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Recap / The Walking Dead S 04 E 07 Dead Weight

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Season 4, episode 07

Dead Weight

The Governor's old ways begin to resurface when he and his new family join a camp of survivors.

The Governor/"Brian" and Megan play a game of chess while he discusses good and evil people with her. In flashback, Martinez helps Megan and The Governor out of his pit, and then tells them about a nearby camp that had been set up in the interim. Martinez tells "Brian" that they can join if they pull their weight and contribute.

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In the present, Megan asks "Brian" if they and her family are good people, but he doesn't answer. As he walks away, it's revealed that he now has a tank.

The Governor is examining a hole in their RV in the camp when Lilly warmly greets him. After she tells him that she wants to set up a nurse's station in the camp, The Governor mentions that he's going out for a supply run with Martinez and the Dolgen brothers, Mitch and Pete.

Later that afternoon, the four men walk through the forest, and Mitch wonders aloud if "Brian" can make the cut in their camp. As they walk, The Governor spies something and moves to investigate, only to discover a headless body with the word "LIAR" written on a sign on top of it. The group is sufficiently spooked, but continues on to their destination - an isolated house which hasn't been raided yet.

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Inside, they discover more headless corpses and a man who shot himself in the head, before discovering the man's undead family. They manage to secure the house, and take up shelter for the night. There, the four men trade stories of what they did before the apocalypse, although The Governor provides little information.

Back at camp, Tara is pleasantly surprised to discover a woman she likes, Alisha, and they walk off together. Soon after, Martinez goes to The Governor's trailer and asks if he'd like to play some golf.

Later, The Governor and Martinez are hitting balls off an RV near the walker pit. Martinez tells him that Shumpert was irrevocably changed after the Woodbury massacre, and ended up being bit and put down by Martinez some time after. As Martinez moves to ready his swing, The Governor strikes him in the back of the head with his club. After telling him that he'll do whatever it takes to protect the camp, he throws Martinez off the RV and drags him to the walker pit, letting the walkers in it consume his former lieutenant.

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Mitch and Pete hold a camp meeting afterwards and tell everyone that they believe Martinez was drunk and fell into the pit, not knowing the true circumstances behind the event. Pete opts to be the leader of the group, despite Tara's concerns, and asks his brother and "Brian" to go on another supply run.

During the run, the three men come across a smaller camp with a dozen civilians. Although The Governor and Mitch think they can assault the camp and take the supplies without loss of life, Pete proclaims that it's not worth it, and walks off. They follow him and try to sway his position, but when they return to the camp to scope it out again, they discover that the fence is broken, everyone has been shot and their supplies are gone.

Later, The Governor, incensed at what's happened, tells Lilly and Megan to pack their things. Along with Tara and Alisha, they try to flee the camp in the middle of the night, only to reconsider when they find a swamp filled with walkers. The next day, The Governor goes to Pete's RV and asks to speak with him, only to stab him and then choke him to death. He then goes to Mitch's RV and holds him at gunpoint. The Governor tells him what happened to Pete, and that both of them are the only ones who know what to do in any situation.

Afterwards, The Governor announces that he will assume leadership of the camp, and has the civilians pull together their vehicles and build makeshift barbed fences to act as a barrier.

The next day, The Governor expresses hope to Lilly that they will be able to fortify the camp and keep everyone safe, while Megan plays a game of hide-and-seek with Tara. However, as Megan looks for Tara, she runs headlong into a walker that has wandered into the camp. It chases her and attempts to grab her as she hides under a vehicle. Tara attempts to drag the walker off, but her efforts are futile as the walker's flesh is ripped off. Suddenly, the walker is killed by The Governor, saving Megan and leaving everyone else stunned at what's happened.

Some time later, The Governor goes for a drive to scope out the prison, where he sees Rick and Carl tending crops inside the fence. However, he hears another noise and investigates, only to detect Hershel and Michonne on a Walker disposal run outside the wire. Angered, he raises his gun towards them...

