Monday, November 18, 2013

The Governor is on the Hook in "Live Bait:" A Television Review ("The Walking Dead")

Director: Michael Uppendahl.

Writers: Robert Kirkman and Nichole Beattie.

Cast: David Morrissey, Audrey Marie Anderson, Travis Love, Alanna Masterson and Meyrick Murphy.

Everyone's favourite villain is back on "The Walking Dead!" the Governor (David Morrissey) aka Brian Harriet is looking a little grizzled since Seas. 3. In Epis. 6 of Seas. 4, The Governor is looking more like a homeless man than a looming threat. However, this episode, titled "Live Bait," showed that the Governor is more than just a killer. He is also making new friends and reuniting with old ones. What is the Governor up to and what does he have in store for Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the survivors at the prison? Some of these questions have been touched upon in previous episodes and reviews; in this episode, the Governor is simply getting back on his feet.

The episode began with the Governor leaving behind the victims of Woodbury. Martinez (Jose PAblo Cantillo) and Shumpert (Travis Love) are the only other two to survive this massacre and they leave their former leader behind. The Governor then hits the road himself, sets fire to Woodbury and turns into a homeless person, in the meantime. The Governor is looking worse for wear. Eventually, he finds new survivors and takes on an alias. These new people accept him in and it is only a matter of time before this lady's man is reuniting with his old friends. This episode comes full circle, in the character department.

There were four new, minor characters introduced in "Live Bait." Lily (Alanna Masterson) and Tara (Audrey Marie Anderson) are sisters and Meagan (Meyrick Murphy) is a young daughter. Grandpa is introduced and then, shortly, outroduced. These four characters welcome the Governor into their home. And here, the Governor seems to find some of his lost humanity. He laments about his lost family, while looking into a photo. As well, it seems like these new survivors have a lot of requests for this blackhat. Soon, he is tasked with retrieving cribbage boards and oxygen tanks. These tasks create some of the more exciting and horrifying scenes. Also, the Governor finds a new lady friend in Lily. Viewers will know how the Governor's girlfriends end up - dead!

This episode was much like a character story, with the focus on the Governor. His character arc involved letting go of his past as seen in the burning of his family photo; he is creating a new family now. As well, this episode bridges together seasons 3 and four, in relation to this character. Just like Rick, he has had some troubles of his own. The Governor appears mute at one point and even shellshocked at all of the death he has seen (and caused). However, the Governor seems on the mend and ready to ruin more lives in future episodes.

What is the Governor's game plan? Near the finale of this episode, this character simply wants to get on the road. But, what is he running to or from? He appears directionless. Though, previews for next week's episode ("Dead Weight") will show viewers that he has set his sights on another community. The Governor is really the Jim Jones in "The Walking Dead" series. When he is done with destroying one town, he simply moves onto another. And, this watcher is wondering if is the Governor or one of his cronies is the voice on that radio transmission, from Epis. 3, titled "Isolation." A conflict is brewing on the horizon!

"Live Bait" was another satisfying episode set in the zombie apocalypse. There was enough tension and interaction to keep the series moving forward. On a sidenote, viewers of this show might be interested to note that a spin-off series is in development by the AMC, for "The Walking Dead." Spinoffs usually take one character from the original series and place them in the new one and this "The Walking Dead" fan wonders who it will be. Will it be the Governor? Back to this episode, the Governor is back in his previous good form of Seas. 3; he looks ready to create more chaos. The upcoming episode, "Dead Weight," looks to bring more confrontations between the survivors and everyone's favourite blackshirt will be leading the charge. This watcher is excited to see what happens next and if the new characters: Tara, Lily and Meagan are considered the "Dead Weight."

Overall: 7.5 out of 10 (a good character arc, developing the villain well, interesting new characters, a couple exciting action moments and more conflict in the not to distant future).

*there are two more episodes before the mid-season break.

A clip for this episode is available below:

"Live Bait" on 28DLA

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