'The Walking Dead' Finale Recap: You Kill or You Die. Or You Die and You Kill

It's almost the end of Woodbury vs. the Prison. Almost.

walking dead andrew lincoln rick grimes
Gene Page/AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in 'The Walking Dead.'
By |

Where we left off: Rick decided not to betray Michonne and Merle decided to save his soul and go after the Governor all by his lonesome. Alas, the Gov shot him and poor Merle turned into a zombie (minus two fingers). Daryl wept for his brother, and we assume Andrea was tied up in the Gov's gynecological torture chamber somewhere. OK! They said 27 people will die in the finale tonight! Let's keep track!

Where we pick up: Over yonder in Woodbury, the Gov beats up on his old friend Milton for setting those zombies on fire a few episodes ago. Milton tries to appeal to the man he once called a friend – what would Penny think about his behavior? (W.W.P.T.) The Gov admits that his zombie daughter would be scared, but insists that if he'd always been a shrewd, merciless torturer then she'd be alive today. Your logic, sir, it is flawed. The Gov shoves Milton into the torture chamber and orders him to pick up his tray of tools. Milton fumbles and manages to leave a pair of pliers on the floor right behind Andrea's feet. Good plan, resident nerd! The Governor hands Milton a knife and tells him to kill Andrea. Milty wheels around and tries to attack the Gov, but he ends up getting a one-way ticket to tummy stabbytown. Oh, fuck. The Governor's going to leave Milton to die and turn into a zombie and then devour Andrea. In this world, or at least in Woodbury, you kill or you die. Or you die and you kill. Excellent chiasmus, sir.

'The Walking Dead': Rolling Stone's Complete Coverage

Back at the prison, Carl packs up his possessions, pausing to stare at the family portrait he rescued from the zombie bar. The gang prepares to move out. They load up the Hyundai and you can basically hear "Anatevka" playing in the background. Pregnant ghost Lori strokes her belly. Daryl grabs his arrows and his travelin' serape. Rick apologizes to Michonne for almost turning her over to the Governor. Michonne thanks Rick for his hospitality. So they're heading out? Abandoning ship? Even with all that ammo they just scored? Where will they go?

The Gov riles up the Woodburians. But Tyrese and his sister won't join the cause – they'll fight biters but they won't fight people. No hard feelings, right, Governor? The Gov brandishes a gun and gruffly thanks Tyrese for swearing to defend Woodbury. 

Behold – here comes the Governor's army, guns blazing. They're wasting a lot of ammo just making their presence known! They hose down the prison yard with bullets, taking out a bunch of zombies. All humans accounted for? Check and check.  There are a lot of Woodburians! Didn't we learn there were only 35 people who could be in an army a few episodes ago? And where are the adolescents who are supposed to be child soldiers? Remember? There were 26 able-bodied men and women and the Governor told Milton to lower the age to 13 so now there's an army of 35? So minus Tyrese and Sasha that makes 33 people? Minus Milton, that would make 32 people in the Woodburian army? Okay, then. I'm still counting to 27.

Martinez leads his henchmen into the prison. The Governor strides in after them and surveys the cells – empty.  The Gov doubles back and peers into a cell – there's a Bible open to a highlighted verse: "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." John 5:29 (I had to look that up, I'm not some Bible whiz). The Governor is not one for scripture so he tosses away the Bible and leads his army deeper into the prison. 

Milton gasps for life and tells Andrea that he left some pliers on the floor behind her when he dropped the tool. Andrea tells him they're going to get out of this. But Milton instructs her to find something sharp and stab him in the head. 

Tyrese and Sasha hang out with the weak and infirm and the children and everyone left in Woodbury who gets to eat egg matzoh during Passover, if you catch my drift. Andrea laments that she had a chance to kill the Governor but didn't take it because she didn't want anyone to die. Milton hasn't died yet. Andrea kicks off her boots and stretches her foot backwards to try again for the pliers. She uses her monkey toes to fumble for the pliers. Any second now, Milton is going to turn into a zombie. Milton's fingers begin to wiggle. Oh fuck.

