The Walking Dead – A Recap Season 3 – Episode 11 – “I Ain’t A Judas “
This episode was, at its center, a filler episode about Andrea and therefore lacking much actual plot movement. Why should an Andrea-themed episode have purpose and meaning when Andrea as a character has no real purpose or meaning? Even Andrea doesn’t seem to know what she should do. Especially this season, Andrea has sort of become a main character with as much screen time as Rick. This leads me to believe someone somewhere thinks Andrea is a major player on the TV show. My question then is: Why do the main characters on this show still lack so much development? How can, we as audience members, expect certain behaviour from Andrea, when the character in itself doesn’t seem to have clue how to behave? Also a tremendous problem with placing this much importance on Andrea is that her plot is a bit tired and boring. It angers me that Andrea can be boiled down to poor taste in men. I’m sure she is meant to be brighter, most humane, example of a leader right now on the show but she is just coming off naïve, confusing, and unneeded. I’ll exploit Andrea’s lack of development within the following, as I recap everything that went down in this week’s episode.
RECOVERING, ARGUING & GOING NOWHERE FAST
Rick and company are holding a pow-wow in the cellblock concerning the Governor after his assault last week. Rick and Glenn want to stay and have an epic stand off with the Governor while Hershel still is cheering for them to make a run for it. Merle, comically talking from a locked room, informs everyone who hasn’t been listening that the Governor has more than enough manpower and firepower to kill every single one of them. In fact he says it is probably too late to run, as he most likely has scouts all over the roads.
Frustrated Rick tries to make a dramatic exit when Hershel oddly blames them not leaving as the reason for Axel’s death. Hershel’s ever-present calm is broken as he essentially snaps at Rick to “Get back here!” Rick after all is the person who let us know last year that this isn’t a democracy and now he needs to continue to own up to that. He tells him to get his head on straight and do something.
Later Rick is observing what there precious safe haven has turned into: walkers swarm one of the yards they previously had clear, while more seem to be oozing out of the forest. Carl approaches and shows his father exactly how grown up he has become by suggesting what everyone is thinking: For Rick to take some time off. To let Hershel and Daryl co-lead the group while Rick gets some much needed rest. Of course he has to awesomely preface this with “Promise you won’t get mad”. Ha-ha.
BUILDING AN ARMY
The Governor is looking to add to his numbers by enlisting regular Woodbury citizens into his little army. After advising Milton to add all able-bodied residents, aged 13 and up, Milton explains that this would be about 35 people. (“Adolescence is a 20th century invention” LOL). Before they can continue to lower the enlistment age Andrea charges in to yell at her dear “Phillip” for attacking the prison when he swore he totally wouldn’t. He claims they shot first. Ha. Andrea obviously believes this because she loves when men lie to her. Yet, she still says she wants to visit the prison to try to broker a truce. The Governor says if she goes then she should stay there. Later outside on the street a resident complains that they are making her 14 year old asthmatic son fight. Andrea appeals to Martinez who promptly insists that the only way the town will survive is with the power of an army. Later on when the Governor is inspecting his new “recruits” Andrea speaks out about the asthmatic boy, and the governor does exactly what we all knew he’d do: ignores her. This doesn’t flash in Andrea’s brain as a bad sign about her lover. Ugh.
PRISON CATCHUP HOUR
Team Rick are preparing for battle while Glenn voices his concerns with Merle being there. He even says they should give him to the Governor but Hershel points out Merles obvious military experience. Thank you Hershel for staying logical in the face of irrationality. This leads to a much better scene where Hershel jaunts into Merles cell for a chat. These two hit it off better than I anticipated. They bond over their amputations and love of scripture. Then Merle really opens up once again warning at the danger that is the Governor: “He’ll save Rick for last so he can watch his family and friends die ugly. That’s who you’re dealing with.”
In another section of the cellblock, Daryl and Carol are making kissy faces and blushing uncontrollably. Carol lets Daryl know that Merle is not good for him and not to let his brother keep him down. Then they continue flirting like little kids.
Merle must have been inspired by Hershel because he continues his apology tour in a brief sit down with Michonne, in which she compares him to the Gestapo. He admits to doing a whole lot of things he is not proud of but he hopes they can get past it. Michonne just does her silence is golden thing, while glaring something fierce.
ANDREA WANTS OUT, ANDREA WANTS IN, SAGE HATES THIS
Andrea corners poor Milton and insists he help her escape so she can go to the prison. He baulks at the idea of lying to the Governor and promptly runs straight to tell the Governor everything. Before he gets to his office we are entertained with some sick shots of the Governor taking off his bandages, flashing his empty mutilated eye socket, then adding his comic-book signature eye patch. Sweet.
