By Thomas Cowley
In October when season 4 of “The Walking Dead” premiered, I talked about my reaction the the episode which, on Facebook, was met with a level of hostility one would typically expect from someone who held a local book burning, perhaps even less. However I don't begrudge that; in fact I quite enjoy people disagreeing with my opinion because it sparks discussion, and it made me feel like a true critic when simultaneously a host of people took the time out of their day to tell me.
For those of you who missed it you can click here, and for those that simply did not care, I offer a quick recap; I was bored by the season premiere. I felt that we had strayed so far from what had been established at the end of season 3 and I was quite perturbed by the absence of the Governor. Well now I offer my opinion on last nights episode and this season in general.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Personally, I feel like last nights episode was a waste. While I do not agree with the idea that the Governor is a changed man, trying to turn over a new leaf (because that is an egregious offense to his portrayal in the comics) I will say that if that was the route that they wanted to take the show down, then at least it was something original and borderline compelling. After abandoned by what was left of his men, the Governor wandered aimlessly will no purpose save for attempting to imitate a swashbuckling pirate. Seriously, go back to the scene when he is asleep on the pillow. There is a freaking parrot perfectly placed on his shoulder. After finding a group of survivors that remind him of his long lost family and the man he once was, he seems to change and redeem himself. Until this week when he begins killing everyone again. Well that lasted didn't it?
And the deaths felt needless. If you “don't want the power” as you claim, why kill Martinez, thereby removing perhaps the one other person deemed competent enough to handle the power? If you truly care so much and are willing to do anything to protect this new family of yours, why on earth would you try to retake the prison? Remember how well that worked out last time?
If he truly cared about their safety, then he would not try that trick again. If he doesn't care and only wants to kill Rick and Michonne and take the prison, then the show wasted my time with the previous episode because all that stuff about him changing was a load of nonsense.
This is my question; If we have, essentially, set up the exact same showdown between Rick and the Governor that we had at the end of season 3, and we have only killed people we never knew, and therefore never cared about, then what has been the point of the last seven episodes? We are exactly where we were 8 months ago just with a new ancillary cast. The show has wasted seven episodes to move us nowhere, attempted to make characters change and then redacted said changes, and killed people I've never known nor cared about. Rick is now the same as he was before, the Governor is as he was before and from a writing standpoint this has been a lazy way to kill time.
It all screams of “We don't know where we want to take this and we spent way too much on the prison set, so we are going to milk it for all it's worth.” In “Breaking Bad”, or “Game of Thrones”, the entire plot would have moved forward dramatically. Meanwhile the “groundbreaking” and dramatic show “The Walking Dead” is stagnant and full of decay, which is apt if nothing else.