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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Walking Dead 4x08: Too Far Gone

Whether it’s a season finale or (in this case) a mid-season finale The Walking Dead always tries to go out with a bang. (This mid-season finale literally had a bang thanks to the tank the Governor brought along.) It was the ultimate showdown between the Governor and Rick. It was quite the spectacle but it left me feeling conflicted. I wasn't sure if this was all happening too late or too soon.

The first half of this episode was about building tension. Rick and the Governor have a face-to-face at the fence of the prison. Rick thinks everyone can peacefully coexist. Heck, for a few brief moments I thought the show might go in the tentative coexistence of the two camps direction. But then Rick had to make a big speech rallying for a bloodless resolution and forgiveness. The longer and more impassioned Rick spoke the more nails were being pounded into poor old Hershel's coffin. The Governor, always averse to peaceful compromises and not killing, will have none of this "peace" talk. A gruesome decapitation later and the episode's second half of mayhem begins.

The second half of the episode was mainly just the war between the two camps. The action was pretty fun (if not a bit ridiculous) to watch at times. At other times it was intentionally difficult to watch. Watching (mostly) good people shoot at each other should be a bit difficult to watch and appropriate gravitas was given at certain points. In the end the prison was destroyed, the Governor got his ultimate comeuppance and the group was scattered.

Most of the aftermath is left for the second half of the season. If things go the way I expect we’ll have to deal with a split group for a while (which I’m not looking forward to) but they’ll ultimately find each other again. If they find each other accidentally and not by some previously agreed upon emergency plan then I’ll probably find it unrealistic and wonder how small this world they live in is. But we got a long wait until we see how that all shakes out.

Anyway, in a vacuum this episode was pretty good. I would have enjoyed it more if not for the nagging feeling that the timing of this battle was off. At first I simply decided that if this is the direction they wanted to go they should have just ended Season 3 where this episode ended. However, I also believe that strict adherence to narrative rules leads to boring stories. You certainly need surprises and you want your story to have some authenticity. Real life doesn't have convenient three act structures and very similar conflicts can happen repeatedly. Real life is unpredictable.

It’s not like having two Rick/Governor showdowns throughout this series is necessarily a bad thing. I think my main issue with it is timing. They wanted the Governor to survive after Season 3 and eventually antagonize Rick once again. That’s fine but don’t do it so soon. Let the show breathe and have viewers experience new things. To be fair, we did get the sickness plot line to start the season but after that one story arc we were back to Season 3 Governor shenanigans. In fact, the two Governor plots are so close together it makes the plot sandwiched between the two feel ancillary and forgettable.

So, my final analysis is that if you wanted to have the Governor and his camp battle Rick and his camp again they should have at least waited until the end of Season 4 or, preferably, waited until Season 5. But, again, this was still a good episode on its own and we are now officially moving on from the Governor. The future of The Walking Dead is completely unknown. Let's hope that’s a good thing.

Other Thoughts:
When the Governor is giving his speech about how dangerous the world is and how they need the prison to be protected perhaps he shouldn't do so in a wide open field.

So Lilly, seemingly the person that would be most susceptible to the Governor’s BS, wasn't having any of it. First she questioned whether invading the prison was the only solution. Later, the Governor says to stay near the river with Meghan since the water will keep them safe against zombies. “So let’s find a place with a lot of water.” I like the cut of her jib.

I was pleased by Daryl’s reaction to the news about Carol. (Remember the Carol stuff? One thing I didn't even think about until this episode was how the Governor episodes really hurt the momentum of any of the subplots going on in Rick’s camp.) Anyway, Daryl wasn't pleased with the news but he wasn't enraged or completely dismissive of Rick either.

I know next to nothing about military artillery but I have to think that tank ammunition is pretty hard to come by. I also am not sure how many shells a tank holds or how it reloads. So I guess I should just assume The Walking Dead’s portrayal was completely accurate. I should…but I’m not.

I was pleased to see zombies show up during the battle. Too often zombies don’t appear when convenient for the plot. However, where did all the fence zombies go?

If I was Rick as soon as I got to the prison fence I would've spouted off about everything the Governor has done. Just in case the people don’t get what kind of person he is (which they didn't).

So the Governor heads off to find a place that will protect Lilly and Meghan and thus leaves Meghan vulnerable to an attack that takes her life. Irony? (Not to be confused Martinez’s death which also had a fair amount of IRONy. Wakka wakka!)

Anyway, why the hell was Lilly so far away from Meghan?

