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The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is a drama about a zombie apocalypse. It is based on the 2003 Image Comics series. AMC 2010-???

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Episode 8 - Too Far Gone

4 December 2013

Credit AMC

Synopsis: The Governor makes his pitch to his people and they agree to go to war. Lily stays behind and Megan is bitten by a Walker. The Governor threatens to hurt Hershel and Michonne if Rick won't leave. Rick offers to take the Governor's people in but Hershel loses his head to make certain that won't happen. The guns begin to fire and Michonne escapes and kills the Governor. Darryl leads the defence of the prison as most of the survivors escape on a bus. Several groups are separated though as Walkers march into the prison.

The Good: Well I feel exhausted and tense so I suppose by definition "The Good" makes its return to these reviews. From when Rick began begging for peace to prevail all the way to the final shot I was gripped with anxiety. I can't deny that the apocalyptic setting still manages to evoke great emotion in me as I cringe for the imminent suffering of these people.

Once again Andrew Lincoln proved himself to be a weirdly inspired piece of casting as his desperation was quite moving. I was certain that Hershel was going to die but the moment still held weight. The theme of whether or not we get to come back really did pay off here. For a moment the Governor considers whether peace is possible. But then he remembers that he wasn't allowed to change. He is back doing all the nasty things he hoped he could leave behind. So he decides to make it impossible for compromise by killing the nicest guy on the show and one whose daughters couldn't possibly live alongside him after this.

That moment was aided by two complimentary scenes. The first was earlier in the episode when the Governor rationally explains his plan to Hershel and Michonne. By seeing him acknowledge his own past madness and stick firmly to logic we could see the change he wished for himself. I believe that he wanted to take the prison without bloodshed. It was a far more convincing moment than many we saw over the last two episodes. I thought his argument that anywhere safe would already be taken was a good one although clearly he never tested it.

The second scene was the beautifully executed sequence where Megan was bitten. I loved the long shot of the Walker trying to cross the river with Lily wide eyed and fearful, hoping the current would wash him away. It was a perfect example of how the tension created by the apocalypse should be communicated by human emotion and not gory zombie makeup. Of course as she breathed a sigh of relief as the Walker lost its battle with nature Megan dug up the sign warning of flash floods. A walker, long buried in the dirt, emerges to prove the Governor wrong. It was a horrific illustration of how nowhere is now safe and taking the prison is no panacea for anyone. The Governor didn't have to take the prison, that moment said, because safety is an illusion.

Back at the prison his death felt somewhat anticlimactic after such a strong focus on him over these last two episodes. But it was a relief to see Rick find rescue and Michonne gain final revenge. The failure of the Governor's new group to take the prison was ultimately a story which made sense. Last episode seemed to imply that the Governor's philosophy was right - that you had to screw other humans over to survive. But this battle said otherwise.

The Bad: I know in war you need to cause maximum damage to your enemy to succeed but why did Mitch blow holes in the prison wall? If they were going to live there then surely those shots were a major mistake. As exciting as the battle was at times it was not as well choreographed as it could have been. We had multiple instances of characters not getting shot when they were exposed to rapid gun fire. But more generally it wasn't clear to me how the Governor's people all met their end. We saw a few being killed but there were many more of them than the prison group and I don't remember seeing them all being taken down. Once more it felt like our survivors were magically protected from the logical consequences of such an epic shootout.

The Unknown: The escape from the prison was suitably chaotic. However you would think that Glenn or whoever was driving the bus would not feel able to drive away until the children were on board. It seems odd that with Carol gone no one felt responsible for their wellbeing.

I suppose there's a chance that baby Judith is still alive and that one of the kids is carrying her. However I could also see the producers taking this chance to free themselves from an obligation that would have made surviving on the run impossible.  If that really is her death then it's a weird moment. It almost feels like the producers realised there was no way they wanted to spend time focussing on such a horribly tragic thought and hoped the genuine chaos would take people's minds off the reality of that moment. Surely the horror of that could break Rick? And yet the need to survive will presumably distract him long enough to keep him going. But at some point someone will need to ask whether without children there is any hope in this world at all.

