On tonight’s “The Walking Dead,” Andrea finally learned the definitive truth about the Governor (and it’s about time). Meanwhile, Tyreese and his people start to realize that Woodbury is not all that it appears to be as the town gears up for war. Sound like fun? Then it’s time to review “The Walking Dead” episode 3.14, “Prey.”
TURN BACK, FOR THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD!
This episode shall be known as the time “The Walking Dead” turned into a horror movie. Or at least, more like a slasher than a monster movie. The Governor got his full creep on as he lovingly set up his Room of Happy Torture Time, then proceeded to chase Andrea down and stalk her through an abandoned warehouse full of walkers.
To Andrea’s credit, she fared much better than most blonde horror movie heroines. Instead of running around screaming and crying, she kept her wits about her and managed to out-think the Governor in a daring bid to escape the warehouse and leave him for dead. The stepping-behind-the-door trick was so simple it shouldn’t have worked, but it did. And it was awesome.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. While the slasher-film warehouse-stalking scene lasted, it was utterly terrifying and creeptastic. It’s one thing to run away from a deranged madman capable of anything (up to and including torture and keeping decapitated heads as pets), quite another to do so through a dark, abandoned warehouse full of flesh-eating monsters. Every time the camera zoomed in close on Andrea’s face, I felt certain she was about to get attacked by a walker from the shadows off-screen.
But oh wait, that already happened. In the woods, as Andrea’s hiding from her pursuer, she fights off four zombies with nothing but a knife and ovaries of solid granite. Andrea has been the annoyance of the fans this season, mostly for her complete unwillingness to see the truth about the Governor and for her betrayal of Michonne’s friendship. But with this episode it’s safe to say that Andrea redeemed herself as the bad-ass we all came to know and love in season two. Outnumbered and almost completely unarmed, she manages to defeat not only the horror movie monsters but also the horror movie psycho-killer.
Which makes her loss at the end of the show all the more painful. Andrea earned a win. She earned the protection and comfort of the prison community. To get within sight of her goal, of safety, only to be tackled by the crazy, evil bastard she thought she’d left for dead… well, it’s just not fair.
Meanwhile, back in Woodbury, Tyreese & Co. are getting characterization. It seems all is not well amongst our little band of refugees with terrible timing. Allen and Tyreese butt heads about Allen’s dead wife Donna’s relationship with Tyreese. It’s up to Sasha to pull the two jealous men apart at the zombie pits and remind them they’re supposed to be allies.
While the scenes of Tyreese’s group will no doubt be important later on in the story, and while they certainly had to happen sometime, up against the horror movie of Andrea and the Governor they just couldn’t compete. While I’m eager to learn more about the new survivors, I just wasn’t feeling it in this episode. They felt like bumbling bystanders in a war that’s about to explode. Which, I suppose, is exactly what they are at this point.
Let’s take a moment for Milton, who could be the single most pivotal factor in the impending war between Woodbury and the prison. His loyalties clearly no longer lie with the Governor. And yet his motives are conflicted. He shows Andrea the Governor’s torture chamber, yet prevents her from taking the perfect opportunity to assassinate him. He says he belongs in Woodbury and refuses to run away, yet he burns the pit walkers to thwart the Governor’s plan to protect Woodbury.
Milton Mammet, what are you thinking, sir?
The Most Fashionable Apocalypse Survivor award for this episode goes to the Governor himself, for that bad-ass black duster that made him look like the comic book villain we have all come to know and despise.
In the end we’re left with Tyreese & Co’s position in Woodbury precarious, Milton’s sneaky plans to dethrone the Governor in jeopardy, and Andrea awaiting a gruesome fate in the torture chamber. I believe that on “The Walking Dead,” the proverbial brains have hit the proverbial fan for the people of Woodbury.