Season 4 Episode 6 “Live Bait”
We have a departure this week from our friends at the prison. If you were wondering if that bit with The Governor last time was going to go somewhere, wonder no more.
We pick back up at the shoot-out at the prison from the end of Season 3 with The Governor slaughtering his people and taking off with his two lieutenants. As it turns out, that threesome doesn’t last long. Martinez and the other guy abandon The Governor in the middle of the night while he is asleep. He appears defeated and with no desire to live. I think that is what we were all hoping to see. The Governor was responsible for so much death and destruction, I know I was hoping to see him get his comeuppance.
After burning the remains of Woodbury down, he sets out on the road. He is unkempt and depressed. No energy or even desire to kill walkers. Until he comes to a house where he hallucinates seeing his daughter. Inside he meets a family that has been surviving by staying holed up inside. They are a pair of sisters, Tara and Lily, their father and Lily’s daughter Megan. They are unique to the show in that we haven’t explored the lives of survivors that aren’t out there killing walkers/people. This family has been living safely and quietly alone in their apartment for over a year, surviving on processed and canned foods. They don’t even know how to kill walkers properly. The father isn’t able to walk, lives on an oxygen tank and has stage 4 cancer. These aren’t the kind of people we think could still be out there. But here they are.
This family brings The Governor back to life. He even gives himself a new name…Brian. He picks that up from a wall of messages he walks by on the road. He likes names. Philip, his true name, took up being The Governor to lead Woodbury. He doesn’t want to call himself The Governor with this family, but why a whole new name? He could have easily just used his real name. But he picks a whole new name which is fascinating to me. When he gives them the name Brian, he has no intentions of spending any length of time with them. So, it doesn’t seem like there’s a long-term plan here to pull something over on these people. It’s all about who he wants to be. He doesn’t want to be The Governor and also doesn’t want to be himself. He’s trying out a third role that I feel was because the last two ended in failure. Perhaps a third incarnation will be successful.
One of the more interesting moments of the show is how The Governor, now known as Brian, comes back from the brink of despair. He could barely speak to anyone at the beginning of the episode. Mumbling and giving one-word answers. At the end, he’s speaking confidently in full sentences. He’s found some of himself again. This family he’s found has brought him back. Tara, a cocky and foul-mouthed young woman who likes to fist bump, isn’t afraid to call him on his bullshit. The daughter Megan bears a strong resemblance to his daughter Penny. At first he wants nothing to do with her, but he comes around. Much like Michonne did with baby Judith, he hates the idea of being alone with the girl, but quickly surrenders and lets her in. Lily even wants to be with him romantically. Unfortunately, knowing what comes I sure wish they hadn’t. The peaceful and merciful side of me thinks this is a great story of rebirth; however, my stronger more vengeful side feels The Governor doesn’t deserve this redemption. He should be dead or at least that man at the beginning of the episode that could barely even look at himself. He needs to suffer some more. Martinez showing back up at the end is a twist. He looks the same. Knowing what he knows about this man now known as Brian, could ruin everything.
We get to see a bit of The Governor’s journey this episode. But we also know he’s going to wind up back at the prison. So the middle needs some filling in still. He seems to be recovering and starting over with a new family. Is everyone finally going to get along? If there’s one thing we know by now, looking on the bright side never pans out.
Best of the Episode
Death of the father. My favorite moments of this episode happen to be the most gruesome. When the dad dies in bed, “Brian” tries to get them out of the room because they don’t know what happens next and he doesn’t want them to get hurt. When that doesn’t work and dad comes back, grabbing Tara’s hair, Brian has to beat him to death with the oxygen tank. It’s traumatizing for the family to say the least. Having know idea why Brian is pummeling their father/grandfather in the head with an oxygen tank is a shocking perspective.
Walker pit beat down. Also Brian in action. He falls in a pit full of walkers with Megan. He goes into a rage and kills multiple walkers with his bare hands. He gets a good throat rip in on one and uses a dinosaur sized bone to tear another’s head off by the jaw. It’s a spectacular display of testosterone and rage. It’s no wonder he’s still alive after all this time.