And where were the other kids in the camp?

The Governor saying that he and Rick’s camp wouldn't be able to coexist because of Andrea was odd. Does he assume that no one would forgive him because Andrea was so special? Or does he blame them for her death? Frankly, if I was the Governor I’d be more concerned with being in the same living space as the woman I sexually assaulted. But I’m not sure why I keep bringing that up, though, since it’s apparent everyone on the show has forgotten about it.

I also like the cut of Lilly’s sister’s jib. She is the only one in that group that questioned the logic of following a homicidal maniac into war. A man, might I add, who had just decapitated a guy for no real good reason except to spark a bloody, avoidable battle.

I suppose it’s no surprise that Lilly and her sister were the most averse to what was going on. They had been mostly protected from the horrors of the zombie apocalypse.

So, the Governor is certainly insane enough to just say “Screw it! Let’s bust down the fence! If we can’t have this prison no one can!” But why is his camp listening to him? They’re defeating the entire purpose of this battle!

Is it just me or does everyone have much better aim when shooting at zombies as opposed to other people?

Daryl using a zombie as a human shield was pretty bad ass but fairly ridiculous considering there was another scene specifically discussing how bullets can travel through a human body.

When the kids killed that woman was that supposed to be a “Hell Yeah!” moment? Because I found it disturbing and I hope that’s what the show was going for.

However, Michonne stabbing the Governor through the chest was indeed a “Hell Yeah!” moment.

So Judith might be dead. This was supposed to be a gut wrenching scene but as Rick and Carl emoted I felt nothing. The problem with Judith is that I’m not even sure that was her name. I’m serious; I’m pretty much guessing. The fact is Rick’s daughter has always seemed to be nothing more than a prop. The only prominent role she played was when she needed baby formula. Aside from that we only saw her a few times when someone was holding her or in the background. We never really saw Carl or Rick bond with her. Half the time I forgot she existed. So while Rick and Carl’s reaction was appropriate it rang a bit hollow.

And I think we all have to admit that when Michonne left the Governor for dead without explicitly finishing him off (and, seriously, it would've taken like two seconds) we all were convinced we hadn't seen the last of the Governor. Thank God for Lilly. (Although, at first I thought it was Maggie which would have made me even happier. But, I know, no one on the show even remembers...)

12 comments:

  1. There were plenty of great "hell yeah!" moments in this episode (I mean Darryl killed a tank. That's pretty effing awesome), and the best thing to come out of it is the fact that the Governor's finally dead and gone for good, but the whole thing just reminded me of my biggest frustration with this show: there's no macro plot, and unless they seriously rejigger the show (and at this point, why would they?), there never will be. Which means everything we've already seen, plot-wise, is the only thing we're ever going to see.

    The group (ever changing in size and membership, but probably always containing some combination of Rick, Darryl and Michonne) tries to stay alive while finding a safe haven, finds a safe haven (the CDC, Hershel's farm, the prison) deals with some problems at that haven (crazy Jenner, moral issues and zombie hordes, the Governor and flu viruses), before being forced out of that haven, the group scattering before coming back together to start the whole process over again.

    That's it. That's the entire arc of the show. The only thing that changes are the details and the length of time between each of those beats. Earlier this season, I thought (and hoped) the show was settling in for a sustained attempt at showing this group of people attempt to build a society in the midst of the zombie apocalypse (which is one of the few macro arcs a show like this can do). How do you maintain your safety? Or law and order? Or health? There are dozens of questions like that and potential stories to be told, all the while allowing for plenty of zombie killing action, but apparently, we can't ever stray too far down that path - safety and society must always be fleeting.

    Which may be realistic. But it isn't very narratively satisfying. Throughout the whole flu arc, I never felt like it was a waste of time (some episodes were better than others, but that was a case of execution, not premise), because that's one of those stories you can tell about a zombie apocalypse. Except now it does seem like a waste of time, because the show never really wanted to try to do a "rebuild society" story. It was just filler before the show got around to telling the story it wanted to tell at the end of last season but didn't for some reason.

    I dunno why this realization bugs me so much - lord knows most superhero comics are the same way, repeating the same story beats with only the details changing again and again. Maybe it's a question of form (comics vs. TV - would I feel this same frustration if I was reading the Walking Dead comics) or the fact that in comics, there's at least the possibility of a narrative resolution, even if I'll never see it in my lifetime (the X-Men either achieve peaceful coexistence, or die, Batman eliminates crime, etc.) whereas here, it just feels like the show is going keep playing these same notes again and again until the point at which the show becomes unprofitable, and that just kind of bums me out.

