At first glance, this week’s episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ may seem like filler as the series prepares for its mid-season finale next week. However, there’s much more going on here than meets the eye, as the Governor finally realizes that the only way he can protect his new family is to go back to the man that he used to be.
At the conclusion of last week’s episode, Martinez found the Governor (now using the name “Brian”) in a zombie pit. This week, he welcomes him and his new family to his camp – with the understanding that Martinez is the one in charge this time.
Martinez’s camp consists of a bunch of mobile trailers and an army tank. His right-hand men are brothers Mitch (Kirk Acevedo from ‘Fringe‘) and Pete (Enver Gjokaj from ‘Dollhouse‘). Pete is the nicer and more caring brother, while Mitch is more militant. (He’s a trained tank driver.)
When the Governor joins the three men on a supply search, they come upon a decapitated corpse in the woods wearing military garb and hung with a sign on the body that says “LIAR.” Not long afterwards, they find another decapitated soldier in a field with the sign “RAPIST.” Finally, they come to a house where another dead body (this one appears to be a suicide) has a sign that reads “MURDERER.” Entering the house, the foursome are attacked by a female Walker that the Governor kills with a flashlight. Some live Walker heads stored in a closet also need to be disposed of. While he never says anything out loud, the Governor seems to have a lot in common with the man who killed the two soliders and then himself. This is the episode’s first hint that the Governor is starting to think about what he really needs to do to protect his new family.
After they return to the camp with the beer and supplies they were able to get from the house, Martinez has a little too much to drink, and invites the Governor to the top of one of the trailers, where he’s set up a golf driving range. However, Martinez makes the mistake of mentioning that he’s not sure he’ll be able to protect everyone in the camp. Realizing that Martinez isn’t the leader that the group needs, the Governor grabs a golf club and whacks Martinez in the head with it, knocking him off the trailer and onto the ground. The Governor then drags his body to a nearby Walker pit and pushes him in.
The story in camp the next day is that Martinez got too drunk and fell in the pit. Pete declares himself the new leader, at least for a few days until the camp can set up a process to take a formal vote.
Going out on another search for supplies, the Governor, Pete and Mitch come across a small camp of people staying in tents. Mitch wants to rob them, but Pete orders him to leave them alone. Later, they return to the camp and discover that someone else has raided it, killed all the people and left with the supplies. Mitch is furious that they missed their chance to get the supplies first.
Returning to the camp, the Governor decides that he needs to get Lilly, Meghan and Tara (along with Tara’s new girlfriend Alicia) away from there before things go south. That night, they attempt to leave in a car. However, on the road out, they come across a mud pit filled with Walkers that they can’t drive around. The Governor seems to now realize that no matter where he takes his new family, they’ll still have the same problems. He then heads back to the camp and takes action.
The Governor’s first move is to get rid of Pete, whom he stabs and then dumps into a nearby lake. He then tells Mitch what he’s done. The Governor doesn’t want to kill Mitch – he sees qualities in him that he’ll need, and Mitch seems to agree with the Governor that Pete was weak. The Governor has now found his new right-hand man.
The Governor establishes himself as the camp’s new leader, and insists that they need to find a more secure location… Yes, we already know what he’s thinking. After saving young Meghan from a Walker that gets into the camp, the Governor heads out on his own to see what’s going on at the prison. He sees Rick and Carl in the garden, and then notices Hershel with Michonne outside the prison and not far from where he is. He raises his gun to fire….
The series did something very interesting in this week’s episode, which I enjoyed quite a bit. It brought back the old Governor, but also made viewers see things through his eyes (or eye, as the case may be) this time around. He didn’t want to be a leader again. He didn’t want to go back to the way he was before. But he realizes that the only way he can keep Lilly, Meghan and the others safe is to be that take-no-prisoners leader once again.
We’re now set up for yet another battle at the prison – which is more interesting this time, but the show does seem to be repeating itself just a bit. Nevertheless, viewers now have people to care about on both sides.
So, which side are you on: Team Governor or Team Rick?