In last week’s episode, we got to see what The Governor had been up to since mowing down a bunch of his followers and riding off into the sunset. Unfortunately, he ended up looking like more of a hero/dad to the family he met rather than the psychotic and ruthless ruler that we all know and love. Would The Governor’s evil side finally show itself this week?
Yo dawg, we heard you like flashbacks…
The episode starts with The Governor (I’m sorry, I just can’t bring myself to call him Brian) washing clothes while teaching Megan how to play chess. He even refers to her as “pumpkin.”
To make matters worse, we are then treated to a flashback to where the last episode ended, essentially making this a flashback within an episode that’s already flashback itself. For those of us who want to get back to the prison and find out what happens everyone finds out about Carol, this made it feel like we were moving even further away from the main story.
Fortunately, the inserted flashback doesn’t last too long. The Governor’s former henchman, Martinez, hauls him and Megan up from the pit. Once they’re back above ground, we see that Tara and Lilly are relatively safe…while also surrounded by a small, well-armed militia.
Martinez decides for whatever reason not to tell his new associate, Mitch, about the fact that The Governor is a murderous psychopath. Instead, he allows him into the group on two conditions:
1. He’s in charge.
2. No dead weight.
Unfortunately, he forgot to make up more rules that prohibit murder or back stabbing, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
The Governor’s Mansion
Working under someone that you used to be the boss over is probably a little humiliating. The Governor seems to be taking it well, though, in spite of the fact that they set him and Lilly up in a trailer that has a hole in the roof.
After sharing a tender moment with Lilly and promising to make their situation better, The Governor heads out on a supply run with Martinez, Mitch, and Mitch’s brother, Pete.
As the group walks through the woods, Mitch makes a couple of things very clear:
He’s kind of an asshole.
He doesn’t trust the guy with the eye patch.
But they’ve got more pressing/interesting than not liking each other to worry about, particularly the headless corpses they keep finding with signs around them that say things like “LIAR” and “RAPIST.”
They come across a cabin where the group is (predictably) attacked by zombies. The Governor (awesomely) takes care of them with flashlight, including the severed, biting heads of the corpses from before. Having likely saved the group from being turned or eaten, he seems to have earned at least a little bit of trust from his new friends.
Mitch rummages around the house and finds some beer, which the group shares while they sit down and take a breather. Martinez mentions that The Governor seems different from his killing-people-at-a-moment’s-notice days. He agrees that he is.
Golf and Murder With Old Friends
Back at the camp, everyone enjoys a few drinks and starts to get a little tipsy. Lilly and Tara seem happy, but The Governor looks a bit unsettled.
After happy hour is over, Martinez comes over and invites The Governor to hit some golf balls into the zombie pits like they used to. For some reason, he thinks it’s also a good idea to suggest that The Governor will eventually lose his new family. Martinez then claims that with him here, he’d like to pass on some of the leadership responsibilities.
It’s worth pointing out that when you’ve watched a man shoot and kill a bunch of people he used to consider his subjects, telling him he can’t defend his family while dumping a load of new responsibilies on him is not a recommended course of action.
Case in point: The Governor responds to all this by whacking Martinez upside the head with a golf club, dragging him over to a zombie pit, and pushing him in, all while screaming “I DON’T WANT IT!”
Either the crazy Governor that we know and love is back, or Martinez triggered a bizarre repressed memory paper Burger King hats when he said he wanted to “share the crown a little.”
Later that day, Pete and Mitch tell the rest of camp that what remained of Martinez’s body was found in a walker pit. Foul play was conveniently not suspected (seriously?), but the new leadership void causes Mitch’s alpha male douchiness to kick into overdrive. Fortunately, his more level-headed brother Pete steps in and declared himself the temporary commander of the group.
Later that day, Mitch, Pete, and The Governor go on a supply run. They come across a camp with about ten people and a boat load of stuff that they could use. Mitch wants to run in and kill everyone (of course) while Pete wants to take them in. They decide to leave the camp for the time being and come back later. But when they return, it’s already been ransacked by someone else. Mitch is not happy that they passed up the chance to get the supplies (and kill people) while someone else took it.
After arriving back at the camp, The Governor tells his makeshift family that things are about to go very badly and they need to leave. They pack up into a car that night and head out, but are eventually stopped by a bunch of zombies stuck in mud (?). This causes them to turn around and head back to the camp.
Okay, let’s pause the tape here for a second. I get that the road was unpassable due its condition and the horde of undead in their way. But if The Governor was really that determined to get out of there, couldn’t he…I don’t know…go around it? Even if it was just on foot?
Anyway, the next morning Lilly sees The Governor strapping on his gun. When she asks what he’s doing, he simply says “Surviving.”
The Governor accomplishes this by murdering Pete and dumping his body into a lake. He then holds Mitch at gunpoint, tells him what he did, and declares that he is now charge (while at least having the decency to make a quick campaign speech for why he’s the best man for the job).
His justification for killing Pete was that men like him, who always try to do the right thing instead of what’s needed to survive, get other people killed. For some reason, Mitch accepts this logic and the murder of his brother with little more than some repressed tears and emotional staring.
The Governor Wins Reelection
With The Governor now in charge, the camp is running like a well-oiled machine. But there are a still a few glitches, like when Megan is attacked by a walker after Tara leaves her guard post…or when The Governor goes down to the dock to stare at Zombie Pete, who is still chained to a heavy weight at the bottom and trying to claw his way back to the surface.
Later on, The Governor drives out to the prison (FINALLY), where he sees Farmer Rick and Carl tending to their garden. He then looks over and see Michonne smiling and talking to Hershel. The Governor raises his gun to shoot, the episode ends, and we all screamed at our televisions for being fed such a painful cliffhanger.
- The real Governor is finally back.
- We’re finally back at the prison
- A few of the major plot points require far greater leaps in logic than should be necessary (even for a show set during the zombie apocalypse).
For any of you that follow me while I live tweet the show (hi Mom), I probably seemed a bit more critical of this episode that it actually deserved. By itself it wasn’t bad and it was definitely better than last week’s.
But despite giving us a much more believable (and enjoyable) Governor than what we saw before, there were still some things that didn’t quite ring true. The previously mentioned mud pit issue can be rationalized away if you really want it to be, but I have a very hard time believing that an alpha male like Mitch would be so quick to accept the murderer of his brother as the leader…or give up the leadership position to someone else at all.
I previously felt like the last episode was setting up a great one for this week, but it seems as though that pay off has been delayed for another seven days. On the bright side, however, fans of the comic probably perked up a bit during the preview scenes from next week’s episode. The show took quite a round-about way to get there, but it looks like we’ll finally get to see The Governor and his army invade the prison.