Monday, February 26, 2018

The Walking Dead - Dead Weight



** / ****

I will always personally consider the fourth season episode centered on The Governor after Woodbury’s fall, Live Bait, a very interesting and unique change of venue from the normal Walking Dead formula prior to it. The Governor sort of seemed to be on a course of somewhat redeeming himself only to go completely off kilter in Dead Weight with the storyline excuse of “doing what is necessary in order to be the leader and survive” the reasoning behind his total deviation from the altered characterization.  Starting over with this supposed new family, The Governor sees his mission in protecting the Chamblers (and those he is introduced to by former associate at Woodbury, Caesar Martinez) does require making decisions that he deems necessary despite how reprehensible they might be. Caesar, and co-horts Pete and Mitch Dolgen (Enver Gjokaj and Kirk Acevedo), allow The Governor and Chamblers to join their mini-camp (very similar to Shane, Lori, and their camp before Rick found them in the first season). Because Caesar (and later Pete) admits doubt about maintaining safety in the camp, The Governor (I can only guess) sees that as a threat to his family so he must execute them for revealing such weakness.








I felt this episode was designed particularly to get us to The Governor vs. Rick once and for all. The Governor of Live Bait can’t be the character on the verge of making the lives miserable of Hershel, Michonne, and Rick’s remaining bunch in the correctional facility after Dead Weight. He must be “too far gone”, ruining what little idyll is left at the prison. Yep, if the flu doesn’t ruin that idyll, The Governor will sure as hell try and finish Rick and company off.

Lilly’s vision of The Governor—especially after he beats Caesar with a golf club and feeds him to the trench full of biters and stabs Pete in the back multiple times with a knife from behind before dumping him into the lake—will eventually leave her quite disappointed…and quite possibly dead. The episode gradually adds aspects of Evil Governor back to the character (the leather jacket with the collar flipped up and the altered visage dissolving the good will perhaps built up during Live Bait and at the very beginning of Dead Weight) so by the end he’s looking down at Zombie Pete reaching up towards him and eyeballing Rick and Carl tending to the prison garden and Hershel and Michonne busy outside the gates. The separate stories now meet, with these the two factions (led by Rick and Governor) now inevitably heading towards a bloody disaster…and a lot of people will wind up dead. The Governor could have charted his own course, building a new Woodbury elsewhere, but revenge (or the idea of it) is too irresistible. The Governor has to die and so Live Bait was a façade and Dead Weight an excuse to send him on his way to such a destination.
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Zombie fans should not feel discouraged, there are plenty of the rotted uglies. Mud-crawling, pit-dwelling, house-occupied undead walkers looking to be fed. Caesar is delivered right to them, while Pete and Meghan are salvaged such a fate. The Governor sees plenty of them, saving Meghan, giving over Caesar, and being responsible for Pete becoming a member. Mitch, however, is spared because he felt a camp with supplies desperately needed were worth raiding while his brother thought otherwise.

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