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*** MASSIVE HORRIBLE SPOILERS BELOW. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED ***
Remember everything I said about hating mid-season finales? Well, I still hate them but last night’s episode delivered and will hold me over until February. The Governor (aka “Brian,” aka “One-eyed Bry,” aka “Don’t call me The Governor”) rallied his troops to take the prison. The Gov has kidnapped Hershel and Michonne! Life at the prison is finally looking up. Has anyone told Daryl about Carol yet??
So much stuff to go over and this is the mid-season finale, so this post is going to be longer than normal.
5 Random Thoughts On episode 8: “Too Far Gone” of The Walking Dead…
1. R.I.P (Rest In Pieces) Hershel
The moment I’ve been expecting for two seasons finally happened. Hershel, kidnapped by the Governor, was executed in front of Rick & Co by the Governor. In season 2 I never thought Hershel was going to make it off the farm. When he did, I was pleasantly surprised. In season 3, Hershel lost his leg; I again thought he was a goner. Hershel is one tough sum-a-bitch, so he slapped on a peg leg and persevered.
This season saw Hershel save the lives of many of his friends as they battled through the Super Flu that spread through the prison. If it wasn’t for his care and his wife’s tea recipe many more of his friends would have died before Daryl & Co could have returned with the medicine.
With Hershel now gone that episode seems like both a tribute to the character of “Hershel” as well to the actor Scott Wilson who has portrayed the old farmer/veterinarian for two seasons.
His death (while still brutal, why did the Gov only cut half his head off, so he had to go back and hack the rest of it off?) was worthy of a character of his importance.
When the Governor had the sword to Hershel’s neck there appeared to be an Obi-Wan Kenobi moment between Hershel and Rick. Hershel was staring at Rick. Proud of him for trying to work something out with the Governor. Comforted that his friend has regained his humanity again. He appeared content to whatever happened.
R.I.P. Hershel Greene. Here’s hoping there’s a nice cup of tea waiting for you.
2. Kids are dumb
Granted it’s hard enough to keep kids from doing something stupid that kills them in the regular world so I can’t imagine what it must be like in the zombie apocalypse. The simple truth is that kids are dumb. It’s not their fault. They’re supposed to be dumb. They’re meant to learn and acquire knowledge over time through trial and error as they grow into a functioning member of society. Of course, if there is no community to grow up in and everyone is constantly trying to kill/eat you then kids never have the opportunity to “learn from their mistakes.”
In this episode we see Meghan gallivanting around digging in the dirt and being all “2nd season Carl”. She discovers something in the mud. Meghan calls out for her mom to help her lift it but of course, her mom is distracted watching a walker getting swept down the river. At first, I thought she was about to open a buried sewer manhole cover, releasing a bunch of walkers. Instead, it turns out to just be a sign stuck in the mud, with a walker buried underneath that wiggles free and takes a chomp out of Meghan. R.I.P Meghan. Here’s hoping you’re playing in the big mud pit in the sky.
The prison kids aren’t exactly making the best decisions either. When the shit hits the fan, a bunch start running carrying Judith in a car seat (safety first) when creepy Lizzie stops them and convinces them to go back and help fight. See, kids are dumb. They sometimes interpret your teachings to mean something that it doesn’t mean. When whoever told Lizzie (Carol?) that they need to keep “fighting” they didn’t mean picking up an assault rifle and start shooting at people. They meant don’t just lay down and die. Again, kids are kinda dumb.
Luckily for Tyresse this time it worked out in his favor as an armed Lizzie and little sister shot two of the Governor’s army saving Tyresse. Lizzie even scored a headshot. Awww Lizzie’s first headshot.
(SIDE NOTE: Something that has always cracked me up about TWD. The people on this show can’t hit squat when firing a machine gun yet they’re Doc Holiday when they have a handgun. The Governor in mid-speech shoots two moving walkers in the head from 50 feet away, while on a tank, with one eye. Lizzie caps someone square in the forehead with one shot. Carl thinks he’s going to shoot the Governor from 200 yards away with his Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle. You give these people automatic weapons and it’s an episode of the A-Team. END OF SIDE NOTE)
Oh, and if you’re keeping score Meghan is at least the 4th or 5th kid this show has killed off in 4 seasons.
3. Everyone make sure you have your buddy!
The Governor is dead. The prison belongs to the dead. Most of his people are dead. Our heroes are fleeing. Everyone is everywhere. It’s fucking chaos. So when the 2nd half starts up again in February who’s with who?:
Rick and Carl: Rick is saved by Michonne as she kills the Governor. Rick stumbles around the outside of the prison looking for Carl. Battered and bloody Rick is distraught almost to the point of giving up. Carl appears and helps his dad out of prison.
Michonne: For some reason after killing the Governor Michonne loses track of everybody and appears to be by herself.
