Having been away a few weeks, I thought it was time to delve into the midseason finale of The Walking Dead. In my opinion, “Too Far Gone” proves that the show isn’t. As with most seasons, I always get worried in the beginning that it’s lost its glamour or that it’s gone down the wrong track. I enjoyed the new threat of the virus this season, but it felt like it wouldn’t have been quite as satisfying as a more direct threat, e.g. the walkers or the Governor. Enter stage right, the Governor. Although I didn’t expect to spend two full episodes catching up with one character whose trail had long since gone cold according to Daryl, it was nice to see his threat reemerge to the prison camp and to get right back into it as soon as their stories merged.
The Governor is the apocalypse’s Adolf Hitler. He’s a great orator with some pretty shady ideas. After meeting his new family and Martinez’s camp, he immediately kills off his competition even though he says he doesn’t want to lead or be called the Governor anymore. He then takes complete control again by kidnapping Hershel and Michonne. He tells the camp straight out what he’s done but says it’s for a good reason. They need to take the prison from a bunch of thieves and murderers (and a few good people, maybe, I guess). They’re immediately all on board, the only questioning coming from his “love” Lilly. “Brian,” as the Governor has been calling himself, basically shrugs her off and says I’m doing it anyway, get used to it.
Tank and all, they drive to the prison to take it back. The Governor attempts to give Rick an ultimatum: leave the prison or die. Rick doesn’t want to make decisions anymore because there’s a council for that. Too bad some of that council is in exile and/or being held hostage. Rick is forced to make a decision, so he moves for a third option: they can all live together. The Governor says that will never work, even when Rick says they can live in separate cell blocks and never see each other. It can work. “Liar,” says the Governor, just before he decapitates Hershel in front of everyone. Maggie and Beth scream out in horror. Rick screams out as well and shoots at the Governor, hitting him in the arm. All hell breaks loose, and Rick gets shot in the leg then takes cover behind an overturned vehicle. The Governor’s army advances as Michonne runs out of the action, hands still tied. Several casualties are taken on each side. Rick tackles the Governor, and they beat the life out of each other. Just as the Governor gets the upper hand and is about to strangle Rick to death, Michonne’s katana cuts through his chest. Rick just barely escapes with his life as the Governor rolls over in pain, dying. Oh, and the king from the chess set gets stepped on by a walker at the same time! No way, what a coincidence! Michonne goes to finish him off but stops herself. She would rather let him suffer. Good thing he deserves it. But then Lilly puts him down the same way he put Megan down after being bitten.
Rick runs to find Carl and they barely get out of the prison alive. “Where’s Judith?” Rick asks. Carl doesn’t know, but they soon find an empty, bloody baby carrier. Andrew Lincoln gives one of his better performances in this episode, and his reaction here is phenomenal, yet extremely depressing. As they leave the prison, Rick says not to look back. Just keep walking. And this chapter of the prison is over.
This is a story of survival, and while the prison ensured that, at least for a little while, it is refreshing to know we’ll see them try to survive again, even if they’re all in different groups. Some are on the bus, but most are on their own or in small groups. I have a feeling there will be plenty of stories told in the next eight episodes.
“Too Far Gone”: A-