Monday, November 25, 2013

The Walking Dead, Season Four Episode Seven: Dead Weight

The episode begins with a flash to the governor playing chess with Meagan.  It quickly shifts to  Martinez helping him and Meagan get out of the pit. Back to chess where Meagan tells Philip/Brian that he never let's her win.  Philip/Brian gets out of the pit and Martinez is asked if he knows him.  When one of the sisters calls him Brian, Martinez is stunned. Back to chess where Meagan asks Philip/Brian if she is bad because her father was always mean to her. Brian/Philip assures Meagan that she is good.  At the pit, Martinez tells Philip/Brian that he can come back, if he understands that Martinez in charge and accepts that they don't tolerate dead weight.  Back to chess where Brian/Philip promises Meagan that they are all going to be okay.  Meagan moves a chess piece but instead of playing, Philip/Brian looks around him.  When the camera draws back, Brian/Philip is standing between a Winnebago and a tank.

In the camper Philip/Brian tells Lilly that he is going on a supply run.  Lilly says that she is going to set up a nursing station because the camp needs one.  Philip/Brian apologizes for the state of the camp but she says they will make it something good.

Philip/Brian heads into the woods and is warned by the others that he had better watch himself.  Philip/Brian trails behind a group of men and draws his gun. They come across a headless body tied to a tree with word "liar" tacked to its chest.

Back at the camp, a group of women are chatting.  Alisha talks weapons saying that she is not into big guns. Alisha seems to be flirting with Tara, while Lilly works on bandaging a cut.

Back in the woods, they come across another man and this time the sign on his chest reads rapist. Led by Martinez, the group of men make their way inside a cabin where they find another body and the sign this time reads "murderer."  The men make their way through the cabin cautiously looking out for walkers when they hear a thumping sound. A walker jumps out and Philip/Brian kills it.  He manages to kill two walkers who attempt to attack the group. 

The group is now siting around a roaring fire in the hearth. Martinez tells Philip that if it weren't for the people he was with, Philip/Brian would never have been brought into the group. Martinez asks Brian/Philip if he is different now.  Philip/Brian says that he is.  One of the men returns with canned food and beer.  They wonder what happened in the cabin and Philip/Brian says that it's best not to think about it. Martinez says that Philip/Brian always had ice in his veins.  They start to talk about what they did in the past and it turns out that Mitch and Pete were in the army.  Brian/Philip only says that he survived and does not give details.

Brian/Philip are back at the camp and Martinez talks about his father the Catholic priest.  Martinez says that the place he had before was kind of sweet.  Tara asks to hear all about it, adding that Brian/Philip won't say a word. Martinez stands leaves and Megan calls out from the camper that the roof is leaking again.  Brian/Philip heads inside and grabs the masking tape but Martinez knocks on the door saying that he has a surprise.  They head up to the roof, where Martinez has golf clubs and a golf club set up. They talk about Jean Pierre and how Martinez put him down because he was never the same after Woodbury.  Martinez suggests that Brian/Philp's new family brought him back and adds that he couldn't sleep at night knowing he was going to lose them.  Philip makes it clear that he is not going to lose them. Martinez tells Philip/Brian that now that he is there, maybe they can share the crown. Philip/Brian attacks Martinez and throws him off the roof of the camper. Philip/Brian heads to the ground and drags Martinez over to the walker pit.  Philip/Brian screams I don't want it, as the walkers drag Martinez into the pit.

That night, Megan and Lilly return to the camper and Brian/Philip is sitting on the bed shaking.  Lilly asks what is going on and Brian/Philip says that he just had a bad dream.  The next morning it is announced that they found Martinez in the pit and it is attributed to Martinez being drunk. The group argues over who should take over the camp and Pete steps up.  When Tara rejects this, Mitch gets in her face and calls her a bitch. Philip/Brian is informed that they are going on a hunt by Pete.

Brian/Philip finds himself alone with Pete who informs him that he could use some help with leadership. They come across a group camping out and Pete suggest taking them in but Mitch says that they don't have enough to feed themselves.  Mitch suggests raiding the group but  Pete nixes the idea, saying that they can find their own supplies. They only manage to find some squirrels and some condensed milk.  Philip/Brian walks off and the men follow to discover all of the people from the camp are dead.  Philip/Brian says that it wasn't biters and Mitch explodes about the fact that they lost the chance to grab the camps supplies. Pete is more horrified by the dead bodies.  Pete, Mitch and Philip/Brian leave the area.

