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The Walking Dead S04E06: "Live Bait"

Oh sure, spend months creating a utopia with barbecues and cocktail hours in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and everyone adores you. But spontaneously open fire and mass-murder a bunch of your constituents ONE TIME, and all of a sudden no one loves you anymore. Welcome to the world of the Governor. The lonely, lonely world of the Governor.

For 4.999 fantastic episodes of The Walking Dead's fourth season, Old Eyepatch was a no-show after dominating so much of Season 3. But in the final moments of last week's fifth episode, "Internment," we saw the Governor spying on Rick's prison oasis, and many fans of The Walking Dead wondered, "Where the F have YOU been, Guv'nah?" Well, this week, "Live Bait" revealed the answer. He's been roaming the Earth like Caine from Kung Fu or running his own traveling beard circus, of course.

Allow me to repeat what I said last week: I thought Season 4 was doing just fine without the Governor. And even if you're a fan of his, I'm guessing "Live Bait" split the show's audience into two camps: "Woohoo, the Governor is back, and yay I find myself attracted to this episode!" and "Yuck." It was an episode entirely dedicated to the character of the Governor, and some parts of it were absolutely incredible. But then we still had 55 minutes to go. 

Let's start with the incredible part, the opening scene, which had the atmosphere of a condensed Jim Jarmusch film. I was pretty floored by what I saw and heard. It was like an indie Western broke into AMC and took over the first five minutes of the episode, playing Ben Nichols' "The Last Pale Light in the West" and dubbing in dialogue as the Governor explained what he'd been doing to an unknown partner in conversation. This was moody, tone-setting beauty, carefully thought out to help us empathize with this man who had lost everything—his flock, his friends, his will.


And MAN, was it effective. I wanted to give him a blanket and a cup of warm tomato soup and then comb the ticks out of his beard and scrub out his eye-hole with a toothbrush. After putting down all those sorry Woodbury folk, the Governor, Martinez, and Shumpert took a long, silent drive to nowhere and camped out. Totally bummed (I guess?) by what he'd done, the Governor didn't even want to kill a flaming zombette that was bearing down on him, forcing Martinez to take action. Was the Governor on watch duty while the others slept? That would explain why Martinez and Shumpert took off without him the next morning (well, that and the fear of being shot at the Governor's whim). Then Gov drove a huge truck to Woodbury and burned it to the ground for some really cool shots of slow-motion fire. And after that, he hit the road and looked at survival graffiti, which told a bunch of mini-stories and summed up the world's situation pretty well: Everyone is F'd. 

It was a dazzling opening and a bold, artistic step forward for a series that once closed a hatchback car door on a zombie and featured Rick talking into a phone that wasn't plugged in. If The Walking Dead always had scenes like these, it would win a damn Oscar. 

But then the rest of the episode happened. Gov shacked up with a pair of ladies, Tara and Lilly, along with their father and Lilly's daughter Meghan, and all of them were severely undereducated about what was happenings in the world around them. Tara was shooting zombies in the chest, for crying out loud! Even if The Walking Dead exists in an alternate universe where zombie movies and comics and lore don't exist, it's entry-level knowledge that headshots are fatal whether you're up against zombies, humans, wolverines, butterflies, or clowns. Anything with a head, really. I can understand why people make up names like "biters," "roamers," "walkers," and "skin eaters"—wait, actually I don't get that last one at all—instead of just calling them zombies in a world where zombies don't exist, but there's really no excuse for not giving a headshot a try. 

Because of their inexperience, they welcomed the Governor cautiously at first, and then they practically begged him to stay. He was useful to them because he was no dummy about zombies, and they swapped Spaghettios for chores like backgammon board-fetching and a run to an old folks' home to get Papa another oxygen tank. 


It didn't matter what the Governor did, it was how he did it. Gov's behavior with them was definitely odd, both standoffish and obliging, probably because he's a man without purpose or need now that he has nothing. There were times when it seemed that he didn't even want to go on, and he faced threats unenthusiastically. The old Governor would've stuck meat hooks into a zombie's face; this one just sidestepped or scooted on by 'em. But when he did have to take some out, look out! Gov was BRUTALLY NASTY with his zombie-killing, releasing pent-up anger by getting all hands-on with the slaughter. This was a internally conflicted man, tortured by his own existence and facing the consequences of his post-apocalyptic decisions. Distraught over the losses experienced both before and after the proverbial shit went down. He stared at a photo of his pre-apocalyptic family, his wife and his daughter Penny, and folded it so that he was obscured, as if he didn't belong in the same frame as them. Because the man in the picture was long gone. And the man he'd gone on to be was gone, too. As for the man who's left now? The Governor doesn't know him. We don't know him. 

