Plot: This season is set in both an abandoned prison and an active rural town of survivors. It introduces several notable characters from the comics, including The Governor, Michonne, Axel, and Tyreese. The season follows Rick Grimes assuming a dictatorial-like leadership over his group of survivors as they survive in a world infested with zombies, called “walkers” in the series. The group inhabits a large, fortified prison, but this security is threatened by the nearby community of Woodbury, led by the nefarious Governor.
Review: I finally finished watching Season 3 of my current favourite TV show and like a fine wine; The Walking Dead gets better with age. I thought the last Season was the best yet but this has blown the others away for one simple reason: The Governor. Played to perfection by David Morrissey, we start off thinking that he is this noble leader who genuinely wants what’s best for his people; a small community of people who have survived the zombie apocalypse… so far.
As the story progresses though, we find out that he is in fact a complete psychopath. He could possibly have bene driven mad by the loss of his daughter, who is now a zombie, but he keeps her locked up in a secret room… as you would. The fact that he keeps severed zombie heads in a tank in his house though may present a problem if he ever decides to run for Pope.
The Governor is power hungry and when he executes a bunch of soldiers for no real reason, we find out that this is a man who is a few frigates short of a full fleet.
It gets a bit Mad Max in places when The Governor pits humans against each other in combat surrounded by zombies, purely for his people’s “entertainment”. It really is more of warning though that this is what happens when you don’t play by his rules.
We also have newcomer Michonne (Danai Gurira) who doesn’t say much but she wields a pretty big sword. She’s probably the most badass character on the show and drops zombies by the dozen within seconds.
A few major characters die and one episode in particular is a tough watch as it’s so unrelenting. Poor Carl goes through a lot but Rick is literally driven insane with grief. I found I kinda lost a bit of respect for Rick as he didn’t step up when he was required to. He’s still a great character though and Andrew Lincoln remains excellent. He looks genuinely grief-stricken and haunted throughout the series… actually, pretty much everyone does.
Glen becomes a bit of a whiney bitch in this season though so if/when they ever kill him off I won’t shed any tears.
Merl (Michael Rooker) returns and is one of the most interesting characters as he has so many more layers than you initially expect. His relationship with his brother Daryl (Norman Reedus) is complicated making him question whether he should stay with his friends at the prison, or go off with Merl. Daryl is still probably the main hero of the whole story as he’s pretty incorruptible and utterly badass.
Action-wise the major highlight is the assault by The Governor on the prison where our heroes are living. We’ve got machine guns and exploding zombie heads galore. Crashing the truck through the prison gate and then opening it up to unleash the zombies was rather awesome and was the definite stand-out moment too.
The fact that it’s set in a prison makes it constantly grim and I hope I Season 4 they get out of it as it’s more interesting when they are on the road with danger all around them.
Overall, The Walking Dead: Season 3 is another triumph with stellar performances, interesting story arcs and the best villain for a long time in The Governor. Despite some minor niggles, it’s still one of the greatest shows on television.