The Walking Dead Season 3 finale — Episode 16, "Welcome to the Tombs" — will air March 31.
What’s going to happen? Two major deaths were rumored to be coming on the final two episodes, with one biggie on the finale itself. That only makes sense, since a finale should be a Big Deal that leaves us panting for the next season. We assume Merle was the big previous ep death, so we should expect at least one other major loss on the finale. However, Andrew Lincoln (Rick) recently dug himself into a mini hole when he said 27 people would die on the finale. (!) We hope, if he was even close with that, he meant Woodbury people we've never even met — but we should just brace ourselves in case several major characters die.
Synopsis: Here's the finale synopsis: "Rick and the others consider the defense of the prison as the Governor's impending attack looms."
Opposite of Season 2 finale: As Laurie Holden (Andrea) said at TWD’s Paley Fest panel, “I would say the Season Three finale is the opposite of last year. In every way.” Huh. On the Season 2 finale, the group abandoned Andrea (assuming she was dead) and left the farm for the unknown. Rick established his Ricktatorship and we saw an image of the prison. If this finale is the opposite, then maybe Andrea is with the group, they don’t seek out a new safe haven and the group … goes back to a democracy? Maybe Rick takes over Woodbury? Maybe they go back to the farm? Not sure about that, but keep Opposite Day in mind.
No cliffhanger: In early February, outgoing showrunner Glen Mazzara told The Wrap, "The season finale will set up Season 4, but there'll be a satisfying end to this season. I don't think it's fair to fans to leave too much of a cliffhanger. … We're going to look for some time of resolution that satisfies viewers at the end of the 16-episode run but also leaves questions so people are excited to come back for Season 4."
But it's still shocking: Dallas Roberts (Milton) teased something close to a cliffhanger with his comment to Entertainment Tonight. They asked, "the season finale is almost upon us. How do you think fans will react to it?" Dallas answered, "The Walking Dead fans will not feel cheated by the finale. It's not a soft close for sure. As [the season] starts to wrap up, it gets stronger, crazier and weirder. Although you'll never see it coming, when it cuts to black at the end of season three, there will be millions of mouths agape." Mouths agape, y'all!
Incredibly shocking thing related to Rick & Team Prison: Andrew Lincoln told E! News of the finale, "That episode doesn't pull any punches. It's pretty much what everyone has grown accustomed to in our season finale. It's carnage, and there is death. Something happens that I find incredibly shocking that relates directly to my character and the prison family. It really came out of left field for me and I never expected it. When I read the script, I was really shocked." (That makes us worried for baby Judith/Little Ass-Kicker!)
Keep an eye on the baby, maybe? EP David Alpert told Business Insider, earlier in March, "Clearly, from a safety perspective, it's a bad idea to have a baby in a prison, but from a humanity point of view, we have to find a way to let her exist. We have to protect her and everybody knows that. What defines our group is that they believe in the future and they have to. I think what we're going to see as we move forward, maybe this season, maybe not, but we're going to see that Judith's role and existence is going to be more and more important to their identity."
It will be "cool": Robert Kirkman talked to Entertainment Weekly about the finale. EW asked, "Will this Woodbury vs. the prison storyline be resolved by the end of the season? Season 1 was the set up and going to the CDC, season 2 was about the farm, and season 3 has been the prison and Woodbury. Should we expect a new setting next season?" Kirkman responded, "That would certainly appear to be settling into a cycle. I don’t want to give anything away because we have some really cool stuff planned for the finale, but I will say that there is a resolution to the storyline at the end of the season, as people would expect. It becomes a whole complete story that you’ve been able to experience over the course of season 3. And It will set things up nicely for season 4. There are new places to go in season 4, but whether or not that means a new setting or new story direction or simply new characters I can’t really nail down any specifics."
Will The Governor die? How will we be satisfied? The New York Times asked Mazzara if viewers should be fearing for the Governor’s longevity."Well, I’m not going to give away any spoilers," Mazzara said, laughing. "But I do think you’ll see a satisfying ending to this chapter of Rick’s story."
Surprise ending will satisfy: A few days before Episode 15 aired, Mazzara teased the finale to The Canadian Press: "Everyone's in play now, everyone's on stage, everybody has a stake in it and I think it'll be a very interesting, surprising ending for the fans. I know it won't be what people will expect but I think hopefully it'll be emotionally satisfying."
Finale will set up world of Season 4: Gale Ann Hurd previewed the finale to Geeks of Doom, "It’s not going to end well for a few people, and it will set up some of the conflicts, but also the world of Season Four."
Rewatch the whole season for clues? Alpert told The Hollywood Reporter, "There's stuff in the finale specifically that's going to call back to the beginning of the season that will pay off for people who have been paying attention and are invested in the show. You don't need to have seen it but your experience of the show is going to be much more rewarded if you watch the first-half closely. That type of storytelling and emotional payoff we're going to give in the finale is exactly the thing that makes The Walking Dead so special and unique."
Will Morgan return?: Rumors are swirling that Morgan will return on the season finale, since actor Lennie James is credited on IMDb for this episode. So ... don't be surprised if you see him, but don't be surprised if he isn't there either. You never know with those credits.
So we should expect a satisfying ending that’s the opposite of how Season 2 ended and may or may not end on a jaw-dropping note. We'll see what that actually means soon!
Sources: Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, The Wrap, The Canadian Press, The Hollywood Reporter, E! News
Catch up on Walking Dead spoilers, news, recaps, polls, etc right here. And when you're ready to start reading some Season 4 spoilers, head here!