Dec 2 2013 12:15pm

The Walking Dead, S4 E8 “Too Far Gone”

This episode was the first in a long stretch that felt like it flew by. Normally—and even with the really good episodes—I can practically count the minutes ticking by. But this one was over and done before I even realized it. Not that any of it was particularly good, but at least it was an exciting way to go out. This was yet another one of those episodes TWD is notorious for, one where characters do things simply because the writers think it looks cool or because they need a particular plot point to happen, not because it’s something the characters would actually do. Like the Governor burning Woodbury so he could stand in front of it for a promo shot. Visually arresting but signifying nothing.

The Governor kidnaps Michonne and Hershel to force Rick’s hand. He speechifies at his idiotic group and they buy the con with no hesitation or consideration. The dude doesn’t even have to convince them; he says some shiny words and they’re raring to go. Jesus. Anyway, off they pop, tank and all. The Governor forcibly reappoints Rick as the leader of the prisoners and they have a verbal showdown. Rick has until sunset to vacate the prison or the Governor’s group kills them all. What they apparently mean is surrender or we destroy the very place we plan to secure. And it all goes to shit after that. Death, death, and more death. Curse you, lazy plot devices!

These last few Governor-centric episodes have been entirely predicated on everyone around him being the dumbest people on the face of the earth. If his new group aren’t candidates for the Darwin Awards, then I don’t know who are. Not a single one of them have an ounce of sense between them. And Rick’s group isn’t much better. Why bother having a frakking fence if you don’t bother keeping it fortified or guarded? The Governor wouldn’t necessarily care about a backup plan in case the prisoners decided not to leave, but wouldn’t someone in his group have suggested one at some point? Didn’t anyone think about, oh, I dunno, maybe NOT blowing up the place they were planning on calling home?

Look, I get wanting to take the prison. But by blowing it up, ripping up the fields, and tearing down the fences, you’re really just cutting off your nose to spite your face. They’ll be nothing left of the prison worth keeping if you destroy it all before you get it. Again, it looks cool. A tank smashing the farm carries a lot of symbolism—the collapse of society, innocence destroyed by cruelty and violence, Farmer Rick is gone and only Sheriff Rick remains, yadda yadda yadda—but it’s also utterly stupid if the whole point of taking the prison is to turn it into your own private paradise. The attack works better as a suicide mission or a hate-fueled war, but you only get that if it takes place shortly after Woodbury. By easing Brian’s “redemption” in between, it makes the whole plot counter productive. He can’t take the prison without supporters, but by framing it as a way to protect their families, destroying the prison makes even less sense.

The easiest way to end the whole Governor showdown nonsense before it really began would be for Michonne to tell the group what he did to her. Or for any of the other Woodburyites, or Maggie, or Glenn, or anyone at all to talk about his pre-Brian existence. There’s no way his group stays with him after that. But no one says anything, because that would make sense and would end the battle before it began. And the writers need a battle, you see, because otherwise everyone puts down their guns and picks up plowshares and the Governor and that asshat in the tank are left sulking outside the fence.

Speaking of Michonne, apparently it took her ages to cut herself free (on the back of a truck or something?) because she vanishes for a whole swath of time before reappearing right at the perfect moment for running a Big Bad through with a sword. Even assuming the whole thing went down in a matter of minutes, say 10-15 from start to finish, that’s a long-ass time to be hanging out unnoticed. Shouldn’t she and Lily have seen each other? Given their positions and that the trucks are only covering maybe 50 feet or so of space, they should’ve been within eyesight of each other, which means the Governor should’ve seen Michonne trying to escape. Even if they somehow managed to keep out of each other’s way, at some point Lily and Michonne should’ve encountered each other. By the end it was the Governor, Rick, and the 2 women left at the cars. Which means Lily watched the Governor try to strangle Rick and let Michonne kill him. Which, no.

(Side note: Anyone know what happened to the other kids from the Governor’s new group? Some dude put them in an RV, so I’m guessing Lily watching them, but then she drove off with her dead kid in her arms, and left them there to fend for themselves? Most of the new group are (presumably) dead, so that means there’s a handful of kids just chilling out in an RV who are going to die alone and afraid. Awesome. That reminds me of the time Jason Statham was supposed to rescue 500 Chinese slaves in 2 semi trucks and instead called it a happy ending when he rescued 1 truck with about 20 people in it.)

