The Walking Dead Watch: “Live Bait”

The Governor is back, and he's taking a new family on the road

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Gene Page/AMC

During The Walking Dead‘s first season, there was an enormous amount of momentum that came from being on the road. As the characters who would become the core of the main group came together, we followed them from place to place where Walkers were seemingly (and often actually) were hiding around every corner. Then, early in Season 2, the group made their way to the Greene Farm, and we commenced the interminable “Sophia Watch” that marks the series’ low point.

As this fourth season began, and life settled into a sense of normalcy in the prison, it seems the writers obviously learned the most important lesson from that second season on the farm: Keep the story moving forward. The plague outbreak was an effective way to break up the stagnation of staying in one place, and it allowed for a surprising amount of action in the prison. Episode 6, “Live Bait,” took us away from the prison entirely, bringing the story back to The Governor. We caught a glimpse of him eyeing the prison at the end of last week’s show, igniting questions about where he’s been and what kind of havoc he’s been wreaking since the fall of Woodbury.

The Governor, we learn, bounced around for a while with Caesar, his trusty baseball bat-wielding henchman before the two parted ways. (I’m still not sure exactly what happened; the Governor woke up in his tent one morning and it looked like Caesar had just left him). So The Governor wanders the countryside in what seems like a goofy karaoke video, stumbling around, ignoring walkers who got close and growing a long beard. He made his way to a pretty depressing apartment building, where we met new characters: Tara, the tough-talking wannabe cop; single mom Melody, and her adorable daughter, Megan (will they become The Governor’s replacement family?)

I’m sure nearly everyone saw that development coming a mile away. As The Governor slowly thawed and warmed to the trio, he cemented the transition by burning the photo of his family. At first, I thought this was an overly dramatic way of making the point that he was adopting a new set of loved ones, but anyone who remembers his daughter Penny knows this was pretty significant. Losing his family was the traumatic event that brought about the rise of The Governor as we knew him in Woodbury, and finding some kind of cure for the zombie plague that took Penny was what motivated his bizarre and often immoral acts.

When the new, somewhat happy family left the apartment building, the momentum change was apparent almost immediately, even if the travel scenesfelt a bit tossed together. First, it was the open road. After their vehicle breaks down, it’s a march on foot — and sure enough: walkers! There was always a chance that Megan wouldn’t trust The Governor after she watched him bash in her grandfather’s face (more on that below), but we were pretty sure that she’d come along. Assuming everyone survived (we didn’t see whether Tara and Melody made it), The Governor has a new, ready-made family. But fleeing the walkers, he ran straight into the old biter trap and the waiting Caesar. Once his most loyal henchman, Caesar might be a loose cannon — it’s not clear whether he’ll be willing to follow The Governor’s orders again.

Martinez (Jose Pablo Cantillo) - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Gene Page/AMC

Zombie Kill Report: Overall, this episode was slow. There were only a few walker kills during The Governor’s venture into the retirement home. The scene where the grandfather died was sufficiently brutal. The second The Governor heard that he might have been dead for a while, both he–and we–knew what was coming. Smashing his head open with the oxygen tank clearly changed his relationship with Tara and Melody, but they seemed to get over it quickly enough. Megan, not surprisingly, took that much harder, but in the end she came around as well. The Kill of the Week was absolutely The Governor using a bone to snap open a walker’s head. Nicely — and ickily — done.

So about those defensesMuch of the time we spent in Woodbury, we heard about how secure it was. Guards always stood atop impregnable ramparts, holding hordes of walkers at bay. But during The Governor’s music video/journey into despair, he commandeered an armored truck that he drove through Woodbury’s front gate, smashing it into a million pieces. With no more guards, Woodbury is now overrun with walkers, a sad shell of the dream community he used to rule with an iron fist.

Family matters: We’re left with two big questions from the final scene in the walker pit. First: Did Tara and Melody survive? The characters come out of Robert Kirkman’s novel, The Rise of the Governor, and there was a lot of buzz online this week that their presence would mean we would go deeper into The Governor’s past. But they’ve been slotted into the time between the fall of Woodbury and the reappearance of The Governor at the prison. The story could continue without Tara and Melody–Megan was the important part of this trio–but if they didn’t survive, it would be the end of The Governor’s new budding romance. The second big question: What will happen with Caesar? There was a time when he loyally followed The Governor’s orders, but given how he greeted him in the pit, something happened between them that soured the relationship. We’ll probably find out next week.

The Path Ahead: All we know for sure is that The Governor heads back to the prison, eyeing it from afar with a sinister look on his face. He has a beef with Rick for his role in bringing about the end of Woodbury (at least that’s how he sees it) — will that bad blood bubble up and start a new war?

24 comments
Ohyunjoeng
Ohyunjoeng

The Walking Dead are popular in our country. Of course, I also like too.
There are many episode. All the episodes are interesting and fun.
All situations are good concentration, is immersed in the story.
For that reason seems to be loved. And it is entitled.
And all of the characters have their own unique role.
Otherwise, the parts should be complementary.
I wonder what would happen to the ending.
I will be looking forward. And I will always support you.

SuzanneDenmark
SuzanneDenmark

Well, I thought it was rather dull episode.  However, it was good to see the development of the governor.  However, this was like an excerpt of the Rise of the governor.  Let's see he is like Ninja quiet going to get oxygen tanks in nursing home and was louder than three piece band when leaving... Really??

sirrelix92
sirrelix92

"...we followed them from place to place where Walkers were seemingly (and often actually) were hiding around every corner"

Please correct your article.

