Thursday, 28 November 2013

S4x7 - The Walking Dead: Dead Weight

Aired 24/11/13

Week two in the life of Brian the Governor; the dramatic reunion with Martinez last week led to, well, some talking. It was tense, I’ll give them that, as Martinez made it clear he was in charge and eventually invited them back to his camp. Luckily Lily’s optimism hasn’t died along with everyone else as she stated that even though the camp’s not great, they’d make it better. Well okay then!

She set herself up as camp nurse while the Governor went on a scouting trip with Martinez and two brothers to a cabin to get some supplies and stuff. On the way there they found a body of a guy tied to a tree, his head cut off and a sign saying ‘liar’ nailed to his chest. When they reached a cabin there was one with ‘rapist’ nailed to his chest, casually tied to an armchair outside, and a guy with his head this time and ‘murderer’ on his chest, who looked like he had taken himself out holding a picture of his family. He definitely wasn't messing around at the end of the world.

They searched the house, sending the Governor in as the sacrificial lamb to search for Walkers and found the dead guy’s wife and kid, plus the two heads, all looking for some tasty human flesh. He bashed in their skulls with his torch and they sat around a nice warm fire exchanging war stories of way back when. One of the brothers, Mitch, drove a tank in the army which turned out to be very useful when the zombie apocalypse happened. I think I’m going to have to include that in my plan from now on - don’t lie, you know you’ve thought about it too! And when the time comes, you’ll be the one laughing as your well thought out plan keeps you alive. You and your tank.

The next day they’re sat around the picnic table back at camp, eating lunch and getting merry with the beer they found in the cabin, reminiscing about the old times. I like that we continue to see evidence of the Governor’s remorse as the presence of Martinez threatens the life of Brian, even though he has said he’s not going to say anything. The Governor’s reluctance to even mention Woodbury is obvious and he’s apparently very good at dodging the subject when Lily asks.

They all disperse and as he sets about fixing the leak in his ceiling, Martinez invites him for a spot of golf on top of one of the caravans. Martinez is pretty drunk, taking alternate swigs of booze after each swing, talking about how lackey number two died and his responsibilities as camp leader. He suggests sharing some with the Governor and just as he says he should have taken golf lessons, the Governor clubs him over the head, drags him to a Walker pit and drops him in for feeding time, all the while saying he didn’t want it. Jeez, Gov, you could have just said no and be done with it. This reaction was a tad extreme and evidence that maybe there’s a reason he has so much guilt.

Despite the guilt though, it seems that he can’t just wipe away who he was, but luckily no one suspected him and instead blamed Martinez’s death as a drunken accident while he blamed his shaking on a bad dream. Pete assumed leadership of the camp until a vote can be placed and took the Governor and Tank Guy on a hunt. They came across another camp with plenty of supplies that Tank Guy wanted to rob but Pete, the brother with a conscience, said no. They’d only caught a few squirrels though, and when they went back to the camp they found that it has been massacred by humans who had taken the supplies. It wasn’t too clear how much time had passed as they made it seem like not a lot, but I would think that they’d hear a massacre going on not too far away right? Either way they don’t have the supplies for themselves. Gutted.

Spooked, the Governor went back and demanded Lily and Megan pack up all their stuff to leave. Along with Tara and her new girlfriend Elisha, they attempted to flee but came to a roadblock of a bunch of Walkers stuck in the mud. That killed that idea. Forced back to camp, the next day the Governor went to see Pete who thought it was a chat about Tank Guy, but ended up being stabbed in the back, literally. Turns out that the Governor we knew and didn’t quite love has come back to play in his desperation to protect his new family.

He goes to see Tank Guy and confesses to the killing, saying that it was the right idea about robbing the other camp and that they should run this one. We got a little insight to his background as he told a story of his father beating him, but it seems like he has found a kindred spirit in Tank Guy, someone who doesn’t always do the right thing to survive. That was the Governor’s way before and it seems like he’s getting his groove back.

We now have a more familiar picture of the Governor running the camp, making decisions as people follow his every command. He even has the equivalent of his aquarium of Walker heads as he chained Walker Pete to a rock and stuck him in the lake. He has a little family, and more importantly, he has their trust. But all through the episode he’s talked of moving on, finding somewhere safer, and that leads us right back to the shot of him standing looking at the prison.

It seems like he just can’t let it go, especially when he sees Michonne smiling happily at Hershel. The episode ends with him aiming for her, and the promo for next week shows him convincing his new camp to try and take the prison, a storyline that seems oddly familiar. Look, I liked it last season: it gave Rick’s group a new challenge, it was fairly entertaining and stirred up some good dramatic TV moments. But I don’t know if I necessarily want to see it again. It seems like a lazy way of storytelling, to just repeat it over, but at the same time, it is already a proven formula so why change? They might go all ‘Walking Dead’ on us anyway and completely deny our expectations and switch it up. Either way, it’s the mid-season finale next week, so someone is bound to die, and the cliff hanger will annoy me for months. Bring it on.