A quick review of tonight’s “The Walking Dead” coming up just as soon as I can’t tell if you’re winking or blinking…
Last week, I wrote that my opinion of “Live Bait” would ultimately depend on what the show did with the Governor afterwards. By the end of “Dead Weight,” I had my answer, and it wasn’t a good one.
Basically, we spent last week watching a catatonic Governor not to build him up into more nuanced and possibly sympathetic character, but to restore him to being the same erratic, homicidal whackjob he was when last he was here. I get that the point of “Dead Weight” is that “Brian” is trying very hard to not go back to being that man – even murdering Martinez at one point for merely suggesting a power-sharing arrangement (in a move only an insane person would make, since it pushes him that much closer to leadership) – but that circumstances(*) and his own inner demons won’t let him. But the Governor isn’t an interesting enough character for that struggle to be compelling in and of itself, and if the end result is that he’s back to being the same clown he was before, why did we need these two episodes, other than to give paychecks to Kirk Acevedo and Enver Gjokaj?
(*) The staging (and lighting) of the scene where the Governor and his new family come upon the zombie mud pit didn’t do a very good job of explaining why they couldn’t just drive around it, rather than going back to the situation he was trying to escape.
I know some viewers have been frustrated (or simply bored) with the prison stories and the virus outbreak. I’ve enjoyed it more than that and am dreading a return to the same Rick/Michonne vs. the Governor theatrics that ultimately dragged down season 3.
Before we go to the comments, two things. First, AMC isn’t making the mid-season finale available in advance, so my review will either be done later Sunday night or on Monday morning.
Second, it’s time once again to explain how this blog’s No Spoiler rule applies to this show:
1. No talking about the previews for the next episode.
2. No talking about anything else you know about upcoming episodes from other sources – and, yes, that includes anything Gimple and Kirkman have said in interviews.
3. No talking about anything that’s happened in the comic that hasn’t happened in the TV show yet. (Or anything that’s been revealed, like character backstory and motivation.) As with “Game of Thrones,” the goal is to treat “The Walking Dead” TV show as exactly that, and not as an excuse for endless comparisons with the comics. If you want to talk about the comics, feel free to start up a discussion thread on our message boards.
With that in mind, what did everybody else think?
Alan Sepinwall may be reached at email@example.com