Spoilers ahead from the original comic book series, which may or may not be relevant to the TV show!
Team Governor vs. Team Prison is coming our way on The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8, "Too Far Gone," which is the December 1 mid-season finale. We've been waiting for this return fight, even if we never quite expected The Governor (David Morrissey) to find a new group willing to do his bidding quite this quickly and easily. One-eye Bri lives a charmed life.
AMC released three Episode 8 videos right after Episode 7 — one promo, and two sneak peeks. Here’s our take on what they may mean.
SNEAK PEEK: GOVERNOR SPEAKS TO THE TROOPS, 'THEIR PEOPLE ARE GONE'
Let's start with the second sneak peek, the one that aired during Talking Dead. It shows The Gov. addressing his troops, showing off his degree in revisionist history.
"The people in this prison, not all of them are bad,” The Gov. says. “But most of them are thieves, murderers... Now why should people like that have peace of mind when we're burying our own just about every day? These people they mutilated me, burned my camp, killed my daughter..." It's reminiscent of his speech to the Woodbury people about the "terrorists" that attacked their town.
The most important part of the video is toward the end, when he says, "We need to move now. They're going to realize their people are gone, they're going to start getting ready for whatever's next. We need to surprise them. Scare them. And we will win."
If he wants to scare the prison, maybe he does use Mich and Hersh as a way to get inside. If it doesn't work, he could do what he did in the comics when his Woodbury group launched the final prison battle. In the books, the Gov. had Tyreese (Chad Coleman) captive, along with Michonne's katana. The Gov. threatened to kill Tyreese if Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) didn't let him in the prison. Rick refused, so The Gov. got extra mad and beheaded Tyreese using Michonne's katana. He yelled "Kill them all!" and bashed through the fences with the tank. It led to a big massacre with losses on both sides, including Lori (still alive at this point in the comics), baby Judith, and Hershel.
If The Gov. has Michonne and Hershel, maybe one of them is used for negotiation purposes, similar to Tyreese in the comics. Michonne has the best chance of escaping, but if Hershel can’t get away, it could be bad news for him.
THE PROMO: ‘WE’RE NOT LEAVING’
Speaking of a tank, if you check out the official promo, you can see the tank that was outside the Gov.'s trailer is now outside the prison, flanked by six Governor camp vehicles.
"They've got walls, fences, peace of mind," we see The Governor tell his troops. "There's nothing between us and them ... if we're willing to take it from them."
We see Rick and The Governor talking through the prison fence. "We're not leaving," Rick says, rather calmly. We also see Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) aiming through the fence, from afar. Someone says, "I could end this right now." Is it Carl?
The promo says "All will fight," and we see both Greene sisters, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Beth (Emily Kinney), running with guns, plus Rick firing with an extremely angry look on his face. Tyreese is also running with a gun, Glenn (Steven Yeun) is still looking a bit sick but also fighting, Carl is using a shotgun to take someone down, and there’s blood splatter on The Gov.'s face.
There's also a flash of Hershel with what looks like a tank fire behind him, and someone pulling a gun on him.
Go back to Rick's angry face. Something really bad must've happened to trigger that look; we're guessing it's The Gov. going ahead and killing a member of Team Prison in retaliation for Rick refusing to give up the place. Maybe that's how The Gov. gets the blood on his face? Maybe not. We’ll see.
The promo does end with "Some will fall," so we know there will be multiple deaths.
SNEAK PEEK: LILLY PREPARES TO SHOOT
The other sneak peek video just shows Lilly (Audrey Marie Anderson) preparing to shoot a walker. Maybe it’s just to show how she’s preparing for battle, since she has no real experience shooting walkers, never mind people.
This may only be relevant if she ends up following in the footsteps of Lilly Caul, a Woodbury woman from the comics/graphic novels. In the comics, during the final Woodbury vs. Prison battle, Lilly kills Lori and baby Judith. Horrified to realize she killed a baby, she blames The Governor and turns on him, killing him. That's how the Gov. dies in the comics, but we'll see what they do on TV ... if he ever dies at all.
Watch the videos for yourself. What are your theories about what’s going to happen in the mid-season finale, and then again when the show returns with Episode 9 in February? Rick may have just said they’re not leaving, but they do leave in the comics. They head out on the road after the final prison battle, and we’re guessing our group doesn’t just stick around at the prison when the show picks up in 2014.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.