The Walking Dead: 316 Finale Review
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.
WARNING – FULL SPOILERS
The final episode of the third instalment of The Walking Dead tried to juggle a lot of different sub-stories with mixed success. Andrea’s death was the big shock of the episode, but after the frustration of her character for pretty much the last 2 seasons, nobody really seemed to care. Personally, I was more annoyed that Milton fell at the final hurdle when he was becoming an increasingly entertaining character. Least he did us a favour and took Andrea with him.
Outside of Andrea’s death the highly anticipated attack on the prison turned out to be somewhat of a bittersweet affair to watch. The explosive, gun-blazing invasion into the yard got the adrenaline pumping and was closely followed by an intriguing tour into the tombs, which ended with a cleverly planned booby trap. Nice. However, that was pretty much it, the Governor and his crew just left and we didn’t even see Rick or some of the others fire off a round.
This was a very “Hollywood” thing to do. Have few of the cast kill innocent Woodbury folk so they’re protected from any wrongdoing before the Governor slaughters them all in cold blood to hype up his hatred. It was a bit of an anticlimax to say the least, and leaving one alive to fill Rick and the others in was just predictable. From then on the episode sort of fizzled out without anything really important happening, besides Andrea’s death of course.
Tyreese has now switched back to Team Rick following on from his unsuccessful loan in Woodbury. I feel a lot more could have been done with this popular character since his introduction; he’s not had the same impact as in the comics that’s for sure. Season 4 will see him, Sasha and Beth all promoted to lead characters and an opening name check in the credits. That’s good to see as it’s impossible to not let Beth get more screen time now that the likes of Merle, Lori, T-Dog and Andrea are out of the way.
The last moments of the episode were subdued as far as final episodes go. Rick’s Good Samaritan turn was a little cheesy but it’s a quick way of bumping up the cast and a lot more zombie fodder for season 4.
Where will the show go from here? Tough question, I like the fact that they’ve stayed in the prison rather than just having one season in one place each time. They’ll probably leave at some point in the next, as I can’t see them getting another 16 episodes out of that setting. New faces will come into the fold as things move forward but what of the Governor and Martinez? It’s going to be hard for them to round up a posse and come back for more in the first episodes, unless this is placed as a Season 4 finale which would just be a drag and tough to endure.
Season 3 has definitely been the show’s strongest to date with a particularly good first few episodes. The latter half of the series has been a lot more inconsistent in stalling for time and we still didn’t get to see Rick and the Governor face off. The final two episodes of season 2 were much superior and had truly breathtaking moments, this did not. Still they’ll have another chance later in the year when TWD returns for it’s forth outing.
Scene of the Episode: Tomb Raider – An unexpected set up for the battle of the prison but one that proved entertaining when it came to setting up the governor. This was topped off with Carl’s dark turn, echoing the spirit of the comics.