An epic faceoff between Rick Grimes and The Governor/Brian Heriot finally happened and things didn’t end well. In fact, they ended rather horribly and not everyone survived on “The Walking Dead” Season 4, Episode 8 — “Too Far Gone.”
Here’s our blow-by-blow recap of the episode:
The Mobile Home Camp: Brian Heriot (aka The Governor) has the new populace he’s taken leadership of gathered around. He’s found a place for them to survive. “The people who destroyed the camp I was in with Martinez, they live in a prison… We could live there,” he tells them, as the camera flashes to what happened after he pointed a gun at Michonne and Hershel in the woods in last week’s episode. He knocked her out and took them both hostage.
“I captured two of them,” Brian/The Governor tells the group. Tara’s the only one who seems surprised by the news. “What?” she says, a note of shock in her voice. “I was scouting the prison, our paths crossed, so I took them,” he explains. Hershel and Michonne will be valuable in helping the mobile home gang take the prison — possibly, without killing anyone.
Some of the people at the prison are bad Brian/The Governor explains. “These people — they mutilated me, burnt my camp, killed my daughter,” he lies. Tara reflects on it for a moment and then decides with the rest of the camp — they’re in.
Well, except for Lilly. “I said we didn’t have to fight for another place,” she protests. Brian/The Governor tells her it’ll keep her alive and Meghan too. “I love you,” he tells her. “I don’t know who you are,” she replies. He kisses her and heads off, leaving her with a look on her face like the one Andrea had when she found out who The Governor really was.
Inside A Mobile Home: Michonne and Hershel are seated next to each other, their hands bound in front of them. Hershel tries to reason with Brian, whom he refers to as “The Governor.” “Don’t call me that,” Brian says curtly. Ever the peacemaker, Hershel suggests they can find a way to live together, but Brian/The Governor is having none of it. Knowing it will come to a fight, Hershel appeals to Brian’s fatherly side. “If you understand what it’s like to have a daughter, then how can you threaten to kill someone else’s,” Hershel asks. “Because they’re not mine,” Brian/The Governor tells him.
Outside Brian’s Mobile Home: Brian heads over to say goodbye to Meghan, who is making, “peanut butter sandwiches,” out of the red mud. He asks the young girl for a hug, but she’s afraid she’ll dirty his leather jacket. Swooping her up, he hugs her close. “I messed it all up,” she says. “No, you made it better,” he tells her.
The Prison: Daryl Dixon is pacing, an angry tone in his body language. “You couldn’t have waited ‘til we got back,” he asks Rick. It seems Rick has broken the news about Carol’s forced exit from the group. He couldn’t have brought her back with Tyreese around, Rick explains. “I coulda handled that,” Daryl states. “I haven’t told Tyreese yet. I don’t know how he’s gonna take it,” Rick says. “Let’s go find out,” Daryl replies, as the two head out.
The Prison Tunnels: Tyreese is irate. Before Rick can explain about Carol killing Tyreese’s girlfriend, Tyreese points to a rat. It’s been cut open and splayed in front of a door — food for a walker. “We got a psychopath living with us… and I’m not gonna sleep until we do,” Tyreese says, thinking it’s the same person who killed Karen. An explosion stops any further discussion and they all dash outside.
Prison Grounds: Running outside, the gang is confronted by a terrifying sight at the gate — Brian/The Governor is atop a tank. “We need to talk,” he says. “It’s not up to me,” Rick yells back. “There’s a council now. They run this place.” Brian/The Governor was prepared for this. A slight smile in his voice, he asks if Hershel or Michonne are on the council and then trots them out to the horror of the residents, most especially Maggie and Beth. “You’re making the decisions today, Rick. Come down here. Let’s have that talk,” Brian/The Governor says.
Knowing there’s nothing left to do but face him, Rick heads down to the gate for that chat, while Daryl reminds every one of their contingency plan — if everything goes south, get on the bus.
Prison Fence: “You and your people have until sundown to get out of here, or they die,” Brian/The Governor tells Rick, referring to his prisoners. There are sick children in the walls who can’t be moved, Rick says, but the words fall on deaf ears.
Mobile Home Site In The Woods: Lilly is sitting alone, atop a camper staring into the stream. Something on the other side of the water grabs her attention — a walker heading toward her. Before she can do anything, it’s washed away. Meghan, still playing in the dirt nearby, digs up a sign reading, “Warning Flash Flood.” It wasn’t the walker across the stream that was the danger, it was the one Meghan stirred by pulling up the sign. It grabs the little girl as Lilly tries to get there in time. She doesn’t and the walker bites Meghan in the neck.
