'The Walking Dead' Season 4, Episode 8 Review


Stupid, stupid, stupid, STOOPID. I get more frustrated with each passing episode. As a fan of the graphic novels, I should have been gratified that the tank battle at the prison at least somewhat resembled the climatic confrontation with the Governor in the books, but it was set up so clumsily that I couldn’t enjoy it at all. Yeah, new group of survivors, let’s all blindly follow this guy we just met a week ago into battle against another heavily armed group of survivors–nothing could possibly go wrong there.

Perhaps the very worst of the stupid moments was when the Gov chose to off Herschel with the sword instead of his arch nemesis, Michonne. Did anyone watching not immediately think THAT wasn’t going to come back to haunt him? And don’t get me started about the amazing assault rifles that can fire hundreds of rounds without a change of clips. Maybe the show will get better now that the survivors have finally been forced from the prison, but given the show’s repeated storytelling fails, I doubt it.


I like the part where the two young girls say they should have guns too, then moments later they’re poppin’ caps in asses. I didn’t like this episode at all… so many moments that could’ve been better. We are supposed to believe that after all that time, Michonne is only going to stab the Gov. in the back and walk away? Then “see” the Gov. get shot by one of the new people off-screen? Not even panning back to show a gunshot wound in the Gov.'s other eye?

The writers also blew a chance for Rick to do his own manipulation, bringing up that the Gov. had done this before and failed with a different group of people, possibly turning a few off of the Gov.'s plan.

And all the killing as if they want these people to turn into zombies on purpose. Daryl shooting the guy in the chest with an arrow? No aiming for the head at point blank?

It’s almost as if they writers forgot everything that’s been happening for the last 3 seasons.


The Gov being ultimately offed by one of his own matches his fate from the novels, but when it happened it represented a mutiny by one of his trusted Woodbury hands and not just as he was lying there waiting to become zombie bait. But you’re right, it made no sense that Michonne wouldn’t have finished him off herself.

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That made perfect sense to me. Not like there’s an ambulance to rush him to the closest ER…a gut wound like that takes a long, agonizing time to die from, and die he was certain to do. Why put him out of his misery? You shoot your loved ones in the head after they die for two reasons: to protect the living, and to give them dignity in being well and truly dead. If anyone deserved to wander the earth as a zombie, it would be the Governor.


Hang on: I thought it was his new girlfriend who shot him, exactly as he had just shot her daughter Megan. Except she executed him while he was still technically alive…just as Carol did before. So it could be putting him out of his misery, or putting him out of hers. Or maybe both.

I think the point of staging a confrontation between Rick and the Governor is to show 2 men who have been broken down to nothing and have come back from the brink. The Governor has come back as insane as ever but is there as a contrast to Rick who has rejoined the human race and is on his way to become sane again. Rick has finally internalized what Hershel was trying to teach him.


In the novels, Rick goes completely off the rails AFTER the prison battle (which is also when Laurie and the baby were killed). In the wake of the disaster, as he and Carl try to survive alone, that is also when he begins getting the hallucinatory phone calls from his dead wife. When he finally overcomes it and he and Carl rejoin the other prison survivors, he becomes a true leader (and badass).

The show has so completely tangled up the narrative that I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Rick and Carl now.

Am I the only one aggravated by the term ‘mid-season final’? Isn’t that ‘just another episode’?

What is it the ‘final’ of if we’re still in the same season?


At the end of all this, I’m left wondering why repeating the Governor’s downfall in three episodes was a better option than walkers overrunning the prison and forcing Rick and the rest to flee.

I think that would’ve been boring as hell, and pretty anticlimactic as a mid-season finale. At this point, walkers are akin to wild-fires- natural disasters and deadly menaces, but not characters. If the show just wrapped every little thing up with walkers, where are the stakes, and how would the showrunners maintain any tension relating to them? I feel like making the real stakes arise out of characters and cross-purposes is the only way a show like this works.

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i found this episode to be pretty boring. actually, i thought this season and season three to be pretty lackluster.

in response to a previous comment, if the gov had done to michonne what he did to her in the books then she would have done more than just stab him (which in the books she did).

it’s interesting to me how the producers of this show have managed to take a 6 issue comic story arc (gov and woodbury) and stretch the crap out of it over two seasons of television. what are their plans? what are they thinking? there’s an obvious formula at work here and it’s obviously not working anymore; at least not for me. i’ll continue to watch only because i’ve watched it since the beginning but i don’t have to like it unless they give me a reason to. if the second half of season 4 or even season 5 is based on the comic volume where they find the next town (no way out) it’s going to be the most boring thing on tv. hopefully they try to do the “fear the hunters” story before they do “no way out”. maybe glen and maggie will finally shave their heads. maybe the writers will throw in another pointless story like the CDC debacle. who knows?!

this is the correct answer from my viewing. It was his new girlfriend who shot him. And she shot him because he shot her daughter and got her sister killed and basically trashed their meager existence by taking them from their apartment, then from the camp that she clearly was happy with and led them into a battle that they were not prepared for. She was pissed and it felt like it matched the tone of the comics at least.

Also agree with @chgoliz on the reason why Michonne just ran him through and nothing more. To leave him to agonize and then turn.

Which is why the cut to Hershel giving a knowing smile and fatherly look up at Rick and taking one more chance with the ‘It can work, you know it can’ statement (as if that would convince the Governor at that point). They were staking that context in the moment.

At the moment I saw it, that look felt to me that Hershel was saying “it’s OK, you’re doing the right thing, even if it doesn’t work and he kills me now.”

Doesn’t it seem like they were just fixing season 3 with all this? That this is what was supposed to happen in the Governor’s first siege, and they gave him another group just so they could get it right this time?

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