The Woodburian army stumbles into a series of tear gas booby traps, they turn tail to flee the prison, directly into the Still Alives' line of fire. Hooray for the Prison Gang, armed to the teeth and dressed in tactical armor! The Governor and his people depart, but a young Woodbury boy runs through the woods. He's left behind! Oh no! Hershel orders him to drop his weapon, and this random boy and his pretty blue eyes start to offer the gun to Carl. Carl shoots him. From like a foot away. Ugh. Carl? Get back in the house, Carl. (Goodbye, blue-eyed boy! That's one down for sure, and maybe a few other Woodburians were gunned down at the prison. Let's say 5 or 6 people are dead so far?)

The Prison Gang rejoices. They did it! They drove out the Woodburians! Carl brags that he took out one of the Governor's soldiers He's pretty cocky for someone who just shot a guy in the face. Hershel warns Rick that Carl just gunned that kid down. Carl insists the kid drew first. Nuh-uh, Carl. 

The Woodburians are angry and scared. These people never wanted to be an army to kill other people! They are distraught after the prison ambush and they're not okay doing the Governor's dirty person-killing work. The Gov seethes. How dare his people rebel! The Governor snaps and mows down an awful lot of his own people. Allen takes aim but before he can shoot, the Gov puts a bullet in his head. One-Eyed Willy continues mowing down the Woodburian army. He shoots three of his former people in the head but he runs out of ammo as he reaches a female survivor. It looks like there are two Woodburians left: Martinez and Shupert (that's the guy who found the smoldering bodies of the zombies after Milton set them all on fire). And now there's that one lady survivor. So, that's, uh, let's say that's 25 people dead? Two more to go?

Rick confronts Carl about the kid he shot. Carl claims that he couldn't take the chance that the kid wasn't going to hand over the gun so he killed him. Carl did what he had to do, that cold-blooded little psychopath. He tells his dad to go kill the Governor before any more of them die. Way harsh, Carl. Maggie and Glenn announce that they're going to stay behind to defend the prison. So Daryl, Michonne and Rick head off to go kill Mr. Patchy. They stop at the Governor's spontaneous roadblock – mmmmm, the undead Woodburians are eating the remains of their neighbors. The Prison Gang rescues the survivor lady – let's call her Karen. Hi, Karen! 

In Ye Olde Torture Chamber of Horrors, Andrea hurries to free herself as Milton starts to make moaning noises. She gets one handcuff off as Milton lurches towards her, snarling and hissing. Only one of them is going to make it out of that room. Let's hope it's the one who's still alive.

Rick and the gang (now including Karen) approach the Woodbury walls. Tyrese and Sasha open fire but they relent when Karen announces that the Gov killed everyone and the Prison Gang saved her. Tyrese lets them into Woodbury. Rick suspects that Andrea might be in some serious trubz so they search the dungeon where the Gov kept Maggie and Glenn. The room seems to be snarling. Andrea is crumpled in a heap by the door. She's been bitten, bad. Andrea wants to know about the rest of them – "No," Rick stops her, "You mean the rest of us." (One of us! One of us!) Andrea knows she's a goner and she murmurs her refrain that she just didn't want anyone to die. 

She wants to kill herself while she still has the capacity – and this time she knows how the safety works. Awww, Season One callback! The men leave Michonne with Andrea and they wait outside until they hear the gunshot. Au revoir, Andrea. I'm sorry I used to call you smugface. I really wish you'd murdered the Governor (twice!) when you could have taken that fucker out. I hope you and Shane are having hot, hot car sex in the afterlife somewhere. Goodbye to Andrea and Milton. I guess that brings us up to 27 right quick. 

As dawn breaks over the prison. Daryl leads a procession – hail, hail, the conquering heroes, who seem to be returning with a schoolbus. Huh? Carl demands to know what's going on. Rick tells him these people are going to join their group. Welcome back, Tyrese and Sasha! And all the old people and little children! Um. Why didn't you stay in Woodbury? Wouldn't it be nicer to live in a nice town with beds and furniture and such lovely landscaping? And guns and ammo and supplies and food and whatnot? And where the frak is the Governor and why did Martinez and the other guy just go along with him? And what happens when all of those old people get sick and die and turn into zombies and eat all the children? (I'm speculating here). And how are we going to save Carl from becoming an unfeeling psychopath? Get back in the house, Carl.