The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Welcome to the Tombs”

So, this is a recap for a season finale. Yeah, there will be SPOILERS.

Andrea finally paid the piper for all her stupid decisions this season! YES! Honestly, I wasn’t sad to see her go. I’m sure I’ll find someone else to yell at during next season, but for now, I am satisfied. Ghoulish? Not really. I have my reasons! Read on!

“Welcome to the Tombs” opens with The Governor (TG) beating the crap out of Milton. TG is pretty ticked that Merle got the drop on him and his men and that eight of the group were killed. Of course, Milton is to blame for that! Plus, Milton let Andrea go!

But, TG, ever the understanding despot, offers Milton a chance at redemption –one TG knows Milton will never take.

TG leads Milton into the room where Andrea is handcuffed to the dentist chair and tells him that she will still be useful. TG orders Milton to pick up the terror tools, and the subservient little weasel trudges over, clearly in pain from TG’s tender touch. Milton drops the tools and gets yelled at, and as he’s picking them up, he leaves a pair of pliers behind Andrea. As TG and Milton ready to leave, TG suddenly stops and pulls Milton back into the room, telling him that he needs to kill Andrea. TG gives Milton a knife and tells him to prove himself and earn redemption in TG’s eyes (or, eye, I guess…).

Milton takes the knife and aims a swipe at TG (something TG was surely counting on)! TGgrabs the knife and redirects it, stabbing Milton several times. In true villain style, TG twirls his non-existent mustache and tells Milton that now he’ll turn into a biter and kill Andrea, anyway!

(I was hoping we’d finally learn Milton’s connection to TG in this episode. Brother-in-law? That’s what I wanted. The closest we got was when Milton asked TG what Penny would think of her father, now. She’d be afraid of me, TG says, nonplussed.)

At the prison, Rick and the gang are loading up their possessions and (I thought) preparing to get the heck out of Dodge. But, Carl’s being a moody teenager, and I had no idea why. He wouldn’t let his dad touch him, and he was stomping around. Was he mad that they were leaving? Weird.

Skeptical Tyreese and Sasha are skeptical.

Skeptical Tyreese and Sasha are skeptical. Image courtesy of AMC.

Cut to Woodbury! TG is whipping his conscripted soldiers into a frenzy! They killed our men, and they’re not going to stop until we’re all dead, he tells the mixed group. Off to the prison! They start to pile in vehicles that are loaded down with all manner of heavy artillery. But, Tyreese and Sasha are having second thoughts. Tyreese tells TG that they want to stay and protect the town, because they don’t want to fight people…only walkers. TG gives them the evil eye, but grabs a gun and shoves it into Tyreese’s hands, thanking him for volunteering to stay behind.

Tyreese and Sasha exhale. Shwew! TG’s not going to kill them! Yet…? They think they might have to slip out of town later, though.

Before long, TG and his small army are at the prison, blowing up the guard towers and barreling through fences. They make their way into the prison and can’t find anyone!

YES! I cheered! Rick’s group was smart and left!

TG leads his army into the part of the prison known as the tombs after hearing noises. Well, of course there are noises! There’s a giant hole on the back of the prison, and walkers wander in all the time! But, I guess TG didn’t know that.

I was just saying to my husband that they should have left booby traps for TG, when BANG! Smoke grenades and sirens start going off! TG’s people start screaming and scattering. He tries to get them to calm down, but they don’t listen and run for their trucks. When they get into the prison yard, Maggie and Glenn pop up in full riot gear, shooting at them and causing more panic. They tear off, terrified!

Now their plan was clear to me. Rick’s group had cleared out to make it look like they had abandoned the prison! But, Maggie, Glenn, Rick, Daryl, and Carol had stayed behind to reek havoc on TG and his raiders! Carl was upset because Rick didn’t let him stay and help. Instead, Carl, Hershel, and Beth were on the edge of the woods, watching from a distance.

At the edge of the woods, one of TG’s men stumbles upon Carl, Hershel, and Beth. Carl, still smarting from being left out, was quick to draw on the guy, who was really just a teenager. The teenager surrenders and tries to hand over his weapon, but Carl shoots him!

We got a great shot of Hershel’s horrified expression. Uh-oh! Seems to me that Carl is trying to prove to dear old dad that he’s an adult! Ugh.

Back at the prison, they decide to go to Woodbury to finish the fight. Hershel tells Rick what happened, but, Carl denies shooting down the kid in cold blood. He drew on them, Carl insists. Hershel disagrees, but Rick wants to believe Carl.

