The Walking Dead - Season 4, Episode 8: "Too Far Gone" TV Episode Review
Directed by Jeremy Podeswa
Written by Curtis Gwynn
2013, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on December 1st, 2013
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Danai Gurira as Michonne
Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene
Emily Kinney as Beth Greene
David Morrissey as The Governor
Chad L. Coleman as Tyreese
Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey
Kirk Acevedo as Mitch Dolgen
Audrey Marie Anderson as Lilly Chambler
Warning! This discussion contains spoilers.
After two Governor-centric episodes The Walking Dead finally gets down to brass tacks in an explosive episode appropriately titled “Too Far Gone”.
Steve: Can I just say WOW? For the past few weeks, both TGM and I were tired of this show to the point of where we discussed calling these recaps quits (which TGM actually did, not that I could blame him). Hell, we hadn’t even dropped last week’s episode until eight days after it aired. Up until Sunday, it was getting harder and harder finding the motivation. I know the two episodes leading up to last night’s were about my final straw. But then...I’ll just say WOW again. “Too Far Gone” damaged me. At first I was upset about the complete pussy handling of the whole Rick/Daryl/Carol situation, and then The Governor showed up. And, yes, he’s no longer Brian or One-Eye Bri. He’s the fucking Governor. You can go ahead and insert the overused Godfather III quote here because I’m back on board The Walking Dead train.
Dan: Agreed. Like you, I’d found the last couple of Governor episodes little more than filler that could have been tied up in a handful of scenes interspersed with the continuing story at the prison. Despite dropping into crushing mediocrity the season completely redeemed itself with this episode. I could actually feel my heart beating with excitement when it all kicked off, and it’s been a while since the show has done that to me. Ironically, even though I’m not a big fan of The Governor as a character, it was the previous time he showed up with an army that got my pulse racing.
Steve: Not only was my heart beating with excitement when The Governor and his new friends showed up at the prison, I didn’t realize I was holding my breath during that scene until I let it out. This happened numerous times, too. One in particular was when Rick started giving his rah-rah speech about living together. I knew something was going to go tragically wrong and when it inevitably did, I went to involuntarily gasp, but couldn’t because there was no air to take in, only let out. Hershel’s death was the most powerful scene in this show in recent memory. While I still pine over the loss of Shane, even his demise didn’t rock me like how Hershel went out. The latter’s death was just so...meaningless. By that I mean while I understand why it needed to be done for the show to move on, it was something that didn’t have to happen in The Walking Dead universe.
Look, anyone who has read more than two of these recaps knows my feelings about Rick, and it should come as no surprise that I put Hershel’s slaughter squarely on his shoulders. Did he honestly think he could reason with The Governor? Did he really believe that his speech (which was pretty good, actually) was going to make things better? Why couldn’t he just walk away? Rick is a virus and everyone who comes into contact with him is going to suffer somehow.
Dan: Yeah, we all know you feel threatened by Rick’s awesomeness, change that record. Seriously though, I don’t have any kind of problem with his character. He started out in this world as a humble Sheriff's deputy, thrust into the post-apocalypse reality of the world having gone to shit. He lost his family, found them again, found out his best friend was boning his wife, killed that best friend and lost his wife anyway. All the time this is going on, he’s been forced into a position of responsibility and authority with numerous survivors looking to him to lead them. I’m pretty sure he’s felt the burden of every life lost throughout the show and yet, even when he steps back from that position, allowing The Council to make decisions, The Governor still wants him front and centre for the negotiations. Rick is completely conflicted, between trying to bring his son up in this world gone mad, be the figurehead for the group, keep people alive and deal with the occasional one-eyed dictator intent on bringing everyone down, all the while trying to stop their small society devolving into sub-human morals. Is it so surprising he’s conflicted in every sense? His speech didn’t make anything better, granted, but would Badass Brian have acted any differently if Rick had agreed to load his people on the bus and take off? I don’t think so. He had a score to settle, and he was there to do just that.
Steve: I actually agree with everything you say. I think my problem lies in the fact that I really do want to like the character, but he’s prone to entirely too many bad decisions to have the leadership status he holds. But, you are most right in the fact that the record does need to be changed. The reality is as much as I dislike him as a leader, he’s really the only one in the group that is qualified enough to do it. Daryl is a soldier, Tyreese is a bitch, Glenn is too weak and passive, Carl is just a hair too young to be taken seriously, and Hershel’s daughters are lacking the charisma. I just want him to make one solid decision that doesn’t get anyone killed and helps the group as a whole.
Steve: Moving on for everyone’s sake...Hershel.
