Showdown at the Prison: Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8 (Too Far Gone)

Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8

Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further.

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8 (Too Far Gone) will make you want to yell at your screen for lots of reasons. In the episode’s opening you’ll want to scream because The Governor feeds his troops the infuriating baloney that people from the prison are murderers who destroyed his old camp. The Governor also claims that he can take the prison without killing anyone. No effing way, you manipulative prick! You want to holler again during this speech, since the scene flashes back to him knocking Michonne unconscious and capturing Hershel at gunpoint.

A couple of people try to talk The Governor out of attacking the prison, including Lilly, and poor Hershel who makes a heartbreaking appeal for his daughters’ lives. However Hershel’s words only elicit a shitty consolation, “You’re a better man than Rick, Hershel.” Even though you know that The Governor won’t listen to reason, you still hope desperately that he’ll change his mind. Because he won’t, you feel like shouting at him.

Back at the prison, Daryl finally finds out what Carol did, although he doesn’t believe Rick at first. The two of them track down Tyreese to break the news, but before they can tell him, they discover a dissected rat. Is it Lizzy’s? We don’t get a chance to find out because a tank blast announces The Governor’s arrival with his army. After that you’ll make a ton of noise due to all the insane events that occur.

First, you’ll struggle not to chastise Lilly for awful parenting while her lazy supervision allows Meghan to get bitten by a buried walker. Then you’ll want to smack The Governor for insisting that Rick negotiates with him, even though Rick has stepped down from his leadership role. Tears will come to your eyes when The Governor decapitates Hershel with Michonne’s sword and when Rick discovers that his baby could be dead. I made the most noise though when Daryl gets pinned down by shooting. Because the scene cuts away from Daryl while a zombie’s attacking, you’re worried that he has bought the farm. Thankfully he continues his badass streak by shielding himself with a biter, before he tosses a hand grenade into the tank’s barrel.

As much as you’ll cheer for Daryl, you will probably applaud even louder after Michonne stabs The Governor and Lilly shoots him. Michonne is much nicer to The Governor in the show than in the Walking Dead comics. She shows him no mercy there, but then again, he does more horrific things to her in the comics. Miraculously, most of the people make out of the prison alive, including Tyreese who is rescued by children?! Unfortunately everyone gets scattered to the wind, including a very injured Rick and his son Carl, who stumble away without looking back.

What do you think is next for our heroes? Were you satisfied by the end of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8? And this week’s poll: Do you think The Governor got off too easy?

Herculean Hershel: Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5

Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5

Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5

With the prison’s fences caving in and walkers swarming through, somehow Rick and Carl manage to mow them all down near the end of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5 (Internment). Their father-son heroics are impressive, however they aren’t nearly as remarkable as Hershel’s Herculean determination in the face of intense adversity.

Many people believe that Hershel is fighting a doomed battle against the super flu, which is picking people off one by one at the prison. Even Dr. S has lost hope, so he smuggles some shotguns and shells into his cell. Although Hershel refuses to give up on anyone or to let go of his hope that the group will pull through. You might call it sheer stubbornness or arrogance, but either way you have to respect his incredible strength of character and ability to keep everyone going.

During a horrific moment in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5 opening, Hershel, Glenn, and Sasha are trying to shove a tube down some convulsing guy’s throat to help him breathe. During the commotion, Hershel bravely tries to lighten the mood with jokes like “Some council meeting, huh?” and silly suggestions such as starting “Spaghetti Tuesday.” As if that wasn’t enough, he also insists on dealing with dead patients outside the cell block. By killing those walkers out of sight, Hershel smartly preserves a sense of order and stability among the people still combating the illness. Kudos to him for shouldering that emotional burden.

Unfortunately Hershel can’t be everywhere at once. Everything finally spirals out of control for him once a walker get loose and start biting people. Hershel risks life and limb, almost getting bit himself, to kill the zombies and to save Glenn from the brink of death. Thank god Maggie ignores Hershel’s command to stay away from the area. If she didn’t break in to help her dad, poor Glenn would be a goner.

What’s amazing about Hershel is that he gives selflessly without expecting anything in return. That’s what easily makes him the most admirable character on The Walking Dead. You can really sympathize with him, so when he bursts into tears toward the end of the episode, you’re right there too. He gets a good cry in for all of us. Here’s to hoping the show’s writers keep him alive through this season.

Another crazy part of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5, is that Rick and Carl manage to kill all those zombies swarming in. Not only is it huge that Rick let Carl assist in such a dangerous situation, but it’s a big deal that they survive. When the fences started falling, I thought for sure the whole group would be forced to leave the prison. I was impressed when the episode cut back to them mopping up the corpses. Rick and Carl must have used their ammo efficiently with some well-placed head shots.

Did you think that the prison would fall in this episode? Also, were you shocked to see The Governor lurking outside at the very end? Is he coming in war or in peace? And finally, this week’s poll: Were you worried that Glenn might get killed off?

Glenn’s Health in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further.

Glenn’s health is pretty touch and go in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5 (Internment). He comes very close to the verge of death toward the end of the episode. He might not have even made it if Maggie wasn’t there to help Hershel give Glenn a breathing tube.

To talk more with me about The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5, check out my full post on the episode, to let me know what you think.

Tyreese Comes Out Swinging: The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead Season 4

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead Season 4

Until now Tyreese has been a level-headed character. However at the start of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3 (Infected), he does a complete 180. After discovering his smoldering dead girlfriend, he comes out swinging. Was she torched as a walker? Or murdered? Tyreese doesn’t care. He just puts Daryl in a choke hold and punches Rick. I’m glad to see Tyreese becoming more nuanced like he is in the Walking Dead comics, but I wish his development would happen under less depressing circumstances.

Despite Tyreese’s grief-stricken state, Rick doesn’t take kindly to sucker punches, and loses his shit. He goes full-on crazy, turning self-defense into a total beat down. I can’t blame Rick for returning blows, because I would too, except I’d exercise more restraint. If you know about Rick and Tyreese’s epic entanglement from the Walking Dead comics, you’ll be pumped to watch this episode’s brawl, even though the show’s reasons for their fight are less complex.

Later on in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3, Tyreese comes out swinging again, this time with his hammer. When he, Daryl, Michonne, and Bob Stookey accidentally drive into an enormous herd of walkers, their car gets trapped on a hill of zombies, forcing them to fight their way out. Tyreese stays to take on a swarm singlehandedly, which seems like a sacrificial play if you haven’t read the Walking Dead comics. Using a situation similar to one in the comics, the show’s writers have Tyreese channel his rage into walker-killing superpowers. Like the Rage Mode from Doom, Tyreese angrily and rapidly destroys his foes, leaving him exhausted, yet alive.

Back at the prison, everyone left there tries to combat the mystery illness killing people off. Even Glenn and Sacha catch it, leaving us devastated. Get well soon guys! Most uninfected prefer quarantine to stem the illness, while their friends search for supplies. Although Hershel is willing to put his life on the line to help. Once again he thrives as the show’s emotional anchor, especially when he delivers one of his famous knock you on your ass powerful speeches about risking your life for what’s important. Aw snap, Rick and Maggie, you got served!

Following this season’s theme of answering a previous episode’s questions while raising new ones, we learn that Carol burned Karen and Dave. Now that Rick knows about she did, we’re all left wondering, is there anything he’s going to do about it?

This week’s poll: If you were in Rick’s position, would you tell anyone it was Carol who torched Karen and Dave?

Are you happy with Tyreese’s character development? And if you were Rick, would you have fought back against him? Click here to leave me a comment.

It’s Raining Dead: Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1

Hershel and Rick talk in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1

Hershel (Scott Wilson) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further. 

(Singing) It’s raining dead! Hallelujah, it’s raining dead! Amen!

For me, the high point of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1 (30 Days Without an Accident), is a delightfully action-packed scene where walkers are raining down on our heroes. This is a frightening situation for them, but thankfully Daryl Dixon is there to save the day by delivering lethal shots with his crossbow and stomping zombie heads into pulp. The juicy supply run gone-wrong represents the season-opener’s most intense section. There’s blood by the bucketful, peeling rotten flesh, and a walker hanging entertainingly by its entrails. It’s an absolute delight for zombie fans.

Although new showrunner Scott M. Gimple rewards us early on with this thrilling gory conflict, he does a fantastic job balancing The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1 with some great character development. A significant amount of time has passed since the end of Season 3, so in this episode we’re treated to catching up with the significant changes that have taken place at the prison. There are physical modifications that the site has undergone like an outdoor cafeteria, a garden, a stable, and a pig pen. Relationships have shifted too during that window. Romantic connections have emerged for Tyreese and Beth. Maybe even Daryl and Carol got together too? Carol calls him “Pookie,” however that mostly seems like a joke.

Rick and Carl have also been working at fixing the rift that formed between them at the end of Season 3. Rick has turned into a farmer and provider who helps find food for everyone while others have formed a council to lead the community. It’s nice to see Carl acting like a kid again, talking about comics and following his dad around. One of the stranger moments in the episode is the odd flirtation between Michonne and Rick when she gives him an electric razor and jests “Your face is losing a war.” Perhaps they’ll hook up as well at some point?

A bizarre detour during the episode involves Rick’s trip into the woods and his encounter with a deranged, lonely woman named Clara. What’s silly about the whole thing is that Rick follows her without telling anyone where he’s going. Then she ends up attacking him and killing herself senselessly. The subplot goes on longer than it should considering the whole adventure serves one point: for Rick and Hershel to later debate whether you can come back from the terrible things you have to do for survival. Hershel believes you can. And it appears Rick has turned himself around.

By the end of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1, you’re left with three fascinating questions and a fun cliffhanger. First, whose gun is it that Rick digs up in the garden? Second, how are the pigs getting sick? Third, and most importantly, the subject of this week’s poll, how does the kid get sick who dies at the end? His death and transformation into a walker in the final moment spells trouble for our friends at the prison. Can’t wait to see how it plays out.

What did you think of The Walking Dead’s Season 4 premiere? Any surprises or disappointments? What do you think will happen next? Click here to leave me a comment.

Walking Dead Season 4 Trailer and EW Cover Story

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes on the cover of Entertainment Weekly

Good

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes on the cover of Entertainment Weekly

Better

 

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon on the cover of Entertainment Weekly

Best

My excitement about The Walking Dead Season 4 went from a 5 to an 11 last Friday. It was a great day to be a fan of the show because not only was The Walking Dead Season 4 trailer unveiled at the San Diego Comic-Con, but the issue of Entertainment Weekly that was released had a Walking Dead story and three different collectible covers. A cover features Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), another has Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), and the third, most badass one features my favorite character Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) on his motorcycle. Sadly I didn’t get the Daryl edition like I had hoped, although I was still pretty happy with Rick.

Based on The Walking Dead Season 4 trailer and EW’s article, the new season, which starts in October 2013, seems like it will be a great mixture of character driven episodes and tense action. Here are my thoughts on the trailer and the article. Be sure to watch the trailer below and let me know what you think about this teaser for Season 4.

When we pick up with the people at the prison, it seems like times are getting extremely tough. With more humans at the prison, resources are probably going much faster. There are multiple shots of Daryl and company risking their necks on dangerous supply runs like the one in the trailer’s opening at a Walmart-type store. It’s definitely unsettling to hear screams of pain without knowing the source. Plus, the conversation that Carol has with Daryl about the increasing number of walkers and the shots of zombies piling up against the prison only add to my anticipation about how the survivors will deal with the growing threat.

Speaking of Carol, I was glad to see her talking more with Daryl. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a total shipper hoping that those two get together. I also thought it was funny that she was teaching a class on knife safety. I’m intrigued to see how that particular portion fits into the coming episodes. Other things that made me curious: the new character played by Lawrence Gilliard Jr., all the emotional reaction shots, the talk about leaving the prison, the scene where everyone is fighting their way from a car through a swarm of zombies, and the final moments when they hear something on the radio.

Lawrence Gilliard Jr.’s character clearly has something dark going on beneath the surface, especially based on the shot where he’s looking in the mirror with his hand shaking. I wonder what potentially dastardly deeds he will perpetrate. Hopefully he isn’t linked to Hershel’s line about two of their own being killed in cold blood or to the shot of dead rats someone has been feeding the walkers on the fence. The emotional reaction shots could be to anything, although to me they signal a lot more character-rich episodes.

The scene where everyone is fighting near the car and Tyreese is battling a cluster of zombies by himself, reminds me of a part of the comic where he similarly fends off a ton of walkers. I cross my fingers that the fight goes in his favor since I like Tyreese. I’m going to guess that his busted eye in the trailer comes from a fight with Rick. I can’t wait to see how their relationship is built up in the show and what will eventually bring them to the same blows that they famously exchanged in the comic.

The Entertainment Weekly Article

The cast of The Walking Dead in Entertainment Weekly

Wicked creepy right? This isn’t a position I’d want to be in.

The main photo for EW’s Walking Dead Season 4 article is amazing. It’s cool toward the beginning of the issue that you see how the photographer was on his back to take the shot of everyone creepily standing over him.

Behind the scenes with the cast of The Walking Dead

Cool to see how it’s done huh?

I enjoyed the piece’s anecdotes about Chandler Riggs (Carl) finally getting to fire a real gun on set after celebrating his 14th birthday. Admittedly I was concerned too about the season would be with its new showrunner Scott Gimble, however the interviews with cast members and reminders of the superb episodes that he wrote in Seasons 2 and 3, assuaged my fears.

