Woodbury vs. the Prison is finally going down. The result ends up being a pretty huge shocker. The war has loads of action and violence, but the most exciting parts are the transformations of several characters. “Welcome to the Tombs” reveals who really is the better leader between Rick and the Governor.

Good vs. Evil

For part of the season, it appeared Rick and the Governor were equally crazy. The big difference is we got to see Rick at the start of the zombie apocalypse, and we knew he was once a good man. It did appear that this new world was waging a war on both men’s sanity. It is a war that Rick has a chance to win, and last week, he showed glimmers of his former self when he stepped down as dictator and decided against turning on Michonne. It is now very clear that Rick never really deserved to be compared to the Governor. Sure, poor Rick kept seeing images of his dead wife and would occasionally have shouting matches with himself, but he was able to avoid gunning down his own people.

Governor is now the ruler of “Completely-Lost-My-Mind Town.” It has been clear that the Governor is unstable. The brutal beating and stabbing of Milton in the opening isn’t a huge shocker. He then enters a world where the sensible answer to your troops saying they should retreat from a war they’re getting massacred at is to shoot and kill them. I’m pretty sure we’ll see the Governor again, but he is now a monster with no value for human life.

The Governor drives off after his massacre with his two very scared henchmen, and then Rick shows up to clean up the mess. Rick not only spares the life of the sole surviving “soldier,” Karen, but then completely scraps his plan of finishing off Woodbury. Instead, he takes in the citizens that were abandoned by their nutcase leader. The prison has now become a much more populated place, but Rick has saved many innocent lives. It appears the move is right for his soul, since it causes the vision of Lori to fade away. The act can also be seen as a way to pay homage to Andrea.

Milton and Andrea’s Final Acts of Redemption

I predicted this finale would be partly about the redemption of Andrea and Milton. It does end up being that, but I never could have predicted this result. Milton finally stands up to the Governor and refuses to kill Andrea. It’s a brave and noble act, but unfortunately, he’s beaten to near death. Death in this world means becoming a human flesh craving baddie. Milton’s final act also leads to an unfortunate end for Andrea.

Before Andrea loses a chunk of shoulder, she gets to explain her actions of this past season. Essentially, she didn’t want to see any more death. She wanted to prevent a war. She hoped staying in Woodbury would allow her to protect the innocent people. Her story didn’t have a happy ending, but her sacrifice does help save many Woodbury citizens.

Andrea’s last scene is not only brilliantly performed, but also a touching end for the character. We never got to see much of the Michonne and Andrea relationship, but we knew that they were really close. It’s emotional seeing Michonne refuse to leave Andrea’s side, and it’s also one of the few times we see Michonne shed a tear. It will be one of the most memorable moments in The Walking Dead history, and I’m still stunned Andrea is actually dead. The scene also has a sweet moment where Rick makes it clear that he considered Andrea a member of his crew.

Carl’s Dark Path

There is some darkness, especially Carl’s current state of mind. He kills a guy who seems willing to give up his gun. I wonder if it’s partly due to his rage over not being included in the prison ambush of the Governor’s troops. He also seems to be carrying guilt over Dale’s death, but also some inner hate over his mom’s death. It’s intriguing to see that Carl appears upset that his dad brought the Woodbury citizens to the prison. Season 4 will likely have some huge character development moments for Carl. He may end up being a major focus as he wrestles with his morals and soul next season.

I also really need to mention the prison ambush is a great tactical move. It’s another moment that proves the superiority of Rick over the Governor. Another proof of Rick being a better man happens right before the Governor’s attack. Michonne and Rick share a sweet moment, where she admits she understands Rick needing to contemplate turning her in. Rick still apologizes and doesn’t even take credit for staying loyal to her. It shows humility, but it also shows how much he respects her. She was someone that he once wanted to get rid of, but he has proven he is willing to change his mind. He is even willing to admit he was wrong. Governor would rather slaughter innocent people than change his mind.

Season 3 had some great moments and some less than thrilling times, too. It ends with an emotional and unforgettable finale. It has also set up some interesting character and story moments for season 4. What was your favorite moment from the finale?

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(Image courtesy of AMC)

Chris Spicer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV