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Episode 5 “Internment” ended with the Governor standing just inside the woods staring out at the prison. As the episode ends, we are left to think that this cannot be good for Rick & Co. When this weeks episode (“Live Bait”) began, I was expecting to see the Governor in all his evilness. He has been absent up to this point in the season, and he is ready to put in motion his master plan for revenge. What horrible plot has he thought up? Instead of a sending a truck full of walkers crashing through the prison gates like last season this time would he send a flaming truck full of flaming walkers? What sort of twisted soldiers has he recruited? Anything was possible.
Five random thoughts on episode 6 “Live Bait” of The Walking Dead.
1. Not the Governor I remember
Instead of seeing a madman thinking of new ways to attack our heroes we instead find a broken man. Following the slaughter of his army (by his own hands) we see him in a catatonic state. Either not aware of his surroundings or he just does not care anymore. This is not a man who is hell-bent on bloodthirsty vengeance. This is a man who is coming to grips with all the death and destruction he has caused.
In another surprising move, we see that Martinez and Bowman (the two members of his army he didn’t shoot) ditch the Governor the first chance they get. I was caught off guard by this. I pictured the three of them gallivanting through rural Georgia causing havoc. It never occurred to me that they were going to do the rational thing and get as far away from this madman as possible. I guess I expected the Governor to continue to be his same crazy self from last season. I thought he was going to go full psycho. Instead, he’s alone like Bruce Banner at the end of every Incredible Hulk episode, walking along a highway with sad music playing in the background.
But first, he needs to make one last stop.
Okay, NOW cue the sad Hulk music.
2. The TMI Twins
Was I the only one that every time those women opened their mouths you wanted to shout “DEAR GOD WOMAN STOP TELLING HIM SO MUCH HE’S GOING TO KILL YOU ALL!!!” All I heard from those two was how much ammo they had and how much food they had. It was the most stressful part of the episode. Until the Governor picked up Megan and ran into the woods to escape the walkers there were at least five moments where I thought “This is where he’s going to kill them and take all their stuff.”
I can only guess these women have been holed up in their apartment building so long that they have little to no knowledge about surviving. They didn’t know that you need to kill the brain to put a walker down. They didn’t know that everyone is infected and a potential walker. And most importantly they haven’t learned to fear people as much as the undead. They are cautious around the Governor for about 3.5 seconds before making him one of the family.
3. I knew it. Smoking kills
I was half joking when I talked about how no one in the zombie apocalypse smoked (#3 from Episode 4: “Indifference”). Now I am starting to think I’m on to something. Poor Granpa Slim Jim (I can’t remember his name but he drove a truck full of beef jerky or something, so I’m going to go with Slim Jim) has stage 4 lung cancer and still looking for one last smoke. And can you believe his kids wouldn’t give him one? Yeah, I guess smoking while on oxygen isn’t smart, but I hope I raise my boys well enough that if it’s the zombie apocalypse and I’m already dying of stage 4 lung cancer that they will let me smoke in peace.
Remember kids, if you smoke, and the dead begin to rise there is a good chance someone is going to bash your brains in with your oxygen tank.
4. Jolly Good Gov?
I am interested now in the return of the Governor. Before when I thought he was going to be all psycho I didn’t want to see that for another season. I thought the only reason the show kept him alive was to stretch his story arc for another season if the first episode is any indication they are taking the Governor in entirely different direction. After spending a season loathing the Gov, they are going to try and make him a sympathetic character. In one episode he went from mass-murdering psycho, sad music hobo and by the end of the episode, he was the hero.
One benefit of living in a post-apocalyptic world is that starting over is simple. If you wander far enough and meet some new people that don’t know you as long as you’re helpful, they will believe any tale you tell them. I am interested in seeing if the show is going to allow the Governor (or Brian) the chance for redemption. Has he changed? Is it even possible he’s changed? Does it even matter if he changed?
The Walking Dead does an excellent job of providing characters that are not all bad and not all good. In this world, there is a lot of grays. I would love to see the Governor rebuild a group that only knows him as “Brian.” Eventually, there will be a confrontation with Rick & Co. If the Gov/Brian has changed and Rick & Co. come after him, it will be interesting to see if they come across as the bad guys.
5. Open up and say aaaaAAAAHHHHH!!!
This week’s Walker Moment of the Night (WMotN) was a no-brainer (zing!). With the Jolly Good Gov holding Megan as they ran from the walker they fell into something familiar. What were these called again? Oh yeah, the Screaming Pits. Nothing horrible about that image.
The Gov finds himself in a pit with three walkers. Luckily for the Gov, all that running got the Adrenalin pumping because he went about and killed all three walkers with his bare hands. He ripped out one walker’s throat. He slammed one’s head into a rock. He even punched one in the head a bunch of times. I haven’t seen such a brutal beating since this…
But the WMotN goes to the walker I’m calling the “Open up and say AHHH-walker.”
Bravo AMC bravo!
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Mr. Fenske is a professor at VCU Brandcenter in Richmond VA. The site is an extension of his efforts in the classroom, except for the cartoons, which seem to grow out of some disaffection he feels with the world. Thank you for visiting. © Mark Fenske
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