The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 16 “Welcome To The Tombs” Review

The Walking Dead Season 3 Finale The Governor David Morrisey

In The Walking Dead Season 3 Finale, Episode 16 titled “Welcome To The Tombs”, the Governor attacks the prison and goes crazy!

Let’s dissect the episode! Continue reading for my initial reaction and spoiler filled thoughts.

You Kill Or You Die

When the finale is as highly anticipated as this, especially after a great penultimate episode, it would be difficult to meet expectations. There were some memorable moments but I wouldn’t go as far as to say this was the best episode of the season.

Andrea is not compelling or likeable enough make her death the emotional centerpiece of a season finale. It’s one thing to see her outsmart the Governor in “Prey” but having her tied to a chair for the entire episode just made me feel relieved it was over and that she got a decent farewell. More on her death later in the recap.

“You kill or you die … Or you die and you kill” is the narrative thread through-out the Season 3 finale as we see multiple characters, including Milton and Carl, decide whether or not to abide by this code.

Milton gets a final moment to define his character by attempting to kill the Governor instead of Andrea. The more Milton stands up against the Governor over the last few episodes the more I have slowly warmed up to him.

There’s a good moment when the Governor’s acknowledges to Milton that Penny would be afraid of him. One way to look at it is he’s transforming himself into the man who could have saved his daughter as horrific as that may be.

Resurrection Of Damnation

The prison assault did not unfold as I expected but it was still exciting to watch. If Rick’s group went to toe-to-toe with the Governor’s firepower they would have been blown to smithereens along with the watchtowers.

I assume leaving the bible with the highlighted scripture for the Governor was intentional and a nice touch … compliments of Hershel?

The OMG moment of the episode that I did not see coming is the Governor massacring the Woodbury people. If they only knew who the Governor really is they probably wouldn’t have mouthed off.

Stupid Allen, if you’re going to point your gun at the Governor you better pull the trigger before he does. I wish we got a hint at what the Governor’s next plan of action is if only to leave me anticipating his return next season.

Sheriff’s Badge

Has Carl gone crazy or is it just zombie apocalypse logic? It is troubling that a child can kill without remorse. As much as Carl is emotionally hardened, my impression is when he put a bullet in the boy it wasn’t a sociopathic urge to kill like the Governor. Having said that, killers typically have an explanation in their warped minds for their criminal behaviors.

Throwing away the sheriff’s badge is an act of defiance against Rick. It also puts into question whether the accepted moral values before the zombie outbreak are still applicable.

As a counterpoint to the Governor’s motto of “You Kill or You Die”, Rick’s intention to assault Woodbury resulted in him bringing back children, women and seniors to care for. I liked the dichotomy between the Governor’s belief that being alive means you’ve won (in his talk with Milton) and slaughtering his followers while Rick chooses a community, “They’re gonna join us.”

Daryl’s brief line about needing people to survive hits home a lot of what this season is about. On a side note, I would have liked to have seen more Daryl in this episode, perhaps a conversation with Carol about Merle’ death would have been nice.

In Season 4, Rick’s arc is to become the father/authority figure that Carl needs; acting as a moral compass and bringing his son back from a very slippery slope. Rick has come to terms with his past traumas and understands what he needs to do moving forward so he no longer needs visions of Lori to help him.

Goodbye or Good Riddance?

The Andrea scenes lacked the urgency to be an effective climax to the season finale. From the moment Milton told her about the pliers she should have hurriedly scrambled to escape. I felt more for Milton than for Andrea through-out these scenes. “You need to hurry.”

The longer the torture room scenes dragged on and as it became apparent everyone from the prison group would survive, the probability of Andrea dying markedly increased.

Actress Danai Gurira’s facial expression as she watched her friend’s dying moments was more emotional than Andrea herself. It makes me curious about what happened during the past winter that cemented their friendship.

It made sense that Andrea wanted to kill herself before she turned into a walker. After Dale saved her from committing suicide in the Season 1 finale, she had to regain her will to live and eventually became a battle tested survivor. Going out on her own terms, by her own hands, says a lot about her character and how far she came yet kind of full circle. She accepted her mortality in a very different way from Season 1. My kill of the week is Andrea shooting herself in the head, which happened off-screen.

Had Andrea killed the Governor when she had the chance, she would still be alive proving that the code ensures survival albeit morally grey in some situations.

Did the season finale deliver what you wanted? How do you feel about the death of Andrea and Milton? Why did the Governor snap and where did he go? What do you want to happen in Season 4, which premieres in October?

Watch cast and producers thoughts on Inside Walking Dead Episode 3×16.

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Posted on March 31, 2013, in Television, The Walking Dead and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. It makes zero sense to abandon a thriving community like Woodbury in favor of a MAJOR fixer-upper like the prison, but I have faith in the writers.
    As for Andrea, she was simply to foolish to live. her character just kept clinging to the wrong men for approval and so she died as a result of her own actions.
    I really wanted the Governor to die though. He has been portrayed as invincible and that is a ridiculous departure from the comic. I realize they want to keep Morrisey around, but where is your sense of reason, folks?

    • Hot showers, BBQs, fighters pit, floating heads in fish tanks … what’s not to love about Woodbury? 🙂 I was thinking the same thing too about staying in the rundown prison. There was a throwaway line from one of the Woodbury attackers about how Rick’s group could live with walkers (in the prison) … I wonder what the rest of the new arrivals are thinking?

      If I was a soldier like Martinez, why wouldn’t I gun down the Governor from behind? I personally liked the evolution of the Governor and want to see what happens next. Thanks so much for commenting.

  2. I thought the finally didn’t really live up to the hype. It was good but normally the finales of this series are the highlight but I can think of better episodes.

    I was surprised they killed Andrea and that the Governor lived and that he killed all his people. I need to think about this some more 😀

    • I agree a finale should up the ante. It wasn’t satisfying enough to be my favorite episode of the season but the Governor’s massacre was a big highlight for me. 🙂

      After Andrea was captured I thought she would escape with Milton’s help. As the episode went on, I had a gut feeling this was it for her. I felt that the producers wanted to do more with the Governor so I’m wasn’t that surprised he lived.

      • David Morrisey Looked super relaxed at interviews so I could see him in another season. Little angry over Andrea because she’s pretty big in the comics, kind of hoped tehy could change her around. Oh well.

        Unusual for this series to not end in a high but maybe it just seems that way because we hit many highs in the middle of season 3 😀

        • Yeah, David Morrisey looks like he loves his character in interviews. In one of the behind the scenes videos, it appears he also likes the collaborate process and ability to give input on this show. At one point I was hoping they could fix Andrea but I’m okay with ending her character. If I read the comics then I might feel the same way you do.

          The season finale aside, I hope the show can be as great in Season 4.

  3. I agree that the finale was good but did not live up to all the hype that AMC and TWD were giving it. The “war” seemed more liked a well planned tatical move by the Grimes gang than an all out war. Smart on their part since they were clearly out numbered, but not quite the excitement that I wanted. I like how they are making Carl seem like a ruthless child – shows how impressionable kids can be and how growing up with massive killing all the time really skews ones moral compass. Agree about Andrea as well. Her character would have moved much faster than how it played out. Milton was a good man at the end, just showed up too late. As for season 4 – first question would be “where did the gov go?!” Second would be, how does Rick make Carl a normal kid again.

    • And, one additional item – when will Michoenne get a better story?

      • Michonne was given a makeover in “Clear” and “This Sorrowful Life” but most of the season she was literally speechless. I’d be interested in some Michonne flashbacks as well as what will happen when she meets Tyreese.

    • In the season 2 finale it was gratifying seeing all the headshots, barn burning and all-out carnage. In this finale, it was deliberate by the producers that there wouldn’t be a proper showdown even if the 2nd half of the season was building up to it. I think what fans sensed is that the finale didn’t pay off week’s of anticipation. I agree that being outnumbered and out gunned, there wouldn’t be much of a fighting chance for Rick’s group in a head on gun battle.

      Andrea has survived through worst scenarios, she could have kicked Milton away to buy more time. Glenn killed a walker while strapped to a chair, but he was able to walk unlike Andrea. I do like that she killed herself in front of Michonne, but she should have moved faster to begin with like you said.

      I’m not sure how Rick can reach out to Carl. Rick can’t undo the fact that his son shot walker Shane (a father like figure), shot his mom, and Morgan though he survived. Do you think Rick and Lori failed Carl as parents?

