What I didn't like about this episode is that I think when the writers were fracturing groups in "Too Far Gone", they decided that Rick and Carl had to be one group, Tyreese and Carol had to meet up for drama, Maggie couldn't be with Glenn, and then everybody else was just picked out of a hat
Because of that, I was just bored for most of the episode. A lot of the characters have little dynamics when interacting with each other and absolutely ZERO chemistry. It was just boring to watch them even interact
I don't think the groups were just picked out of a hat. From what Lauran Cohan said about the choice to put Maggie with Sasha and Bob because they had not interacted with each other much, there was some deliberation to these choices. Part of that would be to further development for the newer and/or lesser developed characters like Beth, Tyreese, Sasha, and Bob. Pairing them up with more prominent members of the main group would allow for more dialog and interaction - thus more development. At least in theory. This particular episode didn't really add much to their development because they tried to cram all four groups into a single episode with 10 minutes of screen time for each. Not the best idea and I think that actually hindered development more than anything. But I think there is some potential for development here if they go back to their usual format of two stories/groups per episode.
I think the primary purpose here was to separate the members of the main group from the people that matter most to them - the ones they typically interact with and are most comfortable with. Glenn and Maggie being separated from each other - and Beth - has an impact because of their emotional connections. They're married - or at least consider themselves married - and Beth is now Maggie's only remaining blood relative. The sisters watched their father die, but are separated and cannot console each other or help each other through this in any way. None of them have any way of knowing what happened to the others or who managed to escape the prison and survive - and the last time they saw Glenn, he was still very sick and could barely stand on his own. For Glenn specifically, he's not just separated from his wife and sister-in-law, but from everyone he considers family. He is alone and stuck with a stranger he knows was part of the attack on the prison and three people they just met and he doesn't know if he can really trust any of them.
Tyreese and Sasha being separated has the same impact - they're siblings and have stuck together since the beginning of the ZA. Tyreese did see Sasha leave with Bob and Maggie, but he also knows she was still recovering from the flu and has no way of knowing where those three went or what happened to them once they were out of sight. Like everyone else, they have no way of knowing and both seem to believe the other died. An added complication for Tyreese ended up with the baby and two of the kids. Now he's met up with Carol - which will likely result in conflict because Tyreese will find out the truth about her murdering Karen at some point.
Daryl ending up with Beth feels like a random choice, but it's not when you think about it. This keeps Beth separated from Glenn and Maggie. It also separates her from Judith - and she has been Judith's primary caregiver since the baby was born. Beth is the only member of the group that Daryl really has not spent any significant time with or interacted much with. That keeps him separated from those he's most comfortable with and also prevents him from meeting up with Carol - who was focused on finding Lizzie and Mika. I agree with your other post that it would have been very entertaining to see Daryl taking care of the baby and the two girls, but I can see why they chose not to do that because they wanted Carol to find the girls and set up the potential conflict with Tyreese. For Daryl, this also plays into him believing that everyone died and withdrawing into himself. His survival instincts are still there and he'll protect Beth, but he's lost hope and - considering his personality - probably feels like he failed.
I don't think this episode did a good job in presenting these groups and the potential development because they tried to cram all four into a single episode, but I think there is some potential here so I'm willing to wait and see what happens.
I'd have to agree with this. Nobody at the prison would've even conceived the idea of a return visit by the "Governor" in a fricken tank. But then they didn't anticipate LAW rockets and fifty caliber machine guns being fired upon them either. They managed to t'wart the first attack by luring them inside and scaring the hell out of them so that the main group just turned tail and ran. Which of course we all know how much that pissed Philip/Brian off.
If Rick learned any lesson from these two attacks, is not to be complacent or relaxing the guard. Someone on the outside should've seen that Tank coming from a ways off and could've warned them.
At least nobody was in the guard tower when that tank hit it. Imagine if Glenn and Maggie were sacked out in there?
I agree that none of them could have predicted the governor would show up with a tank. The last they saw of him, he ran off with Martinez and Shumpert. Daryl and Michonne searched, but the trail went cold. They really didn't have any reason to think the governor would show up with a tank and another army. They did have a defense plan in place that would have been sufficient to deal with an attack by a group of people, but it was designed around them having 50 people at the prison to pull it off. They also had an escape plan - but it was also designed around them having 50 people to evacuate. Hence, keeping the bus stocked with supplies with the intention of everyone leaving on the bus. That was the only vehicle they had that would accommodate 50 people.
I the two bigger factors here were the tank and the flu. Both were unexpected circumstances that nobody could have predicted. This was not an issue of anyone becoming complacent - it was circumstances working against them. Within 3 days, they lost around 23 people at the prison due to the flu and related walker attacks. Of those that survived the flu - or did not catch it - 19 had not fully recovered and were not capable of fully defending against an attack. On that third day, they had 8 healthy people to take care of things at the prison - and that is including Carl. Michonne and Hershel were captured so that left them with 6 healthy people. They were still getting things back under control from the chaos of the night before - the events of Internment and those circumstances worked to the governor's advantage. They didn't have extra people to put in any of the guard towers and they were still taking care of the sick so they were caught completely by surprise when the governor showed up. With a tank.