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.
Not seen yet – will watch it when I get home tonight (so another few hours yet, bloody Australia!), but I thought I should give a warning to prepare you all for the slating I am intending to give it – unless someone says “Jesus people we’re living in the Zombie Apocalypse, toughen up!”
“unless someone says “Jesus people we’re living in the Zombie Apocalypse, toughen up!”
You got kind of close to this with Hershel’s speech to Rick.
Yeah fair point Dave, now if he can just tell everyone else as well….
You know what they say, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single old man yelling at a dude suffering from PTSD.
Urgh! Now watched – where do I start?!
1) I saw Hershels leg, and not the one he still has, the one thats missing – bad editing people!
2) For someone who is trying to sneak out, Andrea had the loudest conversation with Milton ever!
3) When asked what she’s said to the prison dwellers, Michonnes response is “Nothing” – no s**t Sherlock, you’ve hardly said a word since you’ve been there!!!
4) So all these zombies up at the fence, while people are wondering around outside (after they said they shouldn’t be outside!), why is nobody taking them out with the old knife/spear through the fence trick? They’d clear the majority of the zombies in the prison yard in a day or so.
1) Carol having to remind Andrea that T-Dog is dead as well was hilarious – “Yeah that guy who never spoke is dead too! Remember him?”
2) Merle is just awesome every time he opens his mouth.
3)Seriously – how cool was watching Andrea and Milton make a helper zombie!!!
So its 4-3, and for my recent opinions of Walking Dead, I’d call that a win!
It really annoys me how poorly developed Michonne is. She’s not a character, she’s just a walking bad attitude with a sword and boobs. She’s just fanboy fodder. Give her something to do beyond killing zombies and looking pissed!
This episode really didn’t do much to advance anything aside from Carl and Rick.
And Mark…in answer to your #3…I Perhaps they now consider that its an added layer of security since they have control of the inside?
It was definitely a wheel spinner of an episode. I’m okay with that for character building, but Andrea? Blah.
Really what I was hoping when she had that knife?
She either kills him, or he wakes up and kills her. For me it would of been a win/win, but NOOOOOO. Had to go and ruin both possibilities and just let her live. I was disappointed to say the least.
I was hoping he’d wake up too. That would have been great.
Yeah perhaps, but I’m beginning to wonder if they are actually clever enough to think that?!
So what did everyone think about the singing? Weird, right?
It made me feel uncomfortable actually. I was thinking that she just needed to stop, because singing with out a musical instrument tends to just sound crazy.
I’m right there with you.
And then Carol smiled at her. Weird.
I have the feeling that they were trying to create the feeling of a war-party camp, but I ended up just feeling a “We’re Cannibals and we sing as we smile and want human flesh.”
I don’t know what they were going for. It was just weird.
Agreed Calicade, I think that they were going for a tribal feel.
They were trying to match the feel from the start of this season, and were wide of the mark, a bit like the human vs human shooting!
The whole Andrea and Milton thing was a bit strange. Now don’t get me wrong Andrea has to be one bad @$$ to lob off a couple arms, curb stomp and tether a Zed (in front of Milton). Then walk it through lord knows what just to get to the prison and up the yard cutting down those in her way and then goes back. Excuse the term but that one tough and may I add crazy Broad! My question being, Do you think Milton will tell the Governor about Andreas method and If so (even though they have seen it done before) will the Governor use this to his advantage? Zombie shields?
Oh I definitely think he’d tell, although I think they already know from Michonne’s zombies.
Rick and the Governor want to take each other out. That has been confirmed, but we already knew that. I guess they wanted to show that niether of them are going to budge and that there will be a lot of collateral damage.
Michonne actually spoke more than three words, and had a little smile… maybe this is the beginning of making her a better developed character.
Tyrese in Woodbury…. Andrea in Woodbury…. I wonder how this twist on what goes on in the comics is going to pan out.
That final scene with Andrea actually worked for me, it was a very intense 30 seconds or so…. would she do it, would he wake up, would she just leave it be. I think the option they took was a huge set up as opposed to a huge cop out. Mainly… because we know she was seriously considering it… and in the heat of the battle that will come, maybe she will finally get snapped out of her “the Guv aint so bad” state when she sees Phillip in action and actually end up doing the deed.
I agree this was a bit of a wheel spinner with possibly needed set ups, the pieces seem to all be in place now though, everyone is accounted for and in “position”. I am looking forward to one heck of a ride for the last few episodes of the season!