Monday, March 18, 2013

No Green But Lots of Red in "The Walking Dead:" A Television Review ("Prey")

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Director: Stefan Schwartz.

Writers: Frank Darabont, Robert Kirkman, Evan T. Reilly and Glen Mazzara.

Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden and Norman Reedus.

AMC aired another exciting episode of "The Walking Dead" on Saint Patrick's Day. There was no drinking in this episode, but Epis. 14, titled "Prey," dealt almost exclusively with the setting of Woodbury. Characters were jumping ship and the Governor (David Morrissey) continued his lying ways. There was a lot of conflict, as well. Milton (Dallas Roberts) found a way to sabotage the Governor's attack on the prison. Andrea (Laurie Holden) also found herself as a final girl in a horror film as she tried to escape the Governor's maniacal clutches. And, the film's story structure offered a speed bump early on, with the use of a hanging flashback. Overall, "Prey" continued the trend of introducing several scenes of tension.

This episode focused primarily on Andrea, again. Her poor decisions and delusions were replaced with some common sense. Andrea finally decides to head out for the prison, while leaving Woodbury behind. This choice does not sit well with the Governor. Soon, both characters are tangling in a darkened building. This sequence seemed lifted from a slasher film. Back at Woodbury and the surrounding area, Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) was dealing with a morbid past involving Allen and his wife. The results of this confrontation were inconclusive. Milton is also finding his own path, away from the Governor. Milton delights in arson when no one is looking. All of these events created for another lively episode.

Andrea has found her home (the torture chamber).

The initial flashback was very awkward, however. Flashbacks were often used in another show, "Lost." And, several reviews have started to compare "The Walking Dead" with "Lost." These comparisons are just. Are the flashbacks really necessary? Anyone can die at anytime in a zombie apocalypse, so developing character's past histories can be counter-intuitive. These flashbacks might also hint at which characters will last through episodes. This reviewer felt that this early scene, between Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Andrea, just seemed to hang on its own and it was not tied in with anything else in the episode. It was an unnecessary scene.

Milton's behaviours were a little more relevant. Milton has a past with the Governor. This past is left unexplained. However, this past history is one of the reasons that Milton has remained with the Governor at Woodbury for so long. This history does not prevent Milton from sabotaging the Governor's looming attack, though. Milton even rubs in his burning escapades, at a zombie farm, when he talks about the fire with the Governor. And, the Governor is aware of his treachery. This critic is curious to see these two characters will bump heads, in the future.

Andrea was a little less conflicted in this episode. She has been under the Governor's spell for almost an entire season, but she finally bucks the trend by leaving Woodbury. The Governor gives chase. And, this show's climax took place in an abandoned warehouse, between these two characters. The Governor stalked like a serial killer, while Andrea held him off with a pack of zeds. Andrea was not the winner of this confrontation, however. She is captured just outside of the prison and placed in the Governor's torture room. Her comeuppance will surely be cathartic for at least one viewer.

"Prey" was a tense episode. Characters were finding reasons not to work together and these late episodes are creating a solid foundation for the finale, which is only two episodes away. Hopefully, future episodes will be less Andrea centric and focus more on the rivalry between Rick and the Governor. These confrontations are often more explosive, compared to Andrea's double-dealings. The next episode, "The Sorrowful Life," will likely show more rebellion back at Woodbury as the Governor's preps' his final attack on the prison. And, from past episodes, it will be interesting to see who is left standing after the dust finally settles.

Overall: 8.25 (good writing, poor use of flashbacks, good conflict, tension and a solid climax).

More details on this episode can be found at the AMC:

The Walking Dead at the AMC

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