The Walking Dead Roundtable: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”

Hosted by Jeannie Chan

I stumbled across this graphic once that described the typical progression of an episode of The Walking Dead:

 

TWD1

And we’ve probably used this at various times during our stint of reviewing TWD for Racialicious but it warrants recycling! I was quasi-live recapping the mid-season finale for the recap and next to no action happened in the first 27 minutes and then all of a sudden, bodies drop and everything falls apart. Rob Errera, and Nicole Norkin join me for the mid-season finale. Continue reading below for our reactions.

Nicole: The governor is really luring me in with his charisma. Maybe he really cares about his own people and isn’t just power-hungry. Nah.

Jeannie: I really do want to believe him when he says they can do this without needing to kill anyone. I mean, sure you won’t need to kill. But you want to, don’t you, Governor? Yeah… you do.

Nicole: I didn’t expect his next meeting with Michonne to be so diplomatic. She must have vengeance.

Jeannie: I don’t know, Nicole. This sounds pretty vengeful:

TWD2

Nicole: Omg! No! Megan! That was unbelievable. Worm zombie!

Rob: Was NOT expecting it to actually bite her. Holy crap! This is why you don’t let your kid dig during the zombie apocalypse!

Jeannie: I was actually expecting Lilly to have been able to reach Megan in time to save her. And then I imagined her hardening up and becoming a strong-willed, warrior type character because she can see that she can rely on herself to protect her own now, instead of being dependent on the Governor, but… I guess I’ll save this storyline for the fanfic I’m not writing.

Nicole: Nice pistol, Guv.

TWD3

TWD4

Rob: I guess the purpose of the Guv mounting an assault with this new group instead of combining this arc with the Woodbury arc was to show that Rick “came back” from the things he’d done and the Guv did not.

Jeannie: If that’s the case, then I think it would have been way more interesting if the Governor had shown to be equally conflicted about his decisions as Rick had been. Then, for one to be able to come back and the other not would be a far more interesting dynamic. So, what, you spend 2 episodes trying to convince us that the Governor does value life and/or isn’t a complete psychopath only to tell us that we were wrong to have had faith in him? The Governor was always the villain here. He was never going to be able to come back. He doesn’t want to.

Nicole: I have no words. I did not want Hershel to go that way, absolutely horrible. At least now they have permission to kill the governor, not that they needed any more reason.

Jeannie: Heeerrrrrssshellllll, noooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Rob: *sniff* Oh, Hersh… But at least he saw that he had finally gotten through to Rick. He had a smile on his face. Although I don’t understand why the Governor didn’t kill Michonne instead: she was more of a threat, he hated her, and he could have justified it to his people by pointing out the sword (as opposed to killing an unarmed old man who he admitted was a good person).

Jeannie: I think the simplest answer to this question would be that the writers hate us and want to stomp on our hearts. And also the Governor can’t kill Michonne because Michonne had to kill him. Duh.

Nicole: Yeah, kids!

Rob: Carol’s legacy lives. Though I’m expecting twisted things from those kids.

Jeannie: I wonder who actually pulled the trigger. Why didn’t we get to see the shot from their perspective? Who’s the creepier kid? People have been talking in the comments for other recaps that Lizzy is probably the creepy kid messing with the rats and that Carol is actually covering for her by assuming responsibility for the murders. I don’t know how much I believe the second part of that but I can see Lizzy poking around with rat innards.

 TWD5

Nicole: Yeah, Michonne!

Jeannie: Yeahhhhh!

Nicole: Yeah, Daryl!

Rob: I don’t buy that Daryl could use a walker to block bullets. Their bodies are constantly shown as being gooey and soft, so bullets should go right through.

Jeannie: Hm, good point there, Rob. But I’m willing to overlook this small snag because dude just singlehandedly took down a tank. Did anyone compare this to Legolas shooting down one of those massive elephants (the oliphaunt, if you really care to be accurate) during LotR: RotK? No? Just me?

Nicole: Yeah, Carl!

Jeannie: Carl to the rescue!

Nicole: Oh man, Rick is so defeated. Who just left the baby there? Are you serious? Devastating!

