The Walking Dead, Ep. 3.11: “I Ain’t a Judas” injects some much-needed life into the supporting players

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The Walking Dead, Season 3, Episode 11: “I Ain’t a Judas”
Written by Angela Kang
Directed by Gregory Nicotero
Airs Sundays at 9pm ET on AMC

Tonight’s “I Ain’t a Judas” is The Walking Dead at its best, even if it was a very Andrea-centric episode. With only five episodes left in the third season, “I Ain’t a Judas” set the stage for the inevitable conflict between the Atlanta group and the people of Woodbury. It’s ironic that this is the first episode since “Say the Word” to not feature any human deaths, considering it is directed by special effects wiz, Gregory Nicotero. Apart from the dismemberment of a Walker’s limbs, not to mention the crushing of his skull against a large stone (similar to a scene in American History X), “I Ain’t Judas” side steps the weekly body count and instead delivers some much needed character beats. Both sides are gearing up for war, and both sides have new recruits and valuable inside information about the enemy. But “I Ain’t a Judas” is all about Andrea and her divided loyalties take up most of the running time. This episode was all about viewpoints, particularly Andrea’s perspective. Andrea’s still delusional, or at best hopeful, but the major difference between tonight’s episode and the rest of season three, is that script writer Angela Kang, really gets inside her head. For the first time in a long time, viewers get to accept Andrea, and her crazy ways. Her character through-line for season three is finally starting to make sense. There isn’t much dramatic conflict in this episode, but there is a lot to like. In short, this episode was well-made, well-acted and at times, delivered a compelling portrait of redemption.

Andrea is caught in an awkward situation, only now she realizes she is all to blame. It seems Andrea has been living in denial ever since she was separated from Rick and the gang. And who can blame her? She’s been through a lot. And while the world looks on with critical eyes, can we take a second to remember that at least she isn’t chasing ghosts. Hershel kept his wife and family members locked away in a barn, hoping someone would eventually find a cure – but we all forgave him, right? Andrea has been searching for direction and hope. Woodbury offered a life, safety, and a real community. Andrea is so grateful to have found this oasis, that in retrospect, it would be out of character, if she gave it up so soon, at least not without a real threat. Taking Rick’s side wouldn’t make sense considering she’s never been gung-ho on him leading the charge. In fact, Andrea nearly convinced Shane to run away with her, back in season two. Truth be told, The Governor has been pulling her strings, by simply letting go. In giving her enough freedom, Andrea hasn’t been able to see him as a threat to her. Meanwhile, Michonne is a loner, and she would never fully settle into any community, thus making it hard for Andrea to follow her out of Woodbury. And maybe Michonne is right in calling Andrea out on her Messiah Complex. Perhaps the only reason Andrea stays in Woodbury is because she is actively trying to hold the peace. Andrea likes to think she is a champion to the people of Woodbury. She’s always had a desire to feel needed and loved. The moment in which Andrea reunites with Rick and the gang was powerful stuff. Again, Andrea has been in denial for far too long, and the reunion was a wake up call. Finding the group, minus three loved ones, and a leg, along with a new born baby, is a lot to take in. But what Andrea isn’t ready for, was just how much everyone has changed. Almost everyone in Rick’s group is unrecognizable. Back in Woodbury Andrea is opposed to The Governor recruiting teenage boys for his army. And yet, with one glance over at gunslinging Carl, Andrea quickly snaps into reality. It is a powerful exchange, and moments like these remind us, the viewers, why the characters do what they do, and are how they are. Sometimes, between long season breaks, we seem to forget just how much has happened to these people.

The Walking Dead Maggie

Apart from Andreas arrival at the prison, “I Ain’t a Judas” is packed with terrific character moments and religious references. It’s no coincidence that after telling Andrea the baby’s name is Judith, Carol immediately suggests Andrea murder The Governor in his sleep – a clear reference to the apocryphal Book of Judith. In this story, the heroine Judith is a widow, who uses her charm to become intimate with a devout soldier of her people’s enemy, and eventually murders him in bed.

The final sequence in the episode wraps things up nicely with a musical montage set to the tune of Tom Wait’s “Hold On” (sung earlier on by Beth in the prison). Many will become frustrated with Andrea’s final decision, but it is to be expected. “I Ain’t a Judas” emphasizes that actions have consequences, and that attaining redemption isn’t as easy as saying “I’m sorry.” The price for a change of heart can be, and often is, brutal. Merle’s reading of the scripture with Herschel is another episode highlight, as is his makeshift apology to Michonne. Michael Rooker’s character has come a long way since we first saw him as a one dimensional hick, back in season one. He may never become a true companion to anyone other than his baby brother Darryl, but the tension he sparks within the group, makes for an interesting watch.

– Ricky D

 

After Thoughts: 

Carl gets an upgrade – notice the bullet-proof vest.

The Governor’s mustache-twirling bad guy image, has become rather tiresome.

How does everyone keep running into one another in the woods? Do characters in The Walking Dead only gravitate from point A to point B?

Carl: “You should stop.” Rick: “Stop what?” Carl: “Being the leader.” – I’m sure most viewers would agree.

Daryl: “This is a tomb.” – I’m glad someone realizes that the prison does not provide a life worth living.

Daryl: “Next time you see Phillip, tell him I’ma take his other eye.”

Michonne: “I did not realize the Messiah complex was contagious.”

Please give Emily Kinney more scenes which feature her singing

Be sure to listen to our Walking Dead podcast. We have a very special guest on this week. The lastest episode will be available as of Tuesday morning.

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