[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Sunday’s "Prey" episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead and the comics on which the series is based.]
Andrea’s attempts at bringing peace between the Governor and Rick have completely failed.
During Sunday’s episode, AMC’s The Walking Dead played one of the most intense cat and mouse games of its three-season history when Andrea (Laurie Holden) learned the brutal truth about the Governor (David Morrissey). Thanks to his right-hand man, Milton (Dallas Roberts), Andrea makes a valiant attempt to return to the safety of Rick’s prison — putting the Governor through hell in his attempts to stop her from sharing his plans for the rival community.
Sadly, just as Andrea has the prison within her sights, her luck runs out and the Governor apprehends her — taking her back to an infamous location in the Robert Kirkman comics where the eye-patched villain brutally tortured and raped Michonne.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with executive producer Kirkman to break down the episode and answer some of the hour’s biggest burning questions as the series marches into its two remaining episodes of season three.
PHOTOS: ‘The Walking Dead’s’ Most Shocking Deaths
THR: After teasing that Maggie might replace Michonne rape room, the show is setting Andrea up for that story line. Why did you decide to change course from Michonne to Andrea?
Kirkman: The way this season was laid out it fell into place that Andrea was going to have to fall prey to the Governor in a pretty serious way. We’re seeing that now. It’s really about her being very focused on what’s going on with this conflict and worrying about if she can save Woodbury and the prison. It’s really closed her window of escape and led her to this point. It’s going to be a rough time for Andrea.
THR: Will the Governor’s plans for Michonne (Danai Gurira) change now that he has Andrea?
Kirkman: I don’t really think so. He still hates Michonne just as much and he’s still just as invested in the prison as he was before. This is just another terrible deed to throw on the pile. The Governor is hitting a new level of his dastardliness and there’s still a little bit of room to go from here.
THR: Could we see both Michonne and Andrea in the Governor’s rape room?
Kirkman: It’s entirely possible. There’s no limit to the lengths that this guy will go to. He’s thrown all caution to the wind here in these final days leading up to the conflict. Things could get pretty terrible moving forward.
THR: The episode starts with a glimpse into Michonne and Andrea’s past and reveals that her "pets" were people she once cared for. Will we be seeing more of their past together?
Kirkman: It was neat to go back and plug in a little of that time that we didn’t see in between seasons. It was good to just get a little bit of a hint as to how their relationship had played out over that time and see how close they’d grown. We always try to use these moments sparingly but we do recognize their importance and how they can play into context of episode and give people a little more information. I wouldn’t expect see flashbacks and stuff like that too terribly often.
PHOTOS: The ‘Dead’ and the Red: ‘The Walking Dead Cast in Character and on the Red Carpet
THR: When Rick and company return to the prison, what kind of priority might they place on bringing Andrea back safely?
Kirkman: We’ll be seeing how they deal with the Governor in our very next episode. Rick has got a lot on his plate but her current whereabouts will definitely be something that he would want to check into. Rick and the group are very much of the mind that Andrea is firmly on the side of Woodbury and is going to be on that side of the conflict moving forward.
THR: How safe is Milton in Woodbury? The Governor clearly knows it was him who set fire to the biter pit.
Kirkman: He’s certainly not on The Governor’s good side, which is certainly not a great place to be (laughs). We’ve seen in this episode that Milton and the Governor definitely have a history; that could be something that the Governor takes into consideration when he decides to deal with Milton or punish Milton for what he’s done. He’s certainly aware of Milton acting against him to a certain extent. There’s an element of friendship there that I think is very important.
THR: Might we get to see the backstory on their bond?
Kirkman: You might! (Laughs.) Milton is a very conflicted human being with a very conflicted relationship with the Governor and that’s what we’ll be exploring.
THR: Did Milton intentionally tip his hand about setting fire to the biter bit?
Kirkman: This was Milton taking a stand. He’s not the most tactful human being. I don’t think he’s much of a sleuth so it would be very difficult for him to hide something like this. He knew when he did what he did that that he would probably be discovered. That’s how important he felt it was to take that weapon and that plan off the table. He knew that he would be making a statement to the Governor.
PHOTOS: PaleyFest 2013: ‘Community,’ ‘Once Upon a Time,’ ‘Revolution,’ ‘Newsroom’ a and ‘Walking Dead’
THR: Will Milton think to look for Andrea in the Governor’s rape room?
Kirkman: Who knows! (Laughs.)
THR: Tyreese decides to remain in Woodbury. Is he really buying the Governor’s scare tactics?
Kirkman: The Governor is a very good manipulator and certainly seems convincing to me. Whether Tyreese falls for that, we have to find out in the next couple episodes.
THR: There’s a divide between Tyreese and Allen (Daniel Thomas May). How might that come to a head?
Kirkman: That’s something we’re going to be dealing with moving forward. It’s interesting to see a little bit of their past relationship coming out. We haven’t really known a lot about Tyreese’s group and how they interacted and how they survived together. Now we’re starting to see hints of that. It’s adding an extra level to their relationship and will probably come to play in the next couple of episodes.
THR: What’s with the Governor’s creepy whistling? Is that a nod to Alfred Hitchcock?
Kirkman: It’s hard to do a horror show without having some kind of nod to Alfred Hitchcock at some point during the show. There’s definitely an element to that.
THR: What was he doing whistling into the tape recorder? Does he record the events in the rape room?
Kirkman: He’s a mysterious guy who does mysterious things. I wouldn’t want to ruin an upcoming storyline revealing what’s going on there. He could have possibly been testing his recorder for later use. That’s certainly a possibility.
Do you think Andrea will make it out of Woodbury? Hit the comments with your thoughts on the episode. The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit