The Governor took part in some fist bumping, a night of body bumping, a pinky swear and found himself with a name change, all while rediscovering his humanity on Sunday night’s episode of “The Walking Dead.”
Here’s our blow-by-blow recap of “The Walking Dead” Season 4, Episode 406, “Live Bait,” which followed the journey of The Governor starting at the end of Season 3 (and before he was standing outside the prison in last week’s episode):
The Road Outside The Prison: It’s a scene that could have been used in Season 3 — bodies lie bleeding and lifeless as The Governor (David Morrissey) and Martinez (Jose Pablo Cantillo) survey the carnage. It’s the result of the former Woodbury leader gunning down his own after they abandoned the prison attack.
The Backwoods: Three one-man tents sit side by side. The Governor, sitting in front of them, stares into the fire as a walker stumbles toward him through the flames. He pays little attention as she falls, clawing her way closer. A gunshot rings out. It’s courtesy of Martinez. Business taken care of, Martinez walks away.
Peering out of his yellow tent in the morning, The Governor looks around. The other tents are gone and he is alone.
Jumping in a military truck, he speeds to Woodbury. Standing in the center of town, he looks at it in disgust — it is ablaze and overrun with walkers.
Unknown Desolate Town: With a full beard, his hair now grown out long, The Governor stumbles through countryside and unknown streets, wandering aimlessly. He stops at a barn, looking at spray painted messages left by folks for their loved ones. The audio of a conversation he is about to have with two women soundtracks the scene.
“I’ve been on the road for a couple of months,” he tells them. But before, he lived in a town. “It was safe, full of good people,” he explains. They have to know what happened. The man in charge “he just lost it,” The Governor says. “Barely got out alive.”
Stumbling and nearly unable to go on, The Governor looks up, above a Gorbelli Foods truck, and into an apartment window, spotting what looks like a little girl. Within seconds, she disappears.
Apartment Building: Flashlight on, The Governor begins to move slowly through the halls in search of the child. He’s greeted by a scared woman with a baseball bat – Lilly (“Arrow’s” Audrey Marie Anderson). Her daughter, Megan, the one from the window, is hiding behind her. An apartment door opens. Tara, Lilly’s sister, aims her barrel at The Governor’s chest. He puts down his weapons and bag.
Family Apartment: “You look like you barely got out alive,” Tara says, looking The Governor up and down. Saying nothing at first, he takes stock of their situation — two women, one young girl, and an older man breathing from an oxygen tank. The women ask the stranger how long he’ll be staying. “Just for the night,” he tells them. “You mess with me or my family, I will put you down,” Tara tells him, before asking him to “pound it” (fist bump instead of shaking hands). The deal made, Tara asks his name. “Brian,” he replies. “Brian Heriot.”
Another Apartment In The Building: Seated on a couch, Brian (The Governor) opens a tin and begins to eat. A knock at the door stops him. “You’ve gotta be hungry,” Lilly says, handing him a bowl of circular shaped spaghetti. “Thank you,” he whispers as she leaves. Heading to the window, he dumps the hot food outside and resumes his tin can meal.
Family Apartment: While watching Megan play backgammon with her grandfather, the sisters share their worries about the child. A creak in the floorboards outside stops their conversation. It’s Brian (The Governor) putting the empty bowl down. “Why don’t you slow down, buddy. … This isn’t the Holiday Inn,” Tara states. “Bucket on the left is for washing, right is for rinsing.”
Inside their apartment, the women tell Brian their post-apocalypse story. When things changed, their dad was driving a heavily loaded Gorbelli Foods truck. He picked up Megan from school, Lilly from the hospital, and they rushed to get Tara.
Apocalypse story time over, Brian helps the dad to his bed. “Tara’s been up there a bunch of times, blasting the bastards to pieces. She says they keep getting back up,” dad tells Brian, addressing the sound of slow footsteps coming from the roof. He also asks Brian for a favor — retrieve a backgammon set from Bill Jenkins’ apartment in 303. “It might be something that might make my Megan talk again. Please,” dad pleads.
Bill Jenkins’ Apartment: Grabbing the backgammon set from under the bed, Brian makes to leave when he hears a disturbance coming from the bathroom, more specifically from the tub. Pulling back the shower curtain, Brian sees an immobile walker (Bill Jenkins). He must have tried to commit suicide when things changed as his face is a mess and there is a revolver in his hand. Brian takes the weapon and leaves.
Another Apartment In The Building: After delivering the backgammon set, Brian heads to the place he’s resting his head for the night and pulls out the photo of his own family. He folds down the corner over his own face in the picture, and looks at the images of his late wife and daughter Penny before falling asleep.
