Open Thread: The Walking Dead 4.7 “Dead Weight”



By Jeannie Chan

Last week, we were (at least, I was) manipulated into thinking that the Governor had become a new man. The RT’ers spent all of the last episode nervously waiting for the Governor to crack and go off on another murderous rampage. But it didn’t happen. This week, we pick up right where we left off with Martinez staring at him down the barrel of a gun. By the end of the episode, we catch up to Team Prison’s timeline with the Governor standing outside. But first, let’s talk about all the crazy things that happened in between. Let’s get the ball rolling on this open thread!

Things I want to talk about:

1. Dat tank tho.

Fans of the comic books probably had a major squee moment when the camera panned out to reveal the tank, as it has great significance in the series. I actually haven’t been so good at keeping up with the comic books, but what kind of a nerd would I be if I at least didn’t do my research on this? Squee away in the comments below but please do try not to cast too many spoilers/predictions about where the show may go for those of us who don’t follow the comics.

2. RIP Brian Harriet

It’s hard not to compare the Governor to Rick, especially during this episode. The Governor is now attached to a family. He has people to protect. So obviously when he sees that leadership is lacking, he has to step in and take over. Because he has loved ones to think about. So obviously that means he has to club Martinez over the head when he’s drunk and throw him in the zombie pit… And chain the other guy to a rock underwater. That makes sense…

What makes actual sense is why he’s at the prison. He needs better shelter for his new family. But how is he going to get in there? Will he try to be peaceful? LOL. That’s absurd. Sorry. Especially considering how absolutely enraged he gets when he spots Michonne in the yard. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m not ready to talk about the ending yet.

So, let’s go back to the return of the Governor. We spent 43 minutes last week watching him try to reinvent himself. Redeem himself. This show likes to mess with us like that quite often. Set us up to like or hate a character for whatever reason and then flip it. Or rather, paint a complicated enough picture that there’s no easy way to side with a character. Was Rick justified in killing Shane? Was Carol right to kill Karen and David? Did the Governor really have to kill Martinez and Pete? Technically, they all did it for the people that they love. Why is it easier to forgive one and not the other(s)?

3. Ghosts

Hey, remember when Rick’s wife died and he had a mental breakdown and started talking to nobody on the phone and saw Lori’s ghost everywhere? Not that this is in any way the same, but I keep drawing parallels between Rick and the Governor and this is what I thought of when he told Lily that he couldn’t lose her again. It was clear from the moment that the Governor met Lily and Megan that they were going to be surrogates for his dead wife and daughter. I didn’t think we really needed to be clubbed in the head (too soon?) with a line like that. At the same time though, it got a pretty big reaction out of me. The same uh-oh and yeesh I made when I realized that Rick was hallucinating Lori everywhere. Only the Governor doesn’t really have a Hershel to help him put these ghosts to rest, does he? Major uh-oh.

4. The Ending

Okay. Okay. So. The Governor’s outside the prison. He’s thinking. It’s his turn. He has to make a move. (Can we stop with the chess metaphors now?) But how, right? And then he spots Michonne and he becomes so visibly enraged, it’s amazing. Kudos, David Morrissey. I don’t actually think he’s going to fire at Michonne right then and there. I think the Governor of yore would have loved to take his time to torture her before eventually, finally killing her. But, I don’t know! Because of course, the episode ends right at this moment! Asjkshfjfaewugd!~

5. That’s all I got.

Your turn!

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

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  • Montclair Mommy

    I have to honest, I hated the end…wait, no…I hated this entire episode. I hate that the Governor, who I THOUGHT was going to be a more well-rounded character, acted violently without any reason again. I hated that he turned all evil and killed Martinez like that. There was no reason for it. I don’t see how doubts of Martinez’s leadership lead to a valid killing in the same way that trying to protect the prison from an outbreak could maybe be justified. If he didn’t like Martinez’s leadership style, no one has broken his mouth. He could **GASP** discuss it with him, like a reasonably normal individual. The lack of communication in this zombie world is astounding. This could have all been avoided by Martinez warning his new leader-buddies about what a violent, rageful person the Governor was. A little heads up. “Hey, guys, he seems really different, but when I was with this guy last he lost his mind and killed people on our side. He really lost control, I would keep my eye on him. I don’t fully trust him yet. I’ll give him another chance, but I’m going to keep my eye on him and you should, too.” THEY HAVE NO TV and NO MEDIA–why don’t they take some time to communicate necessary info with each other??! What else are they doing while they stand around killing zombies and gathering food?? Sitting silently?

    Also, if the Governor was so concerned about protecting his “family”, he could have stayed in the nice, safe apartment building they had. He could go on runs from there. I thought they were looking for community? And if he loves this family so much, why did he just walk away after the little girl almost died at the end and he shot the zombie in the head? If they are trying to set up “he loves this family–would do anything for them” type motivation, he should have at least run to her and scooped her up. Anything but just turning and walking away without a word. He is a violent, evil, power hungry person and that, to me, is not compelling to watch. The idea of realism and protecting your core group (and determining who that is) over everything vs. holding onto a potentially outdated pre-zombie morality is a very compelling theme. But, that is not what is being set up with his behavior. There are complex themes the writers could be exploring here, and instead we have to AGAIN (AGAIN!!!!) watch a prison vs. Governor’s people battle??!! We already did that!!! This has already HAPPENED! It is the end of the world, but they have time for vendettas? It is just lazy writing, in my opinion. The writers need to try something new. Like maybe, this time, letting the Governor’s lover get wise to his evil and kill him in his sleep. Now THAT would make ME happy.

    • Ellington

      Dear Montclair Mommy,
      I totally concur with all that you said about this episode and the Governor.
      I HATED, this episode as well. You brought up some excellent points about the plot and motivation.
      This episode annoyed me so much that I skipped last night’s viewing.
      I am rather tired of the worn out trope that if you are a kind,compassionate person then you have to be weak.this show uses that theme far too much.
      Thanks for your constructive critique.

    • Montclair Mommy

      ***SPOILER ALERT****

      I just want to say I am pumped that they let the Governor’s partner be the one to take the final shot. I thought it would make me happy, and it totally did. :) So glad to be rid of him!!