Whoa! There is a ton of heavy stuff to discuss from Sunday night's midseason finale of "The Walking Dead" on AMC, but first, a serious question: Is the Governor really dead?
I know that we saw him get stabbed through the center of the back and chest with Michonne's Shinobi sword, and then we saw Lilly stand over him and fire her gun in the direction of his head. But we never actually saw him die. I've learned that in shows like these — "The Walking Dead", "Magnum, P.I.", "Legends of the Hidden Temple" — that a character isn't actually dead and gone until we see their rotten, decomposing carcass.
I know that "Talking Dead" included the Governor in their "In Memoriam" segment, but that could just be misdirection. After all, "Talking Dead" is there to promote "The Walking Dead" and its storylines, and we were clearly meant to assume that the Governor had passed.
Ditto for Judith, though that was a little more ambiguous and she was not included "In Memoriam".
All right, before we get too far ahead, lets step back and examine how all of this excellent carnage came to pass.
The episode, entitled "Too Far Gone", started off with the Governor stubbornly and recklessly whipping his fellow trailer park denizens into a frenzy to overtake the prison. He had already executed the first part of his plan, which meant kidnapping hapless Hershel and Michonne while they grinned at each other near the prison border. They should have built a moat.
Next was to bring Hershel and Michonne back to the prison to use as bargaining chips. Hey guys, get out of here or the old man gets it.
Well, Rick tries to hide behind his precious "council" but the Governor is like "what council? You mean these idiots?"
Forced back into a decision-making role, Rick takes the high road, offering to share the prison with the Governor and his smelly friends. Rick is voicing all these reasonable ideas of harmony and self growth and compromise and then Hershel smiles with his cute little snow white facial hair, and you pretty much know at that exact moment that Hershel was going to get his neck chopped off.
The Governor is like "hold that thought Mahatma Gandhi, I've got a neck to chop." And that's exactly what he does. The Governor must still be a little weak from his goth phase, because Hershel is still hanging in there, just with a big wedge missing from the side of his neck. He should have made ONE last good joke where he asked if anyone had a Spongebob Squarepants Band Aid he could borrow, but instead he just crawled off behind a truck to die with dignity.
Unlike the Governor, there was no ambiguity to Hershel's death. The Governor kneels over him and hacks away with that sword like he's cleaning a freshly caught swordfish or something. All while Beth and Maggie have to just sit and watch through the fence. You are one sick puppy, you know that, the Governor? Oh don't worry, you'll get yours. (Spoiler alert)
Maybe Hershel will be like old "Ben" Kenobi, and come back in visions to mentor Rick and Carl. Especially if they eat some "medicinal" mushrooms.
At this point, it was on, and there was a huge skirmish.
In all the mayhem, these things happened:
- Rick and Governor had a big fist fight, and just kept punching each other in the face. "Gorgeous" Governor seemed to be getting the upper hand on "Ravishing" Rick, until Michonne had a good run-in and prevented Governor from getting the pin by stabbing him with a sword. The Governor didn't have a very good killer instinct in that fight.
- Tyreese looked like he was in a bit of a spot, until those psychopath kids came out of nowhere to rescue him. It was kind of a cute scene, because Tyreese isn't too proud to admit when a bunch of munchkins saved his supper.
- Daryl was PUTTING IN WORK! He did that whole body shield maneuver, then he pulled off the ol' grenade down the turret gag, and the ol' shoot a man (Mitch) in the chest with a crossbow bit. I was like "Oh Daryl, will you ever learn?"
A few things that I should mention that happened away from the prison yard battle:
- Rick tells Daryl about the whole Carol exile situation, and while Daryl isn't thrilled, he doesn't flip out either. However, they both decide that it's probably best to not tell Tyreese that Carol killed Karen at this juncture.
- Little Meghan got bitten by a zombie covered in peanut butter sandwiches, and then the Governor shot her dead body in the face. It was just a thing that happened.
- Tyreese found this strange rat nailed to a piece of wood outsider art piece that proved that the person who was feeding rats to the zombies was in the prison. I bet it was those kids.
DID YOU NOTICE?