On the road back to Woodbury, TG’s army is hurrying on its way. But, TG speeds up and gets in front of the line, forcing the trucks to stop. They all pile out and start arguing with TG, saying they should just leave the prison alone, it’s not worth it, etc. TG is most displeased. So displeased in fact, that he goes quite nuts and mows everyone down with a gun.

Ratta-freakin’-tat-tat!

TG makes sure his townsfolk wouldn’t rise again, popping them in the head. But, he misses Karen! Somehow, she managed to avoid the gunfire, and is hiding under someone else’s dead body. For some reason, TG doesn’t shoot the body’s head. Lucky Karen!

Martinez and Shumpert (Shumpert? I totally had to look this guy’s name up. Tell me I’m not the only one who had no idea what his name was!) are quite shocked at TG’s behavior, but they don’t seem TOO distressed, because they hop right into the truck when TG gives the signal and leave!

Seriously, guys? Why didn’t Martinez just pop TG right there? It would have been the perfect opportunity! You can’t tell me that they’re comfortable with this psychopath. I mean, I actually found myself liking Martinez a little bit when he and Daryl bonded over a cig at Rick and TG’s initial meeting. Now, I gotta wonder what he’s after by staying with TG. Maybe it’s because TG’s the biggest, baddest dog in the junkyard? It’s better to be a servant of the Devil than be in his way? Hmmm.

Oh, hey! Remember Andrea’s plight? Yeah, Milton is about to turn and eat her face. But, what is she doing instead of trying to free herself? She’s monologuing. Milton is barely alive, and Andrea is trying to keep him coherent. She can’t do that and try to free herself at the same time? Fine, then. She deserves to be eaten, I say! 

As she rambles on, she admits to the fading Milton that she stayed in Woodbury because she wanted to save everyone by herself. It didn’t work. And it wouldn’t, would it? After all, the main theme of this season is that you can’t do anything on your own! And there she was, trying to do it on her own; she was doomed to fail.

Milton finally dies, and Andrea flails at the pliers with her feet. Milton’s fingers twitch!

At the prison, Rick, Michonne, and Daryl prepare to head to Woodbury. The others are have decided to stay and guard the prison. Not a bad idea, guys. Rick confronts Carl and asks about the kid his kid gunned down. Carl becomes defensive and tells Rick that he did what had to be done, throwing back in the former lawman’s face several times when the trigger hadn’t been pulled, and there had been dire consequences (Dale, Lori, and Merle’s deaths).

I totally agreed with Carl. I mean, killing TG’s teenaged soldier may not have been the best thing, but can you blame him for not wanting to take a chance? However, I think there was more at play than simply “a chance.” I think Carl was mad that he wasn’t included in the prison defense, that he wasn’t being treated like an adult.

Rick, Michonne, and Daryl strike out, following the road to Woodbury. It isn’t long before they come upon TG’s roadside slaughter. Walkers are busily munching bodies, and the prison trio get out to clear them. Then, they find Karen! She hid in the cab of one of the trucks and begs for help.

Back to Andrea! Milton has completely turned and is shuffling toward her. Oh, no! (Yay!) Andrea manages to get her hands free at the last minute, but not before Milton is on her!

Did he bite her? Did she kill him? We don’t see! But, we hear screaming!

By now, it’s night, and Tyreese and Sasha are still guarding Woodbury’s walls when they catch Rick’s group sneaking up. They fire on them, and it isn’t until Karen makes herself known that Tyreese is willing to listen. Karen explains what happened and that TG went nuts and shot everyone. Tyreese doesn’t seem TOO surprised, but he is shocked to learn that Andrea may still be in Woodbury. Rick tells him that she never made it to the prison.

So long, and thanks for all the fish! Image courtesy of AMC.

So long, and thanks for all the fish! Image courtesy of AMC.

Rick, Michonne, and Daryl lead the way back to the rooms where Maggie and Glenn were held. Tyreese goes with them, and they find a door with blood pooling from beneath it. It is opened to reveal Milton’s body and Andrea huddled against a wall. She’s been bitten and isn’t long for this world. It’s sad, of course, but I wasn’t sad to see Andrea go. I was sad for Michonne’s loss. The secret ninja is crying and trying to believe Andrea will be okay. But, she know’s that’s not going to happen. Andrea is paying for her mistakes, while emphasizing this season’s theme of you can’t do it on your own.

Andrea shoots herself while she is still able. They didn’t show it, though. I watched Rick, Daryl, and Tyreese wait for the gunshot on the other side of the door.

BLAM. Fade to black.

After, Rick and co. head back to the prison with a bus. A bus? Yeah, Rick’s taking in strays, now. Since all (most, anyway) of the able-bodied adults have been slaughtered, the bus is full of older folks and kids.

Carl looks murderous and asks what’s going on, and Rick tells him that they’re taking in the people left from Woodbury.

