Season 4, Episode 8, “Too Far Gone”

“Too Far Gone”

(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)

Well, people, here we are already…the mid-season finale…I am not sure who, where, or whence the ol’ mid-season finale concept came, but I, for one, am grateful for the idea.  I am too busy in a million different ways to be able keep a boner going for any show, no matter how awesome, for 16 weeks in a row…especially through the holiday season. The Walking Dead would have had pretty much one of the best shots at keeping me going for a straight 16-weekerbut it would have cost me.

I would have rallied, but it might not have been pretty at the end.

So, thank you,  genius of television who came up with the mid-season break idea…for saving our collective sanity, and giving us something to look forward to in the last part of dreary winter, the January/February slump, where the weather is cold and grey, and there are no real breaks or holidays except Presidents’ Day and Valentine’s Day…and sorry, but in my experience, those two “holidays” are never really as fun as they could be.

However, Season 4, for me, as been a pretty epic one, more fun than I could have imagined.  For one, it’s been the “coming out” season of barnfullawalkers, and despite the long hours of writing, rewriting, sleep deprivation, and technical difficulties that have come with this endeavor, it’s been a super rewarding adventure to start this blog and write about The Walking Dead. My WD buddy and I agree that Season 4 has been one of our favorites so far, on many levels.

I personally have enjoyed where Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, Greg Nicotero, and the entire gang of WD have taken us in the story line of this season, and I like how dark elements and characters of the comic series have been woven back into the television series. For me, the writing team has done a masterful job of maneuvering the scope of these dark times while still keeping love, hope, and humanity alive in key characters…and it seems the actors have been inspired by such a high level of writing by the haunting performances that all of the key actors have delivered so far in Season 4.  For some actors, these performances were their final ones for the series, and mad props need to be given to:  David Morrissey, Scott Wilson, and Jose Pablo Cantillo for wrenching our hearts and guts all over the floor…and to the actor that played Red Shirt Walker, who rolled over from his prison cot and spilled his guts all over the floor…mad props to that guy.

I also must give mad props to Melissa McBride, who plays Carol, gone but not forgotten…I will add another level to the ongoing Carol Theory, and say the I feel that we will definitely be seeing Carol again, perhaps in some leadership capacity elsewhere, where the bounds of morality are based more on brute survival than human compassion…but we shall see, won’t we?

I have also enjoyed, in Season 4, the addition of music from different musical artists, blending with the ongoing genius of Bear McCreary, to create a soundtrack for each episode.  I have read and heard various interviews with the actors of The Walking Dead where they said that they used music to prepare for, inspire, and come down from key scenes and performances throughout the series. For me, it just makes sense…music and The Walking Dead just go together.

Ok, enough preamble…let’s get to it, shall we? I’m not really going to get all recappy with this one…if you are reading this, you know what the fuck happened.  But we have definitely got some shit to hash out here, tears to cry…memories to share.

“Too Far Gone”

I was pretty curious how the Gov was going to spring his evil plan to the RV gang, and so I enjoyed listening to the Gov’s rallying speech at the beginning of Episode 8.  And, true to form for Season 4, the beginning was double-layered, with two scenes interposed, serving to turn the plot gears at double speed and getting the viewers right in there, and I, for one, am loving it.

In this episode, the Gov’s speech scene was interposed with the scene of him ambushing Hershel and Michonne in the woods… For me, it was super-pimp the way the Gov popped Michonne with the butt of his gun, dropping her, then with a single turn of the wrist, pointed the gun straight and true at Hershel, who knew he was bested…so poor Hershel just set down his gun and put his hands up, like, “Dude, sucks to see you, but that shit was pretty Bruce Lee, right there…why the fuck can’t you be on our side, again?” (Don’t get me wrong…I am Team Prison all the way, but I just have to throw some admiration at the Gov’s style of kung-fu.)

And then, in inimitable Gov fashion, we see how “Brian Heriot” turns on his unique charm to sell the RV gang on the hostile prison takeover, twisting their emotions and the facts to achieve his nefarious scheme. “I want you to survive,” he tells them…calls the peeps of the prison the ones that destroyed Woodbury, took his eye, killed his daughter. Damn, what a storyteller…he’s good, that Gov.

And I love how he just throws in there, at the end of his initial pitch:  Oh, and btw, I just happened to capture two hostages…not that I’ve ever TAKEN hostages before, because, you know, that would be weird…I just was thinking that a couple of hostages would be a good bargaining chip for my peaceful hostile takeover plan, you know, the one where nobody gets hurt, and they leave gladly, and we live in peace and harmony at the prison for ever after…and we need to do this, like now, or we’ll lose the element of surprise and they’ll notice that their buddies are gone…not that I’ve ever done this before!

The Gov plays their emotions and fears, and before they know it, the group is nodding and agreeing to his plan…all except Lilly, who has overheard the Gov’s pitch and is not having it…girlfriend’s got her arms crossed and looks pretty pissed.  When Lilly calls him out, the Gov throw out all the stops, telling her the only judgement he cares about is that she and Megan are alive and breathing…then, the Gov throws in a, “I love you,” for a good measure Hail Mary pass.  

Lilly replies, “I don’t know who you are.”  Get used to it, girlfriend…that’s life with the Governor!

The scene with Hershel, Michonne, and the Gov in the RV, with Hard Pass Mitch standing guard outside, is pretty crazy.  I love how Hershel calls the Gov out when the Gov tells them that nobody is going to hurt them…”I don’t believe that” says Hershel.

In response to this, the Gov avoids looking at Hershel and Michonne by pretending to pack up some battle snacks for later. “Well, I don’t care,” he replies.  When pressed by Hershel to please explain what is going on, the Gov tells them that he needs the prison, nothing personal, and that he needs them to help him get it as peacefully as possible, without anyone getting hurt if it can be avoided.

It’s hard for me to know if the Governor is actually believing any of this story he’s telling at this point…is he just sugar-coating it, rationalizing it, to those around him to make them do what he wants them to do, or is he really telling himself this story, over and over, so he can believe that he really is the good guy in this “peaceful hostile takeover” scenario he’s cooked up?

When Hershel proposes that the two groups can find a way to coexist at the prison, peacefully, the Governor resists, acknowledging that Hershel is a “good man, better than Rick.” Hershel points out that it seems the Governor has changed, and tells him that Rick has changed as well…the Governor stops him right there, tells him there is no way that Rick and he, or he and Michonne, can live together in the same community.

When Hershel presses, the Governor snaps, then recovers his poise, telling them there’s many ways he can do this, and this way, “You get to live, and I get to be…” 

The Gov never finishes that thought, seeming to get lost in the question of it.  Who could he really be, when it’s all said and done? Could he do it differently this time, or would things progress the way they did with Woodbury?  Things are already getting pretty fucked up as it stands.

Hershel asks the Governor, “If you understand what it’s like to have a daughter, then how can you be willing to kill someone else’s?”  The Gov replies, “Because they aren’t mine,” and exits the RV.

The Governor has the RV’s moved to the water’s edge, assuring Lilly that they will be safe there, as the walkers cannot cross the river…he doesn’t really focus on teaching Lilly, Megan or those who stay behind at the camp the basics for defending themselves while he and his Makeshift Army 2.0 go to battle “peacefully” for the prison…instead, he makes a show of giving Megan, who is making mud pies, unsupervised, by the water’s edge (and the bushes’ edge…how is that a good idea?) a big goodbye hug, and that proves to be a fatal lapse in judgement for the Governor…and little Megan.

Back at the prison, poor Glenn is still looking pretty green, not quite recovered from the Explodey Flu…but he manages to laugh with Maggie and joke about needing a vacation…meanwhile, Rick is having the dreaded Daryl Conversation, and Daryl takes it as well as can be expected, which is not very well, at first…he’s pissed, he’s pacing, he doesn’t believe that Carol would kill those people…Rick seems to convince him, because when Rick tells Daryl he still needs to tell Tyrese all of this, and that he’s not sure how Tyrese is going to take it, Daryl says right away, “Let’s go find out.”

