The Walking Dead, Ep. 3.16: “Welcome to the Tombs” a touching, if somewhat disappointing series of bullets and tears

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The Walking Dead, Season 3, Episode 16: “Welcome to the Tombs”
Written by Glen Mazzara
Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson
Airs Sundays at 9pm ET on AMC

Andrea: “I wanted to save everyone … I didn’t want anyone to die.”

Let me just get this out of the way. I don’t hate this episode but I don’t love it either. For what is a season finale, “Welcome to the Tombs” doesn’t surprise in any way. The two factions go to war, and as expected, several people die – mostly insignificant and nameless characters. It also isn’t surprising that Andrea doesn’t make it out alive, although her final scene is emotionally devastating – which is saying a lot considering her character only frustrated viewers all season long. It also isn’t a surprise that Andrea would continue to frustrate us, right down to her dying moments. Could she have wasted any more time talking to Milton? If anyone will be missed (at least in my book), it is Milton, a character who should have, and could have stuck around.

This episode marks the second time a survivor has committed suicide since ‘TS-19” and features the most deaths in it (counting a total of 27), but  yet the attack on the prison was somewhat anticlimactic – especially when compared to the previous attacks on both the penitentiary and Woodbury. The writers have spent all season setting up the showdown between Rick’s group and The Governor’s men, only to deliver a sequence light on suspense and ending with the Woodbury folk running away. Call me crazy, but I expected more.

“Welcome to the Tombs” basically puts a close to the season’s subplots and sets us up for season four: the Woodbury inhabitants move to the prison (including Tyreese), the Governor is still on the loose (with Martinez and Shumpert), and Rick is no longer seeing ghosts. But the most interesting character of this episode is Carl, who guns down another boy in cold blood. When approached about his actions, Carl replies that he no longer wants to take any chances. And can you blame him? The kid has a point. Sure the boy looked like he was about to hand over his gun, but what if? And how many times have we seen a survivor come back and destroy someone’s life? If not for Andrew, Lori would still be alive. I’m not condoning his actions, but given his age and everything that he has been through, it doesn’t come as a surprise that he would take precautions. Carl is afraid of losing more people he loves, and the other kid didn’t necessarily drop his rifle. If anything, the season three finale sets up what will be an interesting character arc for Carl, and I have a feeling more people will later die at his hands.

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Andrea tells Milton, and later Rick and Michonne, that her decisions were all intended to help everyone involved. It just goes to show that you can never make everyone happy, much less save them all. In her final moments she tells Michonne that she tried, and yes she did – but it still doesn’t change the fact that she made every wrong decision along the way. And that is why her final scene is so emotionally devastating. Andrea dies knowing she fucked up, and I can only assume that the pain of knowing she did, is far worse that the Walker bite to her neck. R.I.P. Andrea – you will still be missed regardless.

- Ricky D

As always, don’t forget to listen to our Walking Dead podcast. New episodes drop every Monday evening.

Other thoughts:

Governor: “You smell the gunpowder and you see the blood, you know what that means? It means that you’re alive, it means that you won.”

Governor:”She’d be afraid of me, but if I’d been like this from the start she’d be alive today.”

Governor:”And now you’re gonna die, and you’re gonna turn, and you’re gonna tear the flesh from her bones … in this life now, you either kill or you die, or you die and you kill.”

Carl:”I did what I had to do…now go.”

It was great to see Michonne and Rick finally getting along.

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By Ricky

Ricky D is the editor-in-chief of Sound on Sight and one of the hosts of the Sound On Sight podcast and the Sordid Cinema podcast. He is Sound On Sight's expert on Horror and contributes written reviews when time permits.

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6 Responses to The Walking Dead, Ep. 3.16: “Welcome to the Tombs” a touching, if somewhat disappointing series of bullets and tears

  1. James April 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    And so for now I give up on the show until I hear better things. It started off well with the conversation between Milton and The Governor ending it’s opening scene with the stabbing of Milton who will turn and kill Andrea if The Governor is lucky. Hell if we are all lucky.

    JK. Andrea has one of the better moments. She was actually one of my favorite characters in the first two seasons as a certified badass who agreed with Shane that he was right about Randall. She gets separated from the group which was fairly interesting until he comes across The Governor. So many missed opportunities between her and Michonne. No flashbacks? No development of their relationship. Still this was a big season for her as part of the action and the villain’s muse so there was no where to go with her. Sort of redemptive last scene for her. Inconsistent and annoying character though for season 3.

