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Andrea: The Walking Dead’s least valuable player?

Like half the cast of AMC’s The Walking Dead, Andrea was nowhere to be seen in the mini-movie that was episode 312, “Clear.” That means we’ve had to wait a little longer to see why she didn’t follow through on Carol’s “love ’em and cleave ’em” plan.

When we last saw Andrea she was staring naked out the window, contemplating why she couldn’t bring herself to kill quite possibly the most evil man left on Earth. She’s certainly had the opportunity and if she’d done it who knows how much more bloodshed would have been stopped. (I haven’t seen any more episodes than anyone else, but I can only assume that the final confrontation between Team Woodbury and the Prison Gang is going to be a bloody one.)

So why is Andrea such a hot mess when it comes to decision making? Laurie Holden, the actress who gives life to the character, blames Dale. Ultimately, it was the lovable curmudgeon who kept Andrea from joining Dr. Jenner and Jacqui at the CDC barbecue blastoff, but it goes deeper than that.

“Andrea was a human-rights lawyer prior to the apocalypse. She has killed a lot of zombies. She has never, ever killed a human being. And it’s one thing to kill someone in self-defense; it’s another to kill them while they’re sleeping,” Holden told Vulture.com. “And then there’s Dale, who was a huge influence in Andrea’s life. He’s like her guardian angel, and I think that every step Andrea takes, she’s always thinking about honoring Dale, whose thing was ‘You just don’t kill people.’”

Robert Kirkman, series executive producer and author of the graphic novel on which is it based, expressed some similar thoughts when he spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the remainder of Season 3.

“The rest of the season really is about what Andrea is doing and how she’s handling this situation. The scene where she stands over him in the bed is really the beginning of her plan and what she’s going to be doing and why she’s doing what she’s doing,” he said. “The fact that she wasn’t able to kill the Governor is really going to play in to a lot of the upcoming story for the rest of the season. Andrea is in a really horrible position. She has relationships with people in Woodbury. She knows there are good people there. She knows that the Governor is instigating a war between those people and other people that she has a relationship with that she also knows to be good people. She’s kind of stuck in the middle and can’t help either group win because that would mean the destruction of other good people but she’s going to have to do something to try to make this situation resolve in a way that not too many people get hurt. So that’s really what she’s going to be trying to do moving forward.”

The problem for everyone involved, including Andrea herself, is that her pre-apocalypse ideals are out of sync with the world in which she lives. How long will the Governor tolerate her lack of complete loyalty and will her optimism put her friends in the prison at a disadvantage in their dealings with Governor?

Ignoring the character’s development arc in the comics and going only with what we’ve seen in the television series, it could be that her moment of weakness in that dark bedroom was the beginning of the end for Andrea.

“I’m afraid there may be a casualty or more still to be experienced by the end of this season,” Kirkman teased in the EW interview. “We’ll see.”

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