The Walking Dead
November 17, 2013
The short version of this episode:
The Governor was all:
And I was all:
The long version:
Hey, remember that time that The Governor tried to attack Team Prison but it didn’t work on account of how he was the bad guy and he couldn’t be allowed to win, not even on this grim show? And remember how after The Governor and Team Woodbury were driven back by Team Prison, he FREAKED OUT on his soldiers for being sooooo lame and he shot everyone in the face except for Minion #1 and Minion #2 (and Karen, but only because he got sloppy, not because he wanted to save her)?
Well, after that happened, The Governor and his surviving minions set up camp and have a long, hard think about what they did. The Governor stares into the campfire and ponders, perhaps for the first time, his own monstrousness. Which, you know: Pretty monstrous! A walker shambles towards him, and he makes no effort to stop her, because maybe he’s just done, maybe he’s had enough, but Minion #1 shoots her before she has a chance to eat his remaining eyeball.
The next morning, The Governor awakens to find that his minions have abandoned him, so he does the logical thing: grabs a big truck, burns down Woodsbury. (OR DID HE?)
The Governor has really embraced this whole No-Shave November thing, and is little better than the walkers themselves in terms of walking upright, grooming. As he shambles his way through a town and past a very unmotivated walker, he happens to see a little girl in an apartment window, which draws him into the building. There, he finds a well-armed family consisting of said little girl, Megan, her unhealthy grandfather, her mother and her angry aunt. The Governor willingly relinquishes his gun in exchange for being able to spend the night in an apartment across the hall, while Angry Aunt threatens that she’s a member of the Atlanta PD so he better not try anything, GOT IT? It’s been got, and
The Governor “Brian Heriot” shuffles across the hall.
Sometime later, Mom swings by The Governor’s apartment to offer him a plate of Spaghetti-Os, which he accepts, but then promptly throws out the window because IT’S NOT SPAGHETTI TUESDAY, DON’T YOU KNOW ANYTHING?
The Governor tries to leave his plate outside their door, but they hear him sneaking around outside and invite him in for coffee and to help them carry their sickly father to his bed. The old man asks The Governor if he has any children, and The Governor, not unlike Carol, flat out lies: “Nope, and I certainly didn’t have a daughter who died and became a walker whom I kept on a chain in my closet, that is not a thing that happened.”
Grandpa goes on about how having his daughters helped him realize what it is to be a real man, before guilting The Governor into going upstairs to his friend’s apartment to fetch a backgammon board for his mute granddaughter, Megan. So, of course, The Governor does, and he finds not only the game, but Grandpa’s buddy in the bathtub, hissing futilely. The Governor stabs him in the head, steals his gun and then returns to the apartment to deliver the game. And that’s it? That’s it.
The Governor returns to his apartment across the hall where he moons over a photograph of his family before passing out on the couch. The next morning, Mom sneaks into his apartment with some food for him for the road, and catches a glimpse of the photo before The Governor wakes with a start and tries to hide it. Mom offers The Governor his gun back, but he refuses it, showing her the one that he lifted from the bathtub walker and warning her that they have to shoot the walkers in the head — not just in the belly.
Mom then asks him for yet another favor, come on, it’s for Megan: would The Governor go swing by the nursing home down the street and pick up a few oxygen tanks for Grandpa, that’d be great, thanks. So, with a sigh, The Governor does. He goes to the nursing home, dodges a few walkers and returns with two oxygen tanks with only a couple cuts on his forehead to show for it. And that’s it. That’s all that happens.
When The Governor returns, Mom offers to clean up his cuts: She was a nurse in her former life, and it feels good to have something to do. No one told her the end of the world would be so boring. YOU’RE TELLING ME, LADY.
When Mom leaves the bathroom to fetch some more ointment, Megan comes in and speaks! The Governor cured her! And all it took was a backgammon game and a couple of oxygen tanks!
Megan asks the Governor what happened to his eye, and he explains that it’s “gone.” She keeps pestering him to tell her how he lost it, and so over a pinkie swear, he reveals that he’s a pirate.
He eventually explains that he was trying to protect someone who he loved very much and got hurt in the process. Megan asks if they got hurt, too, and The Governor answers that they did. Sadfaces all around.
Sometime later, a day? a week? a month? WHO CAN SAY, The Governor finally decides to shave his beard of sadness off, and teach Megan how to play chess while her mother and aunt stand around staring at dead Grandpa. The Governor explains that the pawns are your soldiers, but that you don’t necessarily lose when they die because metaphor. The Governor goes on to teach her that the King is the piece you want to capture, so she draws an eyepatch on her white king because metaphor.
That’s when Mom comes out and nods to Megan to go say her goodbyes to Grandpa, who apparently has been dead for a while and who comes raging back to nom on all their faces. The Governor saves them all by smashing Grandpa’s face in with an oxygen tank in front of Megan. So, great, now The Governor is going to have to go steal more board games and hospital supplies to get her talking again.
But everyone forgives him because come on, Grandpa was going to eat their faces, except for Megan who hides from him behind Grandpa’s Barcalounger.
That night, The Governor sets the photo of his family on fire and throws it out the window because metaphor.
The next morning, The Governor goes to say his goodbyes, but Mom explains that no, they’re coming with him, there has to be someplace better than this. And so the new family loads up into a food truck and head out on the open road. Along the way, Angry Aunt reveals that she’s not actually a cop, but was in the academy; The Governor and Mom make the sexytimes right next to sleeping Megan and Angry Aunt (COME ON, GUYS, NO); and eventually, finally, the food truck breaks down.
And so instead of sending The Governor out to go look for a replacement car while the ladyfolks wait behind in a safe location, they all march down the road, dragging their suitcases behind them; great idea, everyone. Sure enough, Angry Aunt twists her ankle just as they get to a fork in the road filled with walkers. Running from the walkers, running from the walkers, running from the walkers, and that’s when The Governor and Megan fall into a walker pit. After finally giving the fans what they want: hardcore walker-killing-with-his-bare-hands porn, The Governor pinkie swears to Megan that he’ll never let anything happen to her. And that’s when Minion #1 looks down from the top of the pit at the two of them. OHAI!
So do you like The Governor now? Feel sorry for him? Rooting for him to protect his new little family? Because I’m not. Look, I don’t care how mopey you make The Governor, how many Crying Jack beards you give him or how many little girls you have him make pinkie swears to, HE IS A BAD, TERRIBLE MONSTER. LET US NOT FORGET THE PART WHERE HE IS THE BAD, TERRIBLE MONSTER WHO WANTED TO KILL A BABY IN THE PRISON BEFORE HE DECIDED TO KILL ALL OF HIS OWN PEOPLE IN A SNIT.
No. No to this episode. I understand that the writers wanted to make The Governor something more than a one-dimensional bad guy so that there would be something at stake for him when he faces Team Prison again, but 1. No; 2. Why did his journey to self-redemption have to be so very boring? and 3. NO.
No. NO NO NO NO NO. And in conclusion: no.
The Walking Dead airs on AMC on Sundays at 8/9 p.m.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Tubular.