Only two more episodes in season three of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Tonight’s story felt like a retro horror movie at times but for the most part was a chore to slog through. For fans who love Andrea (or just love to hate her), this episode was for you as the main crux of the plot centered on her and the mobilization of the forces at Woodbury.
Starring Andrew Lincoln, David Morrissey, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Laurie Holden, Danai Gurira, Michael Rooker, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Scott Wilson, Dallas Roberts, Emily Kinney, Chad Coleman and Lew Temple, AMC’s The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9. Hit the jump for my review of “Prey.”
I fully expected tonight’s episode to be filler, but much like with the episode titled “Clear,” they could have done more with the side characters. There was an effort to flesh out Tyreese (Coleman) and his crew with a little bit of backstory and some conflict; unfortunately this was overshadowed by Andrea’s decision to flee Woodbury and The Gov’s obsession with bringing her back. It’s looking like next week is somehow going to be even more filler, probably taking place at a parallel time to tonight’s episode but occurring at the prison instead of Woodbury. I have faith in writer and new showrunner Scott Gimple, who wrote “Clear” as well as next week’s installment, “This Sorrowful Life.” Let’s take a look at what did (or didn’t) happen in “Prey.”
For some reason, the writers decided to focus on The Gov and Andrea, two characters who can’t really develop much more past the point they’re already at without a major event taking place. After much urging from the fans, Andrea finally gets the idea to leave Woodbury and warn Rick and the others about the thunder that’s about to come down upon them. Unfortunately, her plan, ie “run through Walker-infested woods to the prison armed with only a TSA-approved knife,” is not the most well-conceived idea. The Gov soon tracks her down to some sort of warehouse/factory/horror show.
At this point, I enjoyed the cat and mouse game between The Gov and Andrea if only for the retro throwback to horror movies of old. Sure, the prey makes a lot of stupid moves (and so much noise) that eventually lands her square in the sights of the predator. It reminded me of similar scenes in 80s slasher flicks where you just want to scream at the teenage girl for being so stupid. Not sure if that’s what the writers intended here, but if so, well done. You get to do that once. Please don’t do it again.
My major issue with tonight’s episode is that it was another wasted effort showing that yes, the Governor is crazy and that yes, Andrea made a mistake. We get it and we knew that already. Time could have been better spent focusing on Tyreese and his group rather than shoehorning them in for bits and pieces here and there. I would have almost welcomed a series of flashbacks with their group’s journey showing how they arrived at the prison and then proceeding to Woodbury rather than watching Andrea run through the woods and hearing the Gov whistlin’ Dixie. Hell, I would have rather watched Carl doing his chores at the prison while attempting to flirt with Beth and get on Hershel’s good side, anything but what was shown tonight.
The ending does have some pretty major implications for Andrea though, and Milton, too. Since Andrea is now being held hostage in the Gov’s creepy “workshop” and Milton is clearly the one responsible for setting fire to the Walker pen, both of them are either going to get out of this thing together or are going to be the show’s next two casualties. Time will tell, but I hope the Andrea and Milton-haters will be appeased one way or the other.
Human/Enemy Deaths: 0
Gov impaling a Walker head on the machine
Crispy-fried Walkers in the pit. (The rest of the effects in this episode were surprisingly bad.)
Musings and Quotes:
- Michonne talking about her Pack-Walkers: “They deserved what they got. They weren’t human to begin with.”
- I would have welcomed more of an exploration of the above statement and even a flashback to Michonne’s life pre-apocalypse as well.
- Milton: “What is that?” The Governor: “My workshop.”
- Milton to Andrea: “Killing the Governor doesn’t save your friends.”
- Why would you ever pick a fight with Tyreese?!
- The Walkers in the woods and in the factory were just some of the highlights of a vintage horror film in which threats come out of nowhere and the main antagonist survives sure-death experiences again and again.
Be sure to tune in next week for our continuing recaps of AMC’s The Walking Dead.