The Season 3 finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead surprised me. The show is famous for its surprises. They love to shock and thrill their audience. They love to keep us guessing. I’d fallen into the guessing game to the point where I was prone to making wild predictions. I couldn’t have predicted the Season 3 finale, no way no how. Who could have predicted a quiet ending?
We did lose Andrea, and I should have expected that, but I didn’t. Honestly, Andrea drove me insane. She specialized in boinking the most powerful person around, yet it never got her anywhere. Shane loved Lori, but he didn’t object to tearing one off with Andrea. The governor half-ass pretended that Andrea was his First Lady for about ten minutes, and we couldn’t pretend that she’d been duped because what turned Andrea on in the first place was the fact that the Governor was a lunatic. It’s easy to imagine Andrea in high school, with all of the other girls whispering, “He is just using her for s-e-x.” Andrea may have slept with Michonne during the long cold winter, but that’s the kind of thing that never could have lasted because Michonne is a good person.
Andrea also drove me wild by plotting plots that were doomed to fail because they were all based on her wildly distorted view of the situation at hand. There was this whole other Andrea Show that went on a little outside of the rest of the story line, and I’d gotten so used to it that I was surprised when she died. I also felt a little guilty that I’d come to dislike the character so much, when a dying Andrea explained her desire to prevent more deaths and Michonne bawled her eyes out.
Michonne. What a great surprise Michonne became as Season 3 wound to a close. I had been disappointed in the character. She was a badass with a sword. And that was pretty much it. The show gave Michonne about as few lines as it had given T-Dog. She was entertaining in a Japanese steakhouse chef kind of way, but she wasn’t the amazing character I felt I’d been promised…until she did more than swing that sword. As she found her place in Rick’s group, we got to see a character who is smart, who is kind, who is lonely, who has scars, but she goes on with dignity and grace. Michonne has the potential to be a fan favorite on the order of Daryl, and it’s because of her heart, not her sword.
And that was really the surprise of the Season 3 finale. “You Kill Or You Die” was more about heart than guts. The Governor, that rat bastard, didn’t die, but that’s okay. What is really worth cheering over is a whole cast of characters who aren’t always going to kill for fear of dying. It was great television. Seriously.