The Walking Dead, Episode 406: “Live Bait”

I have made it abundantly clear that the Governor is not exactly one of my favorite characters. Nevertheless, I was ecstatic that “Live Bait” was dedicated entirely to dear old Phillip. I really could not care less when it comes to the Governor’s recent whereabouts, but ANYTHING was preferable to spending another week inside the prison. I saw the preview for next week’s episode, and it, too, seems to be all Phillip, all the time. I was really getting some anxiety as this week’s episode came to a close, but it looks like I’ll have at least one more week until the tedious prison resurfaces.

What does this say about my one-time favorite show? I am very much not a fan of the Governor, and yet I was thrilled to spend the episode with him, as long as it meant that I got a break from Rick. The whole situation at the prison is entirely stagnant. We’re sick. Our fence is breaking. There are walkers everywhere. That has been the extent of the plot for most of the season. Not that Phillip’s tale is intriguing, but at least it is different!

So apparently the Governor was instantly dropped by Martinez and Shumpert (I have no idea who Shumpert is, apparently the writers on AMC’s episode guide randomly generated this name for him) after the defeat at the prison. He roams around long enough to grow a mullet and some absolutely atrocious facial hair. Suddenly, he sees a girl looking out an apartment window and, being the creeper that he is, he decides to go on inside. This obviously doesn’t go over too well, but he ultimately befriends the family inside. The girl’s mom shameless flirts with him. She even makes him some Spaghettios, but apparently Phillip is some sort of elitist since he promptly chucks the cuisine out the window. Like I needed another reason to dislike the Governor, but at least I was reminded of the glory that is Spaghettios.

He hits the road with these people after grandpa dies, and has a roll in the hay with the Spaghettios chef. Their truck dies, they run away from some walkers, and they run into Martinez. All the while, Phillip’s heart grows three sizes as he bonds with Meghan, the little girl.

I’m finding this drastic change in demeanor a little hard to swallow. Sure, he still violently destroys some walkers, but here we see Phillip playing chess, helping the elderly, engaging in a torrid love affair. This is a whole new Governor. Either he’s turned a new leaf, or his true personality could erupt at any time. Again, I really don’t care. I’m just thankful for the change of pace.

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