Mar 24, 2014
Walking Dead Recap: Farewell You Princes Of Georgia, You Kings Of The Undead
Jesus Christ, what the hell did we just watch? The mid-season finale of “The Walking Dead” brought everything you love and hate and love to hate about this show in the span of one episode. There was padding, stalling, action, drama, thrills, chills, stupidity, foolishness and sometimes a complete lack of sense. It certainly tied up a lot of loose ends, but it also created one or two new ones and pushed this series into a new chapter quite violently.
So, it was basically enjoyable, but there was a lot that had us scratching our heads. It was a little bit “The Road Warrior” and a little bit “Tombstone” and a lot of the original “Dawn of the Dead.” Oh and a lot of people are dead, so spoiler alert for all you that care about being spoiled. This is “The Walking Dead” mid-season finale, Too Far Gone.
The episode opens with another intercut flashback with the Governor, this time going between him rallying his troops and revealing that he has captured Hershel and Michonne from the prison. His plan revolves around peacefully having Rick and the group leave through use of fear and he needs his people to help him because they’re not going to survive their current situation.
This is where the first head scratcher happens. Sure, it makes sense for the Governor to want to attack Rick and the prison in the eyes of the story. They wronged him, he wants revenge or he’s jealous and he’s willing to use anyone to get what he wants.
What doesn’t make sense is why these people blindly want to follow him into a war for the prison. We say war because you don’t drive a tank to peace talks. This isn’t Israel. Not only that, but they don’t know this guy that well yet. He’s only been there leader for a short amount of time and on top of that, he’s just went off on his own and took prisoners without anyone even knowing there was another group he hated out there.
Yet here we are, and everyone saddles up and rides with him to the prison. Lilly is the only real skeptic of the bunch and decides to stay behind with Meghan to keep her safe, doing a poor job of it because the girl becomes mud zombie food shortly after.
Clearly, the show didn’t feel the need to use her past being a prop for The Governor, a character who is officially all over the place. It’s a passing reference something that was a big deal for two episodes and is now an afterthought.
So while the Governor is amassing his forces, Rick and Darryl are having their heart-to-heart about Carol. In fact, there hasn’t been much of anything happening at the prison since the last time we were there. Bob is still a reluctant hero, Maggie and Glenn are still in love and the rest are slowly putting together the pieces following the outbreak of the virus.
Rick and Darryl conversating about Carol is the only real loose end the prison folk have to deal with, other than finally ditching the prison of course. The show handles this as another passing reference. There is some teeth gritting and dramatic talk, but nothing happens. They both decide to go tell Tyreese and find another passing reference to our rat psychopath, this time in the form of a rat corpse that has been operated on and mutilated.
Tyreese thinks this psycho is the one who killed his sweet Karen, Rick and Darryl know otherwise and we will have to wait until February to find out about any of it because they are interrupted by the Governor’s fully operational tank.
This leads us to head scratcher number two, directed to the show runners. Why even mention this stuff? In light of what happens by the end of the episode, Carol and the rat psycho are nothing of consequence. It’s sort of like mentioning that you left the coffee pot on while you’re looking at a mushroom cloud.
Carol is going to show back up and you can deal with that when it happens. It probably would’ve been a lot more compelling to have Rick keep Darryl in the dark about Carol and have him learn it from his lady himself. The group splits up anyway, so it is something to explore when you don’t have a big tank rolling down the front door.
The rat psycho meant a lot more when the prison was still a possibility, when the season was still fresh and when the audience still cared. Looking back, we didn’t need for Rick to go out into the woods with that nutty lady and her zombie husband.
We also didn’t need an entire two episodes for The Governor so we could get into his head for a bit, only to go right back to how we knew him before. Those episodes will be looked upon the same way we look at Hershel’s farm: low points punctuated by some incredible highs.
This plot point could have been covered during any of these episodes. Or maybe held as a tense thing throughout the infection period. Or just left unanswered. Detective Rick could’ve been hot on the trail of this rat menace and right before he discovers the source: WHAM, Governor 2.0. It’s quite frustrating.
Anyway, The Governor has attacked the prison with the tank and everyone runs out to see what the commotion is about. At the gate is the Governor and his dogs of war, ready for action and giving Rick an ultimatum: just walk away. Give him a hockey mask and some weird sexual minions and he’s Lord Humungous, right there in zombie land.
This is clearly the real meat of the episode and the entire point people are watching. Rick heads down the hill to talk it out and it’s sort of like “High Noon” with Sheriff Rick putting on his best Gary Cooper to try and talk sense into the barbarians at the gates.
