The Walking Dead S3E11 – “I Ain’t A Judas” Synopsis
SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t seen Episode 11 “I Ain’t A Judas” then turn back now! We’ll be revealing major plot points of the episode throughout the review.
Previously on The Walking Dead…
The end to last week’s explosive episode (S3E10 Home) has sparked off an ultimate fight for survival for Rick and his band of survivors, and the Governor has exacted merciless vengeance with his attack on the prison. After a furious gunfight, a van full of zombies crashes through the gates of the prison, unloading the undead walkers in a storm of terrible gnawing jaws and undead flesh.
The Gov. leaves after inflicting chaos, forcing the survivors to fight for their lives against a horde of biting, gnashing zombies, and a proper battle ensues. Michonne slices and dices with her whirling blade of death, leaving a trail of severed heads and limbs in her wake.
Daryl and Merle join the fray as well, and work together to save Rick as he’s about to be overrun by three walkers. The episode closes with the band forging stronger bonds survival as they strive to work together for a common goal: survival.
Live to Fight Another Day
Episode 11 starts off with our group of survivors arguing on whether or not they should leave the prison. Ever since the Gov’s ruthless attack, many of them don’t feel safe any more. Merle has joined the group as well, and offers some surprisingly sage advice–advice that is, of course, flavored with his caustic persona.
Merle is the only one who really knows the Gov, as he has spent considerable time as the Governor’s lieutenant and right-hand man. While Michonne did fight the Gov hand-to-hand after slaying his zombie daughter, she doesn’t know exactly what he’s capable of…something that Merle knows all too well.
It’s interesting to see Merle in a position of actual usefulness, as up until this point he’s been a savage and cruel malcontent who’s bent on spreading chaos. Now that he’s with Rick and the others, though, he becomes an asset, as he’s keyed into the Gov’s twisted mind.
- Merle makes good use of his military training, something that we’ve learned about the crass survivor.
Merle’s perspective does prompt angry responses from the others, but he does have good and valid points, and it’s interesting to see someone actually add a different–albeit sardonic and quite acidic–perspective to the situations faced by the group.
While Herschel wants to leave, Merle counters with the fact that the Gov will indefinitely have scouts along every exit route out of the prison. The Governor has an intimidating force at his beck and call; he has manpower, guns, and the cunning of a fierce predator, making him one of the most dangerous enemies living or dead.
Fear motivates Herschel to confront Rick and reason with him. Herschel argues that the group needs a solid plan, a solid course of action, and that ever since Rick assumed the position of authority, that it’s his responsibility to do something. They all look to him, trust in his judgement, and he is their leader.
We’ve seen Rick start to slip into the dark depths of guild-ridden psychosis, with vivid auditory and visual hallucinations of his dead wife Lori, but Herschel tries to wake him up and snap him out of it–their lives may be at stake.
And the Gov is just getting started. “Just ringing the door-bell” as Merle put it. The deadly game of cat and mouse is on, and our group may have to be even more ruthless than the Gov himself in order to survive–and they may have to do things they never thought they could do just to eliminate the threat.
The Gov’s attack is not only brutal in its physicality, but its a psychological attack as well. He’s instilled an element of fear in the group, which he most likely counts on to divide them and make them weak. It’s interesting to see that in a world where the dead walk, its the living that are more dangerous–words that Michonne has lived by for quite some time.
The psychological threat instills a phantom fear of being watched, of not knowing what’s coming next, and brings a sense of anxiety and paralyzing fear that spreads like a plague. If the group wants to survive, they may have to level the playing field and stoop as low as the Governor–or even lower.
Back at Woodbury, Your Friendly Neighborhood Town
Meanwhile back at Woodbury, the Governor is planning on arming his citizens and training them to make a militia of sorts for his deadly game of war. For manpower he is even conscripting adolescent boys and girls, hoping to make a considerable force of soldiers out of scared denizens who want nothing more than to survive and live in peace.
It appears that the Gov’s fierce will isn’t bothered by putting virtually all of his people in harms way as tools of death. Fueled by rage and malice inflicted by the slaying of his late zombie daughter Penny at the hands (or sword) of Michonne, he is blinded by the pain.
The only one who can somewhat temper his refined cruelty is Andrea, who has always been able to somewhat reason with him. Although she has been played many times by the Gov, Andrea still has his ear, and is sometimes able to sway–or at least affect–his decisions.
Andrea confronts the Gov about the events at the prison, and he feeds her a fantastic story of deceit that beggars belief, shrugging off guilt and pledging innocence. Andrea knows him all too well to believe his words, and still presses hard, looking for a way to resolve the situation.
