My bet is random dude behind Tyreese does not see the next episode
After two weeks away from the prison group, this week’s mid-season finale promises to bring together Rick and the gang with their old friend, the Governor. Questions abound, but the biggest one is: who will live, and who will die?
<Spoiler Alert: The following sneak peek reviews the promotional material released by AMC for The Walking Dead episode 408, and will examine possible events in the upcoming episode while discussing past events. Read on only if you’re caught up in the series!>
As usual, AMC has released both a Promo short video, and a longer Sneak Peek. The Sneak Peek doesn’t tell us a whole heck of a lot, so we’ll take a look at that first:
Much like the Sneak Peek for episode 405 “Internment,” this one focuses on a single scene. Unlike that video, this one has very little dialogue, and few clues to give us context. We see Lilly sitting on top of a camper, watching over a river, while Meghan is playing in a patch of dirt in the background. Meghan asking her to help her dig; however, Lilly is distracted by a walker coming out of the woods on the opposite bank, and coming toward them through the water. As the walker gets closer, Meghan tries to lift something – it looks like a trapdoor buried in the muck – and Lilly tells her to wait just a minute. She pulls her handgun, and licks her lips, looking on with trepidation at the walker.
So, what can we tell from this? Not a lot on the surface, but there are a couple of interesting points that we should pay attention to. Most obvious of them is this: what exactly has Meghan found in the mud? A lot depends on where they are. If they’re back at the camp while the Governor goes a knockin’ at the prison, then it might be a food or supply cache left there by fishermen (as it is close to the river), or something along those lines. If the Governor has moved them closer to the prison in order to be safe while he attacks/negotiates – remember, there’s at least one more group out there, and we know they’re dangerous (due to taking out the camp in the woods last week) – then it might be something a little more interesting. A tunnel? Perhaps.
The other point is regarding Lilly’s reaction to the approaching walker. It’s slow, she’s armed, and despite being largely sheltered for a long time, she has experience walker attacks and kills at this point. So why does she look so completely out of her depth when facing this one, lone zombie? It could be something as simple as the fact that she is in charge – she’s the one that has to deal with the walker, as neither her sister Tara nor the Governor are nearby to help her. That is the most likely possibility, but honestly, it’s kind of boring. What would make it more interesting is if she were visibly shaken not due to fear of the walker, but because she actually recognizes him. Is it the Governor? Is it a Daryl/Carol moment in the making, when she shot him thinking he was a walker? Or is it possibly another member of the camp, coming back as a walker indicating that something’s gone wrong at the prison?
There has to be a reason AMC has chosen this scene as their Sneak Peek. While it would be cool to think that the walker is more than he seems, I suspect the real reason they chose this moment is that there is something important under that trapdoor that Meghan has found. Secrets abound!
In contrast to the Sneak Peek, the much shorter Promo is simply jam-packed with information. Let’s try to unpack it after watching:
I’ll break it down shot by shot, and give some insights as I go along:
Shot One: Flashback to the end of episodes 405 and 407, with the Governor observing Rick and Carl, and turning to see Michonne and Hershel in the woods by their truck. The Governor has a voice-over: “They have walls, fences, peace of mind. There’s nothing between us and them.”
Shot Two: The Governor facing his new group, saying, “If we’re willing to take it from them.”
Shot Three: The Governor’s people at the prison fence, vehicles aligned in a V formation with the tank in the middle.
Shot Four: Rick facing the fence, saying, “We’re not leaving.” The shot switches behind Rick, showing him facing an unarmed Governor standing on the tank, with Mitch at the hatch and another survivor pointing a rifle at Rick. Neither Rick nor the Governor is pointing weapons at this point, so we will at least open with negotiations – this is likely, however, nothing more than a ploy on the Governor’s part to convince his new followers that he’s a reasonable man, not a homicidal maniac.
Shot Five: Carl looking down the barrel of his rifle as it pokes through the fence, saying “I could end this right now.” The shot changes to a side view, showing Daryl also aiming an automatic rifle beside Carl. For once, I kind of hope Carl’s gun-crazy side takes over – he’s already shown he’s a hell of a shot, and taking out the Governor might cause a little short-term bloodshed, but would likely prevent things from escalating into all-out war.
