Walking Dead – I Ain’t a Judas
On Walking Dead, the Prison vs. Woodbury war simmers while Andrea attempts to arrange a peace treaty. Everyone chooses sides, and Beth sings a Tom Waits song.
This was a pretty slow and terrible episode. Everyone talked at each other a lot. A ton of a lot. Then some people walked around a lot so they could go talk to other people. Even when Andrea gets a car, she drives around very slowly and sensibly and doesn’t even run over any zombies.
So the plot summary for this week can be accomplished in two paragraphs. Gov is conscripting everyone in Woodbury for war, Andrea dislikes this, Milton is a feckless naif. Back at the prison, everyone doubts Rick’s leadership abilities (including Carl), Merle sort of apologizes to Michonne for trying to kill her, Glen is an angry young man. Andrea leaves Woodbury to head to the prison to broker peace and uses Michonne’s “armless, toothless zombie helper” trick to walk the distance unscathed (I find this dubious).
Andrea arrives at the prison to a mixed reunion, finds out who died (Lori? Dead. Shane? Dead. Then silence until someone calls out, “T-Dog too,” because even Andrea forgot he existed). Carol suggests Andrea give Creepy G “the night of his life,” then kill him in the afterglow. Meanwhile, Tyrese and company go to Woodbury and agree to join the war against the unhinged weirdo (Rick) they met at the prison.
There’s a final scene where Andrea finds Gov brooding in his study, and they make out noisily. Watching Gov make out with anyone is ten times as gross as watching Andrea methodically chop off that zombie’s arms and smash its teeth out, which was actually pretty boring, as gory as it was. Here’s the sad truth about Walking Dead right now – the zombies are just background noise. They wander on screen now and then, a character absent-mindedly whacks it in the head with whatever’s handy, then everyone carries on angsting.
The most interesting scene was probably Michonne’s workout session, with Merle’s apology. When he suggests hunting her down was just business, just following orders, she sneers, “Like the Gestapo?” Merle thinks for a second and agrees that that is a very apt analogy, and he thus considers the issue settled. It was also interesting hearing him tell Hershel that the only thing he misses about Woodbury is the well-stocked library.
I remarked last week how inept these people are at strategy and tactics, and how nice it would be to have someone with military experience around. Hershel makes a case for letting Merle stay partly based on Merle’s military background. Then the writers make sure we know how awesomely military Merle is by having him run up to a car holding a gun, look around, then yell, “CLEAR!” Just make the man a general already!
It would be incredibly cool if Michonne was an actual character on this show and not just a scowling presence that occasionally hits things with a sword. She had a few lines this week and it was startling. Her best was offered to Andrea, who claimed she was trying to save everyone. “I didn’t know the messiah complex was contagious.” The way it was delivered was great, starting out with a neutral tone, then building in venom until the final word.
Saddest campfire ever: sitting on a concrete floor in a prison around a battery-powered lantern. For a second, that scene gave us a great and horrifying glimpse of life in the prison. Cold, desolate, dark, with ominous noises ringing through the fathomless halls of the other cell blocks. You’d constantly be on edge, never knowing if it was other humans sneaking in to massacre your entire family, or walkers breaking through locked doors.
Then it’s all dispelled by Beth singing Waits’ “Hold On.” This was seriously unrealstic – she got through way too many verses without anyone screaming “SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP FOR F@$& SAKE I HAD TO SHOOT MY OWN ZOMBIFIED MOTHER IN THE HEAD YOU STUPID GIRL SHUT UP!” Or maybe that’s just my inner Carl talking. I will say that Beth has a lovely voice, and that prison has wonderful natural reverb.
Oh, Andrea had sex with G Love, but then failed to kill him. Meaning she had sex with him just because. Walking Dead, to make up for all the making out with the Gov scenes, it is going to take a LOT more shots of Andrea tastefully limned in bluish moonlight glimmering through the open window in a way that somehow accentuates both the strength of her taut, well-honed muscles and her sorry what was I talking about again?
I’m fairly certain Gov’s eye injury switched sides during the course of this episode. (Ok, I get that he was looking in a mirror at one point. It’s more amusing to imagine that the people who make Walking Dead are just that inept, though).
Next week looks to be centered on Rick, Carl and Michonne’s road trip, so maybe Michonne will say words and do things in the manner of a human being instead of a prop.