Warning: If you have yet to watch 'Too Far Gone,' last night's midseason finale of 'The Walking Dead,' I'd highly suggest that you turn back now. The following piece contains big time spoilers.
When Season 3 of 'The Walking Dead' ended, many fans found themselves highly underwhelmed by the largely action free conclusion. Not only did we not get the long teased head to head battle between Rick's group and The Governor, we got no real resolution to any of the season's dangling plot threads.
Last night's episode, 'Too Far Gone,' is in many ways what the Season 3 finale should have been. The Governor led an army to take over the prison. Rick was steadfast in his refusal to allow that. Several important characters shuffled off this mortal coil, many more were wounded, and much emotional catharsis was had.
The hardest loss is obviously Herschel Greene (Scott Wilson), a character that spent most of Season 2 as an antagonist to Rick, before finally coming to his senses. Seasons 3 and 4 have seen Herschel blossom into the baddest man on one leg, and a real fan favorite. Darryl may get all the attention, but Herschel was the backbone of the group. His guidance and even temper will be sorely missed. There will surely be situations from here on out where both we the audience, and characters like Rick and Glen stop to wonder the following: "What would Herschel do?"
Now we go from perhaps the most sympathetic character on the show to the most vile. Whether you want to call him Phillip, Brian, or simply "The Governor," David Morrissey spent the last few episodes embarking on a quest to make 'TWD' fans discover previously unknown levels of hatred. It briefly looked like The Gov might actually have changed, but we all knew that wouldn't last. A tiger can't change its stripes, and a self serving bastard like The Governor can't either.
While I was shocked when The Governor used Michonne's sword to relieve Herschel of his head, the character's real defining moment came when he unflinchingly put a bullet in the side of little Megan's deceased head. At that point, it all came together. The Governor didn't give a damn about ensuring Megan and Lily's safety. Sure, he liked them, but his real goal never stopped being murdering Rick and his group. The prison was never the goal. Rick could have gotten everyone ready to leave, and The Governor would have killed them all anyway.
That all said, I wish it had been either Michonne or Rick that got to deliver the final death blow to The Governor. I appreciate what the writers were going for in having Lily do it, but we barely know her. As happy as I was to see The Gov meet his maker, having an underdeveloped character kill him robbed the scene of some of its power.
Finally, there's the question of little Judith. The clear implication (at least certainly the one that Rick and Carl seem to believe is true) is that the child was taken from its carrier by Walkers, and probably devoured alive. Personally, I don't think even 'The Walking Dead' is mean enough to do something like that. I am confident that Judith will be found alive in February's return episode, and that the blood will be explained away in some other fashion.
So, what do you guys and gals think? Did 'Too Far Gone' deliver what you wanted out of a midseason finale? Should Herschel have survived? Is Judith still alive? Will The Governor rot in hell? Discuss.