Hey, is tonight the night when we all finally stop hating Andrea? Is this the episode where she stops going full Andrea? SPOILER ALERT: Nope. I have never wished to stone-stomp a living being as much as I did after watching this damn show. [Not really. I ain't American History X up in here.]
And wowee, was this a gory episode in places! MY FAVE. Let’s break this shizz down, folks!
Our band of survivors are clashing about the Governor situation: should they stay or should they go? If they go there will be trouble [Walkers] and if they stay it will be double [Woodbury army + Walkers]. But Daryl ain’t skeert! He got the bumper sticker of Calvin pissin’ on a Woodbury City Limits sign to prove it. Merle hops in with his life’s motto: CYA, and they shoulda C’d last night. Now it’s too late, so buckle down and get ready to die fighting.
He’s always a breath of fresh air, Merle.
Rick remembers…things that need tending, so he staggers around to leave, pissing off Hershel. Finally. Hershel yells at him to nut up, bub and make a decision. Uh, he did, Hershel: he chose ….things.
Rick scours the tree line for the wife he wanted to divorce when Carl shows up. Goddammit, Carl, you have just become a young man this season. He calmly tells his dad that maybe he should stop saying he’s the leader. Take a rest. Sit out a few plays, Champ. It’s the apocalypse version of a teenager telling his dad to stop wearing concert tees and saying “Cool, man!” The kid’s right, but it hurts to hear.
Back in Woodbury, Milton, the Smither’s to the Gov’s Mr. Burns, and the Gov pore over their recent census to figure out how to move forward with their latest plan, Operation: Stand Behind the Elderly. Well, there’s the infirm, too, they’ll make good bullet cover, don’t forget them!
Andrea bursts in, posturing like she’s anyone to be reckoned with (this actress is making me crazy, which is unfortunate, because I liked her in The Shield), and the Gov is so clearly amused by how stupid she’s being, he uses his glass of scotch to bury a laugh as he says – all mocking and shitty – “Why, they shot at us, first! Self-defense.”
She tells him she just wants to go see her buds over at the prison, how about it, huh? He coolly tells her that if she walks out that door, she better make sure it hits her where the good Lord split her. And this woman is STILL trying to make things right with this a-hole. My head has a permanent bruise from banging it.
Outside, Martinez is being yelled at by Karen McCall [so I think this means she wasn't the one driving the van of Walkers, which pleases me] because her son – who is being recruited in the
KISS Woodbury Army – has asthma, and when it’s too hot and humid, his corns get throbby and he has a touch of scoliosis in his spine, so throwing grenades will wrench too many bones. Also, he has very brittle bones (lactose intolerant) and if he doesn’t get nasal spray at every 3.67 hours, he gets stuffy and finds it difficult to breath. Not to mention his corrective shoes with the orthopedic inserts.
Her son blows his nose and looks over at Martinez with rheumy eyes, a dripping nose and a gaping mouth, and Martinez wonders how the hell this kid survived in the first place.
Back at the prison, Glenn reminds everyone that he hates Merle’s guts and Daryl acknowledges that, but insists his brother is staying. Hershel good-guys it over to Merle’s cell to have a little scripture chase with him, and we learn that Merle can actually read! Merle thinks it’s terrific how they’re all nice, but the Gov is coming, and he’s going to kill Merle first, then Michonne and Daryl. Then Hershel’s daughters, and then Glenn and Hershel. Then he’s going to find every rat in the walls and kill them. There will be bug bombs and flyswatters employed, those racoons out in the tool shed will be dealt with and then – then – Rick will be killed. So be prepared to fight that sort of monster. Merle bites off the end of the duct tape he’s been reinforcing his knife-hand with and that’s that.
PROTIP: Duct tape better be in your survival kit. Along with condoms, maxi-pads and tampons, condoms, and yo yos. (When else are you going to have enough time to learn how to Walk the Dog? Also, that’s a lot of condoms.)
Speaking of the Gov, he’s outside looking over his future troops. One old lady with claws for hands gets a pass on shooting practice. “We’ll find another way to use your talents,” the Gov says, flicking a glance to Martinez. Le gasp! They’re not shooting at straw-filled dummies, it seems. (They should have added that element, right?)
Karen stands defiantly behind her son, reminding everyone of his asthma. The kid mouth breathes and pushes his glasses up and asks if he can have someone carry his head gear on the battle field, because his mother gets very angry when he forgets to wear it at night. Also, he would appreciate a restock on his Vicks VapoRub, because this Atlanta heat is like, Africa, hot and it’s so stuffy, his sinuses are in agony. When is snack time? Because if his blood sugar gets too low, he gets cranky and has hunger migraines.
Carol and Daryl have a highly emotional reunion where they smile shyly at each other for about ten seconds. Then Carol says, “I know he’s your brother, but he’s not good for you.” She’s right. And let’s all take a moment to appreciate how damn far this character has come. (Andrea? TAKE A PAGE OUT OF HER BOOK.)
Andrea, because she is the most short-sighted of all (and that includes Karen’s Very Special Little Boy and his coke-bottle glasses), tells Milton that she’s sneaking out and needs his help to execute an elaborate plan. WOW, LADY. Smithers is all nervous and sketchy and finally agrees and then straight up turns her in to the Gov. Gov says, “My, my, let the little lady fly,” and then sits back on his web of lies and steeples his fingers. “Excellent.”
Before Milton got there, though, there was an awesome shot of the Gov taking off his bandage, looking at his weeping eye hole (gah!! Such good special effects makeup!) and then going Full Villain by slipping on a black eye patch. He needs a mustache to twirl or a bald head to complete the look.
Andrea and Renfield, I mean, Milton, head out. I like that Milton is wearing his special zombie—mithril shirt. They find a Walker, Andrea jumps him, gets Milton to lay on top of him while she go on an’ do her bidness, her bidness being the chopping off of arms and de-fanging the Biters. (And business is booming!) She wedges a rock under its mouth and curb stomps him. It takes a few tries and we see it all in close up. That. Was. Awesome.
She gets her Nana Grabber (Mr. Cutenheimer the kitty cat just loves tuna from the can, but they’re on the top shelf!) around the Walker’s neck when another one strolls in. She hatchets its face and then another one strolls by. Luckily, Tyrese, Sascha, and the White Menace are in the neighborhood and Tyrese is all STOP: Hammer Time!
Andrea goes, “Hai Frands! We have a city and you can come to it and we’ll BBQ, check Y/Y?” Milton, now stuck, says he’ll take the group to the city and leave Andrea to do her…thing. “Walking my Walker, get it?” No one laughs, Andrea, because no one likes you.
In the prison, Michonne is busting some P90X core synergistics when Merle decides it’s time for them to be buddies. Why, sure, he tried to kill her, but she tried to kill him to, so even Steven? He was just following orders, after all. When she likens that to the Gestapo, he’s ridiculously pleased she made the connection. You gotta admire how upfront Merle is with what he is. She, uh, doesn’t confirm their new BFF-ship.
Andrea, with her jawless, armless friend, approaches the prison. Carl and Maggie see her and rally the troops. Rick yells out, “Are you alone?” She grunts and pushes her guy to the gate, hatcheting any Walkers that get close and doesn’t respond to Rick. Which means that when she’s let in, she’s treated like an enemy: weapons taken, body searched, bag removed. So she’s thinking that the Gov was right about these people all along: they’re broken and cruel.
Protip: When approaching unknown, hostile territory and someone calls out to state your business, STATE YOUR DAMN BUSINESS.
Michonne sees her, is shocked and probably a lot angry. I don’t blame her. Carol, however, welcomes her with a big old hug. She’s the only one. A lot went down while Andrea was having warm showers and frisbee golf tournaments, after all. She’s so out of the loop that she even asks about Shane.
Know what I realized? (Yeah, I’m slow.) That the Gov is Shane with actual power. Shane, if he’d been successful in killing Rick, would have become the Governor. So Andrea’s got a type.
She tries to sell them a time share to Woodbury, but they’re not buying. Rick explains in simple terms that she’s a gullible dope and bought into the lies. But…but…they can all live in harmony? And peace? Michonne actually laughs at that, because she knows better. Andrea wants a treaty, or something (which should be a clue that things are wrong, Andrea) but our group isn’t willing to hear anything Gov has to say. She wasted her time.
Outside, Andrea and Michonne have the talk they needed to have a while back. Michonne says that Merle was sent to kill her after she left, and if Andrea had come too, Merle would have been instructed to off Andrea, as well. The whole reason why she even came back was for Andrea, but Andrea’s so under the Gov’s spell, she wouldn’t listen. “But you didn’t come with me. You chose a warm bed over a friend. I went back to expose him knowing it would hurt you.” Well, well, Andrea, how is that house of lies you’ve built up around yourself faring now?
In Woodbury, Tyreese’s group accidentally reveal that they just left the prison and that Rick is “unhinged.” Alan and Ben – ugh, they’re so two dimensional – are ready to put a knife in Rick’s face, which pleases the Gov. But let’s not talk of ugly things, y’all go get your rest and we’ll see to getting a detailed map of the prison from your memory tomorrow. Looks like the Gov has a few new soldiers, ones that can actually throw something with a stiff wrist.
Carol, because she’s AMAZING, has a sweet and tender moment with Andrea and Lil Asskicker, showing how loving and maternal she is. And then tells Andrea to fuck the Gov’s brains out that night and kill him. Yes. YES. La Femme Nikita that jackass, Andrea, redeem yourself! Andrea is still hung up on Shane, wanting to know his deal. Well, he tried to kill Rick.
“But he loved Rick!” Andrea argues.
“Shane loved Lori,” Carol says. So…how you feeling about sleeping with another man that was wishing you were someone else, Andrea? (That was way harsh, Tai.)
Rick gives her back her gun and a knife and sends her on her way. And the dummy doesn’t even use the Crown Vic Rick gave her to drive over some of the Walkers on her way out of the gate.
Protip: If given the opportunity to reduce the Zed population, take it.
She pulls up that night at Woodbury and eventually is let back inside. At the prison, Beth starts singing a lovely song (and I really liked the camera focusing in on Maggie and Glenn during the line “if you share my bed, you share my name.” Aww, they’re the best apocalypse couple ever.), Rick and the boys talk about him going on a run in the morning with Michonne and Carl, and Andrea goes to the Gov’s chambers.
She can’t say anything beyond, “You were right, they’re broken,” because she’s terrified, but he guesses that she came back because she belongs with him. He chin tilts her into a kiss and now here comes ALL OF MY PUKING. We’re spared the actual act of boinking (medical term) to see her stand up as the Gov’s out cold in his bed. Let me say something nice: she has an amazing body. She has an amazingly bad brain (the character).
She’s completely naked, which let’s give her props for attempting to murder someone in the nude. That’s Eastern Promises Viggo Mortensen levels of hard core, right there. She quietly steals across the room to her things, withdraws the knife, goes to stand over him and….DOES NOTHING. I would have been happy with him opening his good eye, smiling dirty, and grabbing her wrist. “Gotcha.” Nope. She just stares at him, unable to end the war. GOD DAMMIT ANDREA.
And next week she’s turned into a shooting practice dummy. HUSH LA LA LA I CAN DREAM. Ugh.