Death, destruction and utter chaos! The Walking Dead mid-season finale had it all.
This episode played out very much like it did in the comic book. In fact it's probably the closest the show's been to the comic since the pilot.
This is both good and bad. Good in that it's cool to occasionally see the comic book come to life. Bad in that in the comic book, once the whole brutal Prison vs. Woodbury storyline ended, they've never really been able to come up with anything to top it. I have an uneasy feeling that the same may happen on the TV series. I hope I'm wrong.
Thoughts (BIG HONKIN' SPOILERS AHEAD! LAST CHANCE TO TURN BACK!)
• When they showed Carol in the "Previously..." clips, I half expected to see her pop up in this episode. I still don't think she's gone for good, especially since her name is still in the opening credits.
I'm betting Rick and Carl will run into her on the road at some point in the second half of the season. Won't that be an awkward moment?
• At the beginning of the episode the Governor makes a big impassioned speech to his new army, urging them to follow him and take over the prison from the "monsters" who occupy it.
I'd have liked to have seen at least one or two of his followers say "Nuts to that!" and bow out. Yeah, he's a charismatic leader, but he ain't that charismatic.
Yes, Tara looked like she was having second thoughts, but she didn't do anything about it until the shots started flying.
And why is Mitch being so loyal to him? Didn't the Governor kill his brother last week? Is soldiering so ingrained in him that he'll follow anyone who barks orders?
• Shortly before the Governor captures Hershel and Michonne, we see the two of them dousing a pile of brain-dead walkers with gas so they can burn them.
I get that they need to burn the bodies, but using gas to light 'em up seems awfully wasteful to me. There's a limited supply of gasoline left in this world, and I'd think they'd want to save every drop for their cars. Surely they've found alternate flammable substances on their supply runs; things like lighter fluid, kerosene or alcohol.
• Back at the prison, everyone's apparently been in suspended animation for the past two weeks as Rick just now tells Daryl about how he banished Carol.
Yes, I realize the series re-round time to show us what the Governor's been up to since being run out of Woodbury, and we're just now catching back up to prison time, but it was still kind of odd.
I wonder why we had to sit through two full Governor-centric episodes? Wouldn't it have been better to cut back and forth between him and the prison?
• Speaking of Daryl, he got over Carol's banishment in record time. I have to say, this season has been moving along at a breakneck pace! They've crammed a huge amount of story into these first eight episodes.
Not that I'm complaining, mind you. If this was Season Two or Three we'd have got an entire episode (or more!) of Daryl fuming about Carol before finally coming around.
• We have a title! When Rick's speechifying to the Governor, he says, "We’ve all done the worst kinds of things just to stay alive, but we can still come back. We’re not too far gone."
I have to say I've never been a fan of incorporating titles into dialog.
And really, Spell Check? You didn't flag "speechifying?" Thanks, George W. Bush.