And yet, for all his forlorn longing and emotional emptiness, most of "Live Bait" never reached out and grabbed me. It was obvious that the Governor was having a rough time and dealing with some heavy stuff, but it didn't connect to what was happening around him or explain his decisions. This Governor was too unformed, too between-phases to really be gripping. The closest he came to being a relatable character was in his relationship with Meghan, an obvious last-ditch effort for him to relive what he'd had with his own daughter Penny (Meghan thought he was her father, and the case may have been vice versa for the Governor). But before that bond could grow stronger and draw compassion from us, it was interrupted by the Gov bashing Meghan's zombie grandfather's brains in. Maybe that was the point of "Live Bait," that this world is punishing the Governor by never allowing him to have another relationship with another person. I just wish it had been more interesting. 

In the end, the Governor's new lady friends were almost certainly eaten and he and Meghan ended up trapped in a pit created by Martinez. Is this karma for the Governor? Is he at the mercy of the hands he nearly cut off? It would be fitting, to be sure; he dug himself a hole, and now he's in it.



NOTES

– Getting laid in the zombie apocalypse is pretty easy if you know where to look. What was the purpose of the Governor and Lilly doing it in the back of a truck? And where were Tara and Meghan when this happened?

– Ummm, the Governor ripping a zombie's head in half with a bone was awesome. 

– Theories on why he dumped out his bowl of Spaghettios? And what did he eat instead? Cat food?

– Glancing over my notes, I saw this: "This Governor is a wussy weirdo." What do YOU think of the Governor now?

– "You can lose a lot of soldiers but still win the game," the Governor said while playing chess with Meghan. That would indicate that the old Governor is still in there somewhere, trying to win. But how he acted did not. I'm not sure what "Live Bait" was trying to do with his character here.

– Could Lilly and Tara REALLY have gone this long without knowing that the dead rose and the headshots were effective? I maybe could've bought that in Season 1, but in Season 4, after over a year had passed? It's not like they were in the boonies, there must have been some traffic to pass through. 

– Did Meghan and her teddy remind you of the first zombie Rick killed in the opening of the pilot?


What did you think of "Live Bait"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/3/2016

Season 6 : Episode 16

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I have to disagree with you Tim. This episode was BRILLIANT! It was an Emmy performance my Morrisey. It was extremely interesting to see how he was searching for redemption and to see that he wasn´t completely mad after all. Him killing all the people in S3 ending, was bad but it is understandable that you snap in zombie-apocalyptic world. The choice of Ben Nichols´song was amazing. I think that I have to put this episode on my top 5 episode list. And after I watched the promo for the next episode, I can´t wait for more ;)
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Episode was brilliant from start to finish for me, some people just want to bitch and moan to show how cool they are.
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Only good part were those first minutes. The rest of the episode sucked. Well, this whole season sucks and the show itself has fallen into one of those holes in the ground because of AMC screwing up with it.
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Im gonna say no.
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I'm just gonna give a nod to the British in this episode. They're playing the nutcases-on-the-edge very well. I have hope for the Gov. Rick came back from his crazy.
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I could have done without the entire 'let's dump in a bunch of new people so we can kill them off' of season 4-felt manipulative with no character development or meaning. But this episode revived my interest..I'm curious to see what happens next....It's so interesting that people had such different reactions to this episode, and to season 4 in general.

I love the pscyhological aspects and the theme "can you come back from madness" The Governer must have had the seeds of sadism and even sexual abuse inside him-just never 'awakened'. So much like "Breaking Bad". Considering how Carol has changed, and what Rick went through, is madness the inevitable consequence living in this kind of a world? And is it worth the risk to dare to care or be connected to anyone?






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First of all this episode is a nod to the book "Rise of the Governor" which is the story of how he ended up in Woodbury to become the Governor, the family was the 2 daughters & the father like in the episode, but Governor's daughter was the little girl (it was pre-zombie for her) and Brian is actually the Governor's name. Will not say more cause I do not know where they are taking the story (very different than book) & wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone.

