The Walking Dead: Not Tomorrow Yet made Alexandrians the Governor?

The Governor (David Morrissey) - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
The Governor (David Morrissey) - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Episode 612 of The Walking Dead duels with other episodes for being among the most intense action-oriented episodes. Because of this, it’s not the most theme-heavy episode, aside from showing how the characters cope with killing.

In this episode, many primary characters coordinate as a group to sweep through the Savior’s outpost, with the intent to kill everyone there. First, they kill the guards by using a severed Gregory look-alike head to trick the guards into thinking Andy murdered him as ordered. Obviously, it’s a brutal sequence, but we’ve all come to expect that fromThe Walking Dead.

Earlier in the episode, we know Carol is ready to fight. After all that she has been through, one gets the sense that she’s become jaded about it all. No doubt, nothing’s preventing her from taking out Negan herself if she gets half a chance, and she’ll kill a Savior, or a Wolf, or anyone else who gets in her way. Still, there is a sense that, deep down, she would like to be unwilling to do this anymore, even though it’s second nature to her. She only does these things because she finds them necessary and is only brutal to protect the group at all costs.

The Walking Dead: Does Rick’s group become like the Governor here?

As someone who recaps the older season’s episodes, I recall a person scoffing because I’m still ready, willing, and able to bring up the Governor at a moment’s notice. Admittedly, even by season 6 of The Walking Dead, few people even mentioned him anymore. However, I can’t help but look at this episode and draw comparisons/contrasts between what Rick is doing and what the good ol’ Governor was up to. In fact, I think this very episode adds plenty of confusion between what Rick supposedly stands for and what he actually does, which was also quite true of what made the Governor “evil.”

The whole premise here is that if the Saviors raid Alexandria, Rick’s group (who, oddly enough, seem to lack a snappy title, aside from the “Alexandrians”) will become subservient to Negan. Of course, there is a risk of death, grave bodily injury, or at least getting separated from the others. However, let’s be real here: For the group to split up and “go Daryl” would have still potentially been an option, and not just depending on how to spin it. By deciding to attack the Saviors, it strikes a rather sour note. In this episode, strong characters like Michonne seem to figure into the story only slightly. The premise seems to be simply that the group has to operate as a killing machine, almost as if the characters are interchangeable parts.

Now, if you go back to all those season 3 episodes, wasn’t this sort of thinking one of the Governor’s main flaws? He was capable of being human, but his lack of trust, sense of duty, and willingness to “do what it takes” made him act terribly. Well, is that truly so different from what’s going on here? In one of the classic “Oh, he’s a bad guy” moments, we saw the Governor take out National Guardsmen to get equipment and assert his own supremacy. Also, part of what made the Governor evil was his ultimate order to kill everyone at the prison, which is not entirely unlike what we have seen Rick do, both in this episode and even in previous ones!

The Walking Dead: Slivers of humanity remain

As if tying into this episode’s theme of expendable/interchangeable characters and relationships, we see Abraham and Rosita break up and seemingly “just because.” So the question is, what are these people hanging onto at this point, aside from basic survival? There would definitely be downsides to being left wandering the forest, but how often can a group or individuals be clearly shaken by a new threat before they lose it? I think this episode grapples with that, even if a bit clumsily (and that’s not even a critique, exactly, as the characters themselves would be clumsy about it).

We already learned that Morgan practically died psychologically before, only to rehab his mental health through a near-pacifist philosophy. Perhaps Carol’s little cookie scenes and her notes on people she’s killed convey a similar meaning. It may be her way of re-humanizing herself, keeping her mental state compartmentalized, so the darkness doesn’t end up reaching her fully. In fact, when she visits Sam’s grave, we do get a sense of her remaining humanity. Fragile though it may be, it is still there.

dark. Next. Fear the Walking Dead: Strand is more like the Governor than Negan

What are your thoughts on this Walking Dead episode? Let us know in the comments!