"Dead Weight" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the forty-second episode of the series overall. It premiered on November 24, 2013 at 9/8c on AMC. It was written by Curtis Gwinn and directed by Jeremy Podeswa.
A new and scary chapter is unfolding at a camp outside the prison. Will peace be attainable with the addition of new members?
Philip is seen playing a game of chess with Meghan. When reminded that it's her turn, Meghan says that she's thinking. Philip tells her that eventually, you need to stop thinking and make a move. While this happens, a flashback occurs showing how they were brought to the camp. Martinez looks down at Philip in amazement and offers his hand. Philip hands him Meghan and is later pulled out. Two men, Mitch and Pete, ask Martinez if he knows him, to which he replies yes. Martinez is confused when Lilly calls out to Philip as 'Brian' and asks if he's been traveling with them the whole time since he and Shumpert left; Philip nods yes. Martinez then tells Philip that they can join his group on two conditions; he's in charge and there can't be any dead weight. Philip agrees and they journey to Martinez's camp.
Later, Philip goes on a supply run with Martinez, Mitch and Pete. They are following a map made by one of the other camp survivors when Philip notices something in the distance. He finds a decapitated corpse with a sign reading 'Liar' nailed into the corpse. The group later find their goal; a cabin deep within the woods. As they approach the property, another headless corpse is found with another sign, this one saying 'Rapist'. At the front door, they find yet another corpse; this one dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound with 'Murderer' written on a sign. They explore inside and hear a walker inside one of the rooms. Pete is nearly killed but is saved by Philip. He then notices the reanimated heads of the corpses outside the cabin. Another walker emerges and tries to bite Martinez, but Philip saves him as well. Afterwards, the four find supplies as well as some beer. Pete wonders what drove a person to do something like this, but Philip says that it's "probably best they don't dwell on it." Mitch then asks what Philip did for a living and what he did when the apocalypse first began; the latter dodges the question, simply saying that "[he] survived". He then asks them the same question. The reveal that they both are brothers and served in the army at some point; when the apocalypse began, Mitch left and took his tank with him, while Pete was serving at Fort Benning and initially stayed to provide support, but soon left.
While they were gone, Lilly decides to form a makeshift nurse's station and helps bandage Alisha's hand. Tara notices Alisha's M4 carbine and remarks that while it's a good long range weapon, it becomes cumbersome and unreliable due to dirt and debris. Alisa jokingly asks if she's 'always full of shit', and Tara says yes. Later on, the supply group returns and they share some beer. Afterwards, Martinez tells Philip that he's got a surprise for him. On one of the trailers, Martinez shows Philip a golf bag full of clubs and begins to practice his swing. Philip remarks that he knew that Shumpert didn't survive and Martinez reveals that after they left, Shumpert got reckless and was bitten near one of the walker pits. He finishes by saying that he personally killed Shumpert out of mercy. He says that he's willing to share leadership responsibilities and offers to split them with Philip. Angry, Philip then smashes one of the golf clubs against the back of Martinez's head, and then throws him off the trailer. Philip then drags Martinez over to one of the pits and is lowered towards the walkers, muttering "I don't want it" repeatedly. He then lowers Martinez close enough to the walkers and watches as they drag a screaming Martinez down and devour him alive.
Soon afterwards, Philip is seen shaking inside his trailer over how he killed Martinez. When asked by Lilly, Philip brushes it off as just a nightmare. The next day, Mitch reveals to the rest of the camp that Martinez's remains were found and that he must have gotten drunk and fell into the pit. Pete then temporarily elects himself as leader of the group until they can properly vote on the matter in a few days. Pete then takes Mitch and Philip on another run and they come across another camp where they are split on whether to attack the camp or not. They ultimately decide to leave and later, they return to find the other camp in ruins. Mitch is frustrated that they missed their chance to get the supplies, something that Philip secretly agrees with. That night, Philip tells Lilly that they have to leave the camp due to Mitch's behavior about not taking the supplies when they had the chance. He takes Lilly, Meghan, Tara and Alisha from the camp and sets out on their own but is then driven back by a swarm of walkers stuck in mud blocking their path.
