The Walking Dead Roundtable 3.14: “Prey”

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Today, you get two zombie posts in one day! Carly Mitchell, Jeannie Chan, and Jenn Kim join me to discuss last week’s episode, “Prey,” and then in the next post, I recap yesterday’s episode.

Spoilers for The Walking Dead 3.14: Prey, are under the cut!

Carly: I may be the only person out there thinking this, but I have seriously lessened in interest about Michonne’s past. To me, it means more silent, brooding, cryptic messages–I’m so over that with her. If they had a better way to give her story then I’m totally down for that, but this scene just takes us back to the Michonne from the start of the season. Just give me more human interactions and opportunities to see who she is now! Read: more lines.

Joe: I’m pretty sure she’s this way because of all the zombies (or that implied rape) and not because she is just like that.

Jeannie: Part of me agrees with you, Carly, but at the same time, I got really excited when I realized that a) this was a flashback and b) it was giving us backstory for Michonne. Some things are better late than never, I guess. Had this flashback been embedded somewhere earlier, like say before “Clear” (which, by the way, was the best episode I have seen this season by far, and I was very sad not to have been able to participate in that roundtable) her storyline/character development would have flowed a little bit more smoothly. Just to retroactively comment on something: the moment that Michonne came out of the cafe with that rainbow figure and said she couldn’t leave such a gorgeous thing behind….we were finally allowed to see that she’s a human being! With feelings! Was just so amazing and unusual but made me hopeful for more glimpses of her personality. I was (am?) hopeful that this doesn’t just end here as a cryptic little hint of her presumably traumatic history and it gets fleshed out a bit more. Pun intended!

Jenn: Zing! Random question: was this the first use of flashbacks for the show, or am I losing my memory? I wonder if they’ll ever flashback to before the zombie apocalypse. Regardless, I’m with both of you on this. I’m sure most viewers want more lines and human interactions from Michonne, and it would be even more sweet if they also came in the form of flashbacks. I mean, she and Andrea had been together for months, surviving and roughing it out on their own.  Michonne saved Andrea’s life, nursing her back to health and refusing to leave her. Wouldn’t some sweet conversations have occurred between the two of them to develop such a bond?

Joe: They used flashbacks in the first season for everything involving Rick and Lori, because ohmigod they’re so interesting. I recall at least one or two for Merle and Daryl, too.

Carly: The Governor’s “workshop” is beyond disturbing.

Jeannie: Made even more so by his sadistic reverie. Yeesh. And yes, Andrea! Stop this thing! There may be hope for you yet.

Carly: Ack! Milton! We were so close to Andrea solving this whole thing, and I was starting to like you so much. Whatever love-sickness he has for The Governor has got to go!

Jenn: Milton, you are still frickin’ creepy, but I appreciate your inner conflict. I mean, you should have totally let Andrea kill the Governor, but you’ve become a more complex character, and you’re finally developing and expressing thoughts for yourself. It’s just too bad you still look and sound the way you do. (Too cold?)

Joe: Aw, he’s a cute dweeb. I’d date him. Is it weird I assume that Milton is gay? He’s the closest thing to an LGBT person we’ve ever had on this show.

Jeannie: Tyreese and Sasha are becoming fast favorites of mine, which makes me worry about their longevity on the show. And what I’ve realized that I love about them is that they’re still holding on strong to their humanity. No one else in Woodbury, or even the prison for that matter, would have thought twice to shoot Andrea. I feel like the show has a tendency to introduce newer characters into these established groups and they’re always a little more optimistic (or at least willing to work with others and give people a friggin’ chance), despite probably enduring the same struggles. And then they die.

Carly: This cat-and-mouse warehouse chase is fantastic. And that shovel pulverized zombie face is my vote for grossest moment of the week!

Jeannie: I think “cat and mouse” is putting it rather lightly! Andrea is straight up being hunted and terrorized here! I haven’t felt this anxious watching this show in a while! Look at all the exclamation points I’m using! I am seriously freaked out!

Joe: LOL. I wish we could have done a video podcast of this episode to hear you say that!

Jenn: Jeannie, I’m feeling you on those exclamation points. Initially, I thought “cat and mouse” as well, and then it quickly turned into a domestic violence/horror situation. It’s bad enough that a psychopath is on the hunt for Andrea, but there’s an added horrifying intimacy in the suspense because they had previously bumped uglies.

Carly: I spoke too soon. BBQ’d zombies are right up there with shovel face for me. Also, I know it’s not, but how amazing would it be if the fire-starter was Morgan doing more “clearing.” Alas, they won’t have him be anything more than a life lesson for Rick.

Jenn: The BBQ zombies was an image that’s going to stick with me for a long time. The charcoal-ed, slithering bodies…*shudder.* Well-played, show.

