‘The Walking Dead’: Andrea and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

The Walking Dead
March 17, 2013

We begin with a flashback? for some reason? Of Andrea and Michonne and Michonne’s armless escorts out in the woods, bonding over cans of beans. Andrea tries to ask Michonne about her pets: where did she find them? Did Michonne hunt them down? Were they people she knew? But Michonne is not her usual chatty self and declines to answer, noting that they deserve what they got, and weren’t human to begin with so enough with the chit chat.

In present-day Woodbury, The Governor bolts Michonne’s pets’ chains to some poles in a torture basement, which I’m certain he intends to use with only the best, most kind, non-rapey intentions.

Outside, The Governor’s minions (shall we call them The Legislature?) are loading guns and more guns and then some bigger guns onto trucks while Poindexter and Andrea look on, mortified, because they are idiots who believed The Governor when he told them that he had made a “truce” with Team Prison, all the while sneering maniacally and telepathing at deafening levels that by “truce” he meant “kill everyone inside the prison, including the kid and The Baby because I am a monster, you idiots.”

While that is happening outside, The Governor busies himself in his happyfuntimes room, by going full Dead Ringers and laying out a bunch of surgical? dental? gynecological — is that a SPECULUM? tools while Poindexter watches. Poindexter urges The Governor to let go of his vendetta against Michonne, but The Governor counters by asking Poindexter if he still believes that the walkers retain something of who they originally were. When Poindexter replies that he does, The Governor is all, Welp, by that logic, Michonne killed my daughter and, ipso facto, I’m going to kill her.

So Poindexter finds Andrea and explains that the so-called truce that The Governor asked for is Michonne’s head on a stick. And what Andrea needs to do is go to the prison and warn everyone to leave because even if Rick gives him Michonne, The Governor plans on killing everyone in the prison. To illustrate his point, Poindexter leads Andrea to an upstairs room that looks down upon The Governor’s Dead Ringers/Marathon Man room, which The Governor happens to wander into to fiddle with his toys for a while. Andrea levels her gun at him, but Poindexter stops her, because he is the only one between of the two of them who has a brain in his head. Andrea doesn’t understand why Poindexter is protecting The Governor, and aside from the obvious point that if she were to kill The Governor, The Legislature would turn around and kill her and then go kill everyone at the prison and so it would all be a big bloody mess of pointless, Poindexter explains that he knew The Governor before he was “The Governor,” and that he still believes that the good man he once knew is still in there somewhere. (Get it? Just like the walkers? DEEP.) And with that, Andrea decides in fact, she will go on ahead and make her way to the prison, kbai.

Andrea heads down Woodbury Ave. only to be stopped by State Senator Martinez who demands she relinquish her guns and other weapons. For her own “safety.” She gives up her gun, but insists that she doesn’t have any knives on her, which is such a brazen, obvious lie that it’s like State Senator Martinez must want her to keep her knife, but whatever, Plot. Andrea is then approached by The Governor who asks her to join him the next day when he confronts Rick. Sure! she says. Why not! she says.

Meanwhile, on one of the exits to town, that Tyreese guy and his sister stand guard and take practice shots at a walker stumbling around beneath them: Tyreese? Not such a good shot. Andrea approaches the pair and mumbles something about a security breech on the other side of town, and how they’re needed down there. But Tyreese and Tyreese’s Sister are like, “Uh, no? I don’t think so?” So, Andrea is like, “Listen, I’m just going to level with you, I’m getting outta here. The Governor is a crazy person who has done a bunch of terrible things and you should just come with me, seriously.” Tyreese and Tyreese’s Sister are all, “Thanks but no thanks, we’re cool right here with the shelter and the food and the guns.” But they don’t stop her from leaving, despite knowing that they probably should.

Because soon enough, they are being questioned by The Governor regarding Andrea’s exit, and being fed lies about how she was out in the wilderness for the entire winter before he found her. The Governor then sends them out with The Legislature to “lend a hand with something,” before finding Poindexter and slamming him against a nearby wall for telling Andrea about using Michonne as a bargaining chip. Because she was never going to find out about that otherwise.

So Tyreese’s group meets outside to wait for their instructions, and some guy who The Walking Dead‘s wiki is telling me is named “Allen,” yells at Tyreese about jeopardizing their relationship with The Governor, and something about Tyreese embarrassing Allen in front of his wife and son? Something about Tyreese saving Allen’s wife and becoming her hero (that is, until he shot her in the prison before she could turn, yikes)? I don’t know, Backstory. The point is: these two have History.

And so, State Senator Martinez and Congressman Other Guy drive Tyreese and his group out to a walker pit, point to a horse trailer, and are like, “load ’em up!” Tyreese and his group finally get what is happening here: Team Woodbury is going to attack Team Prison with “biters,” and Tyreese is shocked! Simply shocked! Someone get him some pearls to clutch, quickly! Allen, however, resents Tyreese making trouble for their group again, and unwisely attempts to fight Tyreese, which ends with Tyreese dangling Allen over the walker pit until Tyreese’s Sister urges Tyreese to let him go. State Senator Martinez, irritated, has Congressman Other Guy drive them back to Woodbury, as they are clearly unable to do the one simple thing asked of them, SIGH.

