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"The Walking Dead" - "I Ain't A Judas": Why Don't You Come To Me When Things Go Wrong, Cling To Me And Oh, I'll Be Strong

By TK | TV Reviews | February 26, 2013 | Comments ()


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“I Ain’t A Judas,” the eleventh episode of this season’s “The Walking Dead,” was one of the few episodes that felt more like a placeholder than anything else. It was an episode with little activity, less action, and even more frustratingly, by the end of it little had changed. Its pace was glacial, the thematic elements obvious, and its story was not a particularly stirring one save for a couple of moments. In short, it was a rather disappointing entry.

Perhaps the main reason for this lies in the fact that this episode centered around Andrea, one of the most divisive and difficult characters. Andrea has been inadvertently portrayed as either a fool or a dupe for so much of this season that to have her attempt to serve as the bridge between these two warring groups seems almost laughable at this point, even if the signs have been pointing in that direction for some time now. “I Ain’t A Judas,” as its not-so-subtle title alludes, was all about trust and betrayal. The lines have been drawn and after last week’s pitched final battle, the first shot (or several shots) fired. It’s clearer than it’s ever been that for these two groups, war is the only thing that lies ahead of them. Too much damage has been done, too much blood shed and too many lives shattered for there to be any other possibility.

Which makes the Andrea storyline all the more ridiculous in so many ways. Every viewer knew that this was the way it would be. Every character knew that there could be no peace. Yet Andrea continues to blunder through this season, oblivious to the signs that are practically slapping her in the face, determined to make the worst possible decision whenever the option avails itself. Her adamant refusal to see the truth about The Governor — the man with the zombie daughter, with the room full of heads, the man with delusions of tyrannical grandeur who pits her friends in gladiatorial battles against each other and who is conscripting children into his army— has made her quite possibly the dumbest character the show has ever had. Now, she’s been inexplicably cast as a wannabe peacemaker, heading to the prison to try to broker a truce. After learning of all their losses, after a painful confrontation with Michonne where finally we get a hint of personality and emotion and poignancy from that depressingly neglected character, after all of that, she instead decides that their leader is damaged and their cause isn’t worth staying around for. Say what you want about how they’ve handled Rick’s breakdown, but dude lost his wife. You’d think she might have some sympathy for that. You’d think after seeing how her oldest remaining friends in the world are doing, she’d want to stay and help. Even Merle is staying and helping — legitimately helping, for God’s sake.

But not Andrea. In the face of now-overwhelming evidence that her lover is completely, next-level bananas, she chooses to return to Woodbury where she fails yet again in doing the one thing that might have actually made a difference. I’ll bet all the money in my pocket that in the end, she’ll either end up dead by the Governor’s hand, or she’ll be the one to kill him. Either ending won’t be the least bit satisfying, though.

All was not lost, however. The episode had its bright spots. Herschel continues to develop into a more complex, stronger character with each week. This week, his strength was on full display, as he barked down Rick, demanding his best out of him, something that few have had the courage to do. Yet more stirring was his meeting with Merle, where he stared into that hornet’s nest of crazy Merle has for a mind and came out unscathed. It was a solid scene featuring excellent performances by both players. Michael Rooker has been killing it all season, but this new development, the keener, more intelligent side brought out by his warped sense of brotherly love, has been a fascinating evolution to observe.

Michonne finally showed signs of life, finally got to be more than a glare and a blade, so that was refreshing. Carl continues to reset my opinion of him — after secretly hoping for his death in Season Two, I genuinely like Chandler Riggs’ performances now. He’s created a solid image of a boy forced to grow up too fast and too soon, and he’s nailing it. Carol becomes stronger with each episode, becoming more calculating and sharp as time passes. Beth… sings pretty, I guess. Lord, what a useless character she is.

Yet those were all the little things. Taken as a whole, “I Ain’t A Judas” was not a particularly satisfying episode. We started with the group desperately trying to figure out how to survive the Governor’s eventual assault, and that’s how we ended. We started with Andrea blindly in his thrall, and that’s how we ended. It was an episode that felt like it was spinning its wheels, cycling through the same themes in order to kill time until we can have our inevitable grand finale.







