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Now, this is where things get a little weird. Remember all of those complimentary things that I just said about The Walking Dead's writers? Well, I suddenly don't feel good about them. For some reason AMC decides to spend an entire episode trying to convince the audience that The Governor is a sympathetic villain.
Here is a list of things that The Governor does during his standalone episode:
- Wanders around long enough to grow a big beard.
- Returns to Woodbury and burns it to the ground.
- Rejects a bowl of Spaghetti-Os.
- Lifts a cancer patient out of an easy chair.
- Tries to save the cancer patient.
- Shoots the cancer patient in front of his granddaughter after he dies from cancer.
So, The Governor spends one episode befriending a pair of attractive sisters and their cancer-ridden father and we're supposed to forget the fact that he spent an entire season being a creepy psychopath? And then, in the very next episode, he returns to his old, psychotic self.
Once cancer dad is finally buried, The Governor steps into a surrogate husband/father role for Lilly Chambler and her daughter Meghan. The Governor, Lilly, Meghan and Lilly's sister Tara, eventually leave the apartment where they were holed up, and run across a group of survivors that's led by Caesar Martinez, The Governor's only remaining henchman.
Bonus points, Martinez has a tank.
After killing Martinez, The Governor takes over the group and convinces them that their best chance for survival is a war with Rick's crew-remember, we're supposed to feel a connection with this character, because he was lonely and grew a beard.
While he's scouting the prison, old One Eye runs into Hershel and Michonne. So, obviously, he kidnaps them. Now he has the bargaining chip he needs to manipulate Rick's crew into leaving the prison. And, if that doesn't work, he's got a tank.
Well, it doesn't work. Rick suggests a peaceful solution, but The Guv isn't interested so he decapitates Hershel with Michonne's katana.
The resulting firefight, goes south quickly for The Governor's crew, due to some tank-disabling grenade work on Darryl's part. Even though Carol has is no longer part of the group, her little trainees expertly dispatch several attackers and make their escape. Michonne finds her katana and uses it to put one hell of a hole in The Governor's chest, but it's Lilly who ultimately ends his political career with a bullet to the head.
Rick and Carl frantically search for Judith, Rick's daughter, but only find an empty, bloodstained car seat.
In the end, Hershel is the only central cast member who doesn't survive the battle, but Team Rick will never be the same. The fray has scattered the group's members in every direction, and the prison is burning in the rearview mirror.
It'll be interesting to see where AMC takes The Walking Dead in the second half of season four. Rick seems willing to take on the leadership position again, but if Judith became a delicious zombie snack we might have another ghost hunter situation on our hands. And without the safety of the prison walls and Hershel's medical expertise, surviving the zombie apocalypse won't be easy.