Monday, February 25, 2013

The Walking Dead Season Three, Episode 11: I Ain't a Judas

At the prison, they are debating whether to leave or stay. Merle tells them that the truck through the fence was just the governor ringing the doorbell and that he has the guns and the numbers. Hershel is adamant that they leave the prison and when Rick walks away, Hershel accuses him of slipping and says that this is not the time. Hershel reminds him that he put his family's life in his hands.

The prison grounds are absolutely overrun with walkers when Rick goes to check the outside. Carl goes to see him and says, "you should stop being the leader. Let Hershel and Darryl handle things, you deserve a rest." Carl has grown and changed so much season one.

At Woodbury, Milton and Philip are going over a list of residents which can be enlisted to train. The conversation is interrupted by Andrea, who wants to know about the attack on the prison. Philip lies and says that he went to negotiate and that the residents shot at him. He claims that Rick's group is blood thirsty and must have changed since Andrea knew them.  Andrea tells him that she is sick of the lies and that she is not going to let the residents of Woodbury and the prison blow each other apart. Andrea announces that she is going to the prison. When she asks for a car, Philip tells Andrea that the roads are blocked and that they barely made it back themselves.  In a final parting shot, Philip tells Andrea that if she goes to the prison, she needs to stay there. Andrea heads out onto the streets of Woodbury and sees that the citizens are arming themselves.

At the prison, they are trying to figure out how to clear the yard. When Glenn calls Merle a snake in the yard, Darryl tells him to get used to it and walks off.  Glenn then tries appealing to Rick and says, "no one asked you to live with Shane, after he tried to kill you." Hershel jumps in and says, "Merle has military experience. He may be erratic but don't underestimate his loyalty to his brother."  Glenn then suggests delivering Merle to the governor as a traitor and then declaring a truce. Throughout this entire conversation, Michonne has been on the sidelines and has done nothing but stare angrily at the men. Yes, folks, Michonne is officially the female T-Dog.

Hershel heads upstairs to see Merle, who is taping his arm on. Merle asks how Hershel lost his leg and Hershel says that Rick did and that it saved his life.  Hershel reaches into his pocket and pulls out the bible. Merle finishes the quotation from Matthew and then says that Woodbury had a fine library. Merle adds that when the governor returns, he is going to kill him first, followed by, Darryl and then Michonne, and will save Rick for last, so that he can watch his family and friends die ugly.

The governor is reviewing the citizens of Woodbury and Andrea tells him that Noah is asthmatic. Instead of disqualifying him immediately, Philip asks of Noah has ever shot a gun. Noah tells him that he shot a BB gun once and so the Governor tells Noah that he is going to learn from the best.

Carol goes to see Darryl and tells him that she is glad that he came back. Carol says that this their home but Darryl calls it a tomb.  Carols says that this is what T-Dog called it and that she thought that he was right, until Darryl found her.  Carol then brings up Merle and suggests that he is not good for Darryl - "after all, look how far you have come."

On the streets of Woodbury, Andrea watches as reinforcements to the front gate are completed. When Milton approaches, Andrea asks if he really didn't know about the fight at the prison. Milton replies that he wouldn't "ever advocate anything like that because it's just posturing." Andrea asks him to cover for her because she is going to the prison and the governor can't know. Milton asks not to be put in this situation because he is afraid. When Milton starts to walk away, Andrea points out the child soldiers that Philip has enlisted and begs for his help. Milton suggests that this is a betrayal but Andrea counters suggesting that this is an attempt to stop this before more people get killed.

Alone, The Governor takes off the patch over his eye and lights a match in front of his damaged eye, clearly attempting to check his sight. When Milton knocks on the door, he puts on his patch. Milton tells Philip that Andrea is going back to the prison and has requested his aid in escaping. Philip instructs Milton to help her and then tells Milton that he did good work.

Andrea is out in the woods and she and Milton trap  a zombie and hack off it's arms. She then takes a page out of Michonne's book and smashes it's jaw so that it cannot bite.  Andrea puts the zombie on a harness and then Tyrese and his people come out of the woods and kill a walker before it can attack.

Michonne is working out and Merle approaches her to say that they should put the past behind them because he was just carrying out orders. Michonne compares this to the Gestapo. Merle admits that he has done a lot of things in his past that he is not proud of. Michonne continues to work out and does not answer, settling instead for more angry eyes.

In the woods, Andrea and Milton explain that what they have done is a diversionary tactic.  Tyreese asks if they have a place to stay, and Milton offers to take them back to Woodbury. Sasha thanks them and says that they have just had a rough couple of days.  Using the walker for protection, Andrea makes her way to the prison. Looking through the sites of her gun, Maggie sees Andrea and her zombie escort and instructs Carl to get Rick and the others. Rick, Darryl, Merle, Carl, and Glen make their way outside.

