Written by: John Edward Betancourt
The dust has settled. Woodbury is empty. The Governor is on the run and the prison is safe, for now. Season Three of The Walking Dead came to a close Sunday night with the controversial and polarizing "Welcome to the Tombs" and the either "loved it or hated it" mentality seems to apply to all of this season. This was a season that took plenty of chances and in the process completely engaged us, at times enraged us and even left us in tears. So let's take a moment to reflect on all the good and the bad from our first year at the West Georgia Correctional Facility and reminisce about a little town named Woodbury.
The Good: I said it before in my midseason review, and I will definitely say it again now that we have seen the season end, the character development this year was pretty damn close to outstanding. In fact the two top story arcs were Rick Grimes' journey from Ricktator to broken man to hero once again and Philip "The Governor" Blake's journey from scumbag who tries to do good to a man possessed by revenge to complete and utter madman and they were both beautifully handled. David Morrissey was clearly the right choice for the job as Philip, and I give the show incredible kudos for taking the time to take us through the complete genesis of a villain. To watch the Governor evolve the way he did was an absolute treat.
We also need to take a moment to discuss the fact that this year provided us with by far the best episode in the series' short life in "Clear". The phenomenal acting from Lennie James as Morgan and how that episode played out clearly shows that Scott Gimple will be a great show runner as he takes over duties from Glen Mazzarra and that he gets the concept of the damage the end of the world would do to every day people.
Credit is also due to the show this year for producing an incredible amount of tension week in and week out. I honestly cannot think of an episode where I was sitting comfortably in my chair because of the incredible sense of danger that hung over every episode. This felt like a sprawling horror movie and I hope they continue this next season.
The Bad: To me there is one glaring issue of Season Three that needs to be addressed...Andrea. It almost seems like through three years of this show no one has had a clue what to do with her. Her suicidial tendencies made sense in the first season but were quickly resolved in the finale. Season Two revolved around her trying to find her place in the new world and she seemed to be on pace to a be strong character at last until Season Three came along. In fact her story this year was a mess and it overshadowed her death completely. I get that she wanted to save lives and it is quite a nobel cause but none of us really had a clue that was her endgame until those final moments when she explained it.
It's truly unfortunate because Laurie Holden is an incredible actress and her presence will be missed on the show and we can now add Andrea to a long list of characters who needed more focus on the show. It's something I've talked about numerous times and I am hoping that since Scott Gimple's strength is characterization it will improve next year.
The Verdict: This really was one amazing season. Which means that next year will have to be just as amazing as this year to keep our attention. My hope is that Season Four will top this one and one reason it may do just that is the sheer fact that the Governor is still out there and most certainly hungry for revenge. But until then, The Walking Dead on blu ray will have to tide me over. See you all in the fall!