Saturday, December 7, 2013

Everybody Dies and Then We Have a Good Cry


“Too Far Gone”
It is with a heavy heart with which I inform you that the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead is upon us. What’s cheerier than this episode filled with death, destruction, and loss? A documentary I just saw about physician-assisted suicide in Oregon; a Norwegian zombie movie; and a Swedish vampire romance featuring two preteen lovebirds. I apologize in advance for not including more “yuks” in this synopsis, but nobody said every installment of the zombie apocalypse was going to be funny, ‘mkay? So here you go.
The Gov is trying to convince his new group to “survive.” That is, he wants the prison. They’re not safe, he opines. But we can take the prison without killing anyone, yet you never know what might happen, heh heh…The Gov has captured Hershel and Michonne, whom he plans to use as pawns. He feeds his group a load of B.S. to rile them up, eliciting their sympathies. Some fans argue that it’s high time the drama moved from the cloistered, claustrophobic prison to the more exciting venue of life on the road, where death is always imminent and escape not necessarily a possibility.
Yet Lilly has some problems with the proposition. The Gov makes no bones about it; his job is to “keep them alive.” But Lilly’s not looking for an upgrade. She already had her jerk husband leave her; does she really need a bigger one in her life? The Governor professes his love for Lilly, but she doesn’t respond in kind. Instead, she replies that she doesn’t know who he is.
Michonne and Hershel are in one of those crappy trailers. When Michonne starts to wax elegiac about how she’s going to kill the Gov, Hershel interrupts her. He wants to find a way to live together. But the Governor hates Rick passionately, and he can’t live with Michonne after she slayed zombie Penny. Hershel appeals to the Gov’s empathy: “How can you threaten to kill someone else’s daughter when you have one of your own?” “Because they’re not mine,” he mumbles. The Gov is an animal that has no empathy. He reminds me of Chip, my German Shepherd mix growing up. Chip was nice to us. He would bite the balls off anyone who he deemed a threat. Unfortunately, the U.S. mail was also a threat to Chip, so we often had to piece together shredded bills. He never bit or growled at us, but his attitude toward everyone else ranged from indifference to utter hatred. Like our beloved Chip, the Governor has no morals but plenty of instinct. The new Gov may not enjoy inflicting pain on others, but he has no moral qualms about doing so if it’s in aid of his overriding goal of saving Lilly and Meghan.
The Gov situates Meghan, Lilly et al complete with el crapo trailers by the edge of the river, claiming no walkers can make it across the water, declaring it safe. Famous last words.
Daryl is mighty pissed that Rick banned Carol. Daryl can’t believe that Carol wasn’t even sorry, and Rick says he hasn’t told Tyreese yet. Hmm, might not want to do that just yet. Daryl is worried that Carol is on her own. Daryl wonders what will become of Lizzie and Mika now that Carol is gone.
Tyreese has found something odd; a dead rat splayed on a wall, displayed like a specimen. As Rick and Daryl ponder the fate of the rat, their attentions shift quickly; a blast rattles the prison. The Gov is here and he wants to “talk.” Rick abdicates his decision-making responsibilities to the council they formed earlier. But now is not a good time to have fun with democracy. We need a firm but benevolent dictator—Rick? Hello? The Governor has a tank. That can’t be good. He tells them to get out by sundown or you all die. This is a do or die moment for Rick; can he stand up to the Governor once and for all?
Aah, back to the bucolic river scene. Lilly anxiously keeps a lookout as Meghan makes mud pies. So biters can’t make it across the river, eh? Looks like the Gov may have been wrong. It’s fairly shallow. But no, looks like he got washed away with the current. But Meghan is not having luck with walkers this week; one very dead looking decomposed one rises out of the mud to bite her on the shoulder. Lilly reaches her but not in time, shooting the walker in the head. We can blame the Governor for this, too. If it wasn’t for his maniacal bid to take the prison, Lilly and Meghan would be cozily ensconced in a crappy trailer out of harm's way.
Carl is confident he can shoot the Governor where he stands. We see dear little Lizzie again, determined to help the way Carol would have wanted it—with weaponry, of course. Rick offers to share the prison rather than getting in a shootout, but the Gov says no, not after Woodbury. Rick stands his ground. Rick invites anyone who wants to join them, to come in. The Gov threatens Hershel with Michonne’s katana sword. Rick gives a nice speech about how we can all change, and come back from the bridge of inhumanity. It’s not too late to change. All this is lost on the Governor, who mutters “Liar” in response to Rick’s flowery speech, and then kills Hershel with the katana. RIP Hershel! Your senior citizen bad-assdom will live on forever in our hearts! He’s not quite dead yet but manages to crawl away for a spell until the Gov comes and finishes the job.
The Gov shoots Meghan in the head after discovering that she is dead. A devastated Maggie and Beth wield shotguns. The tank mows down some fences, clearing the way for the SUVs. Rick and the Gov duke it out, mano a mano. Rick is taking it pretty badly. Now walkers are moving in. Lizzie and Mika just graduated from bad asses in training to certified bad asses; they shoot Alisha and another insurgent, saving Tyreese. The Gov is strangling Rick, but wait—Michonne steps in and does indeed kill the Gov…or does she? She stabs him through the chest and leaves him for dead. Daryl and Beth take off after Daryl shoots Mitch through the heart with his crossbow.
The prison seems very beat up. Is it even repairable? Carl is missing. Was he on the bus? Nope, the kids were the real bad asses of this episode. Carl is fine, taking out walkers. It’s dad Rick that’s barely holding it together. In a heart-wrenching development, Baby Judith is missing, with blood on her carseat. Apparently she was lost in the fray. Lilly shoots the Governor, putting him out of his misery. The prison seems lost. The school bus left earlier. So here we are, halfway through the fourth season. What you may be wondering is, what will I be writing about on Hell’s Domestic Backside now that The Walking Dead is no more until February 2014? Be assured you will see movie and television reviews from my Netflix queue. If I ever make it to an actual movie theater, I’ll recount this experience as well! For now I bid you adieu and thank you for your continued patronage.

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