The Walking Dead: I Ain’t a Judas

Posted on February 27, 2013

This wasn’t necessarily a bad episode of The Walking Dead. A boring one, sure; but it seemed to us that, despite the show’s tendency to have the characters stand around and talk and talk and talk all the time, the central conversation of TWD_GP_311_0921_0286this episode needed to be had. Andrea needed to reunite with her old group and they all needed to hash out where they’ve been and where they’re going. We suspect the writers thought this confrontation was going to be electrifying and that it would solidify Andrea’s position and identity, while blurring the line on who’s right and who’s wrong in the Prison vs. Woodbury war. That would have been nice. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.

We admit that there were moments that really jumped out at us and appealed to us. It was great seeing Andrea get caught up on all the horrors her old group had to endure since she last saw them. It was also great to see Michonne and Andrea have that confrontation they so needed to have. But a lot of this was not nearly as good as it could have been. Michonne gave her reasons for her behavior, but they were mumbled and half-offered and didn’t really clarify much that we didn’t already suspect. The confrontation fell flat. And while both Rick and Andrea got some digs in at the other one, neither of them really landed a punch.

We question what it is we wanted out of these scenes, though. The Walking Dead doesn’t trade in moral certainty, so it’s no surprise that, just prior to what looks to be a major confrontation, both sides look no better or worse than the other. Yes, the Governor is nuts and he’s arming children, but look! Rick is nuts! And Carl has a gun! It’s exactly the same! TWD_GP_311_0919_0327Except it’s not, obviously. Rick and his group have been living a desperate, subsistence-level life and suffered major losses along the way. The Governor lives in relative comfort and does so by lying to the people under his care, killing people for supplies, and arming children against their wishes. Oh, and he kept severed heads in aquariums, sent a henchman to kill Michonne, and also sexually assaulted Maggie. Sorry, writers. The moral fog you’re trying to cultivate just isn’t there for us. We don’t much like Rick, and at this point, we think he’s a pretty terrible leader, but Andrea’s attempts to find common ground only make her look stupid.

Which brings us to our next point: we suspect the writers thought these scenes were somehow going to rehabilitate Andrea after making her look shallow and stupid all season. We admit, she came off better here than she has in quite some time. We especially liked when she pointed out how selective Rick’s outrage is, considering he’s allowing Merle to walk around the prison freely – and armed. But that doesn’t so much make Andrea look better as it makes Rick look dumber. In fact, this may be the main problem here. The writing can’t seem to elevate one character without making another character look ridiculous. So Andrea gets a couple shots in against Rick’s methods and decisions. Great. Andrea good; Rick bad. Then Andrea goes home and sleeps with the Governor. Andrea MEGA-STUPID. Look, we get that her TWD_GP_311_0921_0272choices were limited. She could either stay in a filthy prison with little food and a leader who’s crazy and has a lousy track record for keeping people alive, or she can stay in a secure town with running water, plenty of food, and a populace who trusts her and looks up to her. We get why she went back to Woodbury. She has a better chance of suriving the confrontation to come. But having her sleep with the Governor again – even if it was only to attempt Carole’s chilling plan of killing him while he basked in a post-sex nap – only made her look silly, shallow, and dumb. MAYBE if she’d killed him we’d think better of her, but it was fairly obvious she was never going to do that, so that scene pretty much unraveled any attempts by the writers to build up the character again.

Still, we’re looking forward to the confrontation, if only to have the damn thing over with. The prison, like Herschel’s farm, didn’t work out, either in-story or out of it. It seems like every time the writers give Rick’s group a respite, they never quite know what to do with it and then blow it up at the end of the season. We’ll see if they can break the pattern going forward. We hope so.

    • Sobaika

      DAMN IT ANDREA.

      She had one job.

      • MilaXX

         off topic, but have you seen that website “You had one job?” Cracked me up.

        • http://twitter.com/DarrenNesbitt Darren Nesbitt

          I just spent 10 amazing minutes of my life there. Thank you MilaXX! lol

        • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

          Whackadoo as this might sound, I love the upside down Christmas tree – I would never have thought of doing this but I’m so going to this year. Thanks for pointing me there. :)

        • xmixiex

          omg, I just choked on mango

        • http://twitter.com/lisledanielle Danielle Lisle

          I really just considered calling the corporate office and delaying the deadline of my report because I can’t stop looking at this site. Bless you, MilaXX.

        • PaulaBerman

          Totally freaking hilarious AND an allegory about my life. Thanks for mentioning this.

    • lexilexi

      I kept waiting for the governor to open his eye, see her with a knife and kill HER.  In a way it would be perfect.

      • JosephLamour

         I was ABSOLUTELY SURE he was going to open his eye when she turned away. Seriously. How did not one writer see that scene and not write that in even if they forgot to the first time.

        • Allyson Wells

          I think the point was for us to see that she chose not to kill him. If he would have caught her in the act (or seen her secretly), she would have probably been kicked out of Woodbury or worse, and that doesn’t seem to be the direction they’re going with the story.  Just a thought :)

        • http://twitter.com/DarrenNesbitt Darren Nesbitt

          They knew we would initiate a slow clap at the death of Andrea. smh 

    • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

      I watched the episode feeling like everything was very disjointed. And then the singing, out of nowhere, that bugged me. I am not a great fan of spontaneous singing at the best of times but this just seemed wacky to me.

      I don’t know what they are doing to these poor characters. I think the show is having trouble – maybe there is too much pressure on everyone to keep being thought of as awesome and brilliant and they are epically failing as a result.

      I don’t feel a great deal of connection to any of the characters anymore with the exception of Darryl. But dang it, he is just too adorable for words. They could *Michonne him and I would still j’adore.

      *To Michonne someone – make them into a character with few lines, not a lot of screen time and little character development

      • DinahR

        I like that, Michonne’d.  This show Michonnes most of the main cast, to me that’s the biggest problem.  

      • http://twitter.com/DarrenNesbitt Darren Nesbitt

        What is the nanny sister soothing siren’s name? has anyone remembered it yet? you know Maggie’s sister?

        • Sobaika

          … Beth. It took a full five minutes for me to work that one out.

        • ClevelandburbsBeth

          My name is Beth, so every time someone says “what’s that other sister’s….” I yell “It’s Beth!” but obviously I have a little investment there. :-)

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Banks/1754693794 Kevin Banks

        Or T-dogged lol

        • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

          No, T-dogging is where you Michonne someone first then kill them off. :)

          Michonne is still alive, albeit without a lot of screen time, lines, or character development.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/XPWSQ2BDU5XJIA23AMYVBRWZBA Eric

            Michonne has more to do in the novels, but some really strong stuff goes on there – very graphic violence and death, plus quite a bit of sex. In altering the storyline for TV they don’t seem to have found much for her to do except be angry. 

    • ChiliP

      I agree that keeping Merle in the prison is stupid, although I can’t entirely place the blame on Rick. He pretty firmly drew the line previously, and only allowed Merle to stay once he showed back up at the prison with Daryl and saved his life. What I don’t understand, however, is immediately arming Merle and allowing him to wander around with his hand-stabber-knife. Wtf? Why isn’t he being held in one of the cell blocks? Unless this is some sort of elaborate, undercover plan on the Governor’s part to incorporate Merle with the prison group and help with a raid, I have no idea why the writers think we would accept that these characters would be this stupid. And what’s with Herschel and Merle’s Bible time? No anger on Herschel’s behalf of, you know, Merle almost murdering his daughter? No one is that forgiving, even if he wants to keep the peace.

      • Sobaika

        I really HAVE to believe that most of the group doesn’t realize the extent to which Merle fucked with Glen and Maggie. I get that they want Darryl back but there is no excuse for such ease and acceptance for Merle. None.

        • ChiliP

          You have to be right, but for the love of god, tell them!!! I swear this is the stupidest group of people on TV. There’s no way they would have lasted this long in a zombie apocalypse.

          “Hey nice group of strangers that seem helpful and friendly, get the hell out of my prison! Don’t come back! Oh, Merle, you want to join our group? After almost murdering two of our members and being associated with the psychopath trying to kill us all? Here’s a gun. Do you want to attach a knife to your arm as well, to make it easier to stab us in the back? We’ve got you covered there too.”

        • editrixie

          Honestly, as much as I hate to say this…the more I watch of this show, the more I see it as one of the most emblematic television programs of the rape culture that pervades in the entertainment industry. I’m sure they see Merle’s deeds as no more shameful or inexcusable than anything else, and they’re sweeping this under the rug. Good ol’ boys will be boys. Maggie’s had her cry, and now everyone can just move on; Glen’s just pissed because they made him feel emasculated. I hope you’re right and that it’s just that no one really understands what happened. Because there is simply no reason for Herschel to be so chummy, as you say. 

          Gah, I wish I could stop watching this show. I wish I didn’t love Daryl more than just about anyone else except Raylan Givens.

          • Sobaika

            Hmmm. Do you watch the Talking Dead? A week or two ago they had Steven Yeun and he discussed some of his research for this storyline. Spouses of assault survivor more often than not continue the victimization on a verbal level, and that’s something we will see/are seeing in Glen. I think the writers are attempting to raise some interesting stuff, but handle it very clumsily and it’s often at odds with the plot. 

            Because Merle? His balls belong in a blender, courtesy of Maggie. Hershel would have been cheering. Rick should have been ousted long ago, or at least when Lori died. None of their actions seem like natural human responses to their circumstances, none of it is organic. That the group hasn’t fully realized that they’re keeping Glen and Maggie in the same room as the man who threatened, beat, harassed, and tortured them about 4 minutes ago is the only way I can rationalize it.