It will be interesting to see where everyone ends up as they flee. Is there a rendezvous point or did they all just run for it?

Best Moment: Possibly the sequence where Megan was bitten. There was something about the simplicity of it and the utter tension I felt while watching it that really impressed me.

Conclusion:
I began this season talking about how difficult it was to watch The Walking Dead after last season. I felt like I was just waiting around for characters to die, the Governor to return and the prison to be overrun. Now that most of that has happened it's possible that I will feel a little different about the next eight. Now things won't be so predictable and presumably the group will suffer constant casualties as it searches for a new home. That will probably make for tense viewing and I can't deny that my life is more vibrant with that kind of television in it.

I still think without hope the show is doomed though and we'll have to see whether life beyond the prison offers anything positive at all.

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Comments

  • @ Fluids: I love this post, I wonder if the writers and show runners actually think this way?

    @Reza: If the God(s) of Time granted me a few extra hours in a day, your suggestion would top my list. Thank you, that does sound fun.

    Posted by Yogabon, 06/12/2013 9:35pm (6 years ago)

  • Right after Lily shoots Gov, a group of walkers is shown walking towards the prison. The camera lingers on one for a moment, and it seems to be the crazy lady from the season 4 premiere; same jacket, and as far as I could tell the same skirt, although it was tattered.

    Posted by Matt E., 05/12/2013 6:09pm (6 years ago)

  • One more post comment (no ratings) just to sum up some show axioms that have been revealed this season:


    Past Season Axioms (in no particular order):

    * Always be at the ready to battle humans or zombies.
    * Basic survival skills apply: Food, Water, Shelter, Medical Supplies, Clothing, Tools and Weapons
    * Either live together or die at the hands of other humans and the zombies.
    * Generally the older the zombie the slower they move.
    * Groups have to have effective weapons and security to protect them from humans and Zombies.
    * Groups have to have leadership of some kind to function well as a group.
    * Groups have become loose warring factions until centralized government is reestablished.
    * Humans are more of a threat in most cases than the zombies themselves.
    * It appears no physical safe place from the Zombie Apocalypse.
    * Safety in Numbers.
    * Significant characters usually have spectacular deaths.
    * When fellow humans die there needs to be a protocol of containment to protect other members
    of the group from being bitten and turning into a walker.
    * Walkers are attracted to moving objects, sound and light. The bigger the sound or light display the more will come.
    * Zombies can all act differently. Some can hold objects, some can scale things.
    There were Zombies scaling fences in early Season One episodes. Some zombies can turn doorknobs (Morgan's wife.)
    * Walkers can lay dormant for a while until a food source is detected and then they *wake up*.
    * Zombies move slower also if they are *malnourished* :)
    * Walker herds should be avoided at all costs. Eventually they will win.
    * Zombies can taint water supplies. (One of Hershel's wells)




    Season Four Axioms:

    1. The Zombie Apocalypse keeps those who are intrinsically bad as bad people.
    You may be a bad guy that has a moral epiphany and become good
    natured by your own choice, however you will be
    conflicted because you will have little choice but to kill
    sometimes humans and zombies in order to survive,
    which ends up being a negative reenforcement. (Governor Episodes)

    2. The Zombie Apocalypse has caused 'an evolution of morality' for some characters to include preemptively
    killing of humans for various reasons. This list now includes:
    A. Killing humans for supplies to survive (3rd group unknown)(Governor also did this in Season three with National Guard);
    B. Killing injured humans who have survived fellow human attacks. (Mitch)
    C. Killing humans who are a serious biohazard to other group members. (Carol)

    3. It appears there is no way for groups of humans to cohabitate the same facility
    when each has killed the other's members. (Prison battle)

    4. Disease trumps security and speeds up the process of infection
    and causes zombies to occur within a secured group. (First four episodes of Season Four)

    5. A quarantine system must be implemented to contain the spread of viruses and preserve the lives of the uninfected.

    6. Zombies can carry infectious diseases on top of their ability
    to kill humans with their walker 'Viral/Bacterialogical/Fungal/Act of god' thingy.