Why are The Governor’s cronies going through with this assault? They have to realize they are on the bad side of things once their leader drags his prisoners out of a nearby vehicle and proceeds to behead one of them without provocation.
Rick had just offered them all a chance to live together under one roof and brought up a lot of valid points about the new world they were living in now. It’s a nice speech and a nice call-back to the entire point of this season, letting go of the past. What we learn is that Rick can let go and The Governor can’t.
And Hershel pays the price. Not only does he get stabbed in the throat, sealing his fate, but The Governor also beheads him completely as he tries to crawl away.
This causes all peace talk to end, and bullets begin flying from each side. No one can hit the broad side of a barn either. It’s worse than an episode of “G.I. Joe” where they missed because you couldn’t shoot people on a kids show. A show about zombies where a man was just decapitated on screen has no excuse.
Around this time two things happen that just seem to come out of nowhere. First is Michonne miraculously rolling out of the way and escaping undetected in the middle of a firefight. She was right next to Hershel the entire time, everyone could see her, there is no way she should’ve been able to escape so easily.
Right behind this is Lilly showing up like Superman from the “Crisis” books, carrying dead Meghan in her arms with a visible piece of shock in her eyes. How did she make it there without getting hurt herself? Isn’t there an entire forest full of zombies between her and the prison? It makes no sense!
This really breaks up The Governor though. He shoots the dead Meghan to ensure she won’t be back and then commands his forces to ram the prison and basically destroy it so that no one can have it. And what do you know, they do just that! For no reason other than the psycho with the sword told them to do so! Clearly this clan left their brains back with Lilly and she probably left them with the mud zombie. Fucking idiots.
Plenty of thrilling action at this point with battle lines being drawn and a conclusion in sight. The Governor has his big confrontation with Rick, fighting in the yard and rolling in the dirt like a couple of school girls. The rest of the group continues their assault, with the tank providing cover until they reach the inner gate and it has to stop for some reason. God knows we would leave the cover of the tank if people were shooting at us.
The prison group begins to splinter a bit with Tyreese, Darryl and some others fighting the Governor’s forces while Glenn and Maggie group up everyone to jump aboard their escape bus and hightail it out of the prison. Here we also see Lizzie and Mika, who are now two little mini-Carols and our lead nominees for rat psychopaths that no longer matter to the series. They have taken the idea that they need to be strong and ran with it, becoming crack shots and little murderers in the span of a few weeks.
We’re supposed to believe that two girls that could hardly bare to see their father die and wouldn’t stab his corpse to ensure his peaceful slumber are now better shots than everyone else on the show? Fuck that.
At this point Darryl suddenly has grenades which he uses to destroy the tank and the entire prison group scatters a bit aside from Michonne and Rick who are dealing with The Governor. You know that guy we just spent two episodes getting to know? The one who was changing and then had conflicted feelings about changing and then had purpose because of this new family. Oh you know, the one who just risked everyone’s lives by returning to his psychopathic ways and driving a tank through the only safe haven for miles. That Governor.
Yeah, they killed him. Dead as Dillinger. He is ran through by Michonne as he attempts to choke the life out of Rick and is later shot by a sober Lilly. Apparently their romance is over, which is a real shame. I thought they had it made.
Rick returns to find Carl by the prison blasting zombies and they both discovering the most horrifying death of the episode: baby Judith.
Well I should call it a “death” because we don’t actually know she is dead and maybe they don’t want to kill a baby like that. The show is so far off from the comic now that even if she does die in the book, we can’t say for certain that she’d be a goner in the series. Also the confusion of the ending lends itself to the idea that Judith has survived and is with some of the other prison survivors.
Carl and Rick take off into the woods and Rick tells him “don’t look back.” And that should be the advice all viewers of the show take. Don’t look back. Just keep going forward with this show.
We’re out of the prison, we’ve got a bunch of small splinter groups with their own stories to tell and all of the baggage from the earlier seasons is gone. They killed Hershel, effectively killing season two in ceremonial fashion and they’ve dispatched the Governor. The prison is burning and now we have new and unknown things to look forward to in February.
Will baby Judith get into any hilarious zombie hijinks at the prison once she finds out everyone has left her behind? Will Rick and Carl burn those excess holiday pounds as they crywalk their way through the forest? Will the rat psycho ever be caught and put on trial? If so, where will they hold them!? And finally, will someone please make a full season of this show that isn’t uneven at some point? Find out in February when “The Walking Dead” returns to AMC, Sundays at 9pm.