And now for something completely different. When I sat down to watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead I got something that was totally unexpected, a Governor-centric episode. In some ways you could see this as a game-changing episode that argues that it is possible to come back even from the darkest places. But is the Governor a changed man or will his old self arise?
The Governor, or “Brian” as he has now chosen to call himself, was almost dead. In fact, he was practically willing himself to die, but then he made a human connection. It seems that it is that connection which keeps you human. But as Bethie says, with that connection comes pain, and that pain can drive you crazy and change who you are. This show spends some time examining what the grief of loss upon loss can do to a person. I am hoping that this story arc is about how a person driven to psychopathic violence by grief and loss can come back from that brink through new human contacts and reinventing themselves. On the other hand, has the Governor changed all that much? Is he outside the prison to ask for shelter for his new loved ones, or is his need to protect them going to go in the same direction as Woodbury?
The tension from this episode didn’t come so much from the walkers but from my continued expectation that the old Governor would reassert himself. It was difficult for me to believe that he would have changed this much. I also found it difficult to believe that this naïve little family had survived the horrors of the last year snuggled up in an apartment building with walkers shuffling over their head. Where did they get water? How did they deal with many other issues that tend to get glossed over in this show? The worst thing for them has been boredom? Were they just lucky enough to avoid marauding bands of walkers and other nasties? It did seem to require us to suspend disbelief at an alarming level.
On the other hand, this story line was more interesting to me than the Governor waiting outside the prison just to continue the bloody battle from last season. There is now the possibility that we have a Governor/Brian who may sacrifice himself for the safety of those he loves. There really is no safer group of people to attach yourself to. If they can bring down a whole town as well organized as Woodbury, then they have already proved that they can beat the odds. And then there is the appearance of Caesare. He left the Governor in disgust. How will he deal with Brian? How will the Governor maintain his new identity with this blast from the past showing up? At least he brought machine guns.
While I didn’t find this episode particularly strong, it did raise some interesting questions. Although I know those who like action and gooeyness probably hated the Governor-centric story, I am now much more interested in why the Governor is lurking outside the prison than I was last week. Despite the sometimes gaping plot and consistency holes, this show still leaves me wanting to know what will happen next.
Bits and Pieces
It isn’t place or things that will get you through the apocalypse – it’s the right people. Has the Governor learned this?
I’m not sure why the Governor goes and destroys Woodbury. I know there are theories out there but it just didn’t make sense to me. Of course, this may just be another illustration of him being over the edge.
I found the barn with all the messages particularly heartbreaking. People obviously tried to wait for their loved ones and then had to move on or died.
I do like Tara. Yeah, strong female character who is also a lesbian! I wonder how long she will last.
Thing I could live without – Elderly woman obviously strapped into a wheel chair. They just died of neglect. Wouldn’t the first walkers have eaten them? The Governor/Brian tearing out the throat of a walker with his bare hands and then beheading one with a bone.
Tara: “I have enough artillery in here to kill you every day for 10 years.”
Tara: “Then we’re cool. Pound it.”
Lily: “Bad news. This is going to sting like a couple of angry bees.”
Lily: “Nobody mentioned how boring the end of the world was going to be.”
Brian: “You can lose a lot of soldiers and still win the game.”
Tara: “I thought she was the one”
Lily: “Then you went camping, ate mushrooms, game over.”
Tara: “Ugh, worst weekend of my life.”