Before we reach the end of this week’s episode of The Walking Dead — which just happens to be the same place that the Nov. 10 episode concluded — the Governor goes from starting a new life to getting up to his old tricks. Or, as he calls it, “surviving.” Along the way, there’s murder, a coup d’SPLAT and, at last, a glimpse of one of our favorites — albeit in the madman’s crosshairs! Here’s how we get there…
CAMP CLASSIC? | “Dead Weight” begins with Martinez rattling off the rules of his camp for the Governor, aka “Brian.” Sorry, make that the one rule, singular: “Contribute, or be cast out.” Not a problem. Lily gets busy nursing, Tara gets busy collecting bullets (she loves ammo, that one), and on a supply run with the boss, straight arrow Pete and his Merle Lite brother, Mitch, Ol’ One-Eye — or “One-Eye Bri” to Mitch — dispatch a coupla walkers with ease. Martinez senses that Woodbury’s former Big Kahuna is “different now… changed.” Unfortunately, if he is, it doesn’t stick. When Martinez suggests, “Maybe we can share the crown a little,” the Governor bludgeons him with a golf club and — mumbling “I don’t want it” every step of the way — feeds him to a pit full of walkers! (Hate to criticize, Philip, but, um, some people try saying “No thanks” before feeding their rescuers to flesh-eating zombies. Just sayin’.)
NEXT UP | When Martinez’s remains are discovered, Pete takes over as the group’s temporary leader. Very temporary, it turns out. Besides making the same mistake as his predecessor — he confesses to “Brian,” “I could use some help” — he shows weakness by not robbing another bunch of survivors for their supplies. (When the survivors are seen again soon after — no longer surviving — Mitch, of course, is all, “Dang it, I told you we shoulda robbed ’em ourselves!”) So, as soon as the Governor realizes that he can’t pack up his new family and drive away from the leaderless camp, because they’re trapped by a pack of walkers stuck in mud, he straps on his six-shooter, murders Pete and invites Mitch to be — what else? — his new Merle. “Join me,” he says, “and I promise you’ll never have to worry about whether you were doing the right thing or the wrong thing, because we will do the only thing.”
JAIL TIME | At first, it appears that “Brian” might make a real go of it at the camp. (And, after all that bloodshed, shouldn’t he?) Pete be damned, Mitch falls in line immediately. Tara already has a girlfriend, Alicia. (They hooked up over — what else for Tara? — guns and ammo.) And, leaky as their camper may be, Lily really digs it. But, when Megan’s attacked by a walker that makes it past the perimeter, all bets are off. There’s got to be someplace better, “Brian” thinks. And he just happens to know where that someplace better is! Next we see the Governor, he’s outside the prison, eying Rick and Carl as enviously as anybody with only one eye can. And, finally, the hour winds up with the villain pointing his pistol at a distant Michonne.
Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Were you surprised that the Governor reverted to pure evil so quickly? (Or, in your estimation, was he always pure evil?) Were you sorry to see Martinez return, only to be dispatched as “dead weight”? And how aggravated are you that we’ve now gone two — TWO! — weeks without finding out how Daryl handles the news of Carol’s banishment? Hit the comments!