If I had to choose one theme for the last few episodes of The Walking Dead, I think it would have to be anticipation. While there are things that are happening, it feels as if since the series came back from its mid-season break it has been working very hard to build up a lot of suspense rather than actually show a lot of action. In fact, sometimes I just can’t get out of my head the phrase, "there is a war coming." We know that it soon will be Woodbury vs. The Prison and everyone is working hard to prepare for the battle. Now, if they are able to pull this off as successfully as Game of Thrones, it will lead up to one of the best episodes of the series. If they don’t, it will lead to one of the biggest let downs of the series. The good news is while doing this; they are also taking some time to develop characters. This episode more than any revolved around Andrea and the state of her allegiance.
Before we get to that, let's take a look at the state of Rick and his character. In the last few episodes I think that we can safely say that Rick has gone bonkers. The death of Lori and birth of Judith was just enough to push him over the edge and into a world of speaking to and seeing visions of dead people. While in last night's episode, Rick seemed to be a little more normal there were many repercussions of his recent behavior. Both Hershel and Carl had conversations with Rick and the fact that he is not suitable to lead the group anymore. This will likely have one of a few consequences. Either Rick will step aside and let Hershel and Daryl begin to make decisions, or he will be snapped out of his daze and become a strong leader again, or he will not relinquish control and will continue to lead the group down a scary and dangerous path. I think more than anything I hope that he snaps out of it and becomes his usual self again because I miss his strong and powerful leadership. With the "war" and attack from the Governor imminent, they a strong decision make to helm the group, so I hope he and they all take that into account.
At Woodbury, The Governor is preparing for his own attack and as I wrote that, it is really interesting to look at the state of humankind they even in the fate of an apocalypse, people still go to war against each other. The Governor is on a rampage for power and cannot find a way to work with a bunch of strong people to attack the zombies. In fact, there is rarely any talk anymore about how to actually survive the zombie apocalypse other than hiding behind walls and gates. I am also having more and more trouble with the character of the Governor because I know he is the villain, but he is a villain that I only want dead and that seems odd (Good example of the opposite is the Joke in TDK.) He is not necessarily a character I want around. In fact, more than anything his presence is just taking emphasis away from the real villains – the zombies. I wish I was more torn on my allegiance to either side as it would create more conflict as I watch the show, but there is no question in my mind I would rather Woodbury burn and the prison group to survive.
Speaking of torn, this brings us to good ol' annoying Andrea. She truly has taken over the Lori hater’s fan club and in fact, at this point, I wish Lori would come back because I realize how much more I dislike Andrea. For the first time, she found her way back to the prison and with the "friends" and group that she was aligned for so long. I know that she was always a bit of an outsider in the clan, but she still was an important part of it and they were important to her. Now, with a few weeks (I think that it is the correct timeline?) she has completely shifted her alliance. I know that in this situation there would likely be a huge pull to be in the location that has better and more comfortable surroundings, but it doesn't feel like this is the reason she is loyal to Woodbury. It feels like they are trying to show that she is loyal to Philip, but for the life of me I cannot figure out why. He has knowingly lied to her and hurt people that she would rather protect, even within the compound. Carol gives her a suggestion and points out that all she would have to do would be kill the Governor and protect all of Team Rick. Good thinking, right?! Andrea spends the night with him, gets out of bed, pretends she is actually going to do this….and then…..and then….she totally pusses out and lowers her knife. I was so angry at this moment I think I made an audible noise. This plays even more into the anticipation theme, because they wouldn’t let the fight with Woodbury end that easily, but wow, I wish it would.
Another thing that upset me, but I did not want Tyreese and crew to end up on Woodbury's side. I know they need to do anything to survive, but I love “T” am still so angry at Rick for driving them away, I can't help but be sad to see them working against the prison group. Hershel told Rick it was a bad to let them go and if they help Woodbury win, could this really be the biggest thing that he screwed up? We'll have to wait and find out.
When looking back at the episode, there was a lot that happened, but it is just in a slower and more understated manner than we might be used to on this show. However, as I said before, the anticipation is growing and I think we are likely building up to one huge climax and battle. We are also going to have an adventure with Carl, Rick and Michonne next week and I expect (and hope for) quite a few zombie encounters.