The Walking Dead: Prey
by Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)
Like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead is adapted from previous source material. This review is not meant to compare similarities and differences between the show and comic. It’s meant to be read purely as a take on the episode as it stands. That being said, SPOILERS AHEAD.
“Killing the Governor doesn’t save your friends.”
Woodbury is taking on the feel of a country on the verge of war. Of course, the Governor wants the war to happen, expecting to roll over Rick and the others at the prison. The entire scenario is unfolding to the consternation of Andrea, who’s finally decided to wake up and realize what’s really going on. Thanks to the on-again, off-again traitor Milton, Andrea realized that the Governor is a lot more sadistic than he’s let on up to that point. Andrea’s decision to leave Woodbury has really been a long time coming. It only took her seeing the Governor in his mini-torture chamber to fully realize that his depravity is pretty limitless.
The Governor, on the other hand, shows that he has trouble concentrating on more than one vendetta at a time. While he’s prepping his town to storm the prison and kill Michonne (and anyone else who gets in the way), he’s trying to go after Andrea as well. It has to be his hubris guiding him, only because why else would he be so determined to bring her back? He views her as a trophy and wants her at his side as such. The only problem with that is that the Governor isn’t really the type to find joy in such possessions.
That’s probably the biggest problem with the episode; the Governor was trying to be shown as a psychopath. Dragging the shovel, playfully slamming it in a zombie’s head and even dropping another zombie’s head on the spike was almost mischievous. The thing is, everyone knows he’s a psychopath by this point. There was no need to send him on such a blindly reckless quest other than to just make people hate him, that much more, which isn’t exactly something that’s necessary.
While the Governor’s vendetta got top-billing, there was a smaller storyline with Tyrese and the other survivors. They’re shown some more about what happens behind-the-scenes so to speak with Woodbury. That includes the zombie pits, where zombies are held until they’re needed later on. It’s strongly suggested that the mystery arsonist who torched the pits is Tyrese, but it’s much more likely that it’s Milton.
Milton and the Governor had a slight falling out in the episode, once the Governor learned that Milton knew more about Andrea’s leaving than he previously let on. Milton is clinging to some lost hope that the Governor will stop being a bully and go back to being the person he knew in the past. The dichotomy between the two is actually quite effective at showing them as moving apart from one another on the spectrum of sanity.
Considering they’re only two episodes left, this episode really felt like it did nothing in the way of advancing anything really. It reaffirmed that the Governor doesn’t forgive and that Andrea has finally picked up on his tricks. It doesn’t do anything else than that, which is actually kind of infuriating. This is an episode that should have spent more time looking at the expected collapse of the deal “brokered” between Rick and the Governor and instead spent time following Andrea along the countryside.
The series has to move pieces and players into position for the meaty and highly anticipated conclusion. As the third to last episode, though, “Prey” really did neither. The Governor just spent more time being the Governor, Andrea finally made some decent decisions that still didn’t pan out and there’s only a brief look at the prison. It’s hard to get hyped up for the end of the season that’s definitely had its ups and downs, but has been very strong for the most part. There’s hope and the expectation that the series will finish strong. After all, the season finale of the show is going up against the season premiere of Game of Thrones.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars