RECAP: ‘The Walking Dead’ – S03E11 – “I Ain’t a Judas”

NOTE: Let’s be mindful of all the new viewers participating in this conversation and try not to spoil plot points taking place deep into the run of the comic series. Mild speculation is fine and encouraged, as well as talking about things that have happened in the comic up until the point they are at in the show, but don’t get too explicit with regard to future surprises. They will be deleted. Thanks!

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 RECAP_TWD_S03E11

“I Ain’t No Judas”

Or

“Andrea Alienates Basically Everyone”

Hey everyone! Conor and I have agreed to split recap duties so this week is my inaugural attempt at recapping The Walking Dead! Let’s dive right in, shall we?

If you remember from last week: Rick is crazy, Axel is shot (to death), and a truck full of zombies was released into the prison.

Rick wants to stay in the prison, Doc Hershel wants to go, Merle agrees with the Doc. Michonne says nothing, consistent with her poor characterization thus far. Yelling continues. The gang could really use the help of parliamentary procedure. Or at the very least a conch shell.

Rick leaves the cell-block to examine the yard. Nothing but shambling moaners and glimpses of his dead wife in a white dress on the periphery of the woods. Carl joins him only to be chastised, but Carl is having none of it. Carl tells his Dad he wants him to stop being the leader because he deserves a rest. Clearly Carl has more tact than the adults raising him.

ROLL CREDITS

The Governor and his best buddy in the whole wide world, aka Milton, discuss people, presumably in terms of troop strength. The Gov pontificates on the fallacy of adolescence. Andrea enters. She’s mad about the Gov’s attack on the prison. Milton pleads ignorance. Andrea wants to visit her friends. The Gov basically ignores her until he doesn’t. Telling her if she’s so keen to go to jail then she might as well not come back to Woodbury. And to think just last week he made her the leader! It’s like he didn’t even mean it.

Andrea heads into the square. A mom is trying to get her asthmatic son out of compulsory service. So much for a purely defensive motivations behind expanding the Woodbury Reserves.

Rick et al. continue to debate merits of continued prison living, ammunition, and the like. Daryl defends the presence of Merle. Glenn asks Rick how he’d feel having Shane around. Doc Hershel admits that Merle as a fighter is worth having. Glenn in turn suggests turning Merle over to the Gov as a bargaining chip.

Doc Hershel and Merle sit down for a chat, one amputee to another; both sort of Rick’s fault but for entirely different reasons. Doc asks Merle if he’s heard the good word of the Lord, citing scripture to defend Merle’s lost limb. Merle knows Chapter and Verse, citing his own regret over not having access to Woodbury’s library. Merle then proceeds to creepily list in what order the Gov will kill Rick’s group, as matter of fact as can be.

The Gov exams his recruits, excusing an arthritic woman from service. Andrea tells the Gov about Noah’s asthma, but the Gov ignores her.

Carol tries to reconnect with a sullen Daryl. He just wants to play with arrows. She warns him about letting Merle get into his head. Then they both giggle for some reason.

Andrea inspects the wall. Milton tells her it’s well-sealed. She won’t let the prison attack go. He says he really didn’t know and that the attack was illogical. He refuses to cover up her own plans to take a trip to the prison and walks away. She begs for help escaping Woodbury. He’s just not sure…

The Gov examines his missing eye. Gross. And finally, we see the iconic eyepatch replace the bandage. Milton shows up to tell on Andrea. What a good little lackey. The Gov tells Milton to help her, he’s not sure if the Gov is pulling a Tyler Durden or not, but it seems the Gov really wants Andrea gone.

A walker shambles through the GA woods. Milton and Andrea hide behind trees. They tackle the ghoul and take off it’s arms. Milton’s duct tape sleeves get blood on them. Then they curb the zombie to remove it’s jaw just as another one shambles over. A quick hatchet to the head takes care of it, yet immediately another one is on them. Deus ex Tyrese and crew show up to help out.

Michonne does her calisthenics. Merle is encouraging and tries to give her the “just following orders” excuse for hunting her after she left Woodbury. She recognizes the historical significance and doesn’t seem convinced by his ‘apology’.

Tyrese’s crew questions the need for a de-armed de-jawed zombie. Andrea tries to lie about her and Milton’s origin. However, Milton admits the existence of Woodbury and Tyrese’s gang ask for sanctuary. Milton hands off the helper zombie to Andrea and agrees to lead the group back to town. Tyrese is perplexed that Andrea isn’t coming along but there are prisons that need visiting.

Carl spots Andrea and her walker friend approaching the fence and alerts Maggie. Maggie readies her rifle but recognizes Andrea through the scope and tells Carl to fetch the others. Andrea marches through the yard, fending off any zombies that get too close. The prison crew comes out guns at the ready. She wants in, Rick wants to know if she’s alone, a pretty reasonable question which she refuses to answer, because, y’know, drama. Rick roughly frisks her against the fence until a zombie gets in her face, so he shoves her to her knees instead. Not exactly a warm welcome.

Carol is at least willing to hug the returned Andrea. Andrea reacts to Hershel’s lost limb and asks about Shane and Lori. Carol has to point out that T-Dogg is also dead. Rick won’t let Andrea inside the cell-block. They let Andrea know that the Gov may have lied to her. She makes excuses, and they don’t care. Andrea then gets mad at Michonne. Then points out that Merle is allowed to be a part of the group for some reason (maybe because he’s useful?). Andrea asks for peace, Rick advocates war. Merle calls Andrea’s BS for what it is. She finally admits that the Gov is also prepping for battle. The group seems OK with that. Andrea doesn’t think they can win against a whole town. So Rick asks for her help and she refuses. Rick walks away in disgust.

Michonne leads Andrea back out to the yard and Andrea continues to piss off everyone who still has a pulse. Michonne explains to Andrea how betrayal works, Andrea still seems confused.

The Gov addresses Tyrese’s group. The group notices the preparations for conflict. The Gov says the living attacked, not the dead. The Gov gives them directions for when they’re ready to leave. They reveal that they’d been through the prison and had seen Rick at maximum craziness levels. They’re ready to throw down against Rick and crew. The Gov says they don’t need the help, but Tyrese really wants to help. Milton wants schematics, Tyrese says he’ll do his best, the Gov ends it by saying they should rest for the night.

Andrea meets Li’l Asskicker. She correctly guesses Daryl came up with the nickname. Andrea asks about Lori and Carol reveals how she died. And yet again, Carol reminds Andrea that T-Dog was also a human being she knew who died. Andrea makes no comment and instead asks about Shane. Carol says plainly that Rick killed him. But only because Shane tired to kill Rick first for his love of Lori. Andrea still somehow thinks that Rick is the jerk. Carol, in a moment of insight, suggests fucking the Gov into unconsciousness then murdering him in his sleep. A bad plan if it wasn’t entirely consistent with Andrea’s character.

Rick gives Andrea a car so she can go annoy other people. No warm goodbyes are exchanged, but Rick so give her a pistol and suggests caution. She says “you too” but doesn’t bother to put on a seat-belt nor roll up her window before driving into a YARD FULL OF WALKERS. Windows, people.

Back in Woodbury Andrea rolls in. All guns are at the ready as she exits the vehicle with her hands up. She’s brought to the Gov’s apartment, where he sups his good whiskey. She tells the Gov how terrible life in the prison is, but that it does contain Michonne, Merle, and Rick. People the Gov would very much like to kill. She says she came back on her own accord, not on orders from Rick. The Gov seems skeptical. One creepy face-touch later and they’re going at it like she’d never left.

Back at the prison  Blonde younger Maggie sings a song. Sounds pretty cool with the echo, if I’m being honest. Rick bonds with Li’l Asskicker. Even Merle’s dead heart seems to warm as the song is sung. This is actually the kind of scene that the comic couldn’t really pull off, which is neat. Daryl, Doc Hershel, and Rick discuss strategy. Rick says he’s going to recon Woodbury and makes Merle Daryl’s responsibility. Rick will take Michonne and Carl on his trip to Woodbury so Daryl can take care of things at home.

Meanwhile, Carl is outside with a rifle. Through the wood slats he stares into the yard full of walkers.

Andrea eyes the sleeping gov, having carried out part 1 of Carol’s plan. She leaves bed for a knife. She stands over the Gov and hesitates… She hesitates some more. Then eventually walks away to stare out the window wistfully.

END

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This episode felt like a lot of setup. The few compelling moments were Tyrese’s group being brought into Woodbury and the conversation between Merle and Doc Hershel. Additionally, Andrea seems on the fence about her allegiances, but as you can probably gather I’m none to happy with her TV characterization (partly because I’m such a huge fan of her in the comics). I hope the upcoming battle between the factions will be interesting, but at this point it feels more like those episodes of Lost where the characters just kept going back and forth in the jungle instead of actually getting anything done.

