THE WALKING DEAD Recap – “Live Bait”

by     Posted 341 days ago

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Last week on AMC’s The Walking Dead, we glimpsed a familiar foe waiting on the outskirts of the prison, but no one knew exactly what to expect from him.  Would he plot an outright attack on Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the gang?  Would he wait until the illness did its damage before making his move?  That’s yet to be seen.  What we saw instead was what The Governor (David Morrissey) did to occupy his time after the explosive events at the end of season three.  Hit the jump for my recap and review of tonight’s episode, and for the many uses of oxygen tanks.

the-walking-dead-live-bait-david-morrisseyWhen last we left The Walking Dead, The Gov was eyeing up the prison from outside the gates, possibly appreciating the effects of his engineered disease, or possibly revisiting his former battle site out of nostalgia.  But the prison is in the present, which we’ll get back to in a bit.  For this episode (and what looks like the next one at least), we’re taking a trip back in time.

After wasting his Woodbury survivors at the end of season three, The Gov has already alienated his few remaining soldiers, who abandon him the following morning.  In a sequence that screams “metaphorical catharsis”, The Governor sets the town of Woodbury ablaze.  With everything he’s worked so hard to build now gone up in flame, he takes to the road to become a wanderer for what’s likely a few months.  Eventually, he comes to find a small family holed up in an apartment building.

Except for The Governor and Martinez (Jose Pablo Cantillo) we get a whole new cast of characters this time around.  Sisters Lily and Tara take care of their ailing father and Lily’s shell-shocked daughter, Meagan (Meyrick Murphy).  Here’s where the episode got interesting, because I was clearly expecting The Governor to pick up where he left off with his violent and chaotic ways.  Instead, we find a broken and hollowed-out survivor who appears to be just waiting to die.  In this new family, he finds an opportunity for new hope and possible salvation, even if it’s only the first toe down the path to what would be a very hard-fought redemption.

Here are some questions for the audience: Is The Governor beyond redemption at this point?  Does it matter how many lonely mothers or vulnerable children or ailing grandfathers he saves?  The closing line of tonight’s episode leads us to believe that The Governor will do anything to protect Meagan, who resembles his own twice-deceased daughter.  When he and his newly adopted family fall into the clutches of his former followers – who know all too well about his barbarism – will they expose him outright or use his feelings for the family as a means to blackmail him?

Whatever the outcome, it will be interesting to see what happens to The Governor to get him there.  We’ve already seen him outside the prison, but can only guess as to what led him down that familiar path.  Whether it’s for good, evil, or simple nostalgia remains to be seen.

Rating: B+

Walker kills: 6

Casualties: Grandpa

Enemy kills: 0

Best kill: The Gov shearing a Walker’s face off with a thigh bone.

Best effect: The Gov taking out dear old Granddad with an oxygen tank to the brain.

the-walking-dead-season-4-david-morrisseyOdds & Entrails:

The conversation The Governor is having about “the man in charge who lost his way” gives me hope that he’s at least attempting to turn his life around.

The Gov’s sidestep of an approaching Walker was pretty damn funny, but also sad because it comments on his state of absolute despair.

Let’s keep in mind that The Governor gave the family a fake name that he took from the side of a barn.  We’ll see how long he gets to keep that particular secret.

When he first is taken in by the family, he acts just as suspicious and defensive as Michonne (Danai Gurira) did when she entered Woodbury for the first time.

Tara: “You see that big truck parked outside? The Gorbelli’s food truck? C’mon man, Ray Charles could have seen it.”

The Gov: “You have to kill the brain.”

Nursing homes in the post-apocalypse look exactly like they do in the pre-apocalypse, and are just as scary.

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to leave a child alone with a gun-toting, bearded male stranger in the post-apocalyspe.

Meagan: “What happened to your eye?”  The Governor: “It’s gone.”

The Gov: “I’ll tell you what happened to my eye but you have to promise to keep it secret.”

The Gov: “You can lose a lot of soldiers but still win the game.”

The Gov: “That’s the king, the guy you want to capture.”

I mean, I know it’s been a long time and all, but Lily’s sister and daughter are sleeping right next to you guys…

The Gov: “I’m never going to let anything happen to you. Cross my heart.”




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  • Josh Kaye

    With the first episode of this season I was skeptical…while the end of the episode made things interesting I just wasn’t going for the episode as a whole. Ever since though I will admit that The Walking Dead has found it’s stride and may actually be the best it’s been in a while. The storytelling is much improved, the acting is better, and they somehow made The Governor a sympathetic character. I’m excited for these next two episodes, especially since if you look at the titles of the episodes…well it seems like shit’s gonna go down.

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  • Leo Spaceman

    I always really struggle to care about people who aren’t Rick and the gang. Really anybody who didn’t show up before season 3 mean nothing to me.

    I thought Brian is the Gov’s real name, it came from the comics not the barn wall.

