This week's episode picks up with the Governor capturing Hershel and Michonne. He goes back to his own group and tells them his plan to take over the prison. He says he wants to use Hershel and Michonne to take the prison without killing anyone and claims Rick's group was behind the destruction of Woodbury. His people believe him because they do not know any better and because it would be kind of hard to stage a war without an army.
The Governor tries to chat with Michonne and Hershel like he isn't the same guy who murdered Andrea and assaulted Maggie. Michonne is having none of it and promises to kill him, but Hershel tries to reason with him. Hershel claims their two groups can learn to live together so no one else gets hurt. The Governor knows better than to believe he could ever co-exist with Rick and Michonne, but continues to claim that he does not want to kill anyone unless he has to.The Calm Before the Storm
Back at the prison, Glenn and Sasha are starting to recover, but are still a bit weak. Glenn and Maggie have a sweet moment when they discuss their anniversary and plan a fantasy vacation. Sasha and Bob also have a nice moment in which she thanks him for his part in saving her life, and Bob feels guilty because he was more concerned about stocking up on booze than getting the meds needed to save his friends.
In the moment we have been waiting for, Daryl has finally learned that Rick sent Carol packing and he is not pleased about it. Rick makes plenty of excuses for his decision -- some valid, some less so -- and tells Daryl that he still needs to inform Tyreese of Carol's actions and his decision to exile her. Daryl goes with Rick to talk to Tyreese, but Tyreese interrupts their planned conversation by sharing his theory that whoever is killing animals to feed the fence-walkers is also the person who killed Karen and David. Before Rick can explain that he knows it is not the same person, the Governor and his people show up.RIP Hershel
The Governor calls Rick out and shows off his captives. He demans that Rick's people leave the prison and gives them until sundown to do so. The Governor points out that he has more people and more fire-power, but says he will let Rick's people leave without incident. Rick says that some of his people are sick and will not survive out on the road, but the Governor doesn't care about anyone but his own new family.
While Rick tries to work something out with the Governor, Daryl gets the others ready for war. At some point, they came up with an escape plan if they had to leave the prison and Daryl suggests they stick to it. If things go south, the plan is for everyone to get on the bus, but wait until the last possible moment to leave so none of their people get left behind. As you can guess, this plan does not work out.
While his people start to head for the bus and load up on guns, Rick is still trying to talk the Governor out of his attack. Rick follows Hershel's lead and claims they can all stay in the prison together. Hershel smiles his approval at Rick for having hope and we all know his fate is sealed. As Rick tries to talk the Governor's people into laying down their arms and joining his group so no one gets hurt, the Governor executes Hershel in a manner that echoes a major death from the comics. Needless to say, everything falls apart and the war begins.The Governor Loses Everything
Before heading out for the prison, the Governor decided to leave his new girlfriend and his new daughter behind so they would be safe. But as we know by now, nowhere is safe. While Meghan is playing, Lilly is too busy worrying about a far-off walker to notice one coming out of the ground right near her daughter. It turns out that little Meghan is playing in a flash flood area and gets rewarded for that by being bitten by the ground walker.
After the two groups start attacking one another, Lilly shows up with her dead daughter and the Governor loses whatever composure he still had. He shoots the little girl in the brain to keep her from turning and then orders his people to kill everyone in the prison. So much for that new family.How It All Ends
After Hershel's death, the Governor's group breaks through the fences and Rick's people have to run for their lives. Maggie orders Beth to get everyone on the bus while she goes back for Glenn, but Beth does not listen. So when Maggie gets Glenn on the bus, she then has to go back for Beth. But in an attempt to save whoever they can, the bus pulls away with many of our favorites getting left behind.
As the bus departs, Maggie meets up with Sasha and an injured Bob, while Beth runs into Daryl. Tyreese gets rescued by Carol's gun-wielding almost-daughter before the little girl runs off and he has to go after her. Will all of our characters meet up again, and if so, how will they all find each other?
Rick reacts to Hershel's death with pure rage and makes it through the Governor's ranks to go after the man himself. Rick and the Governor throw down, but the Governor gets the upper hand. As he is about to put an end to "Stuff-and-Thangs" Grimes, Michonne stabs him from behind. Alas, Michonne is not the one to ultimately end the Governor's existence, as she helps Rick get away safely. Instead, it is Lilly who does the Governor in with a bullet to the brain. I knew I liked Lilly. While Alisha, Mitch and many of the Governor's people die, Lilly and Tara survive, so it is possible we could see them again.
When Rick finally makes it back to the prison, he reunites with Carl and they go off in search of baby Judith. As they round a corner, Rick spots Judith's car-seat, but Judith is nowhere to be found. With so much blood left behind and hungry walkers munching down on every living thing in sight, it is a good bet that baby Judy got eaten by walkers. In a state of grief over his sister's death, Carl starts shooting every Walker he can and Rick has to pull him away. They leave the prison as it is overrun with walkers, and Rick tells Carl not to look back in another nice nod to the comics.
What did you think of this week's mid-season finale? Were you impressed with the Governor vs. Prison war? Are you glad the Governor is finally gone? Will we ever learn who was feeding the prison walkers? Will you miss the prison as the main setting or are you happy to be moving on? Which death saddened you the most? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.The Walking Dead
returns on February 9 at 9pm on AMC.(Image courtesy of AMC)