The Walking Dead, S3 E11 “I Ain’t a Judas”

“I Ain’t a Judas” is another in an increasingly long line of wheel-spinning episodes. It fares slightly better than the last few, but mostly just because three (!) black people have more than one line and don’t get killed immediately thereafter. Please bear with me. I’ve spent the last few hours having my brain melted by the Oscars ceremony, then sat through another hour of people standing aimlessly around talking about things that don’t really matter. I’m not in the best frame of mind right now, but I’m going to try and run through the pain. And I do it all for you.

Tonight, like the last few eps, mostly consisted of people standing around talking at each other, then moving to a new location to talk at a different group of people, interspersed with flashes of gross-out violence. Granted, we did score a conversation between Merle and Hershel, but it was also an ultimately fruitless discussion which neither furthered the plot nor did a great deal of character shading except revealing both men really dig the Word of God.

The show opened with talk about turning the keys to the Ricktatorship over to someone else, but then everyone seemed to suddenly forget that the day before he was running around in the weeds chasing after his dead wife and went back to deferring to him. Andrea went ahead with her colossally dumb plan to go to the prison. She honestly thought she could get everyone to lay down their arms and sing Kumbaya, like Rick and the Governor weren’t arch enemies but two 12-year-old boys who both wanted to play with the same toy. Tyrese and company were sort of rescued by Milton and Andrea. They’re either going to end up being the death knell for Rick’s group or be used by Andrea to foment insurrection in Woodbury. It all depends on how long it takes the writers to realize they have three black people on the show and start killing them off. Carol got two great scenes, one made even better by the welcome addition of Daryl. They are one of my favorite BrOTPs on TV right now. Spinoff idea: they take Carl, Lil’ Asskicker, Maggie, and Glenn prior to his assault at Woodbury and run off to build their own commune somewhere.

Andrea is genuinely shocked and upset that the Governor lied to her, and then is dumb enough to buy into his rather obvious lies yet again. Also, if you want to make a secret escape plan, don’t do it by having a loud, public argument in the middle of the street. And showing up at the prison all defensive like isn’t helping her case. This whole “we have to work this out!” thing is quite possibly the dumbest thing Andrea’s ever done, and she’s already plumbed the deepest, darkest depths of idiocy. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and smells like a duck, the next thing out of your mouth shouldn’t be “Is it a zebra?” Andrea had one job: to sex up the Governor something good then shank him. ONE JOB. And she couldn’t even do that. Here’s hoping the season ends with her bloody, painful, scream-filled death.

Okay. Taking a step back for a moment. Andrea, like Lori before her, has the tendency to whip me into a frenzy. Let me explain why I hate her so much. It’s been three and a half seasons and we still don’t know anything about her (or any of the other characters, really). For a while, her role was laundry washer. Then she turned into a loose cannon who made life-threateningly rash decisions (remember when she almost accidentally killed Daryl?). Now she’s half-cipher, half-blind fanatic for whomever she’s sleeping with, with a dash of heavy-handed moralizing for good measure. She’s basically become the bastard lovechild of Dale and Lori.

And that’s the problem. Andrea’s situation—friend turning on friend, being betrayed by your lover, etc.—should be tragic, or at least dramatic. But without the personality to support it, the tragedy just becomes irritating. Moreover, rather than exploring her as a person and letting her personality define her reactions to the painful experiences she’s suffering, they have her spew unfounded judgements, poorly crafted Big Speeches, or shout out whatever opinion opposes whoever she’s interacting with. Don’t believe me? Rewatch the scene between her and Michonne where she accuses her former friend of “poisoning” the prison group against Woodbury. Who the frak does that? (This scene didn’t help Michonne’s rep, either. That she went back to Woodbury just to rub salt in Andrea’s wounds doesn’t make her anymore sympathetic or relatable.)  I hate that they’ve ruined a great character from the comic, I hate that they’ve turned one of the few badass chicks on TV into the worst thing ever, and I hate that Andrea always does the dumbest, worst, most awful thing anyone could ever do in any situation.

To quote myself from last week’s comments: “I don’t hate The Walking Dead, but I do hate when it pulls something as lazy and half-baked as the last few episodes. I’m disappointed in the show because I know it can do far better than what’s been on screen recently. I keep watching because when it does do better, it blows me away (see my review for“When the Dead Come Knocking”). And even it’s worst episodes are still better than, say Zero Hour or Do No Harm.” This is a show that, for whatever reason, refuses to live up to its own expectations. I can’t tell if it’s because of budget reasons, if AMC picks crappy showrunners, or if the Powers That Be just wants to play to the lowest common denominator, but I suspect it’s a combination of all three. Not to keep harping on stuff I’ve stated in the past, but TWD has a nasty habit of having amazing premieres and finales and really sucky middle bits. I was equally as frustrated with the plot-suck that was Hershel’s farm in season 2 as I am with Andrea and the time-killing of season 3. There are only 5 more eps left, and they’re going to have to tie off this prison/governor arc by the end of it. There’s great potential for how this season plays out, but right now I’m more concerned about how badly they’re going to throw the game.

Final Thoughts

  • “You should stop.” “Stop what?” “Being the leader.”
  • “She asked for help. Help her.”
  • “There’s nothing to work out. We’re gonna kill him. I don’t know how or when, but we will.”
  • “Tell you what. Next time you see Phillip, tell him I’m gonna take his other eye.”
  • “Chose a warm bed over a friend.” Uteruses before duderuses, Andrea.
  • Are you telling me the redneck hillbilly racist sexist pig Merle is both a fervent Bible reader and a supporter of public libraries?
  • Cutty (aka Tyrese) has this wonderful facial expression of “What the hell is up with all these crazy-ass white people?”
  • There is some serious soap opera-level directing and cinematography going on in this ep.

Alex Brown is an archivist, writer, geeknerdloserweirdo, and all-around pop culture obsessive who watches entirely too much TV. Keep up with her every move on Twitter, or get lost in the rabbit warren of ships and fandoms on her Tumblr.


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