(Spoilers are lurching around undeadly herein. CN: Violence; self-harm.)
Previously on The Walking Dead: Clues to what will happen in this episode of The Walking Dead! Which is the season finale! Omagerd! WHO IS GOING TO DIE?! I hope it's the Governor, but I am pretty sure that the writers of The Walking Dead enjoy having a sociopathic murdering rape-monster around too much to kill him off. Whoops. So it'll prolly be Andrea. That is what I am thinking when this episode begins. Wheeeeeeeeeee!
We open with a first-person perspective on Governor Cyclops, from the viewpoint of someone he is torturing. And obviously a torture scene is the best time for a cool reversal prank, so it turns out not to be Andrea, as we expect, but Melvin Nerdly. He is in bad shape! By which I mean there is blood spatter on his face but no swelling or bruising. "We've got too many zombies to spare budget on Nerdly! Just throw some corn syrup on him and get working on the zombie who's carrying his own entrails in his hands!"—The Producers, probably.
Governor Cyclops takes Melvin Nerdly to see Andrea in the next room, at which point Andrea does this thing WHICH I HATE that lots of television shows and movies do, which is use their characters to provide totally unnatural exposition because they think their audience is fucking stupid, and of course I am referring to Andrea referring to something the Governor said while he was in the room next door, but prefacing it with a hastily delivered, "I overheard you talking and..." I AM AN ADULT HUMAN BEING WHO IS CAPABLE OF INFERRING THAT A CHARACTER WHO RESPONDS TO SOMETHING ANOTHER CHARACTER SAID IN ANOTHER ROOM OVERHEARD IT. Actors always seem to know this is a bullshit move, because the line is always delivered with wooden embarrassment, and this scene is no exception.
Anyway. Governor Cyclops tells Melvin Nerdly he's keeping Andrea alive because he'll need her for something, but then after some bloviating about how only kill-machines survive in the zombiepocalypse, he tells Melvin Nerdly to kill Andrea. Of course Melvin Nerdly tries to kill Governor Cyclops instead, who immediately slow-death guts him and then locks him in the room with Andrea, so he can devour her once he's zombified. On his way out, the Governor says, "In this life now, you kill or you die—or you die and you kill." Ask not what your zombified corpse can do for the Governor—ask what the Governor will do with your zombified corpse! (Put it in an aquarium FYI.)
Over at Grimes Jail, Grimes Gang is packing all their shit up, and we are probably meant to think they're leaving? But they are not leaving, because that would make sense. They are just making it LOOK LIKE they are leaving, obvs.
Carl the Hat is real mad at his dad, and I have lost track of why, but: A. It's probably all the reasons we are mad at him (e.g. stupid decisions, more stupid decisions); and B. Who cares.
Grimes observes to Hershel, "He's still a kid—it's easy to forget that." HA HA is it? Is it easy to forget that the tiny person wearing an oversized sheriff's hat is still a kid? I NEVER forget that! I never accidentally say, "That young adult man is so fucking annoying." I always say, "That kid is so fucking annoying." And so does everyone else.
Michonne finds Grimes so she can tell him she understands that he had to consider trading her to the Governor, because, yeah, it's definitely HER JOB to clear the air on THAT ONE. (Sheesh, Grimes, you are the fucking worst.) And then she tells him thanks for taking her in, and, to Grimes' credit, he's pretty honest about the fact that he's a dirtbag and it was Carl the Hat who made the decision in her favor.
Meanwhile, over in Unpleasantville, Sasha and Tyreese nervously tell the Governor that they don't want to be part of the war, so instead they volunteer to stay behind and defend the children. Which apparently is something the Governor hadn't already lined someone up to do, cool plan, so he gives them an assault rifle and then takes off with the rest of the Unpleasantville Army—which, as we established in an earlier episode, includes no one with arthritis or asthma. I guess Sasha and Tyreese are babysitting them, too.
Governor Cyclops and the Unpleasantville Army (NEW BAND NAME! CALLED IT!) roll into Grimes Jail, guns literally blazing, and—before even establishing if Grimes Gang is still there—they blow up the watchtowers and expend a biebillion rounds of ammo shooting zombies. Then they move in, just walking straight down the entry drive, with no cover and no strategy.
They find the prison deserted (OR IS IT?!) and Governor Cyclops finds an open bible that Hershel has left for him, with a highlighted verse ("I'll go on the Office Depot run for the highlighter pen!"—Glenn), which reads: "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." LOL. Also: LOL. I mean, leave it to Hershel to pull some passive-aggressive Jesus nonsense even in absentia, but WTF is that verse even supposed to MEAN in the middle of a zombiepocalypse where everyone is getting resurrected as fucking zombies?! Ugh this show.
