This week’s episode focuses entirely on what’s happened to the governor since the end of last season.
The night after the governor’s defeat, he sits at a camp fire seemingly detached from the events transpiring around him. A walker comes into the camp site, trips over the fire pit, and crawls towards him. He doesn’t seem to care, and just before it reaches his feet to take a bite, Martinez puts a bullet in its head. He then looks at the governor and shakes his head.
The next morning, Martinez is gone, and the governor is left alone in a cruel world. His first stop is Woodbury. He drives a truck through the gate, and then burns the place he once called home to the ground, symbolizing his complete lack of hope for the future.
Time passes, and the governor becomes a nomad, now looking very much like Kurt Russell’s portrayal of Snake Pliskin in ‘Escape From LA’. He travels from town to town on foot until he comes across a barn with a memorial for a man named Brian Heriot. After seeing this, and narrowly avoiding a walker, the governor falls to the floor. He is ready to give up until he sees a young girl looking at him from a nearby window. She reminds him of his daughter, Penny, so he walks into the building, and up to her apartment.
Inside, the governor meets Tara, a former cop, her sister Lilly, a nurse, their father, Don, and Lilly’s daughter Meagan, who doesn’t talk much. They confiscate his gun since they don’t know him, and when they ask him for his name, the governor introduces himself as Brian Heriot. That night while eating in his room, Lilly brings ‘Brian’ some spaghettios for dinner. He thanks her, closes the door, and then dumps the food out the window. The governor is living a life of exile, and will be damned if he accepts any charity… or maybe he just prefers penne.. wink wink, nudge nudge.
When he goes back to Tara and Lilly’s apartment to return the plate, they ask him to carry their father to bed. He in turn asks the governor to get a backgammon set from his friend’s apartment upstairs. He’s hoping this will get his granddaughter, Meagan, talking again. ‘Brian’ reluctantly agrees. After finding the game under a bed in an upstairs apartment, the governor finds a paraplegic walker in the bathtub. He stabs it in the skull and then notices it has a revolver in its hand. He takes this and heads back downstairs to give the game to grandpa Don.
That night, the governor looks at a photo of his now deceased family. He folds part of the photo to cover his face, and then falls asleep.
The next morning, Lily comes in to give ‘Brian’ his gun back. He shows her that he found a revolver upstairs and tells her to keep his gun. They need it more than he does. Lilly then asks him for another favor. She wants the governor to go to a nearby nursing home to get some oxygen tanks for her father, who has stage four lung cancer. He agrees once again, and heads out to retrieve the oxygen.
When he gets back, he gives the tanks to Lilly, and she notices a cut above his eye. She wipes away the blood while bonding with ‘Brian’. Meagan walks in, and Lilly, needing to get some more ointment for the cut, asks Meagan to watch her ‘patient’.
There is a very cute scene where Meagan finally talks. The governor reminds her of her father. She asks him how he lost his eye, and he tells her he’s a pirate. “No way,” she says. This makes ‘Brian’ chuckle. He explains that he lost his eye trying to protect someone he cared deeply about. He begins feeling a strong attachment to Meagan who, again, reminds him of his dead daughter, Penny.
The next day, ‘Brian’ teaches Meagan how to play Chess. He explains that you can lose many pawns, and still win the game. She takes the king piece and draws an eye patch on it to resemble the governor.
Later that day, they realize that grandpa Don has died. He becomes a “walker”… and I say that sarcastically, because his legs don’t work. He tries to bite Tara, but ‘Brian’ intervenes, smashing his head in with an oxygen tank, ironically, the object that was supposed to prolong Don’s life.
This traumatic experience clearly rattles Meagan. She is now scared of the governor, and feeling like he just ruined his relationship with his ‘daughter’, ‘Brian’ decides to leave. Lilly stops him however, explaining that since she and Meagan have formed such a strong bond with him, they are now his responsibility. The governor burns the photo of his dead family, and then hits the road with his new one.
That night, in the back of the truck, Brian and Lilly finally consummate their relationship. The next day, the truck breaks down, and Brian, Lilly, Tara, and Meagan must continue on foot.
Tara trips, rolls her ankle, and screams in pain. This draws the attention of a nearby walker herd. ‘Brian’, with Meagan in his arms runs into the woods, and accidently falls into a hole with three walkers. He kills them with his bare hands, before telling Meagan he’ll never let anything happen to her.
Just then, Martinez appears at the top of the hole. It seems that the governor’s past has caught up with him.
Tune in to AMC next Sunday at 9PM to see how the governor will get himself and his new family out of this sticky situation.