So one of my favorite fantasy series is George R.R. Martin’s Ice and Fire a.k.a Game of Thrones. When I first saw the trailer that HBO put out for Season 1 I was giddy with anticipation. I couldn’t believe someone was going to try and adapt the material to the screen, but I’m glad it was HBO and not some terrible network like Fox or CBS. Anyway, the adaptation was so good that it quickly became the most pirated show on the net and it was good enough to hook in my wife who hasn’t read a fantasy novel in her lifetime. I’m a huge fan and thought season 1 and 2 were great…
Hmm..Did I make a mistake?
In anticipation of Season 3 which will cover the first half of A Storm of Swords, I reread the book. I’m still on the fence whether that was a mistake. As I watch the first two episodes of S3, I’m torn. I enjoy the vision the producers have put together to bring Martin’s world to life, but I am also finding myself having to ignore vast swaths of the book that are missing from the show. I understand that changes need to be made for such an adaptation but man, it’s really difficult to ignore some of the changes. I suppose the same types of changes were made in the previous seasons but I hadn’t read those installments in years so much of the detail was not fresh in my memory to jump out at me when missing. But at least they got the major plot points right though(Ned’s big exit and Blackwater Bay). I think I know where this season will end already, but I’m really hoping that I can just enjoy the ride!
Episode 3 of Season 3 airs tomorrow night Sunday 4/14 on HBO. Bring it!
So the season finale of The Walking Dead has arrived and I was really looking forward to it after the build up of the previous installments. We’ve seen the season leading up to the “final” confrontation between Rick et. al. and the Governor and his Woodbury crew. Here’s how it went down..
The Stupidity Resolution..
In the previous episode we saw Andrea locked up in a dentists chair in one of the governor’s torture chambers. We find her still there of course but we also find the Gov beating up Milton the friendly nerd for setting the corralled zombies on fire before they could be let loose on the prison. Andrea had developed into my second most disliked character after Carl for her inexplicable idiocy. They attempt to make her a sympathetic figure in this episode with her bleating about “not wanting anyone to die” in explanation of her actions, or lack of action, this season. She is handcuffed to the chair and the Gov decides that Milton will need to kill her if he wishes for absolution for his aforementioned zombie burning. The Gov hands Milty a Bowie knife and as expected, he attempts to stab the Governor with it instead of Andrea. The Governor pulls another Merle like “execution” and stabs Milton in the mid section so he will turn and end up killing Andrea anyway. This sets up the Andrea drama for the episode. Milton had conveniently dropped a pair of pliers behind the chair before the whole stabby thing so its a race between Andrea and pliers vs Milton bleeding out and turning. We’ll return to these two kids later..
The big showdown was also expected to take place between Rick and the Gov. They show Rick and Co. clearing out their quarters at the prison, meanwhile the Governor gathers his troops from Woodbury, including just about every able bodied man available for the assault. Tyrese and Sasha offer to stay and watch the women and children and the Governor agrees. The rest of the crew mount up and convoy down to the prison and as they enter the courtyard they light shit up. I meant 50 cal rounds clearing zombies like a broom and Martinez blowing up the prison towers with a grenade launcher lighting shit up. They then make way into the prison and find Rick and co. gone… The Woodbury crew begin to search the prison and then we find out the clearing out was a ruse. The “Good” guys ambush the Governor and his group with flash bangs and lots of shooting, which has them hightailing it out of there. The Woodbury convoy jets out of there in a panic. The Governor is now officially of his rocker, he is pissed that everyone ran. The convoy stops on the road and the Governor demands they return to finish them off.. The people resist. They aren’t soldiers and they just got ambushed. Well, needless to say, the Governor goes apeshit. He slaughters everyone but Martinez and the Shupert guy
. Brutal. Also- there is one survivor who managed to fall under another body and survived the Governor’s clean up to his shooting spree. Her name is Karen. More on her later. The Governor gets in his truck afterwards and for some reason Martinez and the Shupert guy join him. What?
After the initial Woodbury assault had been repelled, the group decides, correctly, that they should go back and finish the job, IE kill the Governor. In a Spartan like move, Rick Daryl and Michonne set off to take on the small army at Woodbury. They find the massacre and along with the bodies, they find Karen. They get the story on the massacre and also hear that Andrea attempted to reach the prison, but never got there. They arrive at Woodbury to get Andrea and the Governor. They find only Tyrese and Sasha there guarding the town, they see/hear Karen and she confirms the doubts Tyrese and Sasha were having already about the governor. They let Rick, Daryl and Michonne into town. They search for Andrea.. Flash to previous segment – Andrea struggles to get the pliers to her hands while Milton fights his demise and subsequent turning. She wastes a bunch of time of course, because she sucks. and just barely manages to get her hands free as Milton turns!!… Back to Rick et. al. looking for Andrea.. They find her cell and open the door expecting the worse..
What they find is Milton dead, again on the floor in front of the chair and Andrea leaning up against a wall by the door. Michonne realizes she is fevered. Andrea shows them her bite. She is a dead woman. Michonne cries, and Rick feeds into the sympathy ploy for Andrea. She wants to take her own life and asks to do it before she turns. Rick gives her his pistol and Daryl, Rick and Tyrese wait outside while Andrea offs herself. I sort of liked Andrea in the beginning of the show but damn did she grind on my sensibilities over time. She had to go. And there she goes.
So to wrap up the episode there was a group of Woodbury folks that came back to the prison in the end with Rick. That’s whatever. I didn’t mention the other arc in this episode. It involves Carl, by far my least favorite character on the show. He is unlikeable, not a good actor and a shitty character. Every second of him on screen is like a jarring splash of cold reality in the middle of the show’s usually warm embrace. Anyway, Carl is with the girls and Herschel and is of course pissed about it. Well a kid running from the ambush stumbles upon them but Carl and Herschel have the drop on him. He offers to hand over his weapon, and I think the subtle threat of fakery was overdone by the Woodbury kid but in any case Carl shoots him in the face. Herschel tells Rick about it and Rick confronts Carl about it. Carl has some diatribe about Rick not killing people have ended up costing lives. While not totally untrue, still awful coming from that little shit with his wooden delivery and all. So at the end when the Woodbury folks are getting off the bus at their new home, the prison, you see Carl is all pissed about it. Fuck him. I really hope they can keep him out of the spotlight next season. Or at least pay for some acting lessons.
Overall I’d give the episode a 7.5. A bit more Carl than I’d like, but Andrea did bite the dust. And while there wasn’t the Governor vs Rick climax, we did see the Governor’s brutality and the promise of more conflict down the road and we also got to see Rick clearing his head and hopefully drift back into where he needs to be. The finale wasn’t on the same level as some of the previous but still pretty good.
* Also Bear McCreary is the fucking man. His soundtrack was and is awesome.