Welcome to Walking Dead Weekly! As the title implies, each week (bearing a new episode of course), we’ll be taking a look at the latest episode of the AMC series. I’ll let you know how I felt about each weekly offering, and will also compare it to what Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard were doing with the comic at the same time.
Last week started with crazy ol’ Rick Grimes following an apparition of Lori around the prison (and its surrounding area). The Governor gave Andrea the (seemingly unwanted) task of ‘acting mayor’ before taking off to who knows where (well… we do). After leaving our group in the previous episode, Merle and Daryl came across more survivors in need of help, who Merle then attempted to rob. Daryl put a stop to it, and an intense argument between the brothers ensued. In the last quarter of the episode, the peaceful prison became a war zone as the Governor launched an attack on the block; Axel was the group’s only casualty, and a terrified Carol had to use his bullet-ridden body for cover. The episode closed with our survivors again on the outside of the prison, as the the Governor’s attack also filled the yard with walkers.
It was an exciting end for sure, but what happened next? Read on and find out! As always, there are plenty of spoilers below!
Episode Thoughts – ‘I Ain’t A Judas’
If Andrea died back on the farm, I feel as though things would be going a lot smoother for our group. Anyone else feel the same way?
I guess the walkers in the yard weren’t too much of a challenge for Rick and the gang; after last week’s Home closed with our group on the outside of the prison, tonight’s I Ain’t A Judas opens with them back inside the cell block. We enter the episode mid-argument; The Governor knows exactly where they are and he’s already attacked, do they stay and wait for another raid, or get the hell out while they still have a chance? Rick says that the group stays, and before walking out (assumingly making his word final), Hershel pipes up with “you once said that this isn’t a democracy. Now you have to own up to that.” This really seems to resonate with our leader, who typically (especially lately) seems to live in a world of his own. Rick heads outside, and before the opening credits roll, Carl shares his thoughts; Rick’s own son thinks that he should resign from leading the group.
Back in Woodbury, Governor Phillip has seen just what he’s up against, and want to build an offensive army to take Rick out for good. Milton has gathered a list of able-bodied folks present in the town (meaning practically anyone who can hold a gun). Even the kids don’t get a break; Governor tells an uncomfortable Milton that “adolescents are a 20th century invention”, and that both men and women over the age of 13 are also expected to fight. This puts the town’s offence at 35 mostly untrained conscripts… and we thought the Governor’s current soldiers were terrible shots!
Andrea shows up right on queue, and Governor convinces her that he only went to the prison to negotiate. It was those “bloodthirsty” hostiles that fired on them first. Governor does what he does best, and spins a tale of how training the town to fight is just necessary measure for defending themselves. Andrea expresses interest in going to the prison, believing that she can turn things around, but Phillip isn’t open to the idea, stating “if you go to that prison, stay there.”
The heat is back on between Carol and Daryll; it’s a fairly quick exchange, but you could cut the tension with a knife. I hypothesized a few weeks back that Daryl’s leaving may throw Carol over the edge (furthered again by Axel’s murder), but I’m starting to second guess myself. There just seems to be too much chemistry between these two for her to go and end herself. Daryl doesn’t seem too optimistic about the prison at this time, calling it a “tomb”; I’m guessing that he’s more right than he could ever know. If the rest of our time in the prison plays out anything like The Walking Dead‘s source material, we’ll be seeing a lot more blood shed at this penitentiary.
Back in Woodbury, Andrea asks Milton’s help in escaping to the prison… to which he refuses, tattles to the Governor who tells him to help her anyways, and then listens. In the meantime, the Governor removes his bandage (letting us see just what’s underneath) and puts on his trademark eyepatch, a much improved look if you ask me (though he’s still no JTRO), but you can decide for yourself:
During the escape we get a look at the disturbing (yet oddly satisfying) process of making one of Michonne’s patented walkers; no arms to grab you, no teeth to bite you. I can definitely see people cringing during this scene… mostly because I cringed during this scene. The episode has been alright so far, but here’s where things get really interesting; unexpectedly, Tyreese and his group show up, exchange words with Andrea and Milton, the latter then decides to bring them to Woodbury. Once inside they tell the Governor that they’ll do whatever it takes for the opportunity to stay there, including assisting with the attack on the prison; this could be very bad for Rick and the gang, and was certainly not something that I saw coming from Tyreese.
Andrea arrives at the prison and does not see a very warm welcome. It seems that only Carol is generally happy to see her, as everyone else wonders just why she’s been bunking with the Governor. After a long exchange with the group, it’s made rather clear that Andrea isn’t welcome. She tries to reason with her old gang, but they’re already looking for blood. Before Andrea’s departure, Carol gives a pretty fresh idea: bring the Governor’s guard down, and then kill him, effectively ending this war before it begins. Andrea takes an old prison cruiser (instead of a shiny Hyundai), and takes a long, quiet drive back to Woodbury.
Then, at the episode’s closing, she infuriates all of us… again. Andrea proceeds to carry out the “sleep with him, then slit his throat” plan, but doesn’t make it to the second half of the scheme. She stands above a sleeping Governor, knife in hand, and then she walks away. SHE WALKS AWAY! The credits roll, and millions of viewers yell at their televisions all at once. If the Governor kills again, is it not indirectly Andrea’s fault?
The episode had some very tense and intriguing moments, but I’m starting to feel as though things are starting to drag on a little. After last week’s unexpected and impressive finale, I thought the momentum would be kept at least through this episode; instead, as I Ain’t A Judas opened to our survivors arguing in the prison (which it seems like they do every episode), that momentum was lost almost immediately.
If the preview for next week’s episode is any indication, things may be about to change. Clear has Michonne, Rick, and Carl on the hunt for supplies, and it looks like they may just come across something else instead. Check out the preview for Season 3, Episode 12 – Clear below, and let us know what you thought of tonight’s offering!
Tyreese’s departure was the real shocker here. As I’ve mentioned before, the comic book introduced Tyreese in Issue 7, where he and his assembly were quickly welcomed into Rick’s group. Tyreese would go on to be an important and loyal part of the group until his eventual (shocking) death in Issue 46.
Things are going a lot differently for him in the AMC series. Sure, he still has his trademark hammer (I’m guessing that, just like in the comic, he’s a terrible shot), but after Rick’s unorthodox breakdown in The Suicide King, where Rick’s anger and confusion was mistakenly thought to be directed at him and his group, Tyreese seems to have no allegiance to the prison folk in this episode. It appears as though the Governor will take him under his wing, and I’m guessing that Tyreese will lead Phillip right to the prison’s back entrance. Dang.
Andrea has also found herself on the opposite side of Woodbury’s fence in the AMC version. Robert Kirkman’s comic had her integral in fighting off The Governor’s attack, but in this version (at least for now), seeing as she didn’t stab him (possibly at the cost of her friend’s lives), she seems to slightly favour Woodbury and Phillip. Weird… that guy’s a dick.
Woodbury’s army seems to be shaping up quite differently as well in the television series. While the comic had Woodbury’s assault come from folks who seemed to know how to handle themselves, I found it quite interesting that the series is taking combatants from all walks of life; it doesn’t matter if you’re a child, a senior, deaf, or arthritic, you’re expected to pick up a gun and fight. Won’t this make the battle much easier for Rick and friends?
With just five more episodes to go this season, what do you think will happen next? Can the series end the prison arc with the same emotional impact that the comic did? Maybe Rick and friends will continue to stay through season four? Will Tyreese really end up on Governor’s side?
As always, thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next week!