The midseason finale of The Walking Dead, “Too Far Gone,” answered a couple of pertinent questions.
The first was why this show seemed more obsessed than usual with saving money in these last eight episodes, what with the detour to the Governor (thus keeping every regular off camera for two full weeks, leaving aside the final minute of last week’s outing) and relatively little in the way of zombie set pieces. The budget needed to be saved up for the blowout in the final 15 minutes of this episode. I mean, it’s not every day that a television series, even one with massive ratings, can spring for a tank.
The second was the big overarching question these last three weeks: why the hell did they bring the Governor back, anyway. The bottom line is that The Walking Dead isn’t a show about people in a stationary location; the stakes need to be raised now and then. So Hershel’s farm was a safe haven … until it wasn’t. The prison represented a different challenge, since assuming a certain amount of available labor, it was always going to be a little easier to keep secure.
Enter Phillip, aka Brian Hariot, aka The Governor. The producers decided to shake our survivors out of their prison rut by bringing back the one person who knew that they existed, and who was crazy enough to want revenge rather than finding a way to live cooperatively. I admit I didn’t like everything I saw of the Governor these last three weeks, and especially a week ago, because he had so obviously not changed. We already knew that this was someone who would rather die along with his enemies rather than live alongside them, so the way he went out in “Too Far Gone” was no surprise whatsoever. I’m only a little surprised he didn’t directly kill anyone else who had trusted in him, as he did last week.
So now the prison is history, and our survivors are scattered — getting then back together is going to be a problem, but possibly not insurmountable, since I believe Glenn was the only regular on the bus that drove away (there might have been a tiny girl on the bus too, but that’s unknown at this point). No one else will get far on foot, at least in the short run. For the first time since the early minutes of Season 3, we will have a core group that is on the road, and that opens up some interesting options, especially since the experiment in democracy appears over now. What group Rick happens to be in, he’s going to be the one leading it.
A moment should be taken here to pay tribute to Hershel Greene, and Scott Wilson’s portrayal of him over these last three seasons. His death in this episode did not surprise me, as the show was foreshadowing it all season — he didn’t have a death wish per se, but carried himself in a manner that proved he did not fear the end either.
Hershel wasn’t necessarily someone I liked a lot at first — his refusal for so long to see the walkers for the monsters they are came across as obtuse, and one definitely got the feeling he wasn’t initially thrilled that his daughter was hooking up with a Korean. But he survived a near-fatal wound and managed to live with one leg for months in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. He never complained or tolerated complaining in others, believing that everything the survivors were going through had to have some point. He passed along what knowledge and wisdom he could, and risked his own life to treat the mortally sick. As they get older, people want to believe that some of what they valued has been passed on to those they care about, and Hershel was able to die with that knowledge. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself.
The episode begins with “Brian” calling his camp together for a little chat. He claims he’s about to reluctantly ask something of them — something difficult but necessary. Tara in particular looks a little skeptical. He tells them that this camp simply isn’t safe — never mind that they seemed to be doing OK until he showed up and then their previous leaders began disappearing — and it’s only a matter of time before they are overrun, by either the “biters” or other people out to cause harm.
He tells them that the group who destroyed Woodbury (a lie) live in a nearby prison — it’s walled and relatively secured, and it can be theirs, “if we’re willing to take it from ‘em.” As he is talking, there’s a cut to where the previous episode ended, with the Governor spying on the prison. We had seen him taking dead aim at Michonne, but at some point he had another idea. Michonne and Hershel were on body disposal duty outside the fences, and as they walked away after burning a pile of corpses, the Governor popped out from behind a tree, pistol-whipped Michonne into unconsciousness, and ordered Hershel to drop his own gun.
“Brian” now tells the group that he took two prison-ers prisoner. Tara is stunned — interesting that this is the first time we’ve seen anyone in his new family doubting him since he first came into their lives, and I can’t see this ending well. He is firm: taking these captives is how we can take over the prison, without anyone getting hurt. Of course, he’s already killed two people inside the camp itself, but no one knows this except Mitch, and even he doesn’t know all of it. He does add “we need to be prepared to” do some shootin’.
He continues, saying that while some of the people in the prison are decent enough, most are not. He recounts their villainy, blaming them for his lost eye (true, if incomplete), for Woodbury being burned down (which he did), and for killing his daughter (which the walkers did). He said he had been at the verge of giving up earlier, because he didn’t want to live in a world where one had to kill to survive … but now that he has something to live for, he wants to protect all of them. The Governor tries to hurry them along, saying that those in the prison will soon realize they have two missing people, and that they will need the element of surprise against them. Tara, who had looked awfully skeptical before, announces “I’m in,” and the rest mumble their agreement.