The Inside Prison Gate: Carl wants to try and shoot Brian/The Governor, but Daryl tells him to hold off and trust his dad. Nearby, Mika and the other children rush outside. She and another girl are carrying baby Judith Grimes’ carrier. Lizzie isn’t ready to let them get on the bus. “Carol taught us to be strong,” Lizzie tells them. “We should help!”
Prison Gate: Rick makes a new plea to Brian/The Governor. “We can all live together. There’s enough room for all of us,” he says. Brian disagrees. “Not after Woodbury. Not after Andrea,” he says, his latter statement putting a rage into Michonne’s eyes as she kneels in front of the prison alongside Hershel, the two of them still bound.
A standoff now reached, Brian/The Governor grabs Michonne’s katana and holds it to Hershel’s neck. Rick yells to Tara. “You in the ponytail, is this what you what you want? Is this what any of you want,” he cries. “I’ve fought him before and after we took in his old friends. They’ve become leaders in what we have here. … You put down your weapons, walk through those gates, you’re one of us. … We let go of all of it and nobody dies,” Rick tries to tell them. “Everyone’s made it this far. We’ve all done the worst kinds of things just to stay alive, but we can still come back. We’re not too far gone,” he adds, making a reference to Clara, the Irish tourist from the Season 4 premiere, who told Rick she didn’t think people got to come back from the horrors they’d done. “We get to come back, I know,” he adds as Hershel’s eyes light up.
Angered, Brian/The Governor whispers, “Liar,” and pulls the katana back, cutting into Hershel’s neck.
All hell breaks loose. There’s shooting from Brian/The Governor’s group in front of Rick and from the prison gang behind him. In the chaos, Rick is shot in the leg. The fight gives Michonne an opportunity to slink off and free her hands. Brian/The Governor finds Hershel has crawled off, but he follows him and uses Michonne’s sword to decapitate Hershel, killing him.
Terrified, Tara is now behind a vehicle, her weapon down. “We’re not supposed to be doing this,” she tells her girlfriend Alicia. “He chopped guy’s head off — with a sword!”
Gunshots and wails fill the air when Lilly walks up to the scene, holding Meghan’s remains. Brian/The Governor takes them from her and stops Meghan from turning into a walker by shooting her. He then turns to his group. “Kill them all,” he says.
As bullets fly, the tank moves forward, turning the prison gates into mince. Maggie runs to get Glenn (who is inside) as people flee toward bus. In the field, Rick and The Governor beat each other with their fists. The Governor seems to have an advantage
Elsewhere, Maggie gets Glenn on the bus and rushes off to find Beth, while Daryl takes down a walker, and uses him as cover. In the chaos, Bob is shot. Sasha, Maggie and Bob make their way to the bus, but they’re too late and they watch it drive off. “We’ll figure it out,” Sasha tells them.
Over by the garden next to the canteen, Tyreese has been cornered by Tara’s girlfriend Alicia and another man from the mobile home site. He looks to be a goner when a shot rings out, and another – it’s Lizzie and Mika, who took the pair out with their own firearms.
Prison Field: Rick is choking on his own blood as Brian/The Governor strangles the life out of him when a katana presses through Brian’s body. It’s Michonne. Oxygen now filling his lungs, Rick asks Michonne where his son is. “I don’t know,” she replies.
Prison Courtyard: It’s Daryl in the courtyard who takes out the tank with a grenade. Mitch, from the mobile home site, jumps out just in time, or maybe not. Daryl shoots him with the crossbow. Beth runs up to Daryl. “We gotta go, Beth,” he tells her as they flee the prison.
Stumbling through the prison, Rick finds Carl, who saves him from walkers. The two Grimes men turn their attention toward finding Judith. Her carrier is empty and bloody, reducing them to sobs.
Prison Field: The Governor lies in the field gasping for breath. Lilly walks up and shoots him. A walker boot steps on the chess piece Meghan once gave him. Clara, the Irish tourist from the Season 4 premiere, is one of the walkers.
The Woods Outside Of The Prison: “Don’t look back, Carl. Just keep walking,” Rick tells his son as they head off into the woods.
“The Walking Dead” returns February 9, 2014 on AMC.
-- Jolie Lash