A Closer Look: The Walking Dead Season 4 MidSeason Finale

intro

Last night was the mid season finale of The Walking Dead’s 4th Season, and while everyone was taken back by all the deaths and fighting, the episode seemed very familiar. In this closer look, we’re going to look at past season parallels as well as what’s next. *Spoiler Warning*

Governor Loses Daughter:

Lilly brings Meghan's body to Brian (The Governor) after she is bit.

Lilly brings Meghan’s body to Brian (The Governor) after she is bit.

Now we never got to see how the Governor lost his biological daughter Penny. All we know is at some point she died, reanimated, and was then kept on a leash. The Governor acknowledges he knows now she died long ago, but during the final fight scene, we see how Meghan, the daughter of his surrogate family was bit. In a nod to not repeat the past, the Governor puts her down before she turns. I guess some tragedies are just meant to be repeated.

Loss Of Moral Compass:

Dale (on the left) and Hershel (on the right)

Dale (on the left) and Hershel (on the right)

When conflicting characters such as Andrea or Shane die, everyone has mixed feelings – some support their decisions, others see them as lose cannons that had to be dealt with. On the other hand, when a purely good natured and rational character dies, everyone feels it. This was the case when Dale died in Season 2. Hershel’s death in this past episode falls into this second category as well. Hershel in many ways became the father figure of the group. He never lost faith in people being redeemed – once even believing that walkers could be saved as well.

Whereas Dale was simply the conscious of the group, Hershel made an active role in fighting for his beliefs. Despite losing a leg to walkers, he never stopped moving forward. He selflessly risked his life to treat everyone infected with the flu outbreak. Till the very end he tried to help people, even the Governor himself

The Governor Vs Rick:

The Governor tries to silence Rick once and for all by strangling him

The Governor tries to silence Rick once and for all by strangling him

When we first saw the Governor return, I was afraid it would play out exactly like Season 3 – a small fight at the midseason, then have the rest of the season devoted to them not fighting. Instead we got a deeper look into the Governor mental state and for a second, though he could change. With a surrogate wife and daughter, it seemed like he had every chance to make a fresh start. Sadly as the episode’s title said, he was already  “Too Far Gone”. When he killed Herschel, he killed any chance he had at redemption. Luckily this time around we got the fight we’d been waiting for. The pissing contest between the Governor and Rick came to an end in an old fashion fistfight.

Michonne’s Grudge Match:

Michonne saves Rick right before the Governor can kill him

Michonne saves Rick right before the Governor can kill him

Well it happened. Michonne finally ran the Governor through with her signature katana, but once again just leaves him for dead. Remember season 2 when she gauged his eye out and then just left before finishing the job? Well that happened once again here. Sure being run through is a lot harder to bounce back from, but we’ve seen this man live through being trapped in a factory full of zombie and still outrun Andrea. Luckily – or sadly – the Governor’s story is finally at an end with Lilly (who finally saw him as the monster he is) putting a bullet through his head. – Then again, we didn’t see that bullet connect. Uh oh, here we go again?

Kids with Guns:

Lizzie (left) and Mika (right) save Tyresse. Carol would be so proud

Lizzie (blond on the left) and Mika (blonde on right) save Tyresse. Carol would be so proud!

Back in Season 2, we saw Carl save Rick from an undead Shane. Up until then, Carl seemed like a character whose only purpose was to get into trouble – or cause it. During the Governor’s assault, new fan favorite Tyresse was pinned down and it looked like we were about to lose him. Luckily, rescue came in the form of two little girls, Lizzie and Mika. Between naming walkers and calling to them like dogs to distract them from Glenn (and then tripping in the process), I was pleasantly surprised to see them rise to the occasion. Carol trained them well.

Shelter In Ruin, Group Divided:

With the prison destroyed and herds of walkers moving in, where will the survivors go next?

With the prison destroyed and herds of walkers moving in, where will the survivors go next?

Back at the end of Season 2, we saw the group divided and fleeing from the farm, which was now burned down and overrun with zombies. This midseason finale saw a similar scenario with different groups leaving the zombie-infested prison as it crumbles. Was there an escape plan in place? Do these different groups know where to meet up and reconnect? Or will the next half of the season focus on everyone finding their ways back to each other?

In a final closing parallel moment to the Season 2 finale, we see Rick and Carl limp away from the overrun prison as it burns. The closing moment of Season 2 showed the fortified prison off in the distance as a glimmer of hope. Now, with Season 4 halfway done, we see that the prison has fallen. Its walls have crumbled. The hope it once offered has been shattered. There is nothing left for Rick and his son to do except to move forward and not look back. “Just keep walking.”

keep walking

Rick: “Just keep walking”

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