Today will be a lowdown of two episodes: Andrea finally wakes up from her Governor-hazed delusion after countless episodes of people trying to slap the reality into her. I hate Andrea, but y’know, it isn’t too bad. And once we’re out of the way with filler, onto the next ep that has got my boyfriend and I feeling horribly depressed by its end. It hurts, oh yes, it hurts.
Prey kicks off with a tiny flashback of the good times Michonne and Andrea had when they were still wandering the plains and they had a pair of sweet zombie donkeys to do their bidding. That was it, and that was they way they enjoyed life – basking in the warmth of a campfire, content with the canned goods they had. How different it is from now.
Andrea asks what the zombies mean to Michonne, but she won’t talk about it. Guessed as much. The only clue she gives is that “they weren’t human to begin with”, but we won’t pry.
Cut to present day, where the Governor is enthusiastically testing the strength of the shackles in his Hidey Hole. He pulls the chains taut and appears to be having a near-orgasm at the thought of what he’s gonna do with them. These are definitely for Michonne, and I shiver the plans he has for her.
After the credits, the brawn of Woodbury load up weapons and ammo for a little excursion. Martinez is being shady towards Milton about the details of the outing, but I’m chalking this up to his general disrespect for the Doc. Andrea appears out of nowhere, surprised that the outcome for her prison friends may be more bleak than she expects. Milton walks away peeved.
The Governor is still laying out his torture tools. What the heck is a speculum doing there? More grossness. Milton is spying on him at the doorway but turns to leave when the Governor catches sight of him. Too bad the Gov doesn’t like being spied on. I like that Milton questions his judgement and intentions. He can totally see that this isn’t for the greater good but to fulfill the Governor’s personal vendetta with Michonne. After having met part of the prison group he already vouches for their harmlessness and innocence, which I think is an ominous set up for his doom. I mean how many people who’ve chipped in to save the prison people have already bit the dust?
The Governor, of course, pretty much doesn’t give a shit about who he mows down along the way to his path to Michonne. The research that he and Milton were doing about reversing the walker affliction are all now secondary, futile science projects with no real signs of success now that Penny’s all dead forever.
After their heart-to-heart, Milton gabs to Andrea that Rick’s group is in danger of being wiped out. And of course, Andrea wants to jump in to be the rescuer, but Milton highly doubts that she has any say or power in the matter. True.
During that time someone decided it was a good idea to sneak into the upper levels of the Governor’s Hidey Hole to check on what he has prepared for Michonne. It’s really bizarre, because then anyone could just simply walk in and spectate the Gov as he dices up someone with a scapel. Or a cleaver? I don’t know how what makes his balls tingle. But I’m guessing that this place is really restricted or it’s for the Governor to watch his victim squirm her way out of her restraints.
Milton wants Andrea to warn her friends about the impending attack, but she’s not going to do that. She wants to be in the middle of whatever the Governor is doing now and stop him directly. Not a great idea, especially while they’re watching him prep string and hooks, probably for stitching open wounds. My depraved mind can think of a few other Eli Roth-style uses, but I’d rather not go there.
Out of the blue, the Governor starts whistling and replays it to himself over and over. Is that enough for you Andrea? Should there be Psycho Killer blaring in the background for you to understand that this man is clearly an unstable head case? Fafafafa fafafafafa fa?
Obviously it is, because she’s slowly pointing her gun at him from where she’s standing. Milton’s all like Whoa WTF dude in his facial expression and stops her from making a hit – if past seasons are anything to go by, Andrea’s not really the best long distance sharpshooter, sharpened as her general fighting skills are.
The Governor gets up and walks away.
Upset and confused that she missed her chance, Andrea later berates Milton for protecting the monster. He lays down the truth – if the Governor falls, then what? Life under Martinez isn’t going to be a green field of unicorn houses where Woodbury specializes in mystical husbandry. So the best option is still to go to the prison and ring the alarm.
