The Walking Dead: Welcome to the Tombs
by Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)
Like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead is adapted from previous source material. This review is not meant to compare similarities and differences between the show and comic. It’s meant to be read purely as a take on the episode as it stands.
That being said, SPOILERS AHEAD.
“You kill or you die. Or you die and you kill.”
The Governor’s one good eye is covered in blood, courtesy of the beating he’s laying on Milton. The culmination of their falling out was something of a letdown, considering it’s been teased more and more towards the end of the season. The “surprise” that it was he who set the Walkers on fire wasn’t really much of one, considering it made sense that he would do it. He’s been disagreeing more and more with the Governor and his decision-making, yet still exhibiting some slavish devotion to him for whatever reason.
Despite all that, Milton still felt the need to attempt to kill the Governor, an action fraught with peril and fully reflecting Milton’s weakness when it comes to fighting. It makes sense he suffered at the hands of the Governor, considering it was he who stopped Andrea from taking the shot a few episodes back. Had he let her do that, the war wouldn’t be happening and Milton would be enjoying life in Woodbury. Similarly, had Andrea actually taken Carol’s advice and ended it when she had the chance, neither of them would be in the current predicament. The final encounter between Andrea and Milton was actually pretty smart, giving Andrea a deadline of sorts to escape. It also allowed them to have the information sharing conversation they’d been trying to have all season, only to fail for whatever reason.
The Ricktocracy apparently made the decision that the prison was the first place the survivors could actually call home and they’re not abandoning it out of fear of the Governor’s retaliation. Rick relied on his meeting with the Governor to capitalize on his hubris, knowing he would bring everyone and not think twice about it. The trap was actually quite brilliant and sprung successfully, throwing the Governor and his minions in complete disarray. It demonstrated a continued tactical strategy that the group has learned through all the tough times; a fact not lost on the Governor at all.
Again, the Governor has been shown to be sadistically slipping down a spiral of madness. The fact that not one of his main guys decided that maybe they shouldn’t be working for the psychopath who just gunned down the vast majority of the Woodbury population was a little peculiar. His main guys are soldiers of fortune almost, trained to kill when survival calls for it. That survival has to include a megalomaniac with an itchy trigger finger.
How do you have the “don’t kill in cold blood” conversation with your son? Rick’s in an interesting position for many reasons. One, he’s a cop. Prior to the apocalypse, he was sworn to uphold the law, which included preventing and investigating murders. Two, he’s the father of a boy becoming a man; a transformation further accelerated by the trying times. Carl has really been made out to be a more mature character, but his heavy-handedness about how Rick could have prevented more deaths was laying it on a little thick. He makes some valid points, but blaming all the deaths on Rick is a little shortsighted. Carl did bring up the fact that had he killed the Walker back near the farm that Dale would still be alive, which is actually a very plausible reason for him feeling the way he did.
Andrea and Michonne finally got some closure to how they left things. You could argue that Michonne was a lot more important to Andrea’s survival than the other way around, but Andrea did have a way of humanizing Michonne quite a bit. Andrea played a rather large role in the entire season, which made the finality of the episode that much more important. Andrea ended up really having everyone’s best interests at heart, even though she made some decisions that left many things to be desired. Still though, in the end, Michonne saw her make the hardest (and easiest) decision.
The biggest thing to come out of “Welcome to the Tombs” is that life in The Walking Dead isn’t one that you can go it alone in. The old school survivors banded together incredibly well, forming a cohesive bond that is unflappable at this point. They extended that realization to the best of Woodbury, taking in a slew of refugees who never wanted a fight; just a place to live in relative peace. It’s not guaranteed that things will stay happy and full of soft orchestral music, but at least for the time being, they’ve got somewhere they can call home. It also put life in perspective for Rick, something he had lost courtesy of all he had been through. Carl’s latest action proved to Rick that his newfound lease on life was having a damaging impact on his son. Taking in the new survivors showed the compassion that guided Rick prior to his encountering the Governor. Carl was clearly not amused, showing contempt for his father’s decision.
With the Governor roaming free and Woodbury relocated, things are going to get even crazier for everyone. The fact that the Governor wasn’t killed definitely keeps him as a viable villain next season, even though he’ll be one with significantly less power and influence. Andrea and Milton paid for their loyalty to the Governor and Rick found a touch of humanity that he had forgotten. His delusions appeared to have left him and he can focus on surviving with others, something he was trying to do all along. The Walking Dead is about doing what it takes to survive and the conclusion of Season Three only amplified that concept.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars