script.” But that never came.
I’ve made a point of comparing ‘The Walking Dead’ to ‘Lost’ on numerous occasions, and this time is no different. I mean, opening up on the Governor’s eyeball and slowly spinning outward to reveal his face? It made me wonder if the producers had simply run out of creative things to do. Judging by how the prison siege was handled, I think that’s a valid concern.
The entire season has been building to some kind of showdown between the Prisonites and the Wooburians. We accepted episodes here and there that seemed less about moving the story forward and more about setting up the final moments, simply because we believed that the ending would bring something big. That something was supposedly going to be this showdown at the prison. So, what happened? Quite possibly the most anti-climactic thing the show has done so far.
The Governor and his cronies charge into the prison blowing up guard towers and mowing down Walkers with .50-caliber machine guns. They’ve obviously come to win. When they burst through the gates, they aren’t met with any sort of resistance. A little odd, but I had a feeling that Rick had concocted a diabolical plan of his own, so I felt satisfied with the lack of return fire.
The Woodburians quickly reach the entrance, jump down from their vehicles, and stupidly file into the prison, leaving no one as a lookout. The Governor leads the charge, weaving his crew deeper and deeper into the bowels of the prison. I couldn’t help but think that there were multiple opportunities where Rick and company could’ve ambushed the entire group, especially as they walked further into the catacombs of the prison. They hid so well, why not double-back and simply lock them in and then open fire? It seemed that they knew beforehand which path the Governor would take, because that’s where they finally threw out their flashbangs.
What annoyed me was that they missed all the opportunities for a surprise attack, and instead waited until the entire group was back outside, where there was much less of a tactical advantage. Then, they open fire with only two people! Glenn and Maggie lay down huge amounts of machine gun fire, don’t hit anyone, and the Governor’s forces drive off with their tails between their legs. This entire sequence doesn’t make much, if any, sense. It feels undercooked, like the writers spent so much time worrying about filling up 16 episodes that they forgot to save something exciting for the finale. The Governor mowing down his constituents (guess who’s not getting re-elected for a second term?) doesn’t qualify. That’s much more shockingly comical than actually shocking.
I admit that the Andrea/Milton’s zombie dilemma is intense, but after a while it gets tiresome to watch a woman try to pick up pliers with her feet. However, I was far too let down by the measly attack on the prison to care about anything else going on.