So the episode was quite weird for me. I had just read this book to learn to Governor's past (it was a gift) & now they put some details in the show as his future??!! I liked the Governor's relationship with the little girl, the sisters were a little blah for me. I am really curious to see where they are going with this one. David Morrissey is a great actor which is shown in this episode
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Ugh not the bloody Governor. He ruined season three and he'll ruin this season if they continue to dedicate episodes to him instead of the main gang. And by the promos it seems he'll be around for a while yet. Why don't you just tear my head with a bone and end the misery.
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Like you said the first five minutes were great but after that I had to check the screen twice to see if I'd accidentally changed the channel. No Rick, Daryl, Carl and the rest of the gang. Not cool. Not cool at all
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I liked this episode quite a bit - was refreshing to step away from the main cast for a bit and see how others are coping with the zombie apocalypse. 7.5/10
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Interesting to spend a whole episode with the Governor. Personally I thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace and think this season is already markedly improved on season 3.

To those that didn't enjoy this Governor-centric episode, I have some bad news; it seems like next week's is also all about our one-eyed lost soul.
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This episode was SO creepy, but I liked it :] I loved that it was all about the Governor.
http://wp.me/p3XWcR-37
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I find it rather interesting how polarized people's opinions of this episode are. Some are calling it the best of not just this season, but one of the best from the whole series, while many others see it as the worst one yet. I don't really get the extreme opposites, especially with almost no middle ground to be found. Whats more, if many consider this one of the worst episodes, what do those same people consider the best???
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They just spent an entire season showing us what a monster the Governor is, and now it's like they're trying to humanize him. Good idea in theory, but it's just too little too late for some.
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IMHO, EsmeBuffay was pretty damn eloquent in addressing that polarization down about 17 hrs ago from this point in time right here. I'd sum it up, but no. It would be better to just scroll down & check it out :)
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Argh, make me work for it will you......
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A) The community name should be changed from the Unbitten. You don't need to be bitten, everyone already has it, so everyone is going to change.
B) My recommendation for the new name : Walkers in waiting
C) I am worried about Glenn. And here is why... Steven Yuen appeared on Craig Ferguson last week. The stars of this show never make appearances on late night talk shows. The last one I remember was Sarah Callies right before Lori bit the big one. And he had a mustache and joked about how long it takes him to grow one, so if he had that much time on his hands, he isn't in the upcoming episodes. Its freaking me out, man!!!!!!
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Just sayin' but there was already a community vote & "Unbitten" was the winner. Attempting to Change it again with another vote so soon on the basis of such a minor point seems like too much work overall to bother...but to play Devil's Advocate, in the same vein, I submit that "Walkers In Waiting" doesn't sound anywhere near as apocalyptic as "The Walking Doomed" Ya follow me? ;)
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it was a joke
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heh? Ok. I guess I just had to be there ;)
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Fantastic episode. Though I knew this one would split people down the middle.

I thought the food thing was because he expected to be poisoned. Like he just figured everyone knew he was an awful person and wanted him dead.
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I was confused too as to why he dumped the dinner out the window at the time, but while I'm sure it was already mentioned somewhere in this long-ass thread already by someone, David "The Gov" Morrissey himself believes the character's motivation for the dumpage is that he doesn't want to feel indebted to anyone...& it makes complete sense: the rare "gift" of food at the end of the world definitely qualifies as a debt
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I never liked the Governor and was opposed to him joining in again...but oh my universe, this is good stuff!!!!
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The Governor is by far the best character of the show.....
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I was quite happy with he episode!

The beginning was quite artsy yes, and I thought it was fantastic!

I think he refused the Spaghettios out of disdain...

Love Morrissey, so maybe I am biased?

It was suddenly the end of the episode and I realized I had not missed "the others..."
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This could be the Spin-Off if they hadn't shown him watching the prison
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I was a bit skeptical when I realise that the ep was about the (one who used to be) The Governor, now known as Bryan. But I liked the episode and I like the way TG is portrayed in a whole new light. David Morrissey shows how good actor he is in this darker, solemn, quiet, private, absent men. Had this been the first time we seen this man in the show, I think we all would have been cheering for him. I mean, put this man Bryan Heriot against Rick the dictator/ sheriff, and who do you like better? But I know that sooner or later Bryan Heriot will turn into The Governor Philip again. More sooner than later. In the meanwhile I hope to enjoy this version of The Governor for a little more time. Brian Heriot brings something new to the show, and I like it.
About the spaghetti, I think he eats gluten free pasta ;)
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"Brian" not "Bryan". It's right there one the barn picture!
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Ok, thanks for that. But you do get the meaning of what I´m trying to say ;)
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"But then the rest of the episode happened" and that's when the review went downhill too :/ . Seriously, I LIKED this episode, to proclaim that only the first five minutes were good? Or that you don't "get" the term "skin eaters"? Look, they eat flesh off people, skin is on people, skin eaters....look nevermind, the point is I seem to recall reading in a previous reveiw how great it was that the show runners were being more character focused like they were and fleshing people out character by character. Well, this episode was a good example of that.

Of course the Governer isn't well formed! Should he be? I had indeed assumed the guy was plotting and scheming this whole time, so to see all that stuff actually broke him, and then for him to get into the situation he did....I am unsure how that wouldn't have been interesting for you, the OP, to watch.

Anyway, I thought the episode was just fine, and oddly, it was for the supposed criticisms this article tried to imply. Heck, at first I was on edge because I felt the Governor, once he learned these people he stumbled upon had guns, may have just been lulling them into a false sense of security so he could rob them. I kept waiting for him to do something horrible. And the near-end quote in the episode answered my question. "Nothing will happen to you, I promise"....oh yeah, something is definitely going to happen to that little girl. It happened to the Governers previous daughter, it happened to Sophia, and it's going to happen to her, and something about that is actually rather unsettling.

In the mean time, I actually enjoyed seeing the Governer grapple with feelings and not wanting to go on after all he did. And perhaps rather than acting like this episode was 95% lame you could post that gif of him murdering his new friends grandpa with his own oxygen tank to show that this episode also had it's exciting moments after all. It's not hatchback door, but it was still something.
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This episode bored me!! I fast forwarded through scenes because of how bored I was!! I'm so glad I chose to watch "Almost Human," live rather than watch "Walking Dead."
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Can't tell if being saracastic or not...
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Will he take his new family to the prison because he knows they would be safe there?
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That was horrible unless he is somehow going to become part of the group. I love the show but that was garbage filler, he is going to be dead at the end of the season. Pure filler episode.
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quite dull, and i think they had sex while her daughter and sister were lying next to them which is pretty gross
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Well, sometimes you've just gotta fish or cut bait :)
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This is probably the worst episode of this season.. With the hype around saying " The Governor is Back" previews i expected more.....Boredddddddd
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- Hated this episode, slowest and most boring episode this season, maybe even to-date. I don't care enough about the Gov to sit thru a whole episode like this. He just has to come in and throw a wrench into the prison gang's plan, other than that, I just don't care about any character development from him, thought the season was so fine sans .GOV

Getting laid in the zombie apocalypse is pretty easy if you know where to look. What was the purpose of the Governor and Lilly doing it in the back of a truck? And where were Tara and Meghan when this happened?
To show a spark of longing and humanity in the Gov maybe, although all it did was remind me that he used to get laid a lot.... And I guess they made love like turtles, slow and quiet.

Theories on why he dumped out his bowl of Spaghettios?
Maybe he's done eating red, goopy stuff that could be in a bowl at a kid's halloween carnival to be some nasty part of the body.

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I'm happy the governor is back, we all knew it was going to happen, he's so bad ass and screwed up.
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He's not weak, he's just messed u...oh my, Lizzie!!!
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I feel like there are two kind of people that watch The Waling Dead, the people that know what it is and like what it is, a slow burn that's admittedly at it;s highest highs when there's bloody shooting out of something but still good when it take the time to develop things and in the end the bloody bits are made better by both the contrast to the slow bits and the familiarity with the characters we get from them. (run on sentences yo) And then there are the people that are just watching for the zombie kills and have yet to learn that the slow parts are par for the course and it's best to just try to enjoy them. I get that you guys want zombie kills, so do I, but a show can't just be a montage of zombie death with nothing else, in reality the apocalypse is boring, 99% of it's just sitting around and waiting for something horrible to happen and then 1% is those horrible things happening. I feel like you should know that The Walking Dead is not just an excuse to show creative deaths, but a show that's trying to accurately portray a real life zombie outbreak, if you don't like it just jump ship, no one's going to try to stop you or think less of you for it, but the negativity expressed every time an episode decides to slow things down is kind of ruining it for those of us that know what the show is and like what it is.
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I don't know if it's fair to spilt people into the 2 categories you mentioned and on the basis of that, decide that if viewers didn't enjoy Live Bait it's because they are the gore craving public. I absolutely hated this episode, it was boring, just dragged on and I have absolutely no interest in The Governor. Not because I don't like the slower episodes, I quite enjoy them, but I simply don't like that character and don't care about him, he should have died already. My love of The Walking Dead stems from my fascination with post apocalyptic stories (loved Jericho for instance) and TWD's apocalypse just happened to be caused by the zombie virus. So to me the interesting things are the group dynamics, what happens when government and society breakdown. What happens without electricity, manufacturing and communications. How scary it is that a flu type virus can kill people so rapidly because of no medication. The knowledge that there is safety is numbers but how do you know who to trust? This really is the only episode I have truly disliked, I felt it really lost the momentum that the series had built up this season. And of course, I want to see Daryl's reaction to Carol's exile! (and I wish we'd been shown Hershal's) I love character studies but I'd like them to be about Daryl (what DID he do before the world ended?!), Rick, Michonne, Glenn, Maggie, Hershal and Carol and I don't think it works to concentrate on one single character for an entire episode.
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I don't agree with you at all.I am not watching the walking dead for the zombie kills and I still find the show boring.
I understand what you say and there are probably a lot of people who wants more action and gore , but a lot of people would love to see a more realistic show , more charismatic characters , and mostly more interesting dialogues.

And when you say that the walking dead is not just an excuse to show creatives death , the writers are doing it every week , and for me it made the show less realistic so it's like they don't really know which way to go ... Action drama or realistic drama.

the walking dead is too cliché for me , no surprises , no tension , I really hope they can still change that , but every new character in the show is annoying.
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On the bottom line, You're transparent. You enjoy the show much, much more than you like to admit to others & most likely to yourself as well. If you truly disliked the show as much as you claim, you wouldn't waste your time watching it week after week, after week. You may enjoy it for masochistic reasons, or maybe you gain satisfaction from being able to complain about the show to others here. Maybe is a combination of both or something else entirely. Whatever your reasons are, they are your own, but there really is no such thing as "hate watching" as it's simply a synonym for "guilty pleasure"
...and you clearly get pleasure from watching TWD
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I clearly don't have pleasure watching it , that's the problem.
And why do I watch it ? Because I watch a lot of TV , I am curious and I am starting various shows , some I enjoy , some I really don't , and some It's mixed.
In the Walking Dead's case , I think this show have potential , I like the idea of zombie apocalypse , I like the focus on the characters instead of an over the top action show , but I don't enjoy the way they did it.
I still think it can be better so I am watching it and yes if I am disapointed I will tell it here.

it's not a fan club , it's a review , everybody can give their opinions , even if they are critical.
And it's not like there are many shows about zombies on TV , it's the only one so I am not gonna stop watching , I watched Dexter for 8 years , the last 3 seasons I hated it but I watched it anyway with hope ot would end well

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"In the Walking Dead's case , I think this show have potential , I like the idea of zombie apocalypse , I like the focus on the characters instead of an over the top action show , but I don't enjoy the way they did it."

Agreed. Season 1 was damn near a character study of various personalities and how they'd deal with a zombie apocalypse. Two alpha males (Rick and Shane), the conflicted wife (Lori), the father figure (Dale), the reluctant hero (Glen), the guy trying to escape his past (Darryl), the emotionally damaged (Andrea)...in 6 episodes, we learned more about each of these characters than we have in the 35 episodes since then. It was a story about people of varying types learning how to survive, but more importantly, learning how to live...together.

The problem started when they went from 6 episodes in season one to 13 in season two and 16 in season three. They didn't have nearly enough material or writing skills to fill the season, so they began relying on tricks (zombie kills), shortcuts (continuity & disbelief problems) and plain old fashioned clichés.

But buried within those 35 episodes are a few like this one as well as some scattered instances that went back to where the series started and focused on the characters. And those are pretty much the moments that keep me watching. When it takes times and puts in some effort, this show can be exceptionally good.

The sad part is that, as the comments on this episode would indicate, there are A LOT of people who just want action, blood and guts.

Sophie and T-Dog, there's a reason why nobody cared whether they lived or died...there was no character development. A few setup episodes like this one and much of season 2 and 3 take on entirely different meanings.
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"In the Walking Dead's case , I think this show have potential , I like the idea of zombie apocalypse , I like the focus on the characters instead of an over the top action show"

This then, is apparently three of the pleasures you gain from watching the show in spite of your insistance to the contrary.

& don't misunderstand me. There's nothing wrong with anyone offering critiscisms on any show. Every single program on TV deserves criticism as there's no show in exsistence that can please everyone all the time, I'm just pointing out that you keep coming back to TWD because you like the show enough to want to return every week.
Let me offer a couple of examples: I deeply love the apocalyptia genre. Revolution is one of those shows that has specific ingredients that on the surface, should make for live fanboy viewing on my part. problem is, in spite of multiple aspects that are right up my alley & the vast improvement of the second season, it's flaws simply don't justify my time. It may have gotten better, but it still just ain't good enough. I continue to check in on it now & then because I still see the potential in it, but my personal disapointment in what it is as opposed to what I wanted it to be is just something I have to accept. Complaining about that disapointment under the guise of criticism week after week in the episode threads wouldn't do anything to improve the show to the level I would deem worthy. It would only make me come off as nothing but an empty complainer.

& I too watched every episode of Dexter in spite of its massive drop in quality after a certain point. I hated what the show became but there was always enough of the little things that I enjoyed just enough to keep me coming back. I never deluded myself into thinking that I hated the show overall
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Just out of sheer interest why are you watching this show? I've seen you all over this forum posting comments about how much you hate the writing, find the characters boring and not able to relate to them and don't enjoy the dialogues as well as the action scenes. Yet you seem to consistently follow the show and engage with many of the comments here. I just think it's very curious that you expand this much energy about something you clearly hate. Criticism is always welcomed but do make it constructive, the WD is not perfect but give credit where credit is due and like it or not it's still one of the best shows on TV at the moment so obviously it's doing something right.
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I think it's too early to say if this governor thing is ok or not, since it is a longer than 1 episode arc. I thought they would make him appear as a solo villain against the prison guys, posing in the distance with his long coat and eye patch and all. So for me it was a good surprise that they went back in time to explain the whole character development, even if I understand this is a bit boring for many people. But really, this show is a slow cooking show, how is this now surprising?
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The fact that the Governor is back is not the problem. I don't even understand why you put that poll up there Tim?!
Neither is the fact that there wasn't enough action or zombie-gore. Fuck the gore! It's part of the problem!
The truth is, even when TWD is at it's best (this episode was better then most) it is still very generic and mediocre television. It's not compelling and the characters are nearly as bland as the zombies. Something that @vbeigelman explained perfectly.
The side characters in this episode were terrible. I didn't really care about ANY of them. Why? Bad writing! That is a big and reoccurring problem with this show.
David Morrisey did a great job with the material he was given. Was the material great? Fuck no!
I still think that this season is going in the right direction as far as trying to fix a broken show, it's just going to take a while to get there - if it ever does. Sigh.


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I feel the same way , every character is kind of boring.I have nobody to relate to , I don't recognize myself in any of them ...
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Its a post-apocalyptic show, even with serious survival guilt issues no one could even come close to experience what the characters are going through.
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Exactly. I also don't care or root for ANY of them. That's a huge flaw. The fact that we the audience don't care about these people. They're just badly written bland characters. They should spend more time on building the characters instead of inventing new ways for "zombie-kill-of-the-week".
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Serously, if this were generic TV the Governor would be destroying that prison laughing like a mad man - while questionable long-lost-brothers would be revealed as the ones feeding them rats - right about now..

Its because The Walking Dead is not generic, predictable TV that we have this brand new character to deal with by now.
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I liked the episode @ionee24 but the show is still not very good. When I say generic, I mean mediocre. Zombie-gore overload. Non-relatable bland characters.
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I don't share the opinion, the story was mre about what the Governor was willing to get invested in all over again rather than zombie gore.

He won me over not because he won a battle, but because he won his own fear to lose a connection that meant everything to him.
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This girl here UNDERSTANDS.
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In a strange way it all makes sense. They need him to come back and confuse the viewers into being unsure if he is still the evil man he was last season. The audiance needs to have a little doubt that the Gov could do something catastrophically evil, but he will. He's the perfect vechile for them to get the group out of the prison. They've gone too far to fall back on the source material and they can't have three seasons in the same location. In the Gov they already have a 'get out of jail' card.
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Tim Surette! You rock. And I hated the governor. Not only was the character just a bad man in Season 3 but I was never sold on his motivations- prolly in large part because the Woodbury masses (ie his entire context) were so flat & poorly developed. So when he peeked out of the corner at the end of "Internment" I let out a slow silent, "nooooooo!" and was really disappointed to realize that this entire episode that I waited all week for was going to be about him. Boo.

