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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Walking Dead 3x11: I Ain't a Judas



Largely a treading water episode, as both Woodbury and the prison gear up for a bigger showdown in the wake of last week's sortie, it nonetheless featured a reunion a long time coming between Andrea and the group at the prison. Andrea's reaction to the changes wrought in her old friends effectively underlined just how much everyone has changed (when Carol told Andrea about Shane, it felt like she was describing events from four seasons ago, not just eleven episodes) as well as, unfortunately, just how broken a character Andrea has become (the fact that she even had to sneak out of Woodbury should have been enough of a warning bell to her about the Governor).

The end result was, perhaps, not as cathartic as we may have liked. Andrea remains far too dumb a character to actually accept the truth about the Governor that is staring her in the face, her personal goals far too muddied (does she merely want the safety offered by Woodbury? To protect the people inside, for someone reason? Does she truly care about the Governor?) to make any of her decisions resonant. So her whole visit to the prison come off more like a social call than any sort of call to action. The final scene suggests that perhaps her time at the prison did open her eyes to reality a bit (though she obviously wasn't ever going to kill the Governor in cold blood - that would be far too bold a move for a character this wishy washy), but because Andrea remains so maddeningly inconsistent and outright dumb its hard to ultimately care. 

Other Thoughts
On the one hand, I was surprised to see Merle working alongside the group with minimum fuss so quickly; on the other hand, given that we all know Merle isn't going anywhere anytime soon, it was probably for the best that we skipped past the (ultimately pointless) historonics over his presence and moved right to reluctant acceptance and general unease (that said, it was pretty crazy that Merle of all people seemed more welcome in the group than Andrea).

Similarly, I know that not every important conversation between Andrea and the prison group needs to be shown on screen, but it would have been nice to see Andrea being told about the Governor's assault on Maggie, simply because I feel like that event might have triggered the most visceral reaction and been the hardest for her to rationalize.

In one of the conversations I'm glad was included, Andrea accuses Michonne of poisoning the group against the Governor. She just really doesn't get it.  

Andrea asks after Shane, then Lori, but T-Dog has to be brought up by the prison folk.

I loved the way everyone peeled out of the prison when Andrea showed up, covering each other, watching for possible attacks, before disarming her and drawing back inside. After so many episodes of watching everyone flail about stupidly in terms of action, I will never get tired of watching the group move about this world efficiently and effectively.

That said, I could still stand for some more casual killing of the zombies. Andrea probably could have ran down a couple with her car on the way out, and Merle kicked at one on the fence instead of, you know, stabbing it with his arm knife.

Speaking of which, even putting aside the issue of trusting Merle, how hilarious was it that the guy with one hand is tasked with opening up the gate?

T-Dog 3.0 and his crew have ended up in Woodbury. Probably shouldn't have kicked them out, Rick. My only hope is that some of them, at least T-Dog 3.0 himself, eventually realizes they've just traded one crazy for an even crazier crazy.

I really liked the scene between Merle and Hershel, both for Hershel being civil to Merle without being entirely buddy-buddy and for Merle not being an asshat.

It's nice that Michonne is getting a little more characterization (she went back to Woodbury to expose the Governor for who he really is, apparently to wake up Andrea) but she could still use some more. Maybe in next week's apparent side quest episode. 

As far as that closing scene goes, the only suspense involved stemmed from whether or not Andrea was going to get caught nakedly looming over the Governor with a knife. The only question is whether the creators realized that, or if they honestly expected us to wonder whether she'd actually kill him.

When Beth dies, so too will all music.

4 comments:

  1. First off, LMFAO!!!! At your last line there. Bravo, good sir. Bravo.

    Yeah we spent a lot of time talking about how we really want Andrea to join back up with her group because then she would be a less important character. Because we pretty much can't stand her right now.

    We were glad there wasn't too much Rick being batshit crazy in this episode because i can tell you right now that will be a quick way to make sure we stop watching the show.

    One of the things that bother's me about WD is how much it's shoved in our face.

    Like when Peter says the godfather "Insists upon itself", that's how i see WD.
    Because, yes it's pretty popular. But it certainly isn't the best show on TV, now or ever. And yet, they made a second tv show just to talk about how awesome their show is. AND! In case you don't realize just how awesome WD is, you can also watch the whole show in black and white too!

    Ugh. Irritates me to no end

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  2. @Sarah: We were glad there wasn't too much Rick being batshit crazy in this episode because i can tell you right now that will be a quick way to make sure we stop watching the show.

    Yeah, I really have no interest in watching a prolonged "Rick goes mad" arc.

    But it certainly isn't the best show on TV, now or ever. And yet, they made a second tv show just to talk about how awesome their show is

    Ha! Yeah, I've never watched Talking Dead, and while I certainly don't begrudge AMC trying to wring all the money they can out of the biggest cable TV show ever, I do wonder sometimes how much stuff there is to talk about, because while this is an entertaining enough show, it's not terribly deep.

    I mean, whatever overarching plot there is, it's all very micro and immediate, and while there's some interesting character work to discuss, outside of a few these aren't exactly fully developed characters.

    So yeah. Definitely an entertaining show and there's no denying it's a hit (which also makes it a curious piece of TV history), but let's not pretend it's one of TV's great dramas, now or ever.

    AND! In case you don't realize just how awesome WD is, you can also watch the whole show in black and white too!

    Dr. Bitz and I were just talking about that. Again, I get the desire to get every last drop of cash out of the show, but we were wondering who the hell was watching that? I mean, is there really that much to be gained from re-watching it in B&W? Or is it just an opportunity to rewatch an episode again? Because, frankly, this is a show with very little re-watch value for me (it's visceral and entertaining in the moment, but there's very little beyond some cool moments that requires repeated watching).

    But then we started speculating on other ways AMC could repackage the show. Watch it in sepia tones! Watch it in negative, with the colors reversed! Watch it as silent film, without dialogue. Watch it like a radio show, with all sound and just a black screen!

    We could have a different style of episode every night of the week!

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  3. How stupid was it to stand there in the moonlight, hovering over him while holding the knife? It was dramatic TV, except for it really wasn't even that because it looked so staged. Any sane person — yeah, I know, it's Andrea — would've taken the knife surreptitiously back to bed no matter how soundly it looked like Phillip was sleeping.

    Andrea asks after Shane, then Lori, but T-Dog has to be brought up by the prison folk.

    "Oh riiiiight. He was the big black guy?"
    "The first one, yeah."

    I will never get tired of watching the group move about this world efficiently and effectively.

    Amen. It reminds me how great the season opener was, after them having been roaming all winter. Like you said last week, too, them being aware of peripheral walkers but not springing to action until or unless it's necessary is another great touch; for the most part the show is really doing a good job of presenting them as people who've been living in this world for a while now.

    My only hope is that some of them, at least T-Dog 3.0 himself, eventually realizes they've just traded one crazy for an even crazier crazy.

    Rick at least has only himself to blame, which is frustrating since he's still the nominal leader of both his posse/family and in the viewer's eyes of the sympathetic characters. I would probably rather see him go before every other member of the prison group except Merle at this point, though — not that him going anywhere is likely. Hopefully Tyrese grew to respect Hershel enough that when things start to go down he has to protest ("They got an old man! They got a baby! I'm not gonna hurt a baby and the women taking care of it!") and is shown more of the Governor's absolutist true colors.

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  4. @Blam: Any sane person ... would've taken the knife surreptitiously back to bed no matter how soundly it looked like Phillip was sleeping.

    Which is exactly why I was expecting him to wake up at that exact moment - because why else stage it so cornily/obviously?

    "The first one, yeah."

    Hahaha!

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