‘The Walking Dead’ Season 4 Mid-Season Finale Review

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The Cast of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8 The Walking Dead Season 4 Mid Season Finale Review

[This is a review of The Walking Dead season 4, episode 8. There will be SPOILERS.]


It’s amazing the kind of positive feeling The Walking Dead is able to elicit from watching its characters walk (or run) away from a location they were undoubtedly hoping would turn into something safe, secure, and permanent. But unfortunately for Rick, Carl, and the rest of the ever-dwindling survivors in their company, the needs of the story continue to outweigh what little comfort these perpetually unlucky people are ever able to achieve.

In that sense, the season 4 mid-season finale, ‘Too Far Gone,’ had many of the same elements that gave ‘Beside the Dying Fire‘ its feeling of welcome change in environment and circumstance for the characters. But the episode also served as a nice parallel to that story by the way it portrayed Rick’s handling of adversity, challenge, and someone trying to usurp what was ostensibly his.

So, on some level, the Governor and Shane wound up having a lot more in common (narratively speaking, of course) than anyone likely first thought. And while Philip/Brian and Shane probably had a whole slew of psychological issues that were at least partially to blame for their continual fixation on former Sheriff Grimes, it just makes you wonder: What is it about what Rick has that makes everybody (including the writers) want to take it away from him?

For the last two episodes, the show has been riding along with the Governor and his special brand of crazy just to show the audience how deeply affected he was by the fall of Woodbury, and the lengths to which he would go for a little vengeance. Despite all the problems with the character’s charmless and rather binary approach to good and evil in season 3, there was at least some effort made to show the Governor as some sort of parallel to Rick, and to demonstrate the kind of darkness that can manifest in someone with so much weight on his shoulders.

While that parallel managed to be clear, it wasn’t exactly layered with much meaning regarding either character. But here, credited writer Seth Hoffman manages to use that same parallel to show (and explicitly talk about) how time and a little therapeutic farming have turned Rick into a different man, while Philip retreated back into the comfort of the same.

Norman Reedus in The Walking Dead The Walking Dead Season 4 Mid Season Finale Review

It would be nice to think that Rick’s change, his willingness to welcome into his group those who would approach him with guns drawn and by driving a tank up to his front door, is an extension of how the show’s writers view the next steps the show will take.

In other words: the recognition that change is difficult, uncertain, and likely fraught with even more unexpected ugliness, but it’s also the right thing to do. After all, it’s hard to image anyone doesn’t want The Hershel Greene Knowing Smile of Approval for having finally unlocked the achievement of humanity and forgiveness. And in the case of the writers behind the show, the approval comes from knowing the show’s strengths and its weaknesses, and that leaving the prison behind was a long time coming.

That’s not to say the show hasn’t found some interesting stories to tell in the prison; the beginning of the season certainly felt lively enough, and it even mined the depths of misery when it gave way to a killer flu wreaking all kinds of havoc on the survivors. But as the show proved with ‘Too Far Gone,’ there are two things The Walking Dead does quite well: action through conflict and action through constant motion.

Perhaps its ironic that the show’s best qualities come from maintaining a steady level of liveliness and display of kinetic energy, but there’s no doubt that watching Rick and Carl walk away from the prison yields all sorts of hope about where the story will find them next, and how long it can keep the survivors moving.

The sense that some much-needed progression was on its way was obvious enough from the show’s promise that “some will fall” during the mid-season showdown. But at this point in the series, it may have brought forth more of an expectation of hope for the future than worry over who among the survivors would not be around come February.

If anything, The Walking Dead has demonstrated that big events generally shake up the status quo enough to give the show a bit of a narrative lift. Sure, sometimes that shake-up can result in a sweaty Rick yelling at ghost Lori, but that same event essentially opened the door for Tyreese to join the show (and maybe someday the show will find a way to actually use the character, so there’s hope in that as well).

David Morrissey in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8 The Walking Dead Season 4 Mid Season Finale Review

At any rate, for a program that basically thinks of its characters as zombie fodder first and people second, the passing of Hershel actually registered more as a signifier for the evolution of the show than it did as a truly harrowing event. One side effect of the series choosing to depict its characters becoming hardened against the constant, oppressive threat of death is that the result is mostly true for the audience as well; those watching have been programmed to see the fall of a character as the beginning of something new, not necessarily the end.

That’s not to say the death of Hershel – or the apparent death of Judith – wasn’t affecting; it was. But those events, as well as the death of the Governor, will likely be remembered more for allowing the show to open up a new chapter than for drawing out sentiment or true emotion.

The Walking Dead at least partially owes its tremendous popularity to the promise that anyone’s number could be up at a moment’s notice. And, if anything, the show has established it’s as difficult to continually illustrate the stakes of an environment that harsh as it is in one where the survival of characters is entirely implicit.

In that regard, the show can be applauded for finding what it is these deaths can mean and signify, and for demonstrating it as well as it did in ‘Too Far Gone.’


The Walking Dead season 4 will continue in February 2014 on AMC. Check out a preview below:

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  1. Not in any literal manor, but I think this episode was rooted in the Carol decision. She may have been the one person who would not have hesitated to pick off “Brian/Philip” at the first sight of a tank. Placing my bet on Carol coming to Tyrese’s rescue at some point in the aftermath. Not a prediction, not even sure she will be back, just liked her character’s evolution.

  2. That review was colder than the Governor’s gaze upon Rick the moment he resolved to hack Hershel’s head off. Considering the fall of a character as merely “a signal for change” is a lame and shallow perspective of the tragedies that befall the story’s survivors. At any rate, recognize the effect their deaths bestow upon those who live. Finally witnessing the Governor’s death was majestic and obviously signaling of change indeed, but Hershel? The butchering of such an honorable, level-minded human being was not only heinous, but shocking and non-representing of the man’s dignity. His death has echoed more than just “change” in the eyes of many viewers, not to mention the effect it has imposed upon his two daughters and the rest of the camp.