Dan: Poor old duffer. I did like him, but it looks like his demise was well signposted with the lack of screen time he’s been getting this season. Also, if you worry about Rick making the right decisions, how’s he going to fare now with his moral compass beheaded?
Steve: I was shocked. I still am. I could see the creators offing just about anyone else (save for maybe three others), so it hit me hard. Like you say, Hershel was the center of the show. The old wise man that gave the answers that you needed to hear as opposed to what you wanted to hear, and now he’s gone. I can’t see anyone who is currently on the show who can fill that role. It’s funny, my sister nailed the overall reasoning behind Hershel’s death. We were discussing how abrupt it was and she said, “It’s as if The Walking Dead writers consulted with the Game of Thrones writers and asked their advice on how to make things better. The Game of Thrones people suggested to do kill someone popular. Boom! Hershel’s dead.” I can see that. Honestly, aside from Shane, when did we last see a death that came as a surprise? I don’t know about you, but neither Lori nor Andrea’s fates came as a shocker to me. Carol’s booting from the camp was unnerving, but clearly not the same level as Hershel’s beheading.
Now that I mention it, it’s unfortunate that The Governor didn’t hold up Hershel’s head after he lopped it off. Now that would have been a show stealer.
Dan: And very cliched, which is probably why they didn’t bother. On the subject of El Governo, they could still bring him back. Yes, I know people would turn away in droves if they did, but we didn’t see him die, we didn’t see the shot hit him and we certainly didn’t see him on the menu for the walkers. I predict that sometime in Season 8, when Andrew Lincoln has quit the show and Robert Patrick plays Rick, they’ll use The Return of The Governor to try and win people back. Dennis Hopper will play the part. Actually, Dennis Hopper would make a pretty good Governor.
Steve: Ug, sadly I agree with you because I can see that happening. So, what do you think happened to Baby Judith? I for one hope she was an appetizer for a walker because, overall, that would be best for the show. For one, you can toy with how Rick and Carl handle the loss. Secondly, and more importantly, it takes away the ability to use the baby as some sort of crutch plot point in the future. However, I suspect one of the kids grabbed her out of the seat and took her on the bus.
Or wait...if the writers really want to go balls out, maybe the budding sociopath who has been doing the weird things with the rats has decided it’s time to move up the chain. I’m convinced that the person responsible for skinning those rodents is one of the girls Carol was charged with looking after.
Dan: I think Judith’s gone. I hope so anyway, she's been on the shelf marked Plot Points for Future Use if We Need Them for a while now. I hope they decided they don’t need it. That car seat covered in blood didn't look too promising for L'il Ass Kicker, but I'm sure the writers will keep her in, if only to explode fangirl ovaries when Daryl holds her.
While we’re on the subject of the kids, are they the only ones who didn’t go to Imperial Stormtrooper shooting school? Rick’s bunch armed with automatic weapons could barely hit anything, and a 10-year-old could ready a pistol and pop an invader between the eyes as required. Get Tyreese in the library and put the kids on guard duty.
Steve: I think we can all thank Carol for that. I’m sure she had something to do with it. And speaking of automatic weapons, it still bothers the heck out of me that they are just located in laundry bins at random spots throughout the prison. That’s exceptionally lazy writing.
Dan: And the rats? That’s gonna fizzle out. That one kid who was wanting to name the walkers has been feeding them at the fence. If they even get to the bottom of that mystery, that’s what’ll be revealed I’m sure.
Steve: I don’t know if I agree with you here. Because they are going out of their way to set something up with it, dropping hints here and there. Plus it’s more than just feeding them to the skinjobs at the fence at this point. That rat Tyreese found looked to be all split open as if it were being dissected.
Well, this was the mid-season break and the dead don't rise again until February 7th. I’ve heard rumor that the group will be heading north out of Atlanta and closer to my neck of the woods, but I’m not banking on it just yet. Regardless, I’m suspecting a split of groups for the second half of the season, with Daryl taking off (with possibly Michonne) to find Carol, and Rick leading the others to a new locale. (It does beg the question, though, how will they hook up again if that does happen.) What about you? Any predictions?
Dan: I predict America needs to cut this ‘mid-season break’ shit out. I’m glad they’ve moved on from the prison and Rick’s country garden. The whole thing was in danger of becoming The Good Life, with zombies (that’s a British thing, you won’t get it). It’s hard for me to predict really, as I’ve never read the comics past book one. I heard some fanboy chatter that suggested they were going on to another location featured in print, but it meant nothing to me. With The Governor gone (until Hopper takes the role), they’re going to need a pretty strong antagonist to end the season on a high, but with the writers making brave choices like they’ve done thus far I think we can still bank on that happening.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a TV episode.
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