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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Carrie/Teabelly

    I know there's no need for me to jump on the Andrea-hating bandwagon, but I'm going to anyway. Mostly the conversation she had with Carol. It took someone else saying she should kill the Governor for her to think of it? I am not at all surprised she didn't act on it in the end (argh) but god woman, all the things you've seen him do, how twisted he is, what he's done to your friends and someone else had to point out that option? And then you're all 'oh yeah, I could do that...oh I can't.' Seriously, I was hoping he'd wake up and stab her with her own knife.

  • DeltaJuliet

    I was WAITING for it! I hate the Governor, but I hate Andrea much, much more.

  • Uriah_Creep

    Highlight: Michonne spoke.
    Lowlight: So did Andrea.

  • John G.

    Is Andrea the new Lori? Or is Ghost Lori the new Lori?

  • emmelemm

    I did love Michonne telling Andrea off, both because Michonne actually talked, and because she was 100% right and Andrea deserved it and more.

  • SVR

    Daryl smiled and laughed. Nothing else interesting happened in this episode.

  • DeltaJuliet

    My heart melted at that moment. If I had been Carol.........

  • Utopian

    I agree with most of your assessment, and while I think the episode did "spin its wheels" a little bit in terms of plot development, it also provided a subtle hint at the end that Rick is finally (at least partially) willing to step down every now and again. Putting Daryl in charge of the prison to go on a run, trusting Michonne and Merle; they are small but noticeable established by the episode's opening scenes that I think tied everything together as best as they could.

  • RilesSD

    Stupid Andrea aside, nice American History X salute. Even though it was a zombie...brutal.

  • emmelemm

    Yeah, watching the Talking Dead afterward (I know, I know, whatever... it's more zombies), they had some discussion of that scene and they were like, "Teeth on the rock... teeth on the rock..." An actor's teeth were, at least for a short while (though not, obviously when they were actually doing the stomp), on an actual rock.

    There's something very visceral about that, like nails on a chalkboard, that makes pretty much everyone's skin crawl.

  • I still can't believe Andrea went back to the prison, saw all her friends in the state they were in, and LEFT. For what? Never mind whiskeydick, did she forget the arena full of people watching fights that so horrified her when she first arrived? Even after what Michonne said to her--and yes, I did almost fall off the couch when Michonne said several whole sentences in a row. And boy did I ever love that "messiah complex" line. Then, once Michonne did finally talk to Andrea, they reversed roles and Andrea said nothing back--just walks away...

    I'm also still at a loss about when the town decided that this new chick in their midst is the mayor or deputy governor, or anyone at all they should listen to. She's just strutting around town like she owns the place, telling everyone what to do. Do the writers foolishly believe they've come up with a kickass woman character? This is all so off base, I could only laugh at those scenes where she was doing the Clint Eastwood walk everywhere she went.

    I'll admit I was surprised to see Tyrese and Co. show up, and be so quick to sign on for the war against Rick. Not to say Rick doesn't deserve their derision after the way he acted, but I think Tyrese himself saw that the rest of the group had some merit. I'm curious to see where they're going with this. Does Tyrese go good guy and switch teams at the last minute?

    But there was some real excellence in those scenes with Hershel and the one between Rick and Carl. Since Lori died, Carl (and the actor) has just shined, and it's beautiful to watch. Same for Hershel--since he lost his leg and almost his life, he's been a different man.

  • John G.

    Rick kicked him out of the prison, out into open ground, which Tyrese rightly called a death sentence. Rick's group has that whole prison to themselves. Rick didn't give him any reason for why they couldn't share it, and then he went nuts and started shouting at ghosts.

    Now Tyrese has found a whole protected town that wants him to stay. He's just doing what it takes, what is asked of him, to get to stay in one of only two settlements that exist as far as anyone knows. What allegiance does he have to Rick?