    • Hear, hear.

    • It was the most brutal and shocking death of the whole show so far. Even Sophias death wasn’t as shocking, because it happened off screen and putting down her undead husk wasn’t as bad as seeing a good man’s head getting partially severed in a sloppy and brutal strike. Also, it was painfully realistic. Much more so than all the well made zombie killings, because the walking dead are unrealistic by default.

      This mid-season finale was a great representation in a nutshell what humanity is all about. Goodness, badness, brutal murder of innocent people to make a point, and senseless fighting over resources and land, even though there is enough for everybody to go around. That episode really left me impressed with its mercilessness, punctuated by the young girl shooting the woman right in the face and the implication that Little Asskicker was killed as well.

  3. I liked the episode but I wished The Govenor would have suffered more before his demise. I’m looking forward to see what direction the show is going to go now.

    • He really REALLY should have been fed to the walkers. Shooting him in the head was almost a mercy killing and more than he deserved.

      I personally would have lured a few of them over to feast on the dear Governor before he died.

      • are we sure he died ?
        We did not see it !
        Maybe he shot the woman,the walkers ate here and he escaped !

        As long a I did not see it I believe anything can happen on this show!

        • @ios

          This isn’t HBO, they actually do have off-screen deaths on this. If this was on HBO, then I’ll agree with you since they GENERALLY don’t kill someone off-screen. I know it’s happened but it’s rare.

        • You also need to understand that it was a PoV shooting, meaning you see what the Governor saw and that gun was pointed straight at the camera (meaning his head). Trigger pulled, lights out, that’s all she wrote.

          Also the Governor had a fatal stab wound through the heart. Even under the best modern ER care it would have been questionable but out there? The best you could possibly hope for is him turning into a walker because he ain’t escapin’.

  4. Real good episode, and very satisfying to see Michonne letting the Governor finally have it. Instead of that bullet finishing him off, though, I would’ve preferred seeing a bunch of walkers ripping him apart while he still had some life in him. Real sad about Hershel, especially since I’ve been a fan of Scott Wilson ever since he turned in some outstanding performances way back in the 60′s & 70′s in such films as “In Cold Blood,” “New Centurions,” and “In the Heat of the Night;” grab the dvd’s, folks, if you became a Wilson fan with “The Walking Dead,” and would like to see him when he first started out.

    • Not to mention his amazing go as Sam on CSI. Killing his character off on that show was a huge mistake, imo. He gave an inside track to the underworld that is behind all of the glitz and glamour of modern day Vegas. That edge was gone after Sam died.

      • I never even realized he was Sam! Wow, that was a really sad episode of CSI…

        • Safe to say Herschel gives good head!

  5. As much as we hate to see those we enjoy in the cast get killed off. It does do one thing for the series….Opens it up for new stories, and that keeps it fresh. I’m guessing that even Rick has a shelf life. Time will tell

  6. I think there’s a lot of parallels between the Governor and Walter White. I have no doubt that he genuinely cared for Lilly and Meghan, but they ended up just being a means to an end. He had a chance to redeem himself and pull himself up out of the hellhole he was in, but he just couldn’t resist giving into his pride and selfish ambition. In attacking Rick’s group, he wasn’t doing it for his new family, though he may have convinced himself that that was the case. In reality, he was doing it for himself. He liked it, he was good at it. And the sad truth is that in being swallowed by his pride and going after Rick’s group, to protect Lilly and Meghan, he ended up destroying their lives by not being there to actually protect them.

    • Really? Does everyone have to revert everything back to Breaking Bad? Am I really the only person who thinks it is the most over rated show of all time? It has nothing on The Wire or The Sopranos. Mind you that’s just my opinion.

      • No you’re not the only one, but so what.

        Screw this article, this is the finale we should’ve got in season 3. This just goes to show that they need to follow a little closer to the comics. Sure, you can do your own thing, but the source material will always be superior.

        • Eh, most of the time, but not always. Carol and Shane, for example, were both characters that (in my opinion) were developed and written a lot better in the TV series than the comics. But I am glad they are starting to focus more on the overall plotline from the comics.

          • Agreed. The different development of Shane and also Carol is an example for good adaptation of the comic source into TV. Especially season 1 added many scenes that aren’t in the comic book, but worked amazing on TV: Just think about Rick met Glenn in season 1 – he’s riding into town with this horse and got surrounded by walkers, they turn on the horse and … – so far same as in the comic book – and then on TV the tank was added. Rick escaped into a tank. Rick in the tank was a cliffhanger … I had no clue, how Rick could made it out there. Next episode: entrance Glenn!
            Same with season 2, for example the scene with the deer when Carl got shot or the search and finding of Sophia.
            This were amazing additions to the source material, adaptations that strengthened the plot and the moment.

            In season 4 we’ve seen just effects for show, not for plot enhancement. Or stretching of the plot with unnecessary and lame subplots. Ok, some focus on Rick’s (and others) mental journey … but it is too extended on TV, so Rick (contrary to the comic book) seems in constant mental instability.

      • You’re not the only person to think Breaking Bad is over rated. But you are in the minority.

        • Me too! It’s overrated compared to others … but it’s still brilliant.

  7. Only thing I hated about this episode was I counted 9 tank shells go off pretty quickly in a row with a tank crew of one.. N really where is he keeping all those shells its not like they are small. But other then that great episode can’t wait till Feb :(

    • Actually I guess there were two of them inside, at least when they got there two was inside, by the time they started moving i’m not sure…

    • What bugged me was the actual targets! All they did was punch hols in prison walls for the most part. Very dramatic looking but I would have been targeting, oh I don’t know……the actual people SHOOTING? Nailing that turned over bus or the barricades our guys were clustered behind would have been a great targets but whatever.