            • editrixie

              No, I don’t generally see anything of the Talking Dead stuff outside of the commercials and “preview” they have each week during the show. Wow — you’d almost have to wonder if all the work was done by Yeun, and that the writers could have maybe benefited from doing some research themselves. I have never looked at the writing staff names — are there any women at all on it? I don’t get the impression there are, or that if there are, they have any say at all in the stories. It would be especially nice to have some women attempting to write Michonne — she might actually say something for a change.

      • ankali

         “I have no idea why the writers think we would accept that these characters would be this stupid.”

        Have you met this show?

    • MilaXX

      I found this episode frustrating when I initially watched it. I thought perhaps it was because I opted to stay up after the Oscars and watched this and was a little cranky. I watched again yesterday and nope, still frustrated. For one it just emphasized how stupid Rick’s raid on Woodbury was, then it highlighted the writers at their worse.

      So, Andrea – whatever girl.  Even if I cut you a break for wanting comfort and a measure safety, you can’t fake a headache until you sort out what you’re going to do about the nutcase running Woodbury?

      I think part of the reason why the whole Rick is nuts storyline is so annoying is because we already had Shane is nuts. It just feels like a retread. It doesn’t help that this time we have Carl & Hershel telling him it’s time to step down. Why didn’t they say this before Rick send Tyrese and his group packing?

      Darrly’s been back for a minute and Carol, finally gets around to welcoming him back? Also suddenly Carol is wise? Warning Darryl about Merle bring him down? I will give her credit for the advice she gave to Andrea, only because it sounds like something and abused woman would have dreamt about doing.

      Michonne still makes no sense. I mean it felt like she basically said she went back with Rick & Co. not because the Governor was really an evil man, but because she was mad at Andrea. Say what now?

      Suddenly Merle is not just a raving lunatic. He knows the bible and he has feelings? What?

      This episode just had me throwing my house shoe at the tv for nearly every scene.

      • Sobaika

        Good point about Carol – it’s perfectly within character, especially given her history.

        • http://twitter.com/DarrenNesbitt Darren Nesbitt

          Yeah my mouth went agape at hearing Carol say that to Andrea so simply. I’m excited to see this bad ass elder Carol emerge. 

        • tereliz

          I keep waiting for Carol to take over as the leader, but I guess she’s too busy doing the laundry and cleaning the cells. 

      • aeb1986

        I agree. I found myself saying about this episode, “it must just be the writers setting us up for next week when something BIG is gonna happen.” And then I realized I said that last week….and the week before. Time for some action fellas.

      • Allyson Wells

        I don’t think Michonne meant that she went back to Woodbury just because she was mad at Andrea. I think she went back to expose the Governor as an evil crazy person,  recognized it would hurt Andrea in the process, but knew that it would be better off for her in the long run.

        • MilaXX

           Perhaps the writers meant it that way, but all along there has been a very saphhic vibe between Andrea and Michonne and this scene really came across as Michonne saying she came back specifically to hurt Andrea because Andrea hurt her feelings by sleeping with the governor and choosing to stay with him in Woodbury over leaving with Michonne.

      • HobbitGirl

        I think Carol’s actually one of my favorite parts of this season, because she and Darryl are pretty much the only characters who’ve gotten to develop. Carol has lost so much that I’m really not surprised that it’s put her idea of relationships into a clearer light. Her husband was an asshat and being able to see how others treat her vs. how he did would show her that you can be in a relationship with someone, even love them, and still have that be unhealthy. Hence her advice to Darryl. It resonated: even at the end of the world, maybe merely surviving isn’t all you need. And I’m definitely loving the new Machiavelli Carol.

        • MilaXX

           I don’t mind the advice even if the delivery came across a bit “wise old Carol”. I just find it hard to imagine that Carol waited 2 days to come welcome him back and have a heart to heart. After all it was Darryl who ran all over the place searching for Sophia, and it was Darryl who found her after she got lost in the tombs. I just felt that the writers were trying to make us see Carol and Darryl being really close.  Am I imagining the time lapse here? I got the impression this conversation was a bit delayed after Darryl’s return.

      • Scoobydrew

        I think a woman like Carol who has been abused, lost her daughter and quite frankly has really come into her own would be very wise. I think that if there is one thing that this show has done is how Carol and Darryl have developed.  Abused women can recognize a monster, it’s one thing they are good at. When Carol lost Sophia  she lost everything – and when you lose everything there isn’t a whole lot to fear. And I don’t see her advising Andrea to kill the Gov., as something an abused woman  dreams of – it’s because it truly is the best way to get rid of the enemy. Woodbury is done without him, and Andrea can get closer that anyone — and that’s how these things have been carried out — Christ had his Judas, and Caesar has Brutus. Carol just knows how to get things done   New Strong Carol is one of the shows best characters. 

        Also as a southern gal, I know a few “Merle-esque” characters, and trust me  they all know the bible — sometimes it’s how the justify their bad behavior. 

