With this episode leading into Season 4’s mid-season break, The Walking Dead looks to leave audiences pining for more. Luckily for us, we’re in for a treat. Answers, bloodshed, death, destruction, and new questions: Too Far Gone has them all in abundance.
After spending two episodes watching David Morrissey’s Governor transition to Brian and back again, we finally get what we’ve been craving: The Governor and his crew going up against Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his ever-dwindling group of survivors. As ever with The Walking Dead, when it comes to death and demise, nobody is truly safe. If you have a favourite character, The Walking Dead teaches you to hold onto that character and pray that they don’t meet the same fate as previous favourites such as Dale, Shane, Lori, Merle and Andrea. Let’s just say, when the show returns in the New Year, several familiar faces will not be returning with it, although don’t worry – this review is spoiler free in that regard.
Whilst the last episode left us with The Governor having spotted Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Hershel (Scott Wilson), here our one-eyed loose cannon has utilised the element of surprise to take the pair hostage. Not only that, before all of this we’re shown The Governor spouting a rousing, charismatically delivered piece of hyperbole which has his new band of followers convinced that the only way for them to survive is to use any means necessary to take the walled prison that Rick calls home. In order to achieve his aim, The Governor plans to use Michonne and Hershel as bargaining chips. Simply put, if Rick agrees to move on and give the prison up to The Governor, he’ll let Michonne and Hershel live. If not, simply put, then the shit is very much on.
Too Far Gone is action-packed, emotionally charged and energetic right from the get-go. As well as a blazing gun battle (including a tank), we’ve got emotional and moral conflicts within the group. We find Rick trying to justify excluding Carol (Melissa McBride) to Daryl (Norman Reedus); we have several members of The Governor’s camp struggling to come to terms with the civil war that they are about to step into; we’ve got The Governor and his pseudo-family issues; there are further questions as to who really has been tormenting the prison camp and charring bodies; and then there’s the question of where the buck stops for all of these actions and issues.
Expertly constructed and put together, Too Far Gone has a constant, aggressive direction to it, and there are some fascinating visuals in there, particularly of a solitary Rick standing up against a tank and The Governor’s crew. There are some fantastically poignant performances on display, even if Rick’s ‘we can all change’ speech is ever so slightly reminiscent of Rocky IV. Let’s just say, The Governor’s not as free-minded and forgiving as the Soviet Union.
All in all, Too Far Gone will shock, surprise, and entertain, and it’s a fantastic way to head into the mid-season break. The only annoyance with the episode is that being such a huge affair, it makes the wait until the show’s February, 2014 return seem that much longer.