“Too Far Gone,” the midseason finale of ‘The Walking Dead,’ (written by Seth Hoffman) will eviscerate your emotions just as it eviscerated the moral center of our characters. Read on for our spoilery review of one of the most violent and traumatic episodes to date.
“We’ve all done the worst kinds of things just to stay alive, but we can still come back. We’re not too far gone. We get to come back. I know we all can change.”
I need to start this review at the end of the story, because nothing matters as much as what happened in those moments. Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) speech at the end was from his heart. He wasn’t parroting Hershel’s words, he finally believed him. He finally believed there is hope for goodness in this brutal world.
As an audience, we get that. As a character, Hershel (Scott Wilson) got that – the glowing smile on his face told us as much. The Governor, too, understood that Rick had found hope. So he took it away from him. He took hope and heart away from the entire camp.
From an emotional perspective, it would have made sense for the Governor (David Morrissey) to dispatch Michonne. From a revenge perspective, however, it only made sense to behead Hershel. Michonne’s death would have hurt the group, but it would not have devastated them. Revenge is about hitting you in your heart so hard that you’ll never be able to live again (metaphorically or otherwise).
The Governor lived on revenge. It was his lifeblood and his undoing. These past few episodes have shown us how calculating the Governor is in his revenge. The opening of this episode encapsulated that with his speech to his newfound “family.”
He was great at making speeches. He was great at appearing vulnerable. He was great at pretending he cared. All of these traits made him a great leader. He was a better leader than Rick will ever be, because he exceled at being dishonest. For all of Rick’s faults, he only knows how to be authentic. He’s genuine.
For that reason, Rick is a better human than the Governor could have ever been.
We know the Governor didn’t care about Lily or Megan, despite his declarations of love in this episode. In fact, every interaction he had with them this episode was creepier than that zombie that dug itself out of the ground and ate Megan. Patchy only cared about revenge. He didn’t even care about his dead daughter at that point. He became so divorced from emotion and so focused on revenge that he couldn’t even feel love for his deceased family. There is no room for love when you are as consumed by revenge as the Governor.
He didn’t even care whether he lived or died. Winning to him was destroying the prison and killing Rick. He failed at the latter, but in his mind, he murdered Rick emotionally. For him, that is probably enough. I don’t think the Governor died with any regrets.
The impact Hershel’s death had, and will continue to have, on the rest of the group remains to be seen, but we do know that it will be devastating. Hershel’s death had so much more impact because his beheading was carried out in front of his daughters. Their screams and the look of total anguish on their faces, especially Beth’s, added so much emotional weight to the scene.
Hershel was pivotal to the group for so many reasons. Whether as counselor, pseudo-doctor or father-figure, he was a pillar of strength for everyone in that community. His loss will have incredible ramifications going forward.
We also know that everyone is going to have to regroup. People are scattered in every direction. They will need to find a new home. Plus, they still have sick people that need medical attention. Did anyone have the frame of mind to grab those much needed antibiotics? Without them, will more people turn zombie again?
We still need to deal with the fallout from Rick’s decision to banish Carol. Daryl hasn’t had much time to come to grips with it and Tyreese has yet to find out. I don’t think this storyline is over. It will still be relevant for the back half of this season.
And then there is Judith. Maybe it’s because I can’t handle anymore death on this show right now, but I do not believe Little Ass-Kicker is dead. Her car seat was unbuckled. Zombies don’t unbuckle car seats before they eat babies.
What do you think about Judith? Is she dead or alive? I also want to know how the rest of you nerds handled Hershel’s death. Did you scream? Cry? Did you not bat an eye because you’re as heartless as the Governor? Tell us in the comments.
Tune in for the second half of season four of the Walking Dead Sunday, February 9th at 9pm on AMC.