It’s finally October and The Walking Dead has made its triumphant return to television, still leaving us with the same question we have had since the San Diego Comic-Con trailer was released: Where is the Governor? After the semi-disappointing and anti-climactic finale of the third season, we were left confused and puzzled about the future of the Governor.
Our last image of him was in the finale moments of the finale where he was left all on his own and still very much alive. Even if you were cosplaying an eye patch while watching the season four trailer, you were bound to notice that the trailer was awkwardly… Governor-less— to which a new question arises, did the premiere give any clues why? The simple answer is: no.
Season four begins with Rick and the rest of the cast adapting to living life at the prison: the zombies have decayed significantly; more people pitch in around the old homestead; Tyreese asserted himself as a main character; Rick is reluctant to bring his gun; and Carl seems to be the most mature out of the other kids at the camp.
It’s all very trivial, but one can assume these are all set-up points of the season because this transitions Rick meeting a woman out in the wilderness asking if she and her husband could live at the prison. Ultimately, she brings her back to her camp trying to feed her zombie husband with a Rick-Kebob— filled with guilt she kills herself expecting to join her husband as a walker.
Meanwhile Daryl, Glenn, Michonne, Tyreese, Bob Stookey and a couple other members of the group go out gathering for food. Bob accidentally knocks over a shelf full of wine basically signaling walkers to head towards the sound. Now this leads into an awesome sequence where walkers are dropping from the ceiling of the underground store they were raiding. Que montage of intense zombie killing, the fear that a walker will kill a trapped Bob, the death of poor newcomer Zack, and what looks to be the wreckage of a crashed plane falling through the ceiling and you got yourself half of the formula to making a satisfying premiere episode.
When Rick gets back to the prison we learn more set-ups like at the front of the episode: Carol had begun teaching the kids how to kill walkers without his consent; Glenn and Maggie aren’t pregnant; Beth has pretty much lost her innocence; and Carl’s friend with the glasses becomes a zombie.
All in all it was a great episode, a terrific start to the new season and rewarding for people who like story, gore, and character development. The only thing it lacked is, as mentioned before, the Governor. It would have been okay if they left out the Governor as long as they set up what happened to him or what happened to him, but the episode glanced over it without a thought as if he wasn’t a big part of the previous season at all. If you are a fan of the show, certainly be forgiving of this because they did announce that the audience would find out eventually.
But keep in mind that the episode did improve on many things since the last season such as Rick’s “insanity” is a bit more believable, Daryl feels like he has a job fully respected by the people, and Carl is suddenly not as annoying. Another plus was that, unlike the season three finale, it delivered. The episode did the best it could with the exception of the Governor, but it is plausible that his absence is brilliant in the terms of the story and we just haven’t seen it yet. If only we could speed up time and binge watch this season on Netflix.