Walking Dead, S3:E14, “Prey”

“If you stay, you can’t keep looking the other way.”

Andrea looks back on bad lays

Andrea looks back on bad lays

After a couple Andrea-free episodes, the golden girl returns with what seems like a sound head on her shoulders again… until she runs away from Woodbury on foot.

The episode opens with a flashback to Andrea and Michonne on the road. “If only we had some Cab,” Andrea jokes, as though a bottle of wine would be all it takes to make eating from cans in the woods the “girls’ night” Michonne scoffs about. When she asks about Michonne’s ‘pet’ walkers Michonne gets sniffly, but adds, “They deserve what they got. They weren’t human to begin with.” It’s an interesting hint that doesn’t get explored when the episode returns to its current timeline.

The Governor is working on something, like he’s filming This Old Roman Polanski’s House. As Woodbury prepares for war, GOV looks like he’s preparing for surgery, with gleaming silver tools (was that a speculum?) and a creepy chair in his “workshop.” Milton confronts him. “This was supposed to be a new start, a way out. What about everything we talked about?” Philip challenges that if Milton still believes the biters have a ‘spark’ of humanity, that means Penny was still his daughter when Michonne killed her. By extension, his revenge on Michonne is “all that matters.”

Milton goes for Andrea, though he doesn’t think she can stop this all, and shows her the workshop. Andrea decides she has to kill Philip because he is sick and she can’t just stand by. Below, GOV whistles a tune into a recorder and plays it back for himself. Andrea draws a gun but Milton stops her from shooting; he knew Philip before he was the Governor, and realizes that having 2nd in command Martinez in charge wouldn’t be an improvement.

Martinez collects Andrea’s gun and she plays dumb when GOV says he wants to “keep her separate from this. Safe.” Tyreese and Sasha are on the wall. Apparently Sasha is a good shot and her brother is not, but this adorable banter is cut short by Andrea’s arrival. Tyreese is interested in Andrea’s reasons behind leaving, and clearly takes them to heart even though he tells GOV about her leaving. “This isn’t a prison camp, is it?”

GOV tries to spin it like Andrea is crazy from spending all winter alone with the walkers, then fishes for what she said as she left. Tyreese says nothing other than hoping it doesn’t complicate their stay. GOV tells Milton he’s going after her, realizing Milton knew she was leaving, and that Andrea knows about ‘the deal.’ Tyreese gets into it with (Allen?) the jerk from his group; apparently his friend feels like less of a man because Tyreese stepped in and saved his wife’s life, “shaming” him in front of his boy. Loser friend wants to stay, because Woodbury obviously appeals to his heartlessness. “Shit’s going down, and you’re making waves.” Tyreese sees clearly, though. “This ain’t got nothing to do with you or me.” The apocalypse isn’t a personal thing, and it’s more important than petty grievances and egos. Martinez takes Tyreese to the walker pit, explaining to Sasha, “Honey, we got a use for everything.” Tyreese balks at feeding people to biters and tries to leave, which brings his issues with Ben’s dad to a head again.

Andrea hides off the road when GOV’s truck pursues her. She gets into a bad spot with several walkers but kills them with the knife Martinez wasn’t smart enough to frisk her for. She runs on into the night, hiding from GOV in an abandoned warehouse. He pursues, whistling the same tune he recorded earlier, and with the way the noise echoes it seems like he’s trying to fake her out on where he is while he hunts her. GOV kills several walkers to pass the time before ultimately cornering Andrea.

She escapes him by unleashing a stairwell full of walkers and escaping in spite of the Philip’s sounds of struggle; she’s so willing to see him dead that she doesn’t even stick around to see if he needs help. Finally. Back at Woodbury a mysterious figure drenches the pit walkers with gasoline and torches them.

Daytime again. Andrea reaches the prison, waving with giddy relief and a look on her face that says she’s home at last. Before she can call out to Rick on watch, GOV grabs her. Rick is attracted by the motion and watches through his rifle scope for a long moment before convincing himself it was nothing. In Woodbury the burnt walkers aren’t all dead, and GOV lies to Martinez and says he didn’t find Andrea.

Tyreese protests the walkers. “You got a beef with Rick, that’s fair enough. But you can’t be feeding his kids to biters.” The Governor insists the walkers are just for show, but gets a little hung up when Tyreese asks why Martinez didn’t just say so. Still, Tyreese says they want to stay and he won’t shoot his mouth off again. GOV asks where he got the gasoline, and Tyreese is confused.

This is followed by a stilted exchange between Milton and Philip:

Milton: Are you okay?

GOV: Never been better.

Milton: It’s a real shame about the pits.

GOV: You heard about that?

Milton: I hope you find out who did it.

GOV: Already have.

It suggests that Milton set the fires and the Governor knows about it, but as the camera weaves through corrugated metal hallways to the Governor’s newly appointed torture shack, the final shot is of Andrea bound and gagged in the chair.

This episode was pretty straightforward overall; the biggest questions it leaves behind are whether people are saying what they mean. Is Tyreese’s interest in staying just lip-service to throw off suspicion? Just because GOV suspects Milton’s arson, is he going to out Milton? Or is he going to use that as an excuse for why he’s torturing Andrea, since he can’t very well be honest about that.