      If they had done what I suggested we wouldn’t have anyone left to flee. Seems like they gave the villains too lethal of an item and then weren’t willing to follow through (that’s bad writing imho)

      • Yeah… they claimed that they wanted the prison for safety and then they tear down the fences and shoot lots of holes in the walls, making the whole attack pointless.

        • I thought the same thing.. They should grabbed Hershel head cuz they weren’t using theirs

  8. I just wish they would use more of the interesting characters. While Rick’s psychological journey is all very well I am happy for the show to deviate from the comics in the Daryl direction – and by this I do not mean making him romantically involved with a teenager! (I worry now they’ve run off together.) And Michonne too ofc, although she has had more story-time than D. From an action and psychology point of view they are essential and underused characters, while Rick’s moral fight has been explored ad nauseum.

    • So true. Rick’s mental and moral journey (as well as this theme overall) is way too much expanded. Ok, but overexpanded!

      With Michonne they tried a very dangerous direction by making her tired and bringing in baby issues. Could destroy the character. Daryl in my opinion is becoming what Tyreese was in the comic books. Tyreese is just a failed character on TV. Appeared to late to get in relation with Rick, introduced the wrong way … he’s really lame on TV. All my hopes rely on the proper introduction of Abraham and his group. Also a replacement for the role of Andrea as tough and tender woman (contrary to Michonne as tough and cool badass) is needed on TV.

  9. I thought it was a good episode. There are some issues here and there but overall it wasn’t bad. I am glad they are moving on from the prison arc now. Although I liked some of the way they portrayed the Governor in Season 3, I think they didn’t deliver this season on his character. They had a chance this season to make the guy look crazy bad but in the end I felt like he was just another guy. Good episode though and I am glad the prison storyline is over and we get to move on

  10. So I’m thinking Lily and Rick will hook up. She mourns death of her daughter at hands of Governor and sees Rick as a true leader. She will latch on as a mother figure for Carl and for Ricks baby.

    What are your thoughts?

    • did you watch the episode? cuz if not SPOILER ALERT!!!

      dude lily’s daughter got bit by a walker, totally not the governor’s fault.

      and judith’s dead man.

      • Judith isn’t necessarily dead.


      • K so I didn’t explain it well. Lily blames Governmor for her daughters death. She told him not to take over the prison. She said she didn’t even know him anymore.

        Plus Judith is not necessarily dead. The little group of girls were carrying her carriage thing but that is the last we see of it. For all we know the girls took Judith out of the crib thing and ran off with her.

  11. I thought more main characters would die.

    • Me too, but hey, a LOT of characters died. Hershel, The Governor, Mitch, Alisha, Meghan, Judith (possibly). I’m just glad that none of the deaths were done just for shock value, they were all very intense and emotional, benefiting the story.

  12. I hate they killed off Hershel and I hope someone took care if his head. We know the heads can still be alive so to speak, and Hershel deserves a full death. I don’t think the baby is dead since, on Talking Dead, they hemmed and hawed. Maybe she is on the bus.

    Glad to see the Governor gone though. And I read Carol may be gone for good, unless the actress is keeping secrets about her return.

    I always say I am never watching this show again, yet I keep coming back.

  13. Other than the action this episode was a huge letdown. I’m glad that we at least got the season 3 finale eight episodes into the 4th season.

    Things that were ridiculous:

    1. Why is Megan such a zombie magnet. Poor little girl can’t play hide and seek, or even play in the mud without the most conveniently buried walker in the world attacking her.

    2. The governor’s little rallying speech along with the actual breakdown of the battle at the prison. I have seen comments citing mob mentality here. If that is so, then this mob had more discipline than a crack military outfit. There is a book named ‘On Killing’ by Dave Grossman that thoroughly explains the implausibility of this entire scene. Long story short only 15% of the combatants would have been participating in any fighting at all.

    3. An addendum to the mob mentality comments: you have a loosely organized band of survivors, with no personal stake whatsoever in the outcome of the engagement, they have an easy and immediate avenue of retreat, yet not one of them takes it?

    3. Rick can beat the crap out of an enraged Tyrese, but he can’t beat a one eyed man that he HAS THE JUMP ON?????

    4. Megan’s mom carries her wounded daughter all the way to the prison where Rick was parlaying with the Governor? WHAT were they camped a couple hundred yards away? Plus she has the discipline to casually approach even while gunfire is raining everywhere around her….

    5. After the shooting starts, and Hershel is critically wounded, the governor insists on finding him so he can completely behead him, amid a hail of gunfire no less. What a cartoon character they have made him into, it’s laughably bad.

    The Walking Dead is a show that thrives when it explores the grey areas of human morality. These past two episodes have been nothing but an evil villain jerk-fest. Now imagine if the governor had remained somewhat redeemed and somehow appropriately wound up the leader of his group of survivors and had shown up at the prison trying to negotiate a peace during a tense stand off.

    Imagine if something like an overzealous member of one of the factions had triggered off a fight between the two parties, and the battle had still taken place. The stakes of the battle would have been ten times more important because people would be rooting for both sides.

    The prison would still get destroyed and we would have gotten resolution to the governor’s storyline in a meaningful way. Instead we got black and white meaningless melodrama.

    • Widely agreed!
      But I’m so glad this mess they did with the Governor/ prison plot line is over now and we can move on. Hopefully the show runners and writers will do better now!

    • Dude, it’s a show.

      • Dude it’s an opinion.

