If you watch The Walking Dead or The Good Wife, or checked out the Elementary pilot, you’ve seen Dallas Roberts on your television this season. A few years ago, you might have seen him in Rubicon. I sure did. He brings such presence as an actor that he fully disappears into roles and yet perfectly meshes with each environment. A sort of quiet gravitas. All of this to say, I think he’s an excellent actor that tends to highlight, but not underline, a story’s nuances. Example: one Sunday night this past fall you had two viewing options on the same 9 p.m. slot: Dallas Roberts as Owen Cavanaugh, Alicia’s brother on The Good Wife, who gets tangled up not only with their mother’s divorce case but also with Alicia’s case attempting to overthrow the Defense of Marriage Act. Or you could have clicked over to AMC and found Dallas Roberts playing Milton Mamet, a meticulous note-taker and self-titled historian of the zombie apocalypse AND general right-hand man to The Governor.
It’s The Walking Dead and all signs point to Milton not making it out of Woodbury alive, but these last few episodes really gave him some great stuff to work with: he hob-nobbed with Hershel, plotted with Andrea, and went toe-to-toe with The Governor’s wrath. Not that I don’t love David Morrissey, especially in the role of The Governor, but I’ve never been more interested in the character than when the show hints at the complex relationship he shares with Milton. One where Milton can see how far gone The Governor is, and plot against him, but cannot watch him be executed. Now that he’s openly defied The Governor and was confronted about it, this great palpable tension is present. Relationships like this have so much potential, but once again, the environment of The Walking Dead leaves everyone’s days numbered and little time to delve into each avenue rich with character development. We may get more of this (fingers-crossed) or The Governor may kill him/be killed before satisfying answers can surface. This second half of the season run for The Walking Dead has been largely excellent, so I am looking forward to what’s in store these last two episodes.