The Walking Dead, Ep. 4.07, “Dead Weight” – flogging a dead horse

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The Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 7: “Dead Weight”
Directed by Jeremy Podeswa
Written by Curtis Gwinn
Airs Sundays at 9pm ET on AMC

The penultimate episode of The Walking Dead season 4 proves that zombies have a limit when it comes to serving as entertainment for show-runners who continue lurching slowly down a path already worn out.

This week on The Walking Dead, Martinez sums up the theme of season four when saying, “There are some things you don’t come back from. You either live with them, or you don’t.” As hard as the writers try, season four can’t help but recycle ideas from the past – as if the writing staff themselves, are caught in a viscous cycle, desperately trying to find a way out. Scott M. Gimple and his team have no doubt done a fabulous job establishing characters (both new and old), introducing a new threat, delivering thrills, and saying farewell to an old friend. Unfortunately for them, they’re also left to clean up after a mess from season three. His name is The Governor – a character so poorly written, every critic referred to him as cartoonish villain – until last week, when he was completely destroyed and brought back to life as Phillip-one-eyed-Brian. A week later, it becomes clear that the 42 minutes we spent watching “Live Bait” was a complete waste of time. In “Dead Weight;” The Governor is restored to the same erratic, homicidal crackpot we saw back in the season 3 finale “Welcome to the Tombs.” Congratulations Walking Dead, you’ve now spent two hours humanizing a character we never liked, only to return him to the same cartoonish stance as before. Bravo! And speaking of recycling ideas; ultimately, we’re going to get a mid-season finale which will follow The Governor and his band of followers attacking Rick and his group at the prison. Much like season three, we’ll get to see a sociopath with an obsession for vengeance, lead an undisciplined army with misguided priorities, to their death. The only difference this time around, is The Governor has a tank which will hopefully destroy the prison walls and force our protagonists to move on.

Much like the horde of walkers stuck in the mud, or Pete chained below the surface of the pond, season four seems unable to move forward, and “Dead Weight” does little, if anything, to keep us invested.

– Ricky D

Other thoughts:

Suff I did like:

– I loved the shot early in the episode that reveals The Governor standing between a tank and a trailer park home.
– I loved the shot of The Governor looking down at Pete-the-Walker below the surface of the pond, while seeing his own reflection.
– I also enjoyed the scene involving the zombies trapped in mud.

Because I was called into work tonight, I need to make my review short this week, but don’t forget to listen to our Walking Dead podcast for more thoughts.  New episodes drop every Monday night, with a different special guest each week.

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