The Walking Dead, Ep. 3.16: “Welcome to the Tombs” a touching, if somewhat disappointing series of bullets and tears

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The Walking Dead, Season 3, Episode 16: “Welcome to the Tombs”
Written by Glen Mazzara
Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson
Airs Sundays at 9pm ET on AMC

Andrea: “I wanted to save everyone … I didn’t want anyone to die.”

Let me just get this out of the way. I don’t hate this episode but I don’t love it either. For what is a season finale, “Welcome to the Tombs” doesn’t surprise in any way. The two factions go to war, and as expected, several people die – mostly insignificant and nameless characters. It also isn’t surprising that Andrea doesn’t make it out alive, although her final scene is emotionally devastating – which is saying a lot considering her character only frustrated viewers all season long. It also isn’t a surprise that Andrea would continue to frustrate us, right down to her dying moments. Could she have wasted any more time talking to Milton? If anyone will be missed (at least in my book), it is Milton, a character who should have, and could have stuck around.

This episode marks the second time a survivor has committed suicide since ‘TS-19” and features the most deaths in it (counting a total of 27), but  yet the attack on the prison was somewhat anticlimactic – especially when compared to the previous attacks on both the penitentiary and Woodbury. The writers have spent all season setting up the showdown between Rick’s group and The Governor’s men, only to deliver a sequence light on suspense and ending with the Woodbury folk running away. Call me crazy, but I expected more.

“Welcome to the Tombs” basically puts a close to the season’s subplots and sets us up for season four: the Woodbury inhabitants move to the prison (including Tyreese), the Governor is still on the loose (with Martinez and Shumpert), and Rick is no longer seeing ghosts. But the most interesting character of this episode is Carl, who guns down another boy in cold blood. When approached about his actions, Carl replies that he no longer wants to take any chances. And can you blame him? The kid has a point. Sure the boy looked like he was about to hand over his gun, but what if? And how many times have we seen a survivor come back and destroy someone’s life? If not for Andrew, Lori would still be alive. I’m not condoning his actions, but given his age and everything that he has been through, it doesn’t come as a surprise that he would take precautions. Carl is afraid of losing more people he loves, and the other kid didn’t necessarily drop his rifle. If anything, the season three finale sets up what will be an interesting character arc for Carl, and I have a feeling more people will later die at his hands.

Carl Walking Dead

Andrea tells Milton, and later Rick and Michonne, that her decisions were all intended to help everyone involved. It just goes to show that you can never make everyone happy, much less save them all. In her final moments she tells Michonne that she tried, and yes she did – but it still doesn’t change the fact that she made every wrong decision along the way. And that is why her final scene is so emotionally devastating. Andrea dies knowing she fucked up, and I can only assume that the pain of knowing she did, is far worse that the Walker bite to her neck. R.I.P. Andrea – you will still be missed regardless.

– Ricky D

As always, don’t forget to listen to our Walking Dead podcast. New episodes drop every Monday evening.

Other thoughts:

Governor: “You smell the gunpowder and you see the blood, you know what that means? It means that you’re alive, it means that you won.”

Governor:”She’d be afraid of me, but if I’d been like this from the start she’d be alive today.”

Governor:”And now you’re gonna die, and you’re gonna turn, and you’re gonna tear the flesh from her bones … in this life now, you either kill or you die, or you die and you kill.”

Carl:”I did what I had to do…now go.”

It was great to see Michonne and Rick finally getting along.

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