    7. Children do need to be prepared in order for them to also be able to survive. (Carol was right).
    Tyreese would be dead if not for Lizzie's quick thinking with a gun. Remember Meghan's river demise.

    8. Regrouping plans are essential in the event of a storming of a stronghold by humans or walkers.

    Anyone have other show axioms to add?

    Posted by Fluids, 04/12/2013 4:26pm (6 years ago)

  • @ Yogabon

    Yeah, I agree with your last lines. I’ve experienced The Last of Us video game that its story happens in a post apocalypse world with a girl who is immune to the virus and so on. I really suggest play it. But I think in TWD our survivors just trying to survive, find a safe place and meanwhile keep their souls clean and be moral. It’s really important to keep the human side of yourself in such ruthless world. It itself is so wonderful to watch people fight with themselves. And the people like the Governor. But as you said, I think our heroes can have a bigger goal to achieve. Like save the human race from extinction.
    but I don't think Rick would be a man to save mankind, he still has problems to keep safe his group!(LOL).

    Posted by Reza, 04/12/2013 12:34pm (6 years ago)

  • Hey,

    Thanks for writing again. I did delete the comment without reading it all just in case you mentioned the spoilers again.

    I know you weren't trying to be mean so I have no problem approving more comments.

    But would you mind emailing me rather than posting here about it. Just so we can have a proper back and forth out of the public gaze.

    I still don't need "saving" from any TV show. If I didn't enjoy watching something I would stop watching it. I may take the piss out of Dexter or How I Met Your Mother because I don't think much of them but I am more than happy sitting through them. If I were the kind of person who needed "saving" from bad TV then I wouldn't have started a website! My emotional disconnection from TWD is a reflection on its quality but not on my desire to see what happens next. Please take that on board or ask me for more clarification.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 04/12/2013 11:47am (6 years ago)

  • Come on, Robin. Why didn't you post my comment I made yesterday? it had no spoilers just an explanation as to why I made that comment last week. If it was a website malfunction then let me know and I'll post my previous comment, the one without the spoilers, again.

    Posted by Funkhouser, 04/12/2013 10:59am (6 years ago)

  • Everything was tense and breathtaking in this damn long waited episode. The episode was playing with my expectations. I felt Hershel’s gonna die. I knew the Governor’s gonna fall. I believed the prison’s gonna overrun. But Magen’s death, empty baby Judith’s basket and the way Governor reacted to his new daughter’s death was the details that made the episode to go more than what I had expected.

    Hershel’s death was really shocking and heartbreaking. The writers did a good job to talk about his “right and true soul” in “Internment”. So, it made his death very sad and effective for me.

    The producers raise the tension of the war in an amazing pace. First we realized that the Governor is not in the mood of war! Then we saw Rick is begging to make him accept peace. Then, I felt maybe the Governor’s people would step back from supporting him. After that, when he put sword on the Hershel’s throat. For the seconds I believed Rick’s speech was making sense for him. But suddenly he said “liar” and BOOM!

    But it was just beginning. The Governor wasn’t that angry until Lilly showed up and I said to myself “He’s mega psychopath now”. I terribly liked when he shot Magen without any emotion. (I’ll miss David Morrissey). I guess the Governor’s two-episode arc wasn’t anything more than a way to make us feel his anger after Magen’s death very real.

    It was one of the episodes of TWD that proved why I love the actions in the heart of a post-apocalypse drama. The episode showed real potential of TWD world where they can make us feel characters emotion, pain, love and action in a very outstanding way.