Like I said before, Daryl understands dude code better than anyone else…he isn’t happy with Rick’s decision, but he will not let Rick go have The Tyrese Conversation without a second to back him up if Tyrese goes apeshit at Rick’s news.

They find Tyrese down in a darkened hallway…and he’s got some news for them…he shows them the creepy mutilated rabbit and brain art that some fucked up person is making…he thinks that whoever killed Karen and David is the same “psychopath” who made the rabbit and brain painting and who was feeding rats to the walkers…Rick begins to tell Tyrese that he doesn’t think it’s the same person, and when Tyrese asks why, they are (saved by?) interrupted by a huge explosion.

Cue the pulsing Bear McCreary music…and here he is, ambassador for peace, standing atop a tank: the Governor, flanked by his Makeshift Army 2.0, calling for Rick to come down and “talk.”

God, Rick is so hot when he bellows back that it’s not up to him, there’s a council now….the way Rick handles himself in this crisis just ups his hotness index by like a thousand degrees, if that is even possible.  The Gov is all silky and slithery as he asks, “Is Hershel on the council? What about Michonne?” and his minions trot out the hostages and force them onto their knees, for Team Prison to see.

When Rick asserts that he doesn’t make all the decisions any more, the Governor tells him that he, Rick, will be making the decisions today…”So come down here, and let’s have that talk.”

Rick quietly nods to Daryl, checks in with Carl, before going to face the Governor, the Gov’s tank, and his army, armed with only a pistol…like the lone hero in a cowboy movie…so freaking hot…Daryl’s making plans with Sasha and Tyrese to get everyone on the bus, to make their escape.

Rick tries to reason with the Governor, telling them there are sick children at the prison who would not survive leaving…to no avail…the Governor is being the dick with the tank and giving them until nightfall to leave.

Back at the RV camp, Lilly sees a walker making its way pretty easily so far across the water…then he goes down…Megan pulls up a flash flood area sign from the mud, and unearths a walker who was buried under the sticky mud and sign…it grabs for her, and before Lilly can get to her, poor Megan gets chomped:



Poor Megan!

Poor Megan! My WD buddy texted me, The Gov sucks at protecting his girls…he’s gonna go batshit now..

Back at the not-so-peaceful takeover, Rick delivers his epic speech: “We can all…we can all live together. There’s enough room for all of us.” The Gov pipes in that he doesn’t think “his family” would sleep very well with Rick and the prison gang under the same roof, as they (mistakenly) believe that Rick and the gang are the bad guys, not the Gov.  Rick counters that the two groups could live in different cell blocks, that they wouldn’t even need to see each other.  Hershel turns and backs Rick up by telling the Governor, “It could work…you know it could.”

The Gov is being a big baby about it, and the camera focuses on Michonne’s face as he says he can’t, not after Woodbury, not after Andrea.

Michonne is so hating him, and right now, so am I. The Governor tortured and killed Andrea, deliberately and maliciously, and Rick and the gang were just rescuing their people.  Rick is too gracious to bring this up, saying instead that it would be hard, a lot harder to make it work than to go to battle, but that there is no other choice. Rick says they will not leave without a battle, a battle that would draw the walkers and tear down the fences, making the prison worthless.

The Governor then jumps down from the tank and seizes Michonne’s katana, holds it to Hershel’s neck.  Hershel looks unafraid.  Rick points to Tara, asks her if this is what she wants, if this is what any of them want. Hard Pass informs him that what they want is what he’s got, and it’s “time to leave, asshole.”  Nice, Hard Pass. Way to turn on the charm and the diplomacy.

Rick counters that he has fought the Governor before, and after the fight, former residents of Woodbury and compatriots of the Governor were welcomed into the prison community, where they became leaders.  Rick invites them to put down their weapons, to walk through the gates of the prison, and become “one of us.”

Rick looks right at the Governor, who is still holding the sword to Hershel’s neck, but who seems uncertain now.

“We can let go of all of it,” Rick tells the Gov, swiping the air with his arm as if wiping a slate clean, “and nobody dies…everyone’s alive right now…everyone’s made it this far…we’ve all done worse kinds of things, just to stay alive…but we can still come back…we’re not too far gone…we get to come back…I know we all can change.”

The Gov lets the sword down for a moment…Hershel smiles at Rick, proud and happy to hear Rick speak of love and forgiveness instead of dwelling in fear and uncertainty, as he had before.


The Governor, no doubt overcome with hatred for yet another Hero Brother, whispers, “Liar,” and slices Michonne’s katana into poor Hershel’s neck. Maggie and Beth scream, and Rick screams, “No!” and fires…and Battle Royale has begun.

As Battle Royale begins to rage, Michonne manages to sneak away, cutting ropes that bind her wrists after tripping an enemy soldier and stomping his face.

The Governor catches up with Hershel and finishes the job, badly, hacking away at Hershel’s neck until his head is severed.  He then looks up to see Lilly, bearing her daughter, Megan’s, body.  The Governor takes Megan’s body and rekills Megan with a shot to the head. Tara cannot bear to fight, dropping her gun and covering her ears, despite Hard Pass’s orders to pick up her weapon and fight.  Alisha tells Tara to run somewhere safe, and after the battle is over, Alisha will come and find her.

The Governor is in full kill mode, ordering the tank and trucks to run the fence down. “Kill them all,” he orders.  “Roger that!” yells Hard Pass, waving his shitty hat in circles above his head… it’s his big dick moment. He puts throws tank in gear and proceeds to mow down the prison fences. Tyrese orders Sasha and Bob back, and Maggie orders Beth to get the others in the bus.

“We all have a job to do,” Maggie reminds Beth. (Hershel! 😦 We love you!)

Maggie runs into the prison to get Glenn, brings him to the bus, then runs to find Beth, who has disappeared. Rick tackles the Governor, and they commence with a western saloon-style beatdown, which the Gov almost wins, until:

Enter Michonne, saving Rick and finally getting to kill the Gov's ass

Enter Michonne, saving Rick and finally getting to kill the Gov’s ass, katana-style!

Lizzy proves that she is Carol’s daughter when she saves Tyrese by killing some unnamed minion, then killing a shocked Alisha, putting a bullet right between her eyes:


Daryl pulls off a sweet maneuver, deftly slipping a grenade into the gun barrel of the tank (while using a dead walker as a shield). He kills Hard Pass with an arrow to the chest before grabbing Beth and hauling ass away from the prison, which is becoming overrun with walkers.

Unfortunately, Lizzy and Mika forgot about poor baby Judith…after Rick and Carl find each other, they make the horrible discovery of Baby Judith’s car seat, soaked in blood, with Judith nowhere to be found.  Anguished, Rick and Carl run for the hills, with Rick advising Carl not to look back.

As walkers overrun the prison grounds, the group is splintered into factions as they flee the prison for their lives.  As the Governor lay gasping, we see Lilly come to take her revenge:


And we see a familiar face from the past:

Creepy Clara Walker...I knew we would see her again!

Creepy Clara Walker... I knew we would see her again!

So, there we have it…the prison is gone, the gang is gone, and some beloved characters have gone. So, here’s a little something to help cheer you up…enjoy!

(After this mid-season finale post, I plan to expand to social media with barnfullawalkers, and to keep posting, starting with the Episodes Gone Bye  where we rewatch and revisit the entire WD journey thus far, starting with Season 1, Episode 1, “Days Gone Bye.”  In addition, I will watch and post on all the Walking Dead webisodes, which, if you haven’t seen them, are like creepy little vignettes that are essential to getting the full  scope of the Walking Dead story….so stay tuned, and thanks for reading!)


Weezer, “Say it Ain’t So”

Nirvana, “Oh Me” (for Rick)

Nirvana, “Lake of Fire” (for the Gov)

The Dexateens, “Still Gone” (for Judith, Carol, Megan, Alisha)

The Queens of the Stone Age, “Mexicola” 

Radical Face, “Welcome Home, Son” (for Hershel <3)

Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 7, “Dead Weight”

“Dead Weight”

(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)

Ahhh, that Governor…that wiley, crafty, dashing, dirty Governor.

