The Walking Dead Season 4 was gaining some decent momentum with the flu outbreak, Rick stepping back into the fold and the exciting notion of fallout from the group learning Carol was kicked out and that she killed David and Karen.
Then the series decided to hit the pause button and backtrack to show what the Governor had been up to.
The problem is that this two-episode departure from the main storyline feels like it could have been condensed or not even used at all. The Governor grew a depression beard, bedded a newcomer, killed Martinez, took over a new group, felt “conflicted” with being good or bad and then headed right back to the prison like the insane person he is and we always knew he was.
So was it necessary to take time off from Rick and the prison, even if the goal was to try and give the Governor some character development and a method to his madness?
It’s not like anything really changed, even if the Governor felt conflicted for a a bit before putting back on his black outfit and creepy stare and realizing being a bad guy makes sense in this world in order to “protect” the ones around you.
A little insane, and maybe that was the point in trying to give his character logic behind his motives instead of just making him a sadistic and evil villain for the show, but didn’t he kind of always think that way?
With the Governor, I feel like we’re exactly back where we started: with a struggle that never really became interesting, and a pair of flashbacks that just gave us more walker bait rather than anyone new to really care about.
The two new guys that could have become something (sorry, Martinez) were reduced to just supplying the Governor with a more human embodiment of the two sides he could take. Unfortunately, nice guys finish last and Enver Gjokaj’s character was killed off and Kirk Acevedo’s character - who wanted to harm others to help his own - quickly became second in command (although, does anyone think he’s going to last long?)
In fact, does anyone think any of these new characters are going to last long?
Maybe if they run into walkers like the one trying to bite the girl, they’ll live (seriously, that walker needs some training on how to be a walker), but no one stands out as a new character I’m eager to see continue on.
And while the walker mosh mud pit was cool to look at, I don't know why the Governor couldn't figure out a different way to get around. Did he have to go back? Did he have to lead Woodbury 2.0?
I wanted to like The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 7. I wanted it to mean something, to provide a new spin on the Governor, but I feel like if the two episodes were skipped, nothing would be missed.
In reality, the title of "Dead Weight" was rather fitting for the hour. Hopefully, next Sunday's mid-season finale can spark back up the momentum and head back in the right direction.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.