The Governor has returned! But he may not be the same sadistic, maniacal and ruthless leader of Woodbury that we remember.
Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead (9/8c, AMC) will actually flash back to where we left off with The Governor (David Morrissey) after he slaughtered most of the residents of Woodbury, fleeing into the ether for who knows where last season until he suddenly appeared outside of the prison in last week's episode. But Morrissey insists that viewers should keep an open mind about The Governor's return. Find out what's in store:
The Governor has finally returned! Where has he been since we left him?
David Morrissey: Where we left him in Season 3 was a man in trauma really. The one thing about what happened to him in Episode 16 is that it wasn't a premeditated act. A red mist came over him, and he went into a blackout. That's where that terrible violence came from, a very dark, deep place inside of him. We see at the end of Season 3 that he's not happy about that. That's a very troubling discovery about himself that he can commit that kind of madness and has that capability. We pick up there. We pick up with a man dealing with the knowledge that he can be that destructive, and that's a difficult place to be.
Do you think he can actually ever live a normal life again?
Morrissey: I think he wants to die, but he doesn't have the ability to kill himself. He goes into the nomadic-like madness where he's just walking and trying to walk away from his past. He offers himself up as a victim of fate. He just walks into the world to see what would happen. Through circumstances, he survives. But I think there's an element of him trying to reinvent himself into a person that is good, a person that has humanity and is of value and worth. The battle that he will have is whether he can achieve that or not because he knows he's capable of violence.
Why has The Governor returned to the prison? Is it pure vengeance? Hope for redemption?
Morrissey: It's important to not jump to conclusions about why he's there. The knowledge we have of The Governor from last season, we'd like to think he's standing outside the prison with destruction on his mind. That might not necessarily be the case. There are many reasons why he could be standing outside the prison and why he has found his way back. We see in real life that sometimes we have to deal with our enemy by forgetting the past. Are these people changed? Are they different? Can I deal with my enemy, the person who's done me harm in the past? That's a negotiation that happens on a daily basis in the world.
The Governor has to at least still hate Michonne (Danai Gurira). Is there still a part of him that has particular plans for her?
Morrissey: I'm not sure about that, actually. What will happen in Episodes 6 and 7 is an emergence of a character that is different. It's a character that is possibly trying to get away from all those feelings of revenge and those feelings of destruction. There's a way that possibly they can live separately and still live securely. They don't have to be sitting at the same dinner table. There are many ways to get through this if you take negotiating into consideration rather than all-out destruction.
What can you tell us about Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and The Governor coming face-to-face?
Morrissey: Rick is a very different character this season. He's making very different choices about leadership. They're also facing a different threat. There are lots of differences from last season and the characters are changing and the decisions they make are changing. We know The Governor is standing there on his own, but we don't know who he is with, we don't know the party he is with or if there are other people there. If he turned up at the gates of the prison on his own and said to Rick, "Listen, can I come in?" there might be one answer he gets. But if he turns up with a different party of people with a different proposal, then I think Rick is intelligent enough to know that there are ways of dealing with The Governor and his other people where a compromise can work.
Is there a part of The Governor who regrets what he did to Andrea (Laurie Holden) because she cared about him?
Morrissey: There are parts of The Governor who wants to erase elements of his past. There are elements that he wish hadn't happened, but not just Andrea. There are things that happened in the lead-up to that that he would change. There are very few people, particularly in The Walking Dead life, who would look at their past who wouldn't change a thing. He would reassess his past, and there would definitely be things he prefers wouldn't happen for many reasons.
When you were cast in the AMC pilot Line of Sight, viewers assumed it meant the end of The Governor. What's your response to that?
Morrissey: The reason I was able to do that was because it's an AMC show. It's a great pilot and I really liked it, but I'm employed by The Walking Dead. I'm a Walking Dead actor. I want to be in it as long as I can like all the actors on it. I don't know what the plans are with AMC with that. I was more than happy to do it because I think it's a great show with great potential. I love doing Walking Dead and the character of The Governor, which I adore. The great thing about The Walking Dead is that you never know. I love the fact that no one is safe. It's where we work. That's what this world is. That's why it's so successful. We don't do those Star Trek moments where five guys are beaming down and four of them are regulars on the show and there's one guy you've never seen before. You think, "I don't think he's making it back to the Enterprise." We kill off our favorite characters some times. It's tough.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.