Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Walking Dead 3.16: Kill or Die, or Die and Kill

That's pretty much what the Governor said at the beginning of The Walking Dead season 3 finale - kill or die, or die and kill - and it pretty much typifies this powerful, literary season, the best of the three of The Walking Dead in my opinion.

There was more than one superb thread in this finale -

Andrea vs. Milton is another pathologically brilliant creation of the Governor:  Leave Andrea bound in a chair in a room with the mortally wounded Milton, who will eat her flesh and kill her as soon as he turns.   But Milton manages to leave a pair of pliers on the floor near Andrea before the Governor fatally wounds him, and he takes a little longer than expected to die.  Andrea finally gets the pliers in her hands, but not before Milton has indeed turned and attacks her.   Two ways in which this devastating scenario could have been improved:  One, Andrea could have talked a little less to the dying Milton, which would have given her a little more time.  Two, Milton's life's work in Woodbury was to prove his hunch that a little humanity might survive in a turning.  It would have been nice to see Milton, even after he turned, perhaps struggling a little against his walker carnivorous self.

But, even so, the Andrea-Milton scenes, and the scenes with Andrea dying, were among the best in the season and series.

The other punishingly powerful thread is Carl's killing of a kid, a few years older than him, one of the Governor's attack party, handing over his weapon to Carl and Hershel after the Governor's force is routed at the prison.  Hershel is upset - horrified - and tells Rick just what happened after Carl tells his father that kid "drew on" him.   What's extraordinary about this segment is how we can find Carl both wrong and right.  By our standards, not living in a walker world, Carl is definitely wrong - not in his right mind after the loss of his mother (in part by his own hand) and everything else.   But by the standards of the walker world we see on the screen - including precisely the loss of his mother and the other events Carl has had to bear - what he did to the kid makes a terrible kind of sense.  As Carl later says to Rick, he (Carl) has to protect the group, after Rick did not (Rick didn't kill the Governor when they were in their peace pow-wow) and all the other examples of inaction - not killing - leading to death.   The safest way to live, or, the best that you can do to live, may indeed be to kill anyone who poses the slightest potential threat.

It's tough to argue with that in the world which Carl now inhabits.  And, just to make the future even more harrowing, the Governor and two of his henchman are still at large.  I was half expecting to see the Governor come out shooting from behind of the towers in the prison at the end.   Had that happened, more of our people would have likely died, but the Governor would have died, too.

As it is, he's alive, which lends even a bit more credence to Carl's reasoning, and bit more reason to await even more eagerly the 4th season of The Walking Dead.

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