‘The Walking Dead’ Midseason Finale Review: “Too Far Gone”
‘The Walking Dead’ season 4 brings to life its eighth, and final episode of 2013 with midseason finale “Too Far Gone,” as the Governor makes his final assault on Rick's group at the prison, bringing the conflict to its bloody conclusion.
Last week’s ‘The Walking Dead’ episode, “Dead Weight,” saw the Governor accepting his new role within Martinez’s group before ascending the ranks and setting his sights on a familiar prison, so what does the latest episode of season 4 bring?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘The Walking Dead’ season 4, episode 8, midseason finale “Too Far Gone!”
The Governor assembles his group of survivors to tell them of the prison, and how they might take it without firing a single shot, revealing that he’d already captured Michonne and Hershel for leverage. That said, he urges the men and women to be prepared to kill if necessary, demonizing Rick and his group of killers. The group agrees, though Lily questions if “Brian” isn’t quite who she’d led him to believe.
The Governor offers food to Michonne and Hershel, assuring them he has no intent to hurt anyone, nor does he harbor ill will for Michonne killing his daughter. Hershel suggests that they might find a way to peacefully coexist, but the Governor insists that it would never work. Hershel questions how a man who once had children could threaten his daughters, but the Governor only cares for protecting his own family.
Back at the prison, Rick finally explains to Daryl why Carol had to leave the prison, though Daryl predictably balks at his reasoning. The pair go to tell Tyreese of what happened, though Tyreese quickly interrupts them to point out that someone has been dissecting rats, likely the same psycho who killed Karen and David. Before either can explain, the sound of a tank shell draws the whole group outside, where the Governor and his group demand to speak to Rick, producing Michonne and Hershel as incentive.
Rick goes to talk to the Governor, while Daryl arms up the group and refreshes them of their bus escape plan toward the back of the prison. Rick insists to the Governor that things don’t have to go badly, though he has no interest in discussing the matter, given his tank. Meanwhile back at the Governor’s camp, Lily worries about a walker across the river that slowly wades through, unaware that Megan has uncovered a sign that warns of flash floods. A buried walker unearths itself, managing to snag a bite before Lilly can rescue her daughter.
The children bring Judy toward the bus, while Lizzie urges them to stay and fight, as Carol said. Outside, Rick begins to appeal to the Governor’s group that they can all live together, coming back from all the horrible things they’d done to survive up to this point, a sentiment Hershel acknowledges. Refusing to believe him however, the Governor swings Michonne’s sword at Hershel's neck, partially severing his head.
The shootout begins, with Michonne crawling to freedom, while Tara refuses to fight, and Alisha urges her to find a safe spot. The Governor finds a still-living Hershel and severs the rest of his head, before Lily appears clutching Megan. The Governor coldly takes young Megan from her arms, shooting the girl's brain, before urging his army to roll over the fences with their vehicles. Amid all the shooting, Maggie urges Beth to get Judith and the kids for safety, while she retrieves Glenn.
The tanks and vehicles roll over the fences, attracting a number of walkers to infiltrate the prison with them. Daryl manages to take out the tank by throwing a grenade down its barrel, killing Mitch thereafter, while Maggie retrieves Glenn, but finds that Beth is missing. Bob sustains a wound through the shoulder, while the loaded bus of additional survivors mysteriously drives off without them. Meanwhile, Lizzie and the kids manage to take out a few invaders, while Rick brawls with the Governor, until Michonne finally shoves a sword through the Governor's gut, saving Rick, and leaving the villain to die.
Rick stumbles through the prison and finally finds Carl alive and well, though the only sign of Judith seems to be the blood in her abandoned carseat, implying her death. Rick and Carl heavy-heartedly leave the prison behind, refusing to look back, while Daryl finds Beth and does the same in another direction. Finally, the Governor lies wounded on the killing field, before Lily walks up and delivers the final shot, while walkers overtake the prison.
It's been something of a rocky ride for ‘The Walking Dead’ season 4, which as many have pointed out, lacks a number of lows that season 3 had fallen to, but simultaneously fails to reach many of the major emotional highs of the same run. We’ve taken a break from all the sickness shenanigans in recent weeks to get to know the Governor once more, only to find his wrath once more pointed back at the prison, which has with it the unfortunate side effect of seeming a bit repetitive with season 3 finale “Welcome to the Tombs.”
Naturally, “Too Far Gone” quite delivers on the action and mayhem that the previous finally lacked, which doesn’t quite make up for delaying the conflict an additional season, but certainly satisfies it its own right. Both Hershel, the Governor (and likely Judith, but more on that later) land among the fallen, while the prison too crumbles in their wake. We were admittedly surprised to find so much of the prison’s population actually surviving the conflict, though not without a few exciting close calls along the way (we’ll get you yet, Daryl)!
And while ‘The Walking Dead’ season 4’s structure may have been a bit wobbly in its first half, “Too Far Gone” nicely returns to a major overarching question that had pervaded the season thus far, that of Rick and other survivors’ ability to return from the dark places the new world order has taken them too. To Hershel’s delight, Rick surprisingly offers to put aside any past rivalries with the Governor, appealing to his army that they can all live in peace in spite of what they’ve done to one another, though as expected, the Governor’s villainy accepts no logic or compromise.
The breathtaking pace and thrilling heroics of “Too Far Gone” mean we won’t have altogether much to discuss in terms of emotional threads until the show returns in February, given how scattered the survivors have become by the ultimate climax. Still, we have more than a few minor mysteries to consider for the return, specifically what happened to the bus that sped off before Maggie could return, who found a new hobby dissecting rats (cough, Lizzie), and who exactly ended up with whom in the escape. We’re not entirely sure what to make of baby Judith’s “death” either, considering nothing remained within the carriage but (someone’s) blood, and all the others unaccounted for in the escape.
We’ll miss Hershel’s kindly voice, and whatever sanctity the prison provided, but remain thankful that ‘The Walking Dead’ finally gave us the prison conflict we deserved, in a spectacular, and bombastic assault that the series will have a difficult time topping in future seasons. Now, bring on the Abraham!
Well, what say you? Did you get your fill of thrilling zombie killing? What did you think about all the big deaths and the prison's fall in tonight’s latest episode, “Too Far Gone”? Check out all our other ‘Walking Dead’ season 4 coverage, and join us later for more coverage of tonight's midseason finale, and previews of 'The Walking Dead' season 4's 2014 return on AMC!