A Breakdown of The Walking Dead’s Midseason Finale

Alright, well after watching last night’s The Walking Dead, I can’t really go without discussing it here. Yes, I normally review Dexter only, but The Walking Dead has turned into the far better show this year. Last night’s (ugh) mid-season finale was exceptionally gripping, and worth talking about.

I won’t do an official review, but I thought I’d got through most of the major characters and discuss a little bit about where they’re at after last night, and where they might be going. Follow along below:

Tyrese – At long, long last Tyrese from the comic has made an appearance with at least some semblance of his group. Tyrese is a huge part of the early portion of the comic (I’m attempting to follow along with the show, not reading ahead, but it’s so dissimilar now that it’s hard), and it’s great to see him finally show up. I love that he’s played by Cutty from The Wire who looks the part to perfection. He’s brought his daughter along, and a father and son to boot I believe. Look for him to be a big factor in coming episodes. Between him, Rick, Daryl and Michonne, we’re almost overloading on badasses now.

Rick – There wasn’t too much to say about Rick this episode, as the focus was off of him and on other characters. The moment where he thinks he saw Shane shooting at him was chilling, and for half a second I thought about whether it could have been real. Did they actually bring the actor back for that, or was it just CGI?

Carl – Back at home, Carl is stepping up to be the man of the hour, singlehandedly running through the prison to find Tyrese and his gang. He also had the good sense to lock up Tyrese and his group in case they were a threat. Did you notice how Tyrese called him a “man” and that this is “his house.” Respect.

Underage Girl – I still don’t know her name, but I thought she was at least like 22. But really, Luna Lovegood is 17. And Carl is what, like 13? That’s not so much of an age gap in a few more years.

Pedo-guy – Don’t  know his name either, but he was hitting on her pretty hard and being a high level creep. Maybe he’s in jail for something other than what he said? His interaction with both her and Carol felt straight out of the comic, where sex is a lot more prevalent than on the show.

Black prison guy – Someone had to die in that raid, and it sure as hell wasn’t going to be one of the main characters. Sad to see the new black guy be expendable within like two episodes, but now Tyrese has replaced him. And he’ll stick around longer. Pedo-guy is now the only surviving prisoner, but if I had to guess, I think that won’t be the case for long.

Daryl and Merle – I thought there was going to be some drama based around whether Daryl joined up with Merle or stayed loyal to his group, bu the way the show’s been set up, I don’t see that happening now. The Governor sold out Merle for reasons I don’t quite understand, so now it’s forced them on the same side. Why did he frame one of his best soldiers? What does he get out of that? Perhaps he needed a scapegoat for the night, but it didn’t seem like a very wise move. For a very brief moment, I thought he’d force Merle to execute his brother to prove his loyalty, but judging by the “coming up on The Walking Dead” scenes it’s clear both of them survive the lynching in Woodbury. UPDATE: OK, he betrayed Merle because Michonne wasn’t actually dead. I get it now.

The Governor – Now with badass eyepatch. The fight with Michonne was excellent, and her killing his zombie daughter was almost as gratifying as it would be if she actually killed him. Again, I don’t know why the Governor sold out Merle, but now war is declared on the prison group. What I don’t  understand about Woodbury is what happens after the Governor inevitably dies. There are like 70 people that live there. Only 10 or so are the Governor’s armed guards who do shady shit for him. What happens to the other 60 innocents once he’s deposed? Rick’s group certainly can’t take them on. I predict a conveniently timed zombie massacre.

Andrea – Jesus Christ Andrea! That’s what I was yelling the entire time at her, the one character left completely in the dark. Both Woodbury and the prison gang know nearly everything about the situation with each other, but Andrea  is the only one that doesn’t know much of anything at all. She probably put some of it together when Daryl was brought out, but JESUS CHRIST ANDREA! Get your shit together!

Michonne – …

Welp, see you in February I guess. Better than waiting a full year, but still an annoying gap.

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  1. Paul, I’m pretty sure that The Governor sold out Merle due to his lies about killing Michonne, which ultimately resulted in The Governor losing his zombie-daughter and getting a bad case of glass to the eyeball. Overall his motivations seem relatively solid, well as solid as the motivations of a one-eyed psychopath can be.

  2. I thought that The Governor was using Merle as a scapegoat for the night and is now going to institute more marshal law on Woodbury( like the comics from what I have heard) so that will be interesting to see….I cant wait for the February!!!

  3. i wouldnt really say Merle was sold out. Merle lied to the governor about Michonne being killed in the woods. i wouldnt be happy about that either. Espeicially to find her in my house killing my zombie kid and stabbing me in the eye. So i think the Governor rightfully outed him as a ‘terrorist’. The Governor was betrayed, Merle is finding out that it was a bad idea to lie.

