The Governor initiates action as he speaks to the camp as their new leader. Believing fully that they must move and find a more secure location he tells them about the prison. Blaming Rick and the survivors for the fall of Woodbury, murdering his daughter, and disfiguring him he rallies their interest based off the promise of a safer camp. Also promising to utilize as little violence as possible he warns that they may be met with such and should be prepared. Off screen The Governor captures Hershel and Michonne from behind a tree. Lily approaches him after he finishes addressing the camp, having heard his speech from behind a tree. She express her aversion to killing others for the prison and that he at one point said they were not all bad. The Governor advises her that they are living with the ‘monsters’, essentially evicting him of blame if innocents get killed. When she asks if she’s living with a monster he ignores the question and reminds her that he promised to help her find someplace better for her and her daughter. He tells Lily he loves her and hugs Meghan before he sends them off by the water to stay safe.
Insider his trailer Hershel and Michonne are tied up. The Governor enters to relate to them his plan of taking the prison for his ‘family’, vowing that no one has to be hurt to do it. Michonne declares her hatred by making a confident promise to kill him while Hershel tries to consul him and offer a treaty where both camps can live at the prison. The Governor argues that despite Rick being a changed man, according to Hershel, he will never be able to live with him or Michonne. Hershel pleas further, asking how if The Governor truly understands what it is to be a father why would he kill Hershel’s daughters. The Governor coldly marks that they aren’t his and therefore is indifferent to the act.
Returning to the prison its the morning following the walker attack in Cell Block A. Maggie visits Glenn who appears to be much better than he was the previous night but still very weak. Sasha thanks Stookey for the treatment, also looking immensely better, but Stookey tries to stifle the compliment, ashamed by the bottle of whisky he’s hiding. Daryl’s just found out about Rick exiling Carol from the group after what he did to Karen and David. Visibly upset he wants to know why Rick didn’t wait until they returned to make the decision. Rick says he did it for the sake of Tyreese who’s still unstable from the incident and that Carol will survive on her own. Daryl criticizes Rick for not really believing that to be true and decides that they should tell Tyreese together. Tyreese however captures their attention first when he shows them a dissected rat in the tombs, relating it to the dead rats that had been found along the fence earlier in the season. He accuses that the person who’s been leaving these is the same person who killed Karen and David, suggesting they are living among a psychopath. About to reveal that to not be true Rick and Daryl don’t get a chance too when they feel the prison shake from an explosion.
Lily is by the river with Meghan when she is distracted by a walker across the way making it through the water towards her. Meghan calls to Lily to help her dig something up but Lily is too focused on the walker to notice Meghan, drawing her gun to prepare for the worst. The walker makes it half way before being taken by the current while Meghan retrieves the object she was digging. Lily asks Meghan what she needed but Meghan having already pulled out a sign that reads “Flood Area” says she fine and Lily resumes watching the water. A walker buried beneath the sign emerges from the mud and grabs at Meghan. Lily responds to the screams and runs to her but is too late and the walker bites Meghan.
Rick, Daryl, Tyreese and others run outside the prison to see The Governor, proudly standing atop a tank with his camp armed and ready for battle. The Governor wants Rick to come down along the fences to talk. Rick initially does not want too as he no longer makes those decisions for the group, but The Governor unmoved insists he’s making the decisions for them today. Rick heads down by himself to negotiate with The Governor who leaves them the ultimatum of either leaving the prison by sundown or death. Rick tries to convince The Governor that it doesn’t have to be this way but The Governor showing he’s not humored brings out Hershel and Michonne. Maggie and Beth react behind the fences as The Governor holds Michonne’s katana to Hershel’s neck. Rick continues to try to speak to The Governor and his camp, arguing that no one wants this and that it could work with the two camps living inside the prison. The Governor disagrees saying it would never work after Woodbury and Andrea. Rick further pleas for the sake of their humanity, citing that they are not too far gone to stop this. The Governor calls Rick a liar before chopping the side of Hershel’s neck with Michonne’s katana unleashing gunfire.
The Governor is hit in the shoulder and Rick is clipped on his thigh, causing him to drag away and hide behind an overturned bus. Michonne rolls away from the fire as The Governor continues to chop the rest of Hershel’s head off. As the two sides continue their forces Tara wearily draws away from the action to talk to Alisha’s who’s embracing it full force. Tara is clearly disturbed at The Governor’s decapitation of Hershel and no longer agrees with the decision to take the prison. Lily pulls up a minute later, carrying Meghan’s corpse in arms. The Governor sees the dead Meghan, shoots her in the head and then orders his forces to move in. The tank tears down the fences and begins firing at the prison walls. With the walls compromised they begin to pull back from the gunfire. Maggie and Beth, the latter absolutely hysterical with the loss of her father head to the bus. Maggie claims she has to get Glenn and tells Beth to help the rest onto the bus, Beth initially protests but Maggie cites her father saying they all have a job to do. Maggie gets Glenn and the rest of the survivors begin to evacuate the prison, the walls still being hit with the tank in the process. Lizzie leads the other children outside with baby Judith in her car seat towards the bus but stops them and reminds them of what Carol taught them, to be strong and fight. She convinces them to abandon the evacuation and go to retrieve guns, leaving Judith behind in her seat. Meanwhile as The Governor follows in after his tank Rick tackles him from behind the bus and the two break out in a fist fight.
Maggie takes Glenn to the bus which is now loaded with the other survivors but with no Beth. She is said to have gone to look for Judith in which Maggie leaves a weak and frustrated Glenn on the bus to look for her sister. She finds Sasha and Stookey instead who have been pinned from the ongoing gunfire. As she helps them, Stookey having been hit, the bus drives off leaving them and the others. Tara otherwise abandons the attack and runs off on her own. The final forces (Daryl and Carl) pull back as the noise has caused several walkers to wander onto the scene now. Tyreese still fighting is pinned by Alisha and another member from the camp. Lizzie and Mika save him by delivering a gun shot to both their heads and then run in the opposite direction of the bus with Tyreese chasing after them. Daryl throws a grenade down the barrel of the tank destroying it and bringing a pleading Mitch to the surface. Showing no mercy, as earlier Mitch was one of the few eager to take the prison, Daryl impales him with his crossbow. Beth then runs up to Daryl but tells him she wasn’t able to find Judith or the other children. The two run off to escaping the evading walkers.
Rick and The Governor continue fighting but Rick is overwhelmed by The Governors fury and force and The Governor takes him down, nearly beating him to pulp. He goes to strangle Rick but Michonne approaches behind him and sends her katana straight through his chest. Rick stumbles to recover but goes back into the courtyard and finds Carl. They then go to look for Judith but find her abandon car seat empty and soaked with blood. The two head out of the prison, crying. The Governor on-looks his last moments of life with walkers stumbling into the prison yard and other members of his camp reanimating themselves. His last view is a angry Lily shooting him in the head. Outside the prison, now being overtaken by hundreds of walkers, Carl and Rick continue away from the prison in which Rick tells Carl to keep walking and to not look back.
After Thought: The mid-season finale makes for an emotional and bloody battle for the prison. The shootout that was missing from last years finale is delivered in full carnage with losses on both sides. With Judith missing, a dead Governor, no level headed Hershel to help keep sanity, and a divided group its hard to say where the second half of this season is set for our survivors. But if it keeps in pace with its predecessors I have no doubt it will be worth the two month wait.
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