Image credit: Gene Page/AMC
BORN TO RUN If she was ever going to die, it was going to be in this episode. Now she will live forever. Forever making speeches. Forever getting unnecessarily angry about everything. Forever falling in love with the bad guy. Many years from now, when the cast of The Walking Dead has completely changed and the show has added in werewolves and robots and time travel, Andrea will still be there, probably saying something like: "I just don't know who I am anymore! Can your love cure me of my melancholy, Evil Cyborg Werewolf?"
We saw a mysterious scene at the Walker Pit, where a faceless person poured lighter fluid all over the walkers and set them on fire. Now, for a second, I thought that this was actually an incredible battle tactic. Pause to imagine: A horde of walkers, on fire, walking straight towards the wall of the Prison. (Or Woodbury, for that matter.) It would essentially be like turning zombies into walking, biting napalm. "That's a sharp tactic for zombie wartime!" I thought to myself. "I'm very excited that the battle with the Prison seems to be beginni...oh, never mind, it's just somebody burning up the walkers." Sure enough, the next day, the Woodburyites returned to the zombie pit and saw a disgusting horde of burnt-out husks.
At long last, Andrea emerged from the Magic Forest and saw the Lori Grimes Memorial Prison. It had been a long journey, filled with near-misses. In the distance, she could see someone on patrol. It was Rick Grimes -- the first time we saw him this episode, looking like a man with something on his mind. She waved at him...and was suddenly grabbed downwards by The Governor, emerging once again from the Magic Forest like a devilish night fairy with an eye patch. Rick looked through his scope and shook his head, probably telling himself it was just a hallucination.
The Governor returned to Woodbury and told everyone that he couldn't find Andrea. He told Martinez to get some more biters, so I guess there was no point in burning down the zombie pit. Then he brought Tyreese in and had a long talk with him about the zombie pit: How using the walkers was just a scare tactic, and how Woodbury is really a nice place, he swears. Tyreese apologized vaguely, and the Governor asked him, "Where did you get the gasoline?" Tyreese had no idea what he was talking about -- he just thought the Governor was asking about his outburst. The Governor said, "Oh, never mind, that's just my sense of humor. 'Where did you get the gasoline?' Aha. Aha." They all had a good laugh. Gasoline, right?
Then the Governor walked outside and talked to Milton, and Milton basically told him that he burned the pits. His mouth was saying, "Gee, that's too bad that somebody burned the pits," and his eyes were saying, "It was me! I did it! Milton Mamet, the cousin of David Mamet probably!" Yet again, the Governor did not just pull out his gun and shoot Milton in the face, which shows a significant amount of restraint on his part if you ask me.
The episode ended with a long, spooky shot going into the Governor's "workshop," ending with Andrea in the torture chair. (I like to imagine that, even now, deep into her Marissa Cooper Syndrome, Andrea still secretly thinks she might work stuff out with the Governor.) It was a scary way to end the episode, but it also felt inevitable -- and it made the whole episode-long chase scene feel like an extraneous bit of wheel-spinning.
Really, if I have one major critique of the back half of this season, it's that it has all felt a bit like wheel spinning. There has never been any sense that we weren't building to a major showdown, and every plot point that seemed to indicate that war wasn't coming just wound up feeling unnecessary. (It's a bit like in the early seasons of Breaking Bad, when Walter occasionally thought about leaving the drug world behind. You knew it wouldn't happen, because then there's no show.) Still, I find I'm tremendously excited about the last two episodes of the season. There will be blood.... hopefully?
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