> TEOTWAWKI Blog: The Walking Dead - Mid-Season 4 - How Last season should have ended



The Walking Dead - Mid-Season 4 - How Last season should have ended

Spoiler alert! You have been warned.

Well, seems like the first half of this season has been basically a big reset from the end of season 3.

First, we had to kill off the leftover citizens from Woodbury with the mystery illness. These folks were never going to last long, but we all knew a lame plague was not going to kill off any of the main characters.

Then, we had to build the Governor back up to a threat with an army. And try to humanize him a bit...do some soul searching before turning him back into the psychotic killer we all know.

We did finally get the big prison vs Governor showdown, and it was intense, brutal and tragic...but, we should have had it at the end of last season, and not have to be subjected to a string of what I have thought to be fairly dull, throwaway episodes.

So, big happenings. The Prison has fallen. Hershel died a horrible, gruesome death. That sucked, a lot, as ol' one leg is one of the only stable, capable characters on the show. 

The Governor is apparently dead, though we didn't SEE him die...and if you don't see someone die, well, they are probably still alive and kicking. I want him to be dead, hope he is dead, but think we might see him come back. The girlfriend and her sister could have gotten him out...the girlfriend is a nurse, could sorta patch that katana wound up...Why Michonne wouldn't chop off Govies head is beyond me.

Along those lines, we were made to think Baby Judith became a zombie snack, but I think Tyrese and the Carol Squad saved her. Safe bet on that one.

So, the group is scattered to the four winds...the bus, Maggie's group, Tyrese and a bunch of little girls, Daryl and Blondie, and beat up Rick and Carl. Another example of why your group needs a bug out plan, as well as contingency rally points for when the crap hits the fan. And commo equipment - even simple walkies - to help with the reunion.

What did you think? Thoughts on the season so far? Any takeaways from the battle for the prison?


  1. The implication is that the governors girlfriend shot him, although we didnt actually see his head explode, so I'd say he's dead. Michonne didnt finish him because she probably wanted him to re-animate so she could kill him all over again. Plus she knew that he probably would have hated that more than being killed in a manner that prevented his reanimation.

    They apparently had an impromptu rally point - the Big Jobs store, according to the dialog. And they had an evac bus prepped and ready to go. Additionally, the dialog with the kids had them saying that they had an evacuation plan in place. So, really, they did have a Plan B, although it probably wasnt as well-developed as we'd like to think it should be.

    My question is what happened to having lookouts in the towers to report the tanks arrival?

    1. The bug out bus was good; I missed the line about the rally point. It seemed like the various groups we forces to escape in their separate ways, without a plan to regroup. If they all make it to the shop, we will be saved several episodes of wandering around zombieland :)

    2. I think an episode or two of everyone on their own making their ways to the rally point could be interesting. With everyone running low on supplies and ammo plus the smaller groups it would make the zombies a real threat again instead of just poking them with sticks thru the fence. Just as long as the rest of the season isn't everyone being tracked down and reunited.

  2. I'm gonna miss Herschel. But I am glad to finally be out of the prison It was starting to get very old and dank. I think they should have been looking for better shelter all along to avoid a reprisal by the Gov. and especially after the fence problems. They waited till all became ill from water conditions and etc. Should have moved or bettered their shelter conditions and fortifications. .

  3. According to "Talking Dead", an AMC show which follows every episode of "The Walking Dead", the Governor is really dead. One of the show's writers explained how he decided who should kill him. So no more Gov. Yay

    1. Good! Glad one eye finally got what was coming to him. I get my TWD fix via iTunes these days, no Talking Dead afterwards for me - though I do miss it!

  4. As far as the battle goes....

    1. Filing cabinets are NOT bullet proof.

    2. Carl's lever action was sans rear sight.

    3. Bob's AR was sans ALL sights.

    4. Tyreese was rockin' a M1 carbine, sweet.

    5. Firearms education for kids is important.

    6. Just how the hell was Rick drawing with his left hand and his Python facing the wrong way?

    7. 50 yards is NOT a long rifle shot, Carl should've went for it.

    8. Tanks are hard to take out with small arms.

    9. They should have dug a moat/tank trap.

    10. I wish I had some grenades.

    In the source material (comic books), the battle went down the way essentially the way it did in the mid-season finale the first time the Governor attacked the prison. So in comparison to the comic storyline, you are literally correct in that the first half of this season is just a re-do of last season's climax. It is a little disappointing, but I guess the producers needed to milk a little more life out of the prison set (expensive) and the Governor storyline before moving on. This would been less annoying if the Governor had reappeared next season (ala Murrell) and surprised us after a long hiatus.

    1. They should hire someone to consult them on firearms/post-apocalyptic tactics. I'd be glad to quit my day job and collect a fat Hollywood paycheck to do so.