        • Dude’s, it’s a comic book ; the story is already there. If you got a bone to pick go at the guys who wrote that. Try to make things too realistic on one hand and you end up with comic fans chanting abandonment of actual story, on the other hand you stick to the way the comic plays out and you have comments such as these complaining about implausibility. It can’t work for everyone.

          • Well said

            • I wouldn’t say chant abandonment but the moments in the comics were much more powerful because they had balls. The show lost its balls, unlike GoT (which I thought would lose its balls during the Red Wedding) which has retained their balls TWD has lost theirs. Im pretty sure they didn’t kill Judith, the governor was never really scary, Hershels beheading looked visually awful. It was cool, but they really messed up some aspects – although did a much better job than last season.

              They had better bring Negan into the mix next season ( I mean next season not next batch maybe second half season 5) and really make him a character to fear. A presence that every time you see them you don’t know if everyone will live. A show like this needs bite, but for some reason this was much more a nibble

          • Dude, that’s a horrible point. If your argument held any weight, Shane would have died in Season 1, Dale would have lived much longer, Andrea wouldn’t have been killed by the governor, etc…

            The show has abandoned the comic book story line quite extensively for a long time now. The simple fact, is that this recent arc was written in a manner to recreate the panels of the the comic when the governor assaulted the prison. This would have been fine had this occurred at the end of season 3. The problem is that this arc has done nothing to move the plot forward, short of moving Rick’s group out of the prison.

            I am well aware that the show can’t be ultra realistic. However, when you have glaring inconsistencies within the world of the show, it becomes impossible NOT TO notice them. I a willing to forgive these errors, when the larger plot is working well, but these last two episodes have been laughably bad.

            • Totally agreed!

            • I think I have a good time with last 2 episodes.
              It’s the show and I don’t expect it to have ultra reasonable realistic plots or how it can follow the comics plots, as long as the show entertain me, it will be fine. IMO I think season 4 is really great on par with season 1 for me

    • I agree. Rick lost to that Governor in the fight too easily. One more point to your list: Rick shoots the Governor on his right hand, but during the fight the Gov is happily pulling punches with his right.
      They should have spent more time screen-playing the fight. It was a disappointment for me.

  14. The one thing that will come out of this for the viewers who are tired of the prison is no more prison during the second half of the season. The Governor’s arc seems kind of uneven for me and I am kind of glad to see the character go. I still do not see how people followed him yet again into a battle with people they knew nothing about based on his word, especially since his arrival coincided with two mysterious deaths one after another. I cannot say I am disappointed in the episode though since the attack went down kind of like I thought it would, a disaster for both sides and the prison being destroyed and overrun by walkers.

    Best part of the show me though was Daryl killing a tank……

    • At this point the governor has been the leader of this group for a couple months, and has done a much better job than Martinez did. I thought them following him into battle made since, especially since hey, it’s a fortified prison! Why not take it?

      • I was referring to how they initially fell in line when Martinez and the other guy had their little “accidents”, especially the brother. And even though they tried to confer some passage of time, the fact the two parties were seemingly so close makes it odd that there was not a run-in sooner between other group members. And if Michonne was looking for the Governor how did she not run into any of those other survivors ?

        • Good points, although I still disagree with the “accidents”. This is the zombie apocalypse after all, not very surprising when people die (regardless if there’s a newcomer to the group). The people really didn’t have any reason to doubt the stories of what happened to Martinez and Pete.

        • True!

      • No he had not been in command for months. They set up some basic defenses over a day or two. That was all. There was no construction. Most of the ‘wall’ was just cars parked bumper-to-bumper – which the ninja-zombies can apparently hope with ease (though they are mystified by the laundry). ;)

      • The Governor wasn’t their leader for a couple of months! Just for a few days, maybe a week. The whole story time of the Governor left behind by Martinez and wandering around broken, meeting the girls and coming back and then overtaking the new group happens within 2 months, at most 3 months. Alone the senseless and useless Governor meets new family story would for real need at least 6 months, better 12 months, to be plausible. Take over the new group and talking them into being murderers within 2 – 3 weeks … totally ridicolous.

        Let’s just face it: AMC totally screwed the final of the Governor/ prison story arc (on purpose to stretch the show or unintentional … I don’t know?) and stretched it with fillers till next season final. Not bad written fillers, but still fillers without relevance for the main plot and the show overall.

  15. That ep def shook things up but I think they could have waited and not killed both off in one ep.

    Maybe kill off Hershel and then the second half of the season the group is out for revenge and they kill the Gov at the end of the season.

    Makes you wonder if the mid season finale was so crazy whats the season finale gonna be like?

    you have to figure another major character will die, either Maggie or Glenn or Carl is my guess.

    • Revenge? Killing the Governor at the end of the season?
      Dude, which episode did you watch? Maybe you should watch it once again. ;-)

      • Dude, which comment did you read? Maybe you should read it once again. :D

        • Ookay. U r right! :-D

  16. FINALLY! The long stretched season 3 is OVER! YESS!!

    The fall of the prison could have been so much better and plausible at the end of season 3 and this episode again proves that the flu, the last two Governor episodes and much more was just for stretching the plot. Most of all the Governor episodes were fillers and just mucking about with the audience – for nothing and without any outcome (but more air time and more ad dollars). Too bad, because this show deserves better!

    There are so many implausible and even ridiculous plot holes (like mentioned above) in this episode: How easy the Governor gets the group to attack … some claim the last two episodes gave the Governors characters more profile, but the contrary is true. It totally made him an ridiculous and lame character. He took over the new group (he even joined lately) and then convinces them to become killer in an not even 5 minute scene. Poor!
    Even the Govenors end by Michonne was lame. In the comic book he was shot by a woman of Woodburry (Lilly Caul), who after shooting Lori and then seeing also Judith killed, realized the Governors true nature. He then got overrun by walkers.
    The melodramatic macho fight between Rick and the Governor was just so expendable (like mentioned above, Rick took on Tyreese – and the TV Governor is no fighter, he just attacks from behind and by surprise).

