The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 7 recap

Name correction from last week’s episode. The lady the Governor hooked up with is Lilly, not Melody. Chronic name blindness strikes again. Also, this week’s episode is titled “Dead Weight”. That’s not, like, foreboding at all. (Name that reference.)

We resume with part two of the Governor’s journey. This was kind of a boring episode, without even the character work of the previous installment, but it did serve to accomplish some necessary things. It also totally undid the previous episode’s work in terms of rewriting the Governor as a somewhat sympathetic character. And we got a bonus “let’s see how other people are faring” scene, which is always enjoyable. And the answer is always “poorly”, isn’t it? No one is doing particularly well, except for Rick & Co., and they’re not even doing that well.

But it is interesting—every time we see survivors, the ones who have some semblance of order are the ones that have military and/or police people with them. It’s Rick & Co. because Rick has that sense of law and order about him, and Martinez’s group is riddled with military personnel. Meanwhile, the people in the woods camp are barely getting along—they thought it was a good idea to set up shop in the MIDDLE OF THE WOODS—and don’t forget the useless hippies Rick and Carol met. We’re starting to see correlations between pre-apocalyptic lives and continuing post-apocalyptic survival.

We kick things off cutting between the Governor and Megan playing chess (and please, can we stop using chess as a metaphor? It’s so played out) and the Governor agreeing to follow Martinez’s rules in camp. Martinez’s set up isn’t bad—they have a tank, which comic book readers know is significant but the framing in the show also makes clear—and some RVs and cars, but they’re low on food and medical supplies. They’re relying on hunting which is getting scarce, and there is a sense of urgency when the Governor joins Martinez and some disposable dudes on a supply run. This group is hungry and edgy and there are some bonafide nutjobs in camp—it’s a recipe for disaster.

Which is exactly what happens as the Governor is not able to escape his past. At first it’s just symbolic as people keep trying to reminisce about Before with him and Martinez, first during the supply run and later during a “family” dinner. On the supply run, just after the guys have fended off a zombie family and confronted the evidence of a dude who went crackers and beheaded a bunch of people and then killed himself, it’s understandable that they would let the Governor keep his past to himself. These guys know—you do what you have to do in order to keep going. But Lilly is not that hardened and at dinner it’s clear that she won’t be put off forever. She wants to know about “Brian” before she met him, and one wonders how long he can keep the lid on what really happened at Woodbury.

The answer is “a little bit longer” because he killed the only other witness to those events in the camp. The Governor, returning to his looney tunes ways, chucks Martinez into a zombie pit because Martinez “guessed” he could keep the camp safe. Guessing is apparently not good enough and earns you a one-way trip to zombie town. Also not good enough is being a hero. Pete is a nice guy with a military background, but he’s always trying to do the right thing. When the Governor says, “He’s always trying to do the right thing, at the expense of the others,” your mind leaps immediately to Rick, for whom doing the right thing is a besetting sin. Yes, it’s what makes Rick Rick, but it’s also what gets him in trouble. Well the Governor ain’t got time for that sh*t, so he murders Pete, too, and throws him in a pond (underwater zombie!).

The Governor is now in charge, having killed his potential rivals for leadership of the camp, and his new number two is the crazy tank operator whose name escapes me. At any rate, CTO is a certifiable crazy person who is willing to kill innocent people if it means his own survival. This, then, is how the Governor will end up back in conflict with Rick & Co. The ending of the episode makes it plain that the confrontation is coming, and since we know of the deprivation of the camp, it’s clear how he’ll frame the need for attack. They have food and supplies, and we need those things, so let’s go take them. (What the Governor doesn’t know, of course, is that Rick & Co. are severely depleted from the flu epidemic—they don’t have as much as the Governor is assuming.)

Next week is the mid-season finale and it will feature a fight between the Governor’s camp and the prison. As the teaser says, some will fall. But what I really want to know is whether or not That Thing will finally happen.

Status Check:
The Governor—Just an asshole. Sympathy abated.
Lilly—As gullible as Andrea.
Megan—Zombie bait (totally the new Sophia).
Martinez—We hardly knew you, RIP.
Underwater Zombie—Cool, but not quite as cool as the Moss Zombie.

Worst thing seen/heard this week: A zombie’s rotting leg tearing away during an attack.

Zombie kill of the week: No really good kills this week, so it’s the Governor with a knife to the head by default.