  • I didn't say he should have any allegiance to Rick--in fact, I said Rick deserves their derision. I thought Tyrese saw that the rest of the group had compassion toward their group. It's not that I don't understand them going to the town, but the immediate jumping on the war wagon thing. The Governor wants to take out the whole prison group, and I don't see Tyrese going along with that part.

  • Ozioma

    You forgot about Tyreese's group joining Woodbury. I'd say that's something important that's happened.

    But ditto to the rest of it. Especially about Andrea. Good fucking Lord, they tell you that he fired first, that he drove the van of zombies into the yard, that Merle was sent to kill Michonne as soon as she took off (AND, as Michonne so very rightly pointed out, would have shot her if she'd come with her)...and when she gets the chance to end it, she wimps out.

    Fucking Andrea.

  • mairimba

    But what about Tyrese joining Woodbury?!? Do you think he'll actually help kill the people in the prison? This was my biggest concern after the episode ended. He doesn't seem like a bad guy and knows that mostly everyone in the prison were good people, but will he side with the Governor just for the chance to have a "stable" place to stay at?

  • ViciousTrollop

    I thought that was strange too. All of a sudden he's on board to murder the kindly folk in the prison? I get that his group wants a place to stay but it just doesn't seem like something the character would do.

  • Artemis

    I actually thought that made a lot of sense. All he knows about Rick's crew is that they locked up Tyrese's group and wouldn't let them stay because they didn't trust them, and that Rick is hallucinating dead people and losing his shit. Tyrese and buds are then forced back out into the wild, stumble into a fortified town that's the sweetest set-up in the post-zombie world, and the people in the town tell them that Rick's gang attacked the town and killed a bunch of people. Having witnessed Rick's paranoia and breakdown, I would find that believable if I was Tyrese. He looked like he wrestled a bit with the idea of giving the Governor the layout of the prison, but ultimately--with a safe place for himself and his family/friends on the line--I can see why thinking Rick is a violent nut-job trying to take out Woodbury would be enough justification for Tyrese to help the Governor take him down.

  • ViciousTrollop

    Yeah, that does make sense. I think the survival instinct trumps all at this point. They just want somewhere safe to stay.

    I may be assigning people loyalties that they don't yet have.

  • Nadine

    Andrea has always been a fucking eejit.

    I would have kicked herout the very second she almost killed Daryl in season 2's 'Chupacabra'

    . I don't care if it was an accident and she thought he was a zombie. She was told very specifically 'do not fire the gun'

    Not because 'it might be a human'. Not even because it might waste a bullet. But because it might DRAW MORE ZOMBIES TO THE SOUND OF GUNFIRE, SOMETHING THEY HAVE BEEN CAREFULLY TRYING NOT TO DO.

    And what does she do? Fires a gun. Shoots Daryl(DARYL) in the fucking HEAD. A glancing shot, too. So in one way, hurray that she never killed Daryl. But at the same time she put everyone else in the farm at risk AND failed anyway.

    And they had almost a repeat of the situation when she was first in Woodbury, trying to show off and be involved when in reality she should just...stop. Like, perfect chances to kill her off in a decent way have just been passed up time and time again.

    I feel as if the writers COULD have given this plot to a different character, had them be more resistant to the idea of Woodbury, had some cracking scenes where they're convinced, or even forced to believe this new reality, then had the emotional devastation of them finding out they've been duped.

    Instead? He was NICE to her, and then they fucked so now she's suuuuuuuuuuuper conflicted about him.

    I guess the best way to link Woodbury to our group just had to be genitals.

    Part of me wished she had been around more of the ladies when she said Rick had gone cold so one of them could have hauled off and smacked her in her fucking mouth. Cold?? She turns up, with her clean hair and clothes and her weaponised walker, to find them like THAT in the immediate aftermath of an attack, surrounded by walkers, the group half the size, Lori barely in the ground and calls Rick COLD?!

    And despite his sincere goodbye and bid to be safe she's still...just...uuuuuuugh.

    I actually asked 'who does she think she is!?' out loud because WHO THE ACTUAL FUCK DOES SHE THINK SHE IS?

