Terry Morrow: Season finale of 'Walking Dead,' season 3, to be dynamic

Walking Dead poster

Walking Dead poster

There's something that Santa won't be bringing you this month: new episodes of your favorite series.

Starting this weekend, cable programs such as "The Walking Dead" on AMC and "Boardwalk Empire" on HBO will air finales of sorts. For "Dead, it represents a mid-season breakaway point (though new episodes will return in early 2013). "Boardwalk" is closing up for the season and will return for a whole new run of episodes in 2013.

Coming before month's end will be season finales on "Homeland" and "Dexter," both Showtime staples.

The best bet for this weekend's finales will come from "The Walking Dead" (9 p.m. Sunday), which will bring a clash between the prison survivors and their shady neighbors in the pristine town of Woodbury.

For the first half of the season, the stories have split in two: One follows life in the new prison fortress the human survivors are now living. Andrew Lincoln, who plays team leader Rick Grimes, is delivering his best work to date as Rick loses his grasp with sanity following the death of his wife.

Meanwhile, in a town just down the road, a despot known as The Governor (David Morrisey) is ruling a white picket (but well fortified) community that no one wants to leave. Of course there's more to the charismatic Governor, whose agenda hasn't been revealed.

The mid-season finale promises a clash between the two camps for the first time — with the better armed and more soldiers invading the prison.

Given how well this first half of the season has gone — with lots of firepower and plenty of zombies to go around — this war should be a jaw-dropper.

Seasonal score: 4 stars (out of five)

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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