Meanwhile, back in Unpleasantville, Andrea and Melvin Nerdly are having a good old chat about how Andrea was trying to help and never wanted anyone to die, which is obviously a perfect discussion to be having while Melvin Nerdly is struggling to NOT DIE AND TURN INTO A ZOMBIE THAT WILL KILL HER. Melvin Nerdly managed to leave a pair of pliers behind the chair to which she's handcuffed, without Governor Cyclops noticing, and so she tries to get them, while continuing to leisurely chitchat about all her good intentions.
Back at Grimes Jail, Governor Cyclops and the Unpleasantville Army stumble across a booby trap which releases smoke and sets off the alarms, calling the zombies to come get them. They fight their way out, only to be greeted by an ambush care of Grimes Gang, who's riot-geared up and ready for action! After a season's worth of interminable build-up, the action lasts about 15 seconds before Governor Cyclops retreats. Awesome. Definitely worth the wait.
One of the Unpleasantville Army stragglers gets left behind and runs into the woods, where he comes face to face with Hershel and Carl the Hat. Even though the straggler agrees to set down his weapon, Carl the Hat goes all Dick Cheney and shoots him in the face.
Once things calm down at Grimes Jail, Hershel tells Grimes about what Carl the Hat did, and Grimes tries to defend him, but Hershel yells really loudly: "NO GRIMES YOU ARE BEING AN ASSHOLE! YOUR KID IS LOSING IT! DEAL WITH IT, YOU BOZO!" I'm paraphrasing.
Grimes goes to talk to Carl the Hat about it, and the kid (ahem) gives his dad a lecture about all the people he (Grimes) should have killed to prevent other losses, punctuated by a haughty, "I did what I had to do." Then he drops his sheriff's badge on the ground and walks away LOLOLOLOLOL FOREVER THIS SHOW.
"I'd take off this goddamn hat too if it weren't fused to my head!"—Carl the Hat.
Meanwhile, on the road back to Unpleasantville, Governor Cyclops pulls over his convoy and there is open rebellion, because no doy his plan was total garbage. He responds to this criticism by MOWING EVERYONE THE FUCK DOWN WITH A MACHINE GUN, except his two generals and a lady who is hiding under a dead body. She is named Karen.
Back in Torture Room, Andrea finally reaches the pair of pliers with her perfectly manicured toes (lulz) gets them into her hand on the second try. She starts working on her handcuffs as Melvin Nerdly awakens. NOW THAT HE IS ZOMBIFIED, she works with the urgency she did not have while he was slowly dying, probably because she was dreamily fantasizing about having sex with him, but seriously questioning whether he's a terrible enough human being to meet her usual standards. She gets her cuffs off just in time, and there is a scuffle, but we don't see it.
Oh the suspense yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn.
Back at Grimes Jail, Grimes fixes to take off with Daryl and Michonne to go "end this thing" in Unpleasantville once and for all. Along the way, they find Governor Cyclops' roadside slaughter, and manage not to reflexively kill Karen who is hiding in an abandoned truck. She travels with them to Unpleasantville, where she tells Sasha and Tyreese, who are now standing guard, what really happened, and they all go look for Andrea.
She is alive! But whooooooooooooooooooops she's been bitten. Goddammit. She tells them all that she never wanted anyone to die and she tried and intent is magic and stuff, and they all reassure her that she was a good person who did indeed try. Which is true. She wants to kill herself, so they give her a pistol, and this time Dale's not around to stop her. Michonne stays with her, and we hear a single shot from inside Torture Room. RIP Andrea.
Even though you were an infuriating character in about two dozen different ways, Andrea, I will miss you. And if Hershel's bible is right, you will be resurrected to heaven for all the good trying you did, so have fun! Unless god really does hate fornicators, in which case, good luck with all the hellfire! It's probably not as bad as zombies, anyway.
So. Andrea is dead. And Governor Cyclops' whereabouts remain unknown. Perfect.
Cut back to Grimes Jail, where Grimes, Michonne, and Daryl are returning with a bunch of Unpleasantvillagers, and, as I'm watching, I realize that these were all the people who weren't considered strong enough to fight—the kids, the elderly people, people with disabilities—and I am suddenly very moved by the scene of all of them walking into Grimes Jail, and if there were ever any doubt that I CRY AT EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING, case closed, your honor, because I start blubbing for the people of Unpleasantville who now have a slightly less terrible new family where at least there are no torture rooms.
Next Season: The plot moves another two inches and Ghost Lori teaches everyone how to make biscuits!
See you then.