The Walking Dead: How Different is The Governor From Rick's Group?

The Walking Dead Dead Weight

After two episodes of The Walking Dead in which the show has primarily focused on The Governor, it's perhaps harder to see him as the kind of soulless villain he was last season.

In fact, between the humanization of The Governor and the move to make Carol more distant and brutal, the question has to be asked: how different is he from the group of survivors Rick Grimes is harboring at the prison?

In tonight's episode, The Governor prefaces one of cold-blooded killings by saying that they're going to do the only thing they can do--survive. That's almost word for word the attitude that made Carol unwelcome at the prison and, many fans have speculated, that could help keep them alive if they end up having to leave the prison (something that doesn't seem too unlikely given that The Governor seemingly has access to a tank).

It's been one of the consistent conflicts of Rick's group, made most explicit when Dale faced down the group just before his death, and when Rick and Shane butted heads: some of the survivors think that you do anything necessary to survive, while others believe there's no point in just being alive if the life you're living is marred with the kind of behavior you'd never have allowed yourself to engage in before.

Now, though, we have context for some of The Governor's behavior; whereas before, the idea of blindly protecting his loved ones at the expense of everybody else seemed insane, since Penny was a zombie, here it kind of makes sense. The girls he's protecting are alive and well, and one's a child. While his attack on Martinez was clearly the act of an insane person, almsot everything else he did in this episode could be legitimately understood as the actions of someone watching out for his people and doing what needs to be done.

Which, again, comes back to exactly what Rick, Carol and others have always done: "What needs to be done." In the world of The Walking Dead, that can make you pretty terrible.