The Walking Dead: Prey
The severed heads weren’t enough. Sending people after Michonne to kill her wasn’t enough. Zombie gladiator games weren’t enough. Sexually assaulting Maggie wasn’t enough. EVERY SINGLE FORMER ALLY telling her that he was bad news and that she should get the hell away from him or kill him wasn’t enough to sway Andrea from her dreamy psychopath’s side. But oh BOY, you show Andrea a torture chair and suddenly she’s ready to put a bullet through the Governor’s other eye. Which she then proceeds NOT to do because Milton is creepily bonded to him, something that everyone in the audience figured out 30 seconds after the character was introduced but Andrea only figured out just now, after living and working with him for weeks. Andrea then “sneaks” out by telling the Governor’s closest confidante what she plans to do and randomly stopping near-strangers on the way out of town just to kinda-sorta tell them that the Governor’s kinda-sorta not that great, kthanxbai. Oh, and if you could not tell anyone what I just said or did, near-total strangers, that would be totally awesome of you.
The subtitle for this episode could have been “We’re Totally Going to Rehabilitate Andrea! Oh, Wait. No. She’s Still Kind of Dumb and Pointless.” Because yes, it certainly felt like we were supposed to be looking at Andrea in a new light as she makes a daring escape from Woodbury. But it’s near-impossible for us to shake our disbelief that she ever went back to Woodbury at all. The only way we were going to accept it was if she had some sort of plan to take down the Governor or stop the invasion of the prison, but it appears she had no plan at all until she saw the Governor’s Speculum o’ Doom. Then she leaves in the least discreet manner possible, except for maybe setting of fireworks in the town square, doesn’t know enough to drop to the ground when an enemy pursuer approaches, and limply runs away from a truck into the woods as if she were taking a morning jog.
And sure, the cat and mouse scenes in the darkened building were tense as hell and almost made this into a good episode for us. But even then, she just kind of randomly wandered around that empty building, knocking things over and loudly killing zombies until it dawned on her that leaving might be a good idea. And even then, she didn’t take his truck or try to disable it in any way. By the time he snuck up on her (again) outside the prison, all we could say once again was, “Oh, ANDREA. What are we going to do with you?”
Look, if you’re going to make a cat-and-mouse chase the centerpiece of the show, then it would be nice if you didn’t reduce the pursued to every babysitter who ever went down into a darkened basement alone and the pursuer into a Jason Voorhees-level superhuman who never gets slowed down and always manages to be one reach away from grabbing his prey. In other words, it would be nice if the show didn’t collapse into cliche. Despite our many complaints, that’s the one thing this show has managed to avoid up until now. Of course, we’re talking about a show where wheezing, growling, teeth-snapping dead people who smell like decay can sneak up on people too, so maybe our hopes were once again a little high.
In other news, Tyreese is the New Andrea, you guys! “Oh, well. If you say you’re only going to use these zombies to scare people and not eat children, then we guess we’re behind you a hundred percent, Governor! Sorry about having that fight with that guy about stuff nobody in the audience understood or was interested in. He’s with our group, apparently, but I’m the only person who knows that.”
And the cycle continues.
Just get to the damn prison invasion, guys. You’ve stretched things out long enough. Then again, why you creators think a story set in the zombie apocalypse needs stretching out at all is probably why we get so frustrated with you.
[Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC]