Written by: John Edward Betancourt
After sitting down to watch last night's sublime season finale of The Walking Dead I must say I was quite taken aback by one particular element that I did not expect. The fact that in a show about the living dead and the end of the world, season three ended happy. It's quite a departure for this show since the last two years we have seen our intrepid group of survivors on the road with the odds squarely against them.
Yet this stunner of an ending is not without its merit. This season has been trying to accomplish something all along and the culmination of that subtle message finally arrived right before our eyes. This was a season about the future. If we go back to last year and the year before that, so much was spent on the characters and who they were the minutes before the first corpse opened its eyes.
There were constant reflections from the characters on their former lives and the farm itself stood as a refusal to let yesterday slip away.
But this year was so different. This year it seemed who these people were yesterday no longer mattered. There were hard choices in front of them, devastating losses and it forced everyone to embrace the now. Yet there was one final tie to those gentle days gone by and like the rest of the world did off screen in the series premiere, it disappeared just like that. Woodbury was without a doubt that last bastion of the planet everyone once knew. With its community cookouts, and Norman Rockwell appearance it is easy to see why so many believed in it and its enigmatic leader in the Governor. Yet Woodbury's end now signals a new direction for the show, for as it and the old world become a distant memory the show can now explore new territory in the genre. I cannot think of one story about the living dead that has ever shown us the rebuilding of our species, and the concept of this incredible second chance given to everyone has me fascinated where we go from here.
Yet this newfound freedom is not without its darker side. Out there, somewhere, is Philip Blake. He has crossed every line he can this season and with no one out there to arrest him or convict him, he is truly unleashed. It almost makes the happy ending of the show become bittersweet for while there is finally a chance for Rick Grimes and his group to rest, there is a monster that is not a walker lurking in the shadows and it is fueled with rage and a desire for revenge. We most certainly have not seen the last of the Governor.
But with our host gone indefinitely and the times a changing, it is time to say goodbye to Woodbury. We most certainly did not enjoy our stay.