Have you ever screamed at your television, red-faced and demanding vengeance? If you’ve watched more than six episodes of The Walking Dead, that scenario is probably a reality. The fucking Governor. Phillip and his charisma claimed a new batch of victims tonight with the prison pep talk. Confronted by Phillip at the prison gates, Rick meets The Governor face to face after the capture of Hershel and Michonne is revealed. Phillip’s demands are simple: get out of the prison by sundown or Hershel and Michonne die. Rick, ever the diplomat, offers to share the prison. Deaf to Rick’s logic, he takes a katana sword to Hershel’s neck, eventually beheading him. Yeah, that’s what I said. Hershel, wise beyond even his years, died with a smile on his face, which was in dire contrast of mine. The white-haired patriarch leaves a helluva hole in the survivors circle. RIP, good sir. You will be missed.
The war erupted before Maggie and Beth stopped screaming. Several of the aggressors died, including Mitch at the hands of Daryl. Several other nameless characters died in the skirmish, including one courtesy of the prison kids. Carl is on point, taking care of business on a big kid level. The transition of Carl from annoying kid that wouldn’t stay in the house to cold-blooded killer proved to be one of this season’s best moves. After beheading the beloved Hershel, we all knew Phillip wouldn’t be allowed to live, it was just a matter of who would do it. Engaged in a battle to the death with Rick, Phillip has his hands locked around his enemy’s throat. Veins bulging, eyes bugging out, things looked grim. Almost as if my television heard me, a sword penetrated The Governor’s chest. Michonne rips the sword free and stares him down. I expected her to take his head, but Lily takes his life before a horde of walkers gets him. Meghan and Lily stayed back at the camp, where Meghan dies from a walker bite. Lily loses her cool and puts a bullet between his eyes. While his character was amazing, it was satisfying to see him go rather unceremoniously.
The prison bus loads most of the gang and speeds off, still missing a few people. Rick and Carl scrambled to find Judith only to discover her blood-soaked carrier. It was very ambiguous, both Rick and Carl acted as if she was already dead, but hold off until the show’s return in February. Sasha, Tyreese, Rick, Carl, Maggie; lots of folks splintered in the chaos. Will our protagonists quickly regroup or does more trauma await us at the return? The last scene of the episode was Rick telling Carl not to look back, their former home smoking in the background.
I think season four has been vastly superior to three, keeping me both entertained and asking questions. The return of The Governor was perfectly timed. I’m glad Kirkman knew the death of this villain was a required pound of flesh. I’ve probably glazed over something important, so my apologies, but there was a lot going on. Poor Hershel’s traumatic death clobbered me harder than I expected, but holy shit if Scott Wilson isn’t a fantastic actor. His death will be the major talking tomorrow, so get ready to re-live that pain over and over and over.
Official Death Recap:
Hershel, The Governor, Mitch, Alisha, and Meghan
Missed the Bus:
Michonne, Rick, Carl, Beth, Daryl, Maggie, Tyreese, Sasha, Lizzie, Mika, Bob, Tara, and Lilly.