Well, that didn’t take long.
The Governor (David Morrissey) seemed to be on the road to redemption last episode after finding a new family and undergoing a biblical-style walk through the walker-infested apocalypse.
Tigers don’t change their stripes though, or in this case sociopathic mass murderers don’t find it so easy to relinquish their grip on power.
This episode begins with flashbacks to the ending of last, with the Governor having just beaten a pit filled with walkers to death in order to protect Meghan, his new daughter. Martinez, the Governor’s old partner in crime, rescues and brings them back to his camp.
Straight out of the gates, there is foreshadowing that the Governor won’t be able to stomach orders from his former flunky. In a telling moment during a chess match with Meghan, he says, “You can’t think forever. Sooner or later you have to make a move.”
The Governor is smart enough to bide his time though. Before he makes his move, he goes on a run with Martinez and two ex-Army soldiers to a cabin in the woods, where they find a scene straight out of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.”
Tension leading to the Governor’s invariable reversion to his nasty ways doesn’t have long too build. There is not a lot of inner turmoil or “will he or won’t he” moments. It simply is what it is. One minute he and Martinez are shooting golf balls off the top of Martinez’s RV, and the next, the Governor clubs him with a nine iron and pitches his old buddy into a pit filled with walkers.
A telling moment during this scene is the Governor mumbling under his breath, “I don’t want it, I don’t want it,” as he kills his old friend. He doesn’t want what? To wear the mantle of leader again? To have to do whatever ruthless thing that he has to in order to survive?
Even then, the Governor makes one last ditch effort to remain “Brian.” He loads his family up and tries to escape the camp at night. Out on the road, they soon run into a horde of walkers that are stuck in the mud in the road, making it impassable.
The decision made for him, they return to the camp where the Governor kills Peter, an ex-Army officer with a conscience, who poses his biggest threat. Once he’s done that and installed a puppet second-in-command, the only remnant of Brian is his fierce desire to protect his new family.
In order to do that, they need a better camp, one that is not so open to the elements; the point is driven home when Meghan is almost bitten by a walker.
But where can they go? Oh yeah, there is that prison where the survivors who helped destroyed Woodbury, the Governor’s old camp, live.
The episode ends with him skulking in the woods outside of the prison. He sees Rick and Carl planting in the garden and points his gun at them, before he hears laughter deeper in the woods. He follows the sound and sneaks up on Herschel and Michonne, who are burying some walkers that tried to get into their camp. The Governor points his weapon and Michonne, whom he hates with a passion and steadies his aim. Will he pull the trigger? Only time and the next episode will tell.