Rob: I was afraid they were going to do this with Judith, though they didn’t do it as graphically as I’d expected. It was actually more haunting to just see the blood on the baby carrier. But also: who left the baby unattended?? Weren’t the kids carrying her out to the bus?

Nicole: I am completely shaken by the loss of Hershel and Judith, but I am relieved that there will be a change of scenery. The prison was getting a bit stale and not just from all that left over flu virus everywhere.

Rob: Well, there’s still the small chance that someone (who had gotten blood on them) got Judith into the bus. Knowing the series, I’m not confident in that, though.

Jeannie: I’m really hoping that that’s the case! But that seems to be an awful lot of blood to smear on the car seat. But also, if Judith did die, how did it happen? Taken by a walker? Wouldn’t that have been… messier? Where’s her body?

Rob: This mid-season finale reminded me a lot of the season 2 finale, when the farm went down and the group got split up.

Jeannie: Yeah, it’s definitely similar. I feel the show continually likes to uproot these people and force them to figure out how to survive new dangers. There is just no notion of stability here and just in case we think there is, let’s burn down the farm, let’s burn down the prison. Where are you going to go now, survivors? How are you going to find each other? How is this going to end???

  • lynn1066

    I find it problematic that they killed off the only old guy on the show. If it were the only black character who was gotten rid of in this way there’d be way more howls of protest.

    Like last year’s mid-season finale, this episode was great, and proves that the writers of TWD know how to bring the suspense and action when they want to. I find the lulls and uneven pacing of the show frustrating at times. Especially when compared to the comics, which are excellent. Still, when they hit the mark this show is awesome, and even though it’s sometimes boring I keep coming back for more.

    I’m glad the prison/Governor era has finally come to an end. They dragged it out way too long in my opinion. This episode could easily have been last season’s finale.

  • bridgetarlene

    as per Judith: how would the walkers get the carseat straps unclicked though? I can barely do those tricky latches and I’m not a reanimated corpse. yes there was tons of blood but the belts were unclicked and open, suggesting a human removed her. so maybe the gore on the seat is from something else that happened in the scuffle?

  • etoiledamore

    I’ve seen a lot of comments surrounding the supposed death of Judith and what’s most interesting is that there seems to be something more psychologically damaging having an infant die on TV than watching an older child die. Personally, watching Rick and Carl react seemed way more intense than watching the characters see Sophia walking out of the barn in season two. I’m hoping that somehow Judith was rescued — any of the characters not shown leaving with the bus or not having Judith could have picked her up out of the carrier (the Carol Squad girls appear to run in a different direction before Tyreese calls after them so maybe they went back for her) — but it makes for good TV to have to watch the characters come back from that.

  • Matt Pizzuti

    I think the real reason the Governor killed Herschel rather than Michonne is that we would have boycotted the rest of the series if Michonne died! In any case, Herschel was a stabilizing character, and I think the premise of TWD is an experiment in how much you can torture viewers by constantly creating false hope of stability and yanking it away.

    Staying true to the characters themselves, though, I think you say the Governor had a death wish, too weak to kill himself so he spends a few episodes trying to engineer this situation where he gets killed. At the point that he’s holding the sword at Herschel’s neck it’s hard for me to believe he’d be unaware that a bunch of guns were aimed at him, that he’s the one the residents of the prison want to kill most, and that forcing the battle would result in his death.

    The Governor is written based on a textbook narcissist; as a narcissist he has an underlying self-hatred he’s always trying to hide or distract himself through admiration from others. His final act of self-loathing and despair is to completely destroy any pretense that he’s anything but a monster — for himself, for the residents of the prison (including former Woodbury residents who used to respect him), and his new followers (including those he’d helped). So he brutally murders someone who’s old, vulnerable and saintly, who had never done him any harm whatsoever — I think that’s why he’d choose Herschel over Michonne. The Governor cares about his image more than anything else and so his self-hatred leads him to destroy it.

    That’s the only explanation I can come up with for all his erratic behavior. In a very backwards way, though, killing Herschel is his penance.