All this past week, I was thinking about that man. Even though I have about a million things to think about at any given moment (kids, work, husband, notes from the teacher, impending holidays), I just couldn’t stop thinking about the Gov. He was haunting me. I found myself texting my best WD buddy: I love the Gov…I cannot lie.   

Me too,  she texted back. Totally. But can’t really admit it.   I replied, I’m owning it…GAC…guilty as charged.

The Gov has a way of getting in our heads, and our hearts, and if we are a hot woman in the post-zombie apocalypse, he’s probably gotten in our pants.  But, word to the women out there in the PZA:  hit that shit, then quit that shit.  You do not want that man to be your boyfriend.

Unless you are willing to drink the Gov’s koolaid, the “I’m-with-the-guy-with-the-eyepatch” scenario never ends well. And even if you do drink the koolaid, it still ends badly. Just ask Andreaoh, wait. You can’t.  Andrea’s dead, along with Merle, Milton, a contingent of the National Guard, and half the population of Woodbury.  All dead, thanks to the Governor.

And I know this.  I, like you all, have seen all the horrifying acts the Gov is capable of…but after last week’s episode, when we saw a softer, more sympathetic side of the Governor, I found myself holding out my glass for another big helping of the Governor’s koolaid...please and thank you, Governor!  Mmmmsooo delicious.

I’m telling you, I am going to need a 12-step program to get over this guy.

WD’s Episode 7, “Dead Weight,” was, perhaps, the first step in my recovery process. The Governor is a multifaceted, crazy diamond, and last night, we saw a different shine of this complex, confusing, and controversial character. Has the Governor changed? Yes, he has…he’s gotten better…and he’s gotten worse.

As the episode begins, we see two scenes interposed.  In one scene, we see the chess set, miraculously saved from the Lilly/Megan/Tara/Terminal Don apartment.  Megan is sitting at the chessboard, set outside on a tree stump, contemplating her next move while the Governor wrings out and pins up the family’s laundry.

“Your move, pumpkin,” he prompts her.  “I’m thinking,” she replies.

“You can’t think forever, “ he tells her. “Sooner or later, you gotta make a move.”

Megan replies that he never lets her win, anyway.  He tells her that letting her win would not be winning…he then shares that his father never let him win, either, that he beat him at everything.

Megan asks him if his father was mean…he answers her, “Sometimes.”  She then asks if he, “Brian,” was bad when he was a boy, and he answers, again, “Sometimes.”

When the Gov sees Megan’s face, troubled, he immediately puts down the laundry he is folding and asks, “What is it, pumpkin?”

Megan hesitates a moment before looking up at the Gov and asking, “Am I bad? Because my dad was mean to me all the time.”

As the Governor approaches her and kneels down to her level to reassure her that no, she is not bad, she is good, we see another glimpse of the tender, father-figure side of the Governor that we saw in depth last week. And it’s not an act…it’s real, motivated by true love and caring.

“You, me, your mom, Aunt Tara…we’re gonna be ok,”  the Gov tells Megan.  “Because we’re good? All of us? asks Megan. The Gov stands, does not answer, turns back to the clothesline.

Megan watches him.  “Your turn,”  she prompts him. “Brian? It’s your turn.”  She has made her move.  The Gov does not, however, move…he stands where he is.

“I’m thinking,” he replies.

In the other opening scene, we see the Governor, in the pit, holding little Megan tight after dispatching three walkers in inimitable, brutal, hand-to-hand fashion, prompting one of the guests on last night’s Talking Dead to call the Governor “the MacGyver of killing walkers.” (Ha!)

As he tenderly cradles little Megan, the Gov looks up to see a shocked Martinez, gun in hand, looking down at his former boss in the pit…

(Can somebody say awkward?)

After the Governor hands Megan up to Martinez, the two men regard each other for a moment. Martinez hesitates, briefly weighing his options, before reluctantly lowering a knotted rope down to the Governor and pulling him out of the pit.

“You been on the road this whole time?”  Martinez asks him.  The Gov nods. From behind Martinez, Lilly speaks up, “Is everything ok, Brian?” As he hears the fake name, Martinez looks first to Lilly, then questioningly to the Governor…the Gov’s look says it all:  Dude, just go with it…please.

