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Recap / The Walking Dead S 04 E 08 Too Far Gone

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Season 4, episode 08

Too Far Gone
"We've done the worst things imaginable just to stay alive... but we're not too far gone. We all can change."

The Governor returns to the prison with a vengeance, forcing Rick to take up command once more.

The Governor addresses the people in his camp, telling them that they need to do something that's needed for their own survival - taking over the prison. In flashback, The Governor surprises Michonne and Hershel, who are burning the walkers from the outbreak, and takes them both hostage. In the present, The Governor assures his troops that they can take the prison without firing a shot.

He explains that the people in the prison are killers and thieves who mutilated him and destroyed Woodbury. He assures them that they can win, and everyone agrees to take part except for Lilly, who expresses doubt that what he said was true. The Governor assures her that she and Meghan are his biggest priorities, though she still doubts him.

The Governor goes to the captured Michonne and Hershel and tells them that he won't hurt them. Hershel asks why he's doing this, and The Governor explains that he wants to take the prison and no one needs to be hurt. Although Hershel believes both of them can live together peacefully in the prison, The Governor assures them that there is no going back.


At the prison, Glenn is still recovering from the virus and talks with Maggie about their upcoming anniversary, while Daryl and Rick talk about Carol's recent departure. Daryl refuses to believe it, but Rick tells him it was necessary, and mentions that they promised to look after Lizzie and Mika. Daryl then tells him that they'll have to discuss it with Tyreese. Elsewhere, Sasha visits Bob and thanks him for his help on the supply run, while he refuses to take the credit. She refuses to let him walk away, and tells him to accept her thanks. Together, they go outside.

Rick and Daryl meet with Tyreese, but he interrupts by telling them to follow him. He leads them to a rat carcass. Tyreese believes that the rat killer is the same one who killed Karen and David, but before Rick has a chance to explain the matter to him, the prison is rocked by an explosion. Everyone runs outside, only to discover a convoy of vehicles parked by the front gate. The Governor, standing on the hood of the tank, tells them to come down and talk as they look on in shock.


Rick yells out that he isn't in charge, and that the council makes decisions. The Governor responds by bringing out Hershel and Michonne and setting them down in front of the tank. He orders Rick to come down to the fence.

At the fence, Rick tells The Governor to let them go and that he will stay and talk, but The Governor tells him that he is serious about taking over. He gives Rick an ultimatum: leave the prison peacefully by sundown or be destroyed. Meanwhile, Daryl tells the group to get ready if things get bad and escape on the bus from Woodbury, which is loaded with supplies. He then discreetly distributes assault rifles to the group.

At The Governor's camp, Lilly is still keeping lookout when she spots a walker on the other side of the lake. She is distracted by Meghan asking her for help digging, but tells her to wait. Meghan continues digging a piece of wood on the ground, while Lilly is relieved that the walker is washed away by the current. Suddenly, a hand rises from the mud and grabs Meghan's hand. Although Lilly runs to her aid, Meghan is bit just before the walker is killed.

Back at the prison, The Governor is still trying to convince Rick to leave. In the inner courtyard, Carl is aiming his weapon at The Governor and wants to fire, but Daryl tells him to wait. Nearby, Lizzie, Mika, Luke and another young girl are walking out of the prison with Judith, who is in her carriage. Lizzie stops them and says they need to get guns to help the others.

The Governor tells Rick there isn't much time left, but Rick tells him that they can all live together, and that there's enough room for everyone. The Governor says it won't work after what happened in Woodbury, but Rick reasons that it's a lot easier than everyone shooting at each other. Rick remains defiant, leading The Governor to pull out Michonne's sword and hold it to Hershel's neck. Rick motions to Tara and asks her if this is what they want, but Mitch replies that all they want is the prison. Rick tells The Governor's group that they can be one of them and that they can come back from this, and Hershel smiles at Rick's revelation.

Suddenly, The Governor slashes Hershel in the neck and Rick opens fire. The Governor is shot in the shoulder, while Rick is wounded in his side when he takes cover behind an overturned bus. Michonne rolls out of the way as the prison group opens fire on The Governor's troops.

As Hershel tries to crawl away, The Governor approaches and decapitates him. Nearby, Michonne struggles to remove her restraints, and Tara sits in shock at what just happened. As The Governor looks at Hershel's body, he is confronted with Lilly, who is holding Meghan's body. The Governor picks Meghan up and shoots her in the head.

The Governor orders the group to move the tank through the fence as the prison group keeps firing. The fence comes down as more shots are exchanged, and as The Governor's troops move into the outer courtyard, several are swiftly cut down by Daryl, Maggie and the others.

