The Walking Dead - S03-E16 - "Welcome to the Tombs"

The Walking Dead
Season Three, Episode Sixteen.
"Welcome to the Tombs"

"Say hello to my little friend!"

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The Walking Dead is not my favorite show on television. It’s not even close, but it’s still probably in the top five or right around there. Yet, despite this, I look forward to watching it more than other shows I actually get more enjoyment from (except Breaking Bad). I think a lot of this has to with an underrated character on the show: the world. The world of The Walking Dead is one that tickles your imagination at all the possibilities out there. Sure, it hasn't been explored very thoroughly so far but not knowing what else it out there is part of the fun. It keeps the hope alive that there is some sanctuary out there, some cure. For viewers, it keeps us wondering if there is another big bad out there, someone even more formidable than The Governor. And, most of all, it has certain rules that keep the world consistent. With all the inconsistency we've experienced with almost all of the main characters so far, the world is the most constant character on the show. A zombie virus has taken over the country, if not the whole world. Everyone is infected. If you get bit, you die and turn. If you die, you turn. Go for the head. Pretty straightforward.

The show has never used these rules as effectively as it did in the early scene between The Governor, Milton and Andrea. After trying to smack some sense into Milton, The Governor demands a show of loyalty and tells Milton he won’t be leaving the room until he kills Andrea. Milton tries to kill The Governor but ends up getting his guts spilled instead. It is at this point The Governor (and the show) smirks and explains to Milton that he was going to kill Andrea one way or another. If not alive, then when he turns into a zombie after dying from his wounds. What a lose-lose situation for Milton and a win-win situation for the audience. A clever and surprising use of the world’s rules and Andrea is purged from the show after eventually receiving a fairly serious hickey from an undead Milton.

I was actually surprised that Andrea bit the dust in this one. Despite all the tension and immediate danger throughout, I didn’t think we’d be so lucky as to bid her adieu. If nothing else, this season saw the departure of four problematic characters (Lori, T-Dog, Merle and Andrea).

Now, let’s talk about that long-awaited battle between the Ricky Mouse Club and The Woodbury Woodpeckers. What a letdown! I was expecting an all-out war between the two groups, with both sides taking small victories here and there before a final showdown between Rick and The Governor or Michonne and The Governor. Definitely not this. Rick’s bunch clears out the prison before Woodbury invades with their superior numbers and a grenade launcher. They enter the prison and head into the “tombs” and all it takes is some walkers, a flashing light and some gunfire from the Glaggie SWAT team to send everyone but The Governor running for the hills. From there, Sergeant Cyclops is not impressed and decides the best way to deal with a problem is to pump its guts full of lead, which he does to essentially all of his army. It’s just so hard to find good help these days.

And just like that, The Governor and his two main henchmen drive off to plot and scheme another day. The end to the Governor’s season was frustration, murder and disappearing down the road? I suppose it made sense to have his willy-nilly army fall apart because they didn't share the same psychotic motivation he did but it didn't make for very good television. How soon will we see The Governor again?

At least the episode ending on a somewhat positive and hopeful note, with the survivors of Woodbury arriving at the prison. Out of the frying pan and into the fire?

Was it just me or did this episode not feel like a season finale? So anti-climactic that it still felt like the show was spinning its wheels a little.

Did you find this one to be a bit of a letdown, Steve?

Ya, I did, for all the build up I would think they would have a better close out than what happened. More on that later. As for the Milton/Andrea scene, I would say that was the better scene of the episode. It had it's issues. Mainly Andrea, surprise surprise. As Milton explains to her that she needs to hurry to get out before he turns, as if she hasn't already figured that out, she sits there, and stares, NOT TRYING TO ESCAPE. Almost every cut back to that scene it shows Andrea doing nothing but either talking to Milton or making sure he is still alive. Had she focused and just concentrated on getting out of the cuffs she could have been well out of there before he turned. You know what she could have done next? Left the door open, let Milton run wild in Woodbury

As for the attack on the prison, I, along with most of the internet, was disappointed. They come in, guns a blazin', find nothing, get spooked and run away. First off why didn't the prison group put the barbed wire and tire spikes closer to the gate? Why have them out in the middle of the field? On the off chance they might hit them? One actually did and nothing came of it, they were parking anyways. If they were closer to the gate would the Gov have seen them? So what?! It's the only way into the prison, they were cruising and slammed through the gate, they would not have had time or space to stop or dodge them. You put the dragon teeth on the beach, not halfway up the hill. So lets forget the poor planning on Rick's part. Clearly hiding was the right tactic, they were heavily outnumbered that move made sense, well played. Using the confusions and panic to your advantage.

So lets look at it from the Gov's side. He comes in, 3 vehicles deep, gets a few flash bangs and some smoke thrown at him and his "army" crumbles. Not the turn out I was expecting. Put in his shoes I can understand why he might be a little bit on the angry side. I'm not saying he should have slaughtered everyone but perhaps he had put a bit too much faith in his hastily formed militia. Also as a side note, they came in 3 vehicles, from what we saw no one died, meaning all those people that came in 3 trucks crammed into 1 truck and took off. With the Gov, Caesar, and the black guy in the pickup. How did they all fit? Or were there some casualties at the prison?

I'm not 100% behind the idea of bringing Woodbury to the prison. I understand those people have nothing to do with the conflict but why take on the burden? Clearly they were safe in Woodbury, all they would have had to do was elect a new leader and things would be back to normal. At the prison all that is are more mouths to feed, more people to learn to trust and more tertiary characters to die. At least that means we have Tyreese and Sasha back with the group.


-Nailed most of the fatalities in the last couple episodes. Andy, Ben and Milton.
-I was mildly surprised Maggie or Glenn didn’t die, although keeping the show’s only romance alive makes sense.
-Things from last episode that were brushed aside quickly this week: Merle’s sacrifice and Michonne being cool with what Rick did/almost did.

-Carl was right disappointed with Rick and all his decisions this episode. How will he grow between seasons?
-I had a feeling the Gov would survive...however I was hoping for more of a TMNT Shredder esque survival, only to return as the Super Gov! 
-As I did last season I am reading the comics up to the end of the current season. One of the main comments online was how the comic story regarding the prison and Woodbury was much better done

Blair: 1. Legitimate character development for Michonne. 2. More Tyreese and Sasha. 3. More exploring of the outside world. Or maybe just this.
Steve: 1. Tyreese development. 2.A grown up, very developed Carl (I'm thinking the kind of transformation of Enzo -> Matrix) 3. New setting, prison is great but is that where we are stuck now?

Blair’s Episode MVP: Andrea (for being a part of the episode’s best scenes and for dying)
Steve’s Episode MVP: Milton (he tried to do the noble thing)
Blair’s Episode Grade: B
Steve’s Episode Grade: 1.5 thumbs
Blair’s Deadpool Pick: Cesar? Who knows.
Steve’s Deadpool Pick: About 1/2 of the new Woodbury guests.

Thanks for a great season!
See you all in the fall