The Walking Dead Finale Recap: War and Peace -- Plus: Find Out Who's Returning for Season 4

The Walking Dead FinaleIn Sunday’s season finale of The Walking Dead, it’s less the battle royal between Team Jailhouse and Team Woodbury that leaves countless casualties – including two characters we’d come to know and love (and okay, to be fair, be annoyed by) – and more the dustup’s prelude and aftermath that results in such a high body count.

Here’s how it all shakes out…

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THE WISDOM OF A FORTUNE COOKIE | The episode opens with the Governor beating the living daylights out of Milton and telling him that, come hell or high water, he’s not leaving the torture chamber before he kills Andrea. Choosing high water (or is it hell?), Milton uses the dagger that the Governor gives him to (duh!) attack ol’ One-Eye. Seeing it coming a mile away (even with only the one eye), the Governor turns the weapon against Milton and leaves him to die and become a zombie – a zombie who will, in turn, do away with Andrea. “In this life now, ya kill or ya die,” says the villain. “Or ya die and ya kill.” But either way, eww!

THANKS, BUT NO THANKS | Meanwhile, as everybody packs up the jailhouse (you know, just in case), Carol tries to cheer up Daryl by telling him that Merle “gave us a chance.” (And, loathsome though Merle was, it’s true.) In another cellblock, Rick appears as uneasy with Michonne’s forgiveness (for thinking about offering her up as a sacrifice to the Governor) as he is with her thanks (for accepting her into the group).In other words, to quote Casablanca, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

PHOTOS | The Walking Dead: 15 Most Memorable Moments of Season 3

DIE HARD | In Woodbury, Tyreese and Sasha inform the Governor that they’re happy to fight walkers for him, but they’ll take no part in any kerfuffle with humans. They’ll happily stay behind, though, and guard the children. “Thank you,” says the Governor, clearly replacing a word that starts with “f” with the word “thank.” Following an action-movie assault on the prison, in which only walkers are shot and egos bruised, the Governor is in such a fit of pique that he picks off everyone who’s decided to desert him. Everyone except one female Woodburyan who escapes his notice (the asthmatic’s mom from weeks ago?). UPDATE: David Morrissey aka The Governor is set to return as a series regular for Season 4, says The Hollywood Reporter.

KID STUFF | When a young Woodburyan happens upon Hershel, Beth and Carl in the woods, Carl – who’s been pissed at Rick the whole episode long (for considering giving up Michonne) – shoots the lad. When confronted about it, Carl insists that, though “I didn’t kill the walker that killed Dale,” he did take care of this. Hershel, on the other hand, counters that “he gunned that kid down.” So, in other words, “Dear diary, my teen angst bulls— has a body count.”

ONCE BITTEN | Upon gaining entry to Woodbury, Rick & Co. discover Milton dead… but uh-oh… apparently, Andrea wasn’t able to put him down before he chomped down on her. “I just didn’t want anyone to die,” she says in trying to explain her motivation for not taking out the Governor when she had the chance. Reluctantly, Rick leaves her with Michonne so that she can kill herself before she turns. “I know how the safety works,” she cracks. But it’s really Michonne’s tears, hard-won as they are, that break us down.

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode and, for that matter, the season? How do you think the Woodbury survivors who relocate to the prison will fare? Will Carl go crazier before he gets his act together? Will we get a Glenn/Maggie wedding? A proper Daryl/Carol hook-up? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. jacktar says:

