Well, here we are again at the mid-point of the TWD season where we'll be left hanging until the second half airs next year.This season, thus far,has been different than the others. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it seemed to take a detour into the unnecessary back story of the Governor after his meltdown last season.
I say "unnecessary" because it really doesn't move the character forward at all. The theme seems to be "can you come back from having to do things that are against your sense of morality". As far as the Governor is concerned, the entire story of him bonding with his new "family" served no purpose except to prove that he could not "come back" from what he had done, that his nature is concrete in it's propensity for doing evil. We all knew that from the beginning. As an audience, we can't dislike him more than we already do, so why delve into a sub-plot whereas the outcome will effect nothing within the character itself?
Now, a real twist would be to show the Governor "come back", become a rational, loving human being again. Have him return to the prison because he wants to keep his "family" safe- only to be cut down by Michonne before his true intentions could be demonstrated. That would have been a true character development & a huge shocker.
As far as the "new threats" that we, the audience, had been promised has simply turned out to be a resurgence of a strain of influenza caused by the lack of medical infrastructure since the collapse of civilization. Interesting as that is, it was simply a plot device to give our heroes an excuse to get out of the prison and into trouble and to place some of our heroes in dramatic jeopardy of succumbing to the disease.
Which, by the way, gave us our first 'money shot' of a huge undead horde (about 7,500 according to Greg Nicotero). The "new zombie threat" promised has only presented itself as zombies infected with this superflu. I'm still waiting on the original zombie threat of overwhelming numbers! I mean, we all know that zombies are easily defeated singularly, but their invincibility lies in their sheer numbers.
Yes, we still have the unsolved rat-feeder at the prison, however it may be Bob Stookey. I mean he said he was the last man standing out of the last two camps he had been a part of. Him? The last man standing? Hell, he can't pass a bottle of "Boones Farm" without putting everyone's lives in jeopardy.I think he's too self-destructive. You know, it could be someone else in the prison that believes that staying there is a bad idea so they're creating a situation as to where the group would have to leave.
Carol? Eh, who knows? Robert Kirkman has stated that he wants to introduce characters and then have them disappear, never finding out exactly what their fate was. Maybe Carol is the one. Then again, she might be the central continuing character in the proposed spin-off series of TWD. It's possible, but it's all guess work at this point until an episode airs making it official TWD Canon or an official announcement of some kind.
At mid-season, we are where we should have been at or around episode 3, with the old Governor outside the Prison with the tank bargaining with Rick using the lives of Herschel & Michonne .My guess is that Herschel is beheaded and Michonne taken prisoner so the Governor can exact his original plan of revenge upon her (which Andrea almost got in the dentist chair last season).
Hopefully, this mid-season episode will bring it all back together and give us what we want in one tight package.