Avast, me mates! There be SPOILERS ahead!
Sweet mother of mysteries, Andrea! Are you really that dumb? The short answer is “yes.” But, I know there are complex reasons behind Andrea’s latest acts of stupidity, and I intend to wade into some of them in this recap/review of “I Ain’t a Judas.” (I so wanted it to be “I Ain’t no Judas.” “No” just sounds better to me.)
The episode started with the prison group reconnoitering in the cell block. Should they stay and stand their ground at the prison? Should they run? The Governor (TG) is the big boogie man in the room, and everyone fears another surprise attack. The group isn’t coming to a clear consensus, and Rick makes to leave, frustrated with the situation.
“Get back here!” Hershel demands, calling out as Rick walks away. The group needs Rick to step up and lead, but the former lawman isn’t quite done with Crazytown, yet. It was a pretty intense scene, because no one has really questioned Rick like that before! The last real struggle for power ended with Shane’s death, if you’ll recall.
Rick steps out into the enclosed doorway to survey the prison yard. Carl follows him and further undermines his father’s faltering confidence. Rick knows he’s got issues; he confessed as much to Hershel last week. Now, here comes Carl to add another carry-on to Rick’s tipping pile of baggage.
Carl approaches his father, who is scanning the prison yard and treeline for possible Woodbury threats. (Beyond the regular shambling walkers, Rick sees something at the treeline that makes him take another look. Could it be the ghost of Lori past? Another walker? Nothing is visible on the second look. It was a nice reminder of Crazy right before Carl talks to his dad.) Carl tells Rick that he should give up leading the prison group. In light of everything that has happened, Daryl and Hershel should take over. Rick deserves a rest, Carl says, trying to soften the blow.
Rick looks like he’s been punched in the gut as Carl’s words wash over him. Will he abdicate the throne of Crazytown? Doesn’t look like it…
In Woodbury, TG is prepping for war. In TG’s rooms, Milton is going through stacks of paper, running through all able-bodied people in the town, offering his take on who would be good in the fight. TG wants EVERYONE, and Milton seems a bit put off by conscripting kids and old folks. But, TG dismisses the notion of “adolescence” as a modern contrivance and orders Milton to proceed with the Draft!
Suddenly, Andrea bursts in. TG’s all like, “What up? Bust in anytime,” and Andrea is all fired up, taking him to task for something she happened to hear: They attacked the prison!
I would have loved to see the scene where Andrea learned her precious TG had indeed gone to the prison. Seems like it would have been a good one, yes?
TG acknowledges they went to the prison. (He was all very casual about it. It was great! TG let the lies roll off his tongue with such an air of nonchalance that I got the feeling he was almost daring Andrea not to believe him.) It was just to talk, mind you! (Bahahahaha) But, Rick and the residents of Crazytown fired on them! So, naturally, they fired back.
Andrea seems skeptical (For once!), and declares her intention to visit the prison. TG, in all his one-eyed, pirate glory, tells her that if she goes to the prison, she can just stay!
On the street, Andrea is called on for help in the Draft. One of TG’s men is telling a kid he has to participate, but said kid’s mom (Karen) doesn’t like it and calls out to Andrea for help. The kid has asthma and couldn’t possibly help. (Plus, he looks like a doofus and would probably shoot himself in the foot.) Andrea, the People’s Champion, expresses her disbelief and speaks against the Draft, but TG’s man brushes her off, saying TG has ordered it. So let it be written, so let it be done!
Andrea does her best “I don’t believe it” face (Anyone else notice how much she does this face? A LOT.)
At the prison, everybody’s hatin’ on Merle. (Except Daryl, of course.) Understandably, Glenn wants to toss Merle out, but Rick knows he can’t do that and keep Daryl; it’s just not an either/or proposition. There’s all the predictable in-fighting about it, but Hershel is the one who tries to smooth things over…also rather predictable. Hershel always tries to fix things, and I’m glad he does! Someone needs to.
Hershel goes to visit Merle, who is in the process of duct taping his arm-knife in place. (Gotta love duct tape!) Hershel proves to be somewhat of a religious man when he brings up a particular passage in the Bible:
Matthew 5:30 – And if they right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
I can get so much mileage out of this!
First off, let’s go for the obvious: Both Merle and Hershel are missing limbs, and both were removed due to imminent danger, done so their whole bodies wouldn’t “be cast into hell” (i.e. they wouldn’t die horrible walker-inflicted deaths). Nice bonding point, gentlemen.
Next, look at the verse with “whole body” referring to the larger group in the prison. Hershel has just come from a heated debate about Merle’s fate. Many want to toss him out, while it’s clear that he needs to stay. By using this verse, Hershel communicated to Merle just how thin the ice he’s living on is. If it becomes clear that Merle is too much of a liability, he would likely be cut off and cast away (thrown out of the prison and/or killed).
And, lastly, think about the name of this episode: “I Ain’t a Judas.” Using Judas (a man known for betraying Jesus Christ to His prophesied death) is basically synonymous with betrayal. In sharing the Bible verse with Merle and establishing a kind of understanding between to two amputees, Hershel is not only establishing how thin a line Merle is walking, but he’s also securing an unspoken promise that Merle won’t betray the prison group. (Agree? Disagree? Hit me up in the comments!)
Later, Carol goes to visit Daryl, who is lounging in a cell…rawr! While she’s glad he’s back, Carol admonishes Daryl not to let Merle ruin his life. After all, he’s come so far! (They both laugh at the irony of being in prison and the idea of coming “so far”.)
Back in Woodbury, Andrea has decided she has to get to the prison, so she asks Milton to help her sneak out of the town. Sure, why not? Remember, TG asked Milton to keep tabs on Andrea…not that she knows that. So, what does Milton do? He runs and tells TG! But, good ole TG tells Milton to play along much to Milton’s surprise. Milton does, and that’s what leads him to the woods to assist Andrea in capturing and curb-stomping a walker to use as a distraction, a la Michonne’s pet walkers.
They get a walker on a lead and are about to fight off several others when Tyreese and his group come to the rescue! Welcome back, Tyreese! Milton offers to take Tyreese and co. back to Woodbury, and Andrea continues on her way to the prison.
Later in Woodbury, we’re treated to a scene with Tyreese’s group and TG and Milton. They’re in the same hospital-ish room that Andrea and Michonne were taken to upon entering Woodbury. TG is all that is kind and understanding, offering help and supplies and even a home if they desire it.
When TG learns they have been to the prison, he perks right up, telling them that the prison group is full of nasty aggressors that Woodbury has to defend against. Tyreese, seeing a possible safe haven for his group, offers to help in whatever way he can…even if that means giving TG the layout of the prison and aid against Rick’s group.
Back to Andrea!
When she reaches the prison, they’re ready for her; Maggie spots her and gets the word out. After she’s let in, Andrea is forced to her knees and brusquely questioned about TG. Rick takes her bag and weapons before they go into the common room of the prison.
Andrea is shocked about the state of affairs of her former group. She’s shocked at the state of the prison. She’s shocked at Rick’s treatment of her. She’s shocked at the mistrust she’s facing. She’s shocked about Shane and Lori’s deaths.
She’s just all around shocked about everything.
Andrea tries to open a dialogue about Woodbury and TG, but Rick quickly shuts her down, telling her the only thing she could do to redeem herself is give them the layout of the town (for future attacks, of course). Andrea refuses, and Rick tells her in no uncertain terms that she’s not welcome at the prison.
Andrea has scenes alone with two people from the prison before she leaves. First, she meets up with Michonne in the inner prison yard. Michonne tells her that TG has always been bad news. In fact, that’s why Michonne returned to Woodbury: to expose him as a villain. Andrea is…wait for it…shocked.
Andrea also has several moments alone with Carol, who was one of the few happy to see her. Andrea meets Judith and holds her while Carol gives her a brilliant idea: kill TG. Carol tells Andrea she can end the fighting by having sex with TG and then killing him while he sleeps.
Andrea is…wait for it…shocked! But, she looks contemplative as she fully faces what Carol and the others of the prison group are telling her about TG and Woodbury.
Rick gives Andrea a car to drive back to Woodbury in, and she leaves. (How nice was that?! Seriously! And when TG refused to give her a car to go to the prison, saying the roads were blocked…riiiiiight.)
Andrea has little problem navigating back to Woodbury (at least from what we’re shown) and is let back into the town with minimal fuss. She goes to see TG and he asks her why she bothered to come back. When Andrea hesitates, he supplies, “This is where you belong,” or something close to that, and draws her into an embrace.
Andrea looks conflicted and purposeful. Was she about to take Carol’s advice and kill TG?
Later that night, Andrea rises from the bed she’s sharing with TG (They’re both nude, so, yeah…she did him.) and retrieves a knife, going to his side and standing over him. She stands there for several moments before walking away, deciding not to kill him after all.
Does that make Andrea the Judas of this tale? Has her perspective changed so much that she is the one denying the term “Judas,” preferring to believe Woodbury is in the right? You can’t be a betrayer if you’re supporting the correct cause, can you?
What did you think of “I Ain’t a Judas?” To the comments with ye!