This alternate Walking Dead season 3 finale was too traumatic to use

If you've not seen the season 3 finale to The Walking Dead... well, what the hell are you doing reading articles about it then? You're just asking to get spoiled. Speaking of, apparently the original ending to the episode was so bleak and disturbing that showrunner Glen Mazarra changed it.

Dallas Roberts, who played the Governor's henchman Milton in the show, told Entertainment Weekly the original fate of Andrea:

“Originally, the beating scene that started the episode wasn’t there. Originally, I showed up and was led into the room where Andrea was…and then [The Governor] shot me in the stomach, completely unexpectedly.… There was a lot more of Milton trying to open the door and him trying to free her from the chains. And then there was a section where he was going to wrap the chain around the neck and try to choke her to death before he turned so she wouldn’t have to deal with Walker Milton, or Biter Milton, as it were.…They both desperately wanted for that to work but at that point he had bled out so much. So he pulls and pulls and pulls but he doesn’t get it done and he falls against the wall and is passed out. And he never comes back from that until he turns into a walker…And then at the end of that, it was just Tyreese and someone else who found her. Rick and Daryl and Michonne weren’t there. So it was essentially the same idea, except you saw me taking chunks out of Laurie Holden in that version.”

Jesus. Milton tries to kill her but then he dies in the last instant? That's awful, don't forget it would have been almost as awful for Tyreese and Sasha to have to see and deal with this little scene. Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays Sasha, describes it thusly:

“Wow, that scene was something else. Sasha and Tyreese are on guard in Woodbury, everybody’s gone to the prison to do the raid where they got defeated, and we’re back behind taking care of the people that were left behind. And we hear screaming, we hear noises, and we go and we seek it out and we find her. She’s in this torture chamber. And so we walk in and we say, ‘Oh my gosh, who did this? How did this happen? Who did this to you?’ And of course, we deduce that it was the Governor. We unchain her, we see that she’s bitten. She wants a gun. She says, ‘Give me a gun. Give me one of your guns.’ Tyreese doesn’t want to do it. He’s like, ‘No, no,’ but she’s like, ‘No, I’ve made up my mind. Give me a gun. I’m going to end this.’ It was very endearing and it was quite heart-wrenching, this scene, because to find her at that point in her life, at the end, especially we were not that familiar with her—Sasha and Tyreese, I mean—so to come to someone and to find them in the most vulnerable moment of their life, it was hard. The scene, it had a serious depth to it.

“And it was respected, the magnitude of the moment. It was extremely heavy. And we knew this was the last moments of her life, and so we were extremely respectful. Once she talked us into giving her the gun, it was her funeral. It was a memorial service to her. We handed her the gun and we let her be. There was also a moment where Sasha’s cradling Andrea in her hands after we unchain her. And it’s a to-do to get all the chains off of her, and we’re literally cradling her and Sasha says, ‘We’re not going to leave you here,’ which is a serious arc for Sasha from the first episode where she’s ready to leave Donna who is a part of their camp. It spoke to her journey and where she ended up. And she says, ‘No, I want you to give me the gun and I want you to leave me.’ And so we do, and Sasha and Tyreese stand outside of the door and hear the gun shot and share a look with each other, and that was the end of the scene. It was extremely powerful."

So not only did Andrea fail to be murdered and then got bit and then was forced to commit suicide, her last moments would have been with two people who were basically strangers to her. Oof.

I can see why Mazarra made the change — to give Andrea and the other characters some closure, which makes it somewhat less depressing — but damn if the original scene wouldn't have been so much more powerful. For Andrea to die alone after all the shit she's been though... man, that would have illustrated the grim reality of TWD's world more than a dozen Governor diatribes or Ghost Loris. And no one could fail to be sympathetic to Andrea after having to die like that. Eesh.

Oh well. I'm sure plenty of beloved TWD characters will die alone and afraid next season.