And so, despite the protests from Mitch, one of Martinez’s henchmen, Martinez allows the Governor and the women to come into the camp, on two conditions:  one, accept that Martinez is in charge; and two, contribute or be cast out.  No dead weight. Martinez looks towards the women, then back at the Gov.  “You think you can live with that…Brian?

The Gov abides.  And with this decision, despite his reservations, Martinez seals his fate…his painful, horrific fate.

At the camp, the Governor bides his time.  He endures the leaky RV that he, Lilly, and Megan have been assigned to stay in.  He rolls with Mitch’s barbs and nicknames wordlessly while on a run with Mitch, Pete, and Martinez to find a nearby cabin inhabited by a rumored survivalist.

On the way, the Gov finds a headless body, tied to a tree with a sign around its neck, something the others would have missed and passed right by:


The men continue on, finding the cabin, but not before they find another headless body tied to a chair.  This time, the sign around the neck reads, “Rapist.”  On the porch lies body of the survivalist, with most of his brains blown away by a self-inflicted shotgun blast.  The sign around his neck reads, “Murderer.”  Beside the body, the Governor finds a photo of the survivalist with his wife and adolescent daughter, which he keeps.

Upon hearing noises inside the cabin, the men send the Governor in first to investigate. As they move deeper into the cabin, the survivalist’s wife, who is now a walker, attacks Pete from behind…the Governor rekills her by beating her head in with his flashlight.

As Pete catches his breath from the attack, he finds the reanimated walker heads of the “Liar” and “Rapist” snapping at him from under the bed.  (Nicotero! You twisted, awesome genius!)  Pete screams, incurring the attack of the Adolescent Walker, whom the Governor kills as well.  When the Gov realizes the walker was the reanimated body of the young girl in the picture, he gets his now-famous “Crazy Eye” look.

My WD buddy texted me in that moment, Did his flip just switch?   Yes, I think in that moment, the Gov’s flip did indeed switch.  I mean, his total craziness aside, those dudes were pretty worthless in the cabin.

Sweet Pete (who my buddy and I agreed was totally tasty, while his brother, Mitch, was more like a hard pass, due to douchey personality more than looks…Mitch actually looks like some guys I grew up with) did more stage-whispering and screaming than anything else, and it was the Governor, both times, who had the quick reflexes and the combat skills to kill the walkers and save Sweet Pete and the gang.  Dudes, get it together…you are supposed to be camp leaders, for fuck’s sake!

Later, in the cabin, Martinez and the Gov are sitting by the fire while Hard Pass Mitch and Sweet Pete are gathering whatever supplies they can find in the cabin. Martinez fesses up that if it weren’t for the women and the girl with the Governor, he would have left him in that pit.

“You seem different now,” muses Martinez, assessing the Governor closely.  “Are you?”

The Governor takes a moment, looking into the fire, then nods slightly. “I am,” he says. “Good,” replies Martinez.

Hard Pass comes with some canned food and a six pack, and the dudes enjoy a post-attack warm beer share-session.  Hard Pass Mitch sizes up the Governor:  “One-Eye-Bri...I can never tell if he’s winkin’ or blinkin’…but you sure can regulate, can’t you Bri?”  

Hard Pass turns to Martinez: “Was he always like this, Martinez?”

During the share-sesh, the men speculate on what happened with the survivalist and his family at the cabin. The Governor tells them that it’s best not to dwell on it.  He, however, looks again at the picture of the man who was not able to protect his family, the man who let the wrong people get to his wife and daughter, and who could not live with the outcome.

While the Governor plays lip service with Martinez, Sweet Pete, and Hard Pass Mitch, inwardly it seems that he is, as he told Megan before, “thinking” about his next move.

Later, Martinez and the Gov are finishing dinner outside with Lilly, Megan, Tara, and Tara’s new girlfriend, Alicia.  The adults are sitting around the picnic table, drinking “skunked” beers, laughing and talking easily…all except the Governor, who is nursing his beer and not saying much.

