What a great mid-season finale it was to Season 4. The producers promised us an explosive ending for Season 4 part 1 and they didn't disappoint! We came to expect that 'heads will roll' in the episode but I didn't think that it was literally gonna be so! You see, there were bound to be deaths of major characters in Episode 8 as the Guv' riled up his Woodbury 2.0 team to attack Rick's prison camp. You might wanna stop reading now if you haven't watched the episode yet. SPOILERS abound!
It was kinda expected that both side of the fence was gonna lose somebody important but it was just the way they 'went' that crushed us emotionally. Poor Herschel met his maker ala Ned Stark public execution style in front of his daughters courtesy of the one-eyed psychopath we all love to hate. Subsequently ol Guv' got (deservingly) impaled by by a certain Michonne but I was left baffled to as why she didn't finish the job off. Perhaps she planned to leave him to be a 'zombie-buffet'? Ironically, Lilly, the new-found love of his life, was the one who finished the job 'off-screen'.
The most interesting aspect of the episode was perhaps the brilliant dialogues uttered by the protagonists. I like the part when Rick mentioned to the Guv' and his Woodburians wannabes that "If you walk through that gate...you're part of us...no one has to die...we can all live together" and "We can still come back from this...we're not too far gone". Real top notch emotional speech there by Rick. All of these were of course futile as the Guv' decided to slice poor Herschel anyways and thus kick-starting the prison invasion he dearly wanted. Kudos to David Morrisey for convincingly portraying one of the most cold-hearted TV villain we've seen in screen history!
It was kinda hearbreaking to see both Rick and Carl breaking down when they discovered Judith's baby carrier all bloodied. My guess is that Judith survived the attack and that whoever carried her to safety was injured and his/her blood got onto the carrier. I don't know, maybe them writers would want to add the 'baby Grimes is dead' story arc into the fold thus launching Rick into depression 2.0...who knows.
So what do you think? Is the Guv' still alive? Michonne should've finished the job she started but the writers of the series felt that it was probably the best for Lilly to do so. But did she? There is now a 50-50 chance that the Guv' had survived Episode 8 since the purported 'killing shot' was never really shown to us. Will all of them head back to Herschel’s farm to re-group? Exciting times await us on Feb 9 '14. Bring it on!!!