This is as much of a recap as a review, so be warned: here there be SPOILERS . . .
After a stellar episode last week, this week we were treated to a solid, plot-driven show that worked really well. I think The Walking Dead has done a stellar job of positioning themselves for an epic finale this season, and this most recent episode was a huge step forward in that regard.
There wasn't a wealth of action, but a lot happened in "I Ain't a Judas", and the looming struggle between our merry band of survivors at the prison and The Governor's brood in Woodbury is definitely gaining steam. This episode did a great job of setting the stage for the coming showdown, with an emphasis on Woodbury's considerable might. We know that The Governor is a cowardly killer, but he's also a hell of a politician, and he has his people wrapped around his little finger. Their numbers are superior and they are better-armed, and now that they're being trained for combat, things aren't looking good for Rick and the gang.
However, back at the prison, Rick rebounds in style after a few choice words from Carl. The prison gang may be outnumbered, but they've got their leader back, and their leader is a true badass. When Rick is at his best, this show is at its best, and I liked seeing Rick push his demons aside and take charge in last night's episode. Hershel still wants to run, but Rick knows that fleeing with a baby and a cripple in tow is a sure recipe for disaster. Making a stand at the prison isn't much better, but Rick has a plan. We don't know exactly what his plan is as of yet, but when Rick isn't seeing ghosts he's remarkably trustworthy.
Andrea actually seemed a bit more like herself for once, and I applauded her determination as she made it clear that she wasn't willing to accept The Governor's terse explanation for last week's shootout. She wanted to hear from her old friends at the prison, and she did just that. However, asking Milton to lend her an assist was incredibly foolish. After all, who didn't see that double-cross coming, and The Governor's instructions for Milton (after Milton revealed Andrea's plot, The Governor told him to help) made it clear that he has a double-cross of his own in store for Andrea. Of course, we already knew that. Hell, it only took Michonne about thirty seconds to figure The Governor out, and Andrea remains the only person out there who is completely powerless in the face of his bullshit. Yet she went back to the prison and had a little reunion of sorts, though she was awful quick to leave after seeing how weak her former allies are at present and how unwelcome she was in their midst.
After Andrea left, Rick put Daryl and Hershel in charge and revealed that he's going off on some sort of mission with Michonne and Carl. I think he picked a nice squad, and I'm eager to see what they're heading off to do.
Andrea got a choice piece of advice from Carol before leaving the prison. Carol (in a bit of a surprise given her character's meek nature) told Andrea to give The Governor a five star lay and murder him in his sleep. The close of "I Ain't no Judas" attempted to tease such an outcome, and even if having Andrea consider such a move is a strong indication that on some level she does see her precious Phillip for what he is, no one really thought she would go through with it. Her decision to let him sleep peacefully (if he was truly asleep; I'm sure I wasn't the only one expecting him to pop up and break her arm) was expected. I actually liked seeing her anguish as the show drew to a close; it's as though she realizes that Michonne is right. She's selling her soul for a warm bed.
This show was a bit light on action, but it was a solid entry that advanced the plot and heightened the tension as Season 3 gains speed. I'm really starting to believe that we're heading for an epic conclusion. Also, while I still favor the ultimate villain known as The Governor in the comics, the show's more political, conniving version of the character is finally gaining traction.
Other meaningful bits included Tyreese and company being welcomed into Woodbury and telling The Governor all about their encounter with Rick at the prison. They did so while making it perfectly clear that they were willing to do anything in exchange for a place in Woodbury. Also, Merle is now part of our merry band of survivors at the prison, but Rick made it clear that Daryl is responsible for him. And I think that's about it. There's a war coming, fans of The Walking Dead, and I think it's going to be quite the spectacle.
See you next week!