      • PaulaBerman

        Am I the only one who wanted Carol to jump on Daryl while he was lying on his bunk there, looking so downcast? I keep thinking, “Go Carol! Now! Come on… now!” Norman Reedus said he is playing Daryl as if he were a virgin. I wish the writers would work that relationship.

    • Allyson Wells

      I’m hoping, somehow, they can skip the whole Woodbury/prison battle. I don’t see how Rick’s group can stand a chance against 30+ people in Woodbury. If they do manage to “win”, that means they’re going to have to kill a whole bunch of innocent people in Woodbury. I’d much rather just see the Governor killed and everyone else come together in peace! Fat chance, right? :) Maybe Tyreese can play in a part in the peace-making process… but obviously the Governor has to be out of the picture completely before that can happen.  I knew they’d never let Andrea go through with it… the Governor can’t die in his sleep; it will have to be super-dramatic!

      • http://twitter.com/DarrenNesbitt Darren Nesbitt

        I doubt that. Look at the way the Woodbury Guard kept their sights on Andrea even after she got out the car. If the Governor is out the picture his goons are still a problem. 

        • Allyson Wells

          True, you’re right that some of the Governor’s guys, like Martinez, are nearly as bad as he is these days. But it seems like most of the Woodbury citizens trust Andrea enough that if she took over as leader, and tried to encourage peace instead of war, they’d see that as the best option. I know this is far fetched though… battle scenes are much more exciting for tv!!

    • mjude

      i am in the minority that i always love each episode.  i know adrea is an idiot but her time in the prison to me was really tense & sad in some ways.  its been over 9 months or so since she has seen her friends & i think she really was hoping for a nice reunion which obviously didnt happen.  i still have faith in rick, i dont think he has slept for days which would mess with your mind.  looking forward to his time with michone.

      • Scoobydrew

        I also love each episode, and there are three things that hit home with me this episode … when Michonne hit Andrea with the “you traded friendship for a warm bed.”  That one landed.  Carol telling Andrea to kill the Gov in his sleep, and Andrea  not doing it … and looking very ashamed  at the end of the episode, and with Andrea I am not so sure of what she is ashamed of, That she wanted to kill the Gov., that she couldn’t kill him, that she left Michonne…who knows with that one.   

        • mjude

          good ideas about andrea!  maybe its all 3.  glad i am not alone for my love of each episode.  i have to say i am extremely obsessed with the walking dead, last time for me was LOST.

    • JosephLamour

      I’ve been calling it T-Dogging on Racialicious. It’s so close to teabagging, which is the same way I felt was done to me when they killed him off.

      • YayaGurl

         Hey, I’ve been following your recaps and LOVE them!

        • JosephLamour

           Aww, shucks. Thanks! Tell your friends, lol.

          • PaulaBerman

            Can you link to it? I’d like to read it too.

            • JosephLamour

               I don’t want to link out of respect for my gay uncles. LOL, but if you google “Racialicious The Walking Dead” my posts and roundtable discussions will all come up.

            • editrixie

              Oooo, thanks for this! I’m glad to have something to point to whenever I start foaming at the mouth around other people who watch it, but don’t seem to understand what I’m saying.

      • http://twitter.com/BigBearSpeaks Big Bear

        Lol, ‘Governor Shootypants’. I would give that four thumbs up, if I had thumbs.

    • TropiCarla

      Dearest Andrea, 
      DO NOT approach someone while brandishing a knife until you are certain in your decision to kill them. Stay in bed until you make up your damn mind for sure. Your ass shouldabin grass.

    • http://twitter.com/DarrenNesbitt Darren Nesbitt

      Is it just me or has Andrea become an expert Walker killer/handler?  She shoots like Dale and wields a blade like Michonne. I don’t like her but she gets a WERQ in zombie killing. 

    • DinahR

      Merle – for me it makes some kind of vague sense that he’s allowed to stay at the prison.  It’s not just that Merle saved Rick’s life — Merle and Daryl pretty much saved that whole camp’s existence.  Rick is losing it and a second leader they are all willing to follow while Rick gets himself together is not exactly materializing from their ranks.  Daryl can fill that role but he comes at the expense of having Merle.  

      Plus it’s timing.  They just had a taste of what a battle with the Gov and without Daryl/Merle is going to look like.  Merle does offer some insight about the Gov.  Honestly, I think they’d be dumb to turn him away right now knowing a fight is coming.  Of course Maggie and Glenn are going to hate it, but it’s the zombie apocalypse.  It’s all about surviving, not getting the roommate you wanted. It’s not ideal, but they are being practical.  Maggie can always shoot Merle later.  I’m sure she will the first time he does anything even slightly untrustworthy.     

      • http://twitter.com/DarrenNesbitt Darren Nesbitt

        I agree after all it’s not “The Walking Dead Best Friend Race.” Staying alive with others who want to stay alive is the main priority even if they actually hate each other. 

