Remember at the end of last week's episode when we saw that the Governor had come back? Remember how happy we all were to see him and how much we wanted to know what he's been up to all this time? Me neither!
You may recall a time when the Governor, fresh from a failed attack on the prison, mowed down his entire adult support staff with a machine gun. He killed heverybody except for Martinez and some other guy, and I remember thinking "huh, they have guns. They should kill him." Instead, it turns out, they waited until morning and abandoned him in his pup tent to face the world alone.
It's hard to say what motivates the Governor to spend the next few weeks ambling around rural Georgia. Is he upset that Martinez & Guy abandoned him? Is he sad that his town burned down? Is he soul-searching, finally feeling guilty about locking Andrea in a room with a nerdologist he'd just murdered? Is he still feeling like Rick's prison defense was unfair? Or is he just plotting a ridiculously intricate revenge plan, hoping he'll run into a female-led family so that he can eventually put rats near the wall to the prison. Some plan like "girls lead to running leads to following rats out of sinking ships leads to the bubonic plague leads to medieval Europe leads to architecture leads to structures lead to CHAINLINK FENCES!"
At any rate, he finds this woman/woman/girl/(dying old man) family and charms his way into their inner circle just by being an ascetic mute. He tries to grab more oxygen tanks from the local old folks' home for the old man, putting his life at risk for a family he barely knows. Does this mean he's turned his life around and now he's a nice guy? Does it erase the way he literally tortured people back in Woodbury?
The family knows him as Brian Herriot, the one-eyed, corpse-murdering chessmaster. Their little girl (easily the best child actor Walking Dead has ever had) draws an eyepatch on the chess set king with a magic marker to show how much she looks up to him, how much she prefers him as a replacement for her long-gone deadbeat dad. When "Brian" leads them away from the apartment to find a better shelter and they run into a large zombie herd, she freezes in fear. Eventually the little girl runs to him, and he carries her through the woods as the zombies chase close behind. They fall into a ditch with 3 hungry walkers, and he completely badassedly murders them with his bare hands and occasionally a femur.
Did the Governor's affection for his zombie daughter seem perverted just because the daughter was a zombie? Am I having weird feelings about his relationship with this girl just because I was uncomfortable with his straight-jacketed, undead princess? I'm not uncomfortable with him curbing that zombie from an upright sitting position, though. That was excellent.
By the end of the hour, we're still not caught up to the part in the story where the Governor lurks near the prison, murmuring weird stuff about elderberries and flying buttresses. We're just staring up at Martinez from inside the ditch, circling back to all that amazing/hilarious/totally worthwhile Woodbury crap. Please curb this guy immediately, Brian. Maybe it'll do more to erase all those war crimes from a few weeks ago.
photos courtesy amctv.com