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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

THE WALKING DEAD: "I Ain't a Judas" brings an appreciable respite

The Walking Dead, Carl Grimes, Chandler Riggs, I Ain't a Judas, AMC
Did anyone else come away from this week's episode of AMC's The Walking Dead thinking that regardless of how little time we saw of him, that the highlight of "I Ain't a Judas" was Carl (Chandler Riggs) talking to his father Rick?  Because that's what keeps sticking out most in this blogger's mind ever since watching it last night.

I have said it before and I will say it again: if Chandler Riggs doesn't get an Emmy nomination this year, then I will be more than extremely disappointed.  Carl is a character who has solidly destroyed the mold of child characters on television and Riggs deserves some mighty high accolades for the strength, courage, restraint under stress and sheer wisdom that he has portrayed for such an exceptionally young actor.  Carl is becoming a true leader right before our eyes.  The scene before the opening title where he comes to Rick, telling his dad that he should let go because he's taking on much too heavy a burden: that was pure dramatic gold.

And then there was Hershel's no-holds-barred rant at Rick: he wanted this Rick-tatorship... and it's time that he began owning up to it.  In Scott Wilson's hands Hershel has become the group's sage voice of sanity.  Maybe Wilson will get an Emmy nod too (as well as Norman Reedus).

"I Ain't a Judas" was obviously heavy on Andrea (Laurie Holden) and her moral quandary: whether to return to the friends she has been with since before leaving Atlanta, or to remain at Woodbury with the Governor.  In that regard this was considerably a less action-packed chapter of The Walking Dead than we have gotten used to... but after the past several episodes I think that a quiet respite was needed.  Indeed, perhaps even desired more than we initially realized.  The focus of the episode was squarely on Andrea.  More so even than Merle (Michael Rooker) now becoming officially part of Rick's gang at the prison.

(Something else I noticed: duct tape was used at least twice in this episode.  Must remember to stock up on plenty of it when the zombie apocalypse hits.)

"I Ain't a Judas" lacked the gory violence that usually comes from this show every week.  But it was certainly no "filler" episode either and I think that sooner than later we'll be thankful that we got this.  It's very apparent that Rick and his people will soon be facing war with Woodbury and it's nice to have some time to breathe easy before the conflict erupts in earnest.  An altogether well-orchestrated episode, and it looks like next week's will be even better.