Series Issues: The Walking Dead – Live Bait

This is your weekly spoiler warning. The following post will contain a recap and heavy spoilers about this week’s episode of The Walking Dead. Please make sure to watch the episode 6 before continuing to read this post. I’m dead serious.

(Photo: Gene Page / AMC)

(Photo: Gene Page / AMC)

This week we escape the prison and our ragtag team of survivors while they recover from the flu that has decimated them to almost the main characters only. The Walking Dead: Live Bait is all about that favorite villain of ours, the Governor.

After the recap of the Governor killing his own people following the botched assault on the prison, he seems to stare in silence into a fire as a walker approaches. Martinez, one of the few surviving henchman, shoots the walker just as it’s about to reach his boss and then walks away. In the morning, the Governor finds himself alone. The survivors have fled.

The Governor breaks into the abandoned town of Woodbury and burns the entire town. Then he wanders away, somehow barely avoiding the zombies while in a catatonic  state from town to town. A voiceover of him talking to whom I believe is Andrea, describes his former self before Woodbury, when he was just Phillip.

As he walks into yet another town, he sees a young girl staring at him from a high window. When he goes inside, he meets the girl’s mother Lilly with her sister, Tara, who threatens him with a gun. The Gov has no problem handing in his piece. In the background, the little girl Meghan plays backgammon with her grandfather, David, who has lung cancer and is tied to his oxygen tank.

The Governor tells the women that his name is Brian. As the women ask him for help putting David to bed, he finally gets up and carries him alone into his room. David then asks him to go to another apartment where he knows the tenant will have a new set of backgammon. The Governor agrees.

The Gov retrieves the game and finds out the occupant was a disabled person with no legs. He finds him in the shower, turned into a walker and unable to crawl out. He stabs the walker and finds a gun, which he takes.

With the gesture of the backgammon board, he seems to be somewhat accepted into the family. Later on, Lilly has another task for him. It’s at this point that I felt the Governor seems to be doing side quests like he’s in some sort of hero/villain journey, but the interaction between him and the family is interesting. Lilly requests he brings them at least one more oxygen tank for David. She even offers him back his gun only to learn he already has one on him.

Of course, the Governor accepts. As he stumbles into a hospital, he does his best to dodge the walkers inside. He finds a full cart full of oxygen tanks, but confronted with more walkers that he can handle, he’s forced to leave the cart and just gets away with a couple of them.

Bringing the oxygen ends up gaining the trust of everyone. On the next scene, he’s shaved his beard and gotten a haircut. He teaches Meghan the rules of chess, the little girl paints an eyepatch on the King explaining that’s him. Unfortunately in the other room, David has reached the limit of what he can take and passes away. As the family mourns, the Gov tries to warn them – but as Lilly just asks him to wait one minute, David turns into a walker and grabs Tara. The Gov reacts by killing him with an oxygen tank, as Meghan screams.

After burying the remains, the Governor decides that it’s time to move on. He burns the picture of his family and packs his things. As he tries to say goodbye to Lilly, she takes the decision then and there that they will leave with him.

The group take to the road on David’s truck. Tara trusts “Brian” enough to confess that she never became a cop, although she was training to become one. One night as they sleep, Lilly kisses the Governor. However, Meghan continues to keep her distance from him.

The truck eventually breaks down. With walkers closing in, Tara sprains and ankle depending on her sister Lilly to lean on. Meghan finally decides to trust the Gov as the group has to escape on foot, leaving everything behind.

The Governor and Meghan end up falling into a man made ditch, were there are already two walkers. The Gov kills them without too much trouble. As he hugs Meghan and promises he will never let any harm come to her, he hears a gun being cocked up. He lifts his eyes to see Martinez staring at him.

It was nice to have a chapter with this new side to the Governor. He’s a broken shell of a men, with no resources and no purpose. The zombie apocalypse is not the ideal setting to have a mental breakdown, so how he manages to survive when he’s not even trying is very unlikely. He’s eventually drawn to help this family because the little girl reminds him of his daughter, and that means all of a sudden he’s emotionally invested.

We all know the bad guy is still in there, and finding Martinez means he’s run into a new group of people. It’s a bit of an anti-hero’s journey. The character of the Governor gaining back his mojo after losing it all makes for a nice fresh take in this world. You know somehow destiny is going to put him in command of people and resources soon enough. His entanglement with Meghan, Lilly and Tara may seem to have softened him up but it’s part of his transition. We’re expecting him to go bad in a few episodes and then he’ll be an ever greater danger than before.

That will do for now.

(Source: AMC)

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