        • DinahR

          ha!!!  awesome comment, thanks! 

      • ChiliP

        See, I thought of that as well, but that still doesn’t explain why they almost immediately handed Merle a gun and let him roam around the prison. Keep him in captivity and let him know that he needs to cooperate, or he’s going to be tossed out. I think even Daryl would understand the need to keep Merle under watch until he proved himself to be trustworthy. Daryl just witnessed Merle’s desire to leave a group of survivors as Zombie bate, then witnessed him trying to rob said survivors. He has his guard up.

        Plus, Michonne and Andrea have insight about the Governor, and neither of them have been a threat to the group (well, other than through muteness and stupidity). Do they really need Merle as well? And again, do they really need him to be armed unless there is an attack? I think not.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

           Yeah, because if you want a guy to help your ass, putting him in jail is a good way to ensure he comes through for you down the road… If they want Merle’s help against the Gov, they have to treat him like he’s trusted and one of them.

          • ChiliP

            I still disagree. If there were a random member of the Gov’s group that had been outcast and wandered into their camp, I would maybe, MAYBE, understand the relatively quick acceptance of that person. But Merle has consistently proven himself to be untrustworthy and dangerous, and has very recently threatened the lives of many people in the group (I forgot about Michonne). I understand letting him stay in the prison at this point. I even understand incorporating him *slowly* into the group because of his Gov and Daryl connection. I do not understand almost immediately giving him his arm blade, and giving him a gun when there was not an immediate threat present. I don’t think it would be uncalled for to keep him under watch for awhile (and since there aren’t men to spare, and they are in fact in a prison, keeping him in a cell is the obvious choice)…I think even he would understand that.

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

               Crazy people are never reasonable — he wouldn’t be okay with it and it would give him more reason to stab you in the back later.  I think with Merle you either have to kill him or accept him completely, because I don’t think he’s ever going to look at you taking a middle ground approach and respect or understand it.

            • DinahR

              They do seem to trust Merle even more so than Michonne.  Which seems odd at first blush.  But it’s because of their history, not despite it.  It’s not like Rick’s group has been entirely trustworthy and non-dangerous to Merle in the past.  From his perspective, the reason he has a stabby arm in the first place is because of them.  

              I think they are all just agreeing to let the past stay in the past for now because of the bigger immediate problem.   There is just no time for them to incorporate Merle or Michonne slowly.  No time to build trust.  Merle is there for muscle and to keep Daryl in the fold.  Once that decision is made there is no reason not to arm Merle because the only thing he contributes is being a fighter. There IS an immediate danger right now.  They have no idea when or how the Governor will come at them. They know the prison is not secure.  As far as they now the Gov could walk in there anytime now.  They had no good reason to trust Andrea’s assurances that the Gov wasn’t right outside. To me, that was more annoying.  It does seem that before getting cuffed on a rooftop Merle was a contributing member of the group.  Obviously as a total racist-sexist jerk he wasn’t very popular (and rightly so) but some of them still felt bad about what happened.  I also agree with other comments that said Hershel and the others do not know how bad Merle was with Glenn.  Why doesn’t Glenn tell them?   It’s a pointless detail right now.  It’s survival again.  Glenn knows if they don’t win this battle with the Gov then none of it is going to matter at all anymore.  

            • ChiliP

              You make some good points. And obviously this is television, so we have to accept the progression of these stories in an unrealistic time frame. 

              I think part of the problem is that we, the audience, know how crazy Merle is, so it makes it difficult for me to accept their acceptance of him. I would think the history between Rick and Merle (vengeance for loosing his arm/abandoning him), the violent behavior he’s exhibited (leading the hunt for Michonne, trying to kill Glen and Maggie, etc), and the the lack of loyalty he displays (kidnapping and beating Glen despite knowing him, turning on the Gov once he was kicked out of Woodbury) would be cause for doubt, but you’re right- they’re panicked and they know they probably don’t have a lot of time before they are attacked. I still wouldn’t let him wear his “stabby arm” (I am going to steal that from you, fyi) or carry a gun around unless an attack occurred, but that’s just me. Then again, I wouldn’t do most of the things these people do.

            • DinahR

              And I absolutely agree with you that overall this group makes frustrating decisions. I would think they’d be more forthcoming with each other about important information too.  While I can think of reasons to justify their keeping Merle around for now, if he survives the battle I expect the group to bring up all of the things you mentioned because that is all definitely a huge issue that shouldn’t just disappear.  

            • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

              I’m not really sure they are making decisions at this point. I suspect Merle is there more out of the groups inertia and shock about the attack by the Governor and the groups need to have Darryl there with them than anything else. :)

      • HobbitGirl

        Yeah, I feel like the Merle situation is very much a “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” type of thing. The Governor sure isn’t going to cut Merle a break and he knows it, which means his interests are best served by staying with Rick’s group. And if we know anything it’s that Merle is going to serve his own interests. I wouldn’t trust him, but I can see where having him is a decent idea. That does NOT explain why they kicked Tyreese’s group out so fast, though. You need hands, Rick. (no pun intended)

        • DinahR

          Yeah, I am way more confused about why they booted Tyrese’s group to begin with.  Very disappointing and it really made almost no sense. 

          • Sobaika

            Because Rick was getting cray cray or something. I am really over Batshit Rick. I understand that he has reason to go a little nuts at this point, but he is very boring and makes for bad TV.

            • DinahR

              I’m not a fan of Batshit Rick (love that!) either.  Batshit Shane already did this, and he did it better.  

                

        • PaulaBerman

          Exactly– my biggest problem with allowing Merle the run of the joint was how Rick treated Tyrese & Co. I get that he was trying to please his No. 2, Daryl, but it still doesn’t make sense, and Daryl knows that well enough. They really could have used Tyrese’s help. That as a stupid move and Hershel and the rest of them should have prevented that from happening, by force on Rick if necessary. 

    • Zippypie

      I echo the frustrations expressed here.  And I place the blame squarely on the writers’ shoulders.  And Glen Mazzara’s.  When I first heard of his departure at Christmas, I was mightily pissed at AMC because the show’s first half of the season was getting back on track for the most part.  But I have to remember these eps we are now watching were already in the can in post-production.  And now I’m not pissed at AMC at all.

      Look, this is Screenwriting 101 here – if you have an action-based show and if you’re going to have your characters standing around talking, you better develop those characters in a way that make sense to support the actions they make.  Or else you have ca-ca bs and a restless, bored audience.  Real character development is about showing people in situations make decisions and then live with those decisions, not just yap about them later.  This show seems to think that everyone has to process things to death like a therapy session after they’ve happened instead of using the here and now of the situation to shed light on the characters and their motivations.  It’s expository writing at its worst.  And this show has been plagued with it.

      I’ve read some half-baked attempts at punting the angry fan reactions to these current epsidodes with interviews with Laurie Holden basically scolding the fans – “Andrea doesn’t know what the audience knows!”  Well, by now, honey she SHOULD.  We should see her thinking, working it out, questioning things in her mind, instead of strutting around Woodbury in her too tight shirt with a clueless simpering look on her face.  She was a frakking lawyer and she still can’t put all the pieces together with the Gov?  The heads?  The lies?  The attacks on Glenn and Maggie and the prison that was supposidly not going to happen?  Facing off Merle and Daryl to the death?  And now Michonne telling her point blank Merle was sent to kill her and would have killed Andrea too?  And she still doesn’t get it.  But she does get some.  Just not brains.

      MilaXX is absolutely right about Crazy Rick being Crazy Shane all over again.  I find myself really not giving a damn whatsoever.  And when I saw Merle taping on his knife, I yelled out loud at my tv.  Not to mention the singing thing.  It was such a “writer moment”.

      “Let’s take Beth, who has a nice voice and we’ve had her sing before, let’s take her and have her sing a cool, symbolic Tom Waits song while we montage the contrast between the prison and Andrea post-coital with her knife and then we can get a few shots of zombies and segue into the actual song by Tom Waits because we LOVE this song and it’ll be awesomely symbolic of things to come and it’ll be such a COOL way to end the episode on SO much tension of not knowing what will happen next….”

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  Someone wake me up.

      This episode could have been so good, so suspenseful and so purposeful in moving the story forward.  And it was meh.  That’s bad writing.

      • ankali

         I no more believe that Beth is a Tom Waits fan than I believe that Merle is literate.

        • http://twitter.com/lisledanielle Danielle Lisle

          I had the same thought running through my head after the first line of the song.

          • http://twitter.com/BigBearSpeaks Big Bear

            The song was laughably silly, the kind of silly that makes you sweat. I was praying some walkers would burst through the walls and eat Beth.

        • tereliz

          Yeah. In an episode full of WTF moments, that scene felt the most unrealistic and forced to me. 

    • Inspector_Gidget

      It really is unfortunate.  This show can’t seem to get it together. It certainly has moments of interest, but it completely fails to live up to the source material.  And at this point, none of the characters compare favorably to the original versions from the books.

      Hmm, they have gone through three show-runners in as many years. Think that could have something to do with it?  AMC sure lost the bloom off their rose pretty fast.  They seem to be really good at luring in serious talent to set up these shows, but then they slash budgets and fire people and try to keep them going on the cheap.  Still marginally more interesting that most network stuff, but what a waste.

    • http://twitter.com/lisledanielle Danielle Lisle

      Still amazed that a one week old baby looks like a three month old.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Vella/666619877 Matthew Vella

        One week? I’m sure its been longer than that!

        • http://twitter.com/BigBearSpeaks Big Bear

          No, Hershel said Judith had been born a week ago and that was, what, two days ago?