He tells them all to get packing, and the group scatters … but now Lilly approaches. I had not really noticed that she wasn’t prominent in the crowd before. She seems upset, saying he had said they didn’t have to fight anymore. Unlike Tara, who probably doesn’t need to be talked into the chance to fire weapons all too often, Lilly is coming across here as legitimately pissed and betrayed. When she asks “Am I?” as a rejoinder to his cold dismissal of the innocents at the prison as being “with bad people,” he turns on his sincerity, saying that he loves her, and that the only judgment he cares about is her and Meghan being alive. Let’s recall here that Meghan’s father was apparently a total loser — she’s heard this sort of thing before. Lilly is unmoved and unconvinced. “I don’t know who you are,” she says, and he can only respond, “You told me there has to be someplace better, and I was gonna help you find it. You knew me, Lilly. You knew it was always gonna be like this.”
Michonne and Hershel are inside the trailer, hands bound. The Governor gives them some rations, saying that they aren’t going to be hurt. Hershel doesn’t buy it, obviously. He asks what the plan is, and the Governor says it’s not personal. Surprisingly, he tells Michonne that he understands now that Penny was dead, so that’s not what this is about. Bottom line, he wants the prison on behalf of this new camp, and that’s all he wants. Michonne’s response to all this: “I’m gonna kill you.”
Hershel interjects, calling him “Governor,” which the Governor doesn’t want to be called anymore. Always looking for the hopeful way out, he says there has to be some way the two sides can coexist without bloodshed. With some sincerity, “Brian” calls Hershel a good man — a better man than Rick. Hershel says that he can tell, just from this brief conversation, that the Governor has changed, and he promises Rick has changed as well. Of course, those two guys will never be able to live in the same place, let alone he and Michonne, which is what the Governor says in response.
“There’s all kinds of ways I could do this. This way, you get to live, and I get to be …” The Governor trails off before he can say “absolute dictator.” He prepares to leave, but Hershel stops him one more time, saying that if he is claiming he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt, that implies he is willing for people to get hurt, if need be — including Hershel’s two daughters. “If you understand what it’s like to have a daughter, how can you threaten to kill someone else’s?” he asks. “Because they aren’t mine,” the Governor responds.
Back from the break, the expedition is about to set out. The Governor tells Lilly, who isn’t going, that she and Meghan will be safe there by the water, since the zombies can’t cross it, leading her to ask why they can’t just stay there permanently, if it’s so safe. He says that anywhere truly safe in this day and age is already occupied. Lilly is worried about Meghan, who is off playing by herself — the implications of her growing up in a world where there is sort of casual talk about fighting other people over a prison. “She’ll be alive,” he says, as if that justifies anything at all.
He walks over to Meghan, who he asks for a hug even though she’s covered in mud. You get the sense this has all been about the surrogate daughter, not about the chance to lead again or sex with Lilly or anything else.
FINALLY, after nearly two and a half episodes, we’re back inside the prison, where those not dead of the superflu are slowly recovering. Glenn is conscious (barely) and joking with Maggie. They kid around about romantic topics, and she leaves to get the still-bedridden Glenn some water.
In another part of the prison, Daryl has just been told about Carol’s banishment by Rick. He’s mad, as we figured would happen. Couldn’t this have waited? Daryl asks. When Rick points out that Tyreese might have done even worse to Carol once he found out she had taken two lives, Daryl claims he could have handled him. Rick expresses confidence about Carol’s ability to survive out there, to which Daryl spits out “Stop saying that like you don’t believe it!”
Rick swears that Carol had been totally unapologetic about the killings, but Daryl is finding that hard to buy on some level. He also wonders what will become of the two orphan girls, Lizzie and Mika, and Rick says that he promised her they would be cared for. Rick and Daryl decide to go off together to break the news to Tyreese.
