A Cross to Bear

Season 3 Episode 11 “I Ain’t a Judas”

The Episode

Andrea steps into the spotlight this week with her stubborn desire to make everyone get along. As the only person right now managing to maintain relationships with both sides, she has become vital to each. But she will find it no easy task as she comes to find that both sides are unwilling to compromise.

It’s my belief that Andrea is the subject of this episode’s title. If you’re not familiar with who Judas was, he was the traitor to Jesus. As Andrea tries to reason with both sides, she walks the line of also being a Judas to them. First, she argues with The Governor about going to the prison. She wants to resolve the issues and prevent anymore fighting, but The Governor doesn’t want her to go and tells her to stay there if she does. When she persists and seeks out Milton to help her, The Governor gives his consent. At this point, The Governor most likely assumes she’s going to comply and not come back.

Andrea’s trip to the prison is no happy reunion. She’s greeted with guns pointed at her and a rough frisking before Rick gives her a cold “welcome back”. She’s given the rundown on what happened from the farm to present. She even learns the truth about what some of The Governor has done. Michonne is the coldest of all to her. Michonne makes no apologies for what she did at Woodbury and tells her former friend that she chose a warm bed over a friend, ouch. In a real surprise move, Carol asks Andrea to end this whole thing by seducing The Governor with a night of passion and then killing him as he sleeps. Holy hell Carol….you are not messing around anymore. This is a step into a whole new Carol, one that does not shy from a dead body or two or three, etc.

Andrea still cares very much for her old friends, and I think this request to end things is a truly difficult choice. She could be their savior right now, and The Governor’s Judas. Or she could be with The Governor and all Woodbury has to offer and be the prison’s Judas. At first it looks as though she will be the former, as she retrieves a knife Rick gives her from her clothes and hovers over The Governor while he sleeps. We don’t know at this moment if she is going to go through with it, but I’ll spoil it and she doesn’t. She told Michonne earlier that she wanted to save everyone. It looks as though she’s going to continue that route and thus not be anyone’s Judas.

heavenly white sky

There’s a lot of holy talk this episode besides the title. Michonne tells Andrea she’s caught the “Messiah complex” from The Governor. And Hershel quotes the Bible to Merle as he gets to know him. The Bible quote he reads to Merle is Matthew 5:29-30. It reads:

“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

You could take this literally about either Hershel’s leg or Merle’s hand, but the meaning is actually deeper. The eye is a metaphor. In the Bible it can often be a metaphor for having evil desires. And plucking it out is a metaphor for abandoning or removing those evil desires from yourself. Yes, I did spend a lot of time in Catholic and Christian schools growing up. But what Hershel is saying to Merle is he believes he can change and be a part of their group. Merle does take this to heart by trying to make nice with Michonne and apologize sort of for what he did to her, although in Merle’s way he does pass the buck to The Governor, better than nothing though. It’s progress.

What’s up next for our group? While they wait to see what happens with Andrea back at Woodbury, Rick is going to take Carl and Michonne on a run. And it is a run that just happens to be one of the greatest episodes of the show. Can’t wait to talk about it next week.

Best of the Episode

pile of logs in the woods

Andrea’s walker repellent. When Andrea and Milton set out for the prison, Andrea decides they need a walker to use as protection from other walkers. In a very violent and gruesome scene, Milton holds down the walker as Andrea hacks off its arms. Then, to top it off, she forces the walker to bite a rock as she head stomps it to break its jaw. It’s one of those scenes that kind of makes you go, “stop it, I’ve seen enough!”

Beth’s song. Actress Emily Kinney is also a singer/songwriter with a beautiful voice. She gets to display that only a few times during the show, which could easily have been a very annoying thing except it was done very naturally and fit the mood. This scene is my favorite. At the end of the episode, she sings Tom Waits’ song “Hold On”. The title is fitting to what our groups is going through at the moment and Beth is trying to give her group something pleasant to unwind at the end of a very hard day. And as the show moves from the prison to Andrea at Woodbury, the song also transitions into the original Tom Waits version. It’s beautifully done.

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