It should read  " ...were seemingly (and often actually) hiding..."

vapidqueer
vapidqueer

Am I the only one who is extremely excited about the fact that they introduced their first lesbian character? Tara is my new favorite.

DonnaLHale
DonnaLHale

I love the governor I'm hoping he gets to be a good guy after all he's been through ....he is wanting to be a good man like before all the world crumble around him. And besides he's Sexy and my hero bad or good.

vrcplou
vrcplou

The Sophia Watch era was a little boring but in retrospect it was necessary to set up the fantastic pay off we got at the halfway point of that season.  Would it have been as emotional and shocking if we hadn't spent so much time searching for Sophia?  I've learned to reserve judgment for the most part on particular episodes as it's often not until the end of a season that I have the context to really judge an episode.  And with a series as good as TWD, the low point is still way higher than most shows' high points.  My only quibble with this season so far is that I find some of the characters acting in head slappingly stupid ways that they haven't before.  It feels like merely a set up for the next action premise at times - like the chick in the horror movie going down to the dark basement alone to check out a noise.  As to the Governor's new family, I don't understand how, living in modern times, they could NOT KNOW that a head shot is the only way to kill a zombie!!!!  I mean, they've never watched or heard of Dawn of the Dead?  That was a forehead slapper as well.

CalamityJayne94
CalamityJayne94

I liked the episode - as much as I really cannot stand the Gov. and think he needs his ass beat severely. However, they did a good job of humanizing him and even made me feel a little  sympathetic toward him. Does not mean I like him or think he should live, it just means the writing is good. I think every episode has a purpose. The purpose of this episode is just not evident at this time...great series overall and I am not going to ditch because of a few "boring" episodes.

camelslayer
camelslayer

While it wasn't really a BAD episode...
...It was pretty unnecessary.
The thing is, the writers seem to have forgotten one crucial fact about the governor- HE'S AN ANTAGONIST. It's not really bad to let us know what he's been doing, but to be fair, the audience doesn't care about the trials he's been going through because they all want to see him get shot in the face. It's really hard to care about what he's doing and the family he's trying to protect when he's committed so many atrocities so far.
And of course, we're all now waiting for the confrontation with the prison and the Governor again, but it seems they're going to drag this out for a while now. Shame, considering season 4 started out so well and this is what they're going to do to it.
They best tread carefully or they're going to trash the TV series.

TigByson
TigByson

This is what happens with basic cable television series.  Too much incentive to needlessly draw out storylines and characters to sell more advertising spots and Hyundai sponsorships.  I'm giving up on this series after this terrible episode and I'll be sticking to HBO and Netflix shows from now on.

ajparis71
ajparis71

I, on the other hand, thought it was an excellent episode. We have been accustomed for far too long that the end of the world, in this case zombie world, would be exciting. Remember, the zombies are not the threat: humans are. During the episode, Melody hit is right on the spot when she said that she "didn't think the end of the world would be so boring".   

TallusRip
TallusRip

One of the most incredibly boring and frustrating episodes of the whole series by far, but I like that the writers took a break away from the prison for a bit.  One has to wonder how these women spent a year and a half living in this zombie world and never figured out that a head-shot puts walkers down.  They obviously know enough about them to know that everyone comes back as one regardless of how they die...but seriously?  It's like Hershel said back during season 2, "It's a wonder you people have survived this long."  It was kind of obnoxious for the Governor to say so little until the very end, but then when Megan decided to stand around like some moron when everyone is telling her to run, and she's not obviously paralyzed in fear (maybe she just sucks as an actress) but it cemented another reason why I can't stand children.  Even when it's important, they never do what you tell them to.


Previews for the next episode showed that everyone survived, so I don't know why this article's author bothered wondering about it.  Not watching the preview is like leaving early from a Marvel movie.

brandylynneb
brandylynneb

The mom's name was Lilly, not melody.   And its the Fourth season

RandyPecker
RandyPecker

The character you refer to as "Ceasar" is actually Martinez.  The Governor left the Woodbury massacre with two guys, Martinez (Hispanic?) and Ceasar (Black)

ohlawdy
ohlawdy

Boring.  I don't care enough about the governor to want to see a slow episode all about him.   

Inika
Inika

and also Shumpert (bow guy), was also with them and left the governor with Martinez.

Inika
Inika

It's the fourth season....

JackMyers
JackMyers

That was a horribly boring episode

sirrelix92
sirrelix92

@camelslayer 

Um.. its not unusual for an antagonist to become pro.

Its actually realistic. Your average human is potential to be their most evil or their most good. It depends mostly on environmental history, considering we are speaking about an average person who has a normal flux in brain chemicals.

To call this episode "unnecessary" detracts any reason for us to take your opinion sincere. 

However, I decided to indulge you out of public defilement. I hope you're happy.

RandyPecker
RandyPecker

I just had this wild thought ... What if the reason The Governor was at The Prison is because HIS NEW PENNY HAS THE FLU?  The Governor knows that The Prison has a doctor in Herschel.  And, The Prison Group out on a run to the Vet Clinic found infected Walkers at the Vet Clinic.  So, the flu epidemic is not confined to the Prison.  Given what we've seen so far in Season 4, the introduction of temp characters just to have those characters killed, "what are the odds that The Show would GIVE THE GOVERNOR A NEW PENNY" not to bring the hammer down on The Governor all over again?  http://www.bitchless.net/index.php?showtopic=102143

RandyPecker
RandyPecker

sorry, just read that "Ceasar" is Martinez' first name in the comic.  Don't recall Martinez ever being called Ceasar in the tv series