The Gov is slowly manipulating Andrea and trying to win her over to his side–another little victory that he’ll lord over his enemies–but she still has some loyalty to them, regardless of her caring for the denizens of Woodbury. She is ardent in her belief that negotiations can be made between the warring factions, and that peace can be attained.
This is impossible as long as the Governor lives, of course…but since Andrea is somewhat blinded from her previous affection for him, she doesn’t want to see him dead, regardless of how many people’s lives it may save.
Oddly enough, the war effort has revitalized the town of Woodbury. Now they have a common enemy, and the whole town is busy making fortifications and training.
Woodbury is changing, and the town is unified in a common goal.
Andrea isn’t going to give up her quest to talk to Rick and the others at the prison, and after talking to the Gov about going there (and being denied), she turns to the Governor’s be-speckled scientist Milton. Andrea appeals to Milton’s sense of decency and professionalism, however his fear of the Governor far outweighs anything else.
Milton betrays Andrea’s confidence and tells the Gov of her request for help. The Governor gives Milton the go-ahead, and sends him to help Andrea escape. Now that she’s out of Woodbury he has no one to resist his plans–or to temper his malice.
It’s a Small World After All
Along their journey to the prison, Andrea and Milton come across Tyreese and his group, who are travel-weary and hungry. Seeing two well-dressed people without much gear suggests that a camp is nearby, and after asking, Andrea tells them of Woodbury.
Hope gleams in the eyes of Tyreese’s party, and Milton offers to take them back, leaving Andrea on her own. The others head back to town, and Andrea treks onward, finally reaching the perimeter of the prison. She’s recognized by Maggie, who informs the others, and they all come out to meet her…yet her welcome is less than warm.
Rick treats her like an enemy, pinning her against the fence and searching her. Fear has changed the group, especially Rick, and they see Andrea as the beginning of some psychological trick–one of the Gov’s twisted maneuvers.
Despite her previous ties with everyone in the group, Andrea is looked upon with a suspicious eye by the survivors. She learns of Shane’s fate, of Lori’s death, and how T-Dog met his demise in the depths of the prison. Andrea also learns the truth of the shootout, exposing the Governor’s bald-faced lie.
Her plead for peace falls upon deaf ears: Rick has none of it, lamenting that they will kill the Governor, who has terrorized them since the shootout. Andrea’s coming does have it’s uses, though, as she informs her ex-compatriots of Woodbury’s developments and how the people are planning for an all-out war.
Andrea continues to try to reason with them, saying that there’s plenty of room at Woodbury for everyone…however she is still blinded by her feelings for Philip (the Gov). She doesn’t know him for what he truly is: a psychopath who’s only held in check by his refined cunning.
Michonne and Andrea discuss matters further, and Michonne upholds Rick’s sentiments that the Governor is a cruel and malicious man. Michonne continues by saying Andrea is under his spell, and that Andrea’s desire for a normal life skewed her perception and perspective.
Michonne also reveals a nasty little tidbit about Philip to Andrea, that he sent Merle to kill Michonne, and that he would have killed Andrea if she had come along as well. This shocks Andrea, who is still clinging to the good aspects of the man she thought she knew.
At this point Andrea is at a crossroads. She has to choose who she wants to side with, because a war is coming,and there’s nothing she can do about it.
Tyreese and his group arrive at Woodbury, and are taken in by the false hospitality of the Gov. If anything, Philip is a great liar, and his silver tongue has won over the new arrivals with promises of food, shelter, and a new life.
The plot thickens when the group mentions Rick during the conversation, sparking the Gov’s interest. As Milton (and Andrea) have never seen Tyreese and his group before, they had no clue of their previous encounter with Rick’s survivors at the prison.
All the members of Tyreese’s group offer to join the Governor’s cause if it means that they can stay at Woodbury, and they choose to fight against Rick out of desperation. They have been living on the road as starving nomads for far too long, and the prospect of a town with food and shelter is something they will fight for.
Since the group has been inside the prison before, Milton tries to kindle their memory in order to get an idea of what the grounds are like, potentially giving the Governor an advantage.
The Beginning of the End
Andrea is almost on her way out to return to Woodbury, but she wants to see Judith before she goes. Carol is holding Judith, and converses with Andrea. During their discussion Carol reveals a way that Andrea could end it all before anyone else gets hurt–to defeat the Gov in a way that only a woman can: to sleep with him, and them kill him while he’s sleeping.
Andrea keeps this in mind, and ultimately when the opportunity presents itself, she can’t bring herself to do it. Maybe it’s that she’s too much of a decent person to cut someone’s throat as they slept…however Michonne may be right.
She might be in his spell after all…
Be sure to catch the next episode of The Walking Dead at 9/8c on AMC. For more information including pictures, clips, and sneak peeks at next week’s episode, visit AMC’s official website.