    People, please! The fact that we’re commenting here means that we’re all fans. Can’t we all just get along?
    Those of you who read the original are bound to be disappointed. I always am if I watch a T.V or movie remake of a book I’ve liked. Though it’s difficult, I have to try to not think of the original as Holy Writ, that can’t be deviated from, but instead think of it as a jazz piece, that can be improvised and changed to suit the musician playing. The anticipation of a perfect translation will only let you down.
    I was an Andrea…disliker, not a hater. I didn’t understand her motivations, and thought she was annoying. Her final speech brought home to me that she tried to keep her humanity and prevent the slaughter of her fellow human beings in a world with suddenly too few of them. It should have been obvious to me, but it wasn’t. Sorry Andrea; please forgive me.
    As for the final shootout at The O.K Corral that everyone had psyched themselves out for,it didn’t happen, and in a way I’m glad. I wanted to see the forces of Good and Evil square off in a final showdown too, but there’s nothing wrong with ambiguity sometimes. Kind of like real life. The loose ends aren’t always tied up in a neat bundle; frankly, it can get boring.
    As for the quality of the final episode, I have to say that I was impressed. It was tight and crisp.This was the kind of writing and pacing that I’ve been waiting for from the beginning. To often the show has been sloppy, or meandering, or directionless. To much pointless, useless dialogue that didn’t move the story forward.This sounds overly picky and critical, but the thing is, I’m usually not that critical about T.V shows that I like; this one made it too obvious.
    Carl is a badass. Next season he’ll come into his own.Mark my words.

    • KV says:

      I agree. The prison group would have been wiped out if it had been a true shoot out; even they knew that. So the smart thing was to do what they did (although smarter would have been to booby trap it a la Morgan and hightail it out of there, but that’s just me). Anything else would have been a blood bath. Besides, their ambush served its purpose; while they didn’t kill anybody, the Governor wiped them all out and eliminated the threat.

  2. Pauli says:

    The finale seemed a little anti-climatic to me. While I was watching it, I thought it was great, paced well and suspenseful, but as it got toward the end, I felt like I was waiting for something big to happen that never did. Yes, Andrea died, but that didn’t feel like a huge shock to me. I thought we’d get one more showdown with the Governor, I was actually really surprised he survived the episode; I thought there was going to be more death in general with this big war. Not to say I wanted anymore characters to die, the group as sparse as it is. But as I was watching the episode, I was actively bracing myself for that gutter-punch, and when it never happened, I felt oddly disappointed.

  3. Sarah says:

    Without the death of the Governor the finale didnt feel completed, and i hate that they’re probably gonna drag him into season 4 -_- Its a little tiring. I just want them on the road again.

    And Andrea’s death was a litle premature. I’ve read the comics and i wish they had have written her a little better. Lori was hateable, but Andrea was supposed to be so much more. Too bad. Wasnt impressed overall.

  4. Daryl says:

    I completely agree with that about Carl. The boy he shot had been asked to drop his gun, instead he kept coming closer, and talked about handing it over, Carl had no choice but to shoot him. He is one of the few characters learning from his mistakes.
    Andrea did annoy throughout most of the show, although I did want to see her rejoin the group and redeem herself. I wanted to see more of Milton too, I think he and Hershel would have made good friends.
    Why did they not show any supplies being brought from Woodbury just all those people?
    It was an interesting switch from the Governor looking after people and having to hide his sociopathic tendencies to now Rick having to look after all those people. The Governor is now free to really get crazy.

  5. Rocco says:

    So everyone thinks the show should be exactly like the comic! How boring. Everyone knows if you read a book and they make a movie, they are never the same! Quit complaining and just watch the damn show!

  6. Dave says:

    Good episode but felt it lacked a little to be the season finale. Expected a bit more. Still the best show on t.v. Season 4 can’t get here soon enough.

  7. Steve says:

    So glad I’m alone… there were WAY. TOO. MANY. COMMERCIALS. last night! Just could not get in the groove. Paying the bills, yeah, I get it. But that was overkill. How much of that episode wound up on the cutting room floor to make time for more AMC commercials… for AMC shows?!

  8. DAG says:

    Why wouldn’t Carl kill the boy soldier in the woods and not have second thoughts or remorse? He saw his dad leave that poor hitchhiker on the side of the road to fend for himself not once, but twice! And, he ended up as a zombie snack. They may have just put a bullet in that guy’s head.