When AMC said major characters would die, I knew they’d cop out. And sure enough, they took out the 2 “major” characters (and a few unnamed prison extras) who had the least agency and who could be excised without damaging the group as a whole. Hershel and Judith (the latter of whom I’m not 100% certain she died—if they didn’t die on screen, they didn’t really die, as the old adage goes) occupied important emotional and psychological roles within the group, but didn’t possess any particular skills or other attributes that, if lost, would be to its detriment. Their deaths provide the necessary dramatic reactions a writer needs to fuel the final battle moments, but that’s about it.

And if Judith is really dead, then I wish they had found a better way to do it. I’m sure her death happened the way it did—off screen—because you can’t show a baby getting eaten by zombies on basic cable, no matter how many times you watch adults get KO’d. The circumstances surrounding her death are what I take umbrage with. She dies because a handful of stupid kids decide to do something stupid? Why weren’t any of the adults watching them? Why would anyone in their right minds leave a pack of untrained kids alone in the battle to end all battles? And since when did they all become crack shots? And if they were going to ditch Judith, why wouldn’t they put her someone hidden? Why leave her in the middle of a busy thoroughfare? The answer to all of these questions, to all the questions I’ve asked throughout this review, is “Because the writers wanted it to look cool.” Taking what should be the emotional punch to the gut and reducing it to shock value would be infuriating it it wasn’t par for the course for TWD.

I still maintain there was absolutely no reason at all—AT ALL—to waste those last 2 eps on the Governor’s failed redemption arc. Frankly, the finale would’ve been a helluva lot more entertaining if the Governor just randomly showed up with a new crew and a thirst for vengeance. None of what happened was thematically important, even if some of you happened to enjoy watching his story unfold. If he had at least held on to a little bit of Brian at the end, maybe I could see some excuse for it. But to have him go full on psychopath and hack Hershel’s head off with Michonne’s katana is about as Governor as it gets...which makes his whole storyline pointless wheel-spinning. Or, better yet, all of this should have had happened last season. What a great end to that roller coaster of insanity from last season. It’s times like these that I wish the show would break completely from the comics rather than continually circling back to Kirkman.

Perhaps Gimple and the writers will rally once more next half season. The prison had turned into Hershel’s Farm 2.0, and the plague was a timesuck of a plot that never managed to be nearly as interesting as it should’ve been. Splitting the prisoners up—and mixing in the survivors from the Governor’s team—comes with built in drama. Who knows how it’ll end up. The episodes with strong stories, solid character development, and intriguing world building were also some of the least dramatic and active, while the ones that went full throttle were the ones that abandoned logic and consistency for hollow shock value. That’s fairly typical of The Walking Dead, but at first Gimple seemed to have a better handle on it. He seemed to understand how to make the show about something more than zombies and “looks cool.” I still have faith that Gimple won’t screw it up in the back half, but my belief is a lot weaker than it was in the beginning of the season.

And on that cheery note, I bid you adieu until February 2014.

Final Thoughts

  • “If you understand what it’s like to have a daughter, how can you kill someone else’s?” “Because they aren’t mine.”
  • Every time Maggie and Glenn have a scene together, I feel like they’re working off a script for a different show. Like, they’re trapped in some romance story while the world burns around them.
  • Daryl takes Rick’s (ill-conceived) decision to kick out Carol about as well as I did. He may have dropped it momentarily, but I don’t doubt for a second that it’s over for him.
  • So, I guess the plague is over then? That was anticlimactic.
  • The trampled chess, Lily shooting the Governor, the zombies marching into the prison, and Rick’s last line were heavy-handed enough to just about ruin the whole episode for me.
  • Oh, and Megan died. Bitten by a mud zombie. I suppose I should feel bad or something, but the only reason she kicked it was so the writers could have the Governor brain her and get brained in turn by Lily.
  • This episode is ripe comics talk, so please preface your spoilers! Don’t be that guy who ruins it for everyone.

