It seems like everyone who has the stomach to watch a crowbar go through a zombie face watches TWD. And it also seems like everyone who watches the show didn't like the season finale. The season felt, to most watching, like it was leading up to something that didn't happen.
I'll admit I was in the camp hating the finale to begin with. But as the days have passed and I think back on the individual events that transpired - the governor's brutality, Carl's lessons from the post-apocalypse, and Rick's compassion - all of them seem better in hindsight. The show earned each of those storyline conclusions, and they all resonate well with the evolution of the characters.
There were three main problems with the finale: one, disorganization muted the impact of everything. The governor's freak-out came too soon, and it gave Rick too easy an in with Woodbury. Two, that Merle's swan song in the previous episode was too damn good - it raised expectations to an unrealistic level. Three, Andrea. I don't even know where to start with how sad the television divergence from her comic character is.
Overall, though, the finale feels better the farther it gets in the rearview. It may not have been the babykilling bloodbath people were hoping for, but it sets the pieces in place for an even better season four - and packs the prison full of potential zombie food.
Other thoughts and spoilers:
- Carl has transformed nicely from the least supervised child ever to the most likely to survive
- Darryl is still alive, and really that's who you care about
- Ghost Lori is gone (forever please?)
- Maybe next season will get a big enough budget to chop off Rick's hand and cgi erase it