'The Walking Dead' season finale: Talk about it here! (SPOILERS)

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Image Credit: Gene Page/AMC

[UPDATE: My full season finale recap is now live!] My Walking Dead stumbled into its third season finale covered in blood and gore, after fifteen episodes that featured a steadily-building main-character body count. It was all building towards the ultimate showdown between the ragtag gang led by Rick Grimes and the kindly citizens of Woodbury led by the homicidal Governor. Expectations for a cosmically bloody final act were high. And sure enough — SPOILERS AHEAD — the episode did feature a ridiculous demonstration of artillery power, as the Governor led his army into the prison. (Two prison towers were exploded and various windows were shredded.

However, the actual death count during the Woodbury-Prison battle was surprisingly low. Thanks to an effective sneak maneuver, Tribe Grimes managed to repel the invaders with minimum loss of life. But the one death we saw was big one: Carl, left on the outskirts to protect the women/children/Hershel, took down a young Woodburyite, who was surrendering. (At least, he appeared to be surrendering — I’ll focus more on the wartime ethics of killing your opponents in my recap. One note: The dude really should have just dropped his gun.)

Rick took his A-Team, Michonne and Daryl, on a trip to Woodbury to finish off the Governor once and for all. But the Governor changed the game in the meantime; when his army of Woodburyites refused to keep fighting, he mowed them all down, going Full Maniac and basically extinguishing his entire city-state with one full clip of an assault rifle. He took his security team and disappeared down the highway, leaving his future in the show uncertain. Will return next year as the Big Bad yet again, now completely unhinged? Or, like Merle and Morgan before him, is he disappearing for a good long time?

Two characters who are gone for good: Milton and Andrea, who spent the episode in an excruciatingly tense ticking-clock showdown. The Governor stabbed Milton and let him slowly bleed to death, knowing he’d chomp Andrea dead as soon as he turned Walker. Milton held off as long as he could…just long enough for Andrea to free herself…but not, alas, long enough to get to safety. Andrea took down Walker Milton but got zombie-bit, and wound up shooting herself in front of her old friend Michonne. This completes the journey Andrea began way back in the first season finale, when she tried and failed to kill herself. As a longtime Andrea anti-fan, I’ll hold back for now and just say that they handled her exit well.

The episode ended with the remaining Woodbury citizens joining Tribe Grimes inside of the prison, setting up an exciting season of civilization-building. Or perhaps The Prison will just became New Woodbury? Lots to talk about, fellow viewers — my full recap is now live, but feel free to get talking in the comments!

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

Read More:
EW.com’s Walking Dead recaps
‘Walking Dead’: Michael Rooker talks about the demise of Merle Dixon and life as zombie Merle
‘Walking Dead’ Q&A: Robert Kirkman talks the Governor, Andrea, and THAT shocking climax

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