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Walking Dead: Dead Weight

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Walking Dead Dead Weight

Walking Dead leads us around in a big circle with a two-episode shaggy dog story that tells us what we already knew about the Governor: he’s a dick.

Before I get into this episode, let’s address the comic book underpinnings. Or rather, let’s not and point you to someone who will. I’ve been discussing this show completely independent of the comic books ever since Shane’s story diverged so massively. However, these episodes involving the Governor were in part picking up threads of his story as it happens in the comics. This perhaps adds some weight to the episodes if you’re familiar with the comics, especially the bits about his brother being too noble, but at the same time these episodes seemed to exist solely to address the Gov’s comic-based backstory, and did it in a haphazard, pointless manner. In any case, if you’d like a better examination of how TV Governor compares to comics Governor, check out Laura Hudson’s recaps at Wired, especially last week’s.

Why I am so irritated with this two-episode set? It started out last week with the Gov lurking in the trees watching the inhabitants of the prison. We saw that and thought, “The Gov is such a jerk, I hate him, he’s probably going to start another war. I hope he dies.” Then two long episodes went by and we ended with the Gov lurking in the tree trees watching the inhabitants of the prison, still thinking, “The Gov is such a jerk, I hate him, he’s probably going to start another war. I hope he dies.”

Good story bro.

Last week was all about the Governor losing himself, then finding a new family and vowing to always protect them. This week was about the Gov deciding to do whatever it takes to protect them, ethics be damned. The episode title, Dead Weight, seems to refer to Martinez’ admonition that anyone joining their camp has to contribute, but more importantly, it refers to the weight of a crown upon a leader’s head. Shakespeare (whose original quote from Henry IV is, “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” but it is commonly remembered and understood as, “Heavy hangs the head…”) was referring to the pressures of leadership.

Those pressures are apparently too much for Gov to handle at first, as the mere mention of “sharing the crown” causes him to flip out and murder Martinez, yelling, “I don’t want it!” There’s a fine line between a shocking scene and one that just doesn’t make any sense.

A bunch of stuff happens that shows how the Governor is driven to his decision to go on a murder spree and take control of the group. Mitch has a tank. There are more heavy-handed chess metaphors. Another camp is massacred and robbed. Gov doesn’t want to talk about Woodbury. Some guy killed people and kept their heads (but not in fish tanks). Everyone was apparently in the military at some point.

Whatever. It’s all bullshit. In the end this not about some kind of bold decision to fight for survival. It’s about the Governor being a control freak. Look how happy he is handing out orders, organizing the camp, and circling things on his little map. He could have simply put Mitch in charge if it was all about doing what’s necessary. He did not. “I’m running things now.” He’s a small man who needs to be able to tell other people what to do.

What else is there to say? Zombies in a quagmire were cool, and provided some lingering looks at great makeup work. I noticed when Pete was dumped in the pond that he hadn’t been given a head-shot, which seemed like a crappy thing to do. Later the Gov went to watch him struggling underwater, where he’ll be pretty much forever.

To wrap up the little saga, a walker sneaks into the camp and almost eats the little girl, the one Gov swore to protect, of course. Now he’s driven to find a safer place for everyone, which sends him to the prison. Right back where we started.

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Posted by on Sunday, November 24th, 2013. Filed under Dark TV, Headline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.