The Governor's assault on the prison made things pretty clear last week: the battle lines have been drawn and the two groups are now at war.
When presented with fight or flight, how will the survivors react to knowing they face an enemy far more dangerous than the undead hordes? I Ain't a Judas was an episode all about trust and betrayal, and the lengths people are willing to go in the name of loyalty.
Time to abdicate?
There's certainly a lack of trust in Rick at the moment. After losing his marbles and seeing visions of his dead wife, the group now depend on this fragile figure to help orchestrate a plan against the Governor. Tired of his indecisiveness, Hershel snaps at Rick and highlights the danger they face. "I put my family's life in your hands, so get your head clear and do something," he declares.
It's clear for the rest to see that Rick can no longer lead the group, with even his son Carl suggesting abdication by saying, "You deserve a rest". Rick is clear-headed enough to realise the suggestion make sense, and proposes vacating the position to Daryl whilst he goes on a run for supplies with Carl and Michonne. Whilst Daryl's return is warmly welcomed by the group, the presence of his brother is coolly received.
Snake in the Grass
Many of the group harbour grudges against the Governor's former goon, with Glenn labelling Merle, "A snake in the nest". Michonne, still wordless for the majority of the episode, exercises in front of Merle as a warning against any further hostilities.
With such a lack of trust, Hershel steps in to try and speak to the long lost Dixon brother. Merle makes it clear he would rather cut and run, and bluntly explains what is at stake if they take on the might of the Governor.
"He'll save Rick for last, so he can see his friends and family die ugly. That's who you're dealing with."
They group would be even more concerned if they knew the scale of the army the Governor was raising. He calculates how many can be raised for his town militia, ignoring Andrea's fears for the suitability of some of the soldiers.
The leisure activities that the residents could be seen enjoying in the past have disappeared, as we now see weapons being handed out and the sounds of military tools being made in the background. This is a town now in a state of total war.
Keeping the Peace
Andrea had been disappointingly restrained in previous episodes, but here takes a more active role as she breaks out of Woodbury to try and negotiate with her former friends. After literally sleeping with the enemy, she is stunned to discover the cold reunion and lack of trust they have in finding a peaceful solution.
Michonne, managing to smile for the first ever time, mocks her friend's foolishness at staying with the Governor. "You were under his spell from the second you laid eyes on him," she snarls, noting as well that if she had fled with her, then Merle would have been sent by the Governor to kill her too.
Rick and Glenn are clear that the only way of achieving peace is to execute the Governor, asking Andrea to help them storm the town. But, still hoping to avoid bloodshed, she says she'll go back to Woodbury and try to calm down the tensions that exist. The increasingly resourceful Carol approaches Andrea with a more pragmatic solution.
"You need to sleep with him; give him the greatest night of his life. You get him to drop his guard, then when he's sleeping you can end this".
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Andrea's loyalty to both her friends and the Governor put her at a difficult crossroads, and you're left unsure as to which side she will take. For some unfathomable reason the most important scene in the episode, when Andrea hovers over the sleeping Governor with dagger in hand, is underscored by an atrociously-misplaced pop song on the soundtrack, thus robbing the moment of any drama.
The set-up of the scene meant there was no chance of her killing the Governor, and the dilemma that Andrea faces over how to save the lives of the people she cares about will hopefully be explored further rather than ignored. There are still five episodes to go this season, and it will be interesting to see how they stretch out the hostilities before the big battle we're all waiting for occurs.