Season Four, Episode Seven
Well that’s more like it. The thought did cross my mind that the Governor was a changed man after Woodbury fell. Just thinking about the whole Woodbury fiasco and how quickly the Governor lost his shit and massacred a bunch of his own people, makes me mad. The Governor had the potential of being a great villain, like how Gyp Rosetti was for the third season of Boardwalk Empire, but instead he was under-written and his psychotic behavior at the end of last season was a disappointing cop-out.
When The Walking Dead dedicated an entire episode last week to the Governor, a.k.a. Brian, many threw their hands up about a wasted episode. To be fair, they had a decent point, but all I wanted to see was how “Live Bait” was going to tie into this season in the long-term arc. We get those answers in “Dead Weight” where the Governor returns to doing what he does best, which is going crazy in a controlled way. Poor Martinez and Pete never saw him coming, but now the Governor is back at the top of a camp and seems to have one target in mind: Michonne.
All right, his real objective is trying to keep his new family safe (especially Megan), as we see when he suspects that the whole camp is going to rise up into chaos when they try to select a new leader. But separating and hitting the road doesn’t get them anywhere, and he realizes the best way to keep his family safe is to become the leader. The route from being the new guy on the block to the leader happens pretty quickly, and even though we never see how the Governor came about to rule Woodbury, I can’t imagine it was much different.
The ending of the episode is a great cliffhanger, with the Governor pointing his handgun at Michonne as she talks with Hershel in the distance. Should we expect another showdown between the Governor and Rick? Possibly. But what The Walking Dead is doing correctly is showing us the Governor and giving reasons for doing the things he does, even when that involves killing his way to the top. He doesn’t trust anyone else to keep his new family safe so he did what it took to take over the small camp. What’s next? The look in the Governor’s eye was full of the need for revenge, but can he learn to let go just to keep Megan safe? Or are the people in the prison a big enough threat where he wants to wipe them out?
The first half of the season is coming together nicely. After the gang at the prison dealt with the virus, we needed a new threat, and now we have it.