My apologies for not getting this written and ready in time to publish yesterday. I had a Midterm due for one of my online Graduate school classes, and it thoroughly kicked my butt. This, of course, is the Season 3 Finale: a sad day for fans of the show. Season 4 will premier in October, so we all have a long road ahead.
A big part of the theme of this episode was the idea of what happens to people's humanity once the niceties of modern civilization fade away. I will have to report that my earlier prediction of the Governor being killed at another character's hands failed to pan-out, and I cannot say I'm sad about being wrong.
He really was trying to build a new civilization around Woodbury, then Penny was bitten and it all changed, eventually ending with him as a tyrant ruling over a dictatorship (with his own henchman to do his dirty work) like some Robber Baron in days of old. Then, when Michonne took his eye and put Penny (now a Walker) down once and for all, the last remaining vestiges of his humanity were finally shed. He is now a survivor who survives by killing others.
In this episode, he made the point that, if Penny was still alive she'd be afraid of what he's become, but that, if he'd been that man back then, she'd still be alive. That's a harsh way to look at things, but it could also be true. You gotta love a show that's written in such a way as to make you be able to relate to and understand the motivations of even the bad guys.
Interestingly, somewhat of a parallel can be drawn between The Governor and the man that young Carl is growing into, though I still have faith in the boy. His humanity was called into question during this episode as well as the result of killing a combatant who was, ostensibly, trying to surrender.
Plus, after he explained his reasoning, it made perfect sense. Hesitating has consequences. He himself hesitated to put down a Walker in Season 2, only to have that same Walker kill Dale soon after; his father failed to kill the convict at the prison, who later caused the situation that resulted in Carl's mother's death; and, his father didn't kill The Governor when he had the chance, and then The Governor went on to kill Merle. Pretty hard to argue with the kid's logic, even if what he did does leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
Likewise, one could make the same argument regarding Andrea's decision not to kill The Governor when she had her chance a few weeks ago. How many lives (including her own) might have been saved if she had plunged that knife into his chest as he lay sleeping?
In the end, Carl did what he learned from his father and from what the realities of the world have taught him. Take no chances. He told the guy he shot to put the gun down, not to approach him and hand it to him. He gave him that order, and, yet, the guy kept approaching him and trying to hand it over. As soon as his eyes flicked toward the weapon, Carl pulled the trigger. Not a bad decision. Safety first. The lesson to be learned here is don't act all shifty when someone has a gun on you, and do exactly what they say if you don't want your head blown-off.
The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]
The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]
My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below: