The past two episodes of The Walking Dead have been hit or miss for most fans of the show. For me, seeing what the Governor has been up to since we last saw him was illuminating. It didn’t bother me that we didn’t get to see the characters we’ve grown attached to for two weeks. Or that Daryl’s reaction to Carol’s exile was delayed a bit longer. It didn’t even bug me that most of the characters would either die or prove to be as dumb as the Woodbury group. I love seeing the slice of life of different people in this messed up world. Most of all I liked the slow building anticipation of a madman’s journey towards a battle.

“Too Far Gone” begins with exactly what we’ve been waiting for: a call to battle from our favorite one-eyed psychopath. He easily—definitely too easily—convinces his new group to become gun toting murderers. Oh sure, he says they won’t have to kill anyone multiple times. But come on, even those mute extras (who protect themselves from walkers by digging giant holes) must have known it was going to end in a blood bath.

Is The Governor so good a motivational speaker that he can get people to head into battle on his word alone? Or is this new group so desperate that they are willing to gun down people they never met? Maybe The Governor is just really good at picking dumb people to lead.

In his speech, The Governor tells the group that they need to evict Rick’s group, hold hostages, and take the prison by force. Only his new girlfriend, Lily is unwilling to blindly take his word at face value. (Lily also barely responds to The Governor’s confession of love. She wanted to hit it and quit it.) Basically, Lily is the best. Hope we see more of her.

The strangest part of The Governor’s speech is how much his hate he puts on Rick. You’d think he’d have way more hatred for Michonne, who he blames for his daughter’s death, or Daryl, who took away the attention of his right hand man Merle. Maybe Rick was the center of his hatred because Rick is the main character and therefore it’s a more compelling rivalry. However, I’d like tot think that The Governor hates Rick so much because they’re too sides of the same coin.

Take Rick’s speech to The Governor’s group for example. It was a great, persuasive speech about living together, actions you can’t take back, peace and love, etc. If The Governor was even a little bit sane, it was the sort of speech that could have ended with handshakes and a whole new group moving into the prison. It’s a good comparison to The Governor’s speech at the beginning. Rick and The Governor can move people to action with their words, just as long as a psychopath with a vendetta isn’t in the audience.

The two back story episodes before this one showed The Governor as a Rick-type person. He had the ability to build a family unit out of strangers, just like Rick. He can build loyalty, just like Rick. But unlike Rick, he’s unable to maintain it.

Part of the reason he can’t maintain these family units is because The Governor can’t hide the crazy for very long. When Meghan, Lily’s daughter and The Governor’s loose tie to humanity, hugs him, he melts. But when he’s presented with her lifeless body, he shoots her without so much as a solemn moment of hesitation, before heading back to his battle.

The fight between The Governor’s camp and Rick’s group is a blood bath. Hershel gets a sword to the neck, as The Governor’s totally sane response to Rick’s speech. Most of the newcomer camp dies, as well as some Woodbury extras. This may be a controversial opinion, but more of the named characters could have died. It’s a show that’s heavy on characters and we could do for a trimming.

As anybody who had ever seen a television show or movie could tell, The Governor’s death was eminent. The question was who would be responsible. Many characters had earned the right to be the one to end the reign of terror. Rick surely should have the right to kill his evil doppelganger as the leader of the group and main character of the show. Maggie was tortured by him and was forced to watch her father get killed by him. Michonne also had her fair share of pain inflicted by him.

The show was completely right to have multiple people get in on the Governor killing action. Rick got to beat him up a bit, Michonne got to stab him, and Lily had the honor of putting the final bullet in his head.

In the end, the group has scattered. Much like the end of the farm storyline in the season 2 finale, everybody is off in tiny groups with a question mark over whether they’ll meet up again. The last half of the season, when it returns in February, will likely find the group back together again. If I had one complaint about the mid season finale it is that there’s no clear indication of where the group will go from here. Now that there main enemy is dead, will the show feature a few episodes of wandering before a new enemy is introduced? Will they add another looming threat like Shane and The Governor? Or will the main issue be finding each other?

Other Musings:

  • Michonne: “I’m gonna kill you… I’m gonna take my-” Hershel: “Stop it.” Hershel was a buzzkill to the very end.
  • Hershel: “If you know what it’s like the have a daughter, how can you threaten the lives of someone else’s?” Governor: “Because she’s not mine.”
  • Hershel seems to only remember one of his daughters. Poor Beth.
  • There’s a really sweet scene where The Governor hugs Meghan, despite her muddy hands. It’s moments like that one that make me like The Governor as a villain.
  • Daryl takes the news about Carol remarkably well. He’s a bit, understandably, upset that she’s gone and in denial that she would actually be without empathy.
  • Tyreese still doesn’t know about Carol. Could this mean that he may come face to face with her? Or will this revelation be dragged on for no reason into the second half of the season?
  • Somebody has been dissecting rats. The clues point towards one of Carol’s psycho girls but it seems too obvious now. If it was one of them it would have surely been revealed by now, right. Maybe it’s Bob and he’s a psychopath waiting to happen?
  • When Governor brought out hostage Hershel, they cut to his daughters. When he brought out Michonne, they cut to Daryl and Carl. Interesting.
  • Daryl pat Maggie’s butt with a gun. Awkward.
  • It was nice to see a classic zombie hand popping up from the ground image, even if we had to see a kid get bitten.
  • The Governor is an amazing shot, even with one eye. Has he been practicing?
  • Rick’s speech was SO good but it was very obvious that Hershel was about to get killed. Those close ups were filled with anticipation.
  • Death toll: Kirk Avecedo (Mitch) got an arrow to the chest, thanks to Daryl. The two psycho girls killed Alisha, the lesbian dating Lily’s sister. Meghan gets bitten. Lily killed the Governor. And Judith’s baby seat was found empty and covered in blood.
  • It’s worthy noting that Judith was not in the In Memoriam montage on The Talking Dead. The kids that were taking care of her could have moved her.
  • Gov and Rick fight. Just as he’s about to kill him, Michonne stabs him with her sword. Never shipped them together more.
  • The breakdown of Carl and Rick when they find Judith’s empty baby seat was amazing and sad. Great acting by both of them.
  • The group as we last see them: The psycho sisters ran off, with Tyreese on their tails. Lily and her sister are the only two from The Governor’s group still alive. Maggie, Sasha, and Bob are together. Daryl is with Beth, who once again managed to survive. Rick and Carl are together. Glenn is on a bus with a bunch of extras. Lets hope they find each other soon because some of these groups are not compelling.