In the morning light, Lilly comes in. “A couple things for the road,” she says, handing Brian a package. “You helped us. We’re saying thank you. Deal with it.” He has a kindness for her too — a lesson in walker (biter) extermination. ”You have to kill the brain,” he tells her.
She’s nervous, but Lilly decides to ask him for a favor anyway. Dad has Stage 4 lung cancer and just a few days left to live. Could Brian make them better by retrieving an oxygen tank? Brian’s head slumps, before she seals the deal with the perfect plea. “He’s the only one that can put a smile on Megan’s face,” she tells him.
Old Folks Home: Leaves crunching under his boots, Brian heads into the medical center. Stepping over bodies and walkers, he sees the oxygen tanks. Tossing an extra container into the oxygen tank dolly wasn’t a good idea. The clanking metal rouses walkers who are fast and lunge for him. Nearly overrun, Brian grabs a fraction of what he hoped to take and heads for the door.
Family Apartment: “They’re both full,” Brian tells Lilly, giving her the tanks. She notices he’s been cut and follows him upstairs, rubbing alcohol bottle in hand.
Another Apartment In The Building: “Sit,” she orders Brian. “Let me be a nurse again.” He stiffens as the alcohol touches his head and again when she blows cool air on his wound. She notices and gently blows on his forehead again — on purpose. After a brief conversation over the whereabouts of her husband (he was gone long before the apocalypse), a child calls out. “In here honey… Brian just got a booboo that needs cleaning up,” Lilly says. More sure of herself around the stranger, Megan asks him about the his eye. “[Did] something happen to you or are you just born like that?” she asks him. “Was that bad to ask,” she says, looking a little embarrassed. Charmed by the little girl, Brian says he’ll tell her what happened if she promises to keep it secret. She stretches out her little finger. “What’s that?” Brian asks, confused by the gesture. “Pinky swear,” she explains. No, he’s not a pirate, he was trying to help someone he loved, someone who got hurt in the process. “I’m sorry,” Megan says. “Me too,” he replies.
Family Apartment: With dad on his last breaths and being tended to by Lilly and Tara, Brian keeps Megan occupied by teaching her chess. “You can lose a lot of soldiers, but still win the game,” he tells the youngster. Grabbing a pen, Megan picks up one of the pieces. “Looks like you,” she says, revealing that the little chess man now has an eye patch. Surprised and touched, Brian laughs.
Their joy is brief. Dad has died. Gathered around the bed, Brian tells them to leave. It’s too late. Dad becomes a walker and lunges for Tara’s head. Reacting instinctively, Brian grabs an object and bashes in the walker’s head, the women around him screaming in terror at the bloody scene.
After burying dad, Brian and Lilly head back into the apartment. Megan runs and hides behind a chair. “He could’ve got me. He almost got me,” a thankful Tara tells Brian. “We’re cool,” she adds, reaching out her fist for another bump.
Another Apartment In The Building: Upstairs, Brian burns the photo of his family, puts on his backpack and heads out. “We’re coming with you,” Lilly says. “For now you’re stuck with us, and that’s just the way it’s gonna be.”
The Road: Megan and Lilly are in the back, Tara’s up front in the Gorbelli Foods truck as Brian drives this new family. “Do you think we can make it?” Tara asks. “We’ll make it,” he replies.
Parked Near A Stream: Gathered around the fire, Megan isn’t quite ready to speak to Brian again. “It’s gonna take some time,” Melody tells him.
Hunkering down in the back of the truck, Megan is asleep, curled up next to aunt Tara, her mom, next to Brian. She wiggles closer to him, making herself available. Slowly he strokes her arm and things get much more amorous quite quickly.
Passions may have flared the night before, but in the morning, the new little family is forced to hit the road by foot as the truck won’t start. As Megan drags her pink suitcase down a gravel road, Brian hears sounds that aren’t quite right. Running up ahead, he spots a group of walkers. “Drop your bags! Let’s go,” he screams. Megan freezes, but eventually decides to leap into Brian’s arms. He runs, clutching her closely as Lilly drags Tara and her newly injured ankle, the biters in pursuit.
Running as fast as he can, Brian makes a misstep and he and Megan fall hard into a pit — a pit filled with walkers. As the sounds of machine guns firing echo through the air, along with Megan’s cries, Brian takes out each walker in the pit with his bare hands. “I’m never gonna let anything happen to you,” he tells her, hugging the young girl close. “Promise,” she says. “Cross my heart,” he tells her.
“Holy sh**” a man says, looking down into the pit. It’s Martinez. “Cross my heart,” Brian tells Megan again.
“The Walking Dead” continues Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.
-- Jolie Lash