There comes a time during every awards show when you just wish you were watching someone curb-stomp a zombie. Sunday night’s episode of ‘The Walking Dead: I Ain’t A Judas,’ delivered that and more. Well, a little more.
After the action-packed last five minutes of the previous episode, I was expecting to kick into high gear from the get-go. Destroyed fences, zombie-van drivers, endearing ex-cons used as human shields, oh, my! Instead, we open on the familiar group disagreement of what should be done next. At least this time there’s good reason for dissension in the ranks.
Rick has returned from his recent venture into Crazytown for the essential “stuff” and “things,” but his thousand-yard stare is an ever-present reminder that he could wander off to converse with his Ghost Pals at any moment. (By the way, how much is it going to suck when he discovers Ghost Lori sleeping with Ghost Shane? Awkward!) With Merle behind bars, Daryl wanting revenge, Hershel urging the group to leave the prison altogether, it’s all too much for Rick who starts to storm off. Hershel snaps at him in front of the whole group, warning that he’d better clear his head and lead before they all get killed. Outside on watch, Carl awkwardly but kindly points out that his father could probably use a break from being the leader to heal for a bit. Wise beyond his years or eager to be the leader himself? He does get to wear the hat…
Back in Woodbury, the plot slows to Finding-Sophia days, while Andrea tries to piece together where her allegiances lie. On one hand, you can hardly blame her for not immediately rushing back into the arms of the group that practically left her to die when they were split up at the farm. On the other hand, Michonne doesn’t trust Andrea’s new boy-toy who has been nothing but hospitable to practically everyone who comes to town.
After Milton’s shifty-eyed-dog routine last week when Andrea asked him the whereabouts of the Governor, it would be clear to any other rational human where his allegiances lie. But Andrea — the woman attracted to post-breakdown Shane and who stuck around Woodbury even after seeing the Governor’s zombie pet Penny — decided it would be prudent to ask his right-hand man Milton to lie to his boss and cover for her. I mean, we’ve all made poor character judgments before, but this lady is batting a thousand.
Milton runs to El Jefe like a good tattletale, and the Governor tells him to help her out (for what purpose exactly? The scientist’s brilliant undercover spy work?) Off they go. Andrea and Milton find a Walker bodyguard and deprive him of his weapons by cutting off his hands and de-jawing him by curb-stomping his face on a rock. Hope you weren’t eating during this scene!
On the seemingly short and narrow path from Woodbury to the prison, Andrea and Milton run into Tyreese and his gang, who had just been unceremoniously kicked out of the prison by Rick, who may actually have been yelling “Get out of here!” to Ghost Lori. No one can be sure. Milton quickly agrees to take Tyreese’s group back to Woodbury, while Andrea saunters off like she curb-stomps zombies and tethers them to a pole before breakfast every day.
No “Welcome Home” parties are thrown when Andrea reaches the perimeter of the prison, however. She’s rushed inside the gates, manhandled, and given a TSA-Agent-level pat down. Inside, she only makes the situation more awkward by asking everyone where Shane and Lori are.
The group gives her the feeling that the Governor isn’t being completely honest with her, but to her slight credit, the Governor has insinuated that the group she knew and loved had changed from the “family” she thought she knew. Who to trust?
The absolute best moment of the episode was when Carol brings Andrea to fawn over baby Judith, and Carol just goes Lady Macbeth on her with the casual tone of adding more salt to a recipe. “Give him the greatest night of his life, and get him to drop his guard. Then when he’s sleeping, you can end this.” How far has Carol come from being a meek battered wife? I mean, stay on her good side, but she’s rocking that proactive attitude! Someone has to, RICK.
Back at Woodbury, the Governor is amassing his army of arthritic elderly, asthmatic teenagers, and a jerk named Martinez, and he looks to be adding Tyreese’s gang to the mix. All the comic-book readers sigh sadly in unison because we need Tyreese and Rick to be FRIENDS, not enemies. What’s more important than friends in a zombie apocalypse? At least I can take solace in the fact that even Cutty joined up with Avon Barksdale’s crew in ‘The Wire,’ but in the end, his boxing gym led him on the path to good.
Andrea decides to head back to the safety of the town (for some reason…), this time in a vehicle, and she’s given just as cold a reception outside Woodbury’s gates. Girlfriend can’t catch a break. Arguably, a smarter person would have been a double agent or at least a single agent, but these are trying times.
Welcomed into the arms of the Governor — the only warm welcome she’s received thus far — she seems set to fulfill the first half of Carol’s plan at least. With him asleep in the afterglow, Andrea rises and heads to her bag (at least put the knife by the bedside. Come on!) and stands over the Governor for a few tense moments, but finds she can’t bring herself to do it. Unlike Rick, she hasn’t lost her humanity, and while she’s a crack shot with the undead, she’s not jaded enough to take life from the living just yet.
If the sneak preview in the credits are to be believed, the next episode is going to be action packed. A lot of fans have hypothesized that a week of low zombie killings is usually followed by a week of high body counts, and the past few weeks have seemed to follow this rule.
So what did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below!