    The Gov of season 3 wasn’t very good, but David M plays the Gov well.

    How horrible would that be to be an old lady in a wheel chair wheeled out into the hall of your nursing home and just left there until you were dead?

    The irony of falling into your own pits. Logically would a man wandering for months drive right back the way he came and end up literally right next to his old hunting ground in a single day?

    I know a dude who f**ked his girlfriend in the backseat while his own Mom was driving them back from the city. I would say what they did in the truck wasn’t too terrible.

    He really did seem redeemed with his affection for his new family. But he really should have warned them about the dad rather than wait until the last minute.

    The Gov of season 3 would have been able to kill all those Biters in the old folks home. Hell the little girl probably could have killed them all while she was handcuffed had this been season 3.

    I don’t think I believe that the Gov would have been walking around without a knife when he fell into his pit.

    He left the safety of their home because he believed they didn’t want him there after what he did to their dad, but they leave the safety of their home to stay with him? I understand plot wise they needed to leave but they left 10 years worth of ammunition there apparently. It seems rather foolish but I suppose the characters of this show aren’t known for thinking things through before they do something.

    I really liked the opening montage.

  • scottish_punk

    Remember how you felt while watching what happens with Leatherface at the end of TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D? That’s how I felt tonight for an entire hour of TWD.

    • You hypocrite

      I thought TWD was in the 45 min range, not AN ENTIRE hour…

      • scottish_punk

        If you’re going to be so annoyingly literal about it, then yeah, it’s only 45 minutes.

        Ugh.

      • LEM

        45 if we’re lucky. They need to show clips from webisodes and AMC promos.

      • You hypocrite

        Again, what the hell is with the dislikes! This guy only made a true statement, how does that warrant a dislike? Some people just have too much hate running through their veins.

      • LEM

        You know whats even funnier is the first run adds an extra minute of commercials. It will always run from 9-10:01 but the replay is 11-12.

      • You hypocrite

        Again, what the hell is with the dislikes! This guy only made a true statement, how does that warrant a dislike? Some people just have too much hate running through their veins.

      • You hypocrite

        Yes, telling the truth get’s you dislikes, it’s like people want to believe the episodes are actually an hour for some reason. If you said the episode was an hour long on it’s own without saying “an entire hour” i’d leave it, but you said an ENTIRE hour. Also, i did not say it was 45 minutes, i said it was AROUND the 45 minute mark, thus not being literal.

        Insert random negative word here to show how pissed you are.

      • scottish_punk

        Actually, I’m marveling at how bent out of shape you’re getting over something so trivial as somebody misquoting a TV show’s running length.

        Only on the internet.

      • You hypocrite

        Yep, only on the internet someone thinks 45 minutes is the same as something being in the 45 minute range. Only on the internet someone gets pissed when someone simply corrects them (without insulting them) and tells me i got bent out of shape. Look at my name.

      • scottish_punk

        “I thought TWD was in the 45 min range, not AN ENTIRE hour…”

        IDK, reads as slightly dickish to me.

        I sincerely doubt that anyone else would have really given as much of a damn about something like this as you, enough to go and post such a comment. Front page exclusive bro, we ALL know the episodes are around that 45 minute mark in length; considering the fact that fans are on edge during the total 15 minutes of commercials, itching and waiting to see what happens next, is it really that much of a stretch to say that the experience of TWD lasts a full hour? But don’t you worry, my friend…from now on, we’ll all (especially me) keep in mind that, of course, every episode lasts “AROUND the 45-minute mark.”, just in case one of us slips on our QWERTY’s and get’s it wrong next Sunday.

        It’ll be ok, bro :)

      • You hypocrite

        Wasn’t trying to be a dick at all, your personality just saw it that way. You did say an entire hour which would say the actual episode is exactly 60 minutes long “An entire hour of TWD”, not “An entire hour of TWD including the ads”. Just stating a fact sis, i never meant to piss anyone off.

        Now, on another topic, i just like to say i personally can’t wait for the next installment of TWD, how about you?

      • You hypocrite

        Yes, telling the truth get’s you dislikes, it’s like people want to believe the episodes are actually an hour for some reason. If you said the episode was an hour long on it’s own without saying “an entire hour” i’d leave it, but you said an ENTIRE hour. Also, i did not say it was 45 minutes, i said it was AROUND the 45 minute mark, thus not being literal.

        Insert random negative word here to show how pissed you are.

    • BigJimSlade

      I don’t remember anything from Texas Chainsaw 3D other than it being terrible.

      Then again, I don’t remember much of this season other than episode 1 (and what happened with Carol). Loved last nights episode, though. Anything to get some relief from that friggin’ flu – was nice to see that actor do more than be the evil Governor.

      But it was hard to believe he couldn’t methodically clear out that old folks’ home. Could have taken his time, cleared that place out and grabbed all the drugs, oxygen and equipment he could find in there.

