Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 3, Episode 11 of AMC's "The Good Wife," titled "I Ain't A Judas."
After last week's gun-riddled showdown at the prison, "The Walking Dead" returned this week to deal with the aftermath of the Governor's attack and a frustrated Andrea's even more frustrating conflict of interest.
The episode opens with a seemingly level-headed Rick who has snapped out of his "Ghost Lori" delusion and declares that they won't be leaving the prison. Hershel is still playing the concerned elder, echoing his feelings from last week's episode that they should flee despite his only having one leg. Merle throws in his two cents from behind bars, warning the survivors that no only will the Governor return, but "he can starve us out if he wanted to."
To make matters worse, the prison is desperately low on supplies and ammo, making Rick's return to reality and leadership even more difficult. Hershel demands that he takes charge, calling him out for saying in Season 2 that "this isn't a Democracy." Conversely, Deputy Carl tells Rick, "You should quit being the leader" before the opening credits, but it doesn't seem like Rick's going to heed his tween's advice.
Back at Woodbury, the Governor and his sidekick Milton are putting a literal infantry together of all able-bodied citizens, including children, in anticipation of a counter-attack from the prison gang (yeah, it's fun to call them that). There, Andrea confronts the Governor -- who has now dropped the faux admiration for her -- and insists that she's "sick of the lies." She wants to go visit her friends, but he forbids it, so she goes to Milton in private to ask him for use of a car. Milton, being the loyal sidekick that he is, spills the beans to the Governor, but is surprised when he tells him to help her with the task. Milton is understandably confused.
On a side note, the Governor might as well be called the "General" at this point as he no longer cares about the comfort and safety of his citizens ... only that they win the war. As he inspects and questions everyone who claims to be inept for battle, I couldn't help but think of Buster in "Arrested Development" as he lists his ailments to the army recruiter ("My [reproductive organ] is shaped like a [lobster claw]") only to be signed up despite it all. Yeah, this guy would even take Buster.
Back at the prison, everyone has Merle on the brain. Glenn confronts Daryl about his discomfort in having him there and even suggests they give him to the Governor as a sacrifice, but Daryl says he's here to stay. Carol also talks to Daryl, but takes a much softer approach, warning him that Merle may be his blood but he isn't "good" for him. The only person who seems interested in talking to Merle is Hershel as the two bond over their amputations and love of bible verses. Michonne, on the other hand, continues to seethe hatred toward Merle even as he's asking her to "let bygones be bygones." But maybe that's just because he interrupted her workout:
Meanwhile, Andrea gets to work making her own zombie "pet" a la Michonne in the woods with Milton so she can walk up to the prison. He holds a walker down while she hacks off his arms and "curbs" his jaw, not unlike a certain scene in "American History X," and just when you think they're going to be overrun by walkers, boom! In comes Tyrese, Sasha and company out of the woods to help them out. They've been wandering the woods since Rick's "Ghost Lori" freakout two episodes ago. Milton agrees to bring them back to Woodbury for safety as Andrea heads off the the prison. As far as her arrival goes, let's just say she might have wanted to bring a white flag along with her.
After a thorough frisking, Andrea gets her first look inside the prison and the nightmarish condistions in which her friends have been living. Carol is the only one who really greets her warmly. Not surprisingly, Glenn, Maggie, Rick, Daryl and Michonne are not amused by her visit. As she is debriefed on all they have lost since the group was split up -- Shane, T-Dog and Lori's deaths as well as the baby's birth -- we realize how much has happened since she ran off with her "Boyfreind," as Rick calls him, the Governor. But Andrea tops that pejorative term herself by calling him "Philip," which makes her seem even more aligned with Team Woodbury. She invokes her stump speech skills from two episodes ago and tells them that peace can be made, that "we can settle this," but her friends know that she's being naive.
As far as Rick's concerned, the Governor is a dead man. He asks Andrea to help them get inside and she says no, using the "innocent people" of Woodbury as an excuse. She encourages them not to challenge the Governor, reminding them that he has an entire town at his disposal, yet she refuses to help them. Michonne, sickened by the betrayal she feels toward Andrea, gives it to her straight: She "chose a warm bed over a friend" by staying at Woodbury. "I didn't realize the messiah complex was contagious," she adds, suggesting that Andrea is more in line with the Governor than she thinks.
But it's Carol that has the most interesting interaction with Andrea at the prison. Realizing that Andrea isn't going to lead a charge into Woodbury or sneak them in, she suggests a less confrontational way to help them out: become a femme fatale. She suggests that Andrea sleep with the Governor and kill him as he slumbers. As Andrea heads back to Woodbury in a car given to her by Rick, it's unclear which side she's going to take, but it is clear that she should practice better car safety:
Finally, back at Woodbury, the Governor welcomes the former prison survivors chased out by Rick and before you know it, he learns that they not only know Rick, but also want revenge. Thanks to Ghost Lori, they think Rick is "some whackjob in a prison" and are more than willing to help the Governor attack him. They're even going to tell him how to get inside the prison!
Later on, Andrea finds the Governor sitting in the dark, drinking while wearing his eyepatch like an evil villain (the only thing he's missing is a cat to stroke slowly). She gives him her unofficial report on the prison: Merle and Michonne are there, the crew is broken and running out of ammo and she came back on her own decision. "Cause you belong here," the Governor says, obviously happy that he allowed Milton to help her go there now that he has all this useful information. They kiss. They have sex. The Governor is asleep. Andrea gets up, naked, and grabs a tiny knife. She hovers over him. Will she put Carol's plan in action? Will she end this TONIGHT?
No. She won't. Because then what would we have to look forward to next week?
As the episode closes, Hershel's youngest daughter serenades the weakened troops with a lovely song, "Hold On," by Tom Waits. The plot of next week's episode is clearly set up: Rick will take Michonne and Carl -- yes, Carl -- to Woodbury on what he merely calls "a run."
"He's ready," Rick says about Carl as he holds Lil' Ass Kicker in his arms. But is he?
What did you think of this week's episode? How much longer can both the prison survivors and the Woodbury survivors coexist? Is Andrea going to be the titular "Judas?" Leave your thoughts in the comments.
"The Walking Dead" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.