The Walking Dead S4E6: Live Bait
Original Airdate: November 17, 2013
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
At long last, the Governor has returned….
We start tonight with a flashback to the end of last season after the Governor slaughtered the Woodbury refugees. Then we see him sitting near a campfire as a Walker slowly approaches him. Martinez shoots the Walker while the Governor keeps staring blankly. The next day he wakes up to find that his two lieutenants have left him behind. However, he has a truck at his disposal, so he returns to Woodbury and sets it on fire, because that makes sense. Besides, the place is overrun with Walkers. Then we hear him talking to a woman, telling her that he came from a town where they lived peacefully until people died because “the man in charge” lost control. A long-haired Governor walks and walks until he comes to an abandoned school. There, he finds a group of people hiding in one of the rooms. He drops his gear on the ground like he owns the place.
Tara, one of the younger residents of the building, tells the Governor that he looks like he “barely got out alive.” They’ve been holed up in the building waiting for the National Guard ever since the outbreak started. Tara’s sister wants to know if the Governor plans to stay. Tara is former Atlantic City police. She tells him that she has “enough ammo to kill [him] every day for the next ten years” if he messes with her family. He says his name is Brian Heriot (incidentally, the name that was scrawled all over a building he passed on his journey).
Tara’s sister, Lily, offers him some food, but once she’s gone he tosses it out the window and settles into his new apartment. Meanwhile, we see that Tara’s family (and old man, their father, and a little girl, Megan, her niece), live there. She catches the Governor setting his plate outside the door and they invite him inside their room for coffee. The father worked for a food delivery service, and so when the s-h-i-t hit the fan, they moved the truck to their safe spot and stole enough oxygen tanks for their father. Father can’t walk so Tara enlists the Governor’s help (albeit reluctant) to help them get their father into bed. He asks the Governor to go up and get the backgammon set from room 303 because his granddaughter doesn’t talk anymore and the game might help. There are Walkers up there and he says that Tara is going to waste her bullets if she keeps shooting at them with no result. The Governor goes up to fetch the game, and in the process he finds some bullets and the old man who lived up there. The man was in the tub and he was horribly decayed. Surprisingly, the Governor puts him out of his misery. And then the Governor takes the gun that the dead man had in the tub with him.
The Governor returns with the game and presents it to Father. Tara thanks him, and he says she’s welcome. Back in his room, he pulls out a picture of his family and folds over the image of himself. He crashes on the couch and leaves the picture beside him. Tara’s sister walks in the next morning and sees the picture, but he snags it back before she can take a good look. She gives him a bag of food and he stops her before she can toss him his gun. She thanks him for helping them. He gives her the information they’ve been missing: you have to destroy the brain in order to kill the Walkers for good. She says their father has stage 4 lung cancer and they didn’t think he’d live that long, but he’s the only one who can make Meghan smile, so she asks him to get them some more oxygen from the old folk’s home down the road. Strangely, the Governor obliges.
At the old folk’s home, the Governor finds several Walkers who must have died there. They are in beds and confined to their wheelchairs. They pose no risk because they can’t move. Seeing these invalid Walkers seems to take a toll on him. He closes his eyes momentarily and then keeps moving. He finds a whole supply of oxygen tanks, but by now he has caught the attention of all of the orderlies who died there and who are mobile. He plows through them and gets out unscathed.
When the Governor returns, he presents the two oxygen tanks to the women and gets out before they can thank him. Tara’s sister sees that he’s been injured, and being the nurse that she is, she decides to take care of him. It’s going to hurt, she warns. As she tends to him, she tells him how her husband walked out of them. Meghan walks in, and her mother leaves her with the Governor while she gets the ointment. Meghan asks what happened to his eye, and then asks if it was bad to have asked. He says he’ll tell her what happened to him if she promises not to tell. They pinky swear, and he says he is a pirate. She laughs, and then he admits he lost his eye trying to help someone he cared about. He got hurt instead, and so did the person he was trying to help. “I’m sorry,” Meghan says. It’s the gentlest version of the Governor we’ve seen yet.
The Governor sets up a chessboard and teaches Meghan about the pieces. The pawn is the soldier, he explains. She wants to know if you die when they die, and he admits that it can happen. Meghan grabs a pen and puts an eye patch on the king. “Looks like you,” she says. He takes it and holds it, laughing softly. He watches her with happy pride as she studies the board, and then her mother comes in. Her grandfather has passed away. It has been a while since he passed. The Governor tries to get them out of the room before he turns, but it’s too late. He wakes up as a Walker and grabs his daughter. The Governor springs into action and crushes his head with an oxygen tank. Meghan screams.
Outside, the Governor digs a grave and Tara comes out to help him. When they return to the room, Meghan runs away from the Governor. Tara now realizes that they have to kill anyone who is recently deceased. She thinks that her father would have been glad that the Governor has been there. “So yeah, we’re cool,” she says, fist bumping with him. Clearly, though, the Governor is very distraught that Meghan is now afraid of him. He goes back to his room and lights the picture of his family on fire. Lily finds him as soon as he tries to leave. She wants to come with him. Surely there has to be somewhere better than where they are. Sighing, he drops his bag.
“Where should we go?” Tara asks. They’re all in the truck speeding down the highway. The Governor says they will go wherever they can get to. Tara admits that she’s not really a cop, but she had been in the academy. “We’ll make it,” he promises. And no, he’s not lying. They stop in a field to have a picnic. Meghan won’t come out of the truck, and Lily assures the Governor that it will be all right in time. “It’s ok,” he says.
Later that night, they’re all tucked into the back of the truck. Tara is curled up next to the Governor and they brush up against one another. This leads to kissing.
The next day the truck won’t start and so the crew must set out on foot. The sisters keep quarreling, and then Tara trips and sprains her ankle. As Lily looks at her sister’s ankle, the Governor realizes that they’re not alone. A horde of Walkers is chasing after them. He tells the women to drop their bags and run. Meghan is frozen in place. The Governor tells her to come to him, and she eventually goes to him. He scoops her into his arms and runs. They make it into a forest and then to a field, but suddenly the Governor drops into a pit with three Walkers inside. As Meghan screams, he kills the Walkers before they can hurt her. Now that he’s shown how much he cares about her, she rushes into his arms. He promises to take care of her. “Cross my heart,” he vows.
And then he hears someone above them. Looking up, he sees Martinez there pointing a gun at him.
Tonight we got to see a softer side of the Governor. Seeing this almost makes you feel sorry for him, but then you have to remember that this is the man who gunned down his own people. Can people change? Yes, of course. But can the Governor change? I’m not sure. It does seem that he has become very protective of his new little family.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Was it a welcome departure from life at the prison? Be sure to leave your comments below!