The Walking Dead S03E16 "Welcome to the Tombs" Review


“You kill or you die, or you die and you kill.”

Firstly, I'm not going to go scene by scene here because I'm sure you've all watched the episode by now, especially if you're reading here. Overall, this finale was frustrating and disappointing, especially after an extended sixteen episode long season. It didn't come together well and at times it felt like I had missed an episode. I can assure you that I did not.

Let's start where the episode went right. We have to go all the way to the beginning. The opening scene with The Governor, Milton, and Andrea was phenomenal. It was perhaps one of the best scenes of the series. I was stunned when he stabbed Milton, as I thought Milton might be the one to put The Governor away. Milton had really grown on me over the last few episodes and I was really hoping that he'd make it out of this season alive. Of course it didn't turn out like that with Milton refusing The Governor's test of having him kill Andrea. The Governor stabbed Milton and then delivered what will be one of the more memorable quotes of the series with "you kill or you die, or you die and you kill." Suddenly, Andrea was faced with what seemed like a 'Saw' game after The Governor closes the door on a dying Milton in a room with Andrea handcuffed to the chair.

The start really got me excited for what was to come. Unfortunately, everything went south from there.

Our main group at the prison starts packing up their things, making it seem like they're going to hit the road instead of going toe to toe with Woodbury. The Governor on the other hand quickly rounds up some troops after the fiasco that Merle caused, convincing the town that the people at the prison need to be killed. The Governor and his army quickly make their way into the prison using heavy artillery and trucks.

They manage to breach the prison, only nobody is home. The Governor sends his troops down into the tombs and it is there that our prison group strikes first. There they are met with a decoy grenade, which sends everyone running for their lives. Just like that, the group that just literally exploded their way into the prison was on its way back to Woodbury, because of a little noise. Apparently The Governor didn't understand it either, which is probably why he slaughtered his own people right afterwards.

Also Carl killed a guy, and Hershel wasn't too happy about it. If I was Carl I would tell Hershel to sleep with one eye open.

Meanwhile, Rick and the group celebrate a small victory. Also, could someone fill me in on how our prison group knew when The Governor was coming? I mean I'm sure Daryl filled them in on what Merle did, so they were expecting something. But how long were Hershel, Beth, and Carl waiting in the woods?

Most were expecting The Governor to die, but that didn't happen either. I have no problem with that though as there is still story left there. He's last seen driving off with a confused Martinez and Bowman after The Governor slaughters dozens of their own people. The only survivor is Karen, who played dead under a dead body. Good thing she wasn't under there too long. She's later saved by Rick and the group and joins them.

Back at Woodbury, sadly, Milton finally dies. The clock is now ticking on Andrea who waisted plenty of time catching up on stories with a dying Milton. For someone staring death in the face with handcuffs on, Andrea really struggles to pick up a pair of pliers with her bare feat. She finally breaks free of her cuffs with the pliers, just as Milton has turned and is looking for dinner.

Rick, Michonne, Daryl, and Karen arrive at Woodbury and convince Tyreese who's guarding the wall of what The Governor did. He lets them in and they immediately go searching for Andrea. They find the room where she was locked up where they find a dead Milton and Andrea on the floor. She has a severe bite in the collar area. She's not going to make it.

Except it's not so sad really, not as sad as they had wanted it to be.

The death that closed out the show was the death of the person who has wanted to die since season one. She's wanted to kill herself on at least a couple of occasions, and tonight she finally got to pull the trigger on herself.

The show spent weeks getting us to hate Andrea and now her death is supposed to be the impact that closes out the season? It had no more impact than Merle's death last week. Looking at some of the more popular shows on TV, including AMC, I know why I need to tune into the season premieres of Homeland, of Breaking Bad, and of Dexter. I need to tune into the season premiere of The Walking Dead...because Andrea died?

Or maybe I need to tune in, to watch commercials. There's nothing like a little TV between commercials. AMC though really pushed it last night, having commercials running from 9:50pm to about 9:55pm.