Alex Brown is an archivist, research librarian, writer, geeknerdloserweirdo, and all-around pop culture obsessive who watches entirely too much TV. Keep up with her every move on Twitter, or get lost in the rabbit warren of ships and fandoms on her Tumblr.

Improbable Joe
1. Improbable Joe
Team Carl!!

I think the last three episodes were horrible because they were really meant to tie up last season's botched finale. If THIS had been the finale of last season, it would have been awesome sauce. Merle instead of Tank Boy, Andrea instead of Lily, Milton instead of dead girl. The same story, except in a way that makes narrative sense and involves characters we actually know and care about.
Improbable Joe
2. Colin R
So far this is a really good season with the sole exception being the Governor's little arc. You can see the cracks and seams where they tried to hammer this into place. They ended episode 5 with the medicine search party returning, and the Governor looming. So the timing of the beginning of this episode feels off--no one notices that Michonne and Hershel are missing, so it seems like the search party has just returned. Yet, the sick people seem a lot healthier than they did in Ep 5--we're getting signals that Glenn and Sasha aren't really threatened by the illness anymore, even if they're not full back on their feet yet. All because they need most of the characters to be able to get up and move around on their own so that they can escape. The whole thing feels like they needed people to be in certain places at certain times, but they never really worked out how to get them there.

Once the battle has started on the other hand, I'm okay with the chaos. It seems to come naturally once the bullets start flying--this isn't just a battle, it's self-destructive madness.

Again though, the Governor's subplot is at odds with everything happening here. They were really trying to set him up as a parallel to Rick, but I just don't buy it. No matter how many times people say 'Ricktatorship', it doesn't make it so. The show that we're seeing makes it clear that Rick is being thrust into a position of leadership he doesn't want. The Governor, despite his protests of "not wanting it", clearly does want it; he effortlessly manipulates and eliminates all obstacles to his dominance, and there's no obvious motive for his attack other than to humiliate Rick. It makes a farce of any attempt to pretend that the Governor ever had a chance of reforming.
Bill Capossere
3. Billcap
Everything depended on every character acting as stupidly as they could for as long as they could as often as they could and also counted just as much on the viewers’ stupidity and/or apathy. One could list the myriad ways, but why bother? That would be more work and critical thought than the writers put into this. The whole thing was an assault on their viewers’ intelligence and patience.
Improbable Joe
4. Herb518
Pretty much everything the Governor has ever done has been completely in keeping with the type of character who would destroy something rather than have it escape his dominion. His actions in Woodbury this season and yesterday at the prison were very much in keeping with that.

It doesn't really make any sense for the rest of the Governor's new group, but that doesn't matter once bullets start flying.
Improbable Joe
5. Colin R
I don't think it's terribly unbelievable that the Governor's new group is motivated to attack because they're desperately scared that they won't be able to survive at the camp they had. The problem still remains the last episode, where we see that the Governor himself is largely the cause for that insecurity, since he murdered both of their previous leaders, and they are too stupid to notice him sliding into the leadership role.

Again, a situation that would have been vastly improved by just having him show up with these new people without further explanation.
Improbable Joe
6. Steve MRK
Of course it was all to look cool. This is TV. Stop being so angry at a television show.
Sky Thibedeau
7. SkylarkThibedeau
This attack on the Prison finally got us to where I had thought the last attack on the prison was heading. When I saw the tank I thought "Oh boy, here it comes!"
Improbable Joe
8. StarryEyed
@Colin R, I totally agree with you. These people are desperate and want a safe place to live. Also, Rick et al probably assumed that they already knew what a crazy psychopath the Govenor was because they were there attacking them with tanks. What would be the purpose of telling them what happened in Woodbury, when to all apprearences they already seemed to know his character?

I disagree that Hershel wasn't a major character. His medical skills were invaluable. He had also become a moral center to the group. As for Michonne, the group seemed to be a little distracted by the gun fight that was occuring to pay any attention to Michonne. It probably took her a few minutes to get herself undone and find her way to Rick.

