by Kat Rosenfield
After last week's glacially-paced confab between Rick and the Governor, "The Walking Dead" returned to more action-packed territory in "Prey": an episode that featured secret sabotage, growing suspicions, deadly games of cat-and-mouse, and classic moments of zombie dismemberment that'll fill your gore-loving little heart with joy. Ready to find out what went down? Let's go!
But wait: before we move forward, we've gotta go back — way back, to an early moment in Michonne and Andrea's travels together. In a flashback, Andrea asks where Michonne got her nifty pet zombies and whether she wants to talk about it. The answer is one of Danai Gurira's patented hardcore glares followed by the mysterious statement that the armless, jawless walkers, whoever they are, weren't human to begin with, whatever that means. (This being the second time they've teased us with hints about the identity of Michonne's undead pets, it looks like "The Walking Dead" is gearing up to reveal her backstory before the season concludes.)
And in a secret room within the Woodbury complex, the Governor rattles some chains and looks crazy! Because he is! The manacles he's messing with are just one part of an elaborate torture chamber, where he presumably intends to exact revenge on Michonne for killing his zombie daughter and destroying his precious collection of floating severed heads. Not everyone is on board, however: Milton, upon discovering his fearless leader outfitting a dental chair with handcuffs, finally realizes that he's become the obedient minion to a homicidal maniac. He tells Andrea the truth — that her friends are doomed, whether they give up Michonne or not — and while he stops short of letting her assassinate the Governor right in front of him, he only protests a little when she confides her plan to warn Rick and the others what's in store. Andrea escapes over a wall and runs for the prison, encountering Tyreese and Sasha on the way and stopping long enough to tell them that the Governor isn't the stand-up guy he appears to be.
And yay, it looks like they believe her: although they report her departure, they keep mum on her parting words. Actually, Tyreese and Sasha seem to have developed a healthy suspicion of all things Woodburian, between Tyreese asking if the place is a "prison camp" and their mutual alarm at the Gov's use of walkers as weapons. Allen, on the other hand, has thoroughly drunk the kool-aid and keeps whining at Tyreese to stop screwing up their sweet deal with his stupid thoughts and ethics and stuff; Tyreese, in an amazing show of restraint, does not throw Allen into the live zombie storage pit, even though nobody would blame him.
Alas, Milton can't lie to save his life, and now the Governor knows that Andrea knows that he's planning a massacre; looking legitimately panicked, he grabs a truck and sets out after her. After a couple close calls, Andrea takes cover in an abandoned factory, dodging zombies and hiding behind machinery while her unhinged ex-boyfriend strolls after her at a classic horror-film snail's pace, dragging a shovel against the concrete floor and whistling cheerfully all the while. The tension is fierce, until the moment where it looks like she might escape without a confrontation — she finds an exit door, and opens it. But no! The stairwell beyond is full of walkers! And when she turns back, he's behind her. Thinking fast, she flings open the door and dives behind it, while the ravenous undead make a beeline for her one-eyed nemesis. She flees. He screams. And screams. And screams.
...And then, because evil people never die easily, he reappears and nabs her just as she's about to step into view of the prison watchtower where Rick is standing guard (and fulfilling his contractual obligation to appear in every episode. Hi, Rick!)
Meanwhile, one of the Governor's goons goes to fetch the trailer full of zombies and finds that someone, in the night, has set their carefully-collected supply of living dead people on fire. Oh no! He stares at the carnage, dismayed, and despite being pretty well desensitized to this show's myriad means of zombie death we've gotta say: the charred, gnashing pile of well-done walkers is fantastically disgusting. The Governor, who's back in Woodbury, suspects Tyreese as the saboteur — but nope, guess again. (Hint: The unmistakable odor of traitorous guilt seems to be wafting pretty strongly from Milton's direction.) And with the first stirrings of dissent beginning to ripple through the ranks, the Governor is going to need one hell of a trump card if he still plans to pull off a complete massacre of Rick's people.
A trump card like, say, Andrea, bound and gagged and handcuffed to the Death Chair in his secret chamber of torture-horrors... and that's exactly where she is, looking terrified, helpless, and utterly shell-shocked. Uh-oh.