    After what I saw on the first 8 episodes, I don’t know I can expect more and be optimistic to the other 8 or not. But our survivors are separated, broken and on the road (finally!). This is my favorite part.

    By the way, I really loved when Lizzy shot that zombie!

    thank you so much Robin.

    Viewer score: 85 / 100

    Posted by Reza, 04/12/2013 10:31am (6 years ago)

  • My feelings about this episode fluctuated.

    Couldn't agree more that the campsite scenes culminating in Megan's demise were very well crafted. Truly less is more when trying to terrify the audience, or at least me. Gooey overly made up corpses make be feel more like giggling than goose-pimpling.

    Also Andrew Lincoln really elevates the material here and almost had me believing he could save them all. Very happy to see the end of the
    Governor. I am the Novel not comic book reader here and that helped me like him a bit better until the last novel made it clear the novels and the show are very different interpretations.

    I kept getting distracted by the absolute absence of Walkers during 'the Talk', this just highlighted all the convenient uses of walkers during the whole of the Prison Era.

    I am very glad they are moving on from the Prison. It really made the time at the Farm look even better than it was.

    While I am sorry to see Hershel go, it is only logical that his days be numbered. Same is true for the baby. This world is not for the weak, impaired or dependent.

    I still think this show would be so much better if we could learn that some people are immune to the turning after death, or immune to the bites, or at the minimum were working TOGETHER to save mankind.

    Viewer score: 67 / 100

    Posted by Yogabon, 04/12/2013 12:59am (6 years ago)

  • The Good: Season 4 can finally begin! I'm glad to see our survivors move on from the prison (Frankly, I think the writers handled the time there unsatisfactorily; I find it hard to believe that the people living there wouldn't have thought of better defenses. Martinez's camp had dug pits to stop walkers, yet those in the prison never thought of it despite the never ending stream of walkers, and from a plot perspective, it's not like the tank wouldn't have been able to fire on the prison from a distance.). And suffice it to say, I'm glad the Governor is gone. I also enjoyed the Easter egg of the crazy Irish lady from 401 showing up as a walker.

    The Bad: I'm sorry, but I still am so bothered by the simple inconsistencies in the plot, such as a sword that we've seen go right through multiple walkers unable to go through Hershel's neck. Why can a person shooting at a walker, with a pistol, while running, hit with expert accuracy, but a stationary shooter with an assault rifle can't hit a standing person? Why are walkers stuck in mud unable to move only when it's convenient?
    Finally for the bad, I would have liked to see Gov. torn apart by the approaching walkers instead of being finished by Lily. Why give him any relief?

    The Unknown: Would those on the bus really leave without Judith? Was it implied that Lily was trapped by the approaching Walkers? Who was dissecting the rat (squirrel?)? Will Hershel's head become reanimated?

    Viewer score: 70 / 100

    Posted by Matt E., 03/12/2013 8:38pm (6 years ago)

  • I pretty much agree with Daniel J W with my thoughts but i've learned to temper my score to bring it more in line with Robins scale so i give this a 74.
    The biggest compliment I can pay this episode is that, even armed with comic knowledge and foreshadowing in previous episodes, I was still worried for all the characters including Rick. Hershel's demise has been obvious to comic readers from the moment we saw the Governor outside the prison with Hershel joining Michonne to go on a body burning mission.
    As bad as episodes 6&7 were they did give some sort of meaning to Mitch's death and I thought Tara's shell shock was extremely effective.
    The imagery from the comic was all over this episode and from the moment we saw the long shot of the tank and other vehicles outside the fence, I just knew they were going to get the rest of the episode right.
    The first half of the season has been mostly fixing the mess left by Mazarra's reign as showrunner and I totally understand why he was removed.
    Long live Scott Gimple (even though we doubted your appointment.

    Robin, were the spoilers accurate? Hopefully not because you seemed to enjoy the finale.

    Viewer score: 74 / 100

    Posted by Rob H, 03/12/2013 6:50pm (6 years ago)

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