The prison group begins to evacuate while Maggie, Beth, Bob, Tyreese and Sasha retreat and The Governor takes potshots from behind the overturned bus. Maggie orders Beth to take care of the civilians, and goes inside to find Glenn. As the tank moves through the inner fence, The Governor is surprised by Rick attacking him. They beat each other as the tank destroys more of the prison and Maggie rescues Glenn.

Outside, more civilians continue evacuating. Maggie puts Glenn on the bus and tells him to stay while she finds Beth, while Daryl continues firing at The Governor's men and Tyreese retreats from gunfire. Bob is injured and Maggie and Sasha are forced to evacuate. Daryl uses a walker as a human shield and kills several attackers with a grenade, stunning Tara, who walks away dazed from the tank. Tyreese hides behind several barrels and is pinned down by gunfire, but is saved by the sudden appearance of Lizzie and Mika, who kill one of The Governor's troops just before shooting Alisha in the head. Tyreese tells the children to stay with him, and they flee.

The Governor beats Rick to within an inch of his life, and begins strangling him. Suddenly, he is stabbed through the chest, revealing Michonne standing behind him. Rick rolls out of the way and gasps for breath and tells Michonne to help him find Carl. They walk towards the inner courtyard as The Governor lies bleeding on the ground.

Daryl continues gunning down walkers and destroys the tank by throwing a grenade down the gun barrel. Mitch barely escapes, only to be shot in the chest by Daryl. Soon after, Beth runs up and asks where everyone is, and Daryl tells her that they have to go. Rick stumbles into the inner courtyard and is relieved to find Carl, but they discover that Judith's carriage is empty and smeared with blood. They both break down and cry before walking off.

The prison burns as The Governor lays in the outer courtyard, bleeding out while walkers advance towards him. He looks up to see Lilly, who points her gun at his head and fires.

Walkers continue pouring into the courtyard as Rick and Carl stumble through the forest. Rick tells Carl not to look back as they leave.