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      I’m sorta with Andrea on this one.  I don’t care how many heads the Gov. keeps or how many children he presses into service — he makes shit work.  He’s a bad guy, but an EFFECTIVE bad guy. 

      I have the opposite reaction to the writers’ attempt to equalize the Gov. and Rick: I think they give Rick altogether too much credit.  Rick’s people are barely surviving — that’s not a way to rebuild civilization.  Yes, the Gov. methods may suck, but he’s going to die eventually and he has the skills to leave behind a pocket of civilization that can be built on.  What’s Rick going to leave?  A bunch of people running around, near death already.

      • ankali

        To be fair, Rick’s group would probably be more than surviving right now if Merle & the Governor hadn’t interfered. They were planning on fixing up the prison, farming in the yard, etc. All that went to shit when Glen and Maggie were abducted, and it’s not like they’ve really had much of a break since.

        And the Governor is not as effective as he could be because his insanity and paranoia make his civilization unsustainable. All of the conflict he’s got going on right now could have been avoided if he hadn’t been so convinced that the prison group was a threat to Woodbury before he even met them. He got a great thing started in Woodbury, but that’s only half the battle — you have to be able to maintain, and he apparently sucks at that.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          He’s not a great solution, but he’s better than Rick.  Rick has accomplished nothing beyond bare survival for his people and that’s a losing tactic. (Personally, I’d stick with Woodbury, but I wouldn’t have hesitated to kill the Gov. But I also wouldn’t have done it until I had a plan to cement control and keep it together)

          • ankali

            You know, I’m with you on preferring Woodbury to the prison, no freaking contest. But I draw the line at preferring the Governor to Rick. Rick is dumb, but the Governor is malevolent; I’d much rather deal with stupid-crazy than mean-crazy, so in a Death Is Not an Option contest? I’d go with Rick.

      • PaulaBerman

        I’m sort of not with Andrea on this one. Making the trains run on time does make you effective, but committing *unnecessary* atrocities in the name of petty vengeance is completely unconscionable. Rick et al were finally getting on top of things. They could have made a go of it if the Governor hadn’t interfered. I hope his pettiness is his undoing. I have no faith Andrea will start thinking with her brain instead of her crotch. She’s still defending Shane ffs and she could have seen that for what it was by now.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

           No argument that he’s a psycho.  But he’s the psycho who MAY kill you on purpose, while Rick is the moron who WILL get you killed on accident.  And I don’t think they could have ever made a go of it at the prison, Governor or not — I don’t think Rick really has the skills to lead them in rebuilding. 

          • PaulaBerman

            Plenty of people at Woodbury got killed by accident too, and when they are killed on purpose, they are killed in sadistic exhibitions or by self-aggrandizing murder.Those senseless, selfish deaths are the price of Woodbury (I am reminded of that amazing Ursula K. LeGuin story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”). Rick struggles because he is TRYING to be a good man in a bad world. That is much harder than what Shane did or the Governor is doing. There is no way a person who is remotely interested in preserving the morality of their screwed up world could choose Woodbury over the Rick’s group, as Michonne pointed out. There are things that are worse than death. Andrea chose one of them, and it’s going to take a lot to redeem herself.

            • Donald Hite

              Is there a single civilization on the planet that wasn’t founded through murder, theft, and destruction?  America CERTAINLY was.  I agree that that the moral thing would be to side with Rick, but is Andrea’s choice REALLY that hard to understand in light of regular human behavior (as opposed to theoretical morality)?  Don’t we all sacrifice principle on a daily basis in order to just get along?  How many of us are willing to throw our lives away and go live on a native american reservation out of principle?  Maybe that would be the right thing to do, and it’s not realistic.

            • PaulaBerman

              I guess living in a totally jacked up, zombie infested world might make me care a lot less about my long-term survival (which is probably not going to happen regardless) than dying with my sense of self intact.  This is not daily life here in America. This is an epic story about struggling to maintain humanity in an inhuman world. I feel like the Hitler comparison with the Governor is not very well veiled. Sure, many people choose to side with the malevolent dictator to save their own asses. Totally human choice. I don’t find that choice at all hard to understand, not sure where I might have indicated that I didn’t understand it.  However, I don’t respect it, and it doesn’t make me like her. Shannon Stewart said she was “with Andrea on this one.” I am not with Andrea on this one. And really, she didn’t go back because she was afraid of dying at the prison, did she? Not entirely. She went back and hopped straight back into bed with “Phillip.” 

              Are you saying that Rick is a shitty leader because he is not willing to commit atrocities? That’s what I am getting out of this, that old Phillip is just doing what he has to do. No, he’s a sadistic dictator, a lot of what he is doing is getting his rocks off.

            • Donald Hite

              I’m not saying anything about Rick or the governor’s leadership or who should be doing what.  I was simply trying to say that many people (not necessarily you) seem to want to crucify Andrea for acting in a way that I feel is understandable in light of human nature.  