Next season is clearly going to be the bonding of Rick and Tyreese. Obviously The Governor will be back at some point, maybe with a new town. Who knows. I hope you enjoyed the finale more than I did. We'll see you in the fall.

The Walking Dead Survival Index:

1. Rick Grimes - no change
Current: 95%
Note: He didn't really win or lose, just showed that he's less crazy than The Governor.

2. Carl Grimes - (+5%)
Current: 95%
Note: I had no problem with what he did. The other kid took forever to lower his gun. Shut up Hershel.

3. Michonne - (+10%)
Current: 95%
Note: She has Rick's trust and friendship. She was the saddest part about losing Andrea.

4. Tyreese - (+25%)
Current: 85%
Note: Let the bromance begin.

5. Daryl Dixon - (-10%)
Current: 80%
Note: Tyreese's emergence could make Daryl disposable.

6. Glenn - no change
Current: 75%
Note: Continues to be tied down by Maggie.

7. Judith Grimes - (+20%)
Current: 70%
Note: She's got a bunch of old people to take care of her now.

8. Maggie Greene - no change.
Current: 60%
Note: I was really wishing she would die so we wouldn't have to sit through a damn wedding episode next season.

9. Hershel Greene - (+10%)
Current: 55%
Note: The one-legged bastard made it, I can't believe it.

10. Carol Peletier - (+10%)
Current: 50%
Note: Did you see her combat skills?

11. Sasha - no change
Current: 40%
Note: She and Tyreese have come full circle and are back at the prison.

12. The Governor - (+20%)
Current: 40%
Note: I was shocked that he made it out of this season alive. He's a full blown super villain now and probably won't be riding into the sunset.

13. Beth Greene - (+10%)
Current: 25%
Note: I'm stunned that she made it through the season. I guess they need people to die next season.

14. Caesar - (+10%)
Current: 25%
Note: He was smart enough not to oppose The Governor, but he did have the chance to put him away. He enjoys it almost as much as The Guv though.

Andrea - (-50%)
Current: DECEASED
Note: In the end she deserved it. She made the decisions that got her where she was.

Milton - (-30%)
Current: DECEASED%
Note: I thought he might be the one to kill The Governor. I was sad to see him go, he could have been a good member of Rick's group.

Allen - (-5%)
Current: DECEASED
Note: He wanted nothing more than to be a good soldier for The Governor, but when The Governor turned on his own army, Allen came to his senses. Unfortunately for him, he didn't react quick enough.

Ben - (-20%)
Current: DECEASED%
Note: He actually died in the previous episode, I missed this one. He was shot by Merle when he stepped into the cross-hairs, saving The Governor.

Comment 1
George Prax's picture

I really didn't see it the way you did, and I especially don't understand why you'd be complaining about commercials. That's a reality for any network that isn't Showtime or HBO. Plus the episode ran until 10:05 anyway.

I don't think you need season finales where 32 people die and it ends on a cliffhanger. The idea of the show, especially this season, is that the zombie apocalypse is now their reality, and that they have to find a way to try and live as normally as people under these new circumstances. In other words, as people die, life goes on for the rest. I thought the episode perfectly surmised that, even if it didn't end on a huge moment. I will admit it was a little underwhelming, but everything that happened before was great. There could have maybe been one or two more character deaths though, but I think they also did a lot over the course of the season this year.

The Governor killing all his people was the biggest WTF moment, the attack on the prison was great, and I think the end made sense. A lot of people hate Andrea but she had been better lately and her story had sort of run its course in my opinion so the timing was right for her to die. She's still a huge death though. The Governor surviving is also okay, as while the show doesn't need a continuous villain it's good to keep him around for another season as I think most of season 3 was to set him up for who he was and why he's so crazy, whereas in the comics he's just crazy from the start.

Anyway, in the end I thought it was better than you give it credit for, definitely not as good as say the second half of the season overall or the season 2 finale, but definitely still good. I'm gonna post a season retrospective in the coming days, but that's the gist of what I thought.