The Walking Dead S3E16: Welcome to the Tombs

Rating: FR.The Season 3 finale was awesome? Carl’s an unrepentant monster. Rick’s insane, but tactically competent. Glenn and Maggie are space ninjas. Who cares whatever else happened?

MILTON ATE ANDREA!

Forgive my schadenfreude. I’ve been on the fence about continuing to follow The Walking Dead since about the middle of the second season, and the messy excision of Andrea, one of the most persistently irritating characters on television, goes a long way toward making peace. The underlying problem remains, of course, that the writers seem intent on systematically deconstructing every character until he or she is a quivering mass of insufferable twat. I suspect that this is not intentional, but the result of tone- deafness and a massive overestimation of their own subtlety.

Zombie Milton

Zombie Milton

To make a completely unfair comparison, the writers seem to be reaching for the sort of compelling moral ambivalence that we see in Breaking Bad, a show in which characters are so impeccably developed that is doesn’t matter which side they’re on. You can’t do better than Gus Fring or Walter White where fundamental slipperiness is concerned, and you certainly can’t do as well in the universe of The Walking Dead as it now stands.

In this show we need a good guy to come through for us unambiguously in a way that we can both believe and stomach. Frank Darabont’s Rick Grimes could do that for us, and drove it home in each of six short episodes during Season 1. The Rick we have now is the product of nearly thirty episodes of atrophy. He can’t seem to get out of his own way most of the time, and is continually being pushed around by an eleven-year-old. Sack up already. It’s the fucking apocalypse.

Rick Grimes in Season 3

Rick Grimes in Season 3

This finale had its moments. Even though we had to suffer through a twenty minute foot fetish video to get to it, the fact that MILTON ATE ANDREA was awesome. There were a couple of memorable scenes with the Governor that would have ably solidified his badass villain status had he not cried so much and gotten his ass kicked by Michonne earlier in the season. They’re working on making Michonne into more of a human being and less of a killer robot, and Carl has been almost completely rehabilitated since the nadir of his youthful character arc last season.

We’ll see what Season 4 has to offer in the fall.