AMC‘s The Walking Dead Live Bait TV Show Review. The Walking Dead: Season 4, Episode 6: “Live Bait” began a new arc that will formally reintroduce The Governor (David Morrissey) to the series. A reintroduction in the form of a back story that will recount events from last season’s finale to (I assume) the Governor’s appearance outside of the prison, at the end of the last episode.
“Live Bait” opened with The Governor staring into a camp fire, presumably the night after his slaughter of the Woodbury militia. He continued to sit, passively, even as a Walker dragged itself through the flames to get at him. That Walker was put down by Martinez (Jose Pablo Cantillo), clearly disgusted by his erstwhile leader. The next morning, The Governor stepped out of his tent to find that he had been abandoned. Taking a nearby truck, he crashed through the gates of Woodbury (it was a very big truck), set the town ablaze, then wandered for a spell – mostly on foot. After a brief stop to regard messages left for a Brian Heriot, broadly painted on a barn, a bearded and craggy Governor stumbled across little girl Meagan (Meyrick Murphy), her mother Lily (Audrey Marie Anderson), aunt Tara (Alanna Masterson) and grandfather Don (Danny Vinson). After a hostile reception (mostly by Tara), a passive and taciturn Governor introduced himself as “Brian Heriot.”
So began “Brian’s” journey from The Governorship to something else. The fact that his two remaining subordinates were willing to overlook the massacre, but drew the last straw at the “fire Walker” incident, made sense. Dangerously insane was still useful in a fight; passive melancholy was just dead weight, and made The Governor’s crimes that much less tolerable.
The course and outcomes of “Live Bait” were somewhat inevitable – even obvious, in some places. Suffice to say, “Brian” may have found a family to replace the one that The Governor lost. This was only the set-up, however. How this turn plays out with The Governor’s past – primarily involving his old crew and Rick’s camp – will likely be the payoff of this arc. One that may very well be worth taking some time away from the last arc’s fallout.
David Morrissey The Walking Dead Live Bait
The most important prospect for The Governor arc might actually be his next meeting with Michonne (Danai Gurira). If “Live Bait” was any indication, we may have been witnessing a parallel cleansing process – with both Michonne and The Governor finding something to care about other than each other. Whether that process will carry any real weight, in the event they cross paths again, may be the best reason to stay tuned. There may also be another crossing of survivor camps in the making, but that’s just a premature guess.
The best characters are neither good nor evil, but motivated by what they think is best – particularly for what they care for the most. I had never regarded The Governor as evil. Like all Human monsters, he was created by a combination of loss, and a drive to control any/ all threatening forces. If loss of love drove him to tyrannical control, then loss of that control left him with nothing. The “fire Walker” scene may have very well been a moment of lucidity for The Governor. Even if staring into the fire did not bring about his atoned end, at the hands of the Walker, it likely inspired him to let go of Woodbury: arson as a formal abdication of the Governorship. This new family (Meagan, in particular) had brought “Brian” back to a place before The Governor; a point of focused concern, without the need to control the new world around him. Unfortunately, that world continues to assert itself upon him.
The real question, then, is whether “Brian’s” new family will serve to restore his humanity, or be used to recreate The Governor’s origin. Whether this will be the story of The Governor’s redemption, or his renewal.