This Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead, entitled "I Ain't A Judas," will see Andrea reunited with Rick and the remaining survivors at the prison for the first time since the Season 2 finale. After the bloodshed in the attack on Woodbury and the Governor's subsequent aggressive response last week, this meeting between old friends promises to shape the way the ongoing rivalry proceeds for the remainder of this season.
In advance of the episode, Laurie Holden spoke to TV Guide about the direction that Season 3 has taken Andrea, a character she has played since the second episode of the series.
Andrea has unknowingly been placed in the middle of the explosive conflict between her old friends and her new flame, The Governor, and she "hopes for a warm reunion," but as Holden mentions, she doesn't know the losses that her former group has suffered.
"[I]t's not the interaction that she expected. There's so many unanswered questions," noted Holden. "She doesn't know Shane's dead, she doesn't know about Lori, she doesn't know what happened with the baby. It's been a long eight months. I think it's going to be a reunion that's full of surprises and news that breaks her heart."
From all indications, Andrea will attempt to play peacemaker between the two warring factions due to her mutual connections on both sides, but it remains to be seen how her message will be received at the prison.
"Andrea is not on a side. She just doesn't want anyone to die," Holden explained. "She's for the people. She didn't know for the first half of Season 3 that the Governor was a sociopathic villain. It's all unfolding right now. She's realizing that he's a liar and he hasn't been honest with her and up to no good. It's all a big misunderstanding. They may look at Andrea and say, 'Oh, you've been sleeping with the Governor.' But she didn't know! She would never shack up with some guy that was harming or threatening her friends. It's an enormous misunderstanding with massive ramifications."
When the season began, Andrea had formed a bond with Michonne while both were on the road all winter. Upon their arrival to Woodbury, Andrea saw something that she had sorely missed since the world as we know it ended — comfort and a place to call home. Holden points this out as the reasoning for the split between Andrea and Michonne, rather than it being a case of Andrea choosing the Governor over her friend.
"She chose a life. She chose community," she stressed. "The Governor was the charming leader in the community, but she wanted to be in a place that had walls, safety, and some sort of normalcy because she has not even remotely experienced that since the world fell apart. Michonne and Andrea are just different people. Michonne wanted to continue to be on the road and Andrea wanted a sense of safety. They are two strong, independent women who wanted different things. No one abandoned the other person. I feel like that's really important to be clear. I think you'll see that in the episodes coming up. Andrea would never choose a guy over her best friend. She just wasn't ready to leave."
Holden also makes a good point that Michonne wasn't very forthcoming with her perfectly understandable reasons for wanting to leave Woodbury. While some have chosen to blame the show's writing, Holden sees Michonne's behavior as a trait of the character.
"If you remember, Michonne didn't get her any information," she recalled. "Michonne was very quiet and saying she didn't trust him, but that's her nature. She wouldn't be happy in a lot of different places. She's a misanthrope that way. As the season unfolds and Andrea realizes that Michonne thinks she chose this man over her, that breaks her heart because that wasn't the case."
"And just to clarify," continued Holden, "in the scene where Andrea comes in and Michonne is carving out the Governor's eye. Put yourself in Andrea's shoes. She doesn't know why they're fighting. She just sees Michonne acting crazy and carving out the eye of the man she cares for. No explanation, no nothing. It's just insane violence. When Andrea does pull a gun on her, it's more for her to stop. She wasn't ever going to hurt her. She just didn't have all the information."
Since the first season, Andrea has been second only to Lori as the least liked character on the popular AMC series, and a lot of the criticism is undeserved. It's kind of cool that Holden is so passionate and defensive about her character, although part of it is likely job security. Wouldn't want to end up like Sarah Wayne Callies.
How do you think Andrea's reunion with Rick and the gang will go?