Bob sits alone in a cell with a box, presumably one that contains the bottle of booze he nearly lost his life over. Sasha, not close to 100% but at least able to walk, walks in and says hi. Both say to the other that they really need to rest up, but before he leaves, she tells him thanks, saying that the work of he and Hershel kept her alive. He seems embarrassed, and says it was really mostly Hershel. Sasha wants to walk outside for the first time in a while, but she quickly tires out and has to brace herself against the wall. When Bob protests she’s still too weak, she asks him for help. *future romance alert*
Before Rick and Daryl can break the news to Tyreese about Carol, the big guy has a message for them — something that can’t wait. He guides them towards a dark corner, where there’s a truly disturbing sight (yes, “disturbing” on a show where the dead eat the living): a dead rat nailed to a board, with its insides cut open as if someone had tried studying its anatomy. Tyreese has already connected this in his mind to the killings of Karen and David, and to the dead rats found at the fenceline — this is all the work of some lunatic, he claims. Rick is about to tell Tyreese why this is almost certainly not connected to the killing of Karen, when the men are interrupted by a boom.
Everyone rushes outside — well everyone who can rush, that is. There are several trucks parked outside the fence, along with a U.S. Army tank, which the Governor is standing on, and which has just blown the top off their guard tower. “Rick! Come down here! I need to talk,” he says. Well, there’s an offer you can’t refuse … we also see now that there are a lot of guns on the Governor’s side pointed at the other side of the fence. Rick yells back that there’s a Council now; he’s not the man in charge. “Is Hershel on the council?” the Governor asks. At that, Alicia, pulls the old man from a truck, in full view of Maggie and Beth. Michonne is brought out as well. The Governor is firm: “You’re making the decisions today, Rick … come down here, let’s have that talk.”
Daryl, who is the one member of the Council who is not a prisoner, not wandering around banished, or not recovering from a near-death illness, nods his agreement. Rick reassures Carl before heading down to the fence. Sasha is outside now, and Daryl discusses what seems to be a previously agreed-upon defense plan, which is no longer operational due to how many have died recently. There’s a bus that contains their provisions, now running low, and Daryl puts out the word — tell everyone that if it gets to the point where they can’t defend the prison anymore, head for that bus.
Rick has reached the fence, and asks for the release of the prisoners, saying he will stay behind. “You’ve got a tank; you don’t need hostages,” he says. The Governor responds that the tank is there to show he is serious, “not to blast a hole in our new home.” He issues his demand: get out by sundown, or everyone dies. He reminds Rick he has more people, and is obviously better armed. “It’s not about the past,” says the Governor, possibly with sincerity — but it does raise the question of why Rick,or for that matter Michonne, isn’t taking this opportunity to let his new group know exactly what he did to his old group.
Rick begins making a plea on behalf of the children inside the prison, saying that many are still sick. Tara, for one, seems to be a little less out for blood upon hearing this. The Governor really isn’t in the mood for any more. “I have a tank, and I’m letting you walk away from here. What else is there to talk about?” Rick ponders his next words. Nearer the prison, Daryl is distributing weapons as unobtrusively as you can do that. He asks Bob, who was in the military although as a medic, if he’s “good” (i.e. sober), and Bob answers back “Yeah.” Maggie and Beth get the big guns too — I think this might be a first for Beth, who is barely bigger than hers.
Back at Camp Not-the-Governor, Lilly sits in a lawn chair while Meghan plays alarmingly alone well off to the side — you can sort of tell she’s still new to being outdoors. She is surprised to see a figure on the opposite side of the stream — a walker, who enters the water and seems to be approaching. Meghan calls out — she wants Mom to come play. Lilly says she will be right there, but she is totally distracted by the sight in the stream. We see that Meghan is still in the clay-mud pile, and she’s trying to lift what seems to be a piece of plywood or metal. Lilly has drawn her gun, but the stream eventually becomes too deep for the walker, who begins floating downstream. Well, at least it won’t kill him …
The thing Meghan has dug up is an old road sign warning of flash floods, and that little disturbance in the mud has awakened a deceased individual below. A finger reaches up through the clay, then another, then a whole hand, and then the entire figure begins to emerge behind Meghan. It grabs the girl, who can’t get away, and before Lilly can reach her screaming daughter, the walker/mudder has taken a bite out of her. The Governor certainly isn’t going to take this well.
Back now at the prison, where the Governor is still giving his Resistance is Futile speech, letting Rick know that letting him and the others live is a grand nice-guy gesture on his part. Some walkers have stumbled into view, and the Governor needs three shots to dispatch two of them. He explains that the noise will attract more of them, which will make their inevitable journey away that much tougher, if they delay. Daryl and Carl are back behind the inner fence with sights aimed on the invaders. Daryl expresses confidence in Rick’s judgment here, but Carl is impatient: “They’re talking … I could kill the Governor right now.” Daryl tells him that things could get unpredictable, so might as well wait.
