The Governor ran into an old friend, caddied a brief round of golf and murdered his way to becoming the top dog at a mobile home version of Woodbury on Sunday night’s episode of “The Walking Dead.”
Here’s our blow-by-blow recap of “The Walking Dead” Season 4, Episode 407, “Dead Weight”:
Mobile Home Community: The sun is shining and Brian (formerly The Governor) is spending his day washing clothes and playing chess with Megan. “Your move, pumpkin,” he tells her as the screen cuts to where Episode 406 left off.
Walker Pit: Martinez’s face is full of shock as he looks into the pit and sees his old Woodbury leader, The Governor, clutching a young girl. Handing off his gun, Martinez hauls up Megan, who sees her mom Lilly and aunt Tara are safe, but surrounded by a small party with guns. After a moment, Martinez lowers a rope for The Governor to climb up. “You know this guy?” Martinez’s associate, Mitch, asks. Martinez doesn’t answer right away, instead asking his old leader if he’s been on the road since they last parted. Lilly interrupts the conversation. “You OK, Brian?” she asks. Knowing his name isn’t Brian (it was The Governor, or Philip, previously), Brian and Martinez exchange a tense glance.
The name change and seeing him clutching the youngster meant something to Martinez. They can come to his camp — with conditions: “One, I’m in charge. Two, no dead weight. That goes for everyone,” Martinez tells Brian.
Brian’s New Mobile Home: Not the most luxurious accommodation, the home Brian, Lilly, Tara and Megan now live in has a hole, which leaks water from the roof. His pride a little wounded by the leaky digs, Brian apologizes to Lilly. “This camp is good,” she assures him, a tender note in her voice. “We’ll make it better,” she adds before he heads off on a supply run.
Supply Run: Heading through the woods, Mitch, one member of the supply run group, shares his dislike of eye-patch wearing Brian. “You better watch your ass, one-eyed brother,” he tells him. Brian may not have two working eyes, but as they move further through the woods, he’s the one who notices something’s not right. Darting down a new path, the group spots a headless corpse. “Liar,” reads the sign strapped to the body. They see several more on the path leading to a cabin. Opening the door of the home, Martinez, Mitch and his brother Pete begin to hear noises. They usher Brian in first and then follow. After a few moments, walkers emerge and attack. Brian takes care of most of them (and the biting heads of the corpses) with a flashlight as his main weapon.
“I wouldn’t have brought you into the camp if it wasn’t for the people you were with, the girl,” Martinez tells Brian, as they sit down for a breather. “You seem different now — changed. Are you?” Martinez asks. Brian nods. Having finished rummaging through the cabin, Mitch comes in and sets down of food, tossing beer cans to the men. As they drink by the fire, Mitch sizes up the newcomer. “I can never tell if he’s winking or blinking, but you know how to regulate, don’t you, Bri? He was always like this Martinez?” Mitch asks. “Oh yeah,” Martinez nods. “Ice in the veins.”
Outside Brian’s Camper: Back from the run, Martinez shares alcohol with Lilly, Brian, Tara and her new girlfriend Alicia (a woman she met earlier in the episode in Martinez’s camp) around a picnic table. Impressed with the camp’s security, Lilly gives Martinez a compliment. “First time I’ve felt safe since all this started,” she tells Martinez. Brian winces, his pride clearly hurt. “Place Brian and I lived before kind of worked. Guess I wanted that again,” Martinez says with a shrug. A short while later, Megan pops her head out of the camper with a complaint. “Brian, the roof’s leaking again,” the little one tells him. “You should fix that,” Martinez adds, as he begins to depart their little area. “I’ll do that,” Brian replies, coldly.
Alone in the camper, Brian unwraps a piece of duct tape. Before he can cover the hole, there’s a knock at the door. It’s Martinez. “Almost forgot. Got a surprise for ya’,” he says, and the two men head out.
Makeshift Golf Course: Apparently the surprise was that Brian gets to hold Martinez’s liquor bottle and hand him golf balls while his drunk, former Woodbury resident practices his swing. In between drives, he tells Brian what happened to Shumpert. He never recovered from Woodbury, and was attacked on this field by a walker, before Martinez had to put him down.