    However, it’s over! HALLELUJAH!!!

    Here I have to state that I really consider The Walking Dead in the majority of cases/ episodes and overall a great TV adaptation of the comic book! The show runners always changed some things, but never so obviously stretched the plot for nothing like in this first half of season 4. So far the weakest season of The Walking Dead, in my opinion.

    Since the death of Andrea and the not delivery of a season 3 final (death of the Governor/ fall of the prison) the show seems totally without direction and many episodes of season 4 seemed to be some training for the writers for me: well written as a stand-alone episode, but without sense or need in the overall story of The Walking Dead. ALL episodes of this season half with the exception of episode 4 were just FILLERS.

    I really hope the show runners will get this straight now and all my hopes rely on the good TV adaptation of Abrahams group and an amazing Hunters story arc!

    !!!Comic Book Spoiler!!!

    Really wonder about Hershel being killed, since I considered him as Dale replacement in the Hunters plot line. So another one has to take his place: Who do you (those who read the comic book) guess? My bet is Tyreese.

    • How can you even say that and question as to why Hershel died? He went in the comic around the same time, so this is no surprise. They basically swapped Daryl and Andrea, and the rest is the same. This was not supposed to be a comic book adaptation, and Kirkman keeps claiming it is not, but he keeps steering the show right back to the source material. After the prison the comic became a meandering mess known as The Walking Soap.

      At least I can finally say I have heard of one person that still reads it (I quit at #85, and everyone I know quit after #105 – but do not post spoilers about it). ;)

      • Of course, he did and was then killed by the Governor. BUT Dale already died on TV and TV Hershel very much was a replacement for Dale (his role of the moral compass). AND Dale had an important role in the Hunters story arc. So what I meant was: I didn’t expect him dying, because I considered him an ideal replacement for Dale’s role. Since he died, the Hunters story had to be changed OR someone other has to take the place of Dale (and therefore: has to die). The question is: Who could it be? I hope it’s Tyreese, since I consider him really bad adapted for TV. But of course it could be other group member.

        I totally agree that Daryl takes parts of the comic book roles of both Tyreese (friend for rick) and Andrea (sniper) … but he’s no real sniper and since Rick isn’t gay yet on TV he will become Rick’s sex mate. So both roles has to be replaced.

        I also agree whether Kirkman keeps claiming it’s no comic book adaptation or not, the TV show is pretty accurate in following the comic book plots – just changing some characters. I disagree with the mess after the prison … I also had this feeling while after the Hunters story arc and while reading the beginning of the Alexandria Safe Zone … but then it got better again with Negan and Rick totally overestimating his own bad ass abilities.
        Of course it’s right: Somehow it’s always the same … Rick getting them in trouble with really stupid decisions or somebody is doing something really stupid or a really bad guy appears and somebody dies. But between the lines the comic book really did a good job with characterization.

  17. The moment I liked most in this episode was after Michonne stabbed
    TheGovenor. You’d expect him to die a horrible, horrible death. So
    in this moment she seems to ponder a moment as to wether she should
    mutilate him somewhat more drastically. But then she just let him die
    there in the green grass, like she suddenly realized how empty and
    anti-climatic this act of revenge was.

    • Pay attention next time. He did not die until the mother returned, and *possibly* shot him. He was stabbed between the lungs, and it obviously missed the heart. It was too high for any other internal organs, and missed the spinal column. He could easily recover from that. Her leaving him ‘dying’ again was retarded considering it already came back to bite her in the ass, and how much BS-lip service has been paid to her quest to kill him. It was vapid, and if he turns up alive, it will make million more abandon the show.

      • Lilly shot him, it’s confirmed.

      • @Chris

        Go learn anatomy. There is not magical area “between the lungs” that’s also not going through the heart. The heart is actually cradled right between the lungs wit no space to spare. If it goes through the heart, there’s still a chance of it cutting a lung. If it misses the heart, then it DEFIITELY went through a lung… The Governor is dead, sorry to tell you…

        • *DEFINITELY

          Everytime I type on here, it misses input from the keyboard. Doesn’t do it anywhere else, so I know it’s this website…

      • Man, the Governor is so dead … dead like in NEVER WALKING DEAD … and even if Lilly wouldn’t have shot him, he would have died. Sword trough chest … you hardly survive this in a hospital, immediately! You for sure do not survive this in an environment without medical aid and man eating walkers everywhere.

        But it’s funny seeing how fans of the Governor want to hold on the characters … and assemble their explanations to not let go of him. But that’s TWD … main characters die … and the Governor isn’t even a main character, just some sort of boss enemy on the end of the game level. They have to die to get into the next level!!!

        I’m already thrilled to see what happens, when everybody’s darling DARYL dies! And he will …

  18. tyreese is seen taking off cradling his arms just before mitch blows up the bridge. he likely has Judith. he probably also made off with the youngsters. that should go great.

    as for whether the governor survived, as some online have speculated, the guy was already slipping out of consciousness before lily shot him. even if she missed, for arguments sake, the guy was half dead laying in a field littered with walkers. the governor is dead and gone.

    • Agreed. The theory of The Governor being alive is no different from when a lot of people were “certain” that Lori was still alive. He’s dead, it’s been confirmed. Sometimes when a character dies off screen, it’s for more emotion. It doesn’t mean that character is still alive.

    • @estevan

      I agree, the guy was stabbed through the chest with a sword. Even though it missed his heart, it definitely went through a lung. Without immediate treatment, he’s dead. I don’t mean someone finding him an hour later, I mean, immediate, like paramedics happen to be driving around and see him there immediate, which we all know isn’t going to happen… Goodbye Governor. RIH.

