Review: The Walking Dead - 'Too Far Gone' (mid-season finale)

By: Heather Seebach

**The following contains spoilers**

Well, the much-anticipated mid-season finale has come and gone, and it certainly lived up to its hype. It was a bit predictable, especially if you've read the comics, but satisfying nonetheless. Honestly, I expected an even greater body count but what went down was still pretty intense. We viewers finally got the epic prison battle that season's 3's finale should have been. That moment from the comics was my #3 most anticipated comic book 'shocker' that I wanted to see brought to life. While a few things were different, naturally, it was still pretty sweet.

Right off the bat, the Governor captured Hershel and Michonne which I did not expect. I enjoyed the Governor's final somewhat-redeeming moment in the RV with his prisoners. "Penny was dead - I know that now." He seemingly forgave Michonne (he didn't kill her immediately as he would have before) and offered peace if their friends simply walked away which, all things considered, shows he had changed. As did this:

Hershel: "Governor..."
Brian: "Don't call me that!"

He was really holding onto this new life as a father and husband again, wanting only to protect his family at all costs. He even said the L word. And you could practically seeing his heart melt when he held Meghan for the last time. For all the terrible things Philip has done and does in this very episode, I commend the writers for giving him a human side.

Before I get to ruining that image of the Governor, I'll quickly discuss what goes down in the prison prior to his arrival. Glenn is on the mend, Rick finally breaks the Carol news to Daryl, and Tyreese uncovers a dissected rat indicating a psychopath is among them. I suspect the Carol business is practically forgotten already, though there is a possibility Daryl has become separated from the group and will meet up with her.

As for the rat, well, presumably that fact will play out though it seems pointless now that they're forced to leave the prison. In the comics, there was a serial killer in the prison, so the opportunity for that storyline is over. There was also a psychopath child elsewhere in the comics, so the show may still follow the crazy Lizzie storyline as I have suspected but it's taking forever!

All this business is quickly brushed aside when the Governor's tank pulls up. Frankly, if I were Rick, I would've given the place up and moved on. Perhaps he is a little too stubborn for his own good. At this point, I already knew one of the hostages had to die, and Hershel seemed like the obvious choice, sadly. Prior to this episode, I was convinced Hershel was safe for a while after 'Internment.' My bets were on Maggie. Oh well. The method of Hershel's death is pulled right from the comics, though it was not Hershel originally....

When the sword merely severed Hershel's throat, I thought, "Ahh, I knew they wouldn't have the balls to lop his head off!" Well, in reality, I knew it would cheapen the man's death to simply have his head fly off like he's a walker or something. Then shortly after, the Governor chopped it off anyway, so it was a nice balance of decency and brutality/loyalty to the source material. I thought Gov was actually going to hoist up the head as a threat but hey, this isn't Game of Thrones. Still, that smile on his face was pretty heart-breaking, eh? It was as if to say, "My job here is done."

The beheading was not the only moment pulled right from the page. I confess, I got a nerd boner just seeing the Governor standing on that tank at the prison gates. And when he yelled, "Kill 'em all!" I just about squealed with excitement.

The battle itself was pretty awesome: Rick and the Governor fist fighting; Daryl fucking shit up with grenades and taking out nega-Daryl (Mitch); and Lizzie and her sister shooting bitches in the face! How ironic is it that Carol's teachings to those girls are what effectively saved Tyreese? As for the Governor, the honor of killing him was split between Michonne (who should have killed him in the comics) and Lilly (who did kill him in the comics). I think Lilly's turning against Brian was a little too rushed, though it's a hell of a lot more character development than she had in the comics.

Meghan was also taken out this episode, which I did not expect. We got that very cool dirt zombie scene, but alas, her death did not amount to much. Brian blew her head off without any hesitation, showing he is definitely not the delusional man he was back in Woodbury. Still, did it really matter? I think he would have ordered the charge on the prison and killed everyone either way. As a Governor sympathizer, I wish he could've died knowing he protected them.

Speaking of dead children - what of Judith? We can't yet be sure that she is dead, but I am confident that she is. There is certainly a comic book precedent for this, but we know she was not on the bus and I believe we saw all the other survivors - no baby. It's possible those other two girls grabbed her but from a narrative standpoint, it just seems excessive. Plus, that was a lot of blood on that carrier. If the show did have the balls to kill off Judith, this is as graphic as it would ever get. There is no way we'd see a baby corpse or, as I kinda hoped, a baby walker. Or would it be called a "crawler"? Yeah, I know, that totally would've ruined the emotional moment between Rick and Carl. So yeah, she's dead, I'm pretty sure of it.

Kudos to TWD for going down that disturbing path. Between Judith and Hershel being slain in front of his own daughters, this is likely to be the series' darkest hour. The saddest fact of all this that tonight we lost two of The Walking Dead's greatest actors and I am going to miss them both terribly. Farewell, Scott and David.

Fun fact: Clara, the creepy Irish chick from the premiere episode, made a return appearance as a walker. She and her body-less husband are as one now.

This was a solid mid-season finale and absolutely the episode that season 3's finale should have been! Some of it was silly - like how comfortable some of the Governor's people were with assault rifles and killing strangers - but it was an exciting episode anyway. I'm sad to say goodbye to those who left, but I'm pleased to see the show not pulling its punches, too. The second half of this season looks like it will closely resemble the events of the comics post-prison, particularly Rick and Carl's storyline. This was one of my favorite aspects of the comics. Even the shot of them leaving the prison this episode was right from the books:

 I am so ready for Carl to become a bona fide bad-ass, plus the introduction of comic favorite, Abraham. Bring it, February!

As always, here are some funny reactions from Reddit (and a few from elsewhere on the Internets):

For my fellow GAME OF THRONES fans...

Bonus: On The Talking Dead, we got a glimpse of the cast's stunt doubles:

And all I could think was, "The Governor captures their STUNT DOUBLES!"

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