I have to say however that after watching "Live Bait" I now feel very differently. As you mentioned, the beginning was a beautifully crafted portrait of a broken man that was very compelling. The Governor was, in your words, too "unformed" and that was totally awesome. Going forward from here we see if he returns to his old mad ways OR we get to see how we tries to redeem himself in the world. Will Meghan be his catalyst to be a better man or will he cling to her in the deranged, grief stricken way he clung to Penny? Either way we know that he was in this limbo and hopefully get a better understanding of why he's doing whatever it is he's going to do. Plus, it's kinda sweet to have to wait ANOTHER week to see how Daryl reacts to the Carol thing.

Re: "sex in truck", that part reminded me of the scene in "Dances with Wolves" when Kevin Costner is sleeping in a tent with an Indian family and notices that the mom and dad are mackin' it. Sometimes you just gotta do it and other people are around. That happened quite a bit in my high school years which were, attitudinally, roughly equivalent to the apocalypse. Also, the fist bumps seemed awkward at first but eventually just completed the picture of Tara as a tough talker who is actually relatively naive, stupid (explaining stomach shots) and vulnerable. Finally, I LOVE that the Governor had to murder Grandpa in front of Meghan. Building off of Carol's talking to's with Lizzy about being a wimp and Carl's efforts to prove his toughness to his own father, this moment was just a huge punctuation mark- "And that's how it is folks!" The world where we peacefully mourn our dead in drawn out ceremony is gone. It left with the washing machines, the fresh brewed coffee, manicures and croissants- basically everything that made us feel special to be humans. Except truck sex- which thankfully we seem permitted to hold on to.
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“Did Meghan and her teddy remind you of the first zombie Rick killed in the opening of the pilot?” -- I directly thought, “Oh that Walkid that will never turn in to a Walker” But, then I grabed my copy of the pilot and, yah, just a little bit, not even worth mentioning it... On the note of “Brian” being a Bonemaster, in the Duke Nukem games that would have triggered several “Awesome” and “Come get some.”
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Yeah, the whole Lily and Meghan thing was a bit much, and I really doubt they could have survived that long holed up in a relative paradise without any knowledge of what was going on outside or without killing any zombies. I guess it's possible, but unlikely. On the whole, I think the episode was decent, but of course I wanted to get back to the prison and see what was going on inside. Looks like next week is going to be a little more of the same.
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But isn't this whole show about improbabilities?
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Not sure if I'm a fan of this one. It's so completely different from what I was expecting. I didn't think we'd get shut out of the prison for an episode, and probably another.
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I wish each episode was 2 hours long, or they could air a double episode each week. It just seems like the pace of this season is so slow. Like I can literally summarize this season in less than 1 minute.
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This episode was really stupid.

The Governor's 'underlings' would have killed him. If they were too scared of him or now thought him useless, there's no reason they'd leave him alive.

The family didn't once strike a zombie in the head? After years? Makes zero sense.

The family telling a possibly dangerous stranger that they life in an oasis of comfort and supplies: makes zero sense.

That family leaving that oasis for no good reason. They had survived for years in relative luxury. When the word was saved, obviously they'd be saved. There was no need to leave.

The Governor and that family could have been a family together. Why leave?

Are their supplies really that heavy that they slowed them down enough that they couldn't outpace zombies?

The sister gets a twisted ankle for no apparent reason.

This is the worst episode of TWD that I remember.
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Not to mention the scene when the little girl is just standing there, and everyone is shouting RUN, and the Governor was just watching her... Like really? Just fuckin grab her and GTFO....
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no mother would ever choose to save a sister over her little girl....
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Rick chose to lure two walkers over saving a little girl, it happens.
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I LOVE LOVE LOVE this Governor. I've never read the comics and I was still disappointed in the way he was portrayed in the previous season, I can't imagine what it must have been like for fans of the comics. But this Governor is so DAMAGED. Before he almost came across as a cartoonish villain, I never really felt menace from him. Not only does he have something to live for now, which will make him even more ruthless, but I like the fact that we will spend time with another camp and another group of survivors.
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The Governor of the comics makes the one on the show look like a family-friendly after school special about understanding bullying and getting along. There was no sympathy or understanding to be found with the one in the comics.
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it was a boring waste of an hour specially for a show that has limited episodes... besides everything was like happening in another type of apocalipsis.. the walkers was stupid, slow and not so many, the story of those girls was unbelievable at this point and there was no sense of urgency, even the building was clear for them to enter and exit at will... even the governor went out to bury the body like it was something normal and easy to do, no walkers around.... really really lame...
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Kinda like reading your attempt at a review.... really really lame...
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I loved the episode. Even though I'm eager to see how things are going in the prison, and how Daryl and Tyreese will react to Carol's guilt and the conditions in which she departed (or was departed), I can wait and welcome the change of pace. I'd gladly watch a spinoff about the Governor's quest.
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Governor? More like GoverSNORE. Am I right, guys? I'm right. Nailed it.

I don't care how many little girls imprint on him, the Governor killed Milton, let him suffer so he could die and kill Andrea, almost killed Glenn, attacked the Prison and borderline RAPED Maggie.

Don't get me wrong, I love it when bad characters turn into reluctant good guys, that's just good TV, but the Governor crossed a line somewhere between keeping his zombie daughter chained in a closet to trying to kill Michonne. There's no garnering sympathy for this man, I don't care how many spagettio's he doesn't eat out of guilt.

Oh, and remember his tank of heads. NEVER FORGET.
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At no point this episode gave me the impression the Governor was a "good guy" nor that he was trying to be one; he was just a person able to connect again, which is a whole lot more complex than that.

I no longer believe he's coming back to destroy the prison, but I don't think its because he has been redeemed but rather because the Governor has re-invented himself into a character we can no longer predict in light of the things he has done.
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So what do you think about the Governor coming back to the prison? He had the ole evil look in his eye again... But, of course, there's always that possibility of him calling a truce with Rick and joins the group and they are going to celebrate with beers and live happily ever after. lol
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I can no longer predicts his moves, I know the Governor is not coming back to demand Michonne the way Tyreese demanded Carol: he obeys to a completely different motivation right now.

That doesn't mean he isn't coming back to kill Rick or to secure a truce to protect Meghan, only that he no longer comes to destroy the prison because of what Michonne did to Penny.
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Worst episode of the season so far, and unfortunately, judging by the sneak peek at next week's ep, its going to be another Governor-centric one. All the hard work and success achieved by the 5 first episodes of the season could very well have been completely undone by this time next week.
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Another amazing episode. If the trend continues, this season will have more good episodes than the first 3 combined.
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I thought it was Ok- not up to recent standards though. Like you said, it was difficult to understand the Gov's full motivation and thought-process at times- but still enjoyable for me- I can honestly say I want to see what happens next. Still wish they would have gone back to the prison.
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I guess what I liked about the episode is that the Governor kept surprising me the whole hour:
  • Now he's going to give up on life but then he didn't,
  • Now he's going to attack them but then he didn't,
  • Now he's going to abandon that family but then he didn't,
  • Now he's going to rule over a new group of people but then he didn't,
  • Now he's going to walk away from Meghan but then he jumped to protect her, etc.
I thought I knew the character but then I didn't, I thought I could predict his every move but then the episode showed me a person as capable to change as any other.
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I've had to think about this one. I did enjoy the episode, but it didn't feel like I was watching TWD. As the hour drew to a close, I kept watching the clock hoping they would flash back to the regular gang.

The story itself was entertaining. It was interesting watching Phillip decompensate following his savage mass murder of his own people. He was channelling his inner Snake Pliskin there for a while. It will be interesting to see how long he can keep himself together and how much pressure he can take before his instability starts to show again.
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"Snake Pliskin... I thought you were dead."
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Huh, it's the Governor. I totally forgot about him. I guess we'll find out what he's been u.........Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
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I read this 3 times and laughed 3 times. Thanks for that.
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I did not love this episode and I do not care much for the Governor. I've loved season 4 so far, but this one made me fall asleep. It was starting to turn for the better in the end though.
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I liked it because it pissed me off...& it pissed me off because it made me sympathize with the Gov & I happen to prefer hating that sadistic dickwhistle. That proves to me once again that the writers are firing on all cylinders this year with character development & progression
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Such a boring episode.. it was like a spin-off with one of the most uncharming characters... michonne need to finish the governor soon.. the show needs to move on of that plot. This season has been quite average 'till now.. just a few good moments doesn't make a show brilliant.
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I'm in the 'I wish the gov would just go away!' camp. So next week put in some prison scenes please!!
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I really, really enjoyed this episode for some reason. It felt fresh, like watching a brand new zombie movie with people still getting used to the world. I did not find myself bored at any point and was actually really surprised when it ended, I wanted more!

And to be honest, even in the best episodes of WD there's always a point or two where I find myself bored and checking when the episode is going to end. Since there wasn't one in this episode I guess a show about neckbeard-governor skulking around and destroying zombies in creative ways would be the perfect show for me. Who would've guessed?
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