The Walking Dead Review: Return of the Governor

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Miss the Governor? Wonder what he’s been up to since massacring all his fellow people in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 16? Has he gone full dark side?

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 6 rewound the clock a bit and devoted the hour to the former leader of Woodbury.

Return of The Governor

In some ways, I would have been OK without knowing what he’d been up to in the months since the fall of Woodbury, and more interested in seeing what Philip (now, Brian) was like before the zombie apocalypse. Maybe something similar to a Lost-style flashback?

Instead, viewers got to catch up with the man before the Governor appeared at the prison in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5. Turns out, the guy’s been traveling alone for months, stumbling along, growing a dirty beard, and just looking like a broken mess.

Heck, even Martinez left him.

I am glad we got to see the Governor burn down Woodbury. At least we have a more reasonable explanation as to why Rick and the survivors stayed at the prison.

The Governor was lucky to find a nice family to take him in and feed him. If only they knew what he was capable of.

But that’s the thing, the entire episode, I kept waiting for him to do something bad. I was prepared for him to kill the family or let walkers ravage them.

Instead, the hour was more focused on running errands, playing backgammon or the characters sitting around.

Through it all seemed to be a sort of redemptive journey for the one-eyed man. He’d gone from in a haze and not talking to suddenly risking his life for others, in addition to taking them under his wing.

Picking up board games and oxygen tanks? Killing the father after he turned? Scooping up the little girl rather than leaving her?

If I had never seen the Governor before this episode, I would have never assumed he was the bad guy we’ve come to witness. I guess the series is continuing to explore his moral gray area or perhaps give him new purpose in fighting for the two women and the little girl. He failed to save his own, so maybe this is that second chance?

Which I can only assume means that when those three die, especially the girl, there’s no going back, right? At some point, the scales have to tip. I just can’t see the story ending with a happy twist for him.

I’ve got to say, the fact that only the cancer-ridden father died and the other three newcomers survived beyond one episode is a miracle for this show. Not to mention, the Governor was helping them and leading them as a group.

And the Governor got laid. Guess being alone for that long gets the hormones going. Or maybe the women are just attracted to him. I seem to recall Andrea jumping in the sack with him. At least the gross beard was gone for his most recent late night hook-up.

But things really didn’t get going until the last minutes of the episode, including the graphic walker killings from the Governor’s bare hands. Granted, the scene at the nursing home was more creepy, probably because those places already have an uncomfortable air about them and darkness makes those moments more intense.

But those feelings were brief for the hour, and I spent most of the time simply waiting for something to actually happen. Guess this was more of a way to see the Governor’s state of mind and set things up for the next episode.

Although, I am curious to see how the reintroduction of Martinez will work out. Sure, it was super contrived to have him appear at the end, but hopefully the reunion has a payoff from it.

So, can the Governor last as a good guy? Can he keep his three followers safe and alive? Or is he simply destined to be the bad guy we all expect him to be.

If anything, let's just hope the time for board games and moping is done. I'm ready to see the Governor take a dark turn unlike anything we've seen yet.

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Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.

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