Looking back at Walking Dead’s ‘Prey’: Cat and Mouse, Governor-style!

Laurie Holden, AMC's The Walking Dead
Laurie Holden, AMC's The Walking Dead /

“Prey,” The Walking Dead episode 314, sees the Governor and Andrea’s relationship not only collapse, but turn deadly. Let’s look at how it all goes down!

At this point in The Walking Dead, two major camps are on the brink of war. No one trusts anyone, and negotiations seem futile. It’s a complex, emotional cocktail of revenge, domination and betrayal. Both Rick’s prison and Woodbury wanted their own place, and to create a sense of normalcy. In fact, both have adopted some similar attitudes and methods. However, with this episode, the Governor becomes markedly more evil yet again.

Previously, in some of The Walking Dead’s most intense scenes, the Governor inflicted torture on Glenn and humiliation on Maggie. He had also gunned people down, and run Woodbury like a dictatorship. However, in “Prey,” the Governor is seeing threats to his control, and is losing trust in others, and they in him. This is not something he takes lightly, especially when trying to rally Woodbury into conquering the prison. Quite simply, he’s done playing games. However, his big mistake is verifying to Milton that he’ll not only capture Michonne, but will not spare the prison. When Milton leaks this information to Andrea, things really come to a boil.

The Governor’s Plans

Although he puts himself above all others, the Governor nevertheless needs others. This is the conundrum of the dictatorial leader. It turns out to be a complex relationship, where appearances are very important. This is why, as he keeps engaging in immoral acts, it becomes harder to maintain order in his little kingdom. Andrea’s leaving gives him an opportunity to stalk her, to lash out against her, and to completely drop the “good guy” persona that he needs elsewhere.

Indeed, how he chooses to deal with Andrea is how an animal deals with prey. In his case, though, he’s sort of like a cat. He plays with his target, deriving pleasure from Andrea’s distress. Oddly enough, though, this is likely a conscious part of the Governor’s plan. He rationalizes such thing as being tactical. His sick pleasure is merely an added perk. Indeed, when all is said and done, a person like the Governor rules by fear, gun and knife

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The Meeting with Rick

In the previous episode, the Governor had met with Rick, ostensibly to create a peace deal. Still, it was really just a way to show off. After meeting with Rick, the Governor could always say he gave peace a chance, even if offers weren’t seriously entertained. It’s sort of a loophole for power-seekers to justify themselves, even as they bring about destruction.

No doubt, anyone with the Governor’s mindset would reflect on such instances, and use it to feel more well-rounded. In this case, one would probably rationalize hunting Andrea as a “security operation” of sorts. After all, she has links to the prison, so if she heads that way to re-join Rick, it’s a clear threat to his greater vision of control. Logically then, the Governor’s more sadistic impulses are just tools for the trade. He can’t be “soft” and let this lady get away, so his sense of betrayal acts as a boost for his chosen profession. The crueller and more paranoid he becomes, the better he’ll find himself as a leader.

The Governor’s Disdain for Woodbury

While Tyreese and Sasha are newcomers by this episode, there’s always a vibe of the Governor disliking Woodbury. Those he holds in highest regard are obedient to him, and are still clearly expendable. Moreover, he sees people in general as simpletons who don’t need to know what’s really going on. Their being “safe” comes at the price of knowing the truth, and of ever living independently of his judgment.

By this point, the town is getting sick of this arrangement. This becomes obvious when Milton turns his back on the Gov and torches the biter pit. Not only is Milton done with the illusion of safety, but he seems to be more of his own person. No doubt, this factors into what the Governor does next, as Andrea waits for some of her final moments.

Next: AMC airs the Best of the Governor marathon July 8

How about you? What are your thoughts on this episode of The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments!