Rick’s stable community at the prison has started to fall apart-somebody inside is tempting the Walkers on the outside (a weakening of the fence forces Rick to sacrifice his farm as a result to lure the walkers out), Carol has been exiled, and a new sickness has claimed part of the prison community, spawning walkers when the affected die, and separating others-including newlyweds Glenn and Maggie. Just when the outbreak seems to come under control, an old enemy arrives-this time, after allying himself with the Chambler family (who have no idea of his past, psychosis or true identity), and usurping through murder control of the group of his former lieutenant Caesar Martinez-partially because his group has a tank. Guns might have not broken the prison, but a tank certainly can.
He manages to kidnap Michionne and Hershel-who he still sort of has it in for-and asks that Rick surrender the prison to him, or else. Rick tries to plead to their common humanity, saying that they can come back from the edge; but as the episode’s title states, he’s “too far gone”.
Rick:Look, I fought him before. And after, we took in his old friends. They’ve become leaders in what we have here. Now you put down your weapons, walk through those gates… you’re one of us. We let go of all of it, and nobody dies. Everyone who’s alive right now. Everyone who’s made it this far. We’ve all done the worst kinds of things just to stay alive. But we can still come back. We’re not too far gone. We get to come back. I know… we all can change.
This doesn’t stop Herschel from having a bit of an “Obi-Wan Kenobi” moment before he’s cut down. He’s proud of Rick. But unlike Luke Skywalker, Rick sort of has a ‘way to fall’.
Although he certainly gets a “NOOOOOOOO!” moment.
This of course leads to chaos as the battle begins, but the somewhat more softened Rick is no match for the governor. Only Michionne is able to bail Rick out at the end, although the injuries he sustains nearly kills him, causing him to pretty much collapse for a few days to recover once he and Carl
While the group manages to stop the tank eventually thanks to Daryl, it’s far too late for the Prison, which is not only structurally compromised but also not swarming with walkers with the gates destroyed via tank, and the group is pretty much separated, with each group presuming the others are all dead (They aren’t, with the exception of the ill-fated bus which features most of the Governor’s surviving old citizens from Woodbury that weren’t claimed by Carol, supply runs or the Pig flu-pretty much 100% background characters).
It’s a bit fitting, that one of the Walkers we see walking around the outside of the prison, Clara-is the woman Rick sort of tried to help at the beginning of the season, but she was too far gone (and so dirty and messed up Rick mistook her for a walker at first glance).
But how far will Rick fall?