Walking Dead – Welcome to the Tombs
I wanted to be really excited about this episode, but in the end, it feels like Walking Dead has been spinning its wheels for two months. The Woodbury vs. Prison war just goes on and on and on, pointlessly. How many times have they attacked each other now? I’ve literally lost count. Eight times? Ten?
To begin, the Gov is torturing Andrea. And Milton. Milton gets it worse, for some reason.
Back at the prison, Michonne is finally accepted into the group. Daryl reveals Merle’s final actions, and seems unsure how to deal with his brother’s sudden turn to heroism. The prison team plans to withdraw from their cell block, set some traps, lure the Gov’s soldiers into the tombs, then ambush them.
The Governor is war-mongering. Tyrese and his sister play the pacifist card and stay behind. “We’ll fight against the biters, but not other people.”
Then it’s time for yet another assault on the prison. This time, the Gov and his troops bring serious military hardware. Humvees, grenade launchers, high-powered assault rifles. Apparently all the other times they attacked, they were just playin’. Had Team Prison attempted a staunch defense, they’d have been annihilated. But Gov finds an empty cell block and Hershel’s Bible, with a passage from John: “And they shall come forth, they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
The trap is sprung with some flashbangs and an alarm to draw walkers, but I’m still not totally clear how this whole ambush trap worked out in the prison team’s favor. But it did, and the troops flee. A young man on team Governor holding a shotgun blunders into Carl, Hershel and Hershel’s daughter whose name I still can’t remember. He seems about to surrender, then Carl shoots him in the face, and Hersh gets this incredible look on his face. It’s pretty much the look you’d imagine would be on someone’s face when a little kid puts a bullet in a dude’s head.
Later, Hershel explains all this to Rick, despite Carl’s protestations that the kid “drew on us.” So Rick has to deal with his son turning into a sociopath. Or is Carl right? He rattles off all the times appeasement has only resulted in more people getting killed, then drops his sheriff’s badge on the ground.
The Gov halts his routing soldiers, demanding they turn around and attack the prison some more. They’re just regular people though, and say as much. At their refusal, he slaughters them, a horrifying massacre made even harder to watch by the scene where Karen is saved by a man (her husband?) diving on top of her to protect her, allowing her to fake being dead. For everyone (like me) who’s complained about TV show Governor not being evil enough, how’s that? He’s a butcher, a mass murderer with no redeeming qualities left. I don’t understand why his two lieutenants don’t kill him right there.
Rick and crew decide to track down the Governor and finish this thing once and for all, he really means it this time, way more than he meant it the other 17 times he’s said, “It’s time to finish this once and for all.” They find the massacre site and Karen, who explains what happened. They have to nonchalantly kill off some walkers that have infested the site, and Michonne gets a twofer with her sword.
They assault Woodbury (yes, again), and Tyrese shoots back, but Karen calls out and Tyrese lets them all in. He finally learns the truth about the Governor as everyone searches the torture area for Andrea.
Oh right, Andrea. She’s been handcuffed to the torture chair while Milton slowly dies. There’s a pair of pliers on the floor behind her, so throughout the episode she contorts herself until the pliers are in her hand. This was a cool setup, creating tension due to the inherent time limit: escape before Milton dies and then zombifies. I’m not really sure what a pair of pliers would do against handcuffs, frankly.
It was all for naught though. When they get to Andrea, she’s alive but bitten. There’s a goodbye scene, and Andrea insists she commit suicide to prevent her own zombification. Michonne is really upset and stays with her to the end. It was a tough scene, as much as we’ve been annoyed by Andrea this season. I suddenly found myself looking back at all the times we’ve been through: having to shoot her own sister, learning to use a gun, carrying on with Shane, being pissed at Dale together.
When we were first introduced to Michonne, I suggested that her relationship with Andrea felt a little more than platonic. The show has never made that clear. During the goodbye scene, I thought it was the perfect time to reveal that they’ve been in love all along. A last kiss before dying? And it was like Walking Dead wanted to…it went up to the edge of that idea, then backed away. All we got was Michonne crying.
In the final scene, everyone returns to the prison, including a busload of refugees from Woodbury. We never see the Governor again, so apparently he never went back to Woodbury. That means he’s still out there somewhere. That means this whole Rick vs. Governor thing is still. Not. Over.
Unlike this season of Walking Dead.