The Walking Dead 4×08 Review: Too Far Gone
Last week The Walking Dead left us with a shot of The Governor watching over Michonne and Hershel, and I’m not sure there was ever a question as to whether he’d do a bit more than that. In the end, though, as a comic book reader I was excited that they decided to go with so many comic book parallels in this episode.
However, I can’t help but question why something like this didn’t happen at the end of season three – why it couldn’t have happened the first time the Governor attacked the prison. I understand that this episode had to be some sort of finale; in this case the somewhat new, and for me generally dreaded, half-season finale that seems to be a fad nowadays – but the fact that it took eight episodes of a new season to get to this point is honestly a bit appalling. Especially when one considers the mysteries that were left intact even as we finally witnessed the culmination of the Governor’s Plan B.
‘Too Far Gone’ begins with the Governor stirring up his new people, claiming that they won’t be safe unless they live in the prison – which means they will have to take it from those who are living there now – and explaining his plan to use Michonne and Hershel as bait. After seeing the Governor’s rampage against Martinez and Pete just last week, though, it’s basically impossible to believe that he will keep his word when he claims that he doesn’t plan to kill his hostages.
With the Governor and his new militia en route to attack the prison, the episode [finally] switches focus to the main group. Unfortunately, what could and probably should have been important plot developments are barely touched upon. Rick continues to spread the word about Carol, beginning with Daryl – but his conversation with Daryl seems toned down to the point of being glossed over. They then plan to explain the situation to Tyreese, but are distracted by first finding the gutted rodent, and then by the explosive arrival of the Governor and his army.
Rick explaining that there is a council and that he no longer makes the decisions raises the question, do they really not have any backup plans in case members of the council are missing or under duress? This all goes back to their mention in episode two of having plans set in place; plans that for one reason or another never seem to come to fruition. Regardless, any person who had dealt with the Governor before would hopefully understand that there is no way to win this situation, so it wasn’t surprising when in the end the Governor’s desire – or perhaps outright need – for absolutes won out.
As the confrontation unfolds we are given a glimpse of Lizzie and Mika Samuels, along with a couple of other little girls, as Lizzie attempts to convince them to take matters into their own hands and defend themselves as Carol taught them to do. At first it seemed that this scene was a not-so-quiet suggestion that Carol’s teachings are part of what led to Lizzie being so unbalanced – but when the Samuels sisters reappear some time later they have guns in hand and end up saving Tyreese. And obviously this particular situation wouldn’t have unfolded quite like that, had Carol not taught them that there would be times when they would need to defend themselves.
There is, at the very least, a lot of action in this episode – the entire second half is comprised of one gut-wrenching moment after another. While I have for some time expected Hershel to die this season – and had a pretty good feeling that his death would occur in the first half of it – it was still rough to see another beloved character go. And no sooner was he gone than we were put on the edge of our seats by seeing Rick shot in the leg, Daryl being attacked from behind by a walker, and Maggie first losing track of Beth and then leaving Glenn in the bus in order to go search for her sister. All this time the Governor is creeping ever closer to his goal, and, Michonne having conveniently disappeared from the scene, we finally get to see Rick and the Governor have their own little showdown.
I will say that when it did actually occur, the Governor’s death was, for lack of a better word, fulfilling. When Rick is clearly about to lose his fist fight with the Governor, Michonne arrives and saves the day by putting her katana right through the Governor’s chest; something I’m certain plenty of viewers have been waiting for. But even then, the writers toss a bone to comic book readers by having the final shot to the head come from new character Lilly, who shares a name (if not much of anything else) with the woman who kills comic book Governor.
In the end, this half-season finale seemed to echo the season two finale, in which the main characters are split into several groups and we are left not knowing if they will be able to find each other again. The bus carrying Glenn and the majority of the survivors drove away, leaving behind Maggie, Sasha, and Bob, Beth and Daryl, and Michonne. Those characters then wander off as well, while Rick and Carl are left alone at the prison with the empty and bloodied car seat that one immediately assumes held Judith.
Hopefully the bus leaving the way it did was part of the group’s emergency protocol, and our survivors have a rendezvous point in place; if this is the case, perhaps when The Walking Dead returns in February they will all be together again. One thing seems fairly certain, though – the chances of them going back to the prison are fairly slim. The fences are ruined in several places, the walls are riddled with holes courtesy of Mitch’s tank, and it is generally overrun by walkers (again). Additionally, if the bloody car seat wasn’t just an aptly placed red herring and Judith is in fact dead (which would be fitting considering she died during their flight from the prison in the comic books), I can’t see Rick and/or Carl wanting to return to the prison, either.
That said, with the Governor finally dead and the survivors having fled the prison, hopefully the second half of season two will involve some interesting new locations, less devised plot twists, and answers to the couple of mysteries that have been left up in the air. It’s just too bad that we have to wait until February to find out!
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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2 thoughts on “The Walking Dead 4×08 Review: Too Far Gone”
I told you Hershel seems likely to die, ep 5 was a huge hint that his character seemed to have done what it was meant to do. For me, as a writer, his story arc felt complete. However, i wasn’t expecting him to die so brutally. It was a nice ep, and really glad the Governor thing came to an end. I think Beth and Maggie will keep on surviving, and i hope Sasha survives as well. They are good female characters and yes, allows the show to explore love interests, etc (shudder). The Sameul sisters were awesome..Nice work Carol!
Some things i didn’t get was where were all the zombies that have been trying to break the fences down for so long? or did they take care of all of them in ep 5? and letting your girl play so far away from you, even in the mud, was bad parenting…and not worrying that Hershel and Michonne haven’t come back from burning the zombies for so long…no look outs, Rick?
I think Tara is the one who drove the bus away, wasn’t expecting her girlfriend to die though. If Judith dies, it wouldn’t be a surprise as it happened in the comics, but i don’t think the Sameul sisters would’ve been dumb enough to leave the girl in the carseat. So, have a feeling someone else took her and she’s alive…now we wait for it to return in Feb
Oh yeah, when I was at Walker Stalker Con there were far too many hint-y comments made about Hershel and I pretty much knew he wouldn’t last the season. I wasn’t so much shocked that he was the character we lost in the first half of this season, but that does lead to concern for other characters ::cough cough:: because I’m fairly certain they’ll have to kill off someone else in the next half of season four, as well.
I think it was implied that they took care of the fence zombies a few episodes ago when Carl and Rick had that shootout with them :-/ It was a vague implication but TWD tends to do that ::sigh:: Also, yeah, the timeline of Michonne and Hershel going out to burn zombies and how long they must have been gone once the Gov got a hold of them is left intentionally vague as well…I dunno. It seems like they weren’t gone for long enough, if no one noticed at all, but that’s what the writers get for dragging out the Gov storyline for two whole episodes and then having to throw everything together in this ep.
Haha, I think the death of Tara’s girlfriend was actually a pretty obvious thing. In fact, they talked about it in last week’s Talking Dead (seeing couples in love that aren’t Glenn and Maggie, you pretty much know one of them is going to get it soon, or something along those lines). I agree about Judith though, while it happened in the comics I’d be a bit surprised if the writers of the show went there. I think someone who had blood on them picked her up out of the car seat. I mentioned Lilly to a friend, and Lilly was certainly covered in blood, and she’s got to be a bit nuts having just lost her daughter, etc.
(And speaking of Lilly, while I totally agree with you about the bad parenting, letting her child play so far away and whatnot, I think her character was supposed to be extremely naive about everything that’s going on, maybe partly because of who she is but also because she was holed up and ‘safe’ in that apartment with her family for so long, plenty of food and everything. But I’m guessing that she has now learned her lesson[s].)
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