              I also wasn’t saying that civilizations SHOULD be founded on murder, etc… I was just pointing out that they usually are.  I was attempting to say that we are not all that different from Andrea in that we all look the other way about a lot of things we find morally wrong because it makes our lives easier.  Granted, her conflict is “epic” because it has to be for a TV show, but we could all analogize to things in our own lives that, while lesser in degree, are similar in principle.

              Professing moral absolutes is one thing, while putting your money where your mouth is is another.  I don’t really think it’s all that important/useful to condemn or celebrate Andrea’s actions.

              I know you were just responding to someone else’s post about Andrea making the right choice, so my comment was just to the general discussion, not you specifically.

          • Donald Hite

            I wouldn’t say that Andrea is making the right choice morally, but I can understand why she’s torn (and isn’t moral conflict what makes a drama interesting???)  Also, Andrea doesn’t know everything we the viewers know.  From my viewpoint, she really should have no allegiance to Rick and his people.  She has no reason to be mad at them, but she’s been separated from them a long time and basically has a different life now (and was already separating from them even before they split… with her allegiance to Shane’s view).  

            It seems like it’s become the thing on here to just call Andrea a stupid bitch and dismiss anything she does as a product of the fact that she’s a stupid bitch…  I actually think Andrea is a good character in terms of the story.  She’s making the best of what she’s got.  She’s torn about what to do.  She’s obviously ill at ease with what she now knows about the governor (as shown by her considering Carol’s suggestion), but is she just supposed to drop everything and go live in the woods or ruin woodbury?  How many of us look the other way when our leaders do despicable things because we’ve got jobs and kids and lives and can’t just throw it all away to defend a principle?  I’m not saying it’s right in a theoretical sense, but I think it’s a very realistic struggle. 

            Andrea is flawed like all the characters, but I think her struggle is much more interesting, realistic, and relatable than the struggles of Singy McWhats-her-name at the prison searching for baby formula.

    • dickylarue

      I think my biggest issue with Walking Dead is often times I’m pulled out of the show while watching it questioning the writing. I don’t do that during Game Of Thrones or other great TV shows. Don’t do that during Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Wire, West Wing, etc. But watching Walking Dead often times has me seeing the writers in the writing room trying to to come up with plots, setups and payoffs. This is a problem. We shouldn’t be able to see them trying to build the house. We should just be marveling at the house. There seems to be no self awareness with this creative team. They don’t have a feel yet for when they’ve pushed something too long or when they should cut bait on a storyline. They don’t realize what they’ve done to all the actors of color on the show or how they’ve completely turned Michonne into a violent rube who at times seems to be autistic by TV’s definition of that affliction. I love the show because I adore the concept and the violence/gore. But the storytelling and writing are just so clunky that I’m Monday Morning QB’ing the show on Sunday night while watching it. I hope the next new shorunner for the next season has more of a deft hand and knows when to stop beating a horse and when to give the actors a little more to do then push the plot points along from A to B. 

      • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

        I’ve just watched every episode of The Breaking Bad in the space of a couple or three weeks and I have to completely agree with your comment here. 

        The biggest contrast between the two shows is character development.Breaking Bad is all about the characters. It wasn’t until I sat down and watched it in a big chunk that I truly appreciated how much those characters have changed over the space of the series.

        I agree that the writers on TWD seem to have no idea what they are doing but worse, they seem to have no idea who the characters really are. Maybe they have not spent enough time fleshing out where these people come from in order to make sense of who they are becoming.

        I think there might be some interference from the creator of the comics which isn’t helping the situation, as well. Comics are not teevee. What works in a comic is not necessarily going to work on the teevee screen. 

        I truly wish they had said at some point – this is where the teevee show and the comic part ways, we have these characters and we are going to take them somewhere nobody has read about or is expecting. 

        • dickylarue

          Snoskred – I can’t imagine watching all of Breaking Bad up to this point in 3 weeks. Someone should’ve filmed a documentary about you doing that, lol. 

          That said, I think TWD writers know what they are doing, they’re just not good at executing or delivering what the audience requires. For instance, the way they wrote Rick’s madness this season was just so poorly done. The mere idea that he goes off the rails after losing Laurie is a good one. The way they executed it was poor. We were screaming as an audience for Rick to snap out of it when Tyrese showed up and pull it together and build a bond with that group that would help them get stronger for the eventual showdown with Woodbury. Instead, they have Ghost Laurie wandering in the rafters. That moment could’ve been a huge turning point for us getting behind our group we’ve been following and instead they took 10 steps backwards. 

          It’s execution. They have great source material. They just don’t know how to deliver it on TV without beating us over the head. 

    • http://twitter.com/gl1tterboots Cure Chevalle

      The best line of the episode was “I didn’t know the Messiah Complex was contagious.” Snaps for Michy.