EW got me wondering how The Governor will crop up in Season 4 and hooked me with teases about an impending threat scarier than the walkers. It made me laugh though to hear viewers were confused about the Tyreese/Sasha relationship. Even if you didn’t read the comic, I thought it was fairly obvious that they were family. Like the EW writers, I’m speculating nervously on how many characters might get killed off this season.

I say if Daryl dies we riot. Anyone else agree?

Just kidding…or am I? Haha.

Merle, Merle, Merle: The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15 (This Sorrowful Life)

Michael Rooker on The Walking Dead

Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15 Copyright 2013 AMC TV

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further. SERIOUSLY, there are some mega spoilers here, even more so than usual. Don’t read ahead unless you have seen the episode or you absolutely don’t care about knowing major plot points beforehand.

Summary: Rick fills Daryl in on his plan to turn Michonne over to The Governor and enlists Merle’s help to take her into custody. Later on Rick has a change of heart, but before he can tell everyone, Merle takes matters into his own hands. Acting alone, he captures Michonne and leaves the prison with her. At the same time, The Governor and his men trek toward the rendezvous point with murder on their minds.

First off, the title for The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15, “This Sorrowful Life” is amazing not only because it encapsulates the horrible existence that is the zombie apocalypse, but also because it foreshadows the episode’s epically tragic ending. In fact, this installment has the saddest ending of Season 3, and maybe even of the entire show so far. Despite its conclusion, The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15 is loaded with great banter between Merle and others, since this episode is almost all about everyone’s favorite one-handed loose cannon.

When we first see Merle, he’s ripping through prison mattresses in the hopes of finding some crystal meth, which seems silly, yet strangely smart. If you’re looking for drugs in a prison, might as well search likely hiding places right? His comments to Rick like “You’re cold as ice Officer Friendly,” are amusing with an underlying hard honesty. His following conversations with Carol, Daryl, and Michonne all contain elements of that same humor and unabashed earnestness. He asks Carol “You have any whisky? I’d even drink vodka.” He tells Daryl “People do what they gotta do or die.” And he says to Michonne “You gotta play the hand you’re dealt. I’ve only got one.”

The worst thing is that Merle’s totally right. Rick and his team are willing to essentially do the same thing they vilified Merle for: kidnapping an innocent person all in the name of survival. Although Merle knows that they don’t really have the stomach for it, which is why he anoints himself as the guy who does the dirty work. He’s willing to bear the group’s sins, which actually makes him a decent guy. As Michonne says to him, if he was really a monster he wouldn’t feel any guilt over what he was doing. He’d be “light as a feather.”

Speaking of Michonne, she’s overcome her rocky start and just keeps getting better as a character. She does an amazing job getting inside Merle’s head, convincing him that he shouldn’t turn her over to The Governor. Plus even without her sword she proves that she’s a regular McGuyver walker killer, using just her boots and wire. Of course Merle changes his mind and let’s her go, so she heads back to the prison. One of my favorite moments in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15 is Rick on lookout, awkwardly seeing her waltzing back onto the prison grounds.

Side note: it’s interesting that they used this episode to have Glenn’s propose to Maggie. I was wondering if they’d tackle that considering the two tied the knot in the comics when they were living at the prison. Totally grody that Glenn snatched the ring off a walker, although at least he picked a good one. Hope he cleaned it off first! Also it’s hilarious that Rick and Hershel have a change of heart about their stance on Michonne at the same time. For Rick it’s seeing his dead wife and Hershel it’s reading the Bible that triggers it. What a contrast!

And now the part you’ve all been waiting for! Merle’s demise. I laughed when he was getting drunk listening to Motorhead before his heroic attack on The Governor. Even in the zombie apocalypse Lemmy is still God! The writers actually do a great job of slowly making him sympathetic over the course of the episode, so that when he finally meets his end at the hands of The Governor you’re really sad. I love how they don’t show him actually dying, you just watch Daryl finding zombie Merle. Makes the emotional punch to the gut that much harder. I go on and on about Daryl and Norman Reedus, but Reedus gives us an AMAZING performance during this scene. He puts all of these intense emotions out there that Daryl would be feeling: loss, disgust, fear, and rage.

Also toward the end, Rick spills the beans on what was really happening with Michonne. He renounces Ricktatorship in favor of equal say for everyone. Definitely curious to see how democracy works given the impending showdown with The Governor. I’m so excited for the Season 3 finale I could almost pee. For your sake and the sake of my furniture I won’t though.

And now click here this week’s poll: Did the end of Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15 make you misty?

Any predictions for the Season 3 finale? Who do you think will live or die? Will we find out who torched the walkers?