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Recap / The Walking Dead S 04 E 06 Live Bait

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Season 4, episode 06

Live Bait

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You can't go home again.

After the loss of his empire, The Governor finds what may be an opportunity for redemption.
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Six months ago...

The bodies of Allen and the Woodbury militia lie on the ground as the Governor, Martinez and Shumpert drive off. Later that night, after the trio has made camp in the site where they ambushed the National Guard, the Governor sits pensively by a campfire. A nearby walker attempts to attack him, only to be shot by Martinez, who is still shocked and disheartened by what happened.

The next morning, the Governor emerges from his tent, only to find the campsite empty and his soldiers gone. Angry and reckless, he drives the lone military vehicle from the site into Woodbury, and burns down several of the buildings while watching walkers roam the town.

The Governor travels alone for months, wandering through towns and roads. Just as he lies down on a street and waits to die, he sees a hallucination of Penny staring at him from a building and walks inside, where he discovers a small family. After some tense moments, they let him in with them.

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Inside, two sisters named Lilly and Tara, along with Lilly's daughter Megan and their father, David, ask the Governor who he is and where he's been. He tells them that his name is Brian, and that he escaped a town that was destroyed due to the "man in charge". They allow him to stay with them, although he refuses their charity. Later, "Brian" helps David get into his bed, and the latter tells him that getting a backgammon board from a nearby apartment would help the near-mute Megan talk again. The Governor investigates the apartment and finds the set, to much gratitude from the family; he also takes a revolver from a zombie he kills in the bathroom.

Later, after he's spent more time with the family, Lilly asks him to investigate a nearby seniors' home and find an oxygen tank for David, who is in the final stages of lung cancer. The Governor goes into the home and successfully retrieves the tanks, while narrowly escaping a group of walkers.

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After he's brought back the tank, the family opens up to him, and Megan begins speaking to him again. A short while later, David passes away from his cancer, but while the family is mourning him, David reanimates; to the shock and horror of the three girls, "Brian" leaps in to defend them and crushes David's head with the oxygen tank. They later admit that they wouldn't have survived without his help, and later follow him when he leaves to go on the road.

As they travel in a food supply truck, Tara asks the Governor if they'll make it, though she isn't sure when he replies in the affirmative. Later that night, after they've made camp, Lilly seduces the Governor and sleeps with him. The next morning, however, the truck won't start, forcing the group to walk on foot.

Tara sprains her ankle while walking, and Lilly moves to support her. Suddenly, the Governor hears a noise and investigates, only to discover a large group of walkers. He tells everyone to run, but Megan won't move until he motions to her and picks her up. Together, they run through the forest.

As they try to escape the walkers, the Governor and Megan fall into a pit where several more are. Enraged, the Governor brutally dispatches several of them while Megan watches. As he comforts her afterwards, he's surprised by a familiar face — Martinez, who is standing at the top of the pit...