Uncle Tyresse and those damn kids: After saving him from being gunned down Tyresse shouts at Lizzie and her sister to get on the bus. They, of course, run in the opposite direction (See “Kids are dumb” above). I was half expecting Tyreese to mumble “I’m getting too old for this shit” as he ran after those crazy kids. (SIDE NOTE #2: Is Judith dead? Did they just kill a six-month-old? Would they do that? I know in the comic that Judith dies as a fleeing Lori is shot in the back while she is holding Judith. The bullet kills them both and turns the Governors army against him. Here Rick and Carl find Judith’s bloody car seat and assume the worst. But is she dead? Personally, I’m hoping she’s with Uncle Tyresse and the rest of “The Lost Boys.” END OF SIDE NOTE)
Maggie, Sasha, and Bob’Angelo Barksdale: This is easily the most vulnerable grouping as Maggie just saw her father decapitated, Sasha is still recovering from the Super Flu, and Bob’Angelo Barksdale just got shot. When a bullet exiting your shoulder is the best thing, you’ve got going for your group; your group is in some trouble.
Daryl and Beth: Beth is running around looking for Judith and finds herself alone in prison. Daryl saves her and states is a Daryl-way “We gotta go Beth…we gotta go”. Massive swooning occurs.
Glenn on a bus of random people: Maggie was able to get a still recovering Glenn onto the escape bus with a bunch of random people. The bus begins to take fire from the Governor’s army and takes off. I imagine that if there was an escape bus that there was also an escape plan that includes a rendezvous point in case a one-eyed madman drives a tank through your prison. I can’t believe there were enough random people left to fill the bus. I thought between the Super Flu, the Gov’s attack and Carol they’d all be gone.
The TMI Twins (Lilly & her sister): No idea what happened to these two. Lilly finishes off the Governor, and her sister took off after realizing they made a horrible mistake trusting the one-eyed decapitating lunatic. In the comic as the horde of walkers starts to overrun the prison Lilly leads what’s left of the Governor’s army into the prison and they never say what happened to them. Will we ever hear from Lilly and her sister again? Doubtful. Just ask Gimpy from a couple of episodes back.
Carol: Carol is someone I am hoping SOMEONE among all these groups will find. A wounded Rick perhaps? An elated Daryl? An exhausted Tyresse with all these damn kids? I am looking forward to seeing if she has changed (good/evil) or if she is going to hold a grudge. I can’t imagine we’ve seen the last of Carol.
4. Oh yeah, that whole Daryl/Carol thing…
Speaking of Carol, Rick finally told Daryl about banishing her from the prison. If this seems like it’s been forever since it’s because it happened in episode 4 and it’s felt like forever ago but in TWD world the time from episode 3 when Daryl & Co. go get medicine and tonight’s episode 8 only about 2-3 days have passed.
Here is a quick timeline:
End of episode 3 – Carol admits to Rick she killed Karen and that other guy.
End of episode 4 – Daryl and Co. get the meds. Rick and Carol go on a run. Rick banishes Carol
End of episode 5 – Hershel cares for the sick, Daryl & Co. return, Michonne a Hershel dispose of the bodies, the Governor watches from the woods.
Episode 6 – Governor flashback
Episode 7 – Governor flashback, the episode ends with Governor spotting Hershel and Michonne disposing of the walker bodies.
Episode 8 – Rick tells Daryl, all shit breaks loose before they can deal with it.
While it’s been a month of us watching and wondering how Daryl was going to react to Carol’s banishment, it’s only been a couple of days since she left and Daryl only knows about it for minutes before the Governor shows up.
Will this resurface if/when Daryl and Rick regroup? Will this cause Daryl to rethink following Rick’s lead? Will Daryl get a spin off?
5. Walker Moment of the Night (WMotN)
The action was mainly human on human tonight but when the bullets started to fly the walkers came stumbling. Tonight in the middle of the firefight with the Governor’s army you see a walker creeping toward Daryl. He doesn’t see it until the last moment, and the screen cuts to another part of the battle. It leaves you wondering “would they kill off Hershel AND Daryl in the same episode” just long enough then cuts back to Daryl using the walker as a shield.
Daryl is facing off against three people with machine guns with a crossbow and a walker-on-a-stick like some horrific walker corndog from hell
and apparently, walkers are bulletproof at least long enough to do this.
That might be the best WMotN of the season.
Lightning Round Questions/Comments:
It’s going to be a long 2 1/2 months, but I’m sure February 9th will be here before we can say “One-Eyed Bry.”.
Until then don’t forget to check out the Mid-Season Premier Trailer below.
See you in February!
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Mr. Fenske is a professor at VCU Brandcenter in Richmond VA. The site is an extension of his efforts in the classroom, except for the cartoons, which seem to grow out of some disaffection he feels with the world. Thank you for visiting. © Mark Fenske
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