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The Walking Dead Recap: “Live Bait” and “Dead Weight” (Season 4, Episodes 6 and 7)

It’s been a crazy few weeks, but I’d never leave you hanging. November marks the start of the mid-season build to a final climax, and who better to catalyze it than the Governor? “Live Bait” finds him collecting a weakened family to use as such, and “Dead Weight” finds him ridding himself of, oh, you know, dead weight. And oddly enough, of the two, “Live Bait” feels unevenly paced and strangely written; I get that we’re supposed to think of the Gov as an antihero, but the writers pushed a little hard on the pity buttons. In this Sunday’s “Dead Weight,” though, we got him back in his full, psychopathic force.

Two weeks ago, The Walking Dead picked up from the end of season three, just as the Governor slaughtered his flock and drove away in the pickup. The writers give us a brief montage of the Gov’s activities since he left the Prison crew. He stares blankly into a fire as a walker stumbles through it, moaning and reaching. Martinez, ever the protector, shoots the walker, shaking his head. The Governor awakens in the morning to find he’s all alone with the embers – nobody wants him. What to do now? Obviously, he crashes through the Woodbury gates and lights the town on fire. Through Woodbury’s formerly idyllic streets shamble walker after walker, oblivious to the flame, oblivious to the Governor. As the days go by, the Governor gets weaker, slower, his hair scraggly and unkempt. He stands staring at a barn on which mourning people have scrawled messages: “We found Ken Jones,” “Brian Heriot,” messages from lonely people who want to let someone know their friends and family have died.

BURN IT DOWN. Photo courtesy Gene Page/AMC.

BURN IT DOWN. Photo courtesy Gene Page/AMC.

Just as he’s nearing the end of his proverbial rope, he looks up to see a little girl peering out a window. He climbs the building’s stairs to investigate and discovers two women, a little girl, and an old man with a respirator. He tells them the abbreviated story of Woodbury, tells them “the man in charge just lost it.” He gives them the name “Brian Heriot,” linking himself inextricably with the dead.

“When my girls were born, that’s when I finally figured out what it was to be a man,” the dying patriarch says, wheezing through his oxygen tube. Meghan, the little girl the Governor spotted in the window, doesn’t talk since “the shit hit the fan,” and her dying grandfather appeals to the Governor to go find her Backgammon (I think?) set. Maybe she’ll speak again, he thinks.

Your obligatory gore. Photo courtesy Gene Page/AMC.

Your obligatory gore. Photo courtesy Gene Page/AMC.

Upstairs, on a mission for Meghan’s game, the Governor finds bullets, a prosthetic leg, and an eyeless, limbless walker in the bathtub. Tara had been trying to kill the zombie, and nobody understood why he kept coming back. Honestly, of all the frustrating aspects of this show, this one irks me the most. What year is this? 2011? In what alternate universe have people not heard of zombies? In what world do people not have ANY prior knowledge of this mythology? At least acknowledge it, guys. COME ON. Read more