Andrea tries to convince Milton to go with her, but his heart is in Woodbury. I like that Milton is just an overall good guy and though the situation looks dire, he’s chosen to stick around because that’s just where he restarted his life and if it was going down in flames, he’d be right there with it until the very end. Honestly, this is what I wanted from the Andrea character. But I suppose they had to pick flaws for characters and she drew the short straw.
A goodbye kiss to the cheek nails Milton’s fate to the Woodbury Wall of Doom. He looks resigned to it, the poor thing.
Outside, Martinez wants Andrea to hand over any weapons and ammo she’s carrying with her. They need all the firepower they can get, probably to blow the holy hell out of the prison. She gives up whatever she’s got, but manages to keep her switchblade.
The Governor arrives on scene to tell her that he’d rather keep her away from the current setup, but we all know that he just doesn’t want her screwing up anything beforehand. She’s upgraded to wildcard now. Instead he wants her by his side when they head to the prison for some “talking”… Talking that will probably involve some form of brimstone and fire. He dangles her favourite role of peacemaker/mediator over her head as an incentive, and she pretends to take the bait.
Tyrese and Sasha are on the wall and bickering about how much he sucks at shooting zombies. He does suck. Very badly. It may have been better for him to jump down and stick a knife in the walker’s noggin.
Interrupting their nice moment is Andrea who tells the both of them that Martinez needs more manpower for their little project. I’m assuming that she’s trying to create an opportunity for herself to sneak out, so good choice on picking the newbies.
Eventually she lets up and goes straight onto the wall to get out – they, of course, wanting to not screw up the first job they’re given to earn their keep, protest. She explains that Woodbury is an awful place and the Governor is a madman, and while both Sasha and Tyrese are skeptical, the seeds of doubt have been sown. They don’t want to shoot her because they’re too much of “good people” to just bust someone’s kneecaps for crossing the barrier.
They do, however, immediately blab to the Governor about what happened. He isn’t mad, because she’s all alone out there. If the walkers don’t get her, the elements will. I don’t particularly like interactions with The Governor anymore because they’re just the same old evil lying villain scenes that are starting to grate on my nerves for exhausting this side of the character. Just a bunch of bull being thrown around to keep people’s suspicions at bay.
In the end the Gov just blames her mental instability and hopes that Tyrese and Sasha are dumb enough to buy into his crap as he throws them to Martinez to use.
At first Milton pretends not to know about Andrea leaving, but he’s way too transparent to fool the Governor. Milton doesn’t actually have to say anything for the Governor to draw his own conclusions on how much Andrea really knows. Phil storms off, quite bent on murdering the bint.
Oh look, a scene of Andrea r
unning, along a road towards the prison. Yes, she’s running. Zombies are present. Well, okay.
Martinez tells Sasha and Tyrese that they’re going to be on the mysterious outing. They’re not going to hunt for Andrea, but it shouldn’t matter to them if they were anyway. Not if they wanted to stick around and earn their keep. Ben and Allen both tear into the siblings for being weak-willed and gullible for even considering a word Andrea spews from her toxic mouth hole. The crazy-ass cowboy (think: Rick in sheriff chaps) and chick with a sword are putting everyone on edge, and if Andrea belongs to them, so be it, but Allen doesn’t want to be put out on the streets because of Tyrese and Sasha feel humanitarian.
It’s revealed that Allen’s beef with Tyrese stems from the latter saving his wife from walkers (thus making him look like the lesser man when Donna started to look toward Tyrese more). Male ego, sheesh. At heart he seems like a jealous, insecure dude. While Tyrese is trying to be nice about it by putting it behind them, Allen seems to want to keep digging it up. Annoying. She’s dead, stop soiling her memory already.
Cut to more of Andrea running. Now she’s going into the forest! That’s a lot of running folks. An approaching pickup forces her to take cover behind a tree trunk, where she feels temporary relief. Until ninja zombies catch her of course. What, she closes her eyes for like 3 seconds and walkers suddenly appear? That’s crazy. Thankfully, Andrea shows that she knows how to handle her shit around walkers. A one-on-three takedown is quite impressive, and it helps to pad the hate I have for her just that little bit.
