The Walking Dead Recap: Gunsmoke

The Walking Dead Hershel DiesIn this week’s midseason finale of The Walking Dead, the Governor lays out for his camp a plan to “take that prison without firing a shot.” But, as you’d expect (and, blood-thirsty as you are, maybe hope), before “Too Far Gone” has lurched to its conclusion, approximately a zillion shots have been fired, and five survivors – two of them major players – have bought the farm. Who lives to return for the second half of Season 4? Read on and find out.

RELATED | Exclusive: Scott Wilson Opens Up About Hershel’s Death, Admits He Didn’t Want to Leave

ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR | As the hour begins, Lilly overhears “Brian” rallying the troops. And, to put it mildly, she doesn’t like what she overhears. Although her boyfriend intends to trade his hostages – Hershel and Michonne – for the prison, he tells the group that they have to be ready, if need be, to kill. “I don’t know who you are,” the nurse tells her boyfriend, thereby establishing her as what? About 80 percent smarter than Andrea (who went ages without smelling a rat). 90?

CAROL WHO? | Back at the prison, Rick is finally informing Daryl that he banished Carol, and Daryl is reacting with approximately the same amount of upset that I display when I find an anchovy on my pizza. (Not the scene we waited three weeks for!) Then, rather than take off after Carol – was I the only one hoping he would? – Daryl, like Rick, focuses on how Tyreese will handle the news that she killed his B-player girlfriend. Before they can get to that, however, there’s a knock at the door… in the form of cannon fire!

ADIEU OR DIE | Ignoring the fact that the jailbirds now are governed by a council, the Governor forces Rick to again act as their leader. Mainly, it seems, just so he can tell his former foe that, unless they hit the road by sundown, Hershel and Michonne will bite the dust. In turn, Rick argues – as eloquently as desperately – that it doesn’t have to go down this way. They can all live – operative word: live – in the prison. It is, after all, huge. They can come back from the things they’ve done. “We’re not too far gone,” he insists. And, for a millisecond, it looks like the Governor is really considering it. Once the millisecond has passed, however, he remembers the title of the episode, hisses “Liar!” and takes a swing at Hershel’s throat with Michonne’s samurai sword. After that, it’s bedlam!

KID STUFF | While all this is going on, Meghan is back at what used to be Camp Martinez, digging up a flash flood warning sign and, seconds later, being bitten by a walker long buried in the mud by one such flood. At the same time, over at the prison, the youngsters all head for the getaway bus with baby Judith in tow… until Lizzie reminds them of what Carol taught them. They need to be strong, she says. Also, they need guns.

FIGHT TO THE FINISH | As the battle for the prison rages, Lilly wanders into the fray with Meghan’s body, and the Governor shoots his substitute Penny in the head. Shortly thereafter, Rick gets the drop on the Governor, and they take turns beating the crap out of each other for a while. Then, just when finally it appears that the Governor is going to choke Rick to death, Michonne stabs her nemesis through the back with her sword, and Lilly finishes him off with a bullet to the brain.

LOOSE ENDS | Nearby, Daryl “decommissions” the Governor’s tank and gets rid of Mitch (thank you!); before Alisha can shoot Tyreese, Lizzie shoots her (thanks again!); an injured Bob, Sasha and Maggie are separated from everyone else – including Glenn! – when the getaway bus leaves without them; and, while Rick and Carl are reunited, all they can find of Judith is – gasp! – her bloody baby carrier. As they stagger away from their now-walker-infested former home, Rick tells his son, “Don’t look back.” Question is, what is there to look forward to?

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Enough excitement for ya? But at what price? I’ll miss Hershel and his voice of reason, much like I already miss Carol. Speaking of whom, what was up with Daryl’s reaction to her ouster? Were we the only ones who thought they were closer than that? Were you sorry to see the Governor get his comeuppance? (In any case, shouldn’t Maggie have gotten to finish him off rather than Lilly? The guy brutalized her boyfriend, nearly raped her and beheaded her father!) Did the finale leave you looking forward to the second half of the season? What do you want from the second half? Hit the comments.

The Walking Dead Season 4 resumes Sunday, Feb. 9 on AMC.

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201 Comments
  1. Chris says:

    Maybe not put the spoilers in the URL? I was going to read this after the episode and already know one of the deaths. Unless it’s a red herring, in which place, well played!

  2. Prahaexpat says:

    Does anyone else think that Carol drove the bus? There was a reason they didn’t show who drove away and I don’t think anyone else on the bus would have been willing to leave the others behind, but Carol would be able to do it in her current state.

    I haven’t read all of the comments, so I apologize if this is redundant.

  3. craigfoxall says:

    Reblogged this on MindKeepsSpinning and commented:
    A better recap than mine. #TWD #Mid-SeasonFinale

  4. nonniemb says:

    I don’t understand why Michonne didn’t leave with Rick and Carl. She saves Rick, and Rick runs up to find Carl and then Michonne just walks away?????? Uhhh, why wouldn’t she have just followed after Rick and left with them? And why didn’t Rick think to wait for her, or look back for her? (I realize he was a litttttle emotional and overwhelmed about Judith and everything happening, but c’mon.) A great finale though, STOKED my angels Maggie and Glenn are alive, even if they are gonna be separated for the better half of next season (or so I would assume).

  5. Mike says:

    I agree with why the Governor killed Hershel instead of Michonne, but after all his experience, I can’t believe he’d turn his back on Michonne, the person that wanted him dead the most (and said it to his face). I think it’s out of character for him to simply forget that Michonne was still alive and run forward to take the prison leaving his back exposed to Michonne. While I didn’t want Michonne to die, I thought it would have been better if the Governor at least looked for her to shoot her instead of turning his back on her and therefore getting stabbed.

    • Lilly says:

      You know, I didn’t have a hard-and-fast opinion about why the Gov killed Hershel first, but something you said about “turning his back on Michonne” made me realize that he either wasn’t thinking at all or he was on an all-or-nothing suicide mission. I think the Gov killed Hershel because he wanted to make SURE there was no more talking. He knew people cared about Michonne, but there was NO WAY, after killing Hershel so cruelly, that the emotions of the crowd would stay calm. He was counting on at least the daughters starting the gun fire so he could ram that tank in there. And if they succeeded, he could savor killing Michonne later. (Doesn’t explain why he lost track of Michonne so quickly after the fighting started, though.)

  6. Sophia B. says:

    I think it is as the Gov. said, he didn’t care about Michonne any longer, he realized that Penny was dead. I think that he killed Hershel because as he put it Hershel is a good man and he was able to save two daughters. Where the Gov. could not. And with Rick’s speech he knew there was no coming back for him. But the biggest reason he killed Hershel first was because that is how the writers wanted it. I think that they being the writers would have the answer why. Not funny, I know.

  7. Tej says:

    Why would you put a spoiler in your title

  8. Sophia B. says:

    So true. I’m not invested in Michone at all. I know there are die hard fans out there, some from the comics and some from just the show. We all have are favs. Mine are Rick, Daryl, Carol, Glen, Maggie they are the top 5 for me, sometimes the order changes. The three times that I really liked Michone was when she was eating Morgan’s food and Rick was like your eating his food and she said “The mat said WELCOME.” Then when she took that cat statue and told Carl it was just to dang cute to leave behind. But when she put out the Gov’s eye that was the best. Other than that, I could take her or leave her. Now Hershel he had it going on. I’ll miss him.

    • Andy says:

      I know. The Governor shoulda at least messed her up a little bit! She stabbed his eye out and killed his zombie daughter for Pete’s sake!!

  9. Jenny says:

    I am so angry with Daryl’s reaction to Carol’s banishment. Hey, you SOB, she turned you into a person. Grab your crossbow and go get her! Screw Rick for his hypocrisy. He unilaterally decides to exile Carol, and then has the stones to tell the Governor that he can’t make decisions himself because the prison has a council now. Time for Precious Pony Rick to go away…

  10. Rachel says:

    Some things are better left undead. The baby is alive! The blood in the carrier could be that baby Judith is wounded … there was a lot of gunfire and shrapnel flying about.
    I believe Carol didn’t kill Karen and David. To make a long story even longer, if it ain’t Lizzie, it’s “Gun Happy” Carl. And, they’re the only two people I could see Carol covering for. And! If it is Carl or Lizzie, they don’t know Carol knows they did it. She’s just that nice. Or she went plumb crazy and it is what it is. I kinda hope it’s Carl since Rick drove Carol off down the road and dropped her off like a dog. Poor Puppy Carol.

  11. Martin says:

    Really sad for old Herschel, he was the calming influence on the group, glad the governor is dead he still managed to inflict maximum carnage before dying, the psycho m not sure but my other question who is the other group knocking about that slaughtered that group the governor was spying on?? I think carol will come back , and it’s looking really good can’t wait. For February!!

  12. Janiecanuck says:

    Well finally something actually happened on the show! After a couple of weeks of Rick and Carol picking tomatoes and the Guvner doing his depression crap it was good to see some good old fashioned zombie killing and explosions!

  13. Sarrah says:

    Carol didnt kill them… PAY ATTENTION PPL THAT LITTLE GIRL DID! She only burned the body’s n took blame… hence why one child was sick but not the others

    • Sophia B. says:

      I thought it was Carol from the beginging even before she told Rick she did it. Because of the crime seen. But Carol did teach the children how to protect themselfs and also both girls saw Carol stop their dad from turning. Now that I saw how the little girl played in the blood and how she liked the zoombie even naming them. Yes, I also knew there was no way she was sick. All we have to do now is wait. I’m sure it still will take a long while after THW dead comes back before they reveal the truth either way. I just want Carol back, even if Daryl and her do not get together. I want her come back to be an awesome one. Either she finds and saves Rick (he is shot) or she finds Ty and the girls I want it to be where she is the hero. That would be a great come back.

  14. Jim Grosso says:

    Daryl and Sword Girl hook up. You know they will…

  15. Jacqueline says:

    The writers of this episode tanked in my opinion. Why get rid of Hershel? The voice of reason. Maggie should have revenged her father’s death by killing the Governor. The new characters are not as good as the ones killed off the show. I miss you Hershel.

  16. walker bait says:

    I think the gov should have been stopped and hershel alive off with glen looking for maggie.

    Machone then chops off the governors head and it turns into a zombie and tries to bite its own rearside.
    this would make a better storyline.

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