Why The Walking Dead Season 3 Finale Failed

Season 3 of The Walking Dead wrapped up last night, and like many fans I’m left with a sense of disappointment.  Instead of trying to capture all my disappointments over the entire season I’m just going to focus on the finale because I think in encapsulates everything that is currently wrong with TWD.

So, in bullet form here is why the finale (and season) failed:

  • The Governor is still alive and we have to endure this character in a subsequent season (likely).  Ugh.
  • The show appears to just be going through the motions, milking the ratings as long as they can without increasing quality or budget.
  • Rick proclaims “We’re going to war.” but there’s no war, only a couple of shootouts.  That last one involving lots of building being shot up, but not a single person.
  • Andrea takes an eternity to pick up a pair of pliers (not unlike the entirety of season 3).  Oh, let me stop and stare at Milton to make sure he’s still alive, or turned undead, or having a smoke, or playing Words with Friends.  Let me waste more time…when time is clearly critical, and Milton is telling you to HURRY UP!  It’s artificial tension.  It doesn’t work.  It just makes viewers roll their eyes.
  • Andrea spends three seasons killing slow moving zombies by hand, with no problem.  Can’t handle one.
  • Chick hiding in the truck from the zombies, even though she’s surrounded by piles of weapons after the Governor leaves.
  • In fact, why would the Governor leave perfectly good vehicles behind.  Oh yeah, as a convenient place for a chick to hide to create more false tension.
  • Where are the rest of the Woodbury people at the end?
  • Ambush at the prison consists of luring them in to the darkness of the prison, then using flash grenades to scare them back out.  Here’s a thought:  lure them in, then lock them in, then shoot them (or negotiate).
  • .50 cal works perfectly when shooting at zombies or inanimate walls or clods of dirt or stacks of wood or….  But when it really needs to work…it jams.  Really?  More false tension.
  • Glenn and Maggie hit, well…nobody!!…considering they have the element of surprise, cover, and high ground.  Hey, nice shot kid!
  • Use grenade launcher to blow up empty towers with excellent aim and effectiveness.  Don’t use grenade launcher to blow up Glenn and Maggie up in catwalk shooting at them.
  • The Governor is still alive.  How?  He shoots ~15 armed people and those people run away instead of just shooting him.  What?
  • Then when one does turn his gun on the Governor he just expects the psycho who murdered ~15 people in front of his very eyes to suddenly put his gun down?
  • Rick hands Andrea an revolver to commit suicide, she utters “I know where the safety is.”  Highly unlikely.  (Yes, I know it’s a reference back to season 1…it was still dumb.)
  • Andrea kills herself with a revolver, we hear a bullet casing *clink* hollowly to the cement floor.  Added for needless dramatic effect…even though it won’t happen with a revolver.
  • Governor abandons Woodbury without a second thought apparently.  Doesn’t seem to jive with his character.  But how else can the writers preserve the character for later?
  • Carl has turned in to more of a man/survivalist than his father.  And he owns Rick with his little speech.
  • Andrea’s goal to not get anyone else killed and the choices she makes to try and achieve that leads to the death of, what, at least 50 people.  Nice going Andrea.  Your wishy washy and indecisive character will not be missed..
  • Merle died for nothing. (ok, this was from the last episode)  There was no point to his death.  He actions achieved nothing.  In fact, his mission to take down the Governor was just written poorly.  When your goal is to cut off the head of the snake, you don’t start shooting until you see the head.  He starts shooting at the tail.
  • The writers seem incapable of closure.  Everyone wants the Governor dead…please kill him off and movie on AMC!!!

The Walking Dead Finale Fails

It seems that every scene that doesn’t involve characters just sitting and talking always resort to some contrived circumstance to increase artificial tension, or to resolve, like an endless stream of micro deus ex machina.  The writers are really doing this show an injustice when it comes to the details.

I poked around some TWD forums last night and most people seem very dissatisfied with the show in general.

My excitement for season 4 that starts in October…is waning.

Not April’s Fool.

About Neal Ulen

Neal Ulen
Editor/Webmaster - Neal is a writer and recovering engineer who likes pizza, the insidious power of sarcasm (and pizza), and debating science fiction (and pizza). You can also find his writing on Omni, Geeks, and other media platforms.