18 Nov 2013

The Walking Dead - Episode 4.06 "Live Bait" Review

This week on The Walking Dead we seen the return of The Governor, and we get a look at the life he has lived on the long and lonely road to were his is now. We took a break from the gang back at the prison to get a look at the life beyond the prison gates, and although the impact isn't as edgy as initially made out to be, 'Live Bait' displays a strong character-driven narrative the molds something new out of the previously black inked Governor. Whether this is a good thing or not is up to you.

So far the show has taken us down a fantastically intense yet tedious road that involved a lot of drug searching, flu-grabbing and zombie slaying. Don't get me wrong, I love all of this, but behind it lies a perceptive story that slithers it way into the psyche to prove that anything can turn you into a walker; and it can happen at anytime. The narrative flowed, and so far it hasn't come to a long enough halt to subtract from the impact of the season already, but realistically, what this season needed at this stage to tear it from its own tedium is to throw The Governor back into the mix. It's up to Kirkman and crew to stir it up well-enough so that we have our belly's full after watching two world collide. The way this episode turned out however may favor The Gov in a brighter light; still dim but there is a little light there.

The Governor has come a long way here, and it's all offered in this episode 'Live Bait'. He is surviving, poorly, and whilst coming across a family in an apartment building, they take him in for his aid and he then bonds (on at least one level) a connection with them. Well, the narrative kinds of takes itself on from there, so we sit back and witness all the uncomfortable family outings it makes us endure, along with some fun and scary zombie scenes that still prove to have a fresh bite (pardon the pun). Nothing here differentiates itself from some of the episodes of the past, and it feels all too like another character-based episode that focus' strongly on one character. It does feel all too unusual though, as watching The Governor warm to others just feels a little too out of the ordinary. Further development to a well-developed character gleams unnecessary, and almost turning him into an anti-hero is bad-taste, but it's in small doses so it makes it bearable.

All of it is plausible, and when initially deemed clumsy, giving The Governor an inkling of humanity is what's best here, and his intimate bond with the little girl Megan almost makes Michonne's act of killing his daughter shameful. Yes she was infected, and yes he is evil, but the display of strength and security towards Megan stems from the loss of his daughter, he softens at the defense of the girl, and the lengths he goes through to protect her proves that although the fruit is tainted, it's still ripe. The Governor is evil, but he is also a father, and how that aspect effects his cold exterior is something that the show was very clever to adapt.

It was refreshing to get away from the flu plot for a while, but this episode was clearly pressing for time, and a lot of it was wasted on lackluster waffle. Perhaps the show should delve deeper into the origins of Michonne, forget about showing The Governor's survival, what I want to see is how her and Andrea survived for months alone, why she had two armless and tongueless men on chains, and why she broke down in pieces when cradling little baby Judith. These are unanswered questions we want to see come to a close, and not how The Governor still has emotion left under that rock-hard shell. Well, we like that too, so if we could have the best of both worlds that would be great.

VERDICT: Live Bait steps away from the prison to give us an insight into The Governor's survival, and although it wasn't as powerful as many imagined, it's filled with raw emotion and character development to make up for the lost time. The Governor is back, and it can only get worse from here.


2 comments:

  1. Better than I expected it to be, however, I hope that they don’t screw the pooch with the Governor. Because, for now, he’s very interesting and something that I feel like the show could really fall back-on. Good review Jack.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks dan! yeah, if they mess up this character then the show will be doomed, hopefully though they will be able to recapture his evil

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