(Warning: Spoilers below!!! Proceed at your own risk!! Note that I have used appropriate spoiler warning etiquette and am leaving a few lines of space or text between my warning and any actual spoilers!)
I can’t really recall a more dramatic or shocking episode of THE WALKING DEAD. I was an unfortunate victim of unintentional spoilage on Facebook, so I knew before I started watching “Too Far Gone” that a major character would not make it through, and found myself scrutinizing every scene he was in, for extra special symbolism or meaning.
We all knew we’d lose more of these well-loved characters, yes? I see no point in lingering over plot points or details in this review; I imagine it had many viewers ruminating upon some of the show’s larger themes. As we should, given the number of months we now have to wait until the season resumes. So, consider:
Carol will have to come back, now that the group has lost a sizable chunk of its medical expertise; as well, Bob the medic with a drinking problem will have to step up. Then again, with all hell breaking loose at the prison, it’s hard to say if the group will be able to come together; many of them are on the bus, but Maggie and Beth are split up, and Carl and Rick escaped into the nearby woods.
Tyreese is alive because Carol schooled those kids in protecting themselves and being brave. I’d have preferred they used the knives she trained them on, but certainly one of the show’s main thematics is the way in which post-apocalyptic America will be a gun-totin’ nation, as long as that is possible (See THE ROAD for additional scenarios). One wonders if Tyreese can forgive her actions, the killing of Karen and David, that made Rick toss her out.
But Rick is no longer making decisions. A more powerful speech delivered on primetime television I cannot recall; the writing and acting in this scene, where Rick (never doubt the power and nuance of Andrew Lincoln in this role) pleads with the Guv’ner to try and live in peace with the two groups merging, is heartfelt and balanced and wise. But when he finishes speaking and we see him from the Guv’s point of view, not up close as Hollywood films such things, we know all the impassioned words and logical ideas in the world cannot sway a sociopath bent on revenge. And it is a shame, really, that the moments of wit and beauty we may become capable of, crystallized by the high-stakes situations of the apocalypse, will as often as not be met with indifference, ignorance and/or blind rage.
Michonne is a merciful badass. ‘Nuff said.
The Guv’ner is fucking Rasputin in bootcut 501s. It ain’t over ’til it’s over.
GRENADES, BITCH! Let’s see more of those!
It is never too late to do the right thing, provided you aren’t engaged in melee combat at the time.
Unless you’re Too Far Gone; in which case, things will get very focused and very chaotic, very quickly. Leisure and daydreaming and slow lingering sensations will be fleeting and mostly nonexistent. Humans may revert to the “fight or flight” state of being that characterized their earlier stages of evolution. Unless they can hole up with lots of books and canned goods.
A row of Swiss Chard does not a bullet barrier make.
RIP, ‘Lil Asskicker.