    And the worst part is she'll either live to the end or she'll get the most sad, tragic, undeservedly brilliant, drawn out death and everyone will rend their clothes and gnash their teeth despite the fact she is a big giant pit of failure and suckitude.

  • I loved the moment when she shot Daryl. LOVED IT! The look of triumph on her face. She was so sure she'd finally done something right. Nope. Ya almost killed a friend! How ya feel now?!? That moment is the reason I watch season 2. The look of triumph followed by the look of total failure.

  • Miss Kate

    THANK YOU.

  • Bodhi

    The Hershel - Myrle conversation was one of the best scenes of this mini-season.

    I almost want to change the channel when there is an Andrea-centric scene. I hate what the writers are doing to her this season. It just doesn't make any sense to me.

    I have a friend who posted a screed on FaceBook about how misogynistic the fans of the show are. She thinks that disliking Lori, Andrea, & Michone means disliking strong female characters in general. I did my best to politely explain how dumb that stance is, but I don't know if it got through. It isn't that fans hate strong female characters, its that the female characters being presented as "strong" aren't! Andrea is dickmatized, Michone is a damn robot, & Lori was a shrew at best. (though I have been rethinking my original dislike of Lori).

    Also, yay Tom Waits. Everything needs more Tom Waits

  • DeltaJuliet

    I agree. I LOVE strong female characters! When are we going to get some?
    Actually, Carol has toughened up a lot and is "earning her keep" as much as the rest of the characters. And I don't think of Michonne as stong or weak. She is very self-reliant, and she COULD be a strong character if she , oh, I don't know, got to TALK.
    Lori sucked. I hated her. And Andrea is the worst. Don't get me started on Andrea.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Totally agree. That bit with Herschel and Merle was my favourite scene this episode.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I just posted this over at Warming Glow, and I'm lazy so: I’m positive Rick was searching for Ghost Lori when Carl told him to “stop” being the leader. Double meaning in my book.

    Andrea wants to be strong, powerful, in charge, and respected. She has always wanted that. The problem is she isn't those things, she doesn't have it in her. Ultimately she needs someone to take care of her. She wants so desperately to be a self-reliant badass, but she doesn’t have the stones. She knows it and she hates that about herself. She gets herself in these positions where men are looking after her then she resents them for it (her self-loathing), look at how she treated Dale. The look on her face when Michonne tells her she chose a warm bed over a friend, that's the look of knowing you're a coward. Everything she does is bullshit bluster, trying to convince herself and those around her that she’s not a weak little coward, but she knows it’s true. I see it in how she acts around Woodbury. She assumes a position of authority/respect that has been granted to her because of her proximity to the Governor (fucks), not because she earned it. Yet she clings to it, it means the world to her.

    The trip to the prison established that she has none of that respect with Rick & Co. They gave her one last chance to redeem herself and become strong by killing the Governor in his sleep. She couldn't do it. She made her bed.

  • mlurve

    I think the craziest part of her character is that she was supposed to have been a civil rights lawyer before the apocalypse. I'd just go ahead and plead guilty if she was my lawyer.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I totally forgot about that. Wow

  • Macrophage

    awesome synopsis of Andrea. I think that about sums it up.

  • Rick was searching and there was a glimpse of white behind a tree--but I don't think Carl knows Rick is hallucinating Lori--I think Carl just knows Daddy's gone off the rails.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I know, we discussed already. That's just what I believe, so there :P

  • We didn't discuss that you weren't sure that's what Rick was doing, so I didn't know if you saw the white or not.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I did see it, but I stand corrected...again. Good thing I'm so accepting of my flaws or this would get old, fast.

  • GDI

    So she's a pathetic character that's ill-written?
    This trope of the (possibly) nonredeemable coward in zombie media is bothersome, especially with how Andrea's character in the comics compares to the one in the show. The divide between the two is massive. I really wish we would've gotten badass, but tortured, sniper Andrea over the incomprehensible mess that is being portrayed in the TV series. At least they could chip away at the misogynistic tag. Now, about that implied racism...

