The face of didn't disappoint and not everybody made it to the end - SPOILERS AHEAD
The Walking Dead has reached the midway point of season four and after being reunited with old foes and faced with new threats from within and outside the prison walls, the midseason finale did hold a lot of promise. When it aired on AMC last night, on Sunday, 1 December, the coming together of Rick Grimes and our new friend Brian Heriot, AKA our old enemy The Governor, did not disappoint.
Not everyone will make it to the end
Heriot, as he goes by now, has assumed the position as alpha dog of another collection of people, people in desperate need of a leader, and he has plans for war. He leads them with a rallying call, preaching to the camp, “The people who destroyed the camp I was in with Martinez, they live in a prison… We could live there,” before showing off his spoils from last week; a captured Michonne and Hershel, currently being held hostage. Tara is the only one who seems surprised by this, did he capture two people on his lonesome, with no help or weaponry? But the Gov is able to feed her some cock and bull story about how he happened to bump into them and got lucky. Whatever he's feeding the camp, Michonne and Hershel could be key to gaining access to the prison, and without bloodshed perhaps too.
“These people - they mutilated me, burnt my camp, killed my daughter,” The Gov. lies. His intentions couldn't be clearer here, he wants bloodshed, and he'll get it. Tara takes a little convincing, but soon she's in, leaving Lily as the only person in the camp who is opposed to killing in order to survive. Lily has a few other reasons to not want conflict, her feelings for The Governor included, but despite her best efforts she can do nothing to disuade him and his roving party.
Cut to Michonne and Hershel, sat in the back of a cart, their arms bound together. Hershel tries to reason with Brian, referring to him as The Governor, which provokes a snap back from him, “Don’t call me that!"
Hershel tries to reason with Heriot, but as you would expect it is of no use and any attempts at reason only make our villain seem even colder. Before the party leaves, there is time for a tender moment between Brian and little Meghan, but not tender enough to convince us that he isn't still a monster.
The face-off we've been waiting for all season took place this week
Back at the prison, Daryl is pissed. It turns out Rick has told him the news about Carol’s forced exit from the group and he isn't particularly pleased, although maybe thats more because he wasn't consulted on the matter. Tyreese still doesn't know, so the two decide to finally tell him what has happened. As Rick explains her expulsion, Tyreese states that he isn't so irate about Carol, more that there is a half-eaten rat on the ground - a sign of a walker. An explosion can be heard from outside and the three rush out to check what's occurring, before they can properly explain Carol's expulsion.
“We need to talk,” The Governor says from atop his tank (no idea where that came from), speaking directly to Rick. As Rick informs him, the group is run by a council now, not a Ricktatorship. The Governor isn't bothered, he still wants to speak to Rick solely. With nothing left to do, Rick walks away to face The Governor, while Daryl reminds everyone of plan b: if the heat gets too hot, head to the bus and run away.
The Governor wants the prison and he's given Rick 24 hours to get out or else die, along with everyone else. Any attempts at reasoning fall on deaf ears.
We head back to Lily and Meghan, by the side of the river near the camp, when Lily spots a walker from the other side of the river. Before she can shoot it, it is washed away, and when we see Meghan dig up a sign that reads 'Warning Flash Flood,' it looks likely that the remaining campers might be joining the walker in the wash. Not Meghan though, because by digging up that sign she inadvertently woke a slumbering walker and can't be saved in time by Lily before she is biten in the neck.
Rick is still trying to plead with the Governor, suggesting cohabitation, while Carl, Daryl, Lizzie and the others try to maintain order within the prison. We're now in standoff mode, with tensions riding high in the negotiation room. The Governor grabs Michonne’s katana and holds it to Hershel’s neck. Rick pleads with Tara, evoking unwarranted rage from The Governor, who slices Hershel's neck.
Chaos erupts and shots are fired from Team Brian, with the prisoners returning fire in the ensuing carnage. Rick is shot in the leg, Michonne manages to break free and The Governor goes after Hershel, katana in hand, and decapitates him. This is the point when Tara's image of Brian Heriot shatters and his real, monstros persona is clear, but something has snapped inside her and now his intentions seem all the more reasonable. This is around the same time as when Lily walks into the scene, holding a mangled Meghan corpse. Looking solemn, The Governor shoots her corpse to avoid reanimation, turning to his army and demanding “Kill them all.”
The bullets continue to fly and the tank moves forward, mangling the fence, as the prisoners flee towards the bus. Trying to make his way to safety, The Governor catches up to Rick, and the two go fist to fist for their final showdown. Maggie fights to get Glenn on the bus before going to look for Beth, while Daryl fights both walkers and The Governor's army. Bob gets shot, only to find that, when he Sasha and Maggie get to the bus, its driving away. On the other side of the prison, Tyreese is cornered by Tara and two others, looking as though he is about to be a goner. Gunshots ring out, and its Lizzie and Mika just in time to save the day for Tyreese.
Back in the courtyard Rick looks like a goner too, as The Governor tightens his grip around his neck, but Michonne creeps up behind, with her katana back in her hands, and slides the blade into the back of The Governor. Daryl takes out the tank with a grenade and whilst chaos is still reigning supreme, things finally look as though they're coming together for the prisoners. Everyone begins to flee, Governor supporters and prisoners alike, and Rick finds Carl too, who saves him from encroaching walkers. The two try to find Judith, but only find a bloody, empty carrier, reducing them to tears.
The Governor lies in the field, choking on his blood, when Lily walks up to him and places a bullet between his eyes. Clara, the Irish tourist from the Season 4 premiere, is one of the walkers to make its way to the battlefield, stepping on the chess piece given to Brian by Meghan on her walk. Rick and his son head into the woods, their next destination unknown, as Rick tells him, “Don’t look back, Carl. Just keep walking.”
Back to the woods for Rick and co.