The Walking Dead ‘Too Far Gone’: Remembering the fall of the prison

The Governor (David Morrissey) in Season 4, Episode 8 of The Walking Dead "Too Far Gone" - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
The Governor (David Morrissey) in Season 4, Episode 8 of The Walking Dead "Too Far Gone" - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

In Too Far Gone, The Walking Dead’s season 4 mid-season finale, it seemed everything changed. The prison fell and everyone scattered!

The word “epic” gets thrown around a lot, to the point where it often loses meaning. However, for followers of AMC’s The Walking Dead, few episodes match the intensity of its season 4 mid-season finale. As we saw The Governor recuperate and gain a new reason to live, his desire to attain the prison also gave him a new reason to kill. Although he wishes to keep his new family safe, he feels the security of the prison’s fences and walls are needed. Also, there is the sense that, although he denied it, he was animated by the spirit of revenge. He showed up at the prison ready for war!

Though Hershel and Rick expressed the alternative of coexisting peacefully, the Governor’s new identity as “Brian Heriot” didn’t prevent him from reverting to his old, warlike ways. It turned out to be bad for him, too, as every long-time Walking Dead fan knows what happens. It’s really a general tragedy. Not only did people die at the prison, but “Brian’s” new daughter, Meghan, also died — ostensibly because he wasn’t there to protect her. That death is just as dramatically compelling as the prison battle, and not just because a little girl died.

No, her death showed that everything about his aims at the prison were misguided. His idea of security was a sham, and always will be, as it’s more about destruction than building anything up. Any peace is fragile with someone like him, by intent of design. When you willfully no longer trust anyone, you are ultimately betraying your better nature, making survival just an animal feat instead of anything humanizing.

Those we lost

Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) – The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) – The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Many of us still miss Hershel Greene, after he essentially became the conscience of the group (seemingly taking over from Dale). Not only did he provide medical and folk knowledge, but he functioned as a competent adviser to Rick and took care of business as needed. To see him come to such an end was sad, even if a powerful and thematically necessary moment. Of course, we also lost Tara’s girlfriend Alisha, who symbolized a strategic pawn, needlessly sacrificed. Although she was allied with the Governor, it’s not as though she was completely villainous. She basically died for nothing!

Of course, another big death was that of the Governor himself. Though it was a chance for Michonne to get her revenge, she was not the one to truly finish him. That self-assigned task fell to his girlfriend Lilly, who does so angrily due to the death of her daughter, Meghan. Like Tara Chambler, Lilly likely also began to see the dark nature of the quest to conquer the prison. Of course, she also put the man out of his misery, like a wounded, whimpering dog getting put down.

The episode’s other big surprise

There are many other things to discuss here. One could discuss the Governor nearly killing Rick, or how everyone scattered as the prison fell to walkers. There was also Daryl using a grenade to explode an army tank! Of course, this episode also featured a zombified Clara (the woman Rick found in the woods in “30 Days Without An Accident”), but many of us missed that until we looked back on the episode. Those were all memorable moments, no doubt about it.  However, one of the biggest, most jaw-dropping moments of “Too Far Gone” was when the kids Lizzie and Mika shot and killed Alisha. Boom!

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It was jaw-dropping, iconic and oddly realistic. Some people surely thought it went too for (or was “too far gone,” as it were). However, in context it made sense: These were kids who were ready to defend their turf, and if that meant taking up arms, then so be it! It was, and still is, one of The Walking Dead‘s great moments (and not the last of those to feature Lizzie and Mika, either).Given all the craziness in the mid-season finale, many wondered what else season 4 had in store. Quite simply, this was amazing television.

What are your thoughts on “Too Far Gone,” and season 4 of The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments!