‘The Walking Dead’: Did The Return of The Governor Deliver?

Published 9 months ago by , Updated November 19th, 2013 at 11:38 am,

David Morrissey in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 6 The Walking Dead: Did The Return of The Governor Deliver?

[This is a review of The Walking Dead season 4, episode 6. There will be SPOILERS.]

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The Governor made a short appearance at the end of last week’s The Walking Dead, and from what anyone could tell, he was either ready to stage another all-out assault on the prison, or he was just walking by, remembering the good times and the bad that he and his good buddy Rick Grimes had before Philip lost it and opened fire on his own people. That is to say, the tease of the Governor’s return was such that few would have expected the ‘Live Bait’ to be the kind of deviating episode that it was.

In that regard, the episode felt similar (in concept, anyway) to season 3′s ‘Walk With Me,’ as it gave everyone a break from the survivors and the claustrophobic confines of the prison, to grant the series look at what Philip had been up to since things didn’t quite go his way in ‘Welcome to the Tombs.’ And as much as the show struggled with its depiction of the Governor at certain (sometimes key) moments last season, this trip through the last few months of Philip’s life were interesting in the sense that we were presented with a man who was broken, had hit rock bottom and through some wild twist of fate had been given an opportunity to slowly climb his way out.

There’s a great deal of coincidence going on in ‘Live Bait’ that gives Philip’s journey an almost fantastical quality about it. But after a quick montage that shows him burning Woodbury to the ground and then taking to the road on foot – apparently not getting very far – Philip finds himself in the company of a small family who’ve somehow managed to avoid the worst of the zombie outbreak by tucking themselves away in an apartment building and surviving off junk food. These four people, Melody (Audrey Marie Anderson), her daughter Megan (Meyrick Murphy), sister Tara (Alanna Masterson) and their father are a microcosm unto themselves; aware only that something is horribly wrong with the world outside, but inexperienced enough not to know how to truly survive in it.

Jose Pablo Cantillo in The Walking Dead Season 4 Epiosde 6 The Walking Dead: Did The Return of The Governor Deliver?

A newly apprehensive and laconic Philip winds up spending more time with the family than he initially intended, and as he grows more accustomed to them, they afford the Governor a chance to reclaim all that he’d lost. Melody and her daughter become and obvious surrogate for the wife and child Philip had lost to the zombies - but as a whole, the family is practically turned into surrogate Woodburians as well. Some of it, like the chess game between Philip and Megan, is painfully overdone and obvious, but still, they need his help, appreciate his abilities and knowledge, and, eventually, come to rely on his leadership.

As far as episodes go, ‘Live Bait’ wound up feeling like a breath of fresh air from the storyline at the prison – which had begun to get a little stagnant after weeks spent riding out a deadly flu virus culminated in one of the bleakest episodes ever. But more than that, this little jaunt with the Governor demonstrated how much livelier the show can feel when it puts characters (any character, apparently) out on the open road. We saw it early in the series when the survivors were perpetually on the move, last season with ‘Clear,’ and earlier this season when Daryl and the Most Intense People in the World took a short road trip in search of medical supplies.

If anything, this demonstrates that The Walking Dead works best when its characters are mobile and engaged. The surprising thing is that it doesn’t necessarily seem to matter which character is being engaged.

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125 Comments

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  1. Yes it did! This episode was better than all others with The Governor, and may as well be one of the best in the whole series. Despite the very slow and quiet pacing, i did not feel bored at all, that was good writing.

    • +1 One of my favourite episode of the entire show. I was nearly giving up on the Walkin Dead, but not if we have more quality like this.

      More please

    • YES! Glad I’m not the only one who gets it! This Season has been pretty craptastic up until this episode. Hope we can get more like this, but I’m sure they will probably be few and far between.

      • Well, we agree with craptastic so far – with the exception of episode 4 (“Indifference”, which was the best episode in terms of plot and character development and it delivered some direction).

        THIS episode was in my opinion a snoozefest. Moreover it redeemed the Governor as a villain and an psycho killer (the only good thing of the season 3 final, because it cleared the difference between Rick and the Governor … which was one of the raised questions of season 3) – but for what? He’s the villain! Please don’t forget what it’s all about, just because Morrissey is a good actor. Nobody wants to sympathize with the villain, except he’s no villain … and there is a twist and he emerges as an anti-hero (like Jaime Lannister in GoT for example). But there is no twist, the Governor IS THE VILLAIN and therefore this episode is pretty stupid (in dramaturgical and story telling terms). He will soon attack the prison and kill … the comic book Governor as well as the TV Governor till now was a maniac, he lost his sanity (for some reasons, but contrary to Rick) and is the bad guy. No excuses! It’s just so lame!

        So sad that so few people are getting it!

        • Or that you’re the only one who doesn’t “get it”. This episode gave more depth to The Governor, and it was fantastic. If you just watched this show for zombie kills and crazy people, then you walked into it with the wrong idea.

        • That’s because you aren’t correct in this very black and white view of things. Yes, he is the villain but the writer’s have rescued the character from the one dimensional Snidely Whiplash stereotype he developed into by season’s three finale and given him some complexity and shading and therefore making him even more fascinating. Well done. It was very engrossing but really never had a chance to meet your approval as you have made it clear that you think it should have all ended for the governor at the end of season three and are totally opposed to him still being around at all.

          • +1

          • That’s no black & white viewing … it’s just bad dramaturgical show running and bad story telling – if you see the show as complete works and not just the single episode.
            The Governor already was not one dimensional before. This episode added NOTHING, N-O-T-H-I-N-G, to the character of the Governor we didn’t already know. In fact it took something back:
            In the season 3 final the questions was answered: Is the Governor just another Rick? He wants to protect his people and he failed protecting his family … and got what he is now? Isn’t Rick the same way? The season final has been really weak and disappointing, but it did at least one thing: It made clear the Governor is a maniac who kills for nothing. He sufferd and lost his family, but contrary to Rick he lost his mind. He got insane. He’s totally out of control. He’s the bad guy … and good shows (as well as people who just have the slightest knowledge about writing, dramaturgy, story telling, consistency …) know the difference between a villain and an anti-hero.