      Familiar with the source material (at least up to the prison battle); at the end of last season, they dumped the show runner (again) and brought in a new guy. My speculation: the exec producers didn't like the end of season 3, so Kirkman and the new guy used the first half of season 4 to get the season finale they originally wanted.

    2. Anon can tell me what you mean by sans?

      2. Carl's lever action was sans rear sight.

      3. Bob's AR was sans ALL sights.

    3. Ok Thanks, just never heard the term in relation to firearms. I notice Carl's appear to lack a rear sight but could not tell for sure.

    4. 3rdman, Mr. Wolf beat me to the clarification. I've noticed this in a few other episodes, notably when the Governor shoots a running National Guardsman with an AR lacking a rear sight. Drives me nuts!

      Mr. Wolf- I was not aware of the show runner swapping shenanigans; I think your speculation sounds highly probable. I wish Darabont had remained at the helm throughout, oh well.

  5. It seems to me it would have been a better choice to fall back into the jail and lie in wait. The tank couldn't have had more than a dozen shells I'm guessing. They have had plenty long enough time to harden their defenses.
    This has been a boring season, but made up for all with the battle for the prison. Way cool shootout! That will keep us turned on while we wait for second half of season.

  6. The big shootout was disappointing only because everyone involved was a TERRIBLE shot. Rick ran ~25 yards back to the overturned bus under automatic fire. When the prison crew initially opened up the hits were few and far between. People were emptying mag after mag without even looking down the sights (those that had them). At this point just randomly finding ammo would be almost non-existent, most likely that bullets would be very scarce.

    1. I agree. While I've thought many of the Walking Dead's previous gunfights have been pretty solid - the raid on Woodbury, the shootout in the bar, etc., this one was weak in comparison.

  7. I, also, was annoyed by how many weapons did not have sights. But, to be fair, those with sights did not shoot any better.

    The tank assault was bizarre. You have a tank, you stand at a distance and kill everyone.

  8. Ok, I finally watched it today. (was with family sunday ). Where to start...... Ok the gunbattle. Who else flashed back to the tv series "the A Team"? Lots of automatic weapon fire, no reloading, and no people being hit? It seems that the "new" production people are just like most of Hollywood when it comes to guns. Dumber than a box of rocks. Cover is bullet resistant, concealment is not. Filing cabinets, cargo pallets, and aluminum picnic tables are NOT cover. Plus, no spare mags available to reload. Plus the issues with the lack of sights.
    As anonymous said above, 50 yards is a clap shot, not hard at all. Again, Hollywood knowledge of guns is severely lacking.
    As I said on an earlier thread, Is there no one on guard? The group KNOWS there are bad guys out there with the Govenor being only one of them.
    I had real issues with the tank, I know some stuff about them, I hope someone here can confirm what I think I know. Ok the national guard is mobilized for the end of the world. Would a tank have a basic load of main gun ammo for riot duty? I don't think so. I can see ammo for the coaxial Machinegun but live rounds for the main gun? No, that would be locked up in the ammo bunkers if it was even on a base in the continental US. So how did they get ammo for the main gun? Ammo bunkers are some of the most secure locations on a base. the doors to them are like bank vaults. Not something you are going to sneak into and grab stuff.
    Plus tanks are absolute fuel hogs, mileage is measured in single digits per mile. And the breakdown rate for an M60 on an road march is brutally high. Anyone know more about these things? All I have is what I have read in some books and what a friend told me about his time in the army back in the 80's ( and he drove a truck not a tank, although he did drive a flatbed that carried a tank at times)
    Back in the '80s I think, a national guardsman stole a tank and went on a berserk rampage down a highway. It made the news but all he was doing was crushing cars by driving over them. Because of that incident, the SOP on bases was to remove the batteries from the armored vehicles when they were not being used.
    The tank driver on an M60 tank is up front in the hull, not in the turret. The tank driver stole the tank when he "deserted" so who could work the main gun? You need a trained operator to drive and another to work the gun, the same person cannot be in two places at the same time to do both.
    So all they really would have had with the tank was a armored bulldozer which could take down the fences but if the driver buttoned up to avoid being shot he would be almost blind. and if he stuck his head out to see, well then...... empty a magazine into the glacis plate and let the bouncing fragments kill or wound him. Tankers hate to operate in built up terrain because they are vulernable and cannot see to maneuver.
    I did wonder why Rick was carrying his Python on his left side crossdraw style. Perhaps it got it out of the way for doing other things better than conventional carry.
    I have been disappointed with the show recently due to too many blatant plot devices and not enough basic common sense. We shall see if it gets better.

    1. I think you're over thinking the tank. It's zombie fiction...the dude stole it and ran off when the dead started to roam. Trained someone to shoot the main gun.

      Rick carries the Python like that frequently...I think the Gov used backwards weird crossdraw often, too. Likely, the crew think it looks cooler.

    2. I also thought the usefulness of a tank being operated by one or two guys would be limited, for all the reasons you identified. I know next to nothing about tanks, but I'm pretty sure it takes a crew to successfully run those things, and another crew to maintain them.

      I believe Rick's odd holster arrangement was due to his injured right hand (fight with Tyreece), so he moved it to his left side. This is good attention to detail on the part of the show, but still pretty impractical in operation. Time to borrow a Glock with an ambi-holster Rick!

    3. I know I'm over thinking the tank, It just bugs me on top of everything else this crew seems to get wrong. so many wrong, careless or just plain BAD deciscions being made. Too many things done solely to generate drama for the audience. just a pet peeve of mine. ( I was one of those ww2 reenactors who nit-picked the movies we as a group LIKED, so you should hear me on a crappy movie!) Then again, there was the "A-Team" flashback. Ick!
      By the way, A strong side holster worn crossdraw actually works pretty good. As a cowboy action shooter, a lot of people use them for their second handgun still drawing with the strong hand. I'll have to rewatch to see if he drew with the right or left hand.
      I will admit to having been spoiled by the show "stargate sg-1" for showing how well a show could portray proper weapon handling if it hired advisers and LISTENED to them. It was one of the very few shows that did show good weapon handling. Walking Dead has had some good gunfight scenes but this one was not one of them.

  9. It was a weird 70s gunfight scene... people shooting full auto, no recoil, people at 20 metres not getting hit by any of the auto fire, people hiding behind thin stuff that bullets bounce off, enemies standing in the open at 50 yards (my mother could shoot a human sized target standing still at that range)... a bit disappointing, but similar to the last prison raid. Still like the story, just needed someone decent to choreograph the shooting.

  10. 1) Just my opinion, but the distance between the tank and the prison looks to be way more than 50 yrds. Much closer to 100. However, 50 yrds seems more correct for an actual prison. Also, how did nobody hear a TANK rolling up???

    2) The group has made many stupid mistakes. I tell myself it is realistic because any group is bound to make some mistakes. They are not experts after all. This helps me sleep at night.

    3) Same with the gun fighting. Though I'd like to see more realistic handling and less full auto. Full auto is exciting, but I'm not aware of that many full autos running around in America. It ruins my fantasy. And I'd like to see some sights on those weapons! Though, seriously, you ever take a untrained person and put them in a gunfight? By all the accounts I have read, they don't use sights. Watching people in paintball: again, they don't use sights.

    4) They apparently picked up plenty of ammo at the return to the town from season one with the dude who had picked up all the guns from the military and police station and every home in town. That is where they got the guns and ammo for Prison Fight I. They had enough to also get them through Prison Fight II, apparently.

    5) I still don't know why they stored all the guns and ammo in one central location, outside, in the elements, by the fence. Sure, carrying a long-arm 24/7 is a hassle. But I think they should have made the adjustment.

    6) Where did the tank ammo come from? I bet it was issued when they decided some form of HE rounds might work on zombies.

    7) The tactics work for me. Have your people move up behind the rolling cover. Try not to use too many tank rounds because that is your new home you are trying to acquire. Best not to destroy it. However, I think the Gov'ner was off his hinges at that point, and was likely just venting rage and seeking to kill everything, not "preserving his new home." While sitting back and letting the tank do the work is better from a force preservation standpoint, it uses tank ammo, destroys buildings, and is more of a military tactic and might not have occurred to the Gov'ner or the tank driver (who might have been new to his job).

    7) What National Guard unit still uses the M60 tank?

    8) We don't know that Hershel is dead. His head did not come clean off, nor was the spinal cord clearly cut. He might pull through. People have pulled through injuries like that before. With lots of modern medicine. We might see the medic guy do it with shoe laces and chewing gum. Then again, Hershel might become a zombie and show up later. The writers have options in this regard.

    9) Bullet proof filing cabinets and picnic tables tables are sins that will stain this earth for generations. Such blasphemy cannot be forgiven. This show has a long history of misunderstanding cover and concealment. Also, some things work against zombies, but don't work real well against bullets. The set designers need to figure this out.

    I'd like to have 1.5-2 episodes of the different groups coming together at a rally point. That would be interesting.


    1. I think there may still be some state national guards who still have the M60, as opposed to Army national guard units, but I have been known to be wrong before, and no doubt will be wrong again.
      Don't get me wrong, I like the show, but it is Hollywood drama, with the emphasis on drama, aimed at the typical low-information american tv viewer. People do dumb things to set up the drama. I like to think I would at least show some common sense if I were ever in a TEOTWAWKI situation but as has been covered over on Selco's website http://shtfschool.com/ you never really know how you will react in such a situation.
      Selco went thru the yugoslavian civil war and has written extensively about it. I reccomend you guys give it a look if you haven't already

  11. The Gov hacked Hershel's head off, they showed it separated from his body. It would take a bit more than bubble gum to fix that.