Celebrating Easter has never been a particularly big deal with my family, so I spent the holiday working, sleeping, and watching television. In particular, I watched the season premiere of Game of Thrones and the season finale of The Walking Dead.
Cause shows about — or at least including — walking corpses should be watched on Easter, right? Right?
Spoilers for both TV shows — not the books — ahead.
1. Sam finds a dead body in the snow. The body is decapitated, and holding its own head. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to know who the dead guy is, but he looks an awful lot like Jesus, which can’t be accidental, right? Surely not when the premiere airs on Easter.
2. In the credits, Winterfell is smoldering. Heh. Excellent.
3. “They said you lost your nose, but it’s not as gruesome as all that.” Awesome. If you haven’t read the books — or haven’t had to put up with your friends, who have read the books and still won’t shut up about them — that reference is probably lost on you.
4. Loyalty is a fine quality in a person, but it unfortunately often leads to very bad decisions if you’ve wasted your fidelity on a moron, a psychopath, or a psychopathic moron. Case in point: Davos.
Davos — who I like considerably more in the TV show — has miraculously survived from last season’s battle, only to go back to Stannis, who’s burning people alive based on the recommendations of Melissandre. For said loyalty, Davos is almost immediately thrown in jail. You need better friends, Davos.
5. Charles Dance continues to be awesome, but Twyin Lannister is a dick.
6. “Because the truth is always terrible, or boring.” Agreed, Sansa. Agreed.
7. Margaery Tyrell vs Cersei Lannister.
8. Without going into book spoilers, the change in Barristan Selmy’s storyline seems like the smart play for the show and doesn’t bother me at all.
9. Not going into book spoilers is hard, though, at least when it comes to certain characters like, say, Shae, who comes off a little different in the books than she does in the series. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I think her storyline is going to deviate slightly from the source material, and if it happens the way I think it will . . . well, I haven’t decided how I feel about that yet.
10. Finally, Roz better have an actual storyline this season. I was finally given hope at the end of season two, and I need season three to deliver on that hope, because currently, she is the most useless, unnecessary character on the entire show, and the time spent on her could be better spent on Arya, Jamie, Brienne, Varys, or any of the other infinitely better characters that didn’t appear on tonight’s premiere.
Conclusions: Happy to have it back!
Episode Grade: A
“Welcome to the Tombs”
1. Going into the finale, this was my Survival Likelihood List:
Absolutely Won’t Die: Rick, Daryl
Almost Certainly Won’t Die: Michonne, Tyrese, Carl
Could Die: Herschel, Maggie, Glenn, Carol, Andrea, Beth, Tyrese’s Sister
Hopefully WON’T Die: Glenn, Carol
Hopefully WILL Die: Beth
Almost Certainly Will Die: Milton
Absolutely Will Die: The Governor, Martinez, Tyrese’s Annoying Friend
Well, I failed. But I prefer to think that the The Walking Dead failed because they DID. I can’t BELIEVE that The Governor is still alive, and I’m, personally, highly disappointed by this development.
The Governor didn’t start off so bad, as a villain, but by the end of season three, I was highly disenchanted with him. I wanted him to be charismatic and menacing and scary. Instead, he was . . . I don’t know. Cartoonish? I can see the broad strokes of how the Governor’s arc was supposed to unfold, but it just didn’t pan out right, so I was happy to finally be getting rid of him . . . only to have him ride off into the sunset with Martinez and the Other Lackey Whose Name I Never Learned, making his return in later seasons almost an inevitability. Godammit.
2. Actually, my disappointment with the Governor is a big part of my problem with Andrea’s whole storyline too. If the Governor actually was charismatic and seductive and all the things he’s clearly supposed to be, I probably could have bought Andrea staying with him longer than she should have. But since those two have no chemistry whatsoever . . . yeah, it doesn’t work. And while I know Andrea’s supposed to be caught between a rock and a hard place, frantically working to broker a peace between the town and the prison and save all the innocent lives . . . yeah, that doesn’t end up working either, partly because the writing is inconsistent as all hell, and partly because Andrea has a tendency to flounce off and pout, which makes it very hard to take her seriously.
3. On the upside, I do like Andrea’s actual death.
Despite my intense dislike of Andrea, I did have a small amount of sympathy for her by the end, mostly because I tend to feel sorry for characters who fight like hell to survive and then die anyway. Getting stuck in a room with a zombie while you’re tied to a chair sucks; ask Glenn. Actually, for that reason alone, I’m glad Andrea died — it would be a little much to have two of our heroes survive being tied to chairs with zombies trying to feast on them, all in the same season.
Mostly, though, I just feel sorry for Michonne. I suspect that Michonne will become one of my favorite characters, now that she talks and has occasional facial expressions.
4. Carl is the Bringer of Death.
I’d be much more interested in Carl’s newfound, sociopathic tendencies if he didn’t stomp and pout quite so damn much. Good God, is Carl the new Andrea?
5. I still hate Carl less than Beth, though. Isn’t that sad? Her entire role in this show is to hold a baby and, occasionally, sing. GIVE HER A CHARACTER OR KILL HER ALREADY, PLEASE.
6. Here is my other problem with the finale: all season, this show has been building up the tension between the prison and the town. Months. We’ve been building this battle up for MONTHS. The plot lines of the last few episodes have been stretched especially thin, just so the big battle could happen in the season finale. And now we’re here; we’re finally, finally here, and . . .
. . . the battle lasts all of two minutes. The folks of Woodbury retreat, and in his rage, the Governor kills almost every single one of them. And that’s it. That’s the whole conflict.
Thing is, I don’t even mind that the Governor goes totally apeshit and kills all the people he’s supposed to be protecting. That actually works for me as a rock bottom of a (poorly written) character arc. But the battle, people. You still have to write a real battle! Violence has to ensue. Life has to be lost. Life should, at the very least, seem close to being lost. I cannot believe I waited the whole season for this bullshit.
7. At least, Ghost Lori is finally gone. Goodbye, Ghost Lori! I still feel that Sarah Wayne Callies got a lot more shit than she actually deserved, but that being said . . . please stay away, Ghost Lori. And take Beth with you. Living or dead, I don’t even care.
Conclusions: Still like it better than Season 2, but other than some really good moments, Season Three kind of fell flat on its face at the end there. Let’s hope that with our new NEW showrunner, Season Four will continue to improve.
Episode Grade: C