ByMatt Carter, writer at
If the zombie apocalypse kicks off you'll find me in the Winchester. @moremattcarter
Matt Carter

In this regular Monday feature our resident The Walking Dead geek Matt Carter goes through the latest episode of the zompocalypse drama looking for things you might have missed.

Today we’ll be looking at last night’s episode, “Dead Weight.” Spoilers abound from here on in, so if you aren't up to date with all things TWD, I suggest you stop reading, go and watch the episode and come back.

Let's do this.

Check mate

Did any of you notice the subtle chess metaphor that played out at the beginning of the episode? OK, so it wasn't exactly subtle, but it served to tell us two things: First, that 'One-eyed Bri' probably watched The Wire before the word went to shit ("The king stay the king") and secondly, that he was done thinking things through. It was time to make his move.

His move was to catch and compromise to a permanent end (John Cena's words, not mine) both Martinez and Pete. Neither of them were capable of keeping the Governor and his new family safe, so they had to go. He next has Rick and the prison in his sights.

You got the dude's king, you got the game, yo.

Man in the mirror

"Dead Weight" was heavy on the symbolism. At times it felt as if a big metaphorical hammer was being smashed over our heads while the writers screamed "Look how serious we can be! History is repeating itself! People can't come back from what they've done!"

The dripping water represented the Gov's state of mind and his struggle to keep his evil side under control

There was the leaking roof in the RV which got worse as the episode progressed, despite it being the hot and sunny day in Georgia. Like the plop plop of the ever increasing dripping water, the Gov' struggled to keep his evil side under control.

Then there was the excursion to the farm house and what amounted to the Governor reliving his past sins through the dead army soldiers. In case we weren't quite sure what it was all supposed to mean they even nailed the words "LIAR", "RAPIST" and "MURDERER" to the corpses so it was literally spelled out for us. And to round it all off, the owner of the house had a photo of his family (just like the Governor!), who kept their reanimated corpses (just like the Governor!) and the heads of the biters in the basement (just like the... you get the idea).

I appreciated what the writers were trying to say about being unable to escape your past, but at times it felt a bit heavy-handed.

Back to where we started

Which brings us to the final point. Essentially we are back to the same place we were at the end of Season 3. The Governor is poised to launch an attack on the prison, except this time he's got a [email protected]%king tank to help him.

I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing though.

Whereas at the end of Season 3 the Governor was a one-dimensional bad guy drawn with rather large brush strokes, this time we have a character that has developed into a ruthless monster before our eyes. We know what drives him to be the man he is, which will make it that much more interesting and engaging when the final battle plays out.

It will also go some way to erasing the memory of what was a disappointing series finale last time out. Instead of seeing the Governor and his gang retreat with their tails between their legs at the first sign of trouble, we should now get the climactic battle that we hoped for. The question now is, who will make it out alive?

Points for further discussion

  • The Governor encounters a road blocked by biters and therefore decides murder and dictatorship is now the only logical course of action. That is some serious road rage.

  • Replacing an aquarium full of undead heads with a underwater ghoul is definitely an improvement.

  • It wasn't surprising to learn that the Governor's father beat him at everything. The sins of the father continue to be passed down.

  • The Governor's anecdote about his "hero" brother was a nice little reference for anybody who has read the source material.

  • Three cheers for Tara and Alisha! Bonding over guns 'n' ammo and a love of the fist bump...

What were your thoughts on "Dead Weight?" Were you happy that an entire episode was once again dedicated to the Governor? Let's start a discussion in the comments section below or you can hit me up on twitter.



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