So this finale went in a totally different direction than I was expecting... I so didn't seen the Governor surviving and Andrea biting the dust. Nor the massacre of the entire Woodbury able bodied adult population! 0.o... It's story twists like that keep me coming back to this show. Twists like this combined with incredible character moments like Andrea's death.
Andrea dying... It was a shock. And the way she went, too. Just wow. I'm glad they gave her death some gravitas. That comment about the safety she made to Rick made my eyes water. To see where her character has come and where she has ended up. She tried so hard to keep her morals like Dale did; I read somewhere that she was carrying his torch of civilization and the softer side of humanity and I can so see that. She tried to bring everyone into peace where everyone could survive. And I just think she was holding onto a world that doesn't exist anymore. We can want that all we want, but that world just isn't there anymore. Andrea trying to hold onto that, I think, is what ultimately got her killed. The scene where the camera pans back with Rick, Tyrese, and Daryl sitting outside the closed door from Andrea was very emotional. You can really see the weight of losing another good life as this happens. I'm reminded of the scene where Boromir dies in Lord of the Rings and Legolas' and Gimli's faces as they realize they've lost another good brother. Just so sad....
Speaking of character depth and a world that doesn't exist anymore... anyone else shocked as hell when Carl just shot that other guy in the head?!?! Maybe not shocked at that he did it, but how cold he was while doing it. Not a flicker, not a hesitation. He has really come a long way from the tearful clinging child of Season 1 who runs crying when his Dad is leaving camp for a mission. He's hardened into an individual who knows it's kill or be killed now. The room for the softer emotions is very slim and he's pretty much adopted that as his motto. When he confronted his Dad about how many people they've left alive that's come back to bite them in the ass... Wow. You can see it in Rick's face too, the utter shock that Carl is bringing this up to him and confronting him with it.
Ultimately, this season has made some incredible turns, twists, and switchbacks that I never saw coming. And some that I did. I knew Merle was going to go out in some show of redemption. I figured that Daryl would ultimately survive (me'thinks TPTB knows they'd be under siege from the Daryl fans if they tried that). I figured Michonne would find her place among our group and she did beautifully. But that is all evened out by the survival of the Governor, the reappearance of Morgan (I thought he was supposed to be in the season finale!?!?! He's credited as being there on IMDB....), and the combining of Woodbury and the prison group. I expected them to leave the prison and not stay and ultimately batten down the hatches, so to speak. It all boils down to an incredible upcoming Season 4 that I will definitely be in my seat for, telling the world to stop from 7-8 on Sunday night, so my zombie-killing is not interrupted for anything.