March 18, 2013

Episode Review: THE WALKING DEAD, "Prey"

Nothing halts momentum more than focusing an entire episode around an unlikable character or people viewers barely know. Unfortunately, The Walking Dead did both in "Prey."

Andrea decided to finally kill the Governor after learning his true intentions for Michonne and the prison, but Milton talked her out of it and convinced her to leave and warn her friends. She made it over the wall, although she was confronted by Tyreese and Sasha, and was on her way until the Governor figured out that she left and went after her. He stalked her to an abandoned warehouse, and it looked like he bested her, but she unleashed a herd of biters that were trapped in a stairwell. She finally made it to the prison and was about to flag down Rick when the Governor grabbed her from behind. By episode's end, she was back in his clutches and tied up in a makeshift torture chamber while he continued to lie to everyone around him.

Meanwhile, Tyreese started to wonder about the Governor after he was warned by Andrea. In preparation for the meeting between Woodbury and the prison, the Governor asked Tyreese and his people to help Martinez with the task of collecting biters. Initially, Tyreese was not on board and refused to help, which caused added tension between him and Allen. While this new group of survivors were trying to do whatever they could to stay in Woodbury, someone torched the collected biters, but the Governor ruled out the newbies and set his sights on someone else.

Obviously, my biggest issue with "Prey" had to do with the fact that we were asked to care about these marginal characters all of a sudden. Granted, Andrea's not a marginal character, but more on her in a bit. Up until now, Tyreese and his people have been a group of random plot devices plopped in to further muddle up what was going on in the prison and pushed to the back burner once they decided to join the Governor. If the show had taken some more time to make them fully realized characters, then I would've responded better to watching Tyreese struggle with how things are done in Woodbury and his spat with the other guy, but right now he and his group feel like wasted potential.

As for Andrea, it's not a secret that I don't like her at all, so I'll admit that my enjoyment of this episode dropped a few notches when it became clear that it was going to be mostly about her and the Governor. Now, I'm sure that there are some Andrea fans out there who loved "Prey" and are tried of people like me bashing her, and I'm glad that they're in her corner. For me, she's just too far gone to be worthy of my sympathy or time. That said, the sequence involving the warehouse did have some genuinely creepy/scary moments, and it was a standout performance by Laurie Holden.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • The episode opened up with a flashback that gave a glimpse of Andrea's time with Michonne, but it was too little, too late. That's something we should've seen months ago so we could actually care about their relationship.
  • Either Milton's a horrible liar or there's more to him than we've been led to believe.
  • Someone please kill Allen already.
  • So, the Governor's pretty much a horror movie villain at this point?
Again, I admit that my biases towards Andrea and the lack of development of Tyreese and his group impacted my interest level in "Prey" and it's hard to be objective, but I can also acknowledge that there were some strong moments too... I just wish I cared more.


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