The Walking Dead Episode (4×06) Review – “Live Bait”

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The Governor Returns!

Good-bye Philip Blake! The Governor’s new name is Brian Heriot and he’s trying to turn over a new leaf. In this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, viewers learned what the Governor has been doing since we last saw him ride off with Martinez and that other dude in the season 3 finale. Essentially, he’s guilt-ridden over massacring his own people, and appears to be searching for redemption. The fact that he’s standing outside the prison in present day watching Rick & Co. leaves one wondering if maybe his intentions aren’t as nefarious as we first believed, or could this all be a ruse? Though “Live Bait” was a much slower episode than what we’ve seen so far this season, the Governor-centric episode filled in the villain’s back-story and managed to answer the question of where he’s been and what he’s been doing that Michonne has been seeking answers to all season long.

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Can You Ever Go Home Again? The episode started with the Governor, Martinez and other dude camping. It’s obvious the man is in a bad state, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to Philip when he awoke the next morning to find his comrades had taken off in the middle of the night. Months pass, and Philip finds himself taken in by a man, his two daughters Lily and Tara, and his granddaughter Megan. The Governor looks like any homeless man when he wanders into these people’s home, but this one looks broken. One of the first things he does when he arrives is to hand over his weapons to the ladies. He barely speaks, and his appearance is scary as hell, but the family accepts him. Maybe because I know the crimes he’s committed, but I kept expecting him to slaughter these people in their sleep. He didn’t, but instead helped them out, and even killed the father after he died and then returned from the dead moments later. The scenes inside the house were a reminder of all that the Governor has lost, and would like to regain. While they were mostly filled with dialogue, the scenes were still chock-full of tension. The ladies didn’t deem to fully trust the newcomer, and the feeling appeared to mutual. That all changed when the Governor began to make friends with Megan – Lily’s little girl- who reminded him of his dead daughter Penny.

Don: “When my girl’s were first born, that’s when I first learned what it means to be a man.”

The Walking Dead 406 - Live Bait 2

On The Road Again… Following Don’s demise, the ladies take off for parts unknown with “Brian” in search of greener pastures. The Governor and Lily hook-up, and it seems he has decided to trade in his dead family for a live one. Even though the Governor didn’t harm any of the humans this week, I have a feeling Tara may be in danger. He’s now got a new “wife” and “daughter,” and doesn’t need the extra weight. The Governor has been through a lot, but it’s highly doubtful that the man has done a complete 180°. While I still have my doubts about the Governor’s new lease on life, I do believe he has truly come to care for Megan. She appears to have touched his heart in a way that no one probably has in a long time, and I expect she’s the reason he decided to put the moves on Lily. By bedding the young mother he can ensure a continued relationship with the little girl. Besides, he needs an Andrea replacement.

“Brian”: “I’ll never let anything happen to you. I promise.”

Hello Again… While on the road, Brian and the ladies run into a herd of Walkers. Everyone kicked into survival mode, but little Megan was too scared to run for her life until Brian told her to run for it. The two made a dash for it and ended up falling into a Walker pit. After dispatching with the Walkers that had already been captured, who should turn up but the Governor’s old pal Martinez. Now the power has most likely shifted. In their time apart, the Governor has acquired loved ones which now means he has something to lose. Martinez was once his right-hand man, but now he’s the man standing above him with a shotgun.

“Live Bait” may not have featured the prisoners, or showcased any real kick-ass fight scenes, but it did manage to show us a version of a familiar character that we’ve never seen before. That of a (sane) family man. The Governor appears to be a new man, but traces of his savagery still remains and become evident when he murders Don in front of his family. True, the man was a danger to everyone, and it needed to be done, but the look in the Governor’s eyes as he bashed the man’s head in was one we’ve seen many times before. Now that the Governor finds himself in a subordinate position, next week we’re bound to see how he got from the Walker pit to standing outside the prison’s gates. Will the Governor be a friend or a foe? So much has happened that it’s hard to imagine him teaming up with Rick and the gang, but on a show like The Walking Dead, never say never.

What would you like to see happen? Do you think the Governor is at the prison to ask Rick for a favor taking out Martinez? Will “Brian” decided to revert to his old ways? Was he really a pirate in his other life? Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to tune in next Sunday for “Dead Weight” at 9pm EST on AMC.


The Walking Dead Episode (4×07), “Dead Weight” Airs on Sunday, November 24th at 9|8c on AMC