The Walking Dead stumbles a bit this week, but “Prey” arrives at a chilling conclusion.

Title: “Prey”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Stefan Schwartz
Written by Glenn Mazzara, Evan Reilly

Laurie Holden as Andrea
David Morrissey as the Governor
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Danai Gurira as Michonne
Dallas Roberts as Milton
Chad Coleman as Chase Tyreese
Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha
Jose Pablo Cantillo as Martinez
Daniel Thomas May as Allen
Tyler Chase as Ben

Premise

As Woodbury prepares for war, some of the Governor’s supporters begin to question his motives, actions, and sanity.

High Points

Although some of the plot and character developments seemed forced and made-for-tv, the episode featured a number of creepy, suspenseful moments. While the special effects helped, the best moments resulted from effective direction.

Then there’s the final shot.

Low Point

The Governor has extensive experience with walkers, so I’ll accept that he survives the Deadly Room of Zombies However, I don’t see how he could possibly have caught up to Andrea. The writers knew how they wanted to end, and they had a powerful and disturbing ending in mind. They needed to arrive more convincingly at that conclusion.

The Scores

Originality: 3/6 They actors handled the conflict well, but fights in abandoned, warehouse or factory-type buildings aren’t exactly new in the suspense genre.

We did learn a bit more about the Walkers, and it seems a little fire doesn’t kill them—though it slows them considerably.

Effects: 6/6 Anyone for a Flaming Zombie?

Story: 4/6 This week’s episode had an uneven script, but it took us to a suspenseful and dramatically interesting place.

Acting: 4/6 We spent the episode at Woodbury, where the supporting cast lacks the rough polish we usually see. Even Chad Coleman, who has been credible as Chase Tyreese, seemed a little forced in his performance this week.

Fortunately, we spent a lot of time with Andrea and the Governor.

Emotional Response: 4/6 We knew exactly what the Governor meant by “I hope not,” before we saw the final shot.

Production: 6/6

Overall: 4/6

In total, “Prey” receives 31/42