Shots Six – : A quick action montage as things hit the fan. It begins with the splash, “ALL WILL FIGHT”; we see Maggie and Beth carrying guns, crouch-running behind a bus; Rick, still at the fence, firing his gun with a look of absolute hatred on his face; Hershel trying to draw his gun, a bonfire behind him, as the Governor’s arm comes into view pointing his own gun at Hershel; Tyreese running; Carl taking out a walker at close range; Glen coming out of the bus, looking one of angry, sad, or ill – hard to read; Michonne with fear and hatred on her face; Daryl sighting down the barrel of a gun; the Governor with blood splatters on his face; and the ends with the splash, “SOME WILL FALL.”
A lot to parse here. Things are definitely being shown out of order – the scenes with Hershel and Michonne are almost guaranteed to be at the beginning of the episode. Michonne is looking that way because the Governor has shown himself, and likely has her and Hershel at his mercy – he may even have already taken Hershel out at this point, which would be a real sad way to go after all he’s been through. Will either Michonne or Hershel survive the episode? Hard to say, although there is this: the Governor hates Michonne so much, that I seriously doubt he’d kill her outright. He’s much more likely to try to kill her slowly, to make her pay for taking his eye and putting Penny-zombie down. Rick firing his gun at the fence indicates that something goes wrong with the negotiations – does Carl take the shot? Is that why there’s blood splatter on the Governor? Things are definitely going to heat up, and I suspect we’re going to see the end of at least one major character.
The question would seem to be: how is it that the Governor is able to convince his new group to attack the prison? He’s the new guy, and since he showed up, the leader and his replacement have both died, and now he’s trying to get people to go to war. You’d think they might be just a little more suspicious.
Have tank, will travel
There is, however, a third video, one shown as a Sneak Peek on last week’s episode of Talking Dead. It’s a one minute speech by the Governor as he’s trying to rile up his new group in order to attack the prison. I’ve searched everywhere for it, but the only place I’ve seen it is at the end of the Talking Dead episode itself, so if you want to watch it, and you who have one of the cable service providers working with AMC, you can watch the episode here. If your service provider doesn’t work, or you’re not in the States, I’ll give you a quick rundown, with the full text of the Governor’s speech.
Here’s the transcript. I’ll show shot angles and on-screen visuals in brackets:
[View from behind the Governor – he’s addressing his entire group, save for Lilly and Meghan] “The people in this prison aren’t bad, but most of ’em are thieves, murderers. Now why should people like that have peace of mind when we’re burying our own just about every day? [Close-up on the Governor’s face] These people, they…mutilated me; burned my camp; killed my daughter. Now you saw me. I tried. I tried to die. ‘Cos I didn’t want to accept that you couldn’t live in this world without getting blood on your hands.
“Well I found you people, and I don’t wanna die. [He points at a random survivor in the group] I don’t want you to die.
“Now we need to move. Now. They’re going to realize their people are gone. [He points vaguely off to his left – toward the prison, or toward prisoners?] They’re gonna start getting ready for…whatever’s next. We need to surprise them. Scare them. And we will win.”
Wow – that opens up a few possibilities. The people that are “gone” are Hershel and Michonne, but the question becomes, are they alive or dead? If he’s taken Michonne to torture, how is he going to reconcile that with this group that has just started following him? If he’s brought Hershel, how can he stop the others from talking to him and learning that he’s a pretty nice guy, overall? And if he’s killed both of them, why should the group believe that he only has the intention of “scaring” the prison group? His bloodthirsty nature, combined with Martinez’s death and the disappearance of Peter, should be more then enough warning. Then again, in a world that has so wholly gone to hell, they might just be mistaking his psychotic tendencies for strength.
There is one thing for certain: this week’s mid-season finale is going to massively ramp the action up from the last two episodes, providing us with what will likely be the most action-packed episode of the season so far (although it will have to be something to beat the excitement of the dual Rick-Carl/Hershel battle scenes from episode 405). And where is that other group that’s somewhere nearby, the ones that killed off the forest encampment? Could they show up and join the battle?
So, who do you think is going to “bite it” this week? Pick as few or as many characters as you want: