Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Governor Does Some Thinking and We All Suffer

“Dead Weight”
“You can’t think forever. Sooner or later, you’re going to make a move,” the Governor admonishes Meghan. The Gov and Meghan are playing chess, a game of strategy that is also being played in his mind. The pawns are key members of the camp; Martinez, Pete, and Mitch. How can he move them around—or knock them off the board—to his greatest advantage? He gives some clues about his own father in this episode; not surprisingly, the Gov’s dad beat him—a lot. Brian is settling in nicely, hanging up the laundry. We flash back to when he fell in the pit. Martinez helps him out. The two new rules are: Martinez is in charge and no “diddling”? Really, Martinez? Is that what they’re calling it now? Uh oh. The Gov is not too good at taking orders.
I used too much starch in these shorts.

The Gov is already talking about he and Lilly as an “us,” meaning this camp is a dump and I wanted better for us. The leaky roof in their camper is a far cry from his former digs at Woodbury. Martinez, brothers Mitch and Pete, and the Gov go looking for a survivalist’s cabin, hoping to raid it for supplies. Instead, they find a decapitated body tied to a tree, dressed in camo, and wearing a sign saying “LIAR.”
They find more decapitated bodies, including one reclining in an armchair on the front lawn with a “RAPIST” sign hanging around his neck. Finally they reach the cabin, only to find the owner of the house dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, propped up next to the creaky front door with a “MURDERER” sign affixed to his body. A strange banging is heard as they walk through the darkened house. It’s only a walker locked in a closet. OK, a couple of walkers, and a few rolling, disembodied heads, snapping their jaws. No biggie! Pete is not doing well under pressure, but the Governor’s quick reflexes kick in as he makes short work of these undead intruders.
Martinez confides that if it weren’t for Meghan, he would have left him in the walker pit. You seem different now, he says. Are you? I am, the Governor affirms. The men wonder about the identity of the biters in the cabin. Were they the survivalist’s wife and kid? They reminisce about pre-apocalyptic life. Brian is mum about his past, claiming he “survived.”

Meghan, Lilly, Martinez, Alicia, and Tara yuk it up over potted meat and beers while a highly reticent Governor sulks. Everyone except for Meghan is nicely toasted. The damn roof of their camper is leaking again, so Brian grabs some duct tape. Cut to Martinez and Brian driving golf balls off the roof of yet another camper. Essentially, post-apocalyptic neighborhoods have been reduced to a series of pretty pathetic trailers. Martinez ironically observes that the family has humanized the Governor right before Brian swings a nine-iron right into the back of Martinez’s head and pushes him off the side of the trailer, dragging him into the pit of biters. He’s back! The Governor tells Martinez, “I don’t want it,” as he shoves him into the pit. Martinez had witnessed the Governor’s massacre. Plus, there’s room for only one leader, and his name is Brian, not Martinez, dammit! So there.
The camp is clamoring for a leader in the wake of Martinez’ death. Pete volunteers himself as temporary head de camp until they can get their shizz together enough to hold a formal vote. Pete, Mitch, and Brian go hunting. The catch of the day is…squirrel. Too bad Daryl’s not around to snag a deer. They come across another encampment. Mitch wants to rob them. The Gov is silent. Pete says that’s the wrong thing to do, which is bad news for Pete; to the Governor, moral relativism rules. You do what you have to do to protect your own. Looks like someone beat them to robbing the camp, which is what happens when you hesitate. Everyone’s dead and the supplies are gone. Mitch stabs a dying man in the head, which is good news for Mitch. The Governor takes note, favorably. Mitch is what is known as a “self-starter.”
Brian tells Tara and Meghan that they’re leaving tonight. Why? He senses bad things are about to happen. Cut to Brian, new family, and Tara’s new girlfriend Alicia driving out of the camp at night. A large pack of walkers have gotten themselves stuck in the mud, or is it quicksand? Whichever, there doesn’t seem to be a way out. Now the Governor is stuck, too. He’s back to playing the chess game that he hoped to avoid.
Back at camp, the Gov is busy visiting various trailers. First, he stabs and strangles Pete. Er, I mean, he “survives,” his euphemism for cleaning house. He then calls on Mitch, who has no idea what’s up. The Gov badmouths Pete for being one of those guys that always do the right thing no matter what. Eww, just like Rick. The Gov maintains that he’s running things now, and now it’s okay to do whatever it takes—no moral quandaries here—to protect the camp and its people. “We’ll do the only thing.” Oh, and did you know that Pete died on a supply run, as a hero? Oh, Governor, your softer side was so short lived! Into the pond dead Pete goes, without a discernible head wound.
The Gov is cleaning the crusties out of his bad eye. In a moment of tenderness, Lilly touches his face. Meghan almost becomes a snack for a walker hiding behind a hanging, laundered sheet, but the Governor shoots him in the head at the last minute. As an alternative to his floating head collection, the Gov keeps Pete in the pond into which he threw him, safely weighted to the bottom but groping wildly for the surface. Underwater Pete lives to serve out the rest of his undead days as Brian’s first trophy.
The Gov spies on the prison, specifically Rick and Carl oohing and aahing over peapods. Then he sees Hershel and Michonne out on their run. He aims his gun, presumably at Michonne. The old Governor is back, and he’s drawn stark lines between what’s his (Lilly and Meghan) and everyone else. He’s awfully provincial; he tends to glom onto a group to protect and own and then will do anything to keep them safe.

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