The surviving children are heading for the bus, Mika and another girl with baby Judith in her carrier. Lizzie, looking much healthier, asks what they’re doing — reminds them that Carol had told them about the importance of self-defense (of course, Carol meant defending themselves against walkers, not a damn tank). Lizzie, who I guess is my prime rat suspect right now because she’s nuts, tells them they should get their own guns. This should end very well indeed!
The Governor tells Rick the sun is getting low, and they are running out of time. Hershel, still kneeling, seems to give a little nod. Rick is going to give this one more shot, and goes into his Full Rick. “We can all — we can all live together. There’s enough room for all of us.” The Governor agrees with that, but that it would be too dangerous for all of them with Rick there under the same roof. Rick says it’s so big in there that they would never have to see each other, and Hershel tells them that, yes, it could work, but it’s still a big no from atop the tank: “Not after Woodbury. Not after Andrea.” Woodbury, which he burned down, and Andrea, who he left for dead. Isn’t anyone going to mention that part?
Rick says that as hard as it would be to live together, violence is even harder. “I don’t think we have a choice” but to coexist, he says. The Governor says the only choice here is theirs: leave, or die. Rick is firm at last: they won’t leave, they will fight if they’re forced to, and that would be pretty stupid, since a major battle will bring walkers that will overrun the prison, making this all totally pointless. “We can all live in the prison, or none of us can.” Rick concludes.
We’ve seen what happens to the Governor when he’s told no. He jumps off the tank in anger, and someone hands him Michonne’s sword. He holds it to Hershel’s throat, as Maggie and Beth cringe in fear on the other side of the fence. He looks back at Rick in a “your move now” gesture. For the first time, Rick begins addressing the others, who he doesn’t know: “You, you in the ponytail (Tara). Is this what you want?” Tara, who we’ve seen is way more talk than action, looks terrified at this turn of events. Mitch, in the tank, issues his own command to leave now.
Rick is still addressing the non-Governors, telling them that after their little dispute with Woodbury earlier, the prison took in those who were left behind (or not killed — he still isn’t telling them that the Governor murdered his own) and they became part of the community, even eventual leaders like Sasha. Mitch looks contemptuous, but Tara looks as if any option other than shooting people is fine with her. Rick continues: we can drop all this, no one has to get hurt. “Everyone’s alive right now. Everyone’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,” he says. Hershel notes all this with a smile. It’s one of his own speeches, essentially. And if Hershel sees it as a passing of the torch, then at least his last thought on Earth was a happy one, since the Governor mutters the word “liar,” and takes a whack at Hershel’s neck.
This is where things got kind of crazy.
Rick shoots at the Governor, and Daryl and Carl follow suit. The Governor is winged in the shoulder. Beth is still crying, but Maggie starts firing too, as does Alicia and several of the others of the Governor’s forces. Tara has shrunk completely away, utterly startled. Michonne rolls out of the line of fire. Rick is hit in the leg before he can take cover behind an overturned bus in the yard. Everyone shoots at that bus. Michonne tries to use the corner of a license plate to free her hands; she trips a guy running by and steps on his neck. Hershel, who somehow isn’t dead, has managed to crawl to the side of the tank, but the Governor is determined to finish his work, grabbing the sword and finishing what he started.
Mitch, up in the tank, has noticed Tara cowering in fear, and orders her to grab a weapon. Alicia, who has been shooting all along, comes over, and Tara tells her that this is so much lunacy: “He chopped a guy’s head off! With a sword!” The Governor, meanwhile, is distracted by a new sight: Lilly has arrived on the scene — I guess she followed the noise? — carrying the body of Megan in her hands. Now that he’s in total psycho mode, there’s no time for tenderness: he simply takes the child from Lilly and puts a bullet in her head.
Alicia, realizing that Tara is too far gone to help, says that it’s too late to turn back, and that what she needs to do is hide somewhere. Alicia tells her she will come looking for her when all this is over. And that over is apparently coming sooner rather than later” the Governor issues an order to breach the fence — the tank ought to help there — and kill everyone on the other side. Remember the good old days of 45 minutes ago, when this was about finding a new home?
The tank manages what hundreds of zombies never could, knocking down the fence with ease, and vehicles and armed men on foot follow behind. Trucks fan out, but the prison forces manage to shoot a few people. The tank is blasting literal holes in the prison, for some damn reason. Maggie and Beth are startled when bits of the prison go flying by their heads, and Maggie seems to remember that Glenn is still in there. She tells Beth to supervise getting people onto the bus, while she tends to Glenn. Beth swears she won’t leave until Maggie is accounted for, but she is given some familiar advice in return: “We’ve all got jobs to do.”