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  2. Okay, rant over...

    The longer and more impassioned Rick spoke the more nails were being pounded into poor old Hershel's coffin.

    Yeah, as soon as Rick started his speech and Hershel gave him that look, I said, "welp, Hershel's gone. Rick has adopted his "we need to have hope" philosophy, so it's time for Hershel to become one with the Force.

    Though it does beg the question: why did the Governor kill Hershel first and not Michonne? He has a reason to hate Michonne, and she's the more obvious threat (since Hershel is old, and crippled, and Michonne does end up stabbing the Governor). I know why he doesn't kill her, show-wise, of course, but it seemed like an odd move for the character in-universe.

    Along those lines, I was also bugged by how Michonne more or less disappeared from the action after rolling away, all so she could show up at the last second and have her "hell yeah!" moment with the Governor.

    Anyway, in a vacuum this episode was pretty good.

    My rant (and a few quibbles) aside, I do agree with that. It was certainly tense and exciting to watch.

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  3. I was pleased by Daryl’s reaction to the news about Carol.

    Me too.

    I know next to nothing about military artillery but I have to think that tank ammunition is pretty hard to come by. I also am not sure how many shells a tank holds or how it reloads.

    I'm no expert either, but based on what little I know, nothing jumped out at me as being hugely incorrect. I think the tank only fired, maybe, a half dozen shots, which is well within the amount of ammo a tank like that could carry, and assuming there was more than one person inside to drive it, aim the gun, reload, etc. that all seemed fine.

    If I was Rick as soon as I got to the prison fence I would've spouted off about everything the Governor has done.

    Me too.

    Not to be confused Martinez’s death which also had a fair amount of IRONy. Wakka wakka!

    Bravo.

    Anyway, why the hell was Lilly so far away from Meghan?

    Because she's a terrible mother.

    I dunno - you could maybe chalk up her relative inattentiveness to being somewhat new to the severity of the zombie apocalypse and how you always need to be on guard, but at the same time, her daughter had already been attacked once.

    But why is his camp listening to him? They’re defeating the entire purpose of this battle!

    Right? If I was that tank guy, I'd be like, "sure, I agree with your moral relativism, but me rolling over these fences isn't going to accomplish anything."

    Is it just me or does everyone have much better aim when shooting at zombies as opposed to other people?

    My exact words were, "sure, the one time Rick doesn't get off a clean head shot is when he has a clear shot at the Governor."

    Daryl using a zombie as a human shield was pretty bad ass but fairly ridiculous considering there was another scene specifically discussing how bullets can travel through a human body.

    Yeah, I was thinking "boy, I hope those guys are shooting low caliber ammo at him...:

    When the kids killed that woman was that supposed to be a “Hell Yeah!” moment?

    I think so. I have to admit, I was a little excited by it, just because I didn't want to Tyrese to die (and I was figuring he was a goner). But I certainly hope the show continues to address the main girl's (Lizzie?) Carol-motivated descent into sociopathy.

    So Judith might be dead.

    I'm assuming she's alive. I get that the show isn't going to show her being eaten or as a zombie, but I'd buy that she's actually dead more if he also saw Beth's body or zombie, since she specifically left to get Judith. So I assume she has her and is off running through the woods or something (I've also seen some people online speculate that Lily or her sister has her, which I could see the show doing just for the dramatic potential.

    Thank God for Lilly.

    Indeed.

    Though her presence at the prison (with the dead Megan) reminded me of a problem I've often had with this show: how far away is everything supposed to be from everything else? I mean, if Lilly can walk to the prison carrying a dead child, then shouldn't Rick and his group have bumped into Martinez's group sooner? Or the group that Martinez's group was going to kill for supplies but didn't? Even if she drove a car, the prison and the camp had to be close enough that she could make it there in a timely manner despite the shoddy conditions of the roads. I know I shouldn't worry about this stuff, but every once in awhile something like this comes up that reminds me of it.

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  4. I'll miss the Governor. He was one of the best TV villains I can remember. I found it odd they brought him back for two spotlight episodes, only to go directly to his death a week later. I was expecting him to stick around for the rest of the season, at least -- maybe become a recurring villain who pops up now and then over the years.

    I was astounded that pretty much everyone in his camp (except, as you point out, Lilly), was totally on board with his plan and even joined in rolling over the fence and attacking Rick's group after seeing him decapitate a crippled, defenseless old man. I guess we're supposed to chalk this up to his natural charisma, but it just seems insane to me that they all followed without so much as a single protest (again, aside from Lilly).