When Andrea gets through the gate, Rick checks her for weapons and asks if she is alone. Andrea is then brought inside of the prison and she hugs Carol immediately. For the first time, Andrea learns that Shane and Lori are dead. It's up to Maggie to bring up that T Dog is gone. I guess that's not surprising that she didn't notice the quiet servant is missing but still, yet another example of how badly T Dog has been treated.  When Andrea moves to see the cell block, Rick stops her and says that they had the field cleared until her boyfriend shot up the prison and tore down the fence. Andrea replies  that Philip says that they fired first.  Hershel adds that Axel died in the attack and so Andrea says that at as soon as she found out she came.  Andrea is shocked to see Merle and says that she cannot excuse or explain what Philip has done. Rick says that there is nothing to work out and that they are going to kill Philip.  Andrea says that there is room at Woodbury for all of them. Merle answers that she knows better than that.  Hershel asks if the governor said that he wants to negotiate and Andrea is forced to admit that Philip did not. Ricks asks why she came here and Andrea says that Philip is gearing up for war. She then warns everyone that Philip has a whole town and says that they cannot stand up to him. Rick suggests that if Andrea wants to make it right, that she can help them get inside but Andrea says no because there are innocent people in Woodbury.

Michonne is escorting Andrea out of the prison and Andrea accuses her of poisoning Ricks' group. Michonne denies this and says that she just told them the truth.  Andrea replies, "I didn't choose him over you, I wanted a life. Once we entered Woodbury, you became hostile" Michonne says that this happened because she could see that Andrea was under Philip's spell from the second she laid eyes on him. Andrea denies this and says that she is there because the citizens of Woodbury need her.  Michonne counters and brings up Rick's group, so Andrea says that she is trying to save them to.  For the first time ever, Michonne smiles, and says, "I did not realise that the messiah complex was contagious." Andrea tells her to go to hell and starts to walk off and so Michonne says, "he sent Merl to kill me and would have sent him to kill you to, if you'd come with me, but you didn't did you. You chose a warm bed over me. That's why I went back to Woodbury and exposed him for what he is. I knew that it would hurt you."  Andrea turns to face Michonne, but she simply walks away.

Philip welcomes Tyreese's  group to Woodbury and he tells them that they were attacked.  Sasha asks if anyone was hurt and Milton says that there were several fatalities. Philip suggests that when they are ready to travel, that they should head west. Tyreese's group tells them about their run in with Rick. Sasha says that they went in for shelter and then Rick tossed them out.  Tyreese volunteers to join in the fight and says that they will do whatever they have to do to earn their keep.  Milton asks if they can describe the layout and the Governor tells them to get some rest.

Andrea goes to see Judith and asks what happened to Lori.  Carol describes Lori's death.  Andrea then asks about Shane, and Carol explains that Rick killed Shane and that the whole episode with Randall was a lie and that Shane tried to kill Rick.  When Andrea points that Shane loved Rick, Carol simply says that Shane loved Lori.  Andrea suggests that Rick has become cold and unsteady.  Carol says that Rick has his reasons and tells Andrea that she needs to do something about Philip. Carol then suggests that Andrea sleep with Philip and then kill him when he falls asleep. Who knew Carol had that kind of crafty in her?

Glenn brings a car for Andrea and she gets in and tells them to take care.  Before she drives off, Rick hands her a gun and some ammunition and tells her to be careful.  Andrea says you too and drives out of the zombie infested yard.  Andrea returns to Woodbury and she is ordered out of the car and told to put her hands up.  She then makes her way to Philip and tells him that the residents of the prison are broken and living in horrible conditions. Philip asks about Michonne, Merle and Rick and if she was sent back to Woodbury. Andrea says that it was her decision to return.  The governor asks why, touching Andrea's cheek and then finishes with, "because you belong here." The two embrace, and start to kiss.

It's night at the prison and everyone is sitting silently in front of candles and so Beth starts to sing and her voice echoes through the prison. Hershel tells Rick and Darryl that Andrea is in a jam but Philip is armed to the teeth and determined to destroy.  Rick says that he is going on a run and tells Darryl to stay there and keep an eye on his brother.  Rick says that he is going to take Michonne and Carl instead.  Carl is walking their limited perimeter with a gun keeping an eye on the zombies. At Woodbury, the residents are on the wall.  Andrea and Philip are lying in bed and Andrea grabs her knife and makes her way back to the bed. Instead of killing Philip, Andrea walks over to the window and looks out.

With every episode that I watch, I want to see Andrea die. This disheartens me because she is one of my favorite characters from the comics, but she is absolutely unrecognizable on the show. What more can Philip do to show her that he is vicious, and wildly unstable? She claims that she wants a life, but kind of life is possible with a man who keeps pickled zombie heads? Yeah, after seeing that, she assumes that Rick is the one who is cold? 

I loved the exchange between Michonne and Andrea.  It included the most Michonne has spoken to date and an expression which was not a scowl paired with angry eyes.  It helped to give us some insight into Michonne's decision to return to Woodbury and show that she has feelings which are capable of being hurt.  They're not going to get cookies for this because this is the most characterization that they have bothered to give Michonne to date and she still spent most of the episode glowering at people. At this point, Michonne is little more than a female T Dog.

I was surprised to see Carol speak out this episode.  More than any other character, I think that Carol has changed the most. Despite having Carol rescued by Darryl and having T Dog die to save her, she is far wiser an stronger than she has ever been.  It helps to some degree to offset some of the damage that has been done to Andrea's character.

My biggest worry is that Merle will be redeemed. They had him bonding with Herhsel, quoting the bible and even asking Michonne to let bygones be bygones. To be clear, Merle is a violent misogynist, racist. It's bad enough that they have shifted Darryl to a good guy but doing that to Merle might be enough to make me quit The Walking Dead altogether.