The Walking Dead Review: “Dead Weight”

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Well, that didn’t last long.

Last week, I was just praising The Walking Dead for taking the Governor in the a different direction than the comic. For reining in his psychopathy and allowing him a path toward redemption as he learns not to be the ruthless killer her once was.

Welp, so much for that.

In what’s been generally my favorite season of the series so far, I was pretty disappointed with last night’s episode. Not just because the Governor reverted back to his former self, but also in the way the transition was handled. Specifically, everything felt so incredibly rushed.

As much as I liked the idea of the Governor turning over a new leaf, I will admit everything that happened in the episode made some sort of sense. The Governor kills Martinez so he can’t tell his new family about his bloody former life. The Governor realizes that Pete is too much like Rick, and the new camp needs a “do whatever it takes” leader to survive.

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But holy shit, did that all happen fast. The Governor killing Martinez by clubbing him and dragging him into the zombie pit was so out of nowhere, I swore it had to be some sort of vivid dream sequence. The show cut to commercial, then came back with Brian “having a bad dream” but then they go outside to tell us that yep, Martinez really is dead. The episode was full of bizarre, disorienting cuts like that.

The Governor’s new girl’s sister becomes a couple with the army girl in what, two sentences? And then she’s leaving with them a few scenes later, but wait nevermind, the Governor turns around and goes to kill Pete (meaning Dollhouse’s Enver Gjokaj will remain criminally underused) in order to seize control of the camp.

While most of the events made sense, even if they were rushed, I could not buy the idea that the Governor would kill Mitch’s brother and then immediately be able to recruit him to his side. You’re going to trust a guy whose brother you just executed to be eternally loyal to you? I understand that Mitch wants to survive and all that, but there’s no way the Governor would be that stupid to actually trust a guy with such a massive vendetta against him. But he does need him to drive that tank.

The tank signifies that despite the Governor getting away at the end of Season Three, we might be headed back into comic book territory. I won’t say any more than that, but things appear to be coming to a head, again, and some beloved characters might bite the dust.

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I just didn’t like how violent and quick this internal transition was with the Governor after the slow and methodical episode last week where we saw him healing and becoming the sort of guy who does the right thing just to help others. The show raced through his violent turnaround, and really, we’re back to square one with the Governor leading an army against the prison, only this time he has a tank. I’m not on board with the show simply reusing the same conflict as last season.

I thought these departure episodes were going to make the Governor a more well-rounded person, and though I suppose we’ve spent more time with him, he’s back to the same sort of crazy he was before (he’s even started a new zombie observatory collection in the lake). So really all these episodes did was to fill in the timeline blanks of where he’s been, as he really hasn’t changed at all.

I don’t know, I was just excited that the show was going to use David Morrissey in a non-traditional way and make him something more than a cartoon character villain. And now he’s simply back in psychopath mode, and having a new surrogate family to defend isn’t really reason enough to justify his complete and utter madness.

I’m guessing that next week the two plotlines will finally collide again, though I doubt Michonne will be eating a bullet in the first few moments. What did you make of this week’s frenzied episode?

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2 Comments

  1. I agree the transition did seem a bit rushed. But then, I would rather things advance a little fast in one episode than to have it crawl along and take half a season to achieve anything resembling plot…so still an improvement. đŸ™‚

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