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Photo: AMC

Return, Redemption, And Ridiculousness

Hey, it's Kurt Russell, er, actually The Governor, in a thorough characterization about-face.

  • Previously

    In a relatively safe town called Woodbury, a handsome devil named The Governor ran things. Michonne did not trust him and when he turned out to be a murderous bastard she was kind of enough not to say, "You see!? That right there!" He had a wife and a daughter, but the wife died and the daughter died and then came back and then died again when Michonne ran a sword through her head. She also took The Governor's eye in a fight, so he's not a fan. Rick and his crew considered making a deal to hand over Michonne, but instead fended The Governor and his people off. In one of the worst management moves a leader can make, The Governor fired on all of his remaining people in frustration, leaving only two henchmen to go on with him.

  • Bad Habits
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    I'm Trying To Quit Cold Turkey But I Shot The Turkey

    Everyone has embarrassing moments of frustration. Hell, I once yelled at a houseplant. But killing your staff when things are going badly is the second worst thing you can do for morale. (The first: Hawaiian Shirt Fridays.) It sets a terrible workplace precedent for shooting permissibility and is frankly unprofessional, as any HR manager will tell you if any are still alive. If anything can make such a bad situation worse, it's leaving survivors who witnessed your carnage and will probably hold it against you down the road when you least expect it. Next time, take a deep breath, count to 10, and shoot some walkers instead. It's a much more productive use of your short temper.

  • Character Study
    Photo: Gene Page / AMC

    Photo: Gene Page / AMC

    This henchman ain't about sharing camp with a psychopath

    Pretty much everyone he knows just got killed by the guy in charge. And when a walker literally crawls across fire to get to him and he doesn't even move, things are probably not going in the right direction. So the plan is: 1. Kill the flaming lady walker. 2. Wait until The Governor falls asleep. 3. Quietly oh so quietly! break down two tents and get out of earshot before he wakes up. "Kill him in his sleep?" you say. That would just be rude. And obvious.

    Name: Caesar Martinez.
    Age: Early 30s.
    Occupation: Right-hand henchman.
    Goal: To get the holy Hell away from The Governor.
    Sample Dialog: [Glare.]
  • Enhance!
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    Enhance!
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    Enhance!
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    Enhance!

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    Enhance!

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    Enhance!

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    Enhance!

    Photo: Omar Gallaga / Previously.TV

    Photo: Omar Gallaga / Previously.TV

  • Plot Lightning Round
    Photo: Gene Page / AMC

    Photo: Gene Page / AMC

    The Governor Spends Some Time Alone. Badly.

    Being abandoned by his two henchmen does not serve The Governor particularly well. He gets a twangy musical montage about "dark clouds" and not seeking redemption as he proceeds to go mental.

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    He crashes through a barricade to get to an abandoned Woodbury.

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    Then he admires his handiwork, which the walkers don't even notice because they are so goddamn stupid I hate them!

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    Walking has turned him into a ramshackle Snake Plissken as he narrates his lowly adventures in voice-over to a woman we have yet to meet.

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    He sees interesting barn signage about a guy named Brian.

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    Oof! Time to rest. Walking is hard.

    (Photo 17 – Screen: AMC)

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    A person and a food truck!

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    The girl is real.

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    But so is that gun.

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    The Governor drops his weapons and goes inside. Hey, about that food truck…

  • Meeting Time
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    Tara and Lilly Call a Meeting

    Who called the meeting? Gun-toting Tara and her sister Lilly.

    What's it about? Setting some ground rules before this bearded, eye-patched guy stays in the building.

    How'd it go? The Governor barely says a word and is forced into an awkward fist bump by tough-talking Tara. Tara agrees he can stay the night, but Lilly vetoes giving his gun back until he's leaving. Meanwhile, Lilly's daughter Megan and her father, who's hooked up to an oxygen tank, watch from nearby. Nobody thinks it's a bad idea to let a total stranger in the place when there's a kid and an ailing old man around? No? All right, then. The Governor is asked his name and he takes on an alias: the "Brian Heriot" from the barn writing.

  • On The Menu
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    What's On The Menu At The Building Where Tara And Lilly Live?

    Hey, don't eat that tiny can of cat food, Governor! That Gorbelli food truck outside has yielded a bounty of canned goods. Such as:

    Pepperoni Stix: Pepperoni in stick form, suitable for snapping into if there are no Slim Jims around. Which they aren't. So don't ask.

    Corned Beef: Only two cans left, but they're for the old man. He really fucking likes corned beef, what can we say?

    Turkey Chili: Like beef chili, but not as beefy.

    SpaghettiOs: Or in the undead apocalypse, more like "SpaghettiOhNooooos," am I right? And, uh...that's about it. Oh, you don't like these? You'd rather throw them out a window and eat the cat food? Well to each his own, Brian Heriot.

  • Snapshot
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    Tubthumping

    Just to remind you this show does have zombies in it, old Bill Jenkins upstairs appears when The Governor tries to go fetch a fancy backgammon set for his new friends. Poor Bill, a war vet, had no legs and apparently died in the tub, unable to get out once he turned. The Governor stabs him in the head.

  • And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor
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    Backgammon!

    Are you old and dying or perhaps someone who likes to play games with a person who is old and dying? Backgammon!

  • Fight! Fight! Fight!
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    Hospital-Dwelling Walkers vs. The Governor

    After fetching a backgammon set, The Governor is asked to go another RPG video game-like quest. This time, he's supposed to fetch at least one more oxygen tank for David, the father of Tara and Lilly who has stage-four lung cancer. Instead of killing gnarly walkers along the way, he tries to slip past them, which doesn't go so well. In the end, he abandons a cart full of tanks for whatever he can escape with and barely makes it out when he gets swarmed.

    Winner: The Governor, who is two oxygen tanks richer.

  • That Quote
    "Nobody ever mentioned just how boring the end of the world was going to be."
    - Meta commentator Lilly Chalmers -
  • Hell No!
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    Quickie Redemption Blues

    Look, we know this season is all about character development, but come on. Do you really think The Governor, who murdered dozens of people, kept his undead daughter chained up, and had his own torture chamber can be completely redeemed in one episode because there's a little girl who reminds us of the daughter he lost? All he has to do is grow a beard, meet some nice people and, boom, he's a guy we should be rooting for now? Maybe the time to make him more than a ridiculous villain was back before he turned into a ridiculous villain. Now it just seems cheap and manipulative, especially the pinky swear that little girl Megan does with him. A pinky swear? The Governor? He breaks pinkies, he doesn't swear to them.

  • Symbolism
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    The King And Eye

    The Symbol: A chess set king, altered by Megan to look like The Governor.

    The Scene: As David is dying in the next room, The Governor tries to teach his new buddy Megan chess.

    The Meaning: The Governor used to be the king of his kingdom, but he lost the game, of course.

  • Passages
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    R.I.P. David Chalmers, 1950-present (est.)

    As if dying of cancer weren't bad enough, having one's daughter not get the memo about bodies coming back to life and attacking means a sudden, violent oxygen tank-to-the-head homage to Gaspar Noe's movie Irreversible:

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  • Here's An Idea
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    Stay Put

    If you're in a place that's safe from walkers, have plenty of food and are trying to protect a little girl, don't offer to go on the road with some stranger just for a change of scenery.

  • Love, Hate & Everything In Between
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    It's Been A While

    Lilly seemed to have her eye on The Governor from the moment he appeared at the door, even when he was a bearded, ragged mess. So, yeah, this was gonna happen.

  • Wrap It Up
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    As was inevitable, the gigantic, gas-guzzling truck has engine problems.

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    So they walk.

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    But you should probably leave that to the walkers, who are just around the bend.

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    Megan freezes, then finally jumps into The Governor's arms as the walkers approach.

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    As they run, the two of them fall into a zombie trap. The walkers take the opportunity to introduce themselves.

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    That's good chokin'!

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    Time to bone up on your fighting skills!

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    Dead daughter replacement: ACQUIRED.

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    Hey, look who it is! Martinez! "Hey, Governor, did you get our note?"

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