Joe:  Oh my lord, what’s happening to the Joe who couldn’t watch Poltergeist as a kid without crying? I didn’t think the charred zombies were gross at all. Like…not even a little bit.

Carly: So, we had some good conversation about Andrea before and what it may mean when people dislike her. I want to point out how I appreciate the writers showing us Tyreese and Sasha being taken in by The Governor’s act. Yes, the whole town is under his sway, but since the focus has been so strong on Andrea’s devotion it was starting to seem a little “oh that sad, silly woman.” Sure, Tyreese and Sasha gave some strong side-eye about The Governor’s plans, but a little pep talk and they’re seemingly back on board. It’s nice to see someone other than Andrea be taken for a fool at this point. That being said, I’ll be elated when they all snap out of it.

Jeannie: That scene really does highlight the power that one charismatic talker has over a group of people desperate for hope. It’s so much easier to let yourself believe the words that are coming out of the Governor’s mouth. Because what’s the alternative explanation? Something super-scary and sketchy that you’re probably going to have to take action on. No one wants to do that. Okay, that’s unfair. But it takes a lot of inner strength and, while we see that being displayed in other ways throughout this show (otherwise, no one would have survived this apocalypse), there’s something that’s missed that people are willing to accept and it’s because they think they need to in order to survive.

Carly: Also, I’m not sure if I should talk about Allen and his son because, as touching as that argument was about his wounded pride (sarcasm), they don’t strike me as the type of characters that will be alive much longer.

Jenn: Let’s hope not. They’re really annoying, and distracting to the Tyreese/Sasha storyline.

Joe: Allen is the worst. I hope he dies in a fire. Too harsh? Here’s a compliment: the actor has pretty eyes. There you are.

Doesn’t this zombie look just like Garret Dillahunt?

Carly: So…maybe Milton will save the day with Andrea? A dramatic “et tu, Brute” moment? And what exactly was their relationship like before all of this? Was Milton his butler who served afternoon tea?

Joe: I mean, pretty much. He’s the guy that made The Governor feel smart (Science!). And then, Milton did something really stupid and obvious. Which I think may be the theme of Woodbury: “People Do Obvious Things and No One Really Notices Anythi… Mmm Lemonade!”

Carly: Last week there were some comments to the roundtable about the Michonne situation I want to revisit, and Joe, you brought up a point about whether it would have helped to have Glenn involved. Honestly, I agree, it’s all a surprisingly bad scenario and I think there is little to make this better, thanks to the way everything was set up from the get-go. As Gary in the comments pointed out last week, here’s two white men talking about trading Michonne to save mostly white people on both sides. That’s a strike. And to the point about Glenn–sure, that may have made it seem a bit less like the white male overlords are running the place, but then we’re looking at a sex-trade argument where the men hand over the woman like they own her…another big strike. Just posing a hypothetical, I wonder what we would be saying if it had been written with Merle as the one The Governor wants and why the writers didn’t see that as a workable course of action?

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Jenn: That’s a great point, Carly. The show has been lousy with both race/gender depictions (and completely non-existent when it comes to LGBT depiction). The conversation between the two white male leaders would have certainly had a different effect if they were discussing trading Merle instead of Michonne. It’s interesting, though: in the Governor’s eyes, Merle, despite his “betrayal,” never served as a real threat to him. Instead, Michonne, who was the only guest of Woodbury suspicious of the Governor from the instant she met him, was the only one who saw the Governor for what he was: a sociopathic megalomaniac. Also, Michonne exposed the Governor’s true vulnerability when she ignored the Governor’s pleas not to “kill” his daughter. And, you know, the eye thing. But he looks better with an eye patch, anyway.

Joe: I am just saying…there would be a lot more tough-ass lesbian ladies in this world. That is a generalization, of course, but…I mean they all can’t be living on a gay commune somewhere. I want to make The Walking Dead: San Francisco now.

Carly: Would it be giving the show too much credit if I said I was hoping the prison group could somehow turn out to be really decent human beings who used this ridiculous proposition to get Michonne into the town to take out The Governor? I know that’s wishful thinking but truly, it’s such a terrible plot point, I don’t know how they’ll work it out.

Jeannie: Oh, if only we could write this show! No matter what, Sunday’s episode is sure to be intense, what with Andrea being in the Governor’s torture chamber and all. There are only 2 episodes left this season! Please be good.

Jenn: Yes, hopefully there will be some good action/battle and character development in the next 2 episodes. It was tough seeing Andrea in the Governor’s torture chamber, but I gotta hand it to her; she was pretty bad-ass in this episode. She definitely held her own when the Governor was chasing her, and she did some fast-thinking when she unleashed all of those walkers onto him. I particularly enjoyed how she looked at him with contempt and satisfaction as he was fighting off all of the zombies. I just wish she had turned around once in awhile when she was running towards the prison.

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