            For example GoT: Jaime Lannister – anti-hero – first he seemed like a bad guy, then the looked at him form another side, now we sympathize. Joffrey Barathon – villain / bad guy – nobody likes him, nobody sympathizes, but he’s not one dimensional. The show runners changed to often, in my opinion, so the show lost consistency … every writer has another approach, it’s a training camp for writers, not a well-thought-out show.

            But I know, I will not convince you. You just look at the single episode (snoozefest) and don’t argue, but just reflect your point of view. It’s ok.

            But the Governor is a villain – so why redeem him? Besides he’s really sucked dry, overused and all is said. As I argued below.

            • They didn’t REDEEM him at all, they just showed another side of him. He’s still crazy, and I’m sure something will happen that will make him go back to his old ways. The “snoozefest” episode of yours focused on a little thing called “Character Development”.

              And like I said, I highly doubt him being a somewhat good guy will last. They’re building up to him going more crazy than ever, just give it time.

              • episode was trash. we already know the governor is immortal to zombie attacks and gathers up womenlike its 1970

    • yh agreed i actually liked the gov in this ep. Gov killing those walkers in the pit was frikin insane

  2. Good episode. I actually like the guy now.

  3. Great episode !
    Finally some focus again and not all over the place and much needed character moments away from action !

    I like those kind of eps much more were they focus on a character and his live in such a world ! More please !

  4. It proved that David Morrisey is a great actor. It was a slower paced episode, but he kept me engaged the entire time. It was a deserved break from the stagnation of the prison. Great episode

    • totally agree very engaging

  5. This is why TWD can have its own spinoff with an entirely new cast of characters and still work.

    How people are surviving this apocalypse is so interesting and what man will do to live makes for great stories… good, evil or indifferent.

    One nitpick, the family being all alone and be able to survive all this time seems a little far-fetched as their building should have been raided/ransacked by now.

    And, uh, we all knew the Gov was gonna get his groove on. :)

    • damn it. a one-eyed raggedy ass looking stranger gets more action than me :D

  6. One of the better episodes of the series. Really looking forward to next week.

  7. I’ve loved the character of The Governor ever since his first appearance in season 3 (never really understood some of the hatred to that character, or what others found so boring about him). This episode was not only my favorite episode with the character so far, but my favorite episode of the season (although I have enjoyed all of the previous episodes).

    Season 4 is absolutely my favorite season of The Walking Dead (hasn’t been a bad episode in a while, in my opinion), I hope they can keep it up. And bravo to David Morrissey, I thought he really delivered in this episode. Can’t wait for next weak :)

    • I’m pretty sure you watched a completely different show. :-)
      Maybe David Morrissey is in another show too … you watched this show and then mistakenly choose The Walking Dead article? ;-)

      • Nope. You just didn’t like one of the best episodes of The Walking Dead in a while, simple as that.

    • + 1

      • +2

        • -100

  8. Way to go having a title that is the spoiler guys. Why even bother with the spoiler warning after the jump?

    • …. Have you not been watching this season (specifically last week)?

    • @RioBravo,

      Well, since EVERY news outlet has been teasing this for months, the fact that the showrunners and cast NEVER made it a secret – or the fact that the character was still out there and has been mentioned all season long – not to mention the entire week of promo videos on the Web and broadcast TV teasing this standalone Governor episode…

      …We did not consider it a SPOILER. But that’s just us.

      • It kind of feels like a spoiler for people that follow ScreenRant but are behind on TWD. I haven’t started watching this season yet (DVRing them) and don’t read TWD articles on this site specifically so I don’t get any details I don’t want to see. When scanning the RSS feed, I don’t expect to see details about specific characters and whether they are dead/alive/back/gone, etc.

        • I’m sorry, but I draw the line at avoiding topical “Monday water-cooler” discussion points that fans want to discuss because somebody hasn’t decided to catch up on the last FEW SEASON(S) of a show.

          There is a definite statute of limitations.

          • Agree Kofi. One of my best friends hasn’t started this season but my other friend has. It gets frustrating when we all hang out and the one buddy and I can’t even talk about our thoughts cause our other buddy hasn’t even started the season.

          • I’m caught up to episode 2 of this season. I’m unsure as to what the last few seasons have to do with this spoiler at all really?

            Secondly, it might have been heavily advertised in America but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world gets the same treatment.

            And thirdly, I’m again unsure as to what dropping a massive plot spoiler in a headline/RSS feed has to do with discussion? Nobody is stopping anybody having a discussion about the episode/spoiler within the article. I, and Tim, were simply stating that while scrolling Screenrant for other news it would be nice to not have things spoiled while scrolling. This has nothing to do with impeding a discussion.

          • Who said anything about behing a few seasons behind? How about a few episodes?

    • I’m sorry, in this day in age if you are on the Internet in any capacity complaining about spoilers seems redundant.

  9. absolutely loved this weeks episode, I thought it was awesome how they showed what happened with the governor after what happened at the end of season 3 instead of leaving it a mystery, and the whole thing about him finally doing something good for once kinda threw me off lol, but it was great, cant wait for next weeks episode since I the preview they show he runs back into the guys that abandoned him, I want to see how that plays out

  10. Here name is Lilly… Where did you get “Melody”? lol

    • *Her

  11. This ep reminded me why it took so long for me to watch the show but overall i was more distracted at the actress of the ep for i was bored for most of the ep but it looks like they did do some good character development of the gov though.

  12. They need to get on the road ASAP. The prison is making the show unwatchable.

    • Totally agreed!

