The Walking Dead: Too Far Gone (4×08)

Synopsis: In the mid-season finale, Rick finds himself shouldering the responsibility he’s been avoiding, we say goodbye to an old friend, and the prison has seen better days.

Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s been a week since Too Far Gone and I think that’s enough time for us to recover… maybe. Our dear Governor is giving a rousing speech to his group of survivors. I want you to survive he implores to them, using fear and lies to get them on his side. He blames Rick’s group for Woodbury and reveals that he has Michonne and Hershel, who are the keys to a peaceful surrender of the prison. By telling the group that most of them are thieves and murderers, that they took his eye, his camp, and his daughter, they seem to uneasily agree with his plan – Tara is the first idiot to volunteer.

Afterwards, Lily approaches him, admonishing him for going after another place. He dismisses the notion, telling her he loves her, but she doesn’t even know who he is. In an RV, he’s got Hershel and Michonne surprisingly in one piece. The Governor admits he knows Penny was dead when Michonne stabbed her and he doesn’t want to hurt them, but that they’re going to help him take the prison. Hershel does his best Hersheling, but the Governor dismisses it coolly because those daughters he’s going to hurt in the process of all this? They aren’t his.

This whole exchange was unnervingly pragmatic.
This whole exchange was unnervingly pragmatic.

He sets up Lily on the edge of a river, where the walkers can’t get to her or Meghan, and promises once again to keep them alive. There’s an almost cute moment – if One-Eye Bri wasn’t off to massacre and intimidate, it would have been cute – between the Governor and Meghan when he says his goodbyes. Lily hovers in the background, obviously troubled.

In the prison, Glenn is seen recovering alongside the doting Maggie. Rick finally breaks the news to Daryl about his banishment of Carol and Daryl is seething. He doesn’t believe Rick’s assessment of Carol as an unapologetic survivor, asking what they’ll do about Mica and Lizzie now. Rick promised to look after them and reveals that he hasn’t told Tyreese yet. After a pause, Daryl decides they should go find out what exactly Tyreese will do.

Bob is having a quiet moment to himself when Sasha comes to see him, also recovering from the flu that went around the prison. She tries to thank him, he brushes her off, and she insists. He helps her to get outside and into the fresh air.

Raise your hand if you think this is creepy as hell and needs to be figured out immediately.
Raise your hand if you think this is creepy as hell and needs to be figured out immediately.

Before Rick and Daryl can get to Tyreese and tell him the news, he finds them and brings their attention to a small dissected animal in the catacombs of the prison. He’s adamant that the person who killed Karen and David is doing these weird things to animals, but Rick disagrees. Before they can argue more about it, there’s an explosion that rocks the prison and they all go running to the yard to see.

It’s the Governor, with his right-hand man, Mitch, and the tank at the fence. Everyone else that came with them is in vehicles or armed with guns. The Governor announces that he wants to talk to Rick, who immediately tries to explain to him that the decisions are no longer his to make – there’s a council for that. He counters by asking if Hershel or Michonne are on that council, revealing their capture, and insisting that, today, Rick makes the decisions. Daryl nods to Rick and they’re not given much of a choice. He’s explaining to the people left that they can go through the woods to get them, the bus is stocked, and they’ll wait as long as they can before running.

The lookout tower is on fire behind a pleading Rick as the Governor gives him an ultimatum – be out of the prison by sundown or they die. Rick tries to tell him about the sick children and how they won’t survive outside the walls, but the governor is unconcerned. Back with the group, Daryl is giving out guns and pauses to ask Bob if he’s good, meaning was he sober enough to handle a gun. It’s a nice touch that really shows the depth of how much Daryl can care for people.

There is no possible way that this could end well.
There is no possible way that this could end well.

Lily is on the roof of her camper, tensely watching a walker come from the other side of the river. Meghan is calling out to her for help in digging something up, but she brushes her off in favor of watching the stumbling walker. It eventually gets washed away by the current and Meghan no longer needs her help in digging up a flash flood warning sign. Fully relaxed once more, Lily is unprepared for the walker to emerge from the dirt and bite Meghan. She makes it off the camper too late to save her from a bite.