  4. It’s interesting that they even let the Governor stay alive. I mean, what’s the point? He is no longer a threat to Grimes and company. He’s pretty much zombie food now. He only has 2 soldiers and a lot less munitions then before. He will most likely be nothing more than a nuisance in season 4. But he is a twisted individual so who knows what he has up his sleeve!

    • I can see the point of view that in order to cap off the season, the Governor should have died a horrible, gruesome death. Finales generally tie up the main story arc of the season which in this case is the battle vs the Gov.

      The season 4 renewal was confirmed a long time ago so hopefully the producers have everything mapped out already including the Governor’s arc. I hope the Governor is integral to the new season or at least the first half, not just a reoccurring character. Thanks so much for commenting and checking out the blog.

  5. Just watched and found it quite disappointing. The confrontation between the sides was a bit lackluster and I’m not sure how we’ll ever get a satisfying confrontation between Rick and the Governor now. I did like the Gov going nuts and just mowing his people down, but it leaves him with two soldiers and I just don’t know where it goes from here.

    It is no secret I hate Andrea, so I was pretty happy she died, but it did not have any emotional impact on me at all so doesn’t properly work as a capper to this season. And the bit with her trying to pick up the pliers seemed laughable to me.

    The developments with Carl were probably what worked the best for me. I’m curious how they might build on them going forward. Could be good or bad, but I liked what they were going for here.

    Sorry to be the negative one here in the comments. I always enjoy your reviews, but I just don’t seem to be enjoying it as much! I need to catch up on Arrow so I can start checking out your reviews of that too. I am a couple back still but like that show more than this one for sure.

    • That’s a really good point about how will we get a satisfying confrontation particularly in a big battle showdown that was built up over the course of the season. Looking back, it’s interesting that Rick and the Governor only met once face to face. I’m not sure where this will go either, but I read an interview with co-creator Robert Kirkman that it will make sense when we see what happens in Season 4 though he was talking more about Andrea’s death.

      I also liked the direction they are headed with Carl which has been building up over the season. It wasn’t forced drama, it made sense after everything he has gone through.

      I always enjoy discussing the good, bad and everything in between though my reviews skew towards the positive on shows/movies I like. No worries for just expressing your feelings which some people happen to share with you, especially on the finale. Yes, please catch up on Arrow, it’s fun and I look forward to discussing the show with you. 🙂

  6. I think it’s ridiculous that this show keeps killing off the good actors. Dale, Shane, Lori, T-Dogg, Andrea, etc. It’s getting to where I don’t want to watch it. Now, they’ve got old women and babies to take care of! Joy………..

    • I’ve never been super attached to those characters so it doesn’t bother me. I was unsure what the show would be like after Shane died but Season 3 is overall better than I imagined. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

  7. Lil' Ass Kicker

    Here we are, season 3 over.

    I loved the whole assault/”mutiny” angle with the Governor finally getting ride of thoose “pain in his @$$ always contr-addicting him”. THAT is the Governor from the comic. Add his new sinister coat and definitive eye-patch, and you get the mighty psycho from “Mad Max look alike” Woodbury we used to know before the season. Definitely a good point for season 4. Second part of this season confirmed that the whole season 3 was a prequel to Governor rises. Worst is to come so, for the best !

    I really hope to see the creepy Woodbury, fire bareels and “Zombie UFC fights” to come back and seal the apocalyptic and twisted side of the Walking Dead.

    Now, about the finale itself. I’m quite disappointed with Daryl’s development and the lack of thrill in the Griles/Black confrontation. Seemed like each character followed his own way in this very late episode. No crosses. Hopefully, more people in the prison may mean more walkers to come. You know they smell it… : )

    But still, I wished this episode to give us a season ending caliber twist or shocker, like Medical center’s blow up, Hershel’s farm burning to ashes, or Michonne first’s look. Nothing. I still think the Governor should have teared down the Prison security in a more risky and noisy way that would have the episode ending with more and more growlings coming from the very near forest surrounding the prison and trees starting to shake… And here you have a decent banquet for Prison newcomers. Who’s the prey in the end…. ? : )

    I almost forgot Andrea. Hmm. Done.
    But loved the “Kill and die or die and kill” Milton/Governor angle. Reminded me of Merle’s death. Look like the Gov’s has found his signature.. brr… !!

