One has to wonder just what the group’s reaction will be following Carol’s banishment