  • Action Girl: Lizzie, who finally uses Carol's firearm lessons and kills two attackers during the prison assault.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Various elements of the prison assault are reworked from the comics.
    • In the source material, Tyreese is beheaded by The Governor. In the episode, Hershel is wounded in the neck and decapitated soon after.
    • Lilly kills The Governor with a single bullet after their camp is compromised, Meghan is bit and the prison falls. In the comics, she kills The Governor out of disgust after realizing that she killed innocent people (Lori and Judith), via walking behind him and unloading a full clip of ammo into the back of his head.
    • Likewise, the entire rationale for The Governor's invasion is handled differently. In the comic, he appears out of nowhere after many issues with the prison group handling their normal day-to-day tasks, and yells for his troops to "kill them all". In the series, several episodes revisit what he was doing after his failed attacks, how he amassed his army, and suggests that he is more of a tragic villain than anything due to his need to protect those around him.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Averted. The Governor's first attempt to decapitate Hershel fails and only slashes his neck. It takes several hacks to do it.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Rick worrying over Carl and Judith's safety.
    • Played With. Lilly worries about her and Meghan's safety when she sees a walker on the other side of the lake, then is relieved when the current carries it away. A few moments later, Meghan is attacked and bit by a walker that was buried in the mud before Lilly can get to her.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Governor tries to take over the prison and assures Rick that they can leave peacefully. It ends with The Governor and all his men slaughtered and the prison being uninhabitable for anyone.
  • Antagonist Title: The title refers to The Governor and how far he has fallen.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Tyreese is about to be killed by Alisha and another gunman, Lizzie and the other children show up and save him, complete with a big reveal and musical cue.
  • Big "NO!": Maggie when Hershel's neck is slashed, followed immediately after by Rick.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Governor is finally dead, but so is Hershel, along with probably various other prison survivors. Furthermore, Judith is missing and presumed dead, and the group have been forced to scatter in the chaos.
  • Boom, Headshot!: The ultimate fates of Alisha (courtesy of Lizzie) and the Governor (courtesy of Lilly). The Governor also Mercy Kills Meghan this way after she is bitten to prevent her from reanimating.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Daryl uses a walker as a shield when he throws a grenade at a group of the attackers.
  • Bury Your Gays: Alisha gets shot fatally in the head by Lizzie while Tara's fate is left unknown.
  • The Cavalry:
    • Lizzie kills two of The Governor's troops (including Alisha) when Tyreese is pinned down by their gunfire.
    • Michonne saves Rick when The Governor tries to choke him to death.
  • Character Death: Meghan, Hershel, Alisha, Mitch and The Governor.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Carol teaching the kids firearm lessons leads to Lizzie saving Tyreese from being killed by two of The Governor's troops.
    • The guns that Rick and Carl used when the horde broke through the gate in "Internment" are used again during the prison assault, along with the bus the Woodbury civilians arrived in.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Lizzie, who after being taught by Carol to use guns, rallies the other children to get their own weapons and kill two of The Governor's men.
  • Children Forced to Kill: Lizzie leads the rest of the kids in taking up arms against the Governor's forces. Subverted on the "forced" aspect, as Lizzie chose to instead of leaving with the others.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: You can spot someone tipping over one of those steel picnic tables with its own benches for this purpose. There's so many reasons why it shouldn't work.
  • Conspicuous CGI: Hershel's neck wound, after The Governor slashes him.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Rick and Daryl finally have the confrontation about Carol that's been foreshadowed for weeks.
    • Karen and David's deaths are mentioned again by Tyreese.
    • The mystery of the person feeding rats to the walkers at the fence is revisited. Tyreese finds a dissected rat inside a corridor.
    • After the prison falls, one of the walkers that enters through the gates and advances towards the inner courtyard is Clara.
    • Andrea is mentioned by The Governor during his last speech to Rick.
    • The Governor calls Rick a liar before killing Hershel. "Liar" was a label given to one of the bodies of the soldiers The Governor found in the previous episode.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: As with Tyreese's death in the comics, the Governor botches Hershel's decapitation, hacking into his neck several times after he survives the initial blow.
  • Cruel Mercy: Michonne stares down at the mortally wounded Governor and then turns away, leaving him lying unable to rise in a field full of walkers.
  • Death by Adaptation: Hershel, although his fate in this episode is similar from his comic counterpart (decapitated, versus being shot several times, both by The Governor, in the comics). In the comic it is Tyreese the one who is beheaded
  • Forced to Watch: The rest of the prison group watches Hershel's execution.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Just before Daryl runs up to drop the grenade down the tank's cannon, Tyreese can be seen running out of a building holding something in his hands as a mortar shell destroys part of the prison.
  • Gorn: Surprisingly averted. Hershel's decapitation happens offscreen, with the aftermath left out of focus in the background as The Governor watches the battle. Later, Lilly's execution of The Governor cuts immediately to Rick and Carl leave the prison.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When The Governor decapitates Hershel, his face is splashed with blood.
  • Heroic BSoD:
  • Hope Spot:
    • After Rick's impassioned speech, The Governor seems to genuinely consider his offer for a moment, and looks up from his sword towards the former. However, it's dashed a moment later when he calls Rick a liar and slashes Hershel.
    • And then they do it *again* ninety seconds later when we see Hershel crawling away (despite being slashed) and Michonne freeing herself from her bonds and taking down one of The Governor's troops. For a few moments, it seems that Hershel will still make it.
  • Hostage Situation: The Governor's ploy with the captured Hershel and Michonne.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice/In the Back: the Governor, courtesy of Michonne.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted spectacularly. Meghan is bit and eventually put down by The Governor, while Judith is presumed dead until "Inmates".
