‘The Walking Dead’: Where There’s a Tank, There’s a Way

Published 1 year ago by

David Morrissey in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 7 The Walking Dead: Where Theres a Tank, Theres a Way

[This is a review of The Walking Dead season 4, episode 7. There will be SPOILERS.]

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A fair amount of stories that revolve around zombies generally have something to say about the nature of humanity and the basic principles of morality, and how, when things like, say, the end of the world happen, those two concepts pretty much get tossed out the window. And while The Walking Dead has spent plenty of time working plots in and out of various examinations of that notion, it’s never more overt than when the show is depicting the Governor (a.k.a. Philip/Brian) flipping the evil switch and killing with impunity all those who stand in his way.

Last week was spent in Philip’s company as he wandered around the South, in a post-Woodbury funk, until he came upon some survivors in need. This kinder, gentler Philip seemed to cringe at the thought of violence and confrontation, and was even reluctant when it can time to assume a leadership role with the new family he’d inadvertently picked up. And the way ‘Live Bait‘ concluded, there was a hint of worry that Philip and his surrogate family were in a bad way after they wound up in the company of Martinez and his new traveling companions. But as it turns out, it was Martinez, the trusting soul, who allowed a dangerous sociopath into his group and wound up paying for that mistake with his life.

As far as episodes go, ‘Dead Weight’ didn’t have much more to offer in the pacing department than last week’s sometimes plodding entry, but it did serve as build-up for the mid-season finale next Sunday. Generally, episodes that spend most of their time in anticipation of what’s coming up next leave the viewer wishing that the writers would just get on with it, and lay the groundwork for the following chapter with a little more spirit. There was certainly some of that going on here, as the episode went the heavy-handed route with the young Meghan (Meyrick Murphy) asking Brian all sorts of questions about what constitutes a good or bad person. Of course, all of this was handled within the framework of the two playing chess because clunky, obvious symbolism is important in terms of even more obvious foreshadowing, apparently.

Alana Masterson Audrey Marie Anderson and Meyrick Murphy in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 7 The Walking Dead: Where Theres a Tank, Theres a Way

And while those parts of Philip/Brian’s journey back into villainy were perhaps more ham-fisted than they needed to be, this was an episode centered on a guy who once (and maybe will again?) called himself the Governor; and a guy who does that is pretty much going to dial everything he does up to eleven – which he did when Martinez made the ill-advised suggestion the two bond over a bottle of whiskey and some golf clubs. Sure, emotions were probably running high with the suggestion that Martinez could keep a place safe better than the Governor could, but listening to Philip say “I don’t want it,” over and over again while dragging his former brother-in-arms into a pit full of walkers definitely felt like David Morrissey was checking to see if he could take it to twelve.

Still, despite the oddly placed energy and uneven pacing, the episode made good use of Kirk Acevedo (Oz, Fringe) and Enver Gjokaj (Dollhouse), even though it was only Acevedo’s tank-driving Mitch who will live to see the mid-season finale. And that’s really what ‘Dead Weight’ was around to do: set things up for another go-round between the Governor and Rick at the prison.

This time it seems the Governor believes victory will come through superior firepower. Let’s just hope, for their sake, none of his followers get in the way of that tank.

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The Walking Dead will air its mid-season finale ‘Too Far Gone’ next Sunday @9pm on AMC. Check out a preview below:

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  1. You know, I`ve never really been one to believe in the concept of such a thing as a Damned or Irredeemable Soul: Until I watched David Morrissey`s character in this episode of The Walking Dead. I believe in Forgiveness. I believe in Redemption. To me, there is nothing more beautiful that our eyes can bare witness to than to see someone redeem themself. Whether it be by becoming a better person or doing better at ones job.

    Dead Weight was without question the bleakess episode of The Walking Dead to date, imo. After watching it I now think I know how Dale felt and understand why he declared to Shane that he would rather die with his humanity intact than survive in that world without it. In Live Bait it seemed as though Phillip/Brian might prove that a person could come back from crossing a Moral Event Horizon. In Dead Weight, he takes Backsliding to a whole other level! And like Shane before him its time for The Governor to be put down like the mad dog that he is.

    No more looming threat or unfinished buisness. The Governor`s time as a Karma Houdini must come to an end. He needs to get taken out in tonights episode. And I`m not even sure which Governor is more of a monster. When I compare the terrible things he did in the comic book to the tv series. In the Graphic Novels he cut off Ricks hand. Treated Michonne like a sex doll and punching bag and got into incest with his zombie daughter. In some ways they toned him down in the live action version but in other ways his crimes are worse. Slaughtering all those people at the end of season 3 was just beyond the pale.What he did to Andrea. Forcing Meryl and Dale to fight one another to the death. Torturing Maggie and Glenn. Sending 3 of his men to hunt and kill Michonne: add what he did in Dead Weight to this and he might as well be charged with crimes against humanity!

    Hopefully he`ll get his comuppence in this Mid-Season Finale so new antagonist and problems can emerge and old ones be put to rest.