    I agree with Teebore, too -- the show has no over-arching plot, and it really needs one in order to keep my interest. I had mentioned before that I was on the fence about coming back for this season, but it ultimately won me over. I would've liked to have seen something like Teebore suggests, where the group settles down -- relatively permanently -- and begins to rebuild their society. But I guess there wouldn't be as much zombie gore in such a situation, which is why most viewers tune in. Plus, we did get a season and a half of the prison. That's the longest they've ever stayed in one place.

    Hershel's death hit me hard. I have this weird thing when characters on TV shows die after being around and specifically not dying for a while. If I were to go back and re-watch the series to this point, I would see Hershel try to drown his sorrows in liquor, only to be talked back by Rick. I would see him get bit by a zombie, but rescued by Rick. I would see him risk his life to help sick people, and be saved from another zombie attack by his daughter.

    Then I would see him kidnapped and needlessly beheaded by the Governor, and I would wonder, "what was the point of all those times he didn't die?" I had the same problem with 24 for years. Characters would constantly cheat death, only to eventually die, and I would struggle to comprehend the train of thinking that led to their demise, when clearly the writers had liked them enough to keep them around previously.

    It's hard to even put into words exactly what I mean. It comes across as if I want no one to die, ever, on a TV show, which isn't true. I just feel that when you go to the trouble of putting someone on the brink of death, but then save them multiple times, then that one time they die for real renders all those previous occasions bittersweet and painful to re-watch in the future, knowing what will eventually happen. If Hershel had never been near death throughout the series -- but we had still learned to like him in other ways -- then his death would sit better with me.

    Does that make any sense at all? I guess it's almost like I feel that Hershel's death wasn't playing fair with the audience since he seemed a "safe" character.

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  5. @Teebore: "Yeah, as soon as Rick started his speech and Hershel gave him that look, I said, "welp, Hershel's gone. Rick has adopted his "we need to have hope" philosophy, so it's time for Hershel to become one with the Force."

    This does remind me of another thing I meant to bring up. There have been two moral authorities on this show (Dale and Hershel) and both have died. However, neither died because of their ethical code. Perhaps, despite the moral relativism this show seems espouse, The Walking Dead is trying to say that the reason they died were because of other people's unethical behavior and if everyone would just abide by their moral code then more people would survive. Or perhaps the show is just being morally nihilistic and it' saying that no matter what ethics people subscribe to they're all going to die sometime.

    "along those lines, I was also bugged by how Michonne more or less disappeared from the action after rolling away"

    For that matter, it's pretty ridiculous Michonne escaped at all. She was right in front of everyone. All it would take is one person to say, "Hey, I'll shoot Michonne." It's like everyone just forgot about her!

    "Though her presence at the prison (with the dead Megan) reminded me of a problem I've often had with this show: how far away is everything supposed to be from everything else?"

    Heck, I'm surprised Lily knew how to get to the prison at all. Obviously, by that point so much craziness was going down that I just went with it.

    @Matt: "I'll miss the Governor."

    His villainy bordered on cartoonish at times but overall he was a good villain. I didn't mind him as an antagonist I just felt like the show needed a longer break from him.

    "Does that make any sense at all?"

    It makes sense. Although, I will say the idea of a person narrowly escaping death time and time again only to end up dying fits this show's aesthetic perfectly.

    I guess it's just the way serialized fiction has to work. Eventually a writer will decide it's time for a character to die They may not even know that's the plan earlier and thus put them in peril only to have them survive.

    Besides, if characters always survived peril or always died when in peril then things would be too predictable.

    In the end, I'd say that if a character's death is affecting you at all then the story is doing something right.

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  6. In the comics they do stay at the prison for quite a while longer and if I remember correctly there is a a fair amount of time between the Governor's appearances. There are several minor story lines that they have there that don't happen on the show. I think part of the reason they left it so early in the show is that people in general were getting sick of the location and the writers just didn't seem to know what to do there. Admittedly a lot of the stories that they did there in the comics wouldn't be as exciting on TV or just plain couldn't happen due to the differences in the two up to now. You would think they could have come up with something else though. The biggest story we got there adde from Rick's craziness was the plague story that lasted five episodes.

