The “Walkers” in The Walking Dead weren’t what Rick and the other survivors of the zombie apocalypse should have been worrying about. Scott M. Gimple, the third showrunner in four seasons, has officially ruined the series that I had once held in such high regard. Mark it down, Season 4 Episode 8 ‘Too Far Gone’ is the death of The Walking Dead to me as a viewer.
And the worst part about it is that it turned me into a liar. I wrote an article on November 25th titled ‘Dr . Morbid’s Top 5 Favorite TV Antagonists’, in which I positioned the Governor at number 1. I spoke too soon. This is what I wrote, “The fact that the writers focused on making him sympathetic and also showed how he does have a conscience, adds a dimension to his character that most Antagonists lack. Humans have a capacity for both good and evil, and the Governor is a perfect example of this.”
This was based on Episode 6 ‘Live Bait’, which actually went in a different direction than I expected, painting a sympathetic view of a tormented and flawed man, the Governor. The following episode, ‘Dead Weight’, moved things way too quickly and was a little too predictable, although it still kept me interested in his character and I hoped that the show was leading us towards a satisfying conflict between both the Governor’s group and Rick’s. Boy, was I disappointed.
Not only was this episode awful, but it made the entire character of the Governor completely useless. What is the point of building up a sympathetic and multi-layered antagonist when you are just going to completely betray his character and make him a one-dimensional Bond villain? And don’t even get me started on Michonne, who after hunting him for all that time, simply stabs him and decides not to finish him off? The fact that the little girl, who the Governor swore to protect, died was entirely to0 predictable, and even worse is who the Governor was killed by. Talk about rushed and anti-climatic.
Perhaps the biggest sin of them all, however, was the death of Hershel, played by the fantastic Scott Wilson. He had many great moments this season and this was not the way he should have went out. Before this death, all major deaths of characters including Andrea and Shane, happened at the right time and had weight that was attached to them. I could tell by the way that this scene was set up that Hershel was a dead man, and I was hoping I was wrong.
It wasn’t solely the fact that he was killed, that was fine, but it was the way he died and how it rendered everything he had done this season as completely pointless. And by killing this completely innocent and disabled old man the Governor lost any shred of sympathy. After that he may as well be a mindless foreign-speaking 80’s action villain. I could spend all night pointing out all the ways this episode jumped the proverbial shark.
Scott M. Gimple should be fired for what he has done to The Walking Dead TV show. This fourth season started off with such potential and now after this episode not only am I not looking forward to February when The Walking Dead returns, but AMC and Scott M. Gimple may have lost themselves a dedicated viewer. It is a sad Cyber Monday indeed.