TV Review: The Walking Dead: I Ain’t a Judason February 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm
This week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead asks if you can really come home again, and for Andrea, the answer is a resounding “kind of”. This has been something I’ve been wondering about for a while now: what happens when Andrea ventures back to the original group after she chose to start in Woodbury? Well,we found out.
When Andrea and Michonne arrived in Woodbury, Michonne was immediately mistrustful, and wanted to escape. That never really rang true to me, but I went along with it. Andrea decided everything was fine, even as her friend began digging up more and more dirt on the place. Eventually, Michonne left alone, and Andrea buried her good sense for the sake of the illusion of safety and the return to the way things used to be.
In theory, this is a really compelling plot. It’s always interesting to think what personal freedoms a person might give up to feel safe. Put someone in a bad enough situation, and you might be amazed at what they’re willing to sacrifice.
Unfortunately, this never worked for me, and I think a lot of it has to do with the character of Andrea. She isn’t terribly well defined, or well acted. I need someone sympathetic in order to get behind their psychological trials, and Andrea is one of the least sympathetic characters on the show. And not for lack of trying; just look at all the drama they tried to wring from her sister getting killed. There’s just something about this character that feels completely empty to me, and every time she shows up on screen I think the show loses a ton of momentum.
Despite that, it was interesting to see how venture into the prison and back into her own group. She’s had security, while they’ve been forced to scrape by, losing people along the way. They look tired, dirty, desperate, and strong. Andrea just looks like a deer in the headlights, albeit one who won’t drop her pretenses on trying to help everyone.
Having seen how things are going at the prison, and having heard that the Governor mounted a surprise attack on them, Andrea is left with a decision. Carol suggests she murders the Governor in his post-coital sleep, putting and end to this whole ugly affair. She considers this, even getting a knife, but ultimately stops, content to live with her illusion of safety instead.
This gives her character a bit more depth. I think the writers finally realized that people aren’t going to like the character, or feel for her, so they might as well have her start just being selfish.
There were, of course, other things going on beside Andrea. The Governor, for instance, is using his wormy little henchmen to keep tabs on Andrea. He dutifully reports that she wants to escape (which should be public knowledge considering how loud she was when asking for help in the middle of a busy street), and the Governors tells him to help. This actually sets up a cool little scene, whereby they capture a zombie and remove it’s hands and teeth (curb-stomping zombies, that’s something new) to act as a decoy.
And who should happen upon Milton and Andrea with their new pet zombie but Tyrese and his friends? We’ve all been wondering what happened to them, and I think most of us are pretty shocked to see them end up in Woodbury. Not only are they in Woodbury, but they’re helping the Governor fight Rick, who they think is a total psycho. Although when you consider what they’ve seen of the man, can you blame them?
Back in the prison, things aren’t looking so good. They’re trapped inside, weary of going out and trying to secure the grounds. They’re also low on ammo and food. I guess all that A-Team style shooting last week really ran down their ammo supply.
We did get a couple of interesting moments at the prison this week. First, Hershel gave Rick some much needed tough love, telling him that you can’t go around talking about how this isn’t a democracy and then not bother being the leader any more. This was a long time coming. I’ve never really understood how Rick became the defacto leader of the group, and why everyone just puts up with his absentee leadership while he’s off being crazy. I’m glad to see Hershel call a spade a spade.
The other interesting thing wasn’t a scene, it happened slowly throughout the episode. At the beginning, Merle was locked in a cell, but as the episode progress, he become more and more a real part of the group. By the end, I was amazed to see that they were trusting him not only with a gun, but with the keys to the front gate.
Overall, this was a weaker episode in an otherwise really strong season. The big reason for that is because it was so focused on the show’s weakest character. It took her in a somewhat interesting direction, but it seemed ultimately unnecessary.