18 March, 2013
Review - Walking Dead 3.14: "Prey"
In which the show tries to figure out this season's Andrea problem....
Often shows have a problem character who somehow winds up spending the majority of a season languishing in emotional confusion or poor plot devices; and the writers are left to dig this character out of the hole they stuck them in (Anne Perkins on Parks and Rec comes to mind). Digging Andrea out of this current season's hole was always going to be a massive task, considering both where she ended last season and the compounded missteps along the way.
The opening scene felt like a bit of nostalgia designed to ease the pain of the coming hour. A reminder of a promising time when Andrea might have been a sturdy ally for the new and mysterious Michonne. However, it also seems like a cop out; an easy way to garner some good will from viewers who at this point are likely to be tired of everything to do with this character. Nonetheless, it also reestablishes the nature of the original bond between Michonne and Andrea from the beginning of the season which sets things up nicely for Andrea's upcoming turn of heart.
When Andrea and Milton discover the Governor has built a "torture room" in anticipation of Rick handing over Michonne they both realize they are following a very disturbed individual. Milton also reveals to Andrea that he believes the Governor has no intention to honor the baragin even if Rick upholds his end of things. While these are seemingly obvious realizations this did provide what is probably my favorite scene of the episode. I'm one of probably 5 Milton fans on the planet and having both the Governor's closest associates realize the same level of dread at the same time added weight and meaning to the scene.
Milton, still holding onto a shred of loyalty, prevents Andrea from killing the Governor then and there and instead dispatches her to go to the prison and warn the others while he takes care of burning some walkers that the Governor is keeping penned up to release on the prison gang. Symbolicly, Andrea's road to redemption is frought with skeptical Woodbury-ites, walkers and a pretty thrilling chase scene encounter with the Governor himself (probably my second favorite scene of the episode, and shot wonderfully). While Andrea's releasing a pack of walkers on the Governor doesn't necessarily make up for a season's worth of disappointment it at least made me (and hopefully other viewers) feel better momentarily.
Things don't end well though as Andrea is caught by the Governor just outside the prison before Rick, who's on guard duty, can spot her. The final scene terrifyingly shows her strapped into the Governor's torture chair after he's told everyone he couldn't find her. And we are left to ponder her fate until next week. I felt this was a quality episode about a frustrating character, whom I enjoyed in the comics, so it did the best it could. 65 out of 100 - I don't know that it solved any or all of the Andrea problems from the season but I think it did what needed to be done for her going into the finale next week.
Odds and ends:
- I didn't mention the Tyrese/Sasha subplot really but it appears they might be switching sides again next week, or at the least Tyrese will.
- Last night's "Talking Dead" was a particularly good one. Kumail Nanjiani of the Indoorkids podcast as a guest, plus Lori Holden describing how they filmed the abandoned warehouse scene was awesome!