The duration of yesterday’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, “I Ain’t a Judas,” was primarily spent laying the groundwork for upcoming action. Ratcheting up the conflict between the survivors at the prison and the Governor’s (David Morrissey) forces at Woodbury was the task of the day, and it was largely a success.
The end of the episode finds everyone tightly wound and ready for battle, and the stage is set for a flurry of activity. In the next episode, “Clear,” Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Michonne (Danai Gurira), and Carl (Chandler Riggs) go on a run to find additional weapons for their war against the Governor. AMC has unleashed a pair of clips from to give you an idea of what this is going to look like from a practical standpoint.
This is going to be one quiet ride. Michonne is pretty much a mute as it is—she’s said so little that they don’t even know enough about her to know if they can trust her or not. Rick, fresh off the train from crazy town, could use a few moments of quiet to collect his thoughts. And Carl, well, the kid is smart enough to know not to pester the guy who follows his dead wife into the woods or the scowling stranger with the samurai sword.
Along the way, they see a survivor on the side of the road and don’t even slow down. It doesn’t even look like they consider taking action, though you can be forgiven if you thought for a second that Michonne might steer into him.
This reaction doesn’t bode well for the state of their humanity. They’re becoming insular, paranoid, standoffish, and overtly hostile. Don’t get me wrong, they have good reason to be suspicious—the track record with other survivors is not great—but they’re moving farther and farther away from basic human sympathy and compassion. At some point, they’re not going to be able to return from that. You can see that Carl wants to say something, but he doesn’t. Even such a young boy is hardened against cries for help.
Other members of the group would have reacted differently. Hershel (Scott Wilson) and Carol (Melissa McBride), for sure, and Merle would have just shot him like a drive-by. Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) in an interesting place to consider. Before their encounter with the Governor, they probably would have offered what help they could. They would have been guarded, but would likely have offered a hand. Now, given what they’ve been through, not so much. The group has undergone a drastic shift in personality, not necessarily for the better.
The second clip leans more towards the action side. Stuck in the mud, surrounded by walkers, trapped in their car, the trio is, frankly, all kinds of screwed. Unless they manage to gain traction, they’re going to have to hack and bludgeon their way out of the car and back to the prison.
“Clear” airs on AMC at 9:00pm, Sunday, March 3rd.