Meanwhile, Andrea runs straight down the road to the prison. Running to the prison, running to the prison, running to the prison. At one point, she hears a truck approaching, and hides in the woods only to be attacked by a rabble of walkers, which she manages to dispatch with nothing more than her rather smallish knife, quick reflexes and her wits — the same wits that kept her in Woodbury this entire time. BUT WHATEVER.

Later, out in a field with nothing to protect her, The Governor and his pickup truck find Andrea. Running through the field, running through the field, running through the field, and Andrea makes it to the safety of some nearby woods, butjustbarely.

As night begins to fall, Andrea finds an abandoned warehouse of some sort; hooray! But she is quickly followed inside by The Governor; boo. Inside, the two play a long game of hide and seek, while The Governor pleads with Andrea to return to Woodbury. When this doesn’t work, The Governor busts the place up with a shovel, because: rage issues. The Governor nearly pins her into a corner, when he’s suddenly distracted by a noise in the opposite direction. While he is busy dispatching a few errant walkers, Andrea finds herself a stairwell full of them. And that’s when The Governor appears behind her; yikes! But Andrea just cold opens the stairwell door, releasing a flood of walkers onto The Governor, and manages, somehow, to slip behind the door, unnoticed. And so, while The Governor swats away the flood of walkers, Andrea wanders out of the warehouse, free and clear.

Meanwhile, back at Woodbury’s walker pit, someone (Poindexter, obvs) douses the whole thing with gasoline and sets it ablaze. The walkers, the walkers, the walkers are on fire! We don’t need no water, let the motherbiters burn! Burn, motherbiters, burn!

Finally that morning an exhausted Andrea comes within sight of the prison and is waving to Rick in the watchtower when EEP! The Governor appears out of nowhere and grabs her. Rick clearly senses something or someone is out there, and looks through his scope, but, nope! he sees nothing.

The Governor returns to Woodbury and tells everyone that he lost Andrea, oh well! Thems the breaks! State Senator Martinez tells The Governor about the burnt walkers, on whom he blames Tyreese and his group.

So The Governor talks to Tyreese’s group, assuring them that they didn’t find Andrea and that the walkers in the pit are merely a scare tactic, what, you thought he would attack The Baby with walkers? Come on, he’s not a monster. Tyreese reaffirms their committment to the Woodbury group, promising that “it” won’t happen again. The Governor accepts this, and on his way out asks where Tyreese, et al, got the gasoline. Gasoline? they ask. Do what now? OH NOTHING, The Governor smirks as he heads outside to find Poindexter and hiss at him that he knows it was him, Fredo.

And as for Andrea, she’s getting to spend a little quiet time in The Governor’s dental happyfuntimes chair, thinking about why she’s being punished.

Sorry for the delay, guys. Seems your Walking Dead blogger has contracted Walking Pneumonia (that or I’m turning into a biter — stay tuned to the local news, and if you hear that I’ve been eating people’s faces, I suggest you go stock up on ammunition and canned goods), and I’ve been moving in slow motion thanks to a fog of muscle pain and decongestants. That, plus I’m very confounded by my feelings about this episode. So, am I rooting for Andrea to not be killed now? Just a week ago, I was ready for Andrea to be set upon by a hoarde of walkers and maybe Daryl’s crossbow, just for good measure. But now I don’t want that anymore?

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I mean, sure, it took Andrea long enough to stop being so dumb, so very very dumb, but she’s back in our good graces again, isn’t she? That’s what just happened in this episode, right? You know what, let me quit asking and just flat-out tell you: We like Andrea again, for what it’s worth. Also, Poindexter. We also like Poindexter now. Because go on with your bad self, Poindexter.

On the one hand, I want to be mad at them both for taking SO LONG to figure out that The Governor is a monster behind his mask — how many gladiator battles and ice cream trucks filled with walkers and friend near-rapes and closet walker daughters does it take, honestly? But on the other, I guess we’re supposed to accept (though it was never really shown) that The Governor had a certain seductive charm that, combined with the security afforded by Woodbury and the concern for other, more innocent citizens of the compound made it more difficult for Andrea, much less Poindexter, to just pick up and leave.

I would argue that the writers would have been better off making The Governor actually likable in the beginning, showing us only the public face for several episodes. The reason Andrea became so unlikable was because we as the audience could never understand why she was making what seemed like obvious terrible choices again and again to be with this monster. However, if we had liked him ourselves before learning that he had tanks of heads and a sadistic personality, we might have been more inclined to be sympathetic to Andrea and her decisions and not wanted to see her be eaten by walkers. It’s called, “Show, don’t tell,” writers, and it’s something you all should be familiar with by now, come on.

But I suppose in the end what matters is that after weeks of wanting to strangle her, we no longer want to see Andrea in that dental chair, or for anything to happen to nebbish, seemingly-but-not-really-weak-kneed Poindexter, for that matter. Which, of course, is exactly why something very terrible is going to happen to either one or both of them in the next two episodes, because this is The Walking Dead, not RuPaul’s Best Friend Race.

So, have you forgiven Andrea yet?

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. on AMC.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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