Return of the Anti-Hero

Season 4 Episode 7 “Dead Weight”

The Episode

We continue our story with Brian (a.k.a The Governor) this episode. We watch him struggle with his inner demons and old friends with this new camp of survivors.

Martinez has formed his own group. It’s a rag-tag group of survivors with an “everyone contributes” mentality. They seem to be doing ok but struggling. They accept Brian and his new family. There’s a scene in the opening with Brian doing laundry and playing chess with Megan where he seems to start thinking very hard about something. There’s a bit of foreshadowing here as there is a tank in the background. A tank that will later be used to attack the prison. Brian is thinking about the prison. He still wants it. Or wants to get rid of it. Either way, he’s still thinking about it. This is our first hint that The Governor is making a return.

The Governor’s main reason for coming out again is centered around keeping his new family safe. The little girl Megan means everything to him. He has a woman he cares about as well. He wants them to live and he wants to not be a failure. From the stories Brian tells about growing up, he’s been made to feel like a failure his entire childhood. Martinez is the first to let Brian down. As the two drink atop an RV and hit golf balls, Martinez admits that he has a very casual attitude about his new group. If they survive, they survive, if not it wasn’t meant to last anyways. Brian lets his Governor out and looking down at feet with boots onwhacks Martinez with the golf club and then drags him to a walker pit to be eaten. It’s conveyed to the group as a drinking accident. Brian sees weakness a second time with the leadership when the next guy in line refuses to attack another group in the woods to take their supplies. Brian again lets The Governor take over and kills the man in cold blood in his trailer. While still bloody he goes to the trailer of the brother and points a gun at him. The brother is a lot more violent and bloodthirsty, something The Governor is fond of. The Governor talks to him and convinces him that his instincts to kill the other group in the woods were right and that he should fall in line with him and they’ll have a really safe community.

But there wouldn’t be a really good story without some inner conflict. In between all these incidents of The Governor coming out, Brian is scared and afraid of what he is capable of. There are scenes of him trembling inside his trailer. And at one point he makes his whole family get in a car and try to run away. When a mud pit of walkers blocks the road and their escape, Brian is fully aware that he can’t run from himself. He’s going to have to deal one way or another with the camp.

The final straw is when Megan is attacked by a walker in the camp. Although she survives, Brian cannot cope with her almost getting bit. He gets in a truck and heads to the prison. In the distance, he sees Michonne and Hershel alone in the woods and he aims his gun at them. At this moment, we don’t know what is about to happen but it is very clear that the mid-season finale is going to end with another clash between The Governor and the prison.

It becomes very clear this episode that The Governor could never stay tucked away inside Brian. As he points out in one of his childhood stories, he has a thing against the heroes of the world. His brother once tried to take a beating for him which only resulted in both of them getting beat. The lesson he learned was it doesn’t pay to be the standup guy. It explains a lot about his animosity towards Rick. Rick plays the hero, the do-gooder, the good guy. The Governor only cares about the people he loves surviving at any cost. Everything in the way of that must go. As much as Brian tried to turn over a new leaf, the circumstances of the world around him paired with his ideological beliefs only equate to one man…. The Governor.

Best of the Episode

Martinez’ death. One of the more creative ways to die, a golf club to the head. It was an unexpected moment. These two had been thick as thieves in Woodbury, Martinez listening to every order The Governor handed out. The Governor definitely did not approve of Martinez’ leadership style to say the least.

ugly shack in the forestLiar/Rapist/Murderer. On a supply run in the woods, Martinez, Brian and the brothers come across a series of decapitated bodies with signs stuck to them. First is the liar, second is the rapist and third is the murderer. The true story is mostly unknown, but based on a photo of a family found, it would appear something horrible happened here. It’s important because the family was a man with a daughter and a wife. Brian can’t help but make this personal in his mind and I think it carries with him the horrible possibilities of what could happen to his new family. Again, this is his major driving force and another tid bit as to why The Governor comes back out.

Walker road block. Not a terribly major point of the show but good walker bits are just plain fun. This muddy mound of walkers blocking the road in the middle of the night is a real horror show moment.

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