by Sherry Lipp
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Season three of The Walking Dead has taken the show to new levels. The season has been filled with drama, action, and heartbreak. I like that the show is not afraid to kill someone off if it suits the story. I like the drama that’s been created between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the rest of his group. That all being said, I have felt that the episodes since the return from the mid-season break have not been on par with the first half of the season. Last night’s episode “I Ain’t a Judas” had some good moments, but felt like a time marker. It seemed as if about a half episode’s worth of story was stretched to fill out the hour. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still with the show, but I felt this episode was lacking in many ways.
One of the big drawbacks to network television is that it is ruled by advertising. I’m starting to feel this is creating a little bit of a problem for The Walking Dead. Bear with me for a second on this point. Not only are there extremely frequent commercial breaks, but the season was expanded from 13 episodes last season to 16 this season. More is not always better. If the purpose of the expansion had more to do with securing the advertising dollar over storytelling, that is a shame. I’m only saying all this because I love The Walking Dead and I hate to see it diminished for no good reason.
The main problem with this episode is that it only barely furthered the story. The main element is that Andrea (Laurie Holden) finally made contact with Rick and the group again. She made her way to the prison by brutally mutilating a walker the way Michonne (Danai Gurira) had done. Andrea, with the help of Milton (Dallas Roberts), chopped of the walkers arms, smashed its jaw, and chained it up on a leash. That part was pretty cool, though a bit gruesome. As I have said before Andrea seems so capable of taking care of herself amongst the walkers that it’s hard to believe she is so stupid and naïve about everything else. As the Governor (David Morrissey) prepares the townspeople for battle, Andrea thinks she is going to head to the prison to negotiate a peace-treaty between Rick and the Governor.
Despite everything she has seen the Governor do she still believes everything he tells her. Back at the prison everyone is just kind of hanging out. Rick has accepted Merle (Michael Rooker) under the qualification that Daryl (Norman Reedus) will be held responsible for anything bad Merle does. One of the things I did like was that the group seemed more accepting of Merle than Andrea. I’ve been thinking about why that would be. Maybe it’s solely because they know they need Daryl. Maybe it’s because Merle is valuable to them if he is truly on their side. At least it gave some food for thought.
I also liked the confrontation between Michonne and Andrea. As I stated last week Michonne hasn’t been given as much to do as I had hoped, and I liked seeing her tell off Andrea. Andrea of course, denied everything she said, but at least she heard it. So now Andrea is stuck in the middle. For reasons I don’t really understand she feels loyal to the town of Woodbury. She does seem to be having some second thoughts. At the very least she thought about killing the Governor in his sleep. One other little wrinkle is that Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) and his group found their way to Woodbury. Looks like Rick’s crazy behavior might come back to bight him – and everyone else.
I’m looking forward to next week. It looks like Carl (Chandler Riggs) might get into the thick of things when he heads to Woodbury with his dad and Michonne. I can accept a filler episode everything once in a while as long as it leads to something good soon.
(photos: Gene Page/AMC)