Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Was the Governor on "The Walking Dead" Really a Bad Guy?

Well, I’ve had to view “Too Far Gone,” which was the winter finale of Season 4 of the AMC hit show “The Walking Dead” a few times to be sure, and all I want to say is that The Governor is not a bad guy.  I know, anyone who would brutally murder his own people and Hershel in such a terrible way, should be classified as an evil doer.  Maybe he should even be on par with Darth Vader, or at least Voldemort. 

No, I think good old Brian, okay I’ll call him the Governor because it is more menacing, was just doing what he thought was necessary to advance his agenda.  If someone being out for themselves and their own is evil, than Rick and his crew of survivors should be equally classified as evil.

The thing is, “The Walking Dead” world is not like the world as it exists today.  Things are more complicated (hard to believe I know), because the very survival of a group of people hinges on just about every decision any member of the group makes.

The Governor is in a lot of ways Rick’s foil (yes old time literature fans, I’m tossing you a Shakespeare bone) , because the Governor does not share his compassion for humanity and probably his mental stability.  However, that world needed people like the guy with eye patch, because it is a hard world.

Among the number of differences the two characters faced off against in the Season 4 finale was their very viewpoints on life.  The Governor summed it up is one simple attack by not literally (or did he) “We need this, and we are prepared to take it.”  Rick and Hershel did what they could to diffuse the guy, but as everybody knows when you argue with a fanatic you always lose, and the Governor was fanatical about survival and advancing his plans.

Yes, he made some unpopular decisions, but that is the price of leadership, Rick hasn’t exactly thrilled everyone with every move he made either.  The point is that the Governor was a product of the world he had to adapt to; he became cold, hard, and cruel.  Was he evil?  That depends on which camp you were in.  Was he a liar?  Umm, pretty hard to not say “yes” to that, but he’s not the only person on “The Walking Dead” keeping secrets. 

The point is that the man might have been unconventional, had a serious mean streak, hated to be wrong, and had many deep seated issues, but was he evil?  Sure, he was clearly a villain for all purposes of the show, but was that because he was on the opposite side of the fence of Rick? 

As all the comic book faithful already know, mean like the Governor are a little more common than men like Rick and Hershel, and all it would take in a world like “The Walking Dead” is one little push to send someone spiraling out of control.  The fact is there is always someone worse, and that is more terrifying than any number of can’t-think-for-themselves walkers.

The short of is that the human beings on the show are reacting to their environment, and not everybody can handle the end of the world as well as Rick and company.  The series will need a new villain to emerge, and probably won’t have to look to far to find another one.

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