Comments

  1. mtony75 mtony75 says:

    I think one thing that in constant with the series is they want to switch enough stuff up to make the story true to the spirit of the comic but a different experience for TV. So us fans of the comic have to accept the reality that the show just isn’t the book. Totally agree about Andrea and Michonne. I won’t go into details but to say their TV counterparts are at best shallow representations of what they are in the comic would be an understatement.

    Anywho

    I am afraid they are just setting up a big cliffhanger with no movement of the story line. I read somewhere Woodbury would be a 2 season arch. So I just see a big shoot up and “major” star dying to lead us to Rick snapping out of it and becoming the de facto leader again.

  2. stuclach stuclach says:

    I can’t decide if Andrea is a coward, a moron, or in love. If she isn’t in love and isn’t afraid the other citizens of Woodbury are going to kill her for killing the Governor, then the only possible explanation is that she’s a moron. If she can’t see that he is the bad guy in this scenario, then she is mentally handicapped. The fact that she seems so shocked when she hears some of the things he’s done makes me think that she may be in love. I don’t consider her a coward. I guess we’ll find out in the near future.

    I find it interesting that he governor is willing to trust her.

    I’m also very interested in finding out what will happen with Tyrone. He’s a bit of a wild card right now.

  3. i totally agree with your conclusions about how this is turning into those middle episodes of LOST. I still want to watch the show, but i’m not feeling as enthralled with it as i used to. Lots of people standing around and talking isn’t doing it for me. The previews for next week seem really cool. i just hope it lasts for a significant portion of the episode.

    I’m having a difficult time figuring out what the Andrea character wants and at times i’m asking “why is she on the show still?” –hope it starts to figure itself out.

  4. It would please me greatly if the writers were setting up a long con. Specifically, that Tyrese and his crew are headed to Woodbury in order to strike from within. Could be revealed in one of those flashback after the fact where we see either Rick discussing the plan, and reminding Tyrese that no matter how crazy Rick gets, he needs to just play along.

    We’d have a possible parallel with Merle doing the same (as we suspect he is).

    Regardless, I’m loving that the “good guys” are not all on the same page, that they’re not always the good guys, and that we’re seeing more divergence from the comic books. (Maybe Carol will end up being the super-sniper).

  5. I liked last nights episode a lot. I felt like each conversation was a serious one that needed to be had. Hershel yelling at Rick was great. Carl telling Rick to step down, the group arguing over Merle and what their plan should be …all of those convos were great. The Woodbury part is murkier because the Gov has been portrayed as maybe almost not completely such an evil bastard. So his sneaky shit with Andrea felt off for the TV Gov. Andrea is in a bad place this season as a character. But I kinda like it, it’s so different from Book Andrea that its keeping things fresh and not letting me settle in. I bet after next weeks lil Rick Michonne romp we start to see Michonnes character become more accepted and her role develop down the stretch of the season.
    Or I could be wrong about all of that and everyone dies.

  6. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    Tom Waits’ “Hold On” was the highpoint of this episode.

    This show is losing me.

    Again.

    • ed209AF ed209AF says:

      I have just saddled in for the fact that for every great fast paced episode there is a slow one.

      Budgets, who needs em?

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      Eh, more like one for three.

      And for every story point from the source material, there are about eight “curveballs” that throw the story further off course. But who’s counting?

  7. JesseCuster says:

    Agree to disagree? The singing was a cheesy moment.

    I fear for Tyrese and his crew. Being played against Rick by the Governor either means the characters aren’t going to be long term, or it means we have to sit through yet ANOTHER “Oh we thought the gov was the good buy but he’s really the bad guy so now we’re with you guys and not with the governor guy anymore and I’m sure you can accept and understand the situation since we didn’t know better and you’ll act all suspicious toward us until we do something nice and then we’ll be BFFs forever” -moments. BLEH.

    • It’s just re-arranging the deck chairs until “meat grinder” time kicks in at the wrap of the season. The cast will be whittled down ALOT. I would guess Rick, Carl, Tyrese, Michonne and Glenn (maybe Maggie) are the only survivors for start of season four. I hope Daryl and Carol make it too…