The Walking Dead season 3 started with Andrea (Laurie Holden) sick and alone with her new companion, Michonne (Danai Gurira), and a couple armless walkers to provide protection. After Hershel’s Farm was overrun with zombies, Andrea was separated from the rest of her friends with no way of knowing which of them lived or died.
Andrea had lost her will to live and encouraged Michonne to leave her behind, but her new friend wouldn’t consider it. They made their way from place to place until they were captured and taken to Woodbury.
After Andrea entered the walls of Woodbury, she began to lose favor with fans of the show because she got close to the Governor, chose to stay in the town instead of leaving with Michonne, and lost her kick ass dominant strength.
There are two main considerations when reflecting on the character, Andrea. First, was she written true to character? Or, was she acting in ways that didn’t make sense for the person we knew over the first two seasons? And, second, if she is acting true to character, then what is it about her actions that some are finding so objectionable?
During season 2, Lori was the character to hate and I have to wonder if people had to find another place to focus those feelings after her death. And, why is it that women are the targets? Is that because of the writing? Or, because of pre-conceived notations of how they should act?
I don’t believe the Andrea hate is justified. She made decisions that I didn’t necessarily like, but they made sense. I’m sure all or most of the characters have done something at one time or another that wasn’t necessarily the best for them or the group.
Until her time alone with Michonne, Andrea had lived with a group of people in a community of sorts. She was with her sister and the group on the hill to start, then they all headed out together in a convoy with a stop at the CDC, and eventually made their way to Hershel’s Farm.
When she arrived at Woodbury, it felt safe and she was surrounded by people again with protection against the walkers. She embraced the return to normalcy that the town provided. Even if something seemed a bit off about the place, it was better than being out in the wild again.
Michonne, in contrast, felt more at home on her own and away from other people. She didn’t feel safe in a community with someone else having control over her. For them to remain together, one of them had to sacrifice their comfort.
Did Andrea betray Michonne by staying in Woodbury? Obviously, Michonne believes that, but some of that also is because she saw the evils of the Governor that Andrea never did. It may have appeared to be a choice between Michonne and the Governor, but it was much more than that. It was about being in a community with food and people versus being out in the wild facing walkers and uncertainty. It was a much more dangerous place outside the town’s walls.
Andrea’s relationship with the Governor was certainly creepy at times, but viewers knew about his evil side when she had no clue. She was lonely and he provided her companionship. While it wasn’t pleasant to watch, she shouldn’t be faulted for being unaware.
As she became aware of the Governor’s questionable actions, Andrea wised up to what was going on. She was more restrained around him, but he still provided her with a sense of security and he treated her well.
Overtime, she started to regain her confidence and dominance. She questioned him and defied his wishes. Is their relationship dysfunctional? Certainly, but so is the world they are all living in now.
Andrea was naive to believe the Governor wouldn’t attack the prison, but at the same time, he was believable. He’s a great liar. Her decision to visit the prison and see her friends, I believe is a turning point. She now sees the Governor with open eyes and a clear mind.
When the time comes, she will side with her friends against the Governor. She tried to kill him in his bed, but her humanity prevented her from doing it. I can’t fault her for being unable to kill a sleeping man. She may have killed hundreds of walkers, but killing a living human being is something entirely different.
All through season 3, Andrea has remained true to herself. She’s made some poor decisions at times, but that doesn’t justify fans’ hate towards the character. Andrea was trying to make a life for herself, just like her friends in the prison.
Now, that the Governor’s true nature has been revealed and Andrea couldn’t kill him, she will have a big decision to make. Does she stay in Woodbury? Or, leave and return to the prison? That will be a real sign of her character.
The Walking Dead airs on Sunday at 9 pm ET on AMC.
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(Image courtesy of AMC.)