    • Then don’t watch it

  13. This episode was very “meh” for me. While getting away from the prison and out in the open is a breath of fresh air, doing it as a sort of redemption for The Governor was completely unappealing. The Governor is a character that deserves zero redemption, so I found tying an entire episode around how he reacted after hitting rock bottom (i.e. killing all of his people and losing his head collection and zombie daughter and town) something not worth telling.

    • I kinda agree.

      We know the story of the Governor, and where it’s going to lead. The writers/producers are obviously stretching things a bit. It appears that his final step into total madness will have to do with this family.

      The positive here, as others have said, is to break up the monotony of the prison. Plus, we get more screen time with Morrissey!

    • So totally agree!

    • The problem is that you and a few others are acting like he redeemed himself. “Redemption” wasn’t the point at all, far from it actually. He’s running away from his past, trying to pretend none of that stuff ever happened, like he’s a different person now. Yes, it showed that he has redeeming qualities considering he’s helping that family, but I wouldn’t totally say he’s redeemed himself yet.

      The thing with the governor is that he’s crazy and there’s two sides to him. Like David Morrissey said, the Governor is like Jekyll and Hyde. He’s insane, and there are two sides to him: The good and the bad. Now that he isn’t mad with power and has lost everything, some of the good side is starting to come out. But anything can happen that can flip that switch and make him go back to the other side. Like I said, he’s a very unstable character.

      I think you completely missed the point of the episode: The writers aren’t trying to redeem him and show that he’s a good guy. They are showing that he is human and there are still remnants of the man he was before the zombies came. It looks like they’re going to build that up, and then something big will happen that will “flip the switch” again and make him more evil than ever.

      • That’s why I said a sort of redemption. I never said he actually redeemed himself, only a few kind acts that set him on a better path from how he was before it started. I know they aren’t trying to completely restore his image, and I agree that he’ll probably do something to show that he is more evil than ever. But in the meantime, where there are people who say “oh I almost like The Governor now” is the issue that I have. He has his good and bad side, and while I try not to relate it too much to the comic, once he lost it, he lost it completely and there were no more good deeds to be done. The episode had it’s quality, I just would have preferred a different direction. We spent enough time in season 3 watching his good side and bad side and the flipping of his switch. The episode obviously had talent behind it, and they can tell meaningful stories that focus on a single character detached from the group. I just wish they would have chosen someone else.

      • This episode added NOTHING new to the character of the Governor we didn’t already knew! It’s just for stretching of the show and because they know there are so many fans out there, who are even thankful for the delivery of filler crap and the belittlement of a maniac murderer by giving him some human touch and just understand his inner conflicts. B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T! A villain is a villain is a villain … don’t have to be a one dimensional villain like many other brilliant shows prove … but a villain has to be hated, otherwise he’s a anti-hero … and the Governor for sure is no anti-hero!

        • In your cardboard stereotypical concept of things “a villain is a villain” but in a show that tries to be better than that all characters have more shading than your simplistic evaluation and YES even villains qualify.

          • Well said

  14. Im glad i wasnt the only one getting bored with the prison

  15. With this episode the show really hit its ABSOLUT LOW-POINT of all seasons! Not because it’s bad written, but because the show totally lost direction!

    SNOOZEFEST!!! Soooo boooring!
    Most of all the writers don’t understand the Governor and it seems the showrunners have a character with the Governor, they like so much … they won’t let him die. That’s bad, that’s even more annoying, because he’s the bad guy! He’s a maniac. I’m not interested in this character anymore. And I’m not alone (when I read the comments on Facebook). Most of all I’m not interested in giving him some human touch.

    Is The Walking Dead now a training camp for writers to practice human drama? Because it was a nice episode about the human touch of a total maniac, who will soon attack the prison and kill everyone who moves. Ok, it’s really human drama … we already know his lost family/ daugther issues … but why we have to stand a whole episode just to carve it into stone … so every single viewer of the show gets it? Most of all: It’s not about the Governor. And besides his daughter issues he was portrayed pretty off character. He wouldn’t have survived a day after the others left him behind.

    Moreover also the family living in this house wouldn’t have survived this long there. I mean they didn’t go out really often, they didn’t know anything about the walkers … and it’s more than a year … implausible setting, just to give him a innocent family to protect. Only nice thing in this episode was, showing how weak and incapable the Governor is (in keeping himself and other save, having a plan). He’s just fakes leadership and need others to do the dirty work. But even this isn’t interesting anymore (and already known and sets the wrong direction).

    Andrea had to die for nothing and most of all without any replacement of her important role in the group, but the Governor still lives … because he’s such a great villain and of course a great actor. Well, Laurie Holden is a great actress too and obviously the writers had no idea what to do with her (not such a great stretching potential?). And the Governor is NOT a great villain … not anymore: overused, sucked dry, empty, just YAWN!

    I want to see him attack the prison and die. I don’t want to see any further Governor episode … and with this Governor episode they just damaged him as maniac and villain. And now I have to stand another Governor episode!!!

    Enough. This season is so disappointing and annoying and I’m so tired of all those fillers and stretching of the brilliant source material.

    Can anybody start a Facebook site to fu(#!ng KILL THE GOVERNOR AND GO ON WITH THE STORY! Please!

    • Just because you were bored with the episode doesn’t mean it was terrible. And if the show is getting you THIS upset, then why don’t you stop watching it? Like I said, the point of this show is it’s characters. If you just want to see zombie action, then watch something else.

      • As I said many times before: the episode as stand-alone episode would be ok, not well written. But I criticize the inconsistency of the whole show, especially of season 4. Obviously the show runners changed too often and every episode opens a different approach and point of view.

        I hate zombie action, I really hate zombie movies. This show is not about zombies. I guess you already checked it. What you didn’t realize is: The show is neither about the Governor. He’s just one villain on the road. He’s just one antagonist, not the protagonist of this show. You know what an antagonist is, right? ;-)
        However, the writers obviously not … or wanted to give him some protagonist time. This episode was playground for some everlasting writing students …

        And your suggestion to stop watching just shows your black & white, friend & foe schemata: critics are traitors to your beloved show and should leave. Dream on!

    • Again not filler but an episode that explores other aspects of one of the shows key characters. just because it is not a character you want to be in the show doesn’t negate the quality of the episode. This again is not the comic. It is it’s own entity. And it is a very entertaining one.

      • Almost every sentence you stated in your comment is so wrong, just one kinda subjective.

        - It is for sure a filler episode! Definitely and by any given definition of “filler” in the context of the whole show.

        - It doesn’t explore “other aspects” of the character. In fact it adds nothing, it just repeats and carves in stone what was already told before.

        - The Governor is by definition and for sure NOT a key character of the show! He’s just one villain on the road. He’s like the boss enemy at the end of a computer game level. And just because they got a very good actor for the role, the writers seem to holding on a character, who even isn’t a core character. The villains in TWD aren’t like Joker and Batman or other comic book villains … in a Batman movie the villain is the real star. But in TWD the key characters are – and this you have to realize – Rick, Carl and changing members of Rick’s group. The Governor is just an antagonist. Get it! He’s of course important to go on with the story … the story of the protagonists! And he’s so done, so overused. All is said.

        - I don’t negate the quality of the episode in terms of writing quality as a stand-alone episode, but I – well-founded – argue that this episode is inconsistent and bad for the story telling flow of the show (which is already disturbed).

        - Since this is a TV show, it’s pretty clear its not a comic. But it is so wrong that its an own “entity”. It is still based on the source material, they still follow this source material. They did just a few little adaptations to characters so far and they added scenes (for example in season 1 … but there you would never consider it stretching). Moreover it’s about story telling, dramaturgy … there are some basics that should be followed to make a story work (here again I’m speaking of the overall story of the show … say consistency). Not knowing the source material, it’s harder to notice the stretching … but you can even realize fillers and stretching by asking, who’s protagonist and who’s antagonist … or who’s story is told in TWD. It’s not the Governors story, my friend! And it’s no single episode show, but a show with one great story parted in story arcs … the Governor is just a antagonist in one of these story arcs and you will forget him soon … if we would finally go on with the story and end this atypical focus on one character, who seems to be the darling of the writing crew.

        Last, but not least: the subjective statement – it’s a very entertaining one! Well, not for me. I really got bored and even used the forward button twice … just short, but this I really do not so often … this episode was just a full-episode-long rehash of things we knew before. But I’m glad you enjoyed it. :)

        • At this juncture, he is a key character and your wrongheaded thinking doesn’t change the obvious.

          • However, that’s your opinion or perspective from your point of view … and obviously from your point of view many things are obvious, like the Governor being a key character of The Walking Dead.

            I’m usually not a fan of trivial comparsions, but once it was obvious to the majority of people that the sun orbits Earth … every other approach they judged wrongheaded thinking … well, it proved they lacked some information and didn’t have the proper point of view. ;-)

            And you can postulate the Governor as a key character of this show forever … it will not get more true. All is said about the Governor, but AMC wants to talk and talk and talk … same with this mindless propaganda show Talking Dead.

            However, I just hope in episode 8 we’ll see the Governor attack the prison and die … otherwise I’m on the edge of skip this show from my TV watch list.

            Besides: Opinion should be based on reason, otherwise it’s just mood and quirk. So please tell me, what this episode added to the character of the Governor exactly and precise, that we didn’t know before?
            And tell me why this episode about the Governor – after all we know about the Governor from season 3 – is necessary to go on with the plot (which means attack and fall of the prison)?

            Please note, that we just need a reason for the Governor to come back and attack the prison since we’ve seen him broken in this episode! So this episode first creates the need of another Governor episode explaining how he gets his focus back to the prison! Last we’ve seen the Governor, he wasn’t broken and totally focused on Rick, Michonne and the prison. And he was because of all the things we’ve got repeated in this needless, boring episode.
            So tell me, if this isn’t stetching … what is?

            • I’m sorry that you thought this episode was a low point, but most people here would seriously disagree with you, this episode even had great critic ratings. Some of us just really like character development (and yes, this episode was well written). Look, if the show has been bothering you THIS much, then why are you even watching it in the first place?

            • And you can postulate all you want about the governor not being a key character and it doesn’t make it any less true. Also your historical reference was another of your attempts to show how much more intellectual you are than the rest of us and was really sorta sad. We saw the governor go from seemingly regular guy (based on the inferred history) to desperate father and power hungry leader to finally totally losing it and becoming a shell of a man to someone possibly finding his humanity once again. Don’t worry. My guess is that it will be shortlived as I believe he will lose it all again. (Possibly due to the demise of his substitute daughter). This is what happens on episodic tv shows (the good ones). Characters go on different emotional journeys within the context of the plot. Frankly I hope you hate the next episode so that in the context of this plot you can go on a journey to some show that pleases your pallet.

              • Reminds me of kindergarten … you can postulate, I can postulate … it just confirms: Opinion should be based on reason, otherwise it’s just mood and quirk or taste … and you can’t argue about taste (ok, you can … but it will lead nowhere). So it’s fine, you liked the episode.

                So why didn’t you answer my questions, which are an approach to follow your point of view ? Since you’ve said this episode showed another side of the Governor and is important to understand him and (as others said) to bring him back to the prison. Or counter my precise argument with another argument. That’s how discussion works. Of course, you don’t have to debate with me … but then please stop to judge me wrong while at the same time moaning about my alleged disrespect of other opinions or arrogance.

                I’m talking about the show overall, the lost direction, the stretching and fillers, bad managed show running, obviously too many different approaches (leading to inconsistent story telling, plot holes and most of all needless subplots) and the suffering of the quality of the show overall … and because this episode is the perfect example for all of this, it’s a low-point!

                If we would talk about taste, the debate had been over long ago: I didn’t like the episode. You very much liked it.

                • Once again thanks for your superior intelligence because I certainly didn’t understand how discussion works (LOL)! Rather than leave the governor as the (as I said before) stereotypical Snidely Whiplash villain he had degenerated into by the end of season three, we got to see in this episode a man haunted by what he had become while clutching onto the memories of what he lost that contributed to his descent into maniacal and heartless lunacy. We saw him struggling with the guilt of what he had become to the point that he no longer was motivated to go on, essentially becoming a symbolic “walking dead”. And thanks to Morrisey’s fine performance we saw him emerging from that and finding a reason to move on and attempt to try again to do what he failed to do before which was keep safe the people who depended on him. And what made it even more compelling was that we still saw the remnants of the gov we all love to hate in the ferocity of his zombie kills. I don’t have to refer to specific scenes. Anyone who watched the show knows what I refer to.

                  • You shouldn’t LOL about it, because you really seem to have no idea about how discussion on a topic works!

                    Why was the Governor at the end of season 3 “degenerated into a stereotypical Snidely Whiplash”? He wasn’t stereotypical … all you claim as deepening the character (for this episode) was already known back then!!!

                    What exactly did this episode add to the Governor past, that we didn’t already knew at the season 3 final?

                    We already knew in season 3 that he’s haunted, the he’s not heartless, but a maniac and a killer, that he is totally selfish, that he struggles … this episode is just for ruminants! I can’t see anything you mentioned as originated in this episode.
                    Just the vanishing of his rage (in the s3 final he kills everyone in his way to get to Michonne and Rick) is new … so the episode is the mother of all fillers: it creates a situation just to create the need to come back to the initial situation, which is: he wants to bring down the prison for his personal revenge.

                    Maybe the TV show runners will change his motive a bit … but in the end he will attack the prison: so as mentioned by others here, we are at the same point we should have been at the season 3 final … all that happend in season 4 so far is just stretching and creating ad dollars at the expense of the consistency of the whole show.

                    So you can’t really tell, what’s new in this episode to the past and the core of the character of the Governor. It’s just you like to see Morrissey acting … for the sake of acting, you like human drama and some zombie action … ok, I’m fine with it. In this case the show really ca run till 2022 … they can endlessly produce human drama combined with zombie action with great actors … but the story of the show … the story of RICK AND HIS GROUP … will not or veeery slowly go on. Perfect! Perfect audience for AMC to make mucho money and to ruin a really good character (specific, protagonist characters, NOT any) driven TV show.

                    That’s what I’m talking about all the time: This episode is the perfect example of the stretching of the plot and the dilution of the core story … regardless of liking the episode or not (by the way: I didn’t ;-) ) or you totally overwhelmingly loved it.

                    However, that’s my – elaborately argued – opinion about this episode. I noted, yours is different.

                    • Once again you prove my point with your reply….”you really seem to have no idea”….because lo and behold YOU DO! (LOL for sure) The governor was a SW type villain because he stopped having any nuances to his character.. he was evil for the sake of being evil (the maniacal way he did in Andrea, mowing down the townfolk who had the nerve to question) so I am right again (just using the same mindset you employ) and you know nothing about good drama and how to have a discussion about it (this is the Frobin approach to being respectful to those who dare recognize quality where he doesn’t) You can disagree with the arguments of those with whom you disagree but to minimize the posters as you are often doing is not what a discussion is all about which leads me to say that you really seem to have no idea about how a discussion on a topic works.

                    • Since I’ve noted, that I’m not the only one, YOU’re having such troubles of feeling affected and disrespected and since I’m not the first person here with a similar debate development with you … and it wouldn’t have any sense to note, that all nuances of the character were there already back then, but you would not argue why not, but just claim it …

                      … however, I just say: Farewell and have FUN in kindergarten and with TWD!

                    • And once again thank you for another post that proves my point regarding your condescending, arrogant, “I am so much more intelligent than you” posturing. I acknowledge that you are intelligent, just too immature to handle it like an adult. By the way, yes the nuances of character had been there with the governor but were lost by season finale and we are seeing him struggle to regain what he lost (basically his soul). I am hopeful that your last remark means you are leaving the world of The Walking Dead. That would be nice.

            • The fact that you seem to believe you are the only one who recognizes quality or are educated on what makes for good dramatic structure is kind of narcissistic and arrogant sounding to we poor minions who obviously are happy with our junk food or whatever assinine analogy you put forth. Like whatever tickles your fancy friend but stop being condescending to those of us who articulate a different point of view.

              • I’m not the only one … there are others too. And I’m not talking about taste, but about some arguable aspects (related to this episode and the show overall).

                The junk food analogy is a very valid one, in my opinion. Nothing to do with being condescending, it’s just a fact … and my (well-grounded) opinion (which seems to be a sacred thing to you). It describes the fact that the quality of an TV show (or food) doesn’t (necessarily) relate to the popularity of a TV show. There are professional standards for quality (otherwise film or theatre criticism would be senseless gibberish about taste), but there are no real standards for personal taste and (few for) popularity.

                • The junk food analogy was pompous and arrogant as you constantly project this “my analysis is far superior than yours” posture. Yes, Mr. “i’m so well versed” I have heard of Frank Darabont (again condescending!). As if that matters. Have you heard of Stanley Kubrick? Made the classic and brilliant film of Stephen King’s The Shining. Know who hated it? Yup, Mr. King who then was responsible for a far inferior TV version years later. So yours is a mute point. And your reading comprehension is a little off. I am well aware you are not the only one, you just seem to think you are the only one with enough intellect to determine a show’s quality and everyone else has transformed into junk food zombies. I happily debate criticism of the show but you like to infer the audience that doesn’t agree with your criticism are what is inferior to your astounding intellect and that my friend is not debating, it’s insulting.

                  • It’s just about a debate and you still haven’t answered my questions (to comprehend your arguments). It’s ok, but … read above …

                    Although the statement with Darabont was the answer to someone else and in another context (and added with a ;-) ): Darabont set up the popularity of this show and Kirkman delivered the source material … so your example is somehow valid. Darabont/ Kubrick are the movie/film/TV experts, Kirkman/ King the writers … different media, different aspects to succeed … so I really think Kirkman tries to keep control over TWD, but maybe he has to learn about the difference between the two media. So it’s not really a good analogy, because Darabont complaint about the management of the show, the show runners and most of all AMC, I guess, … maybe even about Kirkman … who knows. Others also stated that (earlier) that consistency of the show could be in danger (because of so many changes of show runners).
                    So that’s it … with Darabont.

                    You seem to feel concerned and insulted all the time and you seem to pick statements (e.g. my last episode statements were more praising, so you like the “intellectual input”, if not … you feel insulted?) as you like and as they fit your taste … for self-affirmation. As I said before: This is a board to discuss and also criticize. I didn’t tend to insult you … if you’re feel concerned, it’s nothing I can influence. It’s your thing.
                    As I said before – when it comes to TV shows and taste: Each man to his own!

                    • I haven’t changed my opinion about what I believe to be your intelligently thought out analysis of the show. That aspect of your posts do put them above some others who just like to say negative things without much thought. I stand by that and I think your comments ON THE SHOW are well thought out even though I am diametrically opposed to your opinion of it. And I am not responding because I feel any sort of personal attack on me but an overall projected attitude that you somehow have developed some sort of artistic awareness that makes your analysis superior to other posters who don’t recognize how terrible this show is. That attitude is there whether it’s intentional or not.

        • It doesn’t repeat..it reinforces..a technique used in all good (and bad) writing…and subjective works both ways.

  16. Just alone the scene (and picture above) of the Governor standing in front of burning houses, the flames flare out of the windows … how pathetic … but it says everything about the priorities of the showrunners and writers:

    drama just for the sake of drama

    action just for the sake of action

    cool show effects just for the sake of cool show effects

    filler episodes just for stretching the show (and the brilliant source material) till 2022 … ridiculous!!

    I mean this scene … what was it good for? Just for a hero shot of the Governor … then we see walkers anywhere and him as a broken man who wouldn’t survive 10 minutes.

    Really annoying episode! Really lame. So boring. The whole show without any direction!

    • On this I will have to agree with you. Although it was nice that they showed the events after the attack from S3, they could have done this earlier and in conjunction with earlier episodes this season. They just need to get the attack over with so we can now move on. I was expecting the downfall of the prison by mid-season at the latest but with these governor episodes I just don’t see that happening now.

      • I still have hope for the midseaon final to see the prison fall and the Governor die!

        Season 8 is midseason. So I guess we have to stand one more Governor episode (re-joining with the group of his old fellows, take over command and then heading for the prison for himself and his “new” family). Ok, given the really slow story telling of the show writers, this could be a challenge for the writers (as any writer knows: the real art of writing is not long and endless, but short, to the point and compact writing).

        But after this one episode #7, I still hope for the attack in episode 8! The Governor dying at the end of episode 8, the cliffhanger: Rick and Carl alone on the road … separated from the others.

        That’s what lets me still watch this crap episodes.

        • Mistyped:
          Episode 8 is midseason … of course (not season 8 … season 8 we’ll never see, if they go on like this ;-) )

    • I would agree with “drama just for the sake of drama”,… BUT this episode. This episode had good drama and just enough action. Well, cool effects, it’s zombie show, what do you expect?
      And yes, that scene was important, because it showed us what actually happend with Governor and the city.

      • This episode had drama and a bit of action at the end … yes … as stand-alone episode or some sort of short movie (maybe a webisode) it would be a nice drama episode in Zombieland, not bad written … really ok. Still pretty snoozefest, but as family drama … kinda ok.

        But it isn’t a stand-alone. It totally goes into the wrong direction. It kills the flow of the show (which is already disturbed). There is no need for redemption of the villain. I can’t stand the Governor any longer: sucked dry, overused, all is said. And we should hate the villain, not sympathize with the villain. I mean, what should this episode tell us? Senseless killing and doing bad things is ok, if you have some good reasons … you suffered, so it’s ok to let others suffer too? The Governor is NOT like Rick … he’s a maniac … that’s what at least the final of season 3 pretty well showed us. Now they redeemed him and even this is open again. Now we understand him, sympathize and he’s on the Rick level again … b*******!!! Totally wrong direction (same with TV Rick, by the way).

        And your below comment “I hope we won’t see the regular crew for some time” … I only can assume it a troll comment ;-)

        • I think you have a good point with the fact that this story seems to be going against what we have been shown is the person the govenor is. Sorry i havent read the source material (well only a few of them) but i really enjoyed the episode, i see your point i think i was carried away with (IMO) great acting David Morrisey but it would be against type for the person he was originally written as. well lets all see what happens maybe you’ll be plesantly surprised :)

        • Well, I’m one of those people who don’t even know why they watch TWD anymore. I think that regular crew’s script is horrible and doesn’t make any logical sence. And that is strictly follow what you wrote, “drama just for the sake of drama” and so on. Those people would have to be mentaly ill to make decisions like they do (Rick is perfect example, but he’s not alone).

          But back to the topic. Yes, you are completely right. This episode absolutely ignores pacing of TWD as we know it (I dislike current pacing so I don’t mind.). I found this episode extremely refreshing. And I belive that they won’t be making The Govenor a good guy. Actually I was expecting him to murder every single on of those people trough the entire episode. I wasn’t very fond of him before, but he’s “ok” now. At least his character is a bit interesting now. Not like before, where he was “just a maniac” for sake of having a villain.