Tropes

  • Absentee Actor: The prison group is only seen very briefly at the end of the episode, when the Governor is watching them through the bushes.
  • Abusive Parents: The Governor's father was physically abusive to him and his brother. When he stole his father's cigarettes, his brother took the blame and their father ends up beating 'Brian' severely to the point of having two black-eyes and a broken rib.
  • Action Girl: Alisha was in the army reserves.
  • Adult Fear: Megan's near-death experience at the hands of a walker are enough to send Tara to collapse and look on in numb shock, while The Governor realizes that he has to keep the group safe at all costs.
  • Apologetic Attacker: The Governor repeatedly screams "I don't want to!" as he is dragging Martinez to his death.
  • Big Brother Instinct: The Governor tells a story to Mitch about when he stole cigarettes from his father, his older brother took the blame and ends up being severely beaten, leaving him with two black-eyes and broken rib, then he gets beaten anyway.
  • Blatant Lies: The Governor assures Martinez that he has changed.
  • Bus Crash: It's revealed that Shumpert was killed off-screen after he and Martinez abandoned the Governor in the previous episode.
  • But Not Too Gay: Tara and Alisha are not shown doing anything more intimate than hugging after they get together.
  • Call-Back:
    • Mitch was stationed at Fort Benning, the military camp that Shane wanted to head for in season one. He also confirms Dave's claim from "Nebraska" that the fort was overrun.
    • Meghan crawling under a car to escape from a walker is reminiscent of Rick's group using the same tactic on the highway in "What Lies Ahead".
    • Echoing a scene in season 3 with Merle, The Governor plays a round of golf with Martinez just before killing him.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Martinez quickly becomes intoxicated, allowing the Governor to get the drop on him.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The lake and the walker pit are both utilized again later in the episode.
  • Chess Motifs
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with The Governor hiding in the bushes outside the prison, pointing a gun at Michonne and Hershel.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For the Governor, again.
  • A Death in the Limelight: Although he dies roughly halfway through the episode, Martinez gets more screentime and characterization than in any of his previous appearances.
  • Devoured by the Horde: After the Governor knocks out Martinez while they were playing golf, he drags him to a pit full of walkers and lowers him into the pit for the walkers to drag him down and consume him.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Martinez has become the leader of his own group since abandoning the Governor in the previous episode. It doesn't last long.
    • By killing both Martinez and then Pete, the Governor becomes this
  • Driven to Suicide: The father in the isolated house, who tagged the soldiers he'd killed with words describing what they had done to his family — LIAR, RAPIST — then tagged himself MURDERER and shot himself in the head.
  • Eaten Alive: The Governor feeds Martinez to a pit of walkers.
  • Foreshadowing: The Governor and the Dolgen brothers encounter a camp whose residents are later Killed Offscreen and looted, hinting at the existence of other groups of hostile plunderers. The Claimers appear four episodes later.
  • Gorn: When Tara grabs the leg of the walker that attacks Megan, its flesh starts peeling off in her hand.
  • He Knows Too Much: Implied to be the main reason that the Governor kills Martinez, as he knew what the Governor was like before.
  • Idiot Ball: Apparently none of Martinez's group see anything amiss when the bodies start piling up immediately after the Governor joins them, despite Martinez openly describing the Governor as having "ice in the veins".
  • Improvised Weapon: The Governor hits Martinez with a golf club.
  • Infant Immortality: Played straight, as Megan survives being attacked by a walker.
  • Jerkass: Mitch.
  • Killed Off for Real: Martinez, Shumpert (off-screen) and Pete.
  • Killed Offscreen: The members of the camp that The Governor and the Dolgen Brothers come across on their scavenging trip.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Alisha.
  • Nice Guy: Pete refuses to kill or steal supplies from other survivors. It ultimately gets him killed, as the Governor sees him as weak.
  • Noodle Incident: The circumstances that led to the bodies labeled 'LIAR' 'RAPIST' and 'MURDERER' (two of them in Army uniforms) aren't explained - and are perhaps more horrific for that.
  • Off with His Head!: The Governor, Martinez and the Dolgen brothers find two decapitated bodies in the woods while out on a supply run. The reanimated heads are later found inside a nearby cabin.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Tara and Alisha quickly get together, despite an initially frosty meeting.
  • Shoot The Shaggy Dog Story: Pete refuses to rob the camp he, Mitch, and the Governor come across, much to the latter two's annoyance. They later return to it hours after leaving it alone only to find all its members murdered and supplies taken by someone else.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Between Mitch and Pete.
  • The Starscream: The Governor to both Martinez and Pete.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Mitch appears to be one for Merle, as a ruthless Jerkass with a Sibling Yin-Yang type relationship with his more compassionate younger brother.
    • Mitch and Pete's relationship can also mirror the relationship of Shane and Rick, near the start of the series.
  • Team Killer: The Governor kills both Martinez and later Pete.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailer gives the impression Martinez leads a smaller group that survives by raiding and stealing from other survivors.
  • You Are in Command Now: Pete, who inherits the leadership role after Martinez dies. This doesn't last long, however.

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