Well, well, well. Where do we even begin….
I enjoy Live Tweeting during the show, but knowing the importance of the mid-season finale I chose to only post reactionary and expletive tweets with a few onomatopoeia thrown in for good measure. I felt this allowed me to be respectful of our friends overseas who will not see the episode until next Friday, while still being able to play with my friends here. You know me…no pity for the west coast. Wink.
First things first, you need to catch up? Do so by clicking here for a spoiler filled recap. I’m serious this time. When I say spoiler, I mean SPOILER, down to the photographs that will be posted. So, if you choose to proceed and read/see something you didn’t want to, it’s your own fault. Don’t blame me, you weak person that I would no longer want on the ZTeam.
Okay. Are you ready? Let’s do this.
Don’t expect me to give a play by play on the episode. That’s what the recap link is for. This will, as usual, be an opinion piece. Take it for what it is worth.
While I enjoyed the two Governor-centric episodes that aired in recent weeks, episode 8 made me bitter about them. I suddenly found myself feeling pity for the man. I didn’t want to find anything likeable about him. But, as we have discussed, the premise of the show examines who you are and how you react to the changes around you. The things that he says to his new group actually made logical sense from a survival standpoint. But his motives were just so skewed. This became painfully clear when, while Hershel was having a heart to heart with him in the RV, the Governor delivered the cold as ice line, “They’re not mine.”
When he was brutally killing Martinez last week, the Governor mumbled over and over, “I don’t want it.” I think he meant the power. It’s not just that he didn’t want to ‘share the crown’ but more that he didn’t want to be in that position. He was such a conflicted character. If he hadn’t crossed paths with Martinez again, how are we to know what sort of man Phil would have become? Maybe, as Hershel suspected, he had changed. But seeing Martinez, witnessing the mistakes that his group were making…My husband says I would be the same way. He said, “Have you ever been involved in anything in your life where you didn’t end up with some sort of leadership role or major responsibilities? You can’t handle not being in control of something.” Phil was the same way. I feel ya, buddy. It’s very hard to let go. Unfortunately, he snapped. When Hershel called him ‘Governor’, Phil barks back, “Don’t call me that.” He didn’t want it.
Sadly, he didn’t want the prison, either. I believe he left his “new” family parked by the river so that once he had ruined everything Rick had, Phil could come back and move on, happily ever after with the replacement Penny, Meghan. While they were packing up and waiting to discuss “the plan” you can see another small child running around. They didn’t bring the kids into battle. Where are those little families? Not tucked away with the Governor’s brood, that’s for sure. He had other plans for them. This was never about finding the group a safe place. This was about revenge, exorcising his demons, and moving on with his girls.
Jump to the prison with me now. Daryl, as I predicted, had an extremely anti-climactic reaction to Rick’s banishment of Carol. I expected more.
I had to laugh when one friend Tweeted that Daryl had been “neutered” on the show. She’s on to something. Go back and re-watch all 4 seasons. Yes, the absence of Merle, and the support of Carol helped to calm Daryl and allow him to be a less angry individual. But what the hell happened to him in the months between seasons 2 and 3? He was loud. He was passionate. He was outspoken. We get to the prison and he rarely speaks. He is a machine. When he does talk, it’s in a soft spoken tone, like he’s being submissive. It doesn’t help that he has become Rick’s beckon-call-girl. Daryl needs to wig out and he needs to do it soon. And can the internet PLEASE stop with all of the Daryl/Beth romance nonsense. Just…don’t.
Speaking of Rick, if I haven’t said it yet, I have not liked him since about part-way through season 2. I’m just saying….
Remember the recent episode where Rick and Carl killed off the walkers breaching the fence line? I didn’t realize they had killed ALL of the walkers on the fence line. Really, AMC? Really? The fence line has been in jeopardy for weeks. The one day that guests arrive, this imminent threat is no where to be found? I’m not having it. And please stop with Tyreese’s obsession with the rats. What difference does it make now? The prison is no more. Let that story line go.
While I miss good, rich, brown New York dirt, I have to say that I enjoy squishing my toes in Carolina red mud, which is just clay. Obviously, down in Georgia, little Meghan appreciated it as well. At least, she did…Kudos, AMC, on what I thought was a really cool “hero walker” scene. You would think that after seeing all of the walkers trapped knee deep in mud last week that her mother would have considered a mud bank an iffy place to play. Clearly, she gets the Lori-Mother-of-the-Year award. So long, kiddo.
Did anyone else scream like a little girl when they thought Daryl had been bitten? I did. My neighbors can probably testify.
For those who still believe Phil had any intention on moving his group into the prison, might I remind you that he allowed the tank and trucks to tear down the fence line rendering the prison useless. He used those people as pawns in his chess game. Chess. a theme played out numerous times this season, to my personal enjoyment. One night in Bangkok? More like one night in Georgia.
I did get upset at Hershel’s demise. I didn’t cry, though. I thought that I would. I cried for days when Merle died. But not last night, or during subsequent viewings. I was more disgusted. It was excessive and graphic and brutal and epitomized the depths of the Governor’s insanity. My heart broke. When Hershel smiled, that killed me. He was so proud of Rick in that moment and accepting of his own fate. He knew in that moment that Rick had come full circle. He had “come back” from the things he had done and all of Hershel’s lectures had finally sunk in. Hershel found peace. It reminded me of two deaths in particular: When Professor X looks at Magneto and smiles just before letting Jean destroy him in XMEN: The Last Stand, and when Obi Wan Kenobi looks at Luke, then has a zen moment before allowing Vader to strike him down. It was a powerful scene.
And, maybe this is just me, but take a look at these two pics (front and back shots) that I took. After the Governor finally bites the bullet, literally, we see a lovely shot of a walker stepping on his chess piece, the King that Meghan had colored an eye patch onto and gave to him. The King was toppled, as is customary when defeated on the game board. After the walker steps on it, the shot pans out and we see other walkers approaching the prison.
This one particular walker was zoomed in on by the camera and the shot was held on her longer than any other. Is it Clara from the woods? Rick never put her down after she stabbed herself, pleading with him to “let it happen” so she could be like her Eddie. The big theme with Clara and Rick was discussing whether or not you could come back from what you had done. Hershel believed that you could and tried to get Rick to have faith. But, Clara was certain that you could not. She had lost all hope and given up completely and repeatedly told Rick that you could not come back from the things you had done. Rick left her, dead, at her tent and returned to the prison. I think Clara finally found her way there, and at a poignant time. Rick may have found his way, Hershel may have found peace, but the Governor, like Clara, could not find his way back to humanity. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I truly believe based on her clothes and the tight camera shot, that it is her. I only wish I’d had the idea to submit the question to Robert Kirkman on the Talking Dead last night.
This leaves us scattered until February. Let’s check the score card, shall we? Rick is with Carl. Glenn is on a bus full of unnamed Woodbury red shirts. Sasha, Bob, and Maggie were seen running away together. Beth followed Daryl. Michonne was never seen again after running her blade through the Governor and saving Rick’s life. Carol is driving around in parts unknown. And, Tyreese presumably ran after the children to lead them to safety, “No! We need to go this way!”
The children. Whilst I despise that feeding-rats-to-walkers brat (yeah…if the story line still meant anything, I’m accusing her) Lizzie, I do commend her for taking Carol’s lessons to heart. She and her sister armed up and took out two hostiles, saving Ty. Albeit, they stashed Judith’s car seat in order to do so. Thank you, Carol, for managing to do good for the group even in your absence. We never actually saw whether Ty caught up to the 4, yes 4 children at that point, or whether or not any of them stopped to grab Judith. The bus had left without them. Perhaps it was easier to carry her without the weight of the car seat? I’m hoping, though, that she did die. Forgive me, but it was arrogant and selfish of Lori to have kept the baby in an apocalypse to begin with. She couldn’t care for the one she had. What were they thinking? No babies. Babies ruin stories. Just ask any 80s-90s sitcom.
I do hope that they had a meet-up contingency plan. Daryl makes mention that the bus contained supplies and that they were to head for the woods behind the admin building. After Hershel’s farm fell, they were scattered but all met up again at the Sophia car on the highway. I’m hoping we don’t endure weeks and weeks of what’s-everybody-doing-now episodes. Although, if that’s the case, I hope that Ty and the kids run into Carol. She will help keep them alive. And then, after Ty is emotionally attached to all, and grateful that the kids saved his life at the prison and Carol saved it in the wild, then he will learn that Carol offed Karen. Boom.
I have no clue where any of this is going. I refuse to listen to any more complaints and comments about, “In the comics they did this” and “in the comics they did that” or “This is nothing like the comics.” Kirkman has stated, repeatedly, it isn’t supposed to be the comics. Harry Potter the movie series was nothing like Harry Potter the novel series. Each work has to be respected as a stand-alone creation with its own merit. Allow these new stories to unfold and allow yourselves to be surprised.
They promised us one hell of a ride, and from my stand point, they haven’t disappointed us yet.
Bring it on, February!