Summary: Andrea finally tries to make good, and fails horribly. With two episodes left in the season, we can expect a dedicated episode of the Prison preparing, and the final showdown. Also, can we talk about how great Tyreese and Sasha are?

12 thoughts on “Walking Dead, S3:E14, “Prey”

  1. Robb Zahm says:

    Sorry; I’ve been slow in catching up. Finally back up to speed. I’m probably not going to mention the other episodes that aired this back half of the season, but who knows? Maybe I’ll rewatch, and kick around ideas I missed.

    Anyway, notes on Andrea’s revelatory episode:

    The recap at the start of the episode showed Andrea begging Michonne not to offer an ultimatum “after all they’d been through.” I had hoped this presaged discovery of what transpired during their shared winter in the wilderness. My hopes were further raised by the flashback at the start of the episode. Even while thinking, “I know the chained walkers are supposedly effective camouflage, but seriously, are those two REALLY just going to camp out on the ground next to a campfire rather than kill the light and climb a tree?”, I still was anxious for some indication of what “all they’d been through” minght mean. Instead, we saw a scene in which Michonne refused to open up beyond a small hint of how her brothers had mistreated her before the apocalypse. I don’t blame Michonne – the attrocities a brother (or two) can perpetrate against a younger (or older) sister are potentially quite far from being easy conversation topics. Still, if Andrea feels she and Michonne had been through a great deal, I just want to see more evidence of such bonding than is afforded by watching a brief moment in which they eat from cans while lamenting the absence of a bottle of red (which apparently symbolizes all the former comforts of life) followed by Michonne being typically tight-lipped about her past.

    Still, this episode moved on to give me hope about some of my favorite characters (Tyreese, Milton) while continuing to make me shake my head over the decisions made by those who have fallen from grace (…just Andrea, really). As did our esteemed blog-hostess, I loved Tyreese and Sasha’s moment at the Woodbury border, but I was less than pleased with Andrea’s clumsy attempt to lead them from their post. Her story was a painfully stereotypical ruse, more worthy of Community mockery than Walking Dead implementation. (Yes, I’m a fan of Community. #sixseasonsandamovie) When Tyreese and Sasha failed to fall for Andrea’s painfully transparent misdirect, but let her leave anyway, I approved. The girl wants to leave, and doesn’t wish to hear how stupid it is to go it alone beyond the wall, threatening bodily harm that would require comparable physical force to overcome? Yes – let the girl go. And for the love of what is left of humanity, do NOT gun her down as she runs into the wilderness armed only with a pocket knife. Seriously; it’s just common courtesy at this point.

    Of course, I lament how Milton and Tyreese are still giving Phillip the benefit of the doubt, but then, this at least serves to suggest it is not only sex-blindness that can make someone buy into the GOV’s rhetoric. Hell, Milton knows what is going on, but he sticks it out at Woodbury, because that’s where he “belongs” now. I am proud of him for presumably torching the pits, though.

    Regarding Andrea’s escape from the warehouse, I loved her idea of hiding behind the door of the stairwell to funnel the walkers (biters?) at Phillip, but I felt that was a little too convenient an out. I mean, seriously – how many times have we seen moments in which one biter (walker?) inconveniently notices a gap in a fence, or fleet-footed survivor skirting behind a herd, or some other inconvenient detail that promptly triggers catastrophe? Yet this time, all the biters/walkers (…zombies?) in the stairwell round the corner at the bottom of the stairs and shamble past the door, when at least one might have noticed Andrea was on the other side, basically pinned down by her own ingenuity?

    I forgive Andrea for not stealing the truck on her way out. Were I Phillip, I would not have left the keys in the ignitiion, and I’m not sure former-civil-rights-lawyer Andrea, whose survival skills have been honed in the wilderness rather than on the mean inner city streets, would have the ability to hotwire the truck and make her escape.

    As for the infuriating Rick-on-the-tower moment, that was all the more frustrating due to Rick’s recent hallucinations. Of course he’s not going to investigate something he thinks he sees out of the corner of his eye; Rick is already trying to actively ignore visions of his wife as she pops up to remind him he never got to set things right. Anybody else might have looked into the matter further; Rick is more likely to just be happy that whatever it was he thought he saw didn’t stay to chat about what kind of tribulations Carl would likely face as a teenager.

    Although I’m not looking forward to the end of the season, I am looking forward to seeing who walks away from the coming showdown, and who instead rises afterward as a walker.

    Also, totally unrelated, congratulations, Fusion, on your impending nuptials!


    • fissionerror says:

      Good points all, as usual. The most interesting thing about Andrea’s red wine comment to me is how it reinforces her longing for creature comforts; she CAN survive in this bare-bones world, but she doesn’t like it, and I think that’s partly why woodbury holds so much appeal for her. While she’s too smart to play an eternal game of let’s pretend, I think it would appeal to the civil rights lawyer in Andrea’s history to fancy herself a pioneer rebuilding a better world after one so flawed was ruined.


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