The next day, Philip goes to Pete under the ruse of wanting to talk about Mitch. Once inside, he then stabs Pete in the back and strangles him to death. Philip goes to Mitch and forces his way inside the trailer at gunpoint. He then blatantly reveals that he killed Pete, but forces Mitch to sit back down. He then tells Mitch that he's now in charge and agrees that they should have taken the other group's supplies. Philip then organizes the survivors to form a rough perimeter around the camp and asks Tara to organize and catalog all their ammo. Later Philip is seen dragging Pete's weighted corpse along a jetty and throwing it into the lake.
Philip is seen marking a map when Lilly comes by. When asked, Philip says that they need to move to a more secure location (hinting towards the prison) but Lilly believes that their current location is safe enough. Later, Tara is on guard duty when Meghan runs up and tags her, saying that she's now 'it'. Tara says that she can't play right now, but then tags her back and runs off. Meghan runs around camp looking for Tara and finds a pair of legs near the clothes lines. Thinking it's Tara, Meghan runs over only to find a walker who lunges towards her. She runs away and is cornered underneath one of the trailers. Tara tries to pull the walker off, but there is too much blood on the leg for her to get a good grip and is only stopped when Philip shoots it in the head.
Philip goes over to the lake and reflects on what he should do next. He stares into the water at Pete's undead corpse trying to reach him. He takes a truck and travels towards the prison. He arrives and looks at Rick and Carl digging in the prison yard (end of "Internment"). Jealous, Philip looks away and notices Hershel as well as Michonne disposing the dead from the recent walker infestation. Seeing Michonne angers Philip (bringing back memories of her killing Penny) and aims his gun at Michonne.
- Don Elmore as Ross
- Randy Gonzales, Rozalyn Yother Mattocks, Scott Smith, Emily Kelly, Steve Bowlin, Mike Wilson, Tony Cypher Greer, Vernon Swygert, Jimmy Cooper & Larry A. Williams as Camp Survivors
- James Harvley & Joel Rogers as Woods Survivors
- Emily Chandler Westergreen, Michelle Brannon as Walkers
- Shumpert (Confirmed Fate)
- Caesar Martinez
- Pete Dolgen (Alive)
- Approximately 10 unnamed survivors at a forest camp
- First appearance of Mitch Dolgen.
- First appearance of Alisha.
- First appearance of Ross.
- First (and last) appearance of Pete Dolgen.
- Last appearance of Caesar Martinez.
- This episode happened during the same time that the events in "Internment" were taking place.
- Pete mentions Fort Benning, where Rick's group were headed in "What Lies Ahead".
- The title of the episode refers to Pete's corpse down at the bottom of the lake with a cinder block tied around his ankle.
- The title also refers to Martinez mentioning that he was in charge and there would be no dead weight, meaning that if Philip's group were to join, they would have to pitch in and pull their weight.
- The tank is a M60A1 Patton, which has not been in service in the US military since 1997. The standard service tank of all US military branches is the M1 Abrams. The M60 Patton is not even in reserve service. Acquiring an M1 Abrams for filming purposes is incredibly difficult, hence the M60s appearance.
- "Dead Weight" is the least viewed episode of Season 4.
- One of the camp extras, an elderly woman, also portrayed a nursing home resident in the Season 1 episode, "Vatos".
- In this episode The Governor comes across a sign that says "Liar" on it near a corpse. This may be a foreshadowing of Joe and his group. Who encounter Rick and his group towards the end of the season and have a tendency to use lying as a reason to kill other survivors. It may also be an allusion to what The Governor says before decapitating Herchsel in the next episode.
- In the last episode, "Live Bait", The Governor's right hand is coated in blood while clasping Meghan in his arms in the dugout pit. In this episode, at the same scene, The Governer's right hand is not seen plastered with blood anymore.
- In the scene regarding the aftermath of Meghan's near death by zombie, two of the camp extras in the background who run towards the scene can be seen getting up from the ground. This indicates they were staged behind a mini-van and were instructed when to run towards Meghan and the camera captured this.
- In the scene where The Governor approaches the zombies stuck in mud, one of the zombies has two sets of teeth showing, the prosthetic zombie teeth and the actor's real teeth about an inch further in.