    In the comics they do eventually come to another place that they can stay at for a while which they do. In fact I think they are still there but I am two TPBs behind so maybe not. I imagine they will eventually get there in the TV show but they might decide to go a completely different way. Based on the new characters they are introducing in the second half of the season though I am guessing that somewhere in season five we will get there.

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  7. "Besides, if characters always survived peril or always died when in peril then things would be too predictable."

    Yeah, that's why I thought my opinion made no sense. And I should add that I really only feel that way about characters I like, and when they die as senselessly as Herschel did. If he had gone out in a blaze of self sacrifice, or if he had gone dumb or bad first, a la Andrea or Shane, respectively, I would be okay with the whole thing. So, yeah... I guess it's the senseless part of it that bugs me.

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  8. That was an intense episode. I, actually, felt exhausted after this one. Hershel will, definitely, be missed. From the look on his face in those final moments, I got the sense that he was proud of Rick and, perhaps, believed for a moment things just might be alright.

    A few comments on some of your points, then...

    I know next to nothing about military artillery but I have to think that tank ammunition is pretty hard to come by. I also am not sure how many shells a tank holds or how it reloads. So I guess I should just assume The Walking Dead’s portrayal was completely accurate. I should…but I’m not.,

    All of my knowledge of military hardware comes from my childhood love of G.I. Joe. A tank like that would require, at least, a crew of two -- one to drive, one to man the cannon. I didn't count the shots, but I think it only fired off around a half-dozen rounds. That seems to be in the right ballpark for the payload it could be capable of carrying.

    However, where did all the fence zombies go?

    The timeline is, kind of, skewed due to not having seen the prison crew in several episodes. But, I beleive, this was meant to be the day after Rick and Carl machine gunned the walkers that breached the fence. I guess it's safe to say that, simply, enough time had not passed to allow the herd to repopulate.

    Anyway, why the hell was Lilly so far away from Meghan?

    Sigh...what is it about a zombie apocalypse that turns people into complete idiots when it comes to the safety of their children? Lori, certainly, wouldn't have won any "mother of the year" awards. Then, there's Lilly. Yes, walkers have problems with water, but they weren't, exactly, sitting on an island (though living on an island WOULD be a good idea). Walkers could approach from any other direction. Letting your kid play so far away from you at the edge of a treeline where a wandering walker could, easily, shamble out and grab her before you could react is just plain stupid. I never considered the fact that a walker could pop up from the ground, though. Well played, show. Well played...

    I also like the cut of Lilly’s sister’s jib. She is the only one in that group that questioned the logic of following a homicidal maniac into war. A man, might I add, who had just decapitated a guy for no real good reason except to spark a bloody, avoidable battle.

    I do, kind of, find it hard to believe that she appeared to be only one who paused and, seemingly, wondered "Why are we following this guy, again? He's batshit crazy". No one else had any doubts? Really?

    Daryl using a zombie as a human shield was pretty bad ass but fairly ridiculous considering there was another scene specifically discussing how bullets can travel through a human body.

    I though the same thing. But with everything else that was going on, I had no problem letting that one slide. I think it just reinforces my theory that Daryl is, simply, too badass to die.

    And I think we all have to admit that when Michonne left the Governor for dead without explicitly finishing him off (and, seriously, it would've taken like two seconds) we all were convinced we hadn't seen the last of the Governor.

    I think Michonne not finishing him off was intentional. After everythihg he did, she, probably figured that a quick death would be too good for him. She, surely, and severely, incapacitated him. I think she figured leaving him to be eaten alive by walkers would've been a just punishment. In the few moments before Lilly put him down and the walkers were closing in around him, I was, actively, rooting for them to start tearing him apart like Otis, or that poor horse from the pilot.

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  9. I've written about this over at my own place, but just a few responses to people here.

    I think the Governor's attack coming here is because they wanted to do the flu story, and then wanted to move onto something else. Whether or not that works depends on how much you enjoyed the flu story (and I seemed to have liked it more than most), and whether what comes next is any good.

    why the hell was Lilly so far away from Meghan

    Because she had the best view from where she was. One could ask instead why Lilly let Meghan so far from her, but I guess there's a trade-off about how far you'll let a kid go before you have to give up your vantage point to get them back. Really, of all the stupid things people do in this show, not expecting a zombie might be buried in a riverbank seems pretty far down the list.

    Which means everything we've already seen, plot-wise, is the only thing we're ever going to see.

