Governor: “You kill or you die, or you die and you kill.”
What a season finale! I have some reservations but the writers completely surprised me and I loved the ending.
I expected a blood bath and I got one, just not the one I expected. The Governor is now a completely certified psychopath. Well, he was already, but gunning down your own people is completely over the edge. There is no Woodbury left to protect or destroy. Would he have gone back and gunned down the young and the elderly who were left? Or would he have tried to feed them a line about losing at the prison? Thank-goodness we’ll never know. We will have to wait until next season to see what other havoc he might wreak and how long Martinez is going to continue to follow him. I think the only reason Martinez didn’t shoot the Governor right then was because he was in shock.
This episode was full of tension and possibilities. I had predicted a massacre at the prison with few survivors and I was totally wrong but that doesn’t mean I didn’t spend the whole episode expecting it. I was sure that when Glenn took off his helmet saying it was all clear that either he or Maggie was going to get shot. I expected the Governor to come roaring back to the prison when Rick, Daryl and Michonne were gone and I only expected Carl to make it out of that. I was wrong on all counts and I was glad.
I was disappointed by the Andrea and Milton piece. I wanted Milton to be the mouse that roared but instead he was the mouse that tried to roar, got stabbed and turned. So much for standing up for yourself and what is right. The Governor was ready for him when he turned to stab him instead of Andrea. He didn’t stand a chance although just like Andrea, he tried. And I was at least right about Andrea dying although I didn’t expect the way it happened. I am surprised that Andrea, finally out of the cuffs, with a set of pliers, couldn’t fight off zombie Milton, but at least we didn’t get a torture scene so, thanks for that. Still there are two pretty clear messages. Peace and intelligence don’t get you very far and there isn’t much room for strong, opinionated women in this show.
Which leads us to the most disturbing part of this episode - Carl. If peace and intelligence don’t get you far then perhaps Carl is growing up to be exactly the right kind of man, a brute who kills anyone who isn’t on his side. That sounds an awful lot like the Governor to me. Watching Carl dress down his father for not killing people who were later a danger to the group was awful. He is still a child, particularly in his understanding of power, masculinity and what it means to be human. He sees the world very categorically and I think the juxtaposition of Carl and the Governor illustrates what immature masculinity looks like. Although he is right about his father’s choices he doesn’t see the whole picture, he hasn’t yet figured out what it takes to be a man. Maybe this new world won’t actually give him the opportunity to find out and he will grow up to be brutal and rigid. I certainly hope not. And what does this kind of gender rigidity mean for poor Judith – assuming she makes it. Will she learn to shoot and kill but still look to the men in her life to make the decisions and protect her? Not a very rosy picture of survival. One has to wonder what is the point then?
It will be interesting to see what next season brings us. Our group still has the prison but now they have more people to take care of and only a few extra fighters. The Governor is still out there and who knows what Carl is going to do. At least Lori has disappeared. I can’t see the prison lasting without some new protagonist but the writers have surprised me before and hopefully will again. It will be a long summer waiting for the next instalment.
Bits and Pieces
Carl made the call about whether Michonne could stay or not. There is a lot to be said about the intuition of children but that’s an awfully important decision for a kid.
It didn’t take much to scare away the Woodbury crew. They didn’t even seem to lose anyone and they had a rocket launcher!
The Bible message left for the Governor was a nice touch but I did wonder where they got the highlighter from.
How did Tyreese know where they kept Maggie and Glenn? Why didn’t he check it out as soon as the Governor left?
Things I could have lived without – Milton getting beaten. Andrea getting to redeem herself by shooting herself, saving others from the task while Merle got to at least take out some bad guys and delay the attack on the prison.
Governor: “They kept you safe, they kept you fed."
Milton: “As long as I looked the other way.”
Milton: “I’m still here. I’m still alive.”
Hershel: “Rick, I’m telling you, he gunned that kid down.”
Carl: “I did what I had to do. Now go, so he doesn’t kill any more of us.”
Andrea: “No one can make it alone now.”
Daryl: “We never could.”