The excursion group has ended up at the walker pits where they will keep the gnarly critters for when they attack the prison. Tyrese isn’t down with the inhumane plan, but Martinez doesn’t care. Guess that bromance with Daryl was fleeting huh? If Tyrese doesn’t want to be a part of this, he can tell Phil himself.
Upon hearing the threat of being kicked out, Allen jumps in and makes it known that he and Ben aren’t going anywhere. Tyrese pulls his sassy card, then they get into a scuffle, nearly feeding him straight into some hungry walkers. I laugh when Ben flies after being pushed away by Ty. Like flicking a little insect.
Sasha pleads for him to stop and Ty does, even when Allen is challenging him to toss him. The best part about it is that Martinez looks like he wants to chow on some popcorn after he applauds them for the show.
Moar running! I can’t help but draw parallels to that torturous, punishing brilliance of DayZ when Andrea is crossing the field. Jun and I practically had simultaneous eurekas about this. The wandering, the isolation, Andrea noting landmarks like two trees in the middle, the sheer vast expanse of the land. When Andrea proned because of the pickup, the memory of doing the same in DayZ flooded me. Man, that was a crazy ass game.
Does anyone find it ridiculous that Andrea hasn’t even gotten a scratch on her yet, and that poor backpacker from a few episodes ago was luncheon meat?
Look who’s in the car! It’s one-eyed Phil, going after Andrea. It amuses me that he’s purposely going slowly to tire her out. He could’ve just run over her, seriously. He loses her in the forest, but manages to find her again at an abandoned building. Yeah, you chase that ass.
She makes hell of a lot of noise for someone trying to hide, but I must admit that it makes for very exciting TV. The Governor whistling his crazy tune, the random surprise walkers lurking in the darkness; the scoring is especially eerie. David Morrisey is very Jack Torrance as he skulks around with his shovel and tries to draw Andrea from hiding with speech. Him breaking the glass? So fireaxe in the bathroom door.
It’s pretty clever with the glass though, because it means she has to stand, unless she wants to shred her palms bloody. Plus, the crunchy footsteps. Love the dreadful scrape of the shovel as he tries to find her. It’s almost as if he’s playing.
Andrea uses the opportunity to slip away when he’s distracted by zombies. Clearly he wants to attract every low-groaning, leg-dragging beast here to wash her out as he noisily guns them down. She herself encounters a stray that gives away her position, but she moves off in hopes of finding a way out. She finds a stairway filled with walkers, and as soon as she closes the door, she’s face-to-face with Phil. Loving the industrial pulse of music here.
There’s a little rebellious quirk on Andrea’s lips when he tells her it’s “time to go home”. I think not! She opens the door to the zombie-filled stairwell and sneakily stays in the little space between door and wall that only skinny people can enter, and a ton of biters come pouring out for some delicious Governor flesh. Despite all the dislike I have for Andrea, her smug face is awesome, I really gotta say.
The Governor fights for his life with no more ammo and Andrea strolls out of there with a boss-like swagger.
At the zombie pits, someone hijacks the prison assault plan by setting all the captured zombies on fire. Great commercial break.
Cut to… what? Andrea still walking? Stumbling?! Couldn’t she have taken the Governor’s truck and drove herself to the prison? Well, too late for that, she’s already there. Looks like Rick is on watch.
Andrea raises her hand to signal him, but BAM! The Governor strikes again. Damn it, Andrea. Why did you leave the car? This frustrates me to no end. And Rick, who doesn’t have the best eyesight, doesn’t even catch the Governor with his hand over Andrea’s mouth. Too bad.
Martinez and gang are bummed to find crispy zombies still baking in the pit. Super gross. They look like they crawled out of Mordor. They probably look more Uruk-hai than actual Uruk-hai. Either way, YUCK, so props to the makeup department.
The Governor returns to Woodbury and lies to everyone’s face about not finding Andrea, when he’s probably got her in the trunk. When Ty brings up his problem with unleashing zombies on the prison, the Governor says it’s just a scare tactic. Whatevs, dude! He lies to Milton too. Milton is all coy about the pits; he obviously set fire to them, and I’m sure the Governor knows, just that he probably wants to hang Milton by meat hooks but still make it a surprise.
Mmm, ominous rock music plays, as we enter the place where the Governor was prepping all this equipment and there sits Andrea in the chair. Guess he has a guinea pig for a trial run now.
On to the next ep. Having totally been oblivious to what happened just on the outside of their camp, Daryl, Rick and Hershel discuss what the plan for the Governor’s ultimatum is moving forward. Looks like Rick wants to give Michonne up after all, and Daryl feels like it’s so out of character for their group to sacrifice one for the sake of all. You can tell that Hershel is miserable and guilty because he can’t even stand there listening to Rick talk about how they’re just gonna throw her to the wolves.
When it’s just Rickryl in the scene, Rick asks Daryl if Merle can help them execute the dirty work. Daryl agrees, and Rick sets out to speak with Merle personally.
From the looks of it, elder Dixon is tearing up all the mattresses in the cell block in search of a speedball. Weed. Anything. The apocalypse is bumming him out and just wants to get high.
Rick is miffed at Merle as a person, but gets straight to the point about delivering Michonne. Before agreeing, he gives Rick a little insight on what the Governor is like – cruel, pragmatic, should be institutionalized. Michonne won’t have a quick death. She won’t even have her marbles intact when the Gov is done with her.
He advises Rick to bind Michonne in wire so she can’t escape. Then he confesses that he even baffles himself sometimes. All he knows is that Rick lacks the spine to do a thing like this by himself. Rick doesn’t argue.
Maggie and Carl are distracting the walkers so that a pickup of Glenn, Daryl and Michonne can enter the compound safely. They’ve been laying out barbed wire by the gates so that enemy vehicles will face tire problems if they intrude – Michonne’s idea, Daryl says, being subtle about his disapproval on giving her up.
Merle is spying on them from the cell block’s second storey window, still unconvinced that Rick would go through with the plan. Carol, looking after Judith, won’t stand for Merle’s liquor cravings, but surprisingly, it’s meant in half-jest rather than the hatred that Glenn may have for him. She asks if he’s on their team, but the only team Merle’s on is Team Daryl. So I guess that makes him Team Prison.
He notes that Carol’s a changed woman, no longer the mousy housewife. Her husband was a factor, but now that he’s dead and her kid’s dead, that sorta thing tends to toughen people up if it doesn’t break them down. Merle suggests that she’s a late bloomer in the department of fearlessness. Carol suggests the same of him.
Daryl’s looking for his bro and Glenn couldn’t give two flying monkeys where he is. Apologies won’t cut it for Glenn because what’s done has been done. Whether Daryl makes it on behalf of Merle again doesn’t mean a damn thing to Glenn.
Still, little Dixon isn’t letting up. He knows Merle can change and is redeemable, but he needs Glenn to be able to accept and receive that. Unfortunately, it isn’t that Glenn got beaten that bothers him, but the fact that he gave Maggie up to the Governor to do whatever he wanted – that’s what he won’t forgive. Real tough.
Daryl finds Merle in one of the rooms scouring for meth. Seems to be a habit Daryl’s used to hearing but doesn’t like. Merle tells his bro that he’ll do the job, and both agree that Rick will reverse his decision soon. But Merle wants to know if it’s what Daryl wants, and not the sheepish, “I’ll follow the leader” nonsense. That’s what I like about the relationship. Merle’s reminding him that his opinion counts for something too.
Daryl brings up Merle’s wrongs that Glenn previously reamed him out for, and Merle defends himself quite emotionally, rationally. If what he did was awful, they would sooner be no different from him when parts of Michonne are dangling from the chains on the ceiling. Merle imparts his wisdom to his brother, “People gotta do what they gotta do, or they die.”
“I just want my brother back,” Daryl says. Merle pretends to be creeped out by the emotions and tells him to get out of there, but you know it strikes him deep down.