    I like the initial raid. Now this is I got a Carpenter vibe with some synthesized music. Sadly it’s over like that and then it goes mostly downhill except for the Andrea ending. We were mislead into thinking they were leaving which would have been a smart move. Instead they stay. I guess they were just preparing instead. Looked like they were leaving. Maybe someone made a speech and we didn’t see it.

    The Governor and his men run away with the conflict still resolved. He kills mostly his own men and his two men still for whatever reason stick around and don’t shoot him. I know he’s killed Army men, but isn’t this taking it too far. I thought The Governor was interested in rebuilding a life and protecting his people. Now it’s a matter of ego. No doubt, he’s the one dimensional villain. Then again was there ever? Well he can’t go back to Woodbury. Not enough men to hold off a defense. So he just leaves. I’ll give them credit for not typically ending a season off with the Big Bad dying, but after all this I kind of feel cheated. I guess he will come back more as cartoon of himself in season 4. Who knows? Will he start a new home or just set out to kill Rick and even the score? No idea. I guess that’s kind of cool, but eh.

    Apparently Rick is back to season 2 Rick. He’s angry at Carl. Why? He did the right thing. If you don’t want to give up Michonne and lose your humanity, fine. Still when a guy attempted to kill your group why take chances with him. You had Glen and Maggie shooting people as their running away. Sort of feels like the same thing. Why cause he’s unarmed? Would anyone blame him if he got scared and pulled the trigger on the guy? If he shot him after he dropped the gun then I could see your disappointment in him. I guess. Come on Rick you slashed that one guy in the head and we were all clapping our hands when you did it. Why? Cause it’s the smart thing to do!!!!

    Why didn’t they move to Woodbury? It’s got a lot of things the prison doesn’t. Here’s a location without a psycho in charge anymore. Although it’s arguable that Rick is crazy too, but it sounds like Ricktatorship and Crazy Rick are over though. Characters have been saying how lousy the prison is. It also seems to attract walkers than any other place.

    Not every season needs a cliffhanger, but this one could have used it. A genre show like this certainly allows it. On the plus side I guess I’m glad they didn’t move to just another location yet again, but I think Woodbury could have been a solid set piece for season 4 as it’s already been well established in season 3. Granted rarely anything interesting happen in Woodbury, but whatever. The Woodbury take over should have been triumphant, with Governor dead and the new promising world possible. Then sometime in season 4 they get hit by something. Walkers or whatever. It would been a nice changing of gears for an opening of a season for this show.

    Reply
    • Ricky April 2, 2013 at 3:39 am

      Well the good news is they at least left Woodbury. God, that place was so incredibly boring.

      Reply
  2. Ricky April 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I think Andrea’s scenes were mind blowing. I just felt the other parts were underwhelming. But yeah … I think we are on the same page. Keep in mind , I placed Andrea’s death as the best scene of the second half season three on my list which you find here… I like this episode …. just didn’t love it. If it wasn’t the finale, I would have liked it more.

    http://www.soundonsight.org/the-walking-dead-20-best-moments-of-season-three-2/

    Reply
  3. Steve April 1, 2013 at 11:47 am

    “For what is a season finale, “Welcome to the Tombs” doesn’t surprise in any way.”

    I thought it was a big surprise that The Governor is still alive at the end of the episode.

    Reply
    • Ricky April 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks Steve. I don’t know … I wasn’t at all surprised. Every season finale has a lot of people die and at least one main character – so I knew Andrea would die but I wasn’t surprised they kept The Governor alive. The biggest surprise for me was that it didn’t end with a cliffhanger shot.

      Reply
  4. Dan Heaton April 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I found Carl’s logic to be accurate because his reasoning isn’t wrong. It’s sad that their world has reached a point where the smartest move is to kill someone and ask questions later, but it’s true. I also thought that Chandler Riggs played the scene with Rick surprisingly well. That character has come so far.

    This was a strange finale because it didn’t satisfy expectations yet still worked for the most part. I hate to admit that I was really feeling for Andrea this week. Those scenes were all well done and extremely tense. I’m pretty much with you on this episode. I liked it overall, and I’m a bit more intrigued by where they’ll go with the Governor still out there and everyone at the prison. However, it wasn’t a mind-blowing finale that will leave me pondering it for days.

    Reply

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