Philip/Brian returns and tells Meagan and Lilly to pack their things because it's not safe there.  Lilly believes that they cannot run off because they have patients.  Philip/Brian believes that things are going to go really badly in the camp.  That night they are all packed into a truck and Tara argues that she doesn't understand what is going on.  They stop suddenly when they come across a group of zombies who are caught in the mud.

The governor is back at the camp the next day. As he gets dressed, Lilly asks him what he is doing and Philip/Brian replies surviving.  Philip/Brian knocks on Pete's door and says that they need to talk.  Pete says that they need to talk about Mitch and when he turns his back, Philip/Brian stabs him in the back then strangles him to death.  Next, Philip/Brian knocks on Mitch's door.  Phillip/ Brian points a gun and Mitch asks where Pete is. Philip/Brian announces that Pete is dead, causing Mitch to ask if he is next. Philip/Brian tells Mitch that he was right about the camp and Pete was interested in doing the right, even at the expense of his own people.  Philip/Brian announces that he is running things now and will do anything to protect this camp and asks Mitch to join him. Mitch asks what they are going to tell the camp about Pete and the Governor says that they will say Pete died on a supply run because people believe what they want to believe, as he rolls Pete's body into a lake.

 Back at the camp, the governor is leading a council about  the status of the camp.  He tells everyone that they need to start using arrows. The governor tells everyone to avoid strangers and report to the group what they saw.  That night Philip/Brian talks about finding a better place and Lilly assures him that this is home and they don't need to find a better place.  Philip/Brian circles a location on the map.

That morning, Megan is playing tag with Tara.  In the trailer, Philip/Brian cleans his eyes and Lilly enters and pulls down the patch.  She tells him that he doesn't have to do this alone.  Outside, Megan is attacked by a walker and she runs screaming.  Tara tries to pull the walker off but he keeps slipping through her hand. Finally, Philip/Brian appears and shoots the walker.  He walks off without saying a word, as Tara hugs Meagan.  Philip/Brian heads to he lake where he dumped Pete, who is now a zombie under water, who has been anchored to the bottom.

When next we see the Governor, he drives up to a secluded spot in the woods.  It turns out that he is just outside of the prison.  Philip/Brian holds the gun in his hand and approaches quietly.  He points his weapon at Michonne but does not fire.  This is what he meant by saying that his group had to fight for a better place.

Alright, a lot happened in this episode.  I for one am relieved that they are not retconning the governor and trying to make him good.  Last week I was not impressed with all of the backstory regarding the Governor's story but it seems that it was timed to allow the others members of the cast to attend comic con. 

It seems more than anything that the Governor was struggling with who he wants to be.  On one hand you have Brian who just wants to lead a family life and on the other you have the psychotic Philip who is willing to do anything to survive.  When the governor left the camp with the women, that was his last attempt to hold onto his humanity.  He wants someone else to do the dirty work but at the end of the day realizes that he can only keep the people he cares about safe by suppressing his morality and humanity.

Placing Pete into the lake was simply him restarting his walker collection. In Woodbury he kept the heads in aquariums but I guess in a pinch, a lake will do.  As he sitting at the council it was clear that he was setting up to run just like Woodbury.  He is amassing weapons and a group of people who will follow his orders without question.

This week, Martinez got T dog'd. Jose Pablo Cantillo, who played Martinez, even commented on The Talking Dead that Martinez never speaks and when he got the script, he was shocked to see that he got speaking lines.  He should known after what happened to T Dog that this was the kiss of death. When a person of colour who hardly or in the case of Martinez never speaks, suddenly starts talking, it's nothing more than a device to cause the audience to feel some emotion at their passing.  Now that the governor has Mitch, he clearly had a spare person of colour sidekick to fall back on, making Martinez irrelevant.  We also learned the fate of Jean Pierre and of course it ended in death. 

It turns out that Tara is gay and is in love with Alisha.  On the episode we only saw some mild flirting between the two women.  I learned this from watching last night's Talking Dead, where the actress who plays Tara revealed this little tidbit.  If this is indeed the case, The Walking Dead needs to offer a more concrete interaction between the two women.  In terms of LGBT inclusion, The Walking Dead leaves a lot to be desired and at this point, I am not holding out much hope for Tara and Alisha because they are with the governor and his story is not destined to end well.