The Greene family are going through some encouraging bible verses that Hershel is reciting, verses that becomes a voice over for Rick’s scene where he is extremely troubled about turning Michonne in. He sees a pregnant Lori looking down on him. An epiphany.
Just when Hershel wraps up his reading, Rick immediately tells him that they’re backing out on sending Michonne to Woodbury. Hershel is perplexed.
Merle is briefing Michonne – it’s just a cover for him to knock her out and restrain her while she’s distracted by oncoming walkers. Yikes. Interestingly enough, they cut to Merle prodding her down a street, talking about Rick’s inability to follow through on his decisions when it involves getting his hands bloodied.
A walker approaches them and Merle seizes the chance to borrow Michonne’s sword for some smooth swinging slice-and-dice. He’s surprised that she isn’t already running away, but she still can mess around and say that she wants her sword back first. Happy times.
Rick tells Daryl that the plan is off, and he’s panicking because Merle and Michonne are missing. Both head to where Merle was having his brother talk, and Daryl starts sniffing around – amazing that he can trek his brother. He tells Rick to stay while he goes out to handle the situation. An interesting first! I think Rick’s more than happy to let him deal with it. And even happier to hear from Daryl that he’s family too.
Now at a comfortable stroll, Merle and Michonne chat about all the possible ways that he would be eventually forgiven. She’s convinced that he isn’t pure evil like the Governor probably is, because she can see that he’s got a weighted conscience, just that he doesn’t talk about it. 16 men is a big number, but it’s something he had to do. He didn’t feel pleasure from it.
I’m starting to like Michonne a lot more now because she’s slowly opening up and showing sides of her that are more than just a grouchy glower. She’s insightful, she’s actually got a sense of dry humor somewhere inside those braids. Keep going in this direction, writers. She’s climbing up my fave character list.
Glenn comes to Hershel to talk about marrying Maggie. It’s the best option for Glenn because he wants her to know the extent of his love and devotion. He even brings up a pocket watch that Hershel gave to him a while ago; a reminder that time is short and precious. Of course, Hershel gives Glenn the blessings require d for a ceremony. He would be blind to not realise how far Glenn would go for his daughter. Very special moment.
Merle ties Michonne’s wire to a pillar and attempts to hotwire a car. Watch him be extraordinarily adept at breaking into a vehicle. Unfortunately, he’s not that great a carjacker because he somehow sets off the alarm, a mixture of ridiculous, blaring and whistling, attracting all manner of zombies from everywhere. Uh oh.
Fortunately for Michonne, she’s capable and resourceful as heck, easily head!stomping a walker and using her wire ties to decapitate another. Merle on the other hand, manages to shut off the alarm and barely escapes being bitten by one pudgy zombie. He shoots a few in the face and frees Michonne and they dash to the car, making a run for it. Sheesh. This show knows how to do close shaves.
Naturally pissed off, Michonne compares Merle’s and Daryl’s situations. There’s a complexity to Merle that I can’t put my finger on. On the surface, everyone judges him for the things he has done but his intentions, his real feelings about them remain an enigma. Sure, he has his fixed opinions on the others, but never really of himself. Which is why the scenes he has with Daryl are such a treat to behold, because they explore that part of him that no one ever thought about until it’s pointed out. Really interesting.
Michonne is pretty harsh in her perception of Merle, saying he missed his shot at redemption and “not even Daryl” is going to mourn him. He shoots a reality check by divulging Rick’s intention of giving her up, but she isn’t too troubled by it – I suppose she’s more in tune with reality and worst case scenarios that I give her credit for.
Glenn looks at some zombies clawing the fence and decides to de-finger one of them, most likely for a ring. Can’t be picky in the apocalypse.
Michonne wants to talk about the 16 men that Merle killed since he met the Governor. Merle was a jerk, but he was never a real murderer; interesting to note that he is showing some real inner turmoil about his sense of belonging and where he has left to go (Daryl, probably). And he really doesn’t want to be introspective right now. He doesn’t reply, but instead cuts her wire cuffs, telling her to go back. He even returns her the katana.