Tropes

  • Absentee Actor: The entirety of the main cast doesn't appear in this episode, as it solely focuses on Philip Blake's actions during the six-month time span between seasons.
  • Action Girl: Subverted with Tara, who claims to be a police officer. When her father dies, she can't bring herself to kill him, and later to admits to the Governor that she was a police recruit and not a full-fledged officer.
  • After-Action Patch-Up: Lilly tries to heal the Governor's wounds after he returns from the seniors' home.
  • Artificial Limbs: The Governor discovers this happened to Bill Jenkins, as he finds the latter's two artificial legs just beside the bathtub where the latter killed himself.
  • Body Horror: The legless walker that reanimated, having survived a gunshot to the face.
  • Bottle Episode: There are only seven main/supporting characters in the episode, and the majority of the action takes place in an apartment building with the Governor and the Chambler family.
  • Break the Haughty: The Governor, who is so broken after Martinez and Shumpert abandon him that he burns down Woodbury, wanders on the road for months and can't even muster the strength or willpower to kill walkers. He lays down on a street, ready to die, before he notices "Penny" in the apartment window.
  • The Cavalry: Though subtle, the sounds of gunfire can be heard as the Governor fights the walkers in the pit. A few moments later, Martinez arrives and finds him in the pit with Megan.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A name the Governor sees during his travels ("Brian Heriot") is later used as an alias when he meets the Chambler family.
  • Chess Motifs: As "Brian" teaches Megan chess, the lessons that you can lose all your pawns but win the war, and that victory is only ensured by capturing the king, are highly relevant. The white king even has a little eyepatch drawn on, and White moves first in chess.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • A Day in the Limelight: For the Governor.
  • Death Seeker: The Governor, who makes no attempt to stop two walkers coming towards him in the opening sequence (the first killed by Martinez, and the second falling to the ground), then later lays down in the street and waits to die. The appearance of a hallucination causes him to rethink his plans, and he snaps out of it later.
  • Dog Food Diet: Played with. Lilly gives the Governor canned spaghetti, but he tosses the contents out the window and eats a can of cat food instead.
  • Driven to Suicide: Implied with Bill Jenkins, who shot himself in the face in his apartment. He still reanimated, forcing the Governor to put him down for good.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Subverted. The Governor still keeps the photo of his family, but ends up burning it after befriending the Chambler family.
  • Foot Focus: When the Governor is investigating the seniors' home, as one of the walkers that tries to lunge towards him, the camera focuses for a couple seconds on her dessicated feet.
  • Gorn: As the Governor rips a walker's face off with a bone in front of Megan at the end of the episode.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?: A casual conversation between Lily and Tara makes it clear that Tara is a lesbian who now despairs of ever finding a partner - though this becomes relevant in the next episode when she begins a relationship with Alicia, its main function here seems to be to clear the way for Lily and The Governor to start a relationship without the risk of a Sibling Triangle hanging over it.
  • Idiot Ball: The Chambler family's stupidity fuels the episode. Not only do they not know how to kill walkers after nearly two years (despite having the weaponry to do it), but they make a large amount of noise on the road, alerting a large group of walkers to their presence.
  • Improvised Weapon: The oxygen tank the Governor acquired from the seniors' home becomes one when the reanimated David Chambler tries to attack his daughter.
  • Instant Seduction: In the truck, Lilly rubs her shoulder against The Governor, leading him to catch on and start making out with her after a few moments.
  • Meaningful Echo: The Governor repeats part of Megan's promise statement, "Cross my heart," after he saves her from the walkers in the pit.
  • The Medic: Lilly, who worked in an oncology unit before the apocalypse hit.
  • Mythology Gag: The Governor gives his name as Brian. Brian Blake is the real name of the comic version, according to the "Path to Woodbury" book.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The terms "walkers", "monsters" and "biters" are used during the episode.
  • Parental Substitute: Megan comes to see the Governor ("Brian") as a substitute for her own father, who went out during the apocalypse and never came back.
  • Promoted to Opening Credits: David Morrissey, after being absent for the first five episodes of the season.
  • Redemption Quest: For the Governor, who decides to protect the Chambler family after he loses everything.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Discussed. The Governor tells Lilly to shoot walkers in the head, after they had spent months wondering why the walkers were always getting up after being shot in the chest.
  • Replacement Goldfish: The Chambler family for The Governor's wife and daughter.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The Governor/"Brian"'s quest to get an oxygen tank for David is entirely futile, as the latter succumbs to his injuries a short while later and reanimates.
  • Time-Compression Montage: The Governor's travels over several months.
  • Trash the Set: The Governor burns down Woodbury in anger after Martinez and Shumpert abandon him.
  • Villainous BSoD: The Governor, who goes into a state of near-catatonic shock and simply wanders the countryside for months, finally giving up and laying down on the street to die before he sees the hallucination of Penny.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While Martinez returns at the end of the episode, Shumpert is nowhere to be seen after he abandons the Governor.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The entire episode is one covering The Governor's whereabouts during the Time Skip between seasons.

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