So, it would seem the prison is really close to Woodbury, right? If traveling to and from Woodbury is less than a day trip for Andrea? And given the high gates around each community and their respective surveillance abilities, why didn’t they notice each other way earlier?
The logic behind The Walking Dead can be questioned for days on end, but at least this week’s episode, “I Ain’t A Judas,” had a theme – loyalty – and concluded with a Tom Waits song, which is always a major plus. Andrea questions her loyalty for The Governor versus Rick, and Daryl’s loyalty is questioned for his brother versus Rick.
Rick also snapped out of the crazy, Daryl and Hershel rose up as leaders, and Milton was also featured, so, on the whole? With a few exceptions, namely involving Tyreese and his crew, this week was just fine.
We open with a very well thought out conversation between Rick and the other prison inhabitants about whether or not they should stay at the prison and defend their turf, or leave and avoid another run-in with The Governor and his crew. Hershel wants to run – and stands up publicly against Rick. While running is probably not the greatest idea in the world… it’s nice that others notice the unraveling and see where there’s room for a change in the Ricktatorship. Though it would appear stuff finally starts to sink in when wise old Carl tells Rick to let the others take control.
It makes sense that Rick listens to Carl here – he is his son, and his opinion of his father is obviously weighted very heavily. But when he is allowed to patrol the prison alone and Rick later tells fellow leaders Daryl and Hershel that Carl is “ready” to take on responsibilities in the prison? He is still a child who just lost his mother. The Governor is vengeful against Rick and likely will come back to the prison to retaliate, so Carl, zombie apocalypse or not, should still be minded and taken care of – he’s a kid who can be used as potential collateral. Sigh.
Surprisingly, one of the better things about this episode was Andrea’s torn allegiances and her complicated set of relationships with the various groups. She perhaps spent the most time traveling with Rick and his crew, though her questions about who survived since her absence really makes it sink in how long she’s been away from them. And while she saw firsthand that The Governor is pretty damn unhinged, she was still involved in a sexual relationship with him and clearly she can’t be impartial. And Michonne? Michonne and Andrea shared a really intense bond that ended in betrayal. It really cuts deep when Michonne tells her, “You chose a warm bed over a friend.”
And while it’s frustrating when Andrea doesn’t kill The Governor post-coitus (to the tune of Tom Waits, no less) per Carol’s suggestion, it’s made completely understandable. You really feel Andrea’s conflict in this final scene, because while he’s asleep, The Governor is her lover and not the man who incited zombie fights and a war on the prison. Sex really complicates things, doesn’t it…
Also, thank you, The Walking Dead, for giving us more Milton this week. Milton’s really a nebbish, isn’t he? And it’s fun to watch Dallas Roberts meekly squirm in fear of The Governor and be grossed out by Andrea ripping off Michonne’s “zombie pet” idea in the forest. Which, by the way was very cool – especially the breaking of the zombie jaw against the rocks. It’s promising that Milton will get more to do in future episodes as he is assigned to spy on Andrea. Snitch!
Though, perhaps the weakest thing in this episode is how Tyreese and his group are dealt with. The disappeared last week during the battle without any explanation. And it seems that apparently they just ran into the woods because they were “cast off” by Rick? That never officially happened – it was in flux with the differing opinions of Rick and Hershel. It just seems the writers forgot about them and Andrea and Milton happening upon them in the woods seemed like the easiest solution. While Tyreese and Sasha telling The Governor about Rick’s diminished mental state sets the scene for future episodes, it also underscores their potential in the future. It was looking good that Tyreese was going to be featured as a leader in the prison community, given his brawn and likability, but it seems that that’s not going to happen. Out of all the new characters he shows the most potential, so Tyreese in Woodbury seems like a missed opportunity to some degree.
The Upside: The tight theme of the episode, the Andrea stuff, people questioning Rick at long last, and the closing Tom Waits jam.
The Downside: Tyreese and crew have fallen by the wayside, which is a missed opportunity. And Carl is still a kid.. sorry guys.
On the Side: Some, like Lady Gaga, would say that Norman Reedus is a “Judas.”