Milton tells the Governor Andrea’s request. The Governor tells Milton to do exactly that: help her escape.
While traipsing through the forest Milton assists Andrea is catching a walker, hacking off its arms, and curb stomping his teeth off. In the wake of the action, more walkers show up who Andrea takes care of with a hatchet but before she can get to one more Tyreese jumps out of the magical forest of people taking out the walker. After a brief meeting, Milton agrees to take Team Tyreese back to Woodbury while Andrea gets back to her journey to the prison now with her own “guardian angel”, her toothless walker to help lead her through the masses of undead. This felt like something Michonne taught her which I liked. Also I feel inclined to amend my weekly award for Andrea. She receives ZOMBIE MUTILATION OF THE WEEK.
Back in Woodbury the Governor meets with Team Tyreese, where he welcomes them in a scene much like when he first met Andrea and Michonne. This sort of proves they the Governor has always been on this for insane character path, and his tussle with Michonne wasn’t his breaking point. He goes on to casually name-drop Team Rick getting Tyreese to admit to their weird history with the group – and therefore agreeing to tell them “anything” to earn their keep. Ugh. Missed opportunities anyone?
A HOMECOMING TWICE OVER
Carl spots Andrea approaching the prison sending everyone on full alert. Rick screams to her asking if she is alone. She doesn’t answer so when she gets inside the gate, which they totally let her through, Rick literally shoves her into the fence and searches her. Ricks quick “welcome back” dialogue actually tickled me because I can’t tell if it was SINCERE
Against my better judgement, Rick brings Andrea into the prison cellblock where they have been living. She embraces Carol, reacts to Hershel’s missing limb, and ridiculously questions Shanes whereabouts. For the sake of my sanity I’m going to forget she kept asking about Shane over and over because it felt so uncomfortable. She insists she is on their side but Rick has his doubts mentioning that before her boyfriends assault yesterday they had a full clear courtyard. Andrea still hams it up asking for a peace agreement. Hershel hammers home that even he doubts the Governor in wanting any part of said agreement. Andrea has some quality dialogue here but the only important part is Rick asking her to get them in and when she denies him he walks away without a second glance.
In my favorite scene of the episode Michonne and Andrea once again spend some time together. Now outside, Andrea approaches Michonne accusing her of turning the group against her. Michonne denies it, finally pulling the wool from Andrea’s eyes informing her that when she left Woodbury her lover totally sent Merle out to kill her. She also said she went back to Woodbury to try to unmask the governor for who he REALLY is – girl, it worked. It is just Andrea finally seeing that she left her perfectly awesome bestie for a warm bed.
Before leaving Andrea wanted to hold the baby for a while. Can I just mention that the silly “asskicker” nickname needs to stop being namedropped every goddamn episode? I don’t care if they never mention the baby again, as long as the “lil asskicker” moniker is canned. Carol quickly proves how long she has come as a character, growing from the mousey abused housewife to a kickass lady who tells Andrea essentially to go back to Woodbury, have amazing sex with the Governor, then kill him before this whole war thing gets any bloodier. This turns out to be the least violent option anyone is actually talking about so props to Carol.
When leaving Rick gives Andrea, a knife, a gun, a car, and some advice “Be careful”. Is it striking anyone else at how weird it is that they are just letting her go? Or the fact that Andrea seems to think it is okay returning to Woodbury at all? Why is her behavior so wonky?
That evening Rick informs everyone that he will be making a run the next day for guns. He will take Carl, because he now knows how badass his son is, and Michonne because he has to find out if he can trust her sometime. He asks Daryl to watch his brother, saying that if Merle does anything it will be on Daryl. Papa Rick is sure strict.
As she arrives back in Woodbury, we cut past the awkward stares she receives at the barricades, and flash straight to her approaching the Governor. She confesses that she went to the prison. He asks if Rick sent her back and she explains that it was her call. It so hard to judge Governor conversations because we never know what is real and what is a show. He explains out loud why he thinks she has returned – Because she belongs there. They kiss. Trumpets play. Doves sore. Dawson’s Creek theme song kick starts.
Later in the evening it seems Andrea has taken her conversation with Carol to heart. She lies next to Phillip who is passed out next to her – both nude. She rises, retrieves a knife from her pants, and approaches her sleeping lover. She looms over him for an uncomfortable amount of time before chickening out. I am only slightly pleased by the fact that the writer didn’t have a bit about the Governor slyly opening his eyes after she retreated. I am truly amazed at the trust he actually seems to hold in Andrea. I sure hope they don’t end every episode until the finale like this. Andrea debating what to do.
NEXT TIME: Carl, Rick, and Michonne are out for the day. There is dialogue! There is Carl seemingly in trouble! There is a masked figure! Intrigue. Or more boring lead up to war.