    I'm not sure this is true, though it may be this is me bringing future comic events into the mix. Without saying too much, Rick & Co.s tangle with Woodbury is the start of a larger plot about the way civilisation attempts to restart itself in the new world order. If you think about it, for the first two seasons there was no possibility of a functioning community. Seasons three and four dealt with a community that was obviously f***ed up and profoundly hostile. That's already a step above what we started with.

    why did the Governor kill Hershel first and not Michonne?

    Two reasons, I think. One, it demonstrated there was absolutely no chance of a negotiated settlement. Killing Michonne could be construed as revenge. Killing Hershel is an unambiguous declaration of war.

    The second - and almost certainly more important - reason is that the Governor doesn't want Michonne to die anything like that quickly. The implications of this are probably better left unconsidered.

    Right? If I was that tank guy, I'd be like, "sure, I agree with your moral relativism, but me rolling over these fences isn't going to accomplish anything."

    That was infuriating, wasn't it? In the comics they make the same decision because Rick has a sharpshooter who will simply take the Governor's force apart if they don't get in quickly (their tank has no shells, so they can't blow the shooter up), so it becomes an act of desperation. Here, it's just stupid. I assume it's a metaphor for how people going to war over territory almost always leads to that territory being obliterated in any case, but it was a bit heavy-handed.

    Alternatively, though, one could argue it was meant to demonstrate that the Governor doesn't actually want the prison, he just wants Rick dead. Speaking of which -

    I was astounded that pretty much everyone in his camp (except, as you point out, Lilly), was totally on board with his plan and even joined in rolling over the fence and attacking Rick's group after seeing him decapitate a crippled, defenseless old man.

    I thought about this, and I wondered if it was just the fact that when your leader and the guy in the tank shout "forward!" you might figure you're better off doing what you're told than arguing with the guy with the katana and his pet Abrams.

    Although, I will say the idea of a person narrowly escaping death time and time again only to end up dying fits this show's aesthetic perfectly.

    More than that, it seems like the whole focus of the show is on the importance of delaying the inevitable. That's literally all that every character is doing right now. You keep winning until you lose. I agree that it's a shame Hershel died as senselessly as he did, but the times he survived death do not matter less for the fact it eventually caught up with him, as it will with (just about) everyone on the show.

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  10. @SpaceSquid: I'm not sure this is true, though it may be this is me bringing future comic events into the mix.

    I absolutely hope you're right. I just know right now, it feels like we're circling through the same plot again and again.

    The second - and almost certainly more important - reason is that the Governor doesn't want Michonne to die anything like that quickly.

    That makes sense - though if the Governor truly wanted revenge on Michonne, I'd argue, why even bring her along? If he was fully willing to take the prison by force anyway, why not leave her behind (for future vengeance), and just use Hershel to attempt a settlement/con his people into thinking he's not a psycho whackjob who would kill them all to get the prison?

    In the comics they make the same decision because Rick has a sharpshooter who will simply take the Governor's force apart if they don't get in quickly (their tank has no shells, so they can't blow the shooter up), so it becomes an act of desperation.

    That makes a lot more sense.

    I wondered if it was just the fact that when your leader and the guy in the tank shout "forward!" you might figure you're better off doing what you're told than arguing with the guy with the katana and his pet Abrams.

    I can roll with that too, though I'd argue that if some of the other people were fighting reluctantly and just going along with the guy with the tank, they probably shouldn't have fought so vehemently once inside the prison. I mean, once, the tank rolls inside and the guy with the katana gets attacked, if you truly don't want to fight anymore, why not just run off into the woods or give up?

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  11. if the Governor truly wanted revenge on Michonne, I'd argue, why even bring her along?

    Because if you have two hostages, you can kill one to show you're serious and still have a second to barter with. This of course relies on the Governor not getting carried away in the moment, of course, which clearly didn't happen.

    though I'd argue that if some of the other people were fighting reluctantly and just going along with the guy with the tank, they probably shouldn't have fought so vehemently once inside the prison.

    It was certainly really stupid of them to not advance behind the tank. I did wonder if tank-guy (he's not interesting enough to gain the honour of me looking up his actual name) was deliberately lagging back specifically so as to ensure they couldn't run off. It's the only reason I can think of for such stupid tactics. I mean, sure, not everyone has watched as many war films as I have, but "stay behind the tank" is pretty much common sense, surely?

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  12. @SpaceSquid: I mean, sure, not everyone has watched as many war films as I have, but "stay behind the tank" is pretty much common sense, surely?

    Yeah, I don't think it takes a tactical genius to realize "hey, I'll be safer on the other side of this large, slow moving, bulletproof object".

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