Today we’ll be looking at last night’s episode, “Live Bait.” Spoilers abound from here on in, so if you aren't up to date with all things TWD, I suggest you stop reading, go and watch the episode and come back.
Let's saddle up!
What did you say your name was?
I wrote last week that I hoped we'd get a flashback episode of what the Governor had been up to since mowing down his former subjects, and in "Live Bait" that is exactly what we got. What surprised me about the episode was not just how much I enjoyed it, but also how many subtle references to the comic book source material were scattered throughout.
First up was the name the Governor used to introduce himself to his new surrogate family. We knew him previously as Philip, but in order to achieve his moment of catharsis and shed the skin of his former life, he chose a new identity and said his name was Brian. It seemed that he'd chosen that name after he'd seen it scrawled on a wall while he was on his journey of self discovery, but those of you who are submerged in TWD lore know that Brian holds a special relevance.
Warning: Spoilers follow!
The spinoff novel The Rise of the Governor charts the one-eyed despots ascension to power. However, the twist in the tale is that while the the Governor calls himself Philip, he was actually born Brian, the weak and feeble older brother of the much tougher Philip. When Philip gets killed, Brian steps up to the plate, takes on his bro's name and the rest is bloody history. Oh and the real kicker? Penny was Philip's daughter, not his.
The second reference to the source material was the mother that the Gov got down and dirty with in the back of the passion wagon. Lilly is her name and making uglies with the Governor is her game, but she also shares the name Lilly with a character from the comics.
Here come some more spoilers for you!
The Lilly in the comic got up close and personal with the Governor in a very different way; she took his life after learning the true reason for the assault on the prison.
Does this have any relevance to what will happen in the show? I'm not sure, but it's certainly got me interested.
We are family
While I really enjoyed this episode, I do have a few issues with the family of survivors that the Governor holed up with in the apartment block. The first problem was how they have managed to survive a year and a half of the zombie apocalypse without learning that you have to kill the brain to stop a walker. I mean seriously, that is zombie killing 101, knowledge that is essential if you don't want to have your body eaten by biters.
Secondly, how did they manage to keep David in bottles of oxygen? And surely if they had had to go on scavenger hunts for medicine, they would have learned how to best dispatch the undead? It didn't really add up for me.
And finally, why would they leave the relative safety of the flat and hit the road? Where do they think they are going? Two woman, a young girl and an old man, all of whom didn't know how to kill a walker, had survived there for at least 18 months, which makes it a pretty solid choice to bunker down in. Why abandon that for an adventure in the great unknown?
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Here's an interesting fact: "Live Bait" was the first episode to not feature Rick Grimes. We had 40 episodes in a row that contained at least a little Rick action, but last night was a totally Grimes-free episode. In fact, last night didn't featured a single character from the prison, which, considering the fan affection for guys like Daryl and Michonne, was a bold gamble. I think it paid off though, and going out onto the open road was a nice change of pace to the claustrophobic intensity that's been plaguing the prison of late.
Points for discussion
The Governor took Movember a little bit far with his biblically awesome beard.
Surely lying next to your mom while she gets it on with a weird, cyclops-looking dude is going to be much more traumatic for Megan than seeing her Grandpa get his face bashed in. Why didn't they think of the children!
Even after months spent out on the open road, the Governor still couldn't bring himself to eat the SpaghettiOs. Just how desperate do you have to be before they become a viable option for sustenance?
The Governor ripping off a walkers face using a thigh bone was a particularly gruesome kill.
The Governor: "You can lose a lot of soldiers but still win the game." What game is he talking about?
What were your thoughts on the "Live Bait"? Were you happy to see the Governor return? Let me know in the comments below.