As the final episode of the third season of AMC’s The Walking Dead came to a close on Friday night, I could not help but feel slightly underwhelmed with its conclusion. The third series that had started so positively and produced some of the best episodes of The Walking Dead so far failed to live up to the potential that certain periods of the season had suggested. That being said it was still a decent episode to draw the curtain on a season which has certainly typified The Walking Dead; some moments of excellent television but a failure to reach the consistency that programs such as Breaking Bad maintain.
The biggest positive of the final episode of The Walking Dead was that we finally got rid of the indecisive Andrea (Laurie Holden), with the Governor leaving a dying Milton to turn into a zombie and take a bite out of her shoulder. It felt wrong that this was left off screen, leaving the episode’s big reveal to be that she hadn’t managed to subdue Zombie Milton, despite his best efforts to help her, and was left to shoot herself having made her peace with Rick and Michonne. For me, Andrea has been one of the weak points of The Walking Dead’s third season, how much evidence did she need before she finally realised the Governor was psychotic (exemplified by shooting half of Woodbury in the finale)? Didn’t the zombie heads in glass tanks give it away? I didn’t believe in her character as much as I needed to for the final episode to work and I wasn’t upset when Andrea died, more relieved that her unrealistic and moronic behaviour was at an end.
The best episode of this seasons Walking Dead, “Clear”, occurred away from the main setting of the prison, when, on a run for supplies, Rick, Carl and Michonne came across Morgan Jones (Lennie James), who had helped Rick in the pilot episode. Driven mad by the death of his son, Morgan was living in a booby trapped apartment with ramblings scribbled over the walls; Morgan’s explanation to Rick of death of his son was especially moving. This episode produced some excellent moments, and Lennie James’ performance as the crazed and despairing Morgan was a highlight. Other episodes which I particularly enjoyed were “The Killer Within” which dealt with Lori’s (Sarah Wayne Callies) death and Merle’s (Michael Rooker) suicide mission in the season’s penultimate episode “This Sorrowful Life”. These episodes reminded us that at times, The Walking Dead can produce some wonderful and poignant television.
I really enjoyed the introduction of The Governor early on in season 3 as the leader of the town of Woodbury, who became the main villain of The Walking Dead. David Morrissey’s portrayal was dark and initially subtle, and he has been an excellent addition to the cast. We also got to see more of Michonne (Danai Gurira), who, after initially scowling more than talking, has become a valuable member of the group and an interesting character. I am also looking forward to seeing more of Tyreese (Chad Coleman) a character taken directly from the comics. Honourable mentions also go to Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun and Norman Reedus who continue to perform well.
Season three of The Walking Dead has managed to re-engage its audience after the disappointing second season and has overcome the pacing issues that have been problematic previously. I still feel it hasn’t quite managed to reach the height of the fantastic pilot, but episodes such as “Clear” have shown that it has the potential to produce some excellent television, and it’s always fun to watch zombies get their heads curb stomped and decapitated.