11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Walking Dead' Showrunner Previews Deadly, 'Explosive' Midseason Finale
Will Rick and The Governor finally come to blows in the long-awaited battle for the prison Sunday during The Walking Dead's midseason finale?
After waiting a season and a half, the duo may come face to face, as The Governor (David Morrissey) may now see Rick's prison compound as a potential safe haven for his new family. But will the sight of Michonne (Danai Gurira), who put down his zombie daughter Penny and claimed his eye, reignite The Governor's quest for vengeance?
Meanwhile, there's still drama and uncertainty within the prison as Rick (Andrew Lincoln) has yet to tell Daryl (Norman Reedus) that Carol (Melissa McBride) has been banished following her role in Karen's death?
The Hollywood Reporter turned to showrunner Scott M. Gimple to preview what's ahead in season four's midseason finale, "Too Far Gone." Here are five things to know about the episode.
1. There will be blood. In the comics, the battle for the prison claims Lori and baby Judith before a member of The Governor's camp -- named Lily, as potentially in Brian's new love interest -- turns her gun on the eye-patched baddie. "We've seen The Governor kill people to ensure the safety of his new family and we see him determined," Gimple says. "We see Rick is very much back as someone with a gun on his hip, ready to participate in the brutality of the world to keep his people safe. It's a very explosive situation and it's entirely possible that everybody doesn't make it back. That sort of thing would be something that would affect these characters even more deeply."
2. Things will get worse for the prison group. The Governor's likely attack comes (again) as the prison community is at one of its lowest moments of the season, with Glenn (Steven Yeun) still recovering from his near-death battle with the flu and having banished Carol (Melissa McBride) -- and with Daryl (Norman Reedus) still unaware of it. "It's a potentially explosive situation on top of an explosive situation; one from inside the prison [Daryl and Rick] and one from outside the prison [The Governor]," Gimple notes. "If both were to happen at the same time, that could be quite dangerous for the people inside the prison."
3. The prison may be sustainable. Rick's ragtag group has reinforced the prison fences to withstand the walkers that have been drawn by a mysterious person feeding rats to the undead. "They've proven that they can stem the tide of walkers and keep the place safe," Gimple says. "They can get through whatever is thrown their way. They could potentially have that place for a good, long time."
4. Unfinished business. The Governor, Michonne and Daryl, as well as Maggie (and Hershel), all have open wounds after the events of season three. The Governor still sees red in Michonne, who killed his zombie daughter Penny and claimed his eye, while the katana-carrying heroine hasn't avenged Andrea's (Laurie Holden) death yet. Daryl, meanwhile, lost his brother, Merle (Michael Rooker), at the hands of The Governor. "Michonne and Daryl will not react well if they were to see The Governor -- they're not all the way healed from their experiences with him," Gimple warns.
5. Help could be on the way. The AMC zombie drama has a history of introducing characters in dramatic fashion -- see Michonne in the season-two finale -- and comics hero Abraham (Southland's Michael Cudlitz), Eugene (Retired at 35's Josh McDermitt) and Rosita (Twilight's Christian Serratos) are all cast but have yet to make their debuts. "There is a potential to see them sooner rather than later," a coy Gimple teases.
The Walking Dead's midseason finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. Hit the comments below with who you think may not make it out alive.