          P.S. I haven’t read the comic.

        • “We shouldn’t symphatize with the villain”, says who, exactly? Unless you want your boring two dimensional villain, the best ones are the ones you can understand, regardless of your opinion on his actions. This episode added some needed depth to him. It doesn’t mean he’s redeemed, or that he won’t do the same tings he did before. Just that he’s still human.

          • To hate or not sympathize with the villain doesn’t mean he/she’s one dimensional or boring. And this episode added no depth to the Governor that wasn’t already there. It added nothing! It was just a rehash, a summary of all we know about him since season 3 … maybe an aided recall and reminder for those with easy fading memory.

            Who exactly says it? Well, I could name every author of any book ever written about dramaturgy, story telling and screen writing and go back to the theater in ancient Greece. However, a villain is a villain and a anti-hero is not a villain.

            I’m sure they will not make the Governor an anti-hero. I’m sure he’s a villain and he will become the bad guy. This makes his portrayal in this episode even more failed.
            For example: GoT is also the adaptation of a source material for TV. And its also very character-driven and plays with the expectations of the audience. One who seemed to be the bad guy in season one can easily be a good guy in season 3 … for example Jaime Lannister. But look at Joffrey Baratheon … he’s a real villain or bad guy, nobody sympathizes with him. But he has depth, you somehow understand him … but you don’t like him.

            • Man, just stop, enjoy the show. Can you do better scripts? then try it. Can you get over your dicotomial points of view? Expand the mind, dont complain like a spoiled person and here’s tip.

              The key to survival is evolution, isn’t it? then in order for this show to survive and keep reproducing HAS OBVIOUSLY TO F…ING EVOLVE. Also all drama of yours… so please let all elements that integrate THE SHOW… evolve. Not the complaints. :) Also, best song in the whole series!!!.

              • Well, the show evolves … if it’s the right direction, that’s the question.

                In fact criticism expands the mind, not praising and conformity! Besides the “can you do better” statement is a classic thought-terminating cliché! Since the screenplay isn’t written by one person, it’s also a pretty stupid argument.

                You loved the episode? You’re fine with it? GREAT! I totally respect that, but I’m discussing this episode. That’s what this board is there for. If you can’t stand criticism of your beloved show, you are totally misplaced here!

                
                
            • Yeah, kinda like the governor in The Walking Dead.

    • All the things you mention provide a sturdy canvas in which the dramatic events occur. It provides mood and is the pallet that fills the atmosphere that enhances the emotionality of the story.

  17. I found myself distracted doing other thing while watching this episode and initially thought it was boring until I realized that the writers were trying to redeem the governor. After watching the second showing of the ep it wasn’t that bad and gave a different perspective to the governor character which I kind of liked.

    • Redeem? Obviously. But WHY! For what? He’s the bad guy … the Governor is the bad guy, a maniac, the villain … not an anti-hero. We (the audience) should hate him, not sympathize! So why is this interesting (maybe as stand-alone) for the direction of the show?

      A villain is a villain … is a villain!

      Game of Thrones knows the difference between villains and characters who are worth being portrayed from different sides … just for example: Joffrey Baratheon vs. Jaime Lennister.

      • I’ve find it to be interesting to show The Governor in a different approach. I do think he can be redeemable, but it seems he’d be back to his old ways. Though some villains don’t always stay as villains.

        The Governor has a purpose in life now to protect the three girls, whatever happens to them will make him go crazy again. Since The Governor will be the antagonist in this season, we have to see the reason why he goes back to the prison.

        • +1!

        • True, the Governor is the main antagonist in the prison story arc (there are many more to come … so it should be clear: he’s no key character of the show, he’s just the main antagonist of this story arc – which should have ended in the season 3 final! Can not be stated enough!).

          Of course, as main antagonist he’s an important character. And we already know all we have to know about him (this episode added nothing new!).

          So now to your absolutely valid comment:
          “Since The Governor will be the antagonist in this season, we have to see the reason why he goes back to the prison.”

          True! But please note that this need (to explain why he’s turning his focus again on the prison) is first created by this senseless episode! Last we’ve seen the Governor, he was very focused on the prison and in rage to get Michonne and Rick. So it would be totally fine, if he just reappears with a bunch of mercenaries or other bad guys and attacks the prison again. But the AMC stuff decided to rehash all we already know about the Governor in episode to give him some human touch and – most of all – create the need for another episode (hopefully just one!) to explain his returning.

          SNOOZEFEST!!!

          I really wonder about this obvious taking the audience for fool and stretching the story with unnecessary fillers and pretty meaningless repeatings … I mean, I really wonder taht it works for so many people here! Guess it’s like always eating junk food … if you’re doing so, you just don’t recognize high quality organic food without all those food additives … you’re accustomed to junk and consider quality food tasting awful and the junk really good (though for real you just don’t know anything else than additives). Too bad, but of course: To each man his own!

  18. I would call this the best episode so far. Simply because it was entertaining for the entire time. TWD had many good ar even awesome episodes, but that awesome moment always took 5-10 minutes and before thet, there was ton of boredom. This was amazing. I hope we won’t see the regular crew for some time.

  19. I’m confused as to where they are trying to take us. Last season we got to see the good/bad in the Governor, and that the dark streak proved to be dominate beyond doubt with the killing of his own people (LOVED that the two he didn’t shoot ditched his butt, EXACTLY what I would have done …at least).

    Now…. they are trying to show us he isn’t all bad ….again?

    I’m sorry, but considering the information I’ve gathered from the show, Caesar should be aware enough to get that little girl away from Philip and promptly shoot him in the head.