Also, it's TV. It's supposed to look cool! I thought the half season ending was very entertaining and am looking forward to the new season.
Improbable Joe
9. dantttt
Your the type of persom that makes watching tv shows and movies not fun cause you take every detail to the extreme the shows an hour long they cant cover everybody and its only mid season how do you know whats gonna happen to the kods or Judith we dont hince why they wont show much of the second half cuz its supposed to be suspenseful and leave us questioning whats gonna happen
Improbable Joe
10. Colin R
Geez guys, if all you want is an episode recap why bother even reading these pieces? If you want to argue about the points Alex Brown is making then just argue against them.
Bridget McGovern
11. BMcGovern
Excellent point, Colin R @10--everyone should feel free to disagree with the opinions and points put forward in the post, but let's keep the Moderation Policy in mind, keep things civil, and avoid making the discussion personal. Thanks!
Andrew Phillips
13. APTimes2
We can argue about whether or not the Governor episodes were necessary. (I found them interesting, but was very surprised at the end of last season when there was not really any resolution.) But, I don't think we can call those episodes a redemptive arc in any fashion. At what point did the Governor do anything that was not Governish? Even his help to the family in the apartment complex was because of the little girl and he freely admitted he was basically replacing Penny with her. So even that was for selfish reasons. Besides helping the family he murdered his way to the top of the group and then used it for his own destructive means. Classic Governor.

I agree with several others that the group he took over would willingly follow him to the prison. They had "found" a strong leader after there original strong one died and were probably thankful. They had already survived as long as they had and the show keeps telling us that surviving is not possible without some moral scruples being pushed aside. So alot of them were probably not going to put up a moral argument anyways. They did not have a Dale or Herschel with them.

As for explaining to his new crew that the Governor is a monster. Well, that is just he said she said. The Governor tells his side they tell their side. They at least know the governor and up till then more or less trusted him. They don't know Rick or Michonne. Hard to point fingers and say "he is a bad guy!" when you are already in a weak position. ie they have a tank. Plus, Rick kind of did that by saying he had fought the Governor before and offered them all a place to live civilly together. The Governor is who caused the conflict and that was in keeping of his character arc.
Katharine Duckett
14. Katharine
@12 As Bridget said in @11, disagreeing with specific content of the review is fine, but getting personal about the reviewer is not. Please rephrase your comment.
Improbable Joe
16. joeshamir
I am done with TWD. No mid-season finalle, no conclusion.
I just don't care.
Ever since Frank Darabont got sacked, the show displayed exponential decline in character depth, logic and emotional attachment to characters.
I don't even enjoy the gore because it's mostly senseless and acts as money-shots instead of actualy playing a part in the scene.
One of the scenes I was most fond of in the 1st season was the conversation between Andrea and her sister, Amy, in the quarry pond, about how they're father would take each of them fishing and with Andrea he would always bring the catch back home but with Amy he would throw them back to the stream because she was more soft-hearted.
That's the kind of character building I'd expect from a series which tells about the end of civilization.
You need some sugar in this recipe in order to taste the salt better.
If it's all fire and brimstone, psychotic governors, under developed plot lines and gore for gore's sake, it's not worth my time as a viewer to keep watching. AMC should've let Darabont keep the rains of this cart. He was doing a GREAT job making us care about the characters and spinning the gore in just the right amounts to support the terror of the situations, and I'd expect he could've made this series go a lot further than where it'll actually end.
Alex Brown
17. AlexBrown
Man, I knew this episode would bring out the comments, but I wasn't quite expecting so many so quickly. Let's see what I can do...

@Improbable: This is the first time in ages I was genuinely pleased to see Carl do something. It helped that he did something productive for once.

@Colin R, Billcap: Yep. We're in agreement (except about the motivations behind the group). The first 5 weren't my favorite things ever, but they were aces for TWD. They were several giant steps in the direction of righting the show onto a better course. And they undid it all with the last 3 eps.

@Herb518: He repeatedly attempted to exorcise the Governor and replace him with Brian. Him shouting "I don't want it!" sounds an awful lot like a redemption arc to me. His storyline mirrored Rick's pretty faithfully. The Governor wouldn't shy away from people. Once he met Lily and Megan, he was doomed to become the Governor all over again. Hell, he was doomed to become the Governor no matter what.

@Colin R, StarryEyed, APTimes2: I understand them initially wanting to attack the prison. The Governor told them some tall tales, and it's clear they are dense enough to believe without any actual evidence to back him up. Where I get off that train is when Rick offers them a place to live alongside them. That no one at all steps up to say "Sounds good!" is ludicrous. That no one says, "Hey Brian, maybe we should discuss this," is even more ludicrous. But yes, once the bullets start flying, I totally buy the outsiders running amok. They're completely untrained - which fits with the Governor's kill or die trying mentality - so chaos rules. But the writers skipped a step, a vital step, in order to push the story along.

@joeshamir: I think you're giving Frank Darabont a little too much credit here. Do you remember the awful S1E2? Granted, he only had a mini season to play around in, and most of the eps were pretty decent, but he was the one who started the trend of not establishing characters beyond their tropes. He had some nice conversations, but so did Mazarra and so does Gimple. All 3 showrunners have made the same mistakes over and over again, which leads me to believe at least half the fault lies with the AMC and Kirkman cabal. Keep in mind, of the 6 episodes in the 1st season, Darabont had substantial help from his writing staff - the same staff he later fired. Mazarra wrote 1 of those non-Darabont eps ("Wildfire") and later became showrunner. Had he stuck around, he would've had to deal with the same issues Mazarra and Gimple have suffered through, though perhaps with better results. Who knows. But he wasn't perfect.
Improbable Joe
18. Colin R
Right. They show us too much of the new group for them not to put together the pieces of who these people are and why they are doing what they are doing--if they are going to the trouble of showing how the Governor takes over a new group, they should establish who that group is. We basically only know Lilly and her family (who are disappointingly weak) and Mtichell (who is just a shit). It's a kind of sloppiness that has been all over the show from the beginning.

I'm hopeful that, with the Governor gone, the rest of the season might get back on course though.
Andrew Phillips
19. APTimes2
@AlexBrown Since the Governor was screaming "I don't want it!" as he was feeding Martinez to the zombies I wasn't taking his redemptive story too seriously. :) He seemed more like a guy finally seeing how evil he really had become and then deciding he just didn't care.

As for the people not throwing down their weapons and joining Rick. If I am an attacking force and seem to have an overwhelming advantage I would expect the people I am about to destroy to make a plea similar to what Rick is making. But, how can I trust what he say's? As soon as I stop pointing a gun at him he might change his toon. Seems almost like wishful thinking and that is how people get killed in a zombie apocalypse!
Alex Brown
20. AlexBrown
@Colin: My biggest concern right now is what's next for the characters. There's a lot of neat possibilities with the group's fracture, but there were also a lot of neat possibilities with the plague that never came to fruition. There is no overarching plot left, no Big Bad, no theme to bond them all together. That kind of story aimlessness never ends well.

@APTimes2: That line was pathetically melodramatic. Even for TWD's standards.
Improbable Joe
21. Tanks for the Memories
Melodramatic? From a zombie soap opera? Amazes me how seriously some take this show... based on a comic book.
Improbable Joe
22. fallenchamp
I'm not so critical. I think reason the episode flew past (and I felt exactly the same way) was because it was pretty engrossing.

I thought the whole point of the Rick / Governor discussion was that Rick offers the Governor a chance to be Brian, to become the good man, and the Governor can't seize it. Its like the meeting between Hazel and Woundwort in Watership Down - the villain (who we know from the previous two episodes is not pure evil - thats the point of this, even though you can argue about how well it was actually done) sees the chance to become something more than he is, and rejects it. He hates Rick even more for offering it to him - that's why he sets off the fight and destroys the prison. I thought it was really well done - Andrew Lincoln was great.

There are some quibbles with the episode but overall I was really happy and am looking forward to the continuation. I think any worry about the aimlesness or no remaining plot is clearly unfounded.
Improbable Joe
23. Theo16
I think it's pretty obvious that Judith is not dead. Several groups of characters left the prison before Rick and Carl found the carseat, so I'm sure one of them took her with them. Tyrese probably carried her off like a football along with the little Carol Army.
Improbable Joe
24. Colin R
I'm not sure it's obvious--SPOILERS: she didn't survive this battle in the comics. And frankly I'm not sure that we need an answer for where Carol or Judith went--it's entirely believable that in this world, sometimes people just disappear and you never will know what happened to them. Closure sometimes rubs against the grain of this story.
Alex Brown
25. AlexBrown
@Colin: Please tag your spoilers...

I also think we need resolution in a show like this. There has to be something, even if it's just everyone telling Rick they never saw the kid. We don't have to find her body, but we do need to know that she's really and truly dead. As for Carol, I'd be satisfied, story-wise, if they treated her like Morgan, but I'd be happier, audience-wise, if she returned. I still vote that Carol and Daryl run off with Carl and start their own show. It'd be much better than TWD is now.
Improbable Joe
26. Colin R
Sorry, figured the comics were different enough that they didn't offer any predictive value on the television show.
Improbable Joe
27. joeshamir
@AlexBrown It does'nt really matter that Darabont fired the writing team or that one scene in one Ep wasn't credible enough. What does matter is that the overwhole quality of the series felt many times better than what we have since season 2.
Improbable Joe
28. Spooky Mizu
@Tanks for the Memories
Amazes me how seriously some take this show... based on a comic book.
Sequential Storytelling - comic books - can actually be quite dramatic and mature. Have you read the WD series by Kirkman? It is much less about spectacle, and more about character development.

There is no reason that we can't take a comic book seriously, the same way we take any sort of creative output seriously. Try reading Lone Wolf and Cub, Concrete, or Sandman. Great stuff.
Alex Brown
29. AlexBrown
@Colin R: They are and they aren't. The show seems to veer off in random directions, but overall is staying fairly true to the comics.

This is right about where I finally dumped the comics. After what happened in the comics' version of this battle, I was done. I stuck around long enough to see the aftermath once Rick's group fled the prison, but I haven't touched the comics since. Couldn't stomach it. I know what's been happening with Carl since, but nothing could induce me to read them again. I can only take so much misery porn.

@Joeshamir: I guess I disagree, then. Darabont set the ship on its lackluster course, and Gimple is the first showrunner since who was able to right it. Darabont was battling against meddling execs, which is why he left/was fired. Mazarra was too much of a kow-tow'er to Kirkman's comics and was shunted with a crappy budget. Gimple seems to be the midpoint between the two. Showrunners aren't all-powerful anymore than directors are. You can fault a showrunner for a lot of things, and you can put a lot of the laurels at their feet, but they're still stuck playing network rules in a network stadium with a network contract. If AMC wants to slash Darabont's budget and refuse his storylines, there's jack he can do about it. Mazarra was never going to succeed, not after what AMC did to the show, but he also wasn't a strong-enough showrunner to make the most of a bad situation. Gimple seems to be able to do that, more or less.

Besides, it's looking more and more like Darabont just got lucky in his 6 eps of TWD. The reviews of his new show Mob City are pretty terrible. The whole thing is being burned off in 3 weeks in December. Not good news.
Alex Brown
30. AlexBrown
@Spooky Mizu: Yep. A lot of people dismiss SFF/comics based solely on its genre. TWD has never been anything but a serious drama, and to claim otherwise is ignoring the entire history of the show, the comics, and the horror genre in general. And speaking as an avid soap opera fan, there is absolutely nothing even remotely soap opera-esque about TWD. It is theatrical and melodramatic, but that is very far from being either a daytime or primetime soap. If melodrama and overly-complex interpersonal relations were the signifyers for a soap, then you might as well tag Breaking Bad and The Wire as such.
Improbable Joe
31. Colin R
Well, is The Walking Dead serious drama? That's sort of the question, and I think the most salient critique of the show is that it's maddeningly uneven in its tone and pacing. Sometimes it seems content to be about schlocky action--and there is no shame in that, if that's what the show wants to be. And it does it pretty well--the episodes that focus on violent danger or on the tense apprehension of violent danger, are pretty good!

