Aired 01/12/13 on AMC
I don’t really know how to feel about this episode. There was a battle, people died and now we have to wait until February to find out the fates of the rest of the characters. Said like that, it seems like the perfect mid-season finale to make you go stir crazy while you wait to find out what happens next. But the actual episode was a bit… meh. I was looking forward to getting back to our regular scheduled viewing after two weeks of watching the Governor strive for humanity, but unfortunately it was still more speeches and less action for two thirds of the episode.
We stayed with the Governor at the beginning as he rallied the new group into trying to take the prison. His speech was very convincing but I was still a bit surprised that this group, who have been pretty passive until now, were okay with the fact that he had captured Hershel and Michonne and tied them up to use as hostages. They were willing to go and take the prison, even if it meant killing everyone inside to do it. It appears the Governor’s magical speeches still worked, even if they were about 80% bull.
Hershel asked him how he was okay with killing people’s daughters when he had one of his own and knew what it was like, and the Governor replied ‘because they’re not mine.’ Woah, okay - looks like you haven’t quite mastered the idea of compassion yet, Gov. I get it: it’s a dog eat dog world where you do what you can to survive, but there is still a line and it was further evidence that he had not changed as he was very willing to cross it to get the prison. It sort of made the last two episodes about him pointless. Yes, it was enlightening to see him as an actual human being with guilt, but we’re right back with a Governor who can charm a group into doing his bidding and killing people for his own needs. We didn’t really need two episodes to show how he went from A to B and then back to A again.
Back in the prison the sickness seems to have been contained and they were all breathing sighs of relief. We finally saw Daryl confronting Rick about banishing Carol and he actually took it pretty well. They went to tell Tyreese who was still on the manhunt for Karen’s murderer and found him looking at a dead animal that had been pinned open for Walkers to feast on. He was busy ranting about how a psycho was loose when they were rudely interrupted by a tank blowing up part of the building.
The Governor’s group were situated outside the fence with Hershel and Michonne tied up in front of them and a whole load of guns pointing towards the prison. He shouted for Rick to come and talk and it pretty much consisted of the Governor saying how he wanted things to go peacefully and gave Rick’s group until sundown to leave. Rick was like ‘umm, no’ and gave a desperate speech about how they can all live at the prison as there was plenty of room. It looked like it was working and as the Governor seemed to think about it, the music swelled with hopeful sounds and Hershel had a proud look on his face, until the Governor took Michonne’s sword and hacked Hershel’s head off. What a bastard.
This understandably pissed off the prison group, people who were already on edge due to the Governor’s last attempt to take them out, and they opened fire. The Governor’s group seemed to have no problem returning bullets except for Tara whose bravado went out the window at the prospect of killing. Despite the fact that the Governor wanted to live in the prison, tank guy drove his tank through the fence and started to blow up buildings like there was no tomorrow. Well, they weren’t going to have a tank just to sit there and look pretty, were they?
The fight was fairly standard but after two and a half episodes of speeches, it was a welcome relief. As a good mid-season finale must, a bunch of people died along with poor beheaded Hershel. I’m a bit gutted he’s gone; he was awesome this season and was on my list to be with in a zombie apocalypse. Another person who died was Megan and I honestly couldn’t care less. She and Lilly were left behind with the caravans and Megan was playing in the mud when a Walker rose up from the ground and bit her in the shoulder. Not gonna lie – I was cheering it on as Megan was so annoying.
The most notable death was definitely the Governor who was finally defeated. He was busy beating Rick into a bloody pulp when a sword suddenly stabbed him through the chest as Michonne got her revenge at last. Instead of finishing the job, she left him on the ground choking on his own blood. I’ve spoken to a few people who were mad about this as she spent the whole season searching for him to exact revenge but I liked it. He had caused Michonne so much pain and stabbing him in the head would have been too quick for her. This way, he was a tasty treat for the Walkers closing in, unable to move as he watched his fate come towards him. But then Lilly appeared, covered in Megan’s blood and looked him in the eye as she raised her gun and took the final shot. It was the ultimate symbol that he had failed in his supposed effort to change; even the woman he was supposedly in love with saw through him and shot him dead.
The outcome of the battle left us with the prison as a wreck and the group split up. The bus they had prepared for this occasion left with a few survivors and Glenn on board. Daryl was a badass and blew up the tank while Maggie had gone searching for Beth who in turn, had gone searching for Judith. Lizzy and Mika were also MIA as Lizzy decided that now was the best time to help out, and ended up saving a cornered Tyreese when she shot someone in the head. That was a quick turnaround for a girl who used to think of the Walkers as pets and wouldn’t shoot a dead man.
We saw them with baby Judith earlier on, but now who knows what happened to her. Rick and Carl found her baby carrier empty and covered in blood and assumed the worst, but I don’t think she’s dead. No body, no death. It was still kind of heart breaking to see Rick and Carl break down though. Props to Andrew Lincoln who once again killed it with his acting throughout the episode; that guy constantly makes my feels hurt.
So now we have a three month wait until we find out what happens to our separated group. I’m quite excited for this actually as this type of mix up usually produces some interesting storylines and gives us a chance to focus on different characters. The show has been lagging for the last few episodes since it’s strong opening this season, but this mid-season finale hasn’t got me anxiously biting my nails over the long wait, it’s more of an ‘I’m intrigued to see what happens’ kind of wait. Hopefully this change will get the show back on track – I will see you in February to find out.