It’s been a long time since The Walking Dead has shown Andrea at her best, in fact you’d have to go all the way back to season 1. After her sister’s death she grew cold, acting like a bitch for most of the second season, being cruel to Dale and shacking up with Shane. This season she has gone from bad to worse doing stupid things such as falling for the Governor, ditching Michonne, failing to kill the Governor, I could go on. But Prey brought Andrea back to reality with a series of events which made up the seasons best episode so far.
Prey starts with a flashback, a technique The Walking Dead rarely uses. We are shown Andrea and Michonne camping in the woods, alone expect for their zombie pets. The identity of these armless, jawless monstrosities has been a mystery for some time now, but when Andrea asks Michonne whether she once knew them she shuts off. Telling her only: “they were never human to begin with.” It doesn’t take a genius to see what shitheads they must have been and whatever the reason for this it’s becoming cleaner where Michonne’s mistrust of others stems from.
Back in present day Woodbury the town is preparing for war. Behind the scenes the Governor is setting up a torture room, complete with all kinds of terrifying looking devices which leave little to the imagination. The fact we were given an insight (as small as it may be) into Michonnes past makes what awaits her seem even worse. It’s always been clear that the Governor is unstable, but this demonstrates what a full on psychopath this man is. From here on the feeling of unease that is always present in The Walking Dead is emphasised more than ever. The torture room is so extreme that it hits a nerve in even the Governor’s biggest fan, Milton. Too scared to say something himself he runs to Andrea telling her to warn the others. I don’t really understand Milton, he’s an intelligent man who knows what terrible things the Governor is capable of, he doesn’t want to see the town go to war yet refuses to do anything about it and when Andrea had the perfect opportunity to kill the Governor he pulls the gun down. What a coward. He encourages Andrea to go back to the prison without him, a decision he instantly regrets.
I always thought Andrea had pretty good survival skills, so her decision to run down an open highway seemed both poor and out of character. It comes as no surprise when the Governor appears in a van, pushing her into an abandoned warehouse where a terrifying cat and mouse chase begins. Given its subject matter, The Walking Dead always has an eery feel to it, but this episode was like a full on horror film or more specifically a slasher film. To see Andrea downcast into the role of final girl was harrowing in itself, the once strong warrior was left to cower in fear of what the Governor would do should he find her. As they rampaged about avoiding each other, walkers and butchers hooks that were everywhere, the tension reached an excruciating level. Andrea finally makes what seems like a very sly escape, releasing a stairwell of angry walkers on her former lover before continuing on her journey to the prison. Despite being exhausted, battered and bloody Andrea was able to muster up a smile as she finally saw her new home, when BAM, seemingly out of nowhere the Governor appears and wrestles her to the ground. Unfortunately Prey followed slasher conventions so much that this “twist” could be seen a mile away.
While the Governor was busy terrorising Andrea some pesky little tyke took it upon themselves to torch the pit of biters he’d been saving for Rick. The person in question wore a mask suggesting his identity was meant to remain a mystery, but poor Milton is such a bad liar that the Governor was able to se right through him. I’d hazard a guess that his days are now numbered.
After her run in with the Governor I had hoped Andrea was dead, surely it would be better than what would await her back in Woodbury. But no such luck, a long point of view shot revealed that Andreas ordeal is far from over as she sits gagged and bound to the torture chair, at this rate the reunion between her and Michonne will be very exciting…or gruesome.