The Walking Dead recap: Die Ugly

Andrea pays a visit to her old friends. They aren't too happy to see her.
Ep. 11 | Aired Feb 24, 2013

FARMER'S DAUGHTER Like Rick and The Governor, Maggie is actually played by a British person. But it's interesting to point out that almost nobody from the Walking Dead cast is actually from the South. The few exceptions are Scott Wilson (Atlanta), Chandler Riggs (Atlanta), Melissa McBride (Lexington), sorta Norman Reedus (Florida, but he moved to LA when he was like 1), and definitely Michael Rooker (who is rumored to have actually fought in the War Between the States)

Gene Page/AMC

The arrival of Andrea was a good thing, then, in one sense: It provided a bit of perspective on our main characters. And in a weird way, when you look at the Grimes Gang, they are a fascinating semi-superteam Dirty Dozen of people. They're the very definition of a motley crew -- trained warriors like Rick, Michonne, and Daryl mixing together with former milquetoasts like Carol, Glenn, and Maggie, who've all become different variations on badassery. They're the Seven Samurai, except they're not defending a town; they're just trying to live another day.

The problem, though, is that by showing them interact with Andrea, the show uncovered a very basic truth. While the rest of the Grimes Gang has spent the season spiraling, Andrea has...well, not done very much. She's still whiny and self-important; weirdly, she's taken over the role that Dale used to serve, as the unwanted and much-despised Moral Authority On Freaking Everything. This isn't Laurie Holden's fault; no one's gonna make fun of Covarrubias on my watch. I think the problem is that the show has muddled Andrea's motivations: She kinda loves the Governor, and she kinda just wants a comfortable life behind the Woodbury wall, and she kinda really loves killing zombies, and she likes giving speeches, and it all adds up to a person who feels less like a character than a misplaced Tetris block.

Michonne said the same thing, in fewer words. Andrea challenged her old traveling companion, saying that her bad influence on the Grimes Gang was leading to war: "You poisoned them." Michonne threw it back in her face -- she knew that Woodbury was a bad place, and tried to tell Andrea, but "You were under his spell." Andrea said that they were building something beautiful in Woodbury. "I did not realize the Messiah Complex was contagious," said Michonne. She undercut Andrea's high-falutin' justification: "You chose a warm bed over a friend." (ASIDE: It was a good, sharp scene -- one of many in the episode, which was directed by Walking Dead effects guru Greg Nicotero. There was one shot in particular that stood out, with Michonne staring offscreen left while Andrea looked back at her. It looked a little bit like one of those awesome confessional shots that pepper the filmography of Ingmar Bergman, see also The Simpsons. Actually, if you think about it, Bergman might've loved The Walking Dead, with its vision of a dying world abandoned by God. If you don't know what the hell I'm talking about, go watch The Seventh Seal and Persona right now. END OF ASIDE.)

Back at Woodbury, the Governor welcomed Tyreese and his crew with open arms. He offered them a warm bed, and told them they could stay until they were rested; after that, he advised them to head west, and not north. No need to worry about that, Tyreese said: They just came from north, and ran afoul of a lunatic in a prison. "He was screaming like an idiot," added Tyreese's friend Meatbag #1.

The Governor was suddenly intrigued. He asked them if they could describe the layout of the prison. He asked them if, by any chance, the people who lived in the prison had quite stupidly left a gaping hole in the rear of the prison, just big enough to let an invading army in. "As a matter of fact, yes!" said Tyreese. And he made it clear that he was willing to sing for his supper. "We don't wanna be out there. Whatever we gotta do to earn our keep." This is, to put it mildly, an unexpected development -- but I'm intrigued to see how the Tyreese/Governor team-up turns out. (Previously, Tyreese seemed like more of a faceless do-gooder -- but his willingness to strike back against Rick proves that he's learned how to operate in the post-apocalypse.)

NEXT: Give him the best night of his life

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