And another one bites the dust!
On the mid-season finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead, fans bid adieu to two very important characters in unexpected ways. So much so, that when costars spoke of the death off camera for interviews on the followup show The Talking Dead, they acted as if a real death had occurred in their family.
But first, fans had to face the showdown of all showdowns for a second time. The Governor rolled his big ass tank over to the prison.
He somehow convinces this group of people that he has known for maybe a month to grab a shit load of guns and attack perfect strangers in a high security prison whom the Governor claims wronged him, burned his town, took his eye, and killed his daughter. ‘Brian’ as the the Governor has been calling himself, seems like a nice enough guy, but anyone might be a little suspicious after both Martinez and Pete ended up dead and missing only a couple weeks back and now this dude is taking over and demanding the group attack a bunch of strangers.
Lily is wary of the situation and asks Brian if its the right thing to do. He is dead set on it. As it turns out, he has captured Hershel and Michonne while they were outside the prison gates burning a pile of dead bodies. Hershel calls him the Governor, which he doesn’t like and the old man suggests they all play nice and share the prison. Brian says that he and Michonne will always be mortal enemies and it would never work. She seems to agree.
At the prison, Tyreese shows the group a dissected rat pinned to a wooden board. Whomever has been feeding the walkers rats is still a mystery. Rick lets Daryl know about kicking Carol out. He doesn’t react the way you’d think. He is slightly annoyed, maybe a little upset, but certainly not angry or devastated. I guess he and Carol weren’t as close as we all thought? It seems a bit unrealistic. She sure would come in handy right about now since the Governor is on his way to blow up the prison.
The Governor’s group roll up to the compound and demand to speak to Rick. Hershel and Michonne are hostages on their knees in front of the trucks. Rick tells the Governor that he is no longer the leader, that there is a council that is in charge and makes the decisions. It’s a drastically different Rick than the one we saw last season, wiling to sell out Michonne in a heartbeat.
Maggie, Beth, and Daryl look onward from the prison while Rick saunters down yonder to negotiate. This moment is proof that Rick Grimes has grown so much in the past two seasons. Rather than launch an attack or stay haughty, Rick humbly begs the Governor not to attack and asks him if the two groups can simply share the prison. There are sick kids that can’t be transported and Rick offers the solution of each groups living in their separate cell blocks wherein they’d never have to see one another.
The group with the Governor is starting to feel nervous about this attack after hearing Grimes’ speech. Even Tara is not feeling good about things and her girlfriend tells her to stay put and not panic. But the Governor replies by taking Michonne’s katana sword and slicing Hershel’s head partially off. Maggie and Beth witness this from afar and are devastated. Rick is in shock and Michonne reacts immediately. The trucks and tanks roll over the fence and begin the attack.
Meanwhile, Lily is back at camp with Megan where she sees a walker across the river. He starts into the water and Lily seems worried that he may cross, but he gets caught in the current and floats away. For some lame ass reason, both Brian and Lily thought it was okay to let Megan chill out on the bank of the river and play in a pile of mud. This seems weird mostly because she is so far away from camp, even if it is within seeing distance, and you can sense that anything could go wrong. It does. She finds a sign that indicates that this was a flash flood area and as she digs, the hand of a walker comes up from out of the dirt and grabs her. As the walker unearths she screams, but Lily is too late as the walker bites into Megan.
Lily comes upon the scene at the prison fence carrying Megan’s body right after Hershel is killed. The Governor takes the little girl’s body and immediately shoots her in the head. Lily realizes how big of a mistake she has made in trusting this psychopath and the audience remembers why the Governor never deserved our trust or hope, even for a moment.
Rick and the Governor start fighting man to man. One moment it seems Rick has the upper hand then it switches and we watch the Governor pulverize him over and over with his fists. Just when we start to worry about Rick, Michonne shows up with her katana and runs the Governor through the chest, then leaves him to die. Lily follows close behind by double tapping him with a bullet to the head.
The group starts filing people into the large bus in order to abandon the prison and save as many lives as possible. Maggie guides a sick Glenn to the bus, but realizes that Beth isn’t there so she goes back for her. Shortly after this the bus takes off and Glenn panics without Maggie. When the violence is too much and she can’t find Beth, Maggie leaves with an injured Bob and Sasha into the woods.
As outsiders approach, the prisoner gang is being annihilated and Lizzie and the little girls take up arms and save Tyreese by shooting Tara’s girlfriend in the head. Daryl initiates a one man badass campaign by using old walker bodies as bullet shields and stuffing grenades into the tank canon. Beth can’t find the kids or little baby Judith so she leaves the scene with Daryl. Michonne is no where to be seen.
Carl and Rick go back to find Judith and in her place see her carseat, empty and covered in blood. Carl and Rick hobble away from the burning remains of the prison and Rick tells Carl not to look back. Since when did they need a car seat for Judith, like she ever went on runs with them outside the compound? Hopefully Michonne’s disappearance points to her saving the baby. Either way, we will find out when the series continues in February 9th 2014.
Everyone said that Hershel was the new Dale, but I’ll argue until I’m blue in the face that Hershel would kick Dale’s ass any old day. Losing Dale was almost a relief, similar to Andrea’s death. But losing Hershel? The show and the cast will never be the same. He was Rick Grimes’ mentor and teacher, his Mr. Miyagi if you will. At least we know that Rick finally learned the ultimate lesson and that he has let go. He will be a better leader now and it’s mostly thanks to Hershel.