Other times it seems to want to be taken seriously as a drama, and I don't think it's nearly as successful at it. They just sort of sit people down and have them talk at each other. But just talking isn't enough; drama comes from well-developed characters and the conflict of their motivations and desires. They did a lot better earlier this season--the question of how a society can function in the post apocalyptic world can generate a lot of drama.

The Governor's personal drama is all over the map though--in turns so quiet that it's opaque, other times ludicrously melodramatic. And all of the people the Governor interacts with are so thinly sketched that there is no real juice. So for two episodes we basically just watch the Governor manipulate a bunch of rubes. There's no juice between him and the other actors because they have nothing to work with. And there's not really that much compelling that we learn about the Governor. He's a creep who is good at manipulating rubes and who likes emotionally abusing and controlling the women in his life? Geez, we knew that.
Improbable Joe
32. joeshamir
@AlexBrown If by "righting a lackluster course" you mean that Gimple has matured the series into what Darabont wanted for it, I guess I still can't agree on that one. It looks like AMC preferes a dumbed-down, gory, carton-board-character infused show, something I haven't seen on Darabont's EPs. I know there is a hugh gap between corporate needs and artistic needs but Gimple is simply doing what the studio is telling him and is sometimes let to veer off coure into pseudo-dramatic scenes, which do not hold water. Even Merl's character wasn't as tropey as most of the supporting cast of antagonists we see now. He had some silly lines and maybe it was Michael Rooker's acting which managed to save the character from being so shallow (Merl was still a TV kind of hillbilly and not an actuall one), but I count ZERO characters who deserve my empathy, which makes it real hard to watch a show which needs exactly that to get the viewer to come back every week. I guess I'm expecting too much, but that is my opinion.
Anyway, thanks for some great reviews of the show. If anything, I do enjoy your posts about it.
Improbable Joe
33. The Walking Ted
Lazy writing with characters behaving like there isn't grinning evil death all around them. Seriously who lets her kid play in the mud 100 yards away while a zombie is in view? She doesn't even turn to look at the kid until she's screaming! Argh! Every episode I am in disbelief as to the charaters behaviour.
Improbable Joe
34. Teafang Wolf
TWD is a bit of a guilty pleasure. An enjoyable show but stupid as hell.

I think the title is really a reference to the living already having lost their brains. Almost every episode someone persistently does unbelievably stupid things. Every other episode this death wish expands to the whole group going along with Darwin award winning plans.

What the Governor’s attack speech should have been
Sup dudes. Your previous 2 leaders just bit it one after the other. I know the first death happened when it was just him and me, alone, here at camp. Despite these suspicious circumstances, I commend you for suspending any momentary doubt of foul play you may have held. Your observational skills really shone when it came to the second death. It is fortuitous, for you, that none of you-all noticed me carrying a body bag to the lake in the morning, or ascribing any significance to the fact that he died on a supply run no one saw him leave for. It would have been such a burden on my conscience if I was force to conduct a mock investigation to find someone inconvenient to me to be the traitor in our midst responsible for these heinous acts.

By the way, we are all in mortal peril of a zombie herd. I never bothered to fuss about this before, but they could overrun our pits and wagon circle- but I’m sure they could never push over something like a fence. I’m telling you chain link fences are the future, they will protect us from the herds and I know just where to get one. The location is full of hardened badass criminals who laid waste to my previous settlement- but be at peace; evicting these deadly tenants is part of the proposition’s charm. Never mind that there are plenty of brick building around and plenty of chain link fences and similarly flimsy barricades that could be relocated to make our own without pissing off a murderous raider camp. Just to let you know who the bad guys really are here and what kind of evil you face here is a cripple peg leg grey beard of theirs I captured. I’m sure that if we succeed in stealing their home the gang will just walk away; no hard feelings. Remember, this is in the interest of your safety. Why if my plan works, they would never leave it full of traps, like they did last time. And they would never retaliate against us, picking us off one by one, guerilla warfare style, like the crack soldiers would do that I keep telling you they are. See, we need their fence to survive, and I assure you threatening to destroy what we need to survive, is negotiating from a position of strength.

We survived so far as we are but there is such urgency about this year+ old problem that we must leave immediately; no talking to the prisoners or debate. These are not the brains you are looking for.

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