    Even without the comparison, Andrea is still just a waste of space. It does not matter how you "justify" her actions, cowardly characters are simply not entertaining if they are intensely unlikable.
    Maybe if she was cunning and cold, and overthrew the Governor for her selfish reasons, a la Game of Thrones, then maybe she could be redeemed. Then she battles against Ricks group! Ultimately, she would die, of course.

  • lowercase_ryan

    yes, she's a pathetic character that's ill-written. Agree on the chasm between book and show Andrea.

  • malikvlc

    All it would have taken to make the episode palatable:

    A fucking CONVERSATION. Sit down and tell Andrea everything that had happened since the group split up. Blow for blow. Clear the air between her and Michonne.

    Then agree to send her back as their spy.

    But to have the whole "Andrea goes to the prison to negotiate peace" just twists this character into even less than a shell of the original. Painful waste of a character and her storyline.

  • Blake

    Beth… sings pretty, I guess. Lord, what a useless character she is.

    Not so... well yes, but who is going to take care of the baby? Plus you know Carl is probably at second base by now.

    Emily Kinney is a whole of pretty so I'm willing to over look Beth's characters flaws.

  • GDI

    My lord, she's 27!
    I thought she was barely legal. Now I don't feel so guilty.

  • emmelemm

    I know, I discovered that (by looking it up) after the episode and was like, "WHAT IN THE???!!"

  • theotherone

    The actor who plays Carl is actually 30.

  • VonnegutSlut

    Again, I have to wonder if the writers reread their first drafts of the script or even listen when they're filming the actual shows because if they do, I don't see how it's possible for them NOT to hear how schizophrenic Andrea sounds from--literally--one minute to the next.

    One moment she's telling the prison gang there's place for all of them in Woodbury; then IN THE VERY SAME BREATH she is telling them there is no option but war.

    But as maddening as Andrea continues to be, Carol continues to become more and more badass. She's all: here-have-a-look-at-Lil'-Asskicker-isn't-she-cute-yeah-you-need-to-screw-the-Governor-and-then-slit-his-throat-m'kay?

    How the writers can handle those two women so incredibly differently is mind boggling.

  • emmelemm

    I was so in love with Carol after that moment. "So here's what you do..."

  • DeltaJuliet

    Carol rocks.

  • lowercase_ryan

    it's like they have certain writers for certain characters and never the two will cross. It's horrible.

  • Nadine

    If nothing else, wouldn't the TRUCK have given her some pause?

    Assume she never saw the truck around Woodbury, so she didn't recognise it parked outside the prison(which I find unlikely)she wasn't concerned and it didn't seem weird to her that her boyfriend was responsible for the wrecked gate and yard full 'o' zombies?

    If she really didn't know, didn't someone tell her?

    Surely, even if Rick and the gang actually had fired first, the very fact the Governor HAD a truck full of zombies waiting in the wings, let alone deployed it, would raise SOME DOUBTS about his intentions?

    Just a one or two?

    Maybe it's just me, but I would have...concerns.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I don't think she believes the Governor, but I think she realizes that she will now never be respected among the prison gang and chose Woodbury.

  • Ted Zancha

    So yeah, not the biggest fan of this episode. Anything that
    has to do with Andrea at this point bores me. So I knew it was going to be a
    problem when I saw it was Andrea centered. It’s a shame because she is so
    amazing in the comics.

    I think Michonne said more in this episode than she has all
    season.

    I do want to talk about the “Next Time on Walking Dead,” so
    possible spoilers:

    It looks like next week may be focused just on Rick, Carl,
    and Michonne. I think that is an awesome idea. Get Rick to do something other
    than Crazy-Rick, force Michonne to talk, and continue to show why Carl is
    becoming one of the better characters on the show. Or they could fuck it up and
    do the opposite. But there is so much potential…

  • Rebecca Hachmyer

    I literally did a double-take and had to rewind and watch again the first time Michonne spoke. And then it was something so banal that I still wondered "was that her?"

  • Ted Zancha

    Exactly!

    I was dumbfounded when she put two sentences together. I almost got excited but a combination of two things happened: 1. While she was talking she was "dramatically" looking off into the distance. 2. Andrea kept talking.

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