On the season three finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead, all the build up that viewers had been enduring came to an end and the war was on. The first shot consisted of the Governor demolishing an unknown person’s face over and over with his fist.
We automatically assume that it’s poor Andrea, stuck in her torture chamber. But instead we see Milton, whom the Governor is punishing for destroying the pit of walkers and then lying about it. Milton asks the Governor what Penny would think of him now and he replies, “She’d be afraid of me … but if I’d been like this from the start, she’d be alive today.”
The Governor then leads Milton into Andrea’s cell and tells him to pick up all the tools. Milton hesitates for a moment before handing all the tools over to the boss man. Then he is instructed to kill Andrea. When he refuses, the Governor stabs him in the stomach repeatedly and leaves Milton to turn into a walker, thereby sealing both their fates when he dines on her live flesh.
Back at the prison, Grimes’ group is packing their bags and Carl is very angry at his father for something unknown. Rick sees Lori again, almost as a source of inspiration. He then checks the empty barracks to make sure all their bases are covered. Michonne tells him that she knows that he had to make a choice and she understands why he almost considered giving her over to Woodbury. He tells her that Carl is the reason that he changed his mind, saying that she is one of them now.
Back at Woodbury, the townsfolk are in their trucks ready to follow the Governor into battle. Tyreese and Sascha refuse to join, but promise to stay and guard Woodbury to protect the women and children. Sascha is frightened as the Governor grabs a gun, afraid he might kill them then and there, but instead he says, ‘Thank you’.
The Governor’s group pulls up to the prison with guns blazing, blowing up the two observation towers, mowing down fences, and obliterating any nearby walkers. When their tires are blown, they proceed on foot. The prison seems abandoned, but they go into cell block C where Grimes’ group was residing. There is no one around, but it sounds like they may be in another block. The Governor tells the group to continue forward. The group is suddenly attacked by smoke bombs and the prison alarm sounds. The walkers appear and the group retreats to the courtyard. Maggie and Glen where full guard gear and fire on them until they retreat.
At Woodbury Milton is barely alive, but lets Andrea know that he left her a pair of pliers to free herself from the handcuffs. He is going to die soon and turn, so he tells her to hurry as fast as she can. Andrea tries to get the pliers with her right foot, but still has to lift them to her hands.
In the woods outside the prison, Carl is seething because he wasn’t allowed to stay and fight. A teenage boy retreats with the Governor’s group and stumbles upon Hershel, Carl, Beth, and baby Judith. Hershel commands the boy to drop his weapon, which he attempts to do. But Carl shoots him dead on the spot, horrifying Hershel and the others. When the group meets back at the prison, Rick can’t believe the story and Hershel has to insist that yes, Carl shot someone who was surrendering. Rick tries to talk to Carl about it, but the kid tells Rick that his mercy has led to more murders. If he would have killed the Governor, they wouldn’t be in this situation. He then drops his father’s sheriff badge at his feet and walks away.
On the road back to Woodbury the Governor is so furious at his group’s cowardly retreat that he drives ahead of the caravan of trucks and forces them to stop. They demand to go home and refuse to go back, to which the Governor responds by shooting the entire group. He then double taps them to make sure they don’t turn, but runs out of bullets in his glock before he can kill one woman who survived and who is hiding under a dead body. This leaves the Governor with Martinez and one other dude, but whom are very hesitant to get into his truck, but do so anyway.
Rick and his group decide to end things once and for all by attacking Woodbury, but come across the lone woman surviver who tells them about the Governor’s horrific actions. She helps them approach the gates and tell Tyreese the truth about what the Governor did. Tyreese lets them inside and they come to the conclusion that Andrea must still be in Woodbury. Andrea did indeed get the pliers and attempted to escape her cuffs in time to kill Milton when he turned walker, but sadly Rick and the group find her with a huge bite. Michonne is terribly distraught at the fact that Andrea will die soon. Andrea insists that she kill herself rather than turn walker and make someone else do it. Michonne stays with her as she does the deed.
Andrea tells Rick that she tried and that no one can live in this world alone now. Daryl responds that they never could live alone. The group understands now this new mantra. With Andrea’s death, they collect the remaining Woodbury folk and head to the prison. Carl is upset to see a busload of woman, elderly, and children, but Rick seems to be attempting to keep Carl’s humanity and show him that you still can be a good person. He looks up to see an empty space where Lori’s ghost used to be. He won’t be seeing her again and the season closed looking upon her grave. Lori stayed in his mind until she could restore hope in Rick for a better world. Now he needs to do the same for Carl.