Walking Dead Recap: Never Mind About All That Junk About Change! He's Got A Tank!
Well basically we need to take all that junk from last week’s Walking Dead recap, including the rat theory and the even more hair brained virus theory, and just drag it out back and burn it all in a big pile. The Governor grew his beard, changed his identity and decided to play loving dad for one episode only. This episode shows that he wants to be everyone’s big daddy and there’s no changing the type of nut he has infesting his gooey center.
But the story is moving along! We’re steamrolling into the mid-season finale next week, which takes place right after the virus has been put to rest and everyone thinks the worst is past them. Not the case, as now they’re going to have the Governor, his new crew and their rocking tank. It’s going to be a final showdown of sorts with losses on each side, a farewell to the prison most likely and more action than one is used to on an episode of “The Walking Dead.”
Anyway, let’s see how we get to this point and how the Governor manages to earn back all the hatred he tried to shake off in the last episode.
We start off right where last week ended with a sort of flashback jump around that shows Ol’ Gov in the pit being rescued by Martinez and hanging clothes to dry while playing chess. Martinez lays down the law right from the start, telling Governor Brian that he’s in charge and no dead weight will be tolerated. It’s tough talk from someone not long for this world.
The Governor is still pushing to hide his previous life at this point and is willing to try and fit in while also holding up the veil in front of Meghan, Lily and Tara. And sure, while his methods seemed to change last week, the motivation is still the same. Safety. Security. These are the things that are important to The Governor. And it’s too bad he has to go back because new Governor was a decent, boring guy.
Decent and boring don’t work on TV though, and that’s why Martinez gets to take an iron to the back of the head. He takes the Governor up to his golfing area following a successful recon mission to an old cabin, a trip full of headless corpses and zombie killing. This lights a spark inside Martinez that he might be able to share leadership with the Governor, which is a notion that seals his fate. Gov whacks him upside the head and drags him to a now full pit of zombies. And before we even got a chance to really know him, Martinez is walker food.
The Governor is clearly not a human. He’s out of touch with reality and focused only on survival and maintaining his view of the status quo. Look, these are all things we knew long ago. The guy kept his zombie daughter locked up in the back of his zombie head aquarium and murdered a lot of people. Last week was a red herring (or a weak episode according to everyone).
The rest of the group, including Kirk Acevedo as Mitch, find out Martinez is dead and blame his drunken golfing as the culprit. This forces panic and Mitch’s brother Pete steps up to be leader, a job less secure than third in command at Al Qaeda. Mitch and Pete are former military and share that clear sibling demarcation between good and bad. They’re like a little scummy Cain and Abel of sorts except they aren’t out to kill each other.
This is evident during another recon when they come upon a camp and Mitch wants to rob them. Pete scraps the idea and opts instead to go the nice route, netting them some condensed milk and two squirrels. The Governor is with them by the way, which adds a level creepy tension to the whole thing. They happen back upon the camp they wanted to rob and find everyone dead. Mitch kills a survivor and the stage is set for the Governor to return to form.
Not before a small road trip though. He gathers his new family and tries to head down the road before the group turns into Woodbury 2: The Other Side. This is The Governor attempting to escape the inevitable. And of course the world does not allow him to do so. He’s forced back by a pack of walkers lodged into the muddy road. He can’t escape and he’s forced to return and forced to accept the reins of leadership.
And he accepts them on his own terms. First by literally stabbing Pete in the back and then by forcing Mitch to join him as his new top hound. It’s a complete reversal from last week.
The Governor approves of Mitch’s feelings and decides that they need to be able to take what they need because survival is the key. He gives a nice pep talk and grows closer to Lilly, making her his de-facto first lady of sorts. Or something. This is where it starts going off the rails.
See it makes perfect sense for The Governor to return to leadership and find another group to keep under his watchful gaze. There is very little else for him to do in this world aside from lead or be a father, both which are the same to this guy. He can’t be a follower, he tried that and ended up killing two people in the process because his own nature came into play.
What doesn’t make much sense is his sudden return to the prison and to attack Rick. Sure it makes perfect sense for the story to go back to that, being it is unresolved from last season and they need a place to stay. But why would this leader who is out to protect his current family go face down a group which led to the slaughter of his previous family. Not to mention how easily they assaulted the prison their last go around. It also doesn’t make sense to murder those inside in order to take it. And an all assault like we are seeing in the previews for future episodes, with a tank and everything, just seem to add to the idea that it’s not going to be a secure location after it is all said and done.
It’s his Napoleonic moment for sure. He’s been forced out, wandered in exile, attempted death, found a reason to live again and pressed forward. Only his previous life came back to consume him again, forcing him back into the role he once held and back into a confrontation with the forces poised against him. It just sort of feels like last week and some of this week were a waste.
If The Governor was just going to go and return to fighting Rick and the prison, why did he wait so long? Why did he even wait to kill Martinez and Pete? He obviously had it in his mind to go back all along. He’s got an itch to scratch, beard or not.
Wouldn’t it had made more sense if Meghan, Lily and Tara were already with this group? Send the Governor on his bearded spirit walk, run into this group and maybe spend two episodes on this dynamic. Martinez could be away, he could bond within the group, earn trust and at the end of the episode have Martinez return. Pretty much covers all we had to in the previous episode while also placing Brian in the camp more than just a week or more. Would also give him more time to pick out the faults and plan his chess moves accordingly, then deciding that the prison is the best place for him and his flock.
We are now facing a bloodbath next week. Rick is going to have a tough mid-season finale and it won’t be a picnic for The Governor either, tank or no tank. Hershel probably won’t make it, even though the Governor is taking aim at Michonne at the end of this episode. These folks are all going to on the move soon enough and one leg isn’t going to help them move quickly. Darryl and Michonne are too bad ass, Rick is too central and Maggie and Glen are the only romance left with Carol gone missing. Will she be back? Who knows. But expect a lot of blood letting next week to hold us over until the show returns in the new year.
Will Hershel be able to see his dream of Spaghetti Tuesday on a Wednesday before his death? Will Zombie Pete ever truly learn to swim in the Governor’s zombie pond? Will Rick’s garden live through the Governor’s assault? Will ABBA make a special appearance to play a zombie version of “Waterloo?” Tune in each Sunday at 9pm for “The Walking Dead” on AMC.