The women are complimenting Martinez on the camp he has made and ask about the community that Martinez and “Brian” lived in before.  “Brian never says a word about it,” remarks Lilly.  “I say let the past stay in the past,” smiles the Governor, as he begins to clear the table.

The group begins to disperse, and Megan calls out to “Brian” that the roof of their RV is leaking again. “You should fix that, man,” advises Martinez, to which the Governor smiles his enigmatic smile and assures Martinez that he’ll do just that…he’ll fix things, all right…Governor-style!

Inside the RV, the Governor regards the dripping ceiling with no small amount of disgust at his sub-par accommodations and pulls out a roll of duct tape to fix the leaky ceiling…you can practically hear him thinking, This place is no Woodbury!

There is a knock on the door. It’s Martinez, who has a full-on buzz by now. “I almost forgot, I got a surprise for ya,” Martinez tells the Gov. He holds up a bottle of liquor with a smile.

The two men end up on top of an RV (I presume it’s Martinez’s), with the bottle, a golf-bag full of clubs and a bucket of balls. Martinez takes a slug from the bottle, hands it to the Governor, who does not partake. Martinez slices a shot, grimaces. “Hand me another one.”  From the Governor’s look, it seems pretty apparent that he is not enjoying his caddy role, nor much else about Camp Martinez.

As Martinez sets up another shot, he tells the Gov that Shumbert is dead…having never really recovered from Woodbury and getting careless, Shumbert ended up getting bitten by a walker and had to be put down by Martinez himself.

The Gov expresses his condolences, to which Martinez replies, “Some things you just can’t come back from…they become a part of who you are…you either live with them or you don’t.”

The Gov quietly tells Martinez that he, Martinez, seems to be living with them pretty well.  Martinez takes another swig from the bottle, laughs, and returns the compliment, marveling how the family the Governor is with “really brought you back.”

He shakes his head, sets up a ball, continues to tell the Governor that he “couldn’t do that again…couldn’t risk it…couldn’t sleep at night, knowing I was going to lose them…”

“I’m not going to lose them,” the Governor replies.  He is getting that look, but Martinez is too drunk and careless to notice. “Um, yeah, “ he replies.  He shoots another ball, oblivious to the thin ice he is treading upon.

“What, you don’t think you can keep this place safe?” asks the Governor.  

Danger, Martinez…answer carefully…but of course, Martinez doesn’t, instead says, “I’ll try, do what I can to keep this place safe from whatever comes…maybe you and me, we can share the crown a little.”

And that is the wrong answer, and the Governor’s reply is wordless, swift, and so brutal as he takes a club and bashes Martinez in the back of the head with it, kicks him, dazed and gurgling, off the roof, and drags Martinez to the pit full of walkers, who are hungrily reaching their arms up, snarling and hissing in anticipation.

This scene is so hard to watch.  My WD buddy and I were exchanging a flurry of Holy fuck! and OMG! texts during it.  Even the Governor looked a bit sick at what he was doing, saying over and over again, “I don’t want it!  I don’t want it!”

My buddy texted me, What doesn’t he want?

I think, after watching the scene a number of times in my writing process, that the Governor was saying to Martinez that he didn’t want to be doing this, feeding Martinez to the walkers…but in the Governor’s estimation, Martinez didn’t have what it took to keep the camp safe, so the Governor was doing what the Gov always does: whatever he thinks needs to be done to keep himself, his loved ones, and the collective safe from the threat all around them.

Martinez wouldn’t have given up his leadership role without a fight, and the Gov doesn’t share, so the Governor seized the moment as it presented itself to take Martinez out of the equation:


Poor Martinez! RIP buddy...

Poor Martinez! RIP buddy…

I may need therapy to get Martinez’s death screams out of my head, but for now, there’s chardonnay…

As for the Gov, Lilly and Megan find him shaken and crying in the RV after The Martinez Incident. The Gov tells them he had a bad dream, and true to form, he recovers himself in a speedy manner.

