Ah, the return of The Governor. Only took about half the season, but it was a grand return. The episode saw him kill off two sides of his persona while creating a mix of them in a brand new terrifying, yet lovable new version. Let’s see how long he can keep this going through the rest of the season, or if the darkest version of himself will come back to haunt Rick and the others at the prison.
A great beginning showing exactly what happened to The Governor and those in his car after the killing members of Woodbury. The Governor was in shock and couldn't or wouldn't even defend himself from walkers as they camped for the evening. After waking up in the morning he was by himself and a never ending journey wandering past walkers started. With a voice over by The Governor himself, we saw Woodbury burn and a beard grow. He was of course talking to Tara and Lily, people who would become new family to him by the end of the episode. He told them his name was Brian, clearly for the fans of the graphic novel “Rise of the Governor,” and would only tell them that where he came from, the leader lost his mind, with “Brian” barely getting out.
We eventually see how he hooked up with Tara and Lily and it was a great moment. The Governor had fallen on the ground, and he needed a glimmer of hope to even stand back up, and at that perfect moment he saw Meghan, looking very much like his dead daughter Penny, in a window inside a building. Starting off Tara and Lily do no trust him right off the bat, having him sleep in another room and trying to gather what information about him that they can. After they talk to him, they wanted help with moving their ailing grandfather, David, so The Governor helps them and at the request of David he gets a game of backgammon to play with Meghan from a person upstairs from them. When he gets upstairs he finds the game without a problem, but he finds the man it belongs to in a tub and mercifully kills him. He looks very uncomfortable doing it, which is very unlike him.
This is a man who is broken. He is not the ruthless man who we knew from last season. Most of this season has been how far can the characters, which we have come to know, go and still be the same people. It seems as though The Governor has changed forever. This was best exemplified in the next scene where he travels to a nursing home to get oxygen for David, at Lily’s request, and is so startled by all the walkers that he runs away from the home with only 2 canisters, where he had a whole cart at first. He doesn't seem to want to deal with walkers anymore after his actions in Woodbury.
Another great screen occurred with him and Meghan. As David is dying, he starts to warm up to the girl, seeing his own daughter in her, and the feeling of wanting to keep her safe brings out a nice side of The Governor. The whole episode dealt with trying to get the audience to see this man in a different light. I don’t know how I feel about it yet, because I still think, and hope, the horrific man is in there so another battle can take place, but I like that they are giving him more dimensions.
When David dies, The Governor takes it into his own hands to kill him. He does it quite horrifically in front of the 3 women, but it had to be done. After the killing is done, he buries David, with a little help from Lily, and then burns the picture of his own family. He doesn't want to be reminded of the hurting anymore and realizes that that part of his life is over and will never come back. The Governor wants to leave, but Lily doesn’t let him without herself, Tara, and Meghan. As they drive towards an unknown destination they stop for the night. Lily decides to get some and The Governor and her hook up as the other two sleep right next to them. In the morning the truck doesn't start and they have to travel on foot. A horde of walkers is nearby and they have to make a run for it. Meghan freezes, still in shock from what he did to her grandfather, but eventually goes right into his arms, and they run. The Governor trips into a pit that has walkers inside, like he used to keep. He kills the walkers brutally and says he will keep her safe no matter what and then Martinez shows up on top of the pit.
We don’t know how this is going to work out. We haven’t seen him in a long time and so much has changed. The Governor know has this family that he is taking care of and is at least seemingly trying to redeem himself for all of the terrible actions he has committed. I thought overall this was a great episode, even though we only had one main character in it. David Morrissey easily carried the episode and I hope we get more of him every week from here on out until the season is over. It will be interesting to see if he has to play second banana to Martinez, as the preview suggested, or if that will be short lived. The Governor has had a great reintroduction, hopefully the writers can keep it going now.