Martinez brings up Brian’s new makeshift family. “You’re lucky. I couldn’t do that again. I couldn’t sleep at night knowing I was gonna lose them,” Martinez says. “I’m not going to lose them,” Brian replies. The wheels spinning behind those cold blue eyes, Brian asks whether Martinez can keep the place safe. He’s hoping to, but now, with Brian around, Martinez wants to “share the crown a little.” Wrong answer. As Martinez takes a swing, Brian takes one of his own — at Martinez’s head. “I don’t want it,” Brian yells as he dumps a screaming Martinez to his death in a pit full of walkers.
Center Of The Campground: Pete and Mitch tell the crowd they, “found what was left of Martinez in the pit.” No foul play suspected, they think he got drunk and fell in. Pete tells them he will lead the camp temporarily. He makes a move to leave and grabs Brian’s arm. “Gear up,” Pete says. “We’re going on a hunt.”
The Woods: Traipsing through the forest for supplies, Brian, Pete and Mitch spot a small camp of maybe 10 survivors, enclosed in a fence of barbed wire for their protection. Pete suggests they should take them in, Mitch suggests they rob them. “No, we can find our own supplies,” Pete says.
Later, Mitch catches up with Pete and Brian at a spot in the forest, unhappy because he’s only managed to bag a couple of squirrels. Brian hears something and walks off. The brothers follow. Arriving at the camp they saw earlier, Brian shakes his head in annoyance as he surveys the scene — everyone is dead and the supplies gone. One man still clinging to life attempts to raise his hand for help. Mitch comes up and stabs him in the head. “He might have lived,” Pete tells his brother. “Mighta,” Mitch replies.
Brian’s Camper: Returning from the supply run, Brian’s on edge and urges his makeshift family to pack. They’re leaving. “Things are about to go very wrong here. It’s happened to me before. … I can’t lose you again,” he tells them (them or Penny and his wife?). Tara brings Alicia. As the small group drives down a dark road, they come across a scene that forces them to go back: the road is soaked in waist-high mud and walkers.
The next morning, Brian is up early, strapping on his gun belt. “What are you doing?” Lilly asks. “Survivin’,” he replies, and heads out, walking over to Pete’s trailer. Opening his door, Pete assumes Brian is there to talk about Mitch. He’s not. He stabs Pete and strangles him, and then heads to Mitch’s door.
Mitch’s Camper: “Where’s Pete?” Mitch asks. “He’s dead,” Brian tells him. “I’m running things now, and I will do everything it takes to protect this camp,” he says. “Now, you join me, I promise you you’ll never have to worry if you’re doing the right thing or the wrong thing because we will do the only thing.” Mitch is in.
Walking to the edge of a nearby dock overlooking a lake, Brian dumps Pete’s body (attached to a heavy weight) into the water. He and Mitch will tell the camp Pete died on the supply run. “People believe what they want to believe,” Brian says. “Everybody loves a hero.”
Center Of The Campground: Everyone has a job to do now — fences, armory check, the pits. Brian is running things and tells the next supply run group to only use arrows. They’ll save their ammo for when they really need it.
Campground Perimeter: Megan runs up to her Aunt Tara, tagging her “it.” “I can’t be ‘it,’ I’m on guard duty. I have to be a responsible adult,” Tara replies. Handing Alicia her gun, Tara decides to play. She tags her niece and runs off, the little blonde girl chasing after her. After looking high and low around the campsite, Megan finally spots a figure behind the laundry. It’s not Tara. It’s a walker.
Inside Brian’s camper, Lilly is tending to her boyfriend when they hear Megan’s screams, both of them darting out of the mobile home in the direction of her cries.
Megan scurries under one of the campers, but the walker grabs her leg. Tara finds them and grabs the walker by the ankle, but it’s no use. Its flesh rips off, allowing the walker to get closer to the child. Leaning in to bite her, Brian’s gun goes off, shooting the walker in the head. Megan now safe, Brian walks off, over to the docks and looks in the water. He sees Pete (or a vision of Pete), now a walker, reaching up from the depths below.
The Road: Hopping in an old pickup, Brian drives through the woods, parking his car in a familiar spot. He gets out and peers through a gate — the prison gate — at Rick and Carl Grimes, who are looking at vegetables in the garden. He leaves them and moves further through the woods. Peering through the trees, Brian spots Michonne and Hershel, raises his gun and aims.
“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
-- Jolie Lash