The Governor is back, although more human than anyone was expecting.
***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***
If you haven’t seen Live Bait yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.
I’m absolutely sure that every fan of The Walking Dead (including myself) was waiting for a massacre this week, with the Governor and his “evil” army back. However, we were all surprised with an episode showing a very human person, abandoned by his henchmen, lost in his thoughts and wandering around as “live bait” for any walker crossing his path. Was that going to be the end of the Governor? Was he going to live the rest of his life and die in such a melancholic way? Well, as DevilDriver says in one of their best songs, “not all who wander are lost.”
The story went back to when the Governor slaughtered almost all his army after that failed attempt to take over the prison and ran away with the only two survivors, one being his right hand Martinez. We were all left thinking about what happened to them, and when they would come back for revenge, but instead we saw the governor being forsaken and starting a completely different journey in his life. He was about to give up (even with his pretty cool new “Snake Plissken” look), when the vision of a young girl made him reconsider his almost-suicidal thoughts.
Does anyone doubt the first thing that came to his mind was his daughter Penny? At least this time it wasn’t a ghost like when Rick was seeing Lori, but a real girl called Megan who had been hiding for a long time inside an apartment building with her mother Lilly, her aunt Tara and her grandpa Don. Again we were expecting him to go wild and kill everybody, but that didn’t happen. We saw a man asking for shelter and offering his help to the family, and I was really impressed with how open to a guy with an eye-patch, a huge beard and a gun those two women were. It was probably the Governor’s charm striking again! Or should I say “Brian Heriot”, the name he randomly picked from that spray-painted wall full of names? Why choosing a different name, and why talking about his time as the Governor of Woodbury in the 3rd person? Was that a sign he was ashamed of his past and willing to start a brand new life?
This was the beginning of a story that in my opinion will be great to show everybody that no one is born a villain; it’s our society that creates them. While Rick’s group is killing innocents, casting away people that were once considered an important part of the family, and teaching children how to use machine guns and knives, we saw a man looking at a child as before the apocalypse, in other words, just like a real child and not like a soldier. Don’t you think this makes him less evil and more human than most of the members of Rick’s team, especially than Rick himself? By the way, the Governor and Rick have so much in common: they seem to be strong, wise and focused leaders, when in fact they’re nothing but regular people doing something they don’t really want to do, and that due to all the stress and external pressure they can explode at any moment, just like what happened to the Governor twice during this episode when he killed an old man/walker with an oxygen tank and when he brutally assaulted three walkers with his bare hands to protect that little girl.
Talking about the action, although it was a more emotional episode than the previous one, there were some awesome moments of violence and tension. The Governor risking his life going to that “zombie nursing home” to grab some oxygen tanks, and as I mentioned before, saving Tara from the zombie Don smashing his head with one of the tanks and saving Megan in the zombie pit was some good action, and the beginning of a strong relationship between him and his new friends. Moreover, he simply burned his old picture with his original family, which in my opinion means that inside his head those people were his family now. He said he will do whatever he needs to keep Megan safe and well, so we can stay assured our good old Governor is back in action for real, especially when we see Martinez out of the zombie pit to “confirm” that the old life the Governor had will never abandon him.
“Nobody ever mentioned just how boring the end of the world was going to be,” Lilly said. Well, not anymore. Now you have the Governor by your side (literally), you’re about to be on the road with a bunch of mercenaries killing zombies, and you’ll probably cross the path of sheriff Rick Grimes. Nothing can be more exciting than this.