The Walking Dead recap: The Pale King

The mystery behind what the Governor has been up to since last season is revealed
Ep. 06 | Aired Nov 17, 2013

BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE The Governor (David Morrissey) unleashes his wrath upon the abandoned Woodbury. I guess that explains why Rick and the gang didn't set up camp in the fortified town and stayed in the Prison.

Gene Page/AMC

The next morning, Lilly, who makes enough goo-goo eyes at Governor Brian to suggest he's not going anywhere any time soon, offers him some provisions before he sets back out on the road. They have a bit of meet-cute rapport (as much as you can during the Zombiepocalypse) before Lilly asks him to retrieve more oxygen tanks at a nearby nursing home for her ailing father.

Governor Brian embarks on the nursing home mission because how bad can elderly Walkers be? Sure, the place is probably filled with undead creatures hell-bent on eating your brainz, but they're also infirm old people Walkers! Case in point — the first Walker he comes across is still confined to her wheelchair. This scene develops in a stark contrast to the way the Governor confronted a pack of Walkers in last season's "Prey." Andrea managed to slip away from the Governor's pursuit when she directed a group of Walkers towards him inside an abandoned factory. Then, he confronted them head on, shooting as many as he could with angry fervor. This time, he kills just enough of them to hurriedly escape with two oxygen tanks in tow.

Thanking Governor Brian for his help, Lilly offers to clean his wounds. She relishes the opportunity to do something, even if it's just cleaning his minor cuts. She states, "No one mentioned how boring the end of the world was going to be." True. However, no one mentioned how boring the end of the Governor was going to be, either. She goes on to confess (she's a sharer!) that Megan thought he was her father when she first saw him from the window — just as the Governor may have thought Megan was his daughter.

What comes next is a touching scene between Governor Brian and Megan, which David Morrissey and Meyrick Murphy manage to pull off with their easy, natural interaction. However, the scenario that Lilly would leave Megan alone with the Governor long enough for them to even have that interaction is overshadowed with a sense of dread. What parent would ever leave his or her child alone with a stranger — especially during the Zombiepocalypse?! I don't care that he just retrieved oxygen tanks for your cancer-stricken father. I don't care that he retrieved an old backgammon set for your father and daughter and gave you his gun. He's a stranger. It's not okay, period.

And yet the scene serves as the final beat solidifying the Governor's new phase in life — Brian Heriot, world-weary protector and father figure of the Gorbelli food truck family. 

NEXT: "You can lose a lot of soldiers but still win the game."

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