  • I Want My Mommy!: A dramatic example when Meghan is attacked by walker rising from the mud.
  • Insert Grenade Here: Daryl disables Mitch's tank by throwing a grenade through its cannon.
  • I've Come Too Far: The episode revolves around the consequences of being this trope.
  • Just a Flesh Wound: Played straight and subverted. Hershel is stabbed in the neck, and manages to survive long enough to crawl a few feet away before he's decapitated. Meanwhile, Rick is shot in the side of his abdomen and in the thigh, and is still unable to walk after being beaten by The Governor and leaving the prison.
  • Karmic Death: The Governor finally pays for everything he's done courtesy of getting impaled by Michonne and shot in the head by Lilly. The latter is especially poetic given that when they met two episodes before The Governor informed her that the only way the dead will stay down is if they are shot through the head. The Governor was already mortally wounded when Lilly killed him.
  • Kill the Cutie:
    • Subverted with Alisha. During the first few minutes of the prison battle, Alisha gets a scene with Tara where they affirm their trust in each other and promise to make it out alive. A few minutes later, she aggressively tries to gun down Tyreese, only before being unceremoniously shot in the head by Lizzie.
    • Meghan is bitten by a walker and later shot in the head by The Governor to prevent her reanimation.
  • Let the Past Burn: Just like Hershel's barn, the prison goes up in flames as walkers flood the courtyard.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Daryl figures out things are going to go south between Rick and the Governor and starts passing out weapons to the rest of the prison group.
  • Lovable Coward: For all her bravado, Tara hides behind a tank when the fighting starts in earnest, at least partly out of fear. From her behavior beforehand and her shock at the Governor beheading Hershel, it's implied she was more in favor of a peaceful solution and doesn't seem to want to gun down the prison survivors.
  • Mauve Shirt:
    • Alisha, who gets shot in the head by Lizzie.
    • Mitch, who gets an arrow in the heart from Daryl.
  • Mercy Kill: The Governor does it to Meghan to prevent her from coming back as a walker.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Governor ordered his troops to "Kill them all", much like he did in the comic.
    • Judith's carrier is found with lots of blood but without her perceived dead body. This nods to her supposed death at this very arc and how extremely gruesome it was.
    • In both versions, Lily kills The Governor because of his involvement in a child's death. In the comic, it's because he pushed her into killing Lori and Judith. In this version, it's implied that it is because he casually shot her daughter Meghan.
    • In the comics, the fall of the prison happened in issue #48. This is Season 4, Episode 8.
  • Never Found the Body: Judith. She made it out OK.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The Governor lays one on Rick.
  • Not So Different: Both Hershel and Rick try to convince The Governor that they can live under the same roof, although this inevitably doesn't work.
  • Off with His Head!: Hershel's fate.
  • Oh, Crap!: Alisha's reaction just before Lizzie shoots her in the head.
    • Bob, Sasha and Maggie's reaction when the see that that the bus left them behind.
  • Party Scattering: The prison group is forced to separate in the chaos, splintering into the following smaller groups:
    • Rick and Carl.
    • Daryl and Beth.
    • Maggie, Sasha and Bob.
    • Tyreese, Lizzie, Mika and Judith.
    • Glenn on the prison bus with the civilians.
    • Michonne on her own.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Rick's offer to the Governor and his men turns into this. It ends with a Shut Up, Kirk! courtesy of the Governor.
  • Plot Armor:
    • Rick runs away as several of The Governor's troops open fire on him, and the only injury he suffers a bullet wound to the side of his abdomen from The Governor's handgun.
    • The Governor himself, when the prison group opens fire on him after he swings Michonne's sword. Not. A. Scratch. Being run through with the same sword (by Michonne), and a gunshot to the head (courtesy of Lilly), on the other hand...
  • P.O.V. Cam: From The Governor's perspective as he looks up from his hands holding Michonne's sword to Rick, and later when he looks up to see Lilly walking towards him.
  • Red Shirt: The majority of The Governor's troops, who are killed as they advance towards the inner courtyard. A few of the prison survivors, particularly Julio, as well.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Maggie and Beth pick up assault rifles and open fire on the Governor following their father's execution.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Hershel, who is decapitated after Rick tries to reason with The Governor and let the two sides agree to settle their differences.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Pretty much everyone left standing on both sides flees the prison when it becomes clear that it's lost.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Tyreese, who doesn't get beheaded like his comic counterpart, and Judith, who was subject to Ludicrous Gibs, along with her mother, by Lilly.
  • Tempting Fate: Alisha, a few minutes after promising Tara that they will both make it out alive.
  • Title Drop:
    Rick: We're not too far gone.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Lizzie, who tells the other children to get guns just before they kill the two soldiers trying to kill Tyreese.
    • Beth, who is spurred on by Hershel's death to take an active role in the ensuing firefight and later flees the prison with Daryl.
  • Tranquil Fury: Daryl and Rick have what would be a screaming room-wrecking argument between two other people - who weren't having the disagreement upstairs from where the baby is sleeping.
  • Trash the Set: The prison is destroyed and infested by walkers, with the prison group forced to split up into different groups while they escape.
  • Watching Troy Burn: Subverted. At the end of the episode, as Rick walks away from the prison, he tells Carl not to look at it.
  • Wham Episode: Hershel, The Governor and Meghan die, the prison falls, and the survivors are forced to leave in different groups.
  • Wham Line: "...Liar."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Lilly and Tara's fates are left unresolved, with the former last seen killing The Governor in the midst of the prison field - which is already getting infested by walkers - and the latter last seen stumbling away in shock in the inner courtyard after Daryl uses a grenade. "Inmates" later revealed that Tara remained at the prison out of shock and Lilly allowed herself to be swarmed by walkers.
    • Judith's fate is left unknown, with Rick and Carl crying over an empty baby carriage smeared with blood. Turns out Tyreese took her.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Discussed. Carl wants to shoot The Governor while Rick is talking to him at the gates, but Daryl tells Carl to wait because he believes his father can handle things.


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