Well, if you were one of those "The Walking Dead" fans who was wondering what was going on with the Governor, then Sunday night's episode — "Live Bait" — was just what you were waiting for!
This was one of those episodes that really focused on one character for the entire 60 minutes, and I'm OK with that. In fact, I think this was one of the strongest episodes of the season, if not the series.
The episode picks up with the Governor and his two loyal cronies departing the crime scene where he shot up a lot of faceless Woodburians. Apparently those three hung out in some flimsy self-standing tents for a little while on an open lot like some losers at Coachella before Martinez and Shumpert ditched the Governor.
After that the Governor hopped onto that big rig, busted it into Woodbury, burned down his old stomping grounds like it was "Gone With the Wind," and then just started walking and letting his beard grow. It wasn't very gubernatorial of him. He was like a much slower, more disinterested Forrest Gump.
He was kind of acting like Tyreese. He didn't seem to care about the zombies and he definitely wasn't concerning himself with slaying them. His emaciated, "No SpaghettiOs" diet figure and big Wolfman haircut and No Shave November beard kind of made him look like a zombie himself, so maybe they weren't noticing him.
Eventually the Governor stumbled across some other town and noticed a little girl in a window. At first I thought he was having a vision of Penny, but it turned out to be a survivor!
Don't be alarmed, but these new survivors — Megan, Tara, Lilly and David Chalmers — would eventually teach the Governor (alias Brian Heriot) to trust and love again.
Aww, the Governor!
I kept waiting for the Governor to do something chaotic evil to swing his alignment back in the right direction, but it didn't happen. Even in his weakened state, the Governor is still strong enough to haul dying David Chalmers around like a ragdoll. The Governor's PR people really made some headway in this episode.
After warming up to the new characters, the Governor gets a chance to prove himself by going on a mission to scavenge some oxygen tanks from the old folks home. When he was in there he was bobbing and weaving like some zombie-sympathizing-pacifist who was trying to get a perfect score on "Metal Gear Solid."
The Governor should have just laid waste to all of those decrepit zombies with a Phillips head screwdriver, but since he didn't he got a little dotted up and nurse Lilly had to tend to him upon his heroic return. She rewards his bravery by flirtily blowing on his forehead. #foreshadowing
The Governor continues to ingratiate himself to his new friends by playing chess with little Megan and exchanging fist bumps with Tara. It was cute when Megan drew the eye patch on the king. And you know you're cool with Tara if she fist bumps you. I hope she would fist bump me.
After all this warmth, the Governor is like "the only thing I know is to be cold and indifferent, so I'm leaving." And they're like "remember when you symbolically burned that photo of your old family? We're your new family now and we're coming with you."
Wasn't that a little creepy when Lilly started grinding on the Governor and fresh kissing him right next to her sister? I mean, don't get me wrong, it was very hot, but a little awkward. You know Tara was laying there staring at the ceiling of the Gorbelli Foods Company truck getting all scandalized.
So right as the Governor is really seeming like a nice guy and warming up to this new group of good people, you knew something bad had to happen.
The truck runs out of fuel, they have to hoof it, they run across a herd of zombies, they have to flee, Megan runs to the Governor and unlocks the key to his heart, Megan and the Governor take a pratfall into a zombie pit and are discovered by Martinez. #cliffhanger
This episode had no Rick Grimes or Bob Stookey, wasn't that weird?
GORBELLI FOODS COMPANY
Was this an episode of "The Walking Dead" or an hour-long commercial for Gorbelli Foods Company? That was some pretty solid product placement. Even better, though, was the SpaghettiOs appearance. Mmmm, I could go for a big bowl of SpaghettiOs right about now. I like to cut up a hot dog and fix them with that in it. Ooooh, I love it! I can't believe the Governor dumped those SpaghettiOs out in favor of Miss Wilhelm's butter beans. That was a grave misstep.
Unlike most of this season's new characters, it looks like the Chalmers' (at least three of the four) will be with us for awhile, so let's get to know them.
Megan Chalmers, aka new Penny, is played by 10-year-old Meyrick Murphy.
Tara Chalmers plays bad cop and says that she was an Atlanta police officer, even though that is a little white lie. Tara enjoys the company of other females and once ate psychadelic mushrooms with her old girlfriend Sam. Tara is played by 25-year-old Alanna Masterson, who was on "The Young and the Restless", "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Grey's Anatomy", among other television shows and obscure movies. Her older brother is Danny Masterson, who everyone knows as Hyde from "That 70's Show".
Lilly Chalmers is a nurse and Megan's mother, and her husband ditched her before the zombie apocalypse with the old "going out for a couple of beers and a Powerball ticket" ruse. Lilly seems a little too naive and trusting, as none of the Chalmers' even knew that you have to take out the zombies' heads to kill them. Lilly is played by 38-year-old Audrey Marie Anderson. She was a regular on these shows I've never heard of called "Point Pleasant" and "The Unit".
David Chalmers, aka Old Man Oxygen Tank, likes playing games with his granddaughter Megan. Don't get too attached to him because he has already died of lung cancer, and wanted to smoke his Merit ultra light menthols all the way up until the end. Before the outbreak he drove a truck for Gorbelli Foods. He was friends with Backgammon Bob upstairs. David is portrayed by veteran actor Danny Vinson, who had minor roles in "Walk the Line", "Talladega Nights" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button".
Lilly: "There has to be some place better and you're going to help us find it ... I saw the picture, Brian. You had a family. I know that, and I know we're not them. But for now you're stuck with us and that's just the way it's going to be."
There were several to choose from, but the winner might be one of the best ever seen on "The Walking Dead"! It happened when the Governor and Megan fell into that pitfall and were accosted by three rotting bodies. The Governor ripped out the esophagus of one of them to slow it down a bit, and then did this epic move: he took a big Flintstones bone and gagged the esophagus-less zombie with it before using it as a lever to pry the top half of its head off. The greatest of zombie kills!
The Governor also took second place by smashing the living heck out of David Chalmers' head, and then just when you thought he was done smashing, smashing some more.
The legless one in the bathtub with the dishpan face. His face looked like that guy Zoidberg from "Futurama". The Governor was like "Is that your face or did your neck throw up?" and it was SUCH a good burn but no one was there to appreciate it. Then the Governor was like "Hey I'm gonna stab up your face and it will probably improve your looks" and there was no need to insult that creature that was clearly suffering through perpetual agony.
That old lady one in the wheelchair with the fangs and ghoulish eyes was pretty freaky too.
Zombies: Six, for 191 on the season. (That number is pretty unofficial though, as the killing has been kind of fast and loose this season.)
Humans: One. David Chalmers, for a nice and even 20 on the season.
A look ahead to next week's episode, "Dead Weight"
The Governor stands on a dock and reunites with his old cronies, who take him in, but trouble (and hilarity) ensues when they stumble across a tent city. The Governor goes on a mission with the boys and comes across a headless soldier tied to a tree.