      • scottish_punk

        Yeah, the TCM3D reference was probably a weird one for the folks who haven’t actually seen it, but all I can say is this: when you make the resident psychopath the good guy that you are actually rooting for, then it’ll be a jarring emotional experience for anyone.

      • scottish_punk

        Yeah, the TCM3D reference was probably a weird one for the folks who haven’t actually seen it, but all I can say is this: when you make the resident psychopath the good guy that you are actually rooting for, then it’ll be a jarring emotional experience for anyone.

  • Leo Spaceman

    Never thought about it before, but how much would it suck to be blind in a world of Walkers?

    • Gojiro

      Master Po: [after easily defeating the boy in combat] Ha, ha, never assume because a man has no eyes he cannot see. Close your eyes. What do you hear?
      Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
      Master Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
      Young Caine: No.
      Master Po: Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?
      Young Caine: [looking down and seeing the insect] Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
      Master Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?

      Fear is the only Darkness: http://youtu.be/J5kBqrHphjo

  • Dan

    The oxygen tank face smashing was reminiscent of Irreversible.

  • Nick

    I thought the living conditions of the survivors he met were unrealistic. They seemed far too oblivious to survive that world and it’s been a REALLY long time to be so naive still. Some of the dialogue was a bit obvious too.. The chess game and the eye patch. His comment about winning the war… It just felt like they wanted to be clever and show symbolism but it came across cheesy for me. Other than that this was a fantastic episode. I’m so tired of watching Rick bitch and cry and be completely unrealistic so that v s a welcomed break and I’m really shocked that they pulled off a way to make the gov a halfway likable guy again. It’s like they get a second change to make him evil again. And he will be a villain, I don’t think he’s going to shake hands with rick, I think he’s looking to find and steal shelter for his new family. Good work by the writers for once

    • trollhunter

      how about you stop watching it and be a snob about another show….

      • Nerdgasm

        That’s Because Nick thinks he’s the say all when it comes to anything on this site. He’s rather annoying and probably one of the most unintelligent online personas I have ever ran across. plus if it’s not Breaking Bad he thinks it’s shit T.V. When breaking Bad also had faults and bad writing as well.

      • Nick

        No I think there’s a couple of other good shows. Sorry because the show has zombies it can shit on the fan base by not giving their all?

      • Nick

        I don’t think I’m being a snob here. I’m bringing up some issues I have but ultimately saying I’m impressed with the direction their taking. For the first time this season I’m excited to see what happens next. Im going to keep watching with or without your permission lol

    • LEM

      It was a guy teaching a kid how to play chess and it only had meaning because you know the back story. I thought it was well done and not as ham handed as some of the things this show has done.

      • Nick

        Yeah, I just feel subtlety does along way in a world where heads are being caved in by oxygen tanks. Certainly a leap in the right direction though

    • BigJimSlade

      Agreed. Felt like the Little House on the Prairie in there. Surprised they didn’t have DirectTV and internet. Seemed pretty cozy.

      If Rick was smart, he’d break up his large group and tell everybody to find a small country home to play backgammon/chess in – the zombies will just go away like the neighborhood bully if you ignore them long enough.

  • Scott Baiowulfgang Amadeus

    My prediction for the next two episodes:

    The next episode is all Governor flashback again. By the end of the
    episode either Martinez tells the girls the truth about the Governor and they leave him, or at least two (if not all 3) of them are killed. Either way, he’ll snap
    and go evil again. Episode 8 will pick up where 5 ended with Rick finally telling Darryl about banishing Carol, leading Darryl to go off on his own and attempt to track and
    find her. The Governor scoops Darryl up and makes his presence known to
    the prison group by beheading Darryl in front of everyone just before
    the closing credits of the mid-season finale.

    • doctor_robot

      i hope you’re wrong.

      • GunzOfNavarone

        He’s definitely wrong, Daryl is one of the main pulls for women who watch the walking dead. I can not see them killing him off over the uproar that would ensue and the viewing figures that would dip.

  • Faptain America

    Wait, I missed the part where the Governor engineered the disease. Someone care to explain?

    • BigJimSlade

      We’re in flashback mode with the Governor right now. Let the show explain unless you want somebody with inside knowledge to spoil it for ya.

  • doctor_robot

    i’ve seen a lot of people complaining about this episode being “boring”… and i don’t get that. i thought it was very good, interesting and effective. i think these people are the same ones who can’t sit through a terrence malick film(and no, this is not malick by any sense)… because “it’s boring”.

  • SeaDogBoy

    The subtitle for this episode is called “Live Bait”. My thought is that ultimately the Governor is looking for a way to get into the prison to seek his revenge and he will use any means necessary – including his new “family” perhaps?

  • Jonathan Fantasma

    DEAD Review by ACTUAL ZOMBIES.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV6cmBCOwOk

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