  4. What don’t you understand about The Governor realizing Merle can’t be trusted. A few episodes back, The Governor sent Merle out to kill Michonne. Merle claimed to have accomplished his mission and that was to have been that. Fast forward to the finale which has the Governor finding Michonne in his secret room with his daughter, witnessing his daughter(who btw looked like the exorcist) being killed and followed by the governor getting shanked in the eye by said ‘dead woman’? Merle had it coming.

  5. Not sure I agree with calling him “pedo-guy”. It’s one thing on Law & Order SVU, a show that deals with the sort of creeps pedophiles really are (sensationalist, yeah, but still). When you start plastering the word everywhere, you start to dilute its meaning and create the sort of witch hunts that just make it more and more difficult for anyone to even want to step in and help children out of fear of the paranoia, and the real victims may get outspoken and lost to the noise of it all.

    There’s another term, I don’t remember what it is, for people attracted to post-pubescent but “underage” people. It has a different prefix than “pedo-“, which is more correctly used for pre-pubescent ages.

    That and in the comics, Axel’s not drawn to be a bad character at all. I hope the TV show keeps his good-heartedness intact, and this is just a slip up from being locked up for years. He did sort of do a 90 degree turn when Carol said she wasn’t a lesbian, so I doubt his lust is directed at any particular age group 😛

  6. Underage girl = Beth
    Pedo-guy = Axel
    Black Prison Guy = Oscar

    On the Talking Dead after the show Robert Kirkman said that it actually was Jon Bernthal in the scene. Apparently the reason he had a beard and everything was because he came by the set for one day to shoot the scene and had a contractual obligation to keep the beard for some movie he was shooting at the same time.

  7. Pretty positive, this is just speculation, that the Governor is faking turning on Merle, to get it into Daryl”s head that Merle and the Governor are through.

    Then he will create a fake escape where both Merle and Daryl can escape back to the prison, and The Gov will have his inside man at the prison in the form of Merle. That’d be where I run with it.

  8. aren’t they in Georgia? what’s the age of consent there? assuming such legal proscriptions survive the zompocalypse
    he may be creepy but doubt he’s in statutory territory here.

  9. So did no one else catch TWD going full Romero in their political commentary with the governor using the “terrorist” attack as an excuse to go to war? I was genuinely impressed. Not so much with the “every time we get a new black guy, the current black guy has to die” rule, but whatever. Show’s good this season. And, as always, Andrea needs to die ugly. Soon. Awesome character in the comics, but she is the only thing ruining the show now that Shane’s gone.

  10. How are you keeping up with the comic and not know who Pedo Guy is? He’s like the only important prisioner the comic had (though they changed his appearance a lot on the tv series). He’s probably being honest on what he’s in for, unless the show wants to go with a diferent direction for him

  11. Paul,

    How far ARE you in the comics? I gave up for awhile before the end of the Woodbury/Prison storyline because it was going downhill, fast, but I can’t picture you being that far in and not knowing some of this stuff. Also, no spoilers, but some of your guesses/analysis could be worded “this is what they did in the comics…” vice “maybe they’re gonna do this?”

  12. I was thinking the same thing as Giancarlo while watching. There was a scene earlier with Merle and the Governor where they had discussed getting Daryl to trust Merle and to provide information on the prison. I think that Merle’s betrayal was staged, and that they’ll engineer a way to escape so that Daryl will begin to trust him. Merle didn’t seem all that upset and didn’t protest when he was accused of betraying Woodbury, which seemed to support this idea.

  13. I found it incredulous that the group never reconnoitered the perimeter of the prison to look for weaknesses in the security fence. You’d think they would have driven around the prison at least once and repaired any obvious holes around the perimeter.

  14. I LOVED the scene where Maggie and Glenn were about to be executed. Very powerful and emotional performance by Maggie’s actress. I got chills when she cried with an extremly high pitched voice “I love you” before getting the sack.

    As far as I’m concerned everyone besides Daryl Maggie and Glenn can die, but one of them bites it and I’ll probably stop watching.

  15. Even though Merle lied to the Gov I still think this thing with Daryl and Merle is all a ploy to allow them to be rescued and have Merle gain access to the prison. Merle wouldn’t go back with Ricks’ group and they wouldn’t want him back after what he did to Glen and Maggie so his only option for survival is to get back in the Governors good graces. This will eventually set up the Daryl/Merle confrontation we all know is coming and more than likely Daryl will have to kill his brother to save the group.

  16. Didnt Merle say the he wounded Michonne (true IIRC) and that she probably wouldnt survive in a walker zone? (Not an unreasonable assumption?)

    The huge hole in the fence of the prison was a weak plot-hole (pun not intended). A storm drain or some other way in that the group could be forgiven for missing, I could buy that. But huge wall knocked down…???

  17. @Mr B Merle said that to the other guy that wanted to keep going before shooting him in the face. He left no one to contradict his story that he did kill her but couldn’t get the sword or her head because they were over run by walkers.
    I also think the hole in the back of the prison was mentioned earlier in the season when they were clearing it and finding non prisoner walkers inside.

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