“Cross my heart”, The Walking Dead S4e6

normal_The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_0098So this week seems to have resulted in a mixed bag when it comes to the fan response.  You either loved it or hated it, or perhaps even a second set of options is that you loved to hate it, or hated to love it, which parallels the fan response to the Governor (beard or not) in general.

Also as I dive in, I’d like to add that it took some level of restraint not to put a comical spin on this post and title it “The Life of Brian”, and I think my deliberate restraint was due to the fact that love it or hate it, this was  quality episode.

The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 6: Live Bait

The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_0385So, where last week only gave us a glimpse of the man we’ve been waiting to fear all season, this week gave us an in depth look into the man we’re dealing with.  Complaints about this week’s episode were either based on the pace, or character complaints, which I’ll get to as I go through the characters.  To address the complaint of pacing, I think the episode was well placed.  If it had come sooner, the Governor’s appearance last week wouldn’t have been a surprise, and if it came later, while it would have given us insights it might have felt like too big of a pause prior to the upcoming season finale.

normal_The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_0111The episode  we came closer to a man we haven’t gotten to know. A man that Rick could have easily become, had circumstances been different.  With that in mind, here’s my breakdown. He goes through a brief period where he’s the man who decides (after being left behind) to burn the town that no longer needed him. He’s the normal_The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_0139man that won’t give his real name, and instead gives the name of a man a family The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_0393was desperately hoping would come back to them. He’s the man who doesn’t want to be beholden to a family for a plate of spaghettios, and at the same time is the man who cannot help but help them, because he knows they need him. Deep down, whether he knows it, or wants it, is a man who needs to The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_0567be needed.  I would even go far enough to say that, while he had a selfless love for his daughter. It was his selfish need to be needed that guided his choice to keep her.  It was always paradoxical for a man who kept a tank of zombie heads as a way of never forgetting the threat that was out there, AND keep his undead daughter. He could see the others as monsters, but not his little girl.  Like any good father (yep I just called the Governor a good father), his daughter will ALWAYS be his little girl, he couldn’t separate that from what she’d become.  The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_1171It was that need to be needed, and the reminder of his daughter, in the best way when the little girl Meagan made him laugh (because he told her he was a pirate… loved that scene, it was so touching) that is part of what kept The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_1315him from separating himself from this family.  Unfortunately, while he displayed a great amount of caring for Lily, Meagan and the others this episode, I think he can only keep his own monster at bay for so long, because he’s a man with only so much self control.  Even taking care of the grandfather with the oxygen tank, The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_1819though necessary was brutal. And it’s not this environment that has made people brutal. It is in this environment that if no care is given to living vs. surviving (something that’s been addressed at the prison a few times this season) that only the brutal will survive. And it’s one thing to think of the Governor as brutal after his actions at the apartment, or in the pit to protect Meagan, but normal_The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_0016defensive violence is morally minimal compared to the brutality of gunning down your own people in frustration and rage, and that’s a side of the Governor that to forget would be naive.  And let’s not forget, that’s a side of the Governor that Lily and the others haven’t seen, they may see that “Brian” can be violent, but as a protector, not a madman.  There’s no doubt in my mind that the Governor already loves and wants The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_1854to protect Meagan, my concern is if anything happens to Meagan, or what lengths he’ll go to protect her.  That being said, if the Governor at some point sees the best chance for Meagan, Lily and Tara is the protection of a place like the prison, and whether he’d be diplomatic or aggressive is yet to be seen.normal_The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_0228

Speaking of Lily and Tara (by the way, I can’t be the only one that rolled my eyes when she said she was a cop), and I’ll make this very brief, some people complained that by now they should have learned about head shots, or cleared out the other floors of their building, or moved on to somewhere else.  But these were scared women (and the show has not, with the exception of Michonne given us very strong independent women), who had an old immobile man and a little girl to care for.  The_Walking_Dead_S04E06_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_1676They’re the type to wait for help, not solve their own problems.  So it’s no surprise, when a strong man, who gives up his weapon and shows the first signs of kindness is looked upon as one who can protect and guide them through this scary world.  Also, it served as a reminder of how charismatic  he can be, especially when an apocalypse means slim pickings for connecting with the opposite gender.

More than ever I’m looking forward to this Sunday’s episode, let me know your take on this episode in the comments. As always, thanks for reading and happy watching!

3 thoughts on ““Cross my heart”, The Walking Dead S4e6

  1. hmmm…where to start?

    I agree that this was a quality episode. I enjoyed the pacing quite a bit. It was a quiet episode and sometimes to gain tempo your best move is a quiet one (those who understand Chess understand that concept well, and the power behind it. And those who don’t well, lets just say they are less sophisticated brutes). That’s not to say that similar to the date the next day – after a night of dancing and such- is just as beautiful. Sometimes in the stark daylight things can take a turn for the worse. I think under the intensity of daylight this episode reveals some cracks. However, they aren’t as grandiose as some fans think.

    After the charm of the episode wears I too wonder why they were so trusting and then shrugged off the inconsistencies in Bri…er…the Governor’s story. The only thing I can figure is those gals have their own secrets to hide.

    The main prospects of the episode, and resulting conclusion, though, far outweigh the flaws in the machine. I mean, even the perfect album, The Final Cut by “Pink Floyd” (mostly Waters) has some imperfections…but is still rather great. Not Now John, anyone? The Gunner’s Dream…yah. You get my point. Those main implications were (are) that evil isn’t often as straight forward as we like it, or want it to be. The best mad men are the ones that almost make sense. Almost. The charm the Governor displays are of the “happy drunk” abusive sober sort. We may like them when they are drinking only to fear their less stellar sober hours. But that complexity it what makes then human. Soooo yah. The governor is a better monster if we believe he’s less so. It’s the perfect set up.

    I have a very different opinion regarding strong females thought, but that is echoed in my last rambling blog comments…see S4e5.

    At least Carol angst was nowhere to be found…

    • So, I mostly agree and can see where you’re coming from with your statements. The one main thing that I disagree with though (and I could be wrong) is your thoughts that the “gals have their own secrets to hide”. I might be willing to believe that if Lily hadn’t already explained about Meagan’s father abandoning them a few years prior. Now Lily might have been lying about that, but I don’t think she was, and I think her willingness to feed and then depend on “Brian”, a stranger reflects this. If Lily was honest then she obviously, in the past, made a very poor choice in Meagan’s father, and women that usually make really poor choices in men (like the kind of guy that would leave his child) usually repeat the same kinds of poor choices. I think Lily is a weak dependent female who is the type to choose the wrong guy over and over again.

  2. Hey, I really enjoyed your recap. I think you nailed what was going on in the Governor’s head when he burned Woodbury, used the name ‘Brian’, etc.

    I *just* saw the episode, so I was behind in my viewing, and while viewing I had already known that people had complained about the episode, that it was boring, that they’re sick of the Governor, etc.

    I can understand why people might say that, but I wasn’t part of that crowd. I was interested in seeing what the Gov had been up to, and I felt that things played out in a consistent and interesting manner.

    I could see how the abandonment by Martinez was just the icing on the cape, invalidating everything that the Governor had just done. I’m not surprised he go a little crazy (a new kind of crazy) and retreat from his persona as the man in charge of Woodbury, or the man in charge of anything.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to next episode. I mean, I don’t need the show to try and make me “like” the Governor, but I don’t think that’s what they are going to be trying to do. I’m interested in seeing how Brian does things going forward, and what happens when he path re-intersects the paths of our regulars.

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