Last week, we thought the Governor was back on “The Walking Dead.” But this week, he is REALLY back. What had become a gentle-souled shell of the former psychopath has now become full-fledged crazy once again in this week’s episode, “Dead Weight.”
Last week, as we saw the Governor bury his past and acquire a new family, the question the episode asked was: Can someone bad also be good? But this week, the question was the other way around.
The episode began in a dual scene that maximized the creepiness of the Guv’s own duality. It switched between his and Meghan’s rescue from the Walker pit by Martinez (Jose Pablo Cantillo) and an initiation to the rules of their new camp; and to the Guv playing chess with Meghan, talking about how his dad beat him, and assuring her that she and her family are good people. He himself, however, he was not so sure about.
At the new camp, “Brian” goes out on a supply run with Martinez and the other guys, and they come across a cabin with a few decapitated bodies out front with placards accusing them of being a “liar,” “rapist,” and “murderer.” Inside, the guys poke around until they find a couple of Walkers, as well as a few chomping Walker heads. Now, I know when I’m in a situation involving undead Walker heads, the Guv is who I would want to have around. And the other dudes see that he has some leadership potential—or at the very least, he knows how to take out a zombie with nothing but a flashlight.
Over a couple of beers, by the fire in the cabin — how lovely — we get to know the new guys. Pete and his brother Mitch were both Army. Mitch escaped the end of the world in a tank, and Pete’s a nice guy.
Back at camp, which consists of Mitch’s tank and a bunch of trailers, everything is hunky dory. There’s lots of beer, and Tara’s got a girlfriend she met at camp, Alicia. I’d say that was quick, but you know the U-Haul joke…
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After dinner, Martinez brings the Governor up to the roof of a trailer where he has a driving range set up. Taking a few swings during the end of the world—it’s all very “Lost.” They’re also drinking whiskey—you almost wouldn’t believe that humanity was on the brink of extinction, what with their bottomless access to liquor. Isn’t that the first thing to get gobbled up?
Martinez admits that he has no idea whether or not he can keep the people of the camp safe and drunkenly suggests that “Brian” share power with him. Finally, Brian snaps. The old Governor comes roaring back to life when he realizes he can’t trust anyone else with the safety of his new family. He takes a club to Martinez’s head, pushes him off the trailer, and then drags him over to the pit of Walkers, where he feeds him to a hungry mass, head first. There’s our man! He says over and over, “I don’t want it,” and I guess those are Brian’s last words.
With Martinez’s “accidental” death, it’s a new regime, led by the nice Army brother, Pete. When he, Mitch and the Governor go out on a run and spot a camp of 10 people with plenty of supplies, Mitch wants to rob them, but Pete refuses. A few minutes later, they find out someone else had the same idea and killed the entire camp (and took all the supplies). Mitch is pissed and kills the last remaining survivor (though he was on his deathbed).
It’s a sign to the Guv that having gone and killed the group’s leader, the replacement isn’t any better at protecting and supplying for everyone. He tries to leave town with his girls (and Tara’s ladylove) but meets a roadblock of Walkers stuck in quicksand. They return to the camp, and the next morning, the Governor goes all out. He stabs Pete in the back and strangles him to death, and then threatens Mitch—while also forcing him to smoke a cigarette. Not cool, Guv.
The Governor proclaims his sovereignty and recruits Mitch to be his new Martinez/henchman. He also drops Pete into the lake, so that after he becomes a Walker, the Guv has reestablished his zombie aquarium. Things are hunky dory indeed!
But the Guv still thinks he and his gals can do better. And after Meghan is attacked by a Walker (don’t worry, she’s okay), the Governor goes out exploring and comes upon…a prison! He spots Michonne and takes aim.
So next week for the midseason finale, there will be an inevitable battle between the two groups over the prison. Little does the Guv know, the prison is pretty much a sweltering disease chamber. But when the housing market is this tough, you have to be willing to overlook a few kinks.
“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.