    • When the Woodbury attackers dropped a flashbang grenade in the prison and started to panic, it showed how inexperienced and sheltered they are. They had a good, comfortable life in Woodbury. They turned a blind eye to what the Governor did to keep them safe or did not ask enough questions.

      Like you said, this season showed the Governor’s evolution. He took his villainy to another level after Penny “died” and lost an eye. After a mass murder on his own people, he’s going to have to do something really crazy to top that! 🙂

      All those new people in the prison means “food” for zombies haha. It would be a great story if Rick or someone made a poor decision that got most of them killed. Maybe one of the new arrivals will be a girlfriend for Carl, haha. He needs some love before he turns into an emotionless monster.

      I was wrong about a herd of zombies arriving in the finale. With the explosions at the Prison caused by the Governor’s gunmen, it should have attracted some walkers. I like your idea, a good banquet is always satisfying. :). The ending would have been stronger if it showed an upcoming threat or what crazy plan the Governor is going to do next.

      I was a bit surprised that the Governor didn’t mutilate Milton. He had all those torture tools but he only beat up Milton. If Milton killed Andrea would Governor have let Milton live?

      Looking ahead to Season 4, I hope it’s a wild thrill ride of twisted horror and tasty new characters for zombies to munch on. 🙂

      • Lil' Ass Kicker

        Damn yes, you are right to point out that Governor’s “Army Men” came from a “Toys Story-esque” place. Kind of reminds me Rick raising an eyebrow when seeing how messy were Axel & friends when attacking Zombies on their way to the laundry !

        “Inexperience” : You know you gotta deals with before THEY deals with. lol.

        Governor’s mass-murder was a real shocker, even if I think we saw it coming from his frustrated face. A friend of mine didn’t knew too much about the Walking Dead, she was like “Is he hounded by walkers ? Why would he does that ?” I instantly had a vision of Shane shooting down Otis and imagined the Gov shooting his people just to escape walkers and said : “No, he’s just a psycho. walkers even learnt to use sidewalks rather than cross that guy on the road when he does round trip to the prison. Really”.

        So, back on track, I think that the Gov just teased us his cruelty skills and abilities. : )

        About Carl, I share your opinion. But I tought they would throw Beth into that role.

        Too bad about the zombies not arriving at all in the finale. Maybe in Season 4 premiere since they litteraly blown 2 watchtowers ?

        I think the Govs not torturing either Andrea or Milton was kind of an act of mercy. He still have a part of humanity in him at this moment. It’s gonna be deeper to see how far he’ll fall in if he struggles to keep his humanity at the same time. You know what is said : “As long as there is hope, desillusion will be harder”. Great moments to come anyway.

        I like your look on the season to come. If I may, I would add more Rick centered moments. Not episodes. Moments. Andrew Lincoln delivered a hell of a performance trough this season 3, I think. M.Rooker was not that far behind but hey, his character died.. I’m definitely looking how Carl, Rick, Daryl, Martinez and Tyreese are gonne be developped. Totally confident about the Governor. Hope Hershel will stay as far as possible. Had a crush on his character, wise and looking like waiting for something that will never come.. Kinda poetic. I don’t know. Keep it up old man !

        Thank you and congratulations Sidekick for your nice reviews this season again,
        hope you could and will continue next fall. Still a pleasure to talk about the Walking Dead with you. ; )

        • “No, he’s just a psycho. walkers even learnt to use sidewalks rather than cross that guy on the road when he does round trip to the prison. Really”.

          Haha, too funny! 🙂 I thought the prisoners would play a larger role in the season. It would have been interesting to see things from their perspective since they were trapped in the prison while the whole world went to hell. Poor Axel, he was likable enough until his head exploded.

          The Governor has more tricks and evil plans … which is why I think the show is keeping him around for another season.

          One neat little scene in the season premiere is when Carl is in Beth’s cell, then Hershel comes in and Carl is like “just making sure she’s okay” or something like that. Too bad the two didn’t have any more scenes together, it would have been awkward cute. Even if Carl may have a crush on Beth, she’s thinking “I’m more than double your age, kid”. haha.

          I like what Hershel brings to the show, especially since Dale is dead. I am surprised he or Beth didn’t die in the finale. Andrew Lincoln did a solid job at playing crazy Rick. Looking forward to what’s next in store for his character.

          The survivors are pretty bad ass to the point where unless there are a lot of Zombies, they are not going to panic or be afraid. I read an interview with one of the Producers who said the zombies will be more dangerous next season. I like the sound of that as long as it is done well. The show is about fear and it’s an important part of any horror/drama show. Bring on lots of Walkers for Season 4!

          Thank you very much for your kind words and supporting this blog! I hope to do more reviews next season and as always enjoy discussing TWD with you. 🙂

  8. “Andrea is not compelling or likeable enough make her death the emotional centerpiece of a season finale.”
    I was more upset over Milton dying than Andrea. 🙂 Now who will all the fans turn their hatred towards?

    “The OMG moment of the episode that I did not see coming is the Governor massacring the Woodbury people. If they only knew who the Governor really is they probably wouldn’t have mouthed off.”
    I can’t believe Karen survived that! She was in the front row of citizens even!

    “Stupid Allen, if you’re going to point your gun at the Governor you better pull the trigger before he does.”
    I did a fist pump when he finally got what he deserved!

    “Has Carl gone crazy or is it just zombie apocalypse logic?”
    He was entirely justifiable. He said “put the gun down” and the kid continues to hold it and approach closer and closer. I wouldn’t have put it past that kid to attack Carl once he got within striking distance.

    “On a side note, I would have liked to have seen more Daryl in this episode, perhaps a conversation with Carol about Merle’ death would have been nice.”
    Yes. They sort of skated past that unfortunately.

    “From the moment Milton told her about the pliers she should have hurriedly scrambled to escape. I felt more for Milton than for Andrea through-out these scenes. “You need to hurry.””
    I guess Andrea couldn’t talk and work to escape at the same time? This was the lowlight of the episode for me.

    “Did the season finale deliver what you wanted?”
    It wasn’t as great as last year’s season finale in my opinion. Not bad, not excellent, just alright.

    Loved Carl’s reaction when he saw all the “new arrivals” to the prison. How is Rick expecting to feed and provide for all these people at the prison? I have to say: Carl really grew on me this season consdering in S2 I couldn’t stand him one bit. He’s really grown up and matured and he’s in my Top 5 favs now. Also…yay for Beth for finally killing something!

    “What do you want to happen in Season 4, which premieres in October?”
    Michonne’s backstory! The Governor recruiting a new army that won’t wuss out at the first sign of resistance! More awesomeness from Daryl!

    The long wait to October begins…

    Thanks for providing such quality reviews and stimulating conversation all season long!

    • “Now who will all the fans turn their hatred towards?”

      I get the gut feeling that fans are jumping back on the Carl hate train haha. Since Season 3, I think Carl is great and I personally like the direction he’s going, in terms of the drama it will cause for the show. I didn’t trust that boy with shotgun either, I was worried for Carl so I can’t say I blame him, even if Hershel sees it differently.

      “I can’t believe Karen survived that! She was in the front row of citizens even!”

      That’s so true! Looks like the writers needed someone to survive and tell what happened to Rick & Tyreese. Why they didn’t choose someone at the back … ? I don’t know, maybe since she’s already cast in a speaking role they decided to save money and keep her. I wonder if she will get some more screen time next season?

      “I did a fist pump when he finally got what he deserved!”

      Haha, that’s so funny. 🙂

      “I guess Andrea couldn’t talk and work to escape at the same time?”

      “the Talking dead” ;). Merle got a great exit, too bad they couldn’t deliver it for Andrea.

      “Also…yay for Beth for finally killing something!”

      I read somewhere that Beth will be credited as a regular main cast member in Season 4, which surprised me because I assumed she already was.

      “Michonne’s backstory! The Governor recruiting a new army that won’t wuss out at the first sign of resistance! More awesomeness from Daryl!”

      Yes, more backstory and present day stuff for Michonne. I think it would be interesting if Daryl takes on a more leadership role, even if he’s reluctant at first. The Governor needs a brutal initiation for new recruits haha, like if you can’t survive in a room tied to chair vs a walker, you’re fired/dead!

      Thank you so much for supporting the blog. I always look forward to your thoughts and perspective which makes me enjoy the show and writing reviews even more! 🙂

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