    ….SO yeah. I’m vexed. Going to have to see why Caesar doesn’t shoot him in the face, knowing that the man is bottom line unstable and very real threat.

    • * OH, and I could not agree more with the writer’s estimation that the series is best when the characters are engaged.

      • Character-driven … yes, of course! Rick and his group please. Even villians for awhile (Governor was an amazing season 3 villain, now he’s sucked dry).
        Governor-driven … no, hell, NO!!! Not anymore. All said, no redemption needed. Just let him attack and die.

  20. ugh…loved last weeks episode (and for the most part all of season 4) up until the last frame which showed the one-eyed invincible one back. Didn’t look forward to this week (as I didn’t to every episode of season 3) and they delivered what I expected… the worst episode of the season. Boring! I for one cannot stand the Governor character. Oh well, all I can do is hope he dies this season however seems like most on this site love the guy. No one I know does.

    • liked the episode, didnt like the govenor last season

  21. this season so far seemed slow and repetitive , this show was a needed change of pace

  22. He grows a beard really fast, it was of gandalf proportions.

    • True! That’s overall a very good hint: Since there’s maybe 1 or max. 2 months between now and then in story time, it’s pretty impossible to grow such a beard … and moreover it’s also nearly impossible or at least highly implausible to get the events of this episode (and the next episode) into 2 months.
      It’s hard even if we say 3 months: first driving around with his fellows, then they leave him behind and he burns down Woodbury. Ok, could be within a week or even days. But then he strays around, broken … in story time it feels like a long time and the beard says it’s half a year or something … then he finds the family and gets their trust, slowly, never within 1 or 2 months … and then we also have story time in the next episode (guess, take over the group and planing the attack of the prison).
      It’s hard to get this into 2 months!

      And the beard once again shows: everything just for the dramatic show effect, so much inconsistency!

      • Yes, cause the concept of humans coming back from the dead and eating people is SO realistic…

        • Well, that’s a really silly statement … and you know it!

          Or do I have to explain the premise of a science-fiction or fantasy story? Just the premise – here that there is a virus that makes the dead walking – is accepted. Everything else has to be realistic or at least plausible as much as possible to make the premise plausible. Of course there are some other premises to the main premise, in action movies or even in TWD for example the toughness of the human body. But other things has to fit, otherwise the fictional construct of the fake reality collapses.

          The beard and such story time issues are a bit annoying … but there are worse things in this episode.

          • once again condescending…the I’m so much smarter smarm shines through on this post. “or do I have to explain…” really?

  23. So far the season has been satisfying but was really hoping they would leave the Governor out of it for as long as possible. Mr. Morrissey is a great actor, but the Gov is really fully mined-out, nothing more to add that will change who he is in this story. Like others have noted, I was really disappointed when he pops in right at the end of last week’s episode. I felt there was lots to deal with with the main characters without throwing him in to the mix yet.
    I do hope they knock him off the series soon, like next chapter. He hits the prison, maybe kills off one or two of the prison gang, he dies, end of.
    Since the group is so small now, even 1 or 2 more casualties may suffice for them to loose the prison to one large walker swarm. So its back on the road for the whole crew.
    Let hope that if this happens, they will also deal with my personal pet peeve about this series: the cr*p vehicles they insist on using. Cheap-o SUVs and sedans? minivans? come on people! really? the zombie apocalypse is here, the roads are full of wrecks, swarms, encroaching vegetation, fallen trees, etc, necessitating frequent detours, and driving on dirt tracks, and they pick a Hyundai??? could they not pick from all the farmer 4x4s that are everywhere in this rural area that they live in? I would go for a good Bronco with AT wheels, a good crash bar and some actual room for any loot the can find on the supply runs. Its really funny to see them go out for supplies, 5 large persons in a puny SUV. What would happen if they hit the jackpot and find a lot of stuff? where to put it?

    • Agreed. Wrong product placement sucks. The Governor sucks.
      And despite the apocalypse the world of TWD seems to offer plenty of gasoline, ammo and fresh clothes. ;-)

  24. I was excited to see what this episode had to offer, and the beginning scenes were good, but it fell flat for me. It was good to see a change in scenery and take a look at other survivors who aren’t privy to pertinent information like proper zombie disposal, though. One thing that put me off was the acting of some of the characters, specifically Tara. With that said, next week’s episode looks interesting.

  25. I was surprised to find myself actually feeling bad for a guy who once was an amazing son of a b****. That is excellent writing. Good stuff.

    • Agreed

  26. The season continues on a strong steady course that has it vying for the best season yet. The writers continue to resist the temptation to have the characters become cardboard stereotypes (as some posters seem to prefer) and continue to explore the human drama amongst the zombie apocalypse. Well done.

    • Once again Robert, +1!

  27. I can see everyone’s point re: Episode 7. I am most definitely not a fan of Season 3, Woodbury (ugh), or the Governor (far too caricature-like) and I was not at all excited to see him (nothing against the actor) enter back into the equation. I’m still not. However, as a stand-alone episode, I was ambivalent. I neither hated it nor loved it. I did find myself wondering (as many of you have) why this family has survived of all the people out there (just so the Governor had a purpose) and how they avoided figuring out how life in the ZA works. Redemption of the Governor? Maybe. Maybe not. Regardless, the upcoming story arc just feels obvious.

    I have only ever felt a connection to the initial group (from Season 1/2). I feel like an outsider saying that when reading these comments but even with Tyreese, Sasha, etc., I still don’t feel a huge connection. Am I the only one?

    Even though not a terrible episode, I just kept watching the clock tick down and thinking that there wasn’t enough time to find out Daryl’s reaction to Carol.

    I have to keep reminding myself that this is only a TV show ;)

  28. All this latest episode does is set the stage for the Gov to show how crazy he really is. Hence the title. Nuff said.

  29. Can anyone explain why some walkers just lay still where they die, and others meander about?

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