The Governor has gotten to the bus that Rick crouched behind — and he was apparently still there, as he now leaps out and tackles his old adversary. The wounded men start pounding on each other. Glenn stumbles down the stairs inside the prison, wondering what the hell is happening. everyone is shooting at everyone, without much effectiveness (I guess it’s a little harder when they’re not dead people lurching towards you). A gunshot breaches Carol’s water barrels — the little civilization that has been built here for a season and a half falling apart by the second. One of the prison good guys finally gets shot; too bad we never knew his name.
The non-fighters, including Glenn, have finally made it to the bus, but Maggie wonders where Beth went off too. She went to find Judith, she is told. So now Maggie is gone too. Someone is going to have to drive this damn bus. Glenn looks guilty about having nothing to do. There’s another problem now: walkers are beginning to get onto the battlefield, with no fences to keep them out. Daryl finds himself surrounded by zombies on one side, and human shooters on the other. He manages to kill one of them and use it as a nonhuman shield. He uses the cover to roll a grenade toward the tank, downing a couple of shooters and making Tara, who had been cowering behind it as Alicia did her shooting, lose her mind again. She stumbles away, lord knows where.
Maggie comes upon Bob and Sasha, shooting from behind a car. She asks them if they have seen Beth, but this is all interrupted by Bob getting shot in the shoulder. He’s calm considering everything and knows that he has a treatable wound, but they all have to get through this first. That process won’t be helped by the fact that the bus is now driving away, as was ordered. “We’ll figure it out,” says Sasha, much more confident about that than I am.
Tyreese has been holding out for a long time on his own, but now Alicia and some other dude appear to have him pinned down. He takes cover in the vegetable garden, but it looks hopeless until the man is shot from the side. Alicia turns, not having considered this as a possibility, and sees Lizzie and Mika training pistols on her. Lizzie, who was learning about knives just a few days before, plugs the Army veteran in the head. Poor Tara — the only other lesbian to make it through the zombie apocalypse in Georgia …
There’s not much time to waste now, as walkers are everywhere, Tyreese directs the girls on where to go. This is right around the point where we remember that these were the kids who had custody of Judith. WHERE IS THE BABY!?!
Meanwhile, Rick and the Governor have been continuing their fistfight intermittently for the last few minutes — don’t ask me how none of the walkers have noticed them yet. The Governor appears to have the upper hand, though, and is about to choke the life out of Rick totally when … there’s that sword again, piercing the man through the heart. You knew it was going to be Michonne in the end. Rick asks about where Carl is, as if she would know, and then he runs to find out. Michonne just watches the Governor’s death throes for a while.
By this point, the walkers are a bigger problem than the Governor’s forces, but there’s still the matter of the tank, which by this point has basically made the prison unlivable. Daryl drops a grenade down the barrel of the big gun to deal with that little issue; Mitch clambers out just in time … only to see Daryl training his bow on him. All Mitch can do is hold up his hand in a plea for mercy, but it’s not forthcoming from Daryl, who only knows that this guy signed up with the man who killed his brother.
Beth scrambles around the corner — wait, she wasn’t on the bus? She is looking for the kids, apparently unaware the bus has taken off, but Daryl tells her they have no choice but to go. The practically unconscious (and let’s not forget he was shot) Rick walks in the direction of the prison, screaming for Carl. Two walkers come towards him, but Carl emerges to shoot them with a rifle. As father and son hug, Rick asks for the first time about Judith. Carl has no idea where she is. As they walk away from the flaming tank, they catch sight of it — Judith’s carrier where it was apparently left by the little girls, with bloody handprints on it.
Rick starts to weep, and after Carl does some overkill on a zombie, the boy starts crying too. Rick tries to pull the both of them together, saying that they have to get out of there.
The Governor is still alive in the field — how is it that none of the walkers have noticed this relativelt easy prey yet. Through his fading one good eye, he sees someone coming towards him: Lilly, holding a gun. Has she come to put him down out of anger, or out of mercy?
The walkers now come in droves towards the burning hulk that has been the primary setting for this show since the first episode of Season Three, and that’s where we end, with Rick on the far side of the gates, being assisted by his son, and telling him not to look back.
OK, so where are we now?
- Alicia, Mitch, Meghan, Hershel, and the Governor are dead.
- Rick and Carl are on the open road.