  9. justa watcher says:

    Sure was boring and a big disappointment, but then most of this season has been really slow. And the commercials took up probably at least half the show, they were just so long and annoying. I have seen every episode the whole 3 seasons but I’m wondering if I’ll be back to watch season 4 because I’m starting to just not care who lives or dies or what happens in the show. I feel they have gone on too long and need to make if fun and exciting again or put the show to rest.

  10. Chance says:

    How did Michonne and Andrea not kiss?

  11. Jamie says:

    I enjoyed the episode, but it was a little anticlimactic for a season finale.

    I was hoping that someone would end up being a martyr for Andrea so that she could escape and rejoin the group. The martyr could have left the Governor so severely injured that it would be a cliffhanger as to whether he would survive to the next season. If they would have taken that approach, they (meaning Gimple) could find a way to redeem Andrea next season – give her a chance to wise up, toughen up, and more closely resemble the comic version of the character. Oh well. I did enjoy Andrea’s last moments with Rick and Michonne.

    I do find the new Rick/Carl dynamic to be really fascinating and full of potential. I liked the symbolism of Carl dropping Rick’s badge and Rick picking it back up. It’s interesting (but, sad and tragic, IMO) that Carl is taking on the Shane/Governor ideology that things are now black-and-white, it’s kill or be killed, and that Rick is starting to reclaim the person that he once was (and the tough decisions that come along with trying to do the morally right thing).

    And on a side note, Bear McCreary once again wrote a wonderful composition to close out the season – it was a very different piece than the composition at the end of S2. I loved the combination of the piano and strings – absolutely beautiful.

  12. bigg jenn says:

    I love the series it gets u so caught up in it u forget ur own life lol…I can’t get enough of it u can’t go wrong …..and the finale was great !

  13. frankie says:

    I disagree ,the Prison should not be destroyed, Rick , Hershel and Daryl is doing a greatst job, they should not be killed, ALL the prison group men and women should not be killed off, writers think about new episodes, men and women at the prison matching up and starting a new world ,if they all are killed off the show will be killed off, think about the fans that want to keep watching the WALKING DEAD

  14. Tufa says:

    I watched the first three seasons marathon style. My thoughts are the show has gotten progressively worse. I didnt feel the farm claustrophobia but definitely do on the prison. I think the whole Governor character is far too cheesy. The show needs some progression on the zombie disease itself. Make it infect the animals or give us a hint of a cure or something along those lines. There is no sense of a future with the show, which is why it has started to disappoint. I am not looking forward to another season without a major set change and continued squabbles with the Governor. The show is the best when the characters are in a transitional state, not hunkered down.

  15. Tyler says:

    Anyone else think they killed Andrea to save Carol and turn Carol Into the Comic book Andrea?

  16. brad says:

    i was most disappointed by the number of commerci of an hour show that was showals.hell,there seemed like only 10 min or so of the hour show was actually show.

  17. casper says:

    Loved the Heathers quote in the recap!

  18. Alan says:

    i give it a B.
    i was convinced the governor was going to die considering how the story was going so that was a nice surprise for me. im really glad david morrisey is coming back because he has been excellent this season.
    when carl killed that guy i literally said holy crap, i couldnt believe he killed a guy in cold blood like that but now looking back on it he did the right thing, the guy wasnt doing what he was told to do and was clearly advancing towards him in a threatening way. he doesnt want more blood on his hands.
    im sorry to see laurie holden go because she played the part well no matter how badly andrea was written and it always sucks to see someone lose their job. hopefully her next role is a much better written character which can redeem her in the eyes of the people who cant separate actor from character.
    it was good to see michonne fully integrated with the group, she seemed much more like a 3 dimensional character than how she was written all season.
    it was nice to see that they didnt do the exact same thing they did in last seasons finale, it was good to see the group get a win for once. i look forward to october.

  19. Bob says:

    Was Carl justified in shooting the boy? Easy. In addition to Carl’s simple logic that the boy was part of the attacking group, there is one simple fact that trumps all others: Carl’s verbal commanded the armed assailant to lay the weapon down. The assailant verbally agreed…. BUT at the same time, the boy moved closer and ultimately into Carl’s *personal* *space*, which is when Carl pulled the trigger. It was justified under the circumstances, no question. Good shoot.

    • Drizz says:

      Yep, totally agree. I think this is the mark of a poorly directed scene. I think the writer’s intention was to make a scene where Carl was being too cold and that Hershel was right that Carl was in the wrong, but due to the way the scene was blocked, the boy’s coming forward and not dropping the gun immediately absolutely looked like a continuing threat. I hope the writers will not continue to treat this in S4 like Carl was wrong. As it was acted out, Carl was in the right. He was a smaller kid with a one legged man, a young girl, and a baby. Carl had to protect his own.

  20. Drizz says:

    The finale left a lot to be desired, but I think the thing that bothered me the most was that I kept waiting for a shock of some sort after they unloaded the bus, but instead it went to credits. It felt unfinished, like there should have been more. No real cliffhanger or anything.

    • Alan says:

      i think that was supposed to be the point. the group got a win for once, with some loses along the way, but the fact that they werent left in some kind of danger was i think what the writers were trying to get at. the group spend so long getting their asses handed to them, losing people every now and then, that it could become difficult to believe in these people if all we see is them losing, the group needs to come out on top every once and a while and that is what happened here. most likely this means things will get even worse for them next season.

      • Drizz says:

        I wasn’t even necessarily looking for further fighting or death, but just a surprising reveal of some sort like the show does now and then. The show just kind of “left quietly” if you get my meaning.

  21. K says:

    I really wished I would have watched The Bible finale instead. Didnt even get the chance to dvr it.

  22. Plum says:

    Michonne’s tears tore me up. This season was blistering, just plain soul searing. People keep asking why Andrea didn’t kill the Guv, but in the end we have to ask why no one forced Andrea to stay at the prison. In truth it was the combined anger of Michonne, Rick and the Prison Gang that kept them from doing everything in their power to keep Andrea at the prison. They had that “it’s her funeral” mindset, but in the end we saw what giving up on her led to, and it wasn’t pretty. So rescuing everyone at Woodbury, not giving up on them, not giving up on Rick and not giving up on each other period was the overall theme for Season 3. Michonne and Darryl didn’t give up on Merle, which redeemed him in the end.

    • Daniel says:

      There were some deviations that were ok, and made perfectly good sense – like the Governor not raping Michonne. It would be unecessary, instead they just show him feeling those handcuffs that we all know what it meant. But the Andrea character deviation was too much for me, almost too much. I’m glad Merle is gone and all. But now who will chop Ricks hand ?? Comon we need to see them farm that prision up and someone better attack them when they least expect. That’s season 4.

  23. RastaBlaster says:

    It was Dark Knight Rises all over again, just a dissapointing finale

  24. Kim Mengis says:

    I didn’t get the feeling Carl was mad because of the whole Michonne thing. He was mad because Rik was sending him away and he wanted to be t the prison to fight.

  25. Not watching anymore. The episode just pissed me off. I was starting to understand her character, especially when Laurie Holden explained, they were slowly bringing in the ass kicking andrea from the comics, which I thought was smart, showing the changes the world brought but no they did something stupid and killed her off, they gave a typical ending, I mean I already assumed she was a goner with the episode Prey, she almost made it to her group and I knew she wouldn’t see them all together again. But my sister kept telling me that I was being negative, I wanted to slap her after the season finale. No offence her death made no sense. She was fully capable of killing walker milton but the director had her taking forever to do the deed, it was like the character just gave up. How was that a perfect ending for Andrea?

  26. applemoon says:

    I’m so upset that Andrea is off the show I loved her. She was a bad mamma jamma!” To be honest I wanted her and Rick together. It’s not fare that we didn’t get to see the comic book version of Andrea.

  27. Nelly says:

    So glad Andrea’s dead. She annoyed me from season 1 and the governor should have been dead long time ago!!
    “I just wanted no one else to die…. :(” Its a damn apocalypse!

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