After all, there’s work to be done.  The camp assembles, and Hard Pass Mitch and Sweet Pete inform the group that Martinez must have gotten drunk and fallen into the walker pit…Sweet Pete declares himself the new leader of the camp, inciting some mild dissent and grumblings from those assembled, but after a rallying speech (and the promise of a vote in a few days’ time) by Sweet Pete, the crowd, and the Gov, roll with the new order…for a spell.

But, it seems that Sweet Pete doesn’t have the cojones to lead…while out on a hunt, the Gov, Hard Pass and Sweet Pete spy another camp, which seems well stocked with arms and supplies.

Hard Pass is thinking hostile takeover, and take the supplies, while Sweet Pete takes the pacifist angle and urges them to leave the camp be. However, after a few hours and a dismal haul of a couple of squirrels and a couple of cans of condensed milk later, the men discover the other camp they spied earlier has been ambushed by some mysterious other group.

Dead bodies litter the ground, save one old man, who Hard Pass Mitch quickly dispatches with a knife in the head, despite Sweet Pete’s protests.

The Governor returns to the camp with the intentions of getting the women and Megan out of there before it all goes south, but a few miles down the road, their way is blocked by a huge mud-pit sinkhole situation, full of stuck and snapping walkers.  His escape plan foiled, the Governor turns back to the camp and takes the situation into his own hands.

He knocks on the door of Sweet Pete’s RV, and when Pete’s back is turned, the Gov plunges a knife into Sweet Pete’s back…it’s pretty gruesome to watch the Gov’s face as he strangles Pete while shushing his cries…it’s like, “Hush, now, while I kill your pretty ass…”

The next shot is of his bloody hand, rapping on Hard Pass Mitch’s door. The time of pretense is gone, as the Governor basically dispenses with chitchat and pleasantries and gets right to the point:  I killed your pretty brother, I’m in charge now, and if you want to be my new Martinez, you got the job…the benefits are as follows: You get to live, and you don’t have to worry about what’s right or wrong, because I’m going to do all the thinking and deciding for you…cigarette?

Hard Pass Mitch is pretty shaken by all this…it’s a lot to take in, but after a moment, he accepts both a light from the Gov and his new job as head flunkie, no doubt swayed by the moving story the Governor told him about how he had a hero brother, too, who got his eyes blackened and rib broken by their shitty father after trying to cover the young Gov’s ass when he stole a couple of Lucky Strikes his dad’s stash.  Hmmm, the Governor had a shitty dad and has a hero brother complex…it actually explains a lot!

When Hard Pass protests that nobody will believe that Pete befell some mysterious harm on a hunt and never returned, the Gov feeds him some hard truth, “People will believe what they want to believe.”

The Governor sticks it to hero brothers everywhere with a final fuck-you move for poor Sweet Walker Pete…my WD buddy texted me that she did notice that the Governor didn’t do Pete the favor of a kill to the head…it seems he had other plans for Sweet Walker Pete:

The Gov's new tech: interactive walker much more lively than mere tanks o' heads! So mean, Governor!

The Gov’s new tech: interactive walker lakeso much more lively than mere tanks o’ heads! So mean, Governor!

When little Megan almost gets chomped by a walker while playing hide-and-seek in the billowing laundry sheets, the Governor has reached his limit with the RV camp…he wants fences and walls, and he knows just where to find it: the prison.

And so, we are taken right to the moment where the Governor is lurking in the bushes, watching the prison…we see Rick and Carl in the garden, and then a noise alerts the Governor to Michonne and Hershel, outside the fence, unloading a truckload of dead walkers into the woods.  Next week, mid-season finale of Season 4, where the Governor and his camp prepare to go Battle Royale on our gang at the prison.

Time to stock up on some more chardonnay, people!

Burning Questions:

Do you think the Governor is justified in any of his actions in this episode? Does the end justify the means?

Who do you think ambushed the other camp?

Next week’s trailer says, “All will fight, some will fall…”  Any bets on who is going we are going to lose in the mid-season finale?


Queens of the Stone Age, “You Can’t Quit Me, Baby”

The White Stripes, “Why Can’t You Be Nicer to Me?”

The Black Keys, “Just a Little Heat”