Wordlessly, Michonne begins on her route back and Merle continues his drive onward.
Daryl has spotted a reanimated head on the ground. He has encountered Michonne, who tells him that he’s still alive.
Merle is blasting rock music (sounds like Motorhead!) to make the zombies follow him. Him slowly leading them to another place is totally hilarious. When he reaches his destination where Martinez and gang are, he abandons the car and quickly runs for cover to gain a good vantage point. Seeing everyone’s face like what in the blue hell is priceless. Martinez signals for his group to check it out as Merle prepares to take aim and picks them all off one by one.
The Governor turns up and kills biters, some of the wounded men fall prey to gnashing teeth. I find it ridiculous that there’s guy using a shotgun at long distance – seriously? Merle has him in his crosshairs, but Ben, Allen’s son is caught and is shot instead.
A walker interrupts his killing spree. This leads to Merle giving away his location, where Martinez, Allen and some other dude start to beat on him. The Governor, vengeful as always, begin scuffling with big Dixon, screaming for the rest to let him hurt him; Merle is kicked in the face, has his arm broken, and gets two of his fingers viciously bitten off. The Gov fights like a little bitch.
He doesn’t go through with strangling him, but Merle is bent on saving his pride. “I ain’t gonna beg,” he spits, “I ain’t beggin’ you!”
“No,” the Governor quips, before firing a shot at Merle. At this moment, his redemption arc is at peak. Too bad that he has to die for the full effect.
Back at the prison, Glenn proposes to Maggie without actually proposing. I know it’s all dreary and everything, but I’m a traditionalist and this made me roll my eyes. Of course, it’s just me being judgy, but if Glenn loved her so much and wanted her to know, couldn’t he have asked her directly? It was like he found it embarrassing to say it out loud. Huge rock he harvested though, got to give him that.
Maggie says, yes, and all is well in the world of Magglen.
The group is all gathered and Rick announces that he’s giving up his Ricktatorship in favour of some real democracy. He confesses to everyone about his plan to give up Michonne and his regret over it now that she, Merle and Daryl are missing. It’s about time, and it’s really great to see that he heeded Carl’s advice. He rounds off with some motivation about them being a family and sticking together always, then leaves them to think about what decision they’re going to make about Michonne.
Rick is back on watch and sees Michonne making her way back. You can see the flood of relief on his face. The question probably on his mind though, is where the heck is Daryl and Merle then?
In the final scene, Daryl comes across the carnage that was where Merle had his last stand. Bodies and gore a strewn everywhere, and he takes one out with his crossbow easily.
However, he slows down when he discovers another walker – Merle. It’s absolutely dreadful to see undead Merle, with empty eyes and a loss of all that made him was he was before. A jerk, a soldier, a brother, a complex man. Now it’s all gone. All the feels.
Daryl breaks down at the sight, and keeps pushing the approaching body of his brother. He can’t deal with it. The third time, he finally stabs him up the chin, followed by more several angry, repeated stabs to the face, and when it’s all over, he falls back in tears – rough.
The episode ends abruptly, leaving me with all these feelings. What a waste. All that time spent searching for his brother. Final words said to him. How much Daryl fought for his brother’s right to stay with the group, and what they went through. Honestly, it hurts so much more because of how little time Merle and Daryl got to spend together. I’m glad that they’d made amends before the end and we learned that much more about their relationship. And man, I hope that Glenn will feel bad hearing news that Merle died. If he doesn’t, I will place him in the same category as Andrea.
I wonder if Daryl is going to go off the rails. He does seem to have a better grip on reality than Rick. But then again, if it weren’t for Rick’s initial proposition, Merle would still be alive. When Daryl realises that, it’s got to put a dent in his bromance. I can’t imagine that he would be okay being around the guy who set his brother’s death in motion.
Urghhhh the finale’s next week. That Governor POS better be dead by the end of it (even if I’m fairly certain he will crawl out of the rubble like a cockroach).