      • @Ken J:

        I agree with you that in reality, the Gov should be dead.

        But this is a show where the dead walk, where cars that have gasoline that should have gone bad still drive, where amateurs can shoot a head shot after minimal training, where ammo and guns seem unlimited (without ever mentioning reload equipment), and where a tank that hasn’t been used in probably over a year can still work properly.

        So a sword through the upper torso is just a flesh wound right?

        Long live the Governor! :)

        (He will be back, but his new name will be Negan)

        • @BigNerd

          Not to mention how the outbreak started 4 years ago and they drive a 2013 model Hyundai that never gets damaged at all, lol. And that tank is a 1960′s era Sherman I think, nothing they use in modern times. It belongs to a collector in real life, but it doesn’t make much sense in the show since that Mitch guy claims he was in the military and that was the tank he used, so it should be a modern era M1 Abrams, but I understand they couldn’t get a real M1 Abrams and most people couldn’t tell the difference anyway, lol.

          But seriously with the Governor in this case, he was just about to die before Lilly shot him, and she does, because Lilly does indeed kill him in the comics… So… the Governor is dead, sorry, lol. :-P

          • The outbreak happened a little less than two years ago. Show is not proceeding in real time.

            • Ok, 2 years ago is still 2011. That’s specifically a 2013 model, which would have come out in 2nd half 2012. The fact is, it’s pure product placement. It doesn’t need to make sense because Hyundai paid them enough money to shoe-horn the car into the show, that’s pretty much the whole explanation of it…

  19. I can’t be the only one who thinks the actress playing Maggie is a dumbass. She was on Talking Dead afterwards and she’s spend 10 min trying to answer the question which made absolutely no sense and the host would just move on without acknowledging her idiocy. Almost as bad as Mariyln Manson and she wasn’t even high.

    • I thought she was alright on Talking Dead, not the most insightful guest we’ve had on that show though. Half the time she was just pretty emotional and wasn’t able to finish what she was saying. But calling her a flat out dumb*ss is pretty dumb.

    • lol! Yeah I like her character but my wife and I both agreed that both guest actors from walking dead tended to ramble A LOT. Neither seemed well spoken. Not dissing their personality cause they seem nice.

    • I would agree that she never said anything PROFOUND, but calling her a total dumbass is a bit much.

    • @Gregtel

      Uh, I know you’re just watching the show, but for them, Hershal’s death is actually a real loss since now that actor, whom they been working with for several years now, will not be returning to the set. She was actually still pretty emotional about it, even the actor playing Hershal was. Just look at the interview with the actress that plays Beth, she couldn’t keep it together. Try to look at it from their point of view, stop being this armchair quarterback that think you know better thane everyone because you’re sitting on the outside looking in from a bird’s eye point of view…

      • Well said!

  20. Laughable bad. Kirkman’s influence at it’s finest – turning this into the comic while constantly claiming he is not. Far too many plot holes to list them all but the teleporting zombies that appear *behind* Daryl (therefore coming from the prison) – and no the fence was not breached, and the ninja-zombie waiting to bite the girl. This entire season is filled with B-horror movie tropes like this, and it drags the show down. The shells in the tank do not explode, and the tank does not fire on the cars/cover but targets the meaningless parts of the walls, after breaking the fences which are the only thing that keep the zombies out – meaning the prison was never going to be inhabited. Michonne leaving the Gov. alive again was pathetic, and the girl’s mother wading through all the bullets flying around (barely hitting anyone), instead of putting the full magazine into the Gov’s back after he shot her daughter? All the civvies using squad based tactics, firing discipline, and still not managing to hit more than one person per 300 rounds?

    Trite, tropes, and convenience. Remember this episode well. From here it goes downhill and becomes The Walking Soap. No, really. As long as Kirkman has as much control as he does, this really is as good as it gets. I wish AMC would pull their heads out and put a show runner on this thing that will take it in a new direction (away from the comic), and keep them for more than 16 episodes. This would have been so much better with Frank. D. still in charge, keeping Kirkman mostly out of it.

    • Every TV show has holes, that’s part of the belief suspension when you watch TV.

      I liked this episode and this season.

      I can sit and critique it do death like the rest of you, but that takes too much effort.

      Do you have an example of a scripted show that is totally accurate?

      • That’s a straw man argument. There is no such thing as a totally accurate show. A totally accurate show would be life itself.

        What he is alluding to is the fact that scenes from the comics are being created with no meaningful context, and falling prey to ridiculous story tropes. That is the reason why many of the ‘naysayers’ on this board are venting. We like TWD because it normally surprises us and does the OPPOSITE of what we expect. However recently, it has degenerated into B movie horror cliches.

        • Heh… the “straw man” counter.

          That’s my opinion and is just as strong as anyone else’s, esp Chris’ considering he stopped reading the comic at issue #85 and I haven’t.

          There are tons of things wrong with the show but the writers are aware of that and choose to ignore them because they have other things they need to focus on to move the story forward.

          In the comic, it’s easy to build in surprise because you have no idea what is coming and the media allows for that (turn the page and see someone’s head getting severed), harder for the show because it’s live action and we already have some idea who’s going to die. I knew Hershel was going to be done in ala Tyrese but that doesn’t mean there will be NO surprises. Sophia dying was one, Andrea getting bit was unexpected, the girl getting attacked by the “ninja z” was another.

          It’s okay to vent, but we’re talking walking dead here, so nitpicking seems like a wasted effort and not enough to condemn the show. If so, then stop watching.

          • But transfah is right that the show used many “B movie horror cliches” this season, or set up unrealistic scenes to create artificial suspense. E.g. the supermarket scene of episode 1 was just for the show effect of raining walkers from the roof … and the whole suspense is so artificial, because one has to jam his leg under a shelf, then 3 or 4 men need half an hour to lift it and then some walkers cause them major trouble till someone dies. So lame set up! It’s like the girl in a B movie dopping the car keys 5 times while screaming and running from the killer, or so … same on the support run … sudden danger, but totally without any reason … and then suddenly it’s over again, to have Daryl giving a speech to the alcoholic. Come on!

            … effects just for show …

            It’ s not nitpicking. I accept some unrealistic details as I accept them in action movies. But if you notice these plot holes and totally implausible things while watching the show, it’s just not really well written or well thought through.
            There are shows which also have some unrealistic details … but you accept them … they aren’t disturbing, maybe when you think about it later … but not during the show (I would name GoT, Justified, Vikings, … and others).
            Of course it’s right: It’s harder for TV shows with literature or comic books as source material to surprise, especially satisfying the fans of the source material.

            • @frobin:

              I guess I’m just not as critical. Didn’t the zombie genre start out as B movies? So it’s what I expect.

              I actually like the Costco Rain of Death and maybe I’m an easy scare but this season the episodes have had more suspense. Like when they were infiltrating that cabin full of heads not knowing what to expect.

              I must be the outlier because I am enjoying this season more than the previous ones because the zombies are still a threat.

              • I like it too that the walkers are still a threat, but the show has to do a little better to convince me of dangerous situations. We’ve seen so many scenes now that told us: Look guys, how cool they already handle the walkers. So if sudden danger occurs it has to occur really out of nothing, very quick … sort of accident, can always happen … or its really something big.

                Now we always see situations which are not really plausible. I just don’t buy it that they team of Daryl and Michonne has troubles with these walkers in the school (or whatever this building was?) … same for the supermarket scene … wouldn’t be a problem for them to kill the walkers falling down and just walk out of the store. The search of the cabin with the heads was really thrilling … but then the solution totally dumb … suddenly walkers everywhere? It would have been dangerous enough to step inside a dark room of walker heads biting your legs. And there are constantly such artifical setups or not well-thought-through scenes. That’s annyoing, in my opinion, and not exciting (when I’ve already seen them easy handling more dangerous situations).

                Or the Lilly and Meghan playing in the mud … ok, Lilly being nervous is ok … but Meghan not noticing the walker in the mud AND the walker suddenly freeing so fast … don’t buy it.

                A herd is always a sudden danger. Getting surrounded. Or searching buildings, because it’s dark inside and you never know what’s inside. But I can’t stand silly setups like the supermarket leg jam and the school run just to climb out of the window and have a moment for Daryl. And so on …

  21. Lizzie killed Karen and David and Carol took the fall for them. Michone got Judith because of her Mommy issues, no one saw where she went….

    Walkers must be bullet proof because Daryl’s meat shield took several 5.56mm rounds without over penetrating and hitting him while Bob had a shoulder hit and clean exit wound… Oh well it is only a show but a darn good entertaining one.

  22. I enjoyed the episode but killing off Hershel leaves me pondering if I want to continue watching. They continue to get rid of characters I’m emotionally invested in and if this trend goes any further there will be no one I care about. If I don’t care then I am not interested in watching.

    So you writers on TWD might want to think twice before doing this again. Rick + Carl + a lot of strangers I could give a rat’s ass about = pass.

    • that’s how they get us, the viewer. they take the best. imagine if the sole victims were ragamuffins and z-listers. there would be little impact to a show based on an undead cannibal filled world. how much worse would the prison invasion be if only the governor’s militia and that guy Julio perished. the fact you feel devastated by Hershel’s demise signifies the writers did their jobs correctly, especially with a character that initially hesitated to kill walkers, stored them in his barn, and rejected social attachment to rick’s group.

      I imagine the worst has yet to come. maybe you’re onto something? ( chuckles ).

      • True but they need to keep enough long term core characters to keep us interested. I mean all that’s left of the original cast/farm are Rick, Carl, Maggie, Glen and Daryl (Maggie’s sister is a tertiary character).

        Getting rid of Carol and THEN Hershel so close together was too much imho. Of course carol may be back (maybe) but I don’t see that working out considering our fearless Sheriff shunned and banished her.

  23. I can’t believe Hershel is gone… Both he and Carol were the moral centers of the group and now they are both gone. Hershel’s scenes were so heartwarming and it showed that this apocalypse didn’t destroy all of the decency and values that we hold. I don’t know what is going to keep those reminders alive now.

  24. What became most apparent to me during this episode was the ability to make death so final and satisfactory. Hershel and the Governor had both run their story arcs to a close (Hershel as the “Plague Doctor” and Gov’s two story arc). Megan had her close encounter with a walker the episode prior; all three characters were “marked” for death. Yet they elicited all the right audience emotions, stunned reactions,etc. The writers have truly established strength in shock and awe at all the right impasses. If another survivor had been in Hershel’s place, it simply would’ve upset the story direction.
    I can only hope that the gravitas of the deaths doesn’t linger on the survivor’s minds to the point of insanity.

  25. Ok, how exactly is Governor like Rick?

    He put his “own” people in captivity in Woodbury. Nobody was allowed to leave, remember. He sexually assaulted Maggie, tried to feed Glenn to a Walker, killed almost all of “his people” who you say he wanted to protect. Then killed Martinez running the new place, killed the new guy, killed Herschel for no reason etc etc.

    How can you even think of comparing Rick and Governor????????????

  26. This episode was so good, Herschel lost his head over it!

  27. Rad episode. I dunno if I was extra sleepy but I felt tears.

  28. Well we are at the midseason break now and this finale was one of the series best. Again I waited for the comments to pour in before posting my own and found that it was easy to predict what certain regular posters would say both yay and nayers. The interpretation of fillers and stretching is one I will never validate as again as I have said in the past the medium of episodic television allows the creators to expand beyond the core storylines and add more depth and detail to the universe in which the story exists. The flu was an intelligent addition to the adversarial challenges the survivors would face in such an environment. The show handled it with great dramatic and emotional effect and gave Hershel’s character a chance to emerge even more heroic before his emotional demise. The continuation of the governor arc gave us further reinforcement of his troubled psychological mindset before his true twisted mental state emerged victorious. It also introduced us to Lilly and her sister, 2 new very interesting additions who as far as I could see are still among the survivors. By the way, the governor is IMO definately dead. It was a POV shot of Lilly and it definately put his lights out permanently. The skepticism regarding his ability to rally his group into attacking the prison ignores his established charismatic personality as well as the fact that the camp had just lost 2 of the leaders they depended on and the surviving member of the dominant trio was still alive and totally supporting the governor. His speech was well written and for me very convincing. The recent camp deaths certainly gave food for thought that their current situation wasn’t working out too well anymore. There is no reason to believe Lily walked all the way to the prison. It would make more sense to believe she had a vehicle to escape in should the s**** hit the fan. Just because we didn’t see her drive up before we saw her walking through the chaos with Megan doesn’t exclude the fact that she probably did. Where the writers did drop the ball was with the Megan walker attack scene. It was way too telegraphed in advance. I mean the whole Lily being distracted by the walker crossing the stream while Megan kept calling for her to come see and Lily repeating “one minute…” was just way too obvious. Should of had an out of nowhere moment instead of such a predictable set up. But the siege of the prison was excellent with a fantastic speech by Rick delivered by Andrew Lincoln with such power it gave me chills. Chills again as we watched Maggie and Beth witness the death of their beloved father. And that death..wow…lump in throat time. Rick and Carl discovering the bloody carseat, just so many emotional moments. The governor getting the best of Rick not so unbelievable if you understand the strength of a person overtaken by their psychosis (you can’t argue this one with me as I know from personal experience). I could go on but you get the idea. I think season four continues to be the series best.

    • And do you think it was hard to predict that you will sugarcoat every implausible plot hole?
      Like “best season ever” … every episode is the best in your opinion … and it’s ok, it’s your very own opinion. You will always see what you want to see, creating your personal explanations for every plot hole, every implausibility … just everything … human drama at it’s best … even if The Walking Dead goes in the Warm Bodies direction or a spaceship with hippie aliens will land with a cure for all walkers at the very last episode … or even worse … it all was just a dream of Rick in his coma … you sugarcoat your favorite show and find some reasons to consider it the best season ever.

      Uncritical fandom is such a great thing … for AMC!

      However, we’ve seen season 3 final now. It wasn’t really good, neither bad. Besides the stretching of the Governor / prison plot nothing really happened at the main plot. It’s over now … hopefully in January the show finds back to its once great characterizing and plotting of the protagonists of the show, Rick’s group!

      • It’s not reasonable to expect a weekly viewing audience to assume the best and give the writer’s the benefit of the doubt on the many plot holes that have been occurring in the show more recently.

        If the writers neglect to provide a reasonable explanation for what is occurring, it is simply bad writing period.

        The problem that the show is experiencing at the moment is that it is trying to be too similar to the comic. This will not translate well for a show on basic cable, because the comics and the villains they portray tend to go from one unreasonable extreme to another. Plus there are a whole crap load of things that have occurred in the comics, that will lose half the viewing audience should they be portrayed on screen. This is the reason why they didn’t have the governor rape Maggie among other things in the past seasons.

        • Partly agree. The show has troubles at the moment. But I don’t think trying to adapt the comic book in a similar way into TV is the problem. Nor the extreme things (Game of Thrones managed it very well … these extreme things on TV). I think one of the problems is adding things just for show effect on TV (e.g. the supermarket scene of ep. 1) and not to better support the plot on TV (like the tank scene/ cliffhanger in season 1, ep.1). And they lost direction and a well-thought approach of the characters and the interaction of the group members.

          • People seem to keep forgetting that Game of Thrones is on HBO. HBO can be VERY extreme as it’s a premium channel, not on your basic cable.

      • I didn’t sugarcoat anything and I am not uncritical as you suggest. Actually I was critical in the very post you replied to in your usual “my opinion matters and yours doesn’t” style that you employ. My opinion is JUST as valid as yours which I disagree with but not in a condescending obnoxious manner such as you do. So go on expressing your vitriol. I will continue to comment as I see it.

        • So critical, yes. No sugarcoating, of course. And so openminded, not to forget: wise and visionary in predicting!

          So FUNNY! If you die die laughing in TWD, do you come back as a jokerbox? However, have fun in your world.

  29. After a well done 1st half of the 4th season, I look forward to February. Hopefully some of the multitude of unanswered questions will be addressed (who is the psycho skinning rats in the prison obviously same as who was luring the walkers to the fence with dead rats, what about the voice on the radio, is Judith really dead and who actually made it out alive). It’s been a satisfying experience watching and commenting on this season thus far and despite the rudeness and obvious immaturity of certain posters who feel the need to be insulting toward those who don’t share their critical analysis of the show’s quality, I look forward to February and discussions on future episodes.

    • agreed with your view of the season. gimple has said those threads with be addressed. as for Judith, I brought up in an earlier post that before mitch lays waste to the bridge you can see tyreese hauling ass out of the doorway t-dog ran into after he was bit. he, being tyreese, has his arms cradled as if he’s carrying a baby. guess we’ll find out in February. and dude, that reply up top was pretty long, I know, it’s obvious.

      what is with the missing letters when I type? and will the a##holes outside go home and shut up?