Two walkers stumble towards the Governor’s group and he shoots them both, telling Rick that more noise will only bring more of them, making it harder for his group to leave. Up with Daryl, Carl wants to shoot the Governor, but Daryl encourages him to trust his dad. Some of the younger kids are carrying Judith to the bus, but Lizzie stops them. She encourages them to be strong like Carol taught them and to go with her to get guns. Rick is trying to reason with the Governor, offering them all a chance to live together. The Governor turns the tables on him and claims he won’t sleep well knowing Rick was there. He tries again – there are different cellblocks, they never have to see each other! Even Hershel chimes in to tell him it could work.

This poor girl didn't stand a chance after living in her bubble for so long.
This poor girl didn’t stand a chance after living in her bubble for so long.

The Governor admits that it could have, but not after Woodbury and Andrea. Rick says it’ll be harder than shooting each other, but there’s no other choice – if they force Rick’s group to leave, they’ll fight back, the fences will come down and without the fences, the prison is useless anyway. Without anything to fight that logic, the Governor gets Michonne’s blade and resorts to threatening to kill Hershel with it. Rick tries to tell the people with the Governor that he took in the Governor’s old group and he’d be willing to take them in too, as long as they put down their weapons and walk through the gates. He makes a big speech about not being too far gone and changing and does his damnedest to convince those people to see his side of things.

For all of his efforts, the Governor calls him a liar and knicks Hershel’s throat, fatally wounding him. This pushes Rick over the edge, he starts shooting in fury and everyone else joins in. Michonne runs away to free herself, the Governor savagely hacks off the rest of Hershel’s head, Tara is freaking out, and Lily drives up to the carnage with a dead Meghan. Tara is arguing with Alisha about how insane the whole situation is while the Governor takes Meghan from Lily and shoots her in the head without so much as flinching. His final orders to his group are, “Kill them all!”

At least Hershel went out proud of you, Rick. You've got that going for you.
At least Hershel went out proud of you, Rick. You’ve got that going for you.

Surging forward, the tank takes down the fences, blowing all kinds of holes through the prison. Maggie tells Beth to head for the bus while she goes to get Glenn, Tyreese tells Bob and Sasha to leave. The Governor and Rick are fighting hand to hand – and Rick is losing. When Maggie gets Glenn to the bus, she finds out Beth has gone after her and has no choice but to leave him on the bus to retrieve her sister. Daryl is drawing fire from the Governor’s people, narrowly missing being bitten by a walker that he proceeds to use as a shield to throw grenades from behind.

There are even more zombies being drawn to the noise. Tara is still scared from her position. Bob is shot, but there’s an exit wound, so he seems somewhat relieved – only to watch the bus leave without him. Tyreese is being pinned down by Alisha and another man, only to be saved by Lizzie and Mica shooting both of the Governor’s people. They run opposite of the bus and he follows them. Michonne makes good on her promise to kill the Governor and stabs him through with her sword, leaving him to flounder and bleed to death.

Be honest, how loudly did you cheer when this happened?
Be honest, how loudly did you cheer when this happened?

Daryl throws a grenade into the tank, destroying it, and kills Mitch when he gets out of it just in time. Beth runs up to him soon after and they have to abandon the prison. After saving Rick, Michonne helps him to get up and find Carl before disappearing. Carl is expertly taking out zombies, but doesn’t know where Judith ended up. They both find the baby carrier she was in, bloodied, and Rick begins to cry. Carl takes his frustrations out on a walker by repeatedly shooting it, but they’re forced to abandon the prison as well.

Suffering from his stab wound, the Governor sees Lily come up to him. She raises her gun and shoots him in the head. In the final shot, Rick and Carl are seen stumbling from the prison, with Rick encouraging Carl not to look back…

I told you it was a doozy of an episode. Can you hold out until February when the show returns? I really appreciated some of the minor touches in this episode – Daryl’s questioning of Bob, creepy (walker!) Clara headed towards the prison with the herd – and I think the theory is that Tyreese has Judith, even though I’d prefer them to follow the comic lines with her story. What did you think? What was your favorite part of the episode? Do you wish it had followed more like the comics or do you think they did a pretty good job of handling the prison siege?

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