Plot: The Governor (David Morrissey) has a small militia once again and his sights are back on the Prison. This time he claims that he wants the Prison to keep his people safe, but is revenge really on his mind? Meanwhile, the Prison group is still in recovery mode following the illness that took many lives. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) decides to tell Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Tyreese (Chad Coleman) about Carol’s (Melissa McBride) exile too, but a sudden visitor changes everything.
This, my friends, is how Season 3 should have ended. “Welcome to the Tombs” was touted as a big, sweeping battle with over 20 people getting killed. It ended up being a huge disappointment with the entire fanbase angry over what they just saw. To put it simply, it left a bad taste in the mouths of many. “Too Far Gone” however didn’t receive the same amount of promotion or publicity. All it had were the few promos that were released. The end result was an episode that was epic in scale with one jaw dropping moment after another. It may have had some slow build up, and yes what we had prior was questionable (that’s a discussion for another day), but “Too Far Gone” was easily one of the best episodes of this entire series.
The majority of the episode last night was build up for the epic battle between Rick and The Governor. It opened up with “Brian” using his natural charisma to sway the people of his group to attack another group of complete strangers. As expected, none of them really required any evidence as to why Rick and his group had to go. They just wanted the protection the Prison had to offer regardless of the fact that they were killing people who literally did nothing wrong to them. The only real voice of reason during this entire time was Lilly (Audrey Marie Anderson) who seriously questioned why any of this was necessary. Obviously “Brian” reassures her that no one really has to die, but we all know that is bullshit from the start. The final goodbyes between Lilly, Meghan (Meyrick Murphy), and “Brian” were nice though as it really conveyed how much the Governor has changed since he met them. Sure he hasn’t changed THAT much, but even Hershel (Scott Wilson) noticed he was different than before.
Back at the Prison, it was easy to forget that this episode technically took place immediately after “Internment” three full weeks ago. We now got to see first hand that the medicine Tyreese, Daryl, Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.), and Michonne (Danai Gurira) brought back actually made a difference. Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) recovered from the illness and it looked like everything was going to be okay for them. It was nice to finally get that little bit of closure that we hadn’t officially received outside of “Glenn made it through the night.” Rick also told Daryl about his decision to exile Carol which he naturally didn’t take very well. Personally, I still don’t think Carol had to go, and unfortunately we didn’t see any of her last night. Perhaps it would have felt a little unnatural to suddenly have her appear again. Rick and Daryl go to tell Tyreese about Carol but he interrupts them with a messed up rat carcass smashed against a door. Tyreese fervently believes that there is a real psychopath amongst them who needs to be taken care of. The discussion ends abruptly though when an explosion rocks the walls of the Prison, leaving this as one of the big cliffhangers.
That explosion was caused by a tank driven by Mitch (Kirk Acevedo) with The Governor in tow. Rick tries to bargain with The Governor, showing how much he has changed as a leader, but all Hell breaks loose when Hershel is violently decapitated. Hershel’s death, in all honesty, was a massive tear jerker. That man was the star of this first half with his selfless actions being the sole reason why ANY survivors exist at all from the outbreak. That speech before he ran head first into A-Block with the tea was standing ovation worthy. It was really painful to watch him go and I will sincerely miss the expertise Scott Wilson brought to the cast. Rest in peace Hershel, you deserve it.
The ensuing battle was mind blowing. It had everything people could have wanted from a fight like this. A lot of people died on both sides, but the most notable was definitely The Governor. He and Rick had an awesome fist fight that would have resulted in Rick getting choked to death if Michonne didn’t stab The Governor through the heart. I’m not ashamed to say that I cheered during this. Michonne got her revenge, and Lilly got the final shot which was fitting considering her brief role/romance. It was a nice connection to the comics too. Say what you will about The Governor, I really thought that David Morrissey absolutely owned that role. He killed it every single time. I still don’t think it was necessary for him to survive Season 3, but it was nice to watch his personal growth in “Live Bait” and “Dead Weight.” I am glad that he’s gone though.
There were plenty of “holy shit!” moments last night too. Daryl was easily the King of Badass with him using a walker as a shield and freaking blowing up a tank with a hand grenade. Yes, I thought he was going to die in that one brief scene, but how could I be so blind? Daryl can’t die. He owns this world inside and out. Even little Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) had her moment to shine saving the ever badass Tyreese by straight up killing two people. Guess Carol’s teachings were justified right? Whether or not Judith survived was a big question last night, but we never saw her body so she’s most likely alive from my understanding. I’m convinced that Beth (Emily Kinney) will show up next season with baby Judith in tow. At least, I hope she will. I don’t know if I can handle having two children die in one episode. Oh yeah, Meghan died too, which I wasn’t the least bit upset about.
Honestly, my only real gripe with this episode was the prolonged build up. It went on just a bit too long. Did we really need all that excessive talking between Rick and the Governor that had several commercial breaks? Not really. Is there a massive leap in logic between the Governor’s desire to use the Prison for protection but have no problem breaking the fences? Absolutely. But in the end, I was really happy with this episode. The Prison is over a half season too late and it went out in the most explosive way possible. I am beyond excited for the show to return in February. I already want the cliffhangers answered, specifically how the split group will get back together. Some people may have not liked the first half of Season 4, and in some ways I agree with them, but “Too Far Gone” was outstanding.
All Photos Credit: AMC