- Judith might be dead, but who knows (my guess is “no,” though if she is dead, I assume the thinking here was that America couldn’t deal with the sight of a baby eaten by zombies).
- Glenn is the one regular that we’re pretty sure was on the bus.
- Michonne is apparently, again, a lone wolf.
- Maggie, Bob, and Sasha are together.
- Daryl and Beth are together.
- Tyreese is apparently in custody of two very weird little white girls.
- Lilly is alive, but has lost her daughter.
- Tara is presumably alive since we didn’t see a body, but who knows if the show has any more use for her.
- Carol is presumably out there, somewhere.
We’ll see what becomes of all this on February 9, when the show returns. MAN, I wrote a lot on this. They had better not ever go to Sons of Anarchy-style supersizing.
Almost Human (Fox, 8 p.m.): An old colleague of Kennex’s gets into trouble on an undercover investigation, forcing Kennex and Dorian to seek help from Rudy.
CMA Country Christmas (ABC, 9 p.m.): To give some idea of how old I am, and how clueless I may still be, I once bought my parents a Tennessee Ernie Ford Christmas album as a gift. I was a strange kid. Anyway, as usual, Jennifer Nettles hosts this compendium of Nashville stars performing seasonal tunes and discussing their memories.
How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 8 p.m.): Barney wants the rehearsal dinner at a laser-tag venue, something Robin is not surprisingly not on board with. Also, Ted gets on Lily’s bad side.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Bravo, 8 p.m.): Yolanda’s family is present as David gets a major honor; Carlton gets acupuncture for her cat; Kim’s daughter graduates high school, which ought to do wonders for the world’s worst case of separation anxiety.
The Voice (NBC, 8 p.m.): So we’re in the final six, and Blake Shelton’s last remaining chance is with someone who looks like he should be making duck calls? This could be the end of an era, people.
2 Broke Girls (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): Caroline brings Max along to the funeral of her former nanny, but it shocked to learn that the woman’s family knows nothing about her.
Monday Night Football: New Orleans at Seattle (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.): One of the rare weeks where the Monday night game is miles better than the Sunday primetime contest, this matches up the obvious two best teams in the NFC so far this season.
Chrissy & Mr. Jones (VH1, 9 p.m.): Mama and Sassy have a spa day; a planned bonding trip in the woods is marred by Jim’s general dislike of the woods.
Major Crimes (TNT, 9 p.m.): The squad goes on the hunt for a recently released prisoner who has missed two parole meetings, Sharon enlists a therapist to look into Rusty’s state.
Mike & Molly (CBS, 9 p.m.): The men open up in the midst of a poker game; Molly and Joyce get a bad feeling about the next door neighbor.
The Battle of amFAR (HBO, 9 p.m.): The story of the founding of the American Foundation of AIDS Research, which was spearheaded by Elizabeth Taylor and medical bigwig Mathilde Krim.
Vanderpump Rules (Bravo, 9 p.m.): Kristen tries to end the gossip about Tom and the new bartender; not everyone is sympathetic to Jax as he has a health scare; Lisa asks Stassi and Katie to do a sexy dance at a party.
Mom (CBS, 9:30 p.m.): Violet is having a difficult pregnancy; Bonnie and Christy attempt to do good on behalf of a sick friend.
Best Funeral Ever (TLC, 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.): We had the pilot for this show several months back, and now it’s a reality. In the first episodes, a bowling enthusiast is sent to the great gutter in the sky, an Olympic gold medalist is honored, and a man who ate three breakfasts a day is pancaked. Yeah, I’m bad.
Full Throttle Saloon (TruTV, 10 p.m.): Season premiere: Michael balances his new distillery business with the need to get the saloon ready for the annual crush.
Generation Cryo (MTV, 10 p.m.): Jesse B. helps Bree get info about her donor; an official request to contact the donor is made.
Hostages (CBS, 10 p.m.): Duncan locks the Sanders’ away while he and his team try to deal with the snipers targeting the president; his mother-in-law wants to go public with the reality of the president. That president, man.
The Blacklist (NBC, 10 p.m.): Midseason finale: Liz works to get backup to the crisis; Tom worries about Liz’s situation; Red bargains with the terrorist while trying to keep Ressler from bleeding out.
House Hunters International (HGTV, 10:30 p.m.): A couple that has decided to retire to Costa Rica needs to decide whether they would rather be in the city, or closer to the sticks. Of course, in Costa Rica, those “sticks” are usually covered in various tropical animals.