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TV Review: The Walking Dead (Season 4, Episode 8, December 1, 2013)

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EPISODE 8: Too Far Gone

THE HOOK: In the wake of war with Woodbury, Rick and his group have turned the prison into a working community, but danger continues to stir on the outside as well as from within.

The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode

THE LOWDOWN: There was no denying that tonight’s mid-season finale was going to be big, and it was. Now before we dig in I’d like to point out that tonight’s series of events echoed the comics in a way that should please the masses (I was happy with it). My only wonder is, was this the way season four was always intended to run, or did they draw from the comics in an attempt to mend the anger fueled by the Governor’s overall presence and final battle in last season’s finale? Either way, I liked the Governor’s solo episodes and feel he went out in style tonight, but I’ll get to that. The total devastation of the prison was a bold move, as was spreading out all the survivors much like they did at the end of season two. Let’s just hope there was a backup plan, and we don’t spend the rest of this season (and possibly next) finding/searching for everyone like they did with Sophia.

I have to hand it to the Governor, dude can give a speech, but seriously brah, no shots fired? No deaths? Please! He knows damn well Rick’s not just going to roll over and let them take the prison. That said, I loved his talk with Hershel and Michonne, he was calm, collected and specifically told her there were no grudges between them. It was never going to fly, but it was nice to see him put it on the table. It was also nice to see him laugh with Meghan before he left. It was a happy moment, something his character thought he’d never get again, something he needed to justify his actions. Sure, the Governor’s speech was half bullshit, but a part of him believed and/or wanted to be a good man, wanted to do right by these people. It was all a pipedream, but for a moment I was rooting for him. And then he cut off Hershel’s head. I had a feeling Hershel wouldn’t survive the season (he dies early on in the comics), and last week when I saw he and Michonne were being taken prisoner, well, I had a bad feeling. Scott Wilson is a phenomenal actor and blew the role of Hershel Greene out of the park as far as I’m concerned. His presence will be missed.

As far as the deaths go tonight, the one I was particularly disturbed by (aside from Hershel), was Meghan. I mean, what the f*ck was Lilly thinking, leaving her unattended like they were on a damn picnic!? First, don’t sit there watching to see how far the damn walker can get across the water, get Meghan and get ready for it, but moreover, she shouldn’t have been so far away playing like it’s a day at the beach. That scene infuriated me. And then bringing her to the battlefield and presenting her like that, I don’t know, it felt off to me, and I sure as hell didn’t expect to see Lilly pulling the damn trigger and delivering the killing stroke. I enjoyed the tussle between Rick and the Gov, but damn Rick, you got your ass beat to shit. Seeing Michonne’s sword explode through the Governor’s chest was a welcome sight. She needed that kill, and I’m glad it was hers—even though I thought she should have taken his head. I was also not too happy about the bloody car seat, but I’m assuming the blood’s not the baby’s and the kids got to safety. Seeing Rick and Carl’s reaction was still gut-wrenching.

THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 4's eighth episode (mid-season finale) was like a dark and sinister cloud that’s been growing for three weeks now. The Governor’s return, no matter how much he wanted to change, was never going to bode well. For anyone. The Carol talk between Rick and Daryl went much better than I expected (the dissected rat scene that followed was messed up), and now that the group is scattered and running in all directions, I have a funny feeling we’ll be seeing Carol pop up again soon enough. It would also be nice to see who in hell wiped out that camp of people and took those supplies, but again, we’re likely to see that plot point pop up again real soon too (we need a new villain/threat now that the Governor’s toast). Of all the mini groups, I’d hate to land in sketchy Bob’s. Dude’s clearly messed up and we don’t know just how messed up yet, but hell, we’ve got kids with guns, scattered people from Woodbury and the Governor’s new group, it’s a real shit show, so things are definitely going to be interesting come February. See ya then peeps, and have a safe and happy holiday.

ZOMBIE KILL OF THE WEEK: There were a lot of kills, but I was particularly fond of Daryl’s walker/bullet proof vest. Way to improvise, brother.

BLOOD AND GORE: All hell breaks loose tonight. There’s walkers galore, dismemberment, explosions via tank, guns, bites and a beheading. Shit goes down hard.

WTF CHARACTER MOMENT: The Governor. Him actually turning over a new leaf has been the subject of much debate, but between his speeches and the way he cared for Meghan and Lilly, you almost want to believe it was possible. And then Rick makes it possible. Rick offers to take them all in, and let bygones be bygones. No, it wouldn’t have been an easy transition, and maybe it would have ended up getting him killed in the long run, but if he truly cared for those people and truly wanted things to happen peacefully, he could have got that. Instead, he chose bloodshed, showing us there was never any hope for him.

COOLEST SCENE: I loved Rick’s speech about being able to come back. In that moment before everything changes, Rick makes the right choice. Hershel sees it, the Governor resents him for it, but it’s perfect moment for Rick. Too bad it was short lived.

FINAL VERDICT:

TELL US WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THIS EPISODE BELOW!

Extra Tidbit: Did this showdown make up for last season’s finale, or are you all still on the fence?

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