Well, that was productive.
There have been a lot of filler episodes this season, but this one might rank the highest in terms of having truly nothing happen. Instead of flipping back and forth between the prison and Woodbury, the whole episode took place in the town. And in that field outside the town — you know, the one that spans all of Georgia. We’re also given a long-awaited glimpse into Michonne’s backstory, through a flashback of her and Andrea cooking dinner out of tin cans (presumably in that same field). Michonne’s zombie slaves are chained to a tree, and Andrea asks how she came to acquire them.
Andrea: Did they attack? Did you hunt them down? Or did you know them?
Andrea: I’m so sorry.
Andrea: Do you want to talk about it?
Michonne: [Shakes her head silently.]
[Silent pause and then finally:]
Michonne: They deserved what they got. They weren’t human to begin with.
And with that Michonne, spent with the effort of speaking, pushes away her can of beans and gets up from the fire. She seems to regard her dinner the same way she does her lines, as though there’s plenty more where they came from. She’s grown wiser since then.
Michonne doesn’t even get her own opener. She has to share it with a shot of the Governor, yanking on his own set of chains. He tugs and tugs, his eyes rolling back in his head from the pleasure of, what, their durability? Then we’re on to the credits followed by a scene of the Governor carefully laying out a series of Dead Ringer–style medical tools. Milton half walks in and then walks out because the Governor has trained his people to never fully commit to an entrance or exit. The Governor sees him, and they exchange (mild-mannered) words. Milton says, “This was supposed to be a new start. A way out. What about everything we talked about? Beating this thing? Clawing our way back?” I perk up at this since it’s the first time in forever since anyone has mentioned the virus. I’d so much rather watch the show that Milton is pitching. They also talk about how the Governor had been hoping to revive his daughter, Penny, and so that’s why he’s so pissed at Michonne. It’s less about the loss of his eye than it is about the loss of his hope.
Milton tells Andrea about the Governor’s offer to Rick: Michonne in exchange for leaving everyone else at the prison alone. They walk together back to the Governor’s torture lab and watch while he sets out a spool of thread and a needle. This dude loves to organize. Andrea says she needs to kill him, and Milton says there’s no way she could get close enough. He does not object otherwise, though. Then Andrea pulls out her gun and is about to shoot the Governor in the head, but Milton stops her because those three minutes have passed, and he’s decided he’s against this plan. Andrea doesn’t kill him. So many times does she or anyone else not kill him.
Milton says Andrea will get gunned down if she appears to be a threat. “Only if they see me coming,” she answers, followed by a scene of her walking straight down the middle of the town’s promenade in broad daylight. Martinez stops her and asks for her gun and ammo. Because now the Governor’s men are collecting the guns back from the same citizens that they handed them out to a couple episodes ago. I guess it’s no more a waste of energy than all the carting back and forth of shrubbery that they normally do. Andrea hands over her gun but secretly keeps her knife. Then she walks to the other side of town and comes across Tyreese and his sister, Sasha (who still seems to me like his wife or girlfriend). Tyreese sort of sucks at shooting zombies, and Sasha is giving him guff about it. Andrea smug-walks up the wall’s ladder and says she’s splitting Woodbury and if they were smart, they would, too. Tyreese sort of shrugs and says, “Look, we’re minor(ity) characters who the show hasn’t figured out yet, so we’re going to stay. All we want is a place with a hot shower, a warm bed, and daily helpings of perfectly poached eggs, and so if we have to go to war to get those things, so be it.”
Andrea says that’s fine but she’s going and they can’t stop her. They watch as she jumps down from the wall and smug-runs right out of town, straight down the middle of the road, which is her style. She comes across the field and is walking across it when she hears a car and jumps flat down against the ground. She appears to be pretty deep into the field, quite far from the road, there’s no way a car would see her, but, oops, I forgot, when it comes to that field, distance is warped. It’s like a rearview mirror, that field, prisons and utopias and hometowns are closer than they appear.
The Governor is driving the car and he’s after Andrea with a vengeance, but before I get to that, I guess I should finish up with Cutty’s story line. He’s been marked as a problem among Martinez’s crew. He just refuses to fall in line as easily as that other dude (whose name is Allen or Ben), you know, the dad with the son who seemed super kind-hearted and grief-stricken when we first met this crew. Now he’s a dick whose got a bone to pick with Tyreese. I guess Tyreese made the mistake of saving Allen/Ben’s wife/mom, Donna, at some point in the past, and this made Allen/Ben feel emasculated. He’s been carrying around this baggage for a while, but he waited to unleash it on Tyreese until they were standing in front of all their new soldier buddies. Tyreese tries to be all diplomatic about it and tell him that either one of them could’ve saved Donna, he just happened to be there. But then a few scenes later, Tyreese and Allen/Ben get in another fight and Allen/Ben is all, “I can look out for my son,” and Tyreese is all, “Like you looked out for Donna,” and I was all, “Oh for the love of God, is it possible to medically diagnose a television show with schizophrenia? Is that a thing I can do from my living room right now?”
Tyreese is upset because Martinez and his men are gathering up walkers to let loose on the prison. Tyreese can’t stomach the idea of them going after innocent people. We see a scene of a truck driving up in the middle of the night and someone wearing gloves dousing the walkers in gasoline and lighting them on the fire. The next morning, the Governor’s men find the zombies charred to a crisp. We’re supposed to think this was done by Tyreese, but when the Governor confronts him later, Tyreese has no idea what he’s talking about. He also says he and his people have decided to stay, whispering under his breath as the Governor walks out, “Which doesn’t mean we won’t change our minds again by the next episode.”
Okay, back to Andrea. She lives inside a B horror movie now. It looks like an empty warehouse with a bunch of broken windows. She escaped into it after the Governor was on her tail in the field. He was in a car and she was on foot, and so naturally she got away. Now he’s chasing her through the warehouse, which seems like it mostly housed buckets of loud, metal scraps before the virus hit. There’s also lots of meat hooks hanging from the ceiling. The Governor briefly tries to lure Andrea out with kindness (“Come back home where you belong”), but she’s not falling for it anymore. His creepy whistling has finally tipped her off that he’s a sociopath. He smashes some windows, which made me wonder if that’s how the other ones got broken, too. Maybe this same couple’s fight keeps happening in this warehouse over and over again.
Andrea tries to escape into a stairwell, but it’s full of zombies. She shuts the door and sees the Governor standing in front of her. She appears to be trapped, but then she, like, opens the door and then hides behind it, letting all the zombies spill out into the room. They go after the Governor, who tries to fend them off with his numerous weapons, including his gun, but there’s a lot of them. In fact, they appear to be multiplying. Andrea flees to safety across that field. She comes across the prison, and it looks beautiful to her. She can’t wait to smug-walk its halls. She waves her hands so Rick will see her, but then suddenly there’s the Governor, pulling her down, covering her mouth with his hand. He see a shot of Andrew Lincoln, probably annoyed at having to show up for work that day without even a line to say, standing on the prison guard tower. Using just his face to convey expressions is maybe not something he should list as a skill on his CV quite yet.
Back in Woodbury, the Governor runs into Milton, who asks about the fire in a cagey way that makes it very clear that he was the one that started it. Milton asks if Andrea is dead. “I hope not,” says the Governor. We, the viewers, amend this into, “I hope so,” and then add, “Also, we’re fine with you dying for real next episode, too.” The camera winds its way into the Governor’s lab, where we see Andrea handcuffed to a dentist's chair. There’s a gag over her mouth so she can’t speak, but there’s nothing stopping her from rolling her eyes.