It’s the right decision. How do we know it’s the right decision? Rick looks up at the catwalk, and pregnant ghost Lori isn’t there, anymore! Has Rick left Crazytown for good? Let’s hope so!

End of season three!

Why didn’t Rick just take over Woodbury? My first guess is that TG knows the town too well. I mean, there were secret torture rooms! Plus, the place just has too much history, and moving to the prison is the start of a new life. That life will be vastly different, no doubt, but it’s new nonetheless.

So, loose ends and/or issues that occurred to me:

  • TG, Martinez and Shumpert are still out there somewhere running amok. Are they going to raid the prison? Ummm, prolly. TG’s too big of a villain for him to just disappear. He’s the bogeyman.  
  • There are tons of new mouths to feed at the prison. You can’t tell me that they’ll be able to forage enough for all these people! I mean, Daryl’s a good hunter, but come on! They’re going to have to start farming in earnest, methinks.  
  • Carl’s becoming a hardened killer (is this a bad thing?). It’s a sign of the times, yes, but how far should Rick let Carl go? Can he even do anything at this point?
  • There’s a giant hole in the back of the prison. They should probably look into this, yeah? Especially now with lots more people in the prison. 

The title, “Welcome to the Tombs,” could be taken in several ways, I thought. The first that occurred to me was it was a greeting for the former Woodbury residents. The prison, for all its worthwhile security in bars and fences, still has the dark, close feeling of a tomb, don’t you think?

“Tombs” is the name the prison group uses to refer to the passages overrun with walkers. So, I thought it was kind of a clever greeting (“Welcome to the Tombs”) for TG and his army as they entered the hallways in search of Rick and his group and were met with smoke bombs and sirens.

What did you think of “Welcome to the Tombs?” Of season three? Hit me up in the comments!

 

[[Featured image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-16-prison.php.]]

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3 thoughts on “The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Welcome to the Tombs”

  1. Haley says:

    You know what really helped me deal with watching this last episode? A death pool. Nine of us placed our bets before the finale. I came in 2nd, which I feel earns some bragging rights. 🙂

    This was NOT what I was expecting from the finale, but I also wasn’t as disappointed as a lot of other people seem to be. I was expecting a huge showdown between TG and Rick’s crew, but I’m strangely satisfied with seeing TG mow down his own people. It’s a sign of his impending downfall, I’m sure. If he can kill the people loyal to him, then at some point, someone will have the courage to take him out (I’m looking at you, Martinez).

    Carl playing the sulky teenager is PERFECT. He annoys me so much, but it’s a realistic annoyance. Because of the abrupt transitions between and within individual episodes, I don’t think we’ve really gotten a sense of the relationship between Carl and Rick, but I think Carl’s attitude has been developing for awhile. Remember the conversation when Carl told his dad he shouldn’t be leader anymore? I think that was more than just Carl point out that Rick was crazy; I think Carl really resents that Rick is alive and that Carl himself was the one who had to put down Lori. He’s a teenager; he can’t handle all the stress he’s under, so of course he’ll act out. Chandler Riggs is doing well with that role, I think.

    Speaking of Carl, I’m undecided about how I feel about his killing the other kid. He makes an incredibly valid point about not killing the zombie that killed Dale or TG, but I also think that the examples he provides were KNOWN threats. The kid, while being from Woodbury, did not possess an immediate danger. Yes, he had a gun, but he was handing it over. I think Carl knew that, but I think he was afraid and trying to prove himself and unable to handle the situation.

    Also, I’m glad Andrea’s gone. I think the writers ran their course with that character. I am intrigued that they decided to write back-to-back episodes in which they redeem a major character just before death. I’m not sure both Merle and Andrea were worthy of redemption, but it’s an interesting notion, nonetheless, that redemption of a character only seems to come at the end of his/her life. Maybe this could be a warning to Rick’s gang in the future? Seek redemption during life instead of at the very end? Maybe this will provide some kind of hopeful tone (much like the sunshine beaming down upon the cross in the last scene).

    So now…I should decide how to spend the next six months. (New episodes of Doctor Who will only last so long.) TWD is the only show that I have intentionally watched live. As imperfect as it is, there’s a large void to fill, and I’ll be turning to my Netflix queue soon.

  2. […] “Welcome to the Tombs” was a pretty good ending to season three, tying up some loose ends that I was not loathe to see go (I’m looking at you, Andrea) and giving us some fresh new problems for season four. […]

  3. […] I was terribly glad to get away from the prison this week! Is it just me? Seriously, guys, the prison is starting to wear on me big time. And I was quite interested to learn what everyone’s favorite pirate has been up to since we saw him at the close of last season. […]

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