As The Walking Dead heads back into production after an amazing panel at San Diego Comic-Con, AMC is building anticipation and hype for the zombie drama’s fourth season. While the four-minute trailer revealed during AMC’s Comic-Con panel featured some story elements and new characters for the upcoming season, one notable character was missing: The Governor (David Morrissey). It’s no surprise that the Governor will be in season four (Morrissey was bumped up to a regular cast member), so why treat the character as if his appearance is some sort of secret?
According to TVLine.com, The Governor will have an expanded presence in season four. In fact, The Governor will be featured in two stand-alone episodes to catch Walking Dead fans up on what he’s been doing. According to Michael Ausiello:
I can tell you that he’ll have a major presence in at least two Season 4 episodes, both of which are being unofficially billed as ”standalone Governor” installments. No specific intel on when those episodes will air, but I hear they’ll likely fall in the first chunk of eight.
Morrissey gave one of the breakthrough performances from season three of The Walking Dead as the tyrannical Governor, creating a menacing, cartoonishly evil character. We last saw The Governor was at the lackluster season three finale. Hopefully his re-introduction in season four will have some bite. The writers need to really flesh out his character, so he doesn’t come off as anonymously evil as he did in season three. If Morrissey will be a series regular, then The Governor actually has to be a fully realized character.
I really hope we don’t see more of the same from season four. One of the reasons why The Walking Dead comic book is still worth reading after 10 years is that the story keeps moving forward. The characters find themselves in different situations, in different locations, interacting with different characters. As old characters die off, new characters come in to fill the void in the narrative. If season four still has Rick’s group at the prison, while the Governor is still the main threat to their safety, then it looks like we may be in for a repeat performance. The only real difference between the seasons would be the group is more efficient at defending themselves.
With all the flaws of The Walking Dead, it still remains a series worth watching week after week. Maybe it’s the visceral feeling of killing zombies that makes audiences tune in, but given some of the problems, it’s almost inexplicable that The Walking Dead is still on the air. The series is on its third showrunner in four years and each season feels completely different from the last. It’s a mess, but a compelling mess.
Even with all my concerns, the Comic-Con trailer goes a long way in restoring my faith in The Walking Dead. It’s good to see the characters coming into their own when it comes to killing zombies. It’s also good to see that season four will introduce an element that has been absent from The Walking Dead since its premiere episode in 2010: hope. We’ve had three seasons of heavy and bleak, it would be nice to see at lease a ray or two of sunshine.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, October 13, with the first of 16 new episodes.