2 Dec 2013

The Walking Dead - Episode 4.08 'Too Far Gone'

This week on The Walking Dead brought us the mid-season finale that saw The Governor, with a parade of others welding weapons coming behind him looking to take the prison of Rick and co.. Things get a little nasty, and as the tank tears through the building, blood starts to spill and chaos begins.

Season 4 has come a long way from Season 3, and as much as I love The Walking Dead, no season so far has been able to grasp the emotional impact and intensity that Season 4 has, making for one of the best seasons yet. It is still early days, and the second half could be a complete dud, but I doubt that will happen. Let's be honest, it's The Walking Dead - all it has to do is kill of a character to get us gasping for more. Now, despite being the mid-season finale, it almost comes across as the "what should have been" for the finale of Season 3; it would have made more sense there but it works her just fine too. In fact, it works so well that I am practically hyperventilating at the fact that I have to wait until February to see what the group is up to. This is the sort of impact this show has on fans... it's horrible.

After the slight disappointment with the finale of Season 3, I knew that something was going to be done with the story, characters and of course, the prison. It was inevitable, so I prepared myself for the worst. I clearly didn't prepare myself enough as 'Too Far Gone' took some serious turns for the worst, resulting in some hugely upsetting and shocking moments. Have you seen the episode? If so then you will know exactly what i'm yammering about; if not, avert your eyes else were as this is about to get chin-deep in spoilers.

The episode starts were Dead Weight left out, showing us just what The Governor is up to, which happens to be persuading the group to take over the prison and kill those "evil" ones inside. Pretty basic stuff really, but it all taps into the psyche of The Governor, proving just how sadistic and cold he really is; a scene later on proves that exactly to the highest extent possible. This scene is a basic reminder of the power of The Governor, and although Lilly overhears, basically telling him no, the relentlessness of him shines, and it's at that point when you realise shit is about to hit the fan. The first major narrative thump comes from Meghan who, when playing around in the mud is caught by a walker and bit. This short intense snippet felt a little predictable whilst it was happening, but then again, you never really get used to a child dying in these sort of shows do you. The display of The Gov's coldness comes into full action when Lilly brings Meghan to him during battle limp and bitten, his quick act of murder by shooting a bullet into her head is both frightening and ruthless; someone he treated as his own is the same child he guns down immediately. This rough and vigorous display of The Governor was inevitable, but the cruelty in his act adds an extra "ummft" to the overall impact of Episode 8.

The strongest element of the episode was the sudden and horribly tragic death of Hershel which didn't come to much of a surprise; how he died was a completely different story. The writers were smart in eliminating the voice of wisdom in one of the most horrifying murders the show has seen to date, and although it was absolutely horrifying to watch, the death of Hershel felt right for the moment; Rick and Governor talk about joining together, and as Hershel sits with a grin presenting the hope in humanity, as soon as his death hits it represents the loss of hope between the group, and it's then when all hell breaks loose (for obvious reasons also). The violent act that sees The Governor hack at Hershel's neck with Michonne's own sword is horrifying to watch, and this vicious act only makes the end result that bit more juicier. The impact of this is deep, and you feel the emotion of his death, but not long enough as before you know it The Governor gives him another go by chopping his head off completely from his body. The effect it has on Maggie and Beth is heart-breaking, although the emotional touch just wasn't as strong as it should have been - I blame the gruesome death none of us seen coming.

The intense battle that runs through the prison see's Bob, Rick and others get a bullet or two in battle. The vigorous fight between two groups switches as we watch each character have their lives on the balance. Obviously I felt safe for both Michonne, Daryl and Rick, but as for the rest, well, they all had there near-death experience. The fight between Rick and The Governor is satisfying, the rough, vicious style of it is strong, and surpasses the other action that takes place, involving a tank, guns and a lot of grenades. Luckily, we see the demise of The Governor who falls in the hands of Michonne, then finished off by a blood-covered Lilly who shoots one right between the eyes. Nothing this show has ever done has felt as satisfying as that, and it comes across, both as watching The Governor die and Lilly get her revenge. As much as The Gov was a strong main villain, I definitely think his time is up and his death now was appropriate. As for little baby Judith, well, seeing a bloodied cot and no baby only means the worst, and both Rick and Carl's reaction only make the simplistic yet dramatic scene worse. My guess is that a walker got her, but judging by how strong and dependable the kids are I think they might have taken her to safety. On that note, those little girls killing with their guns was pretty awesome.

VERDICT: Episode 8 results in what you could only call an amazing chaotic and shocking experience. The fierce approach to the action and deaths up'd the tension to a high degree that the series hasn't been able to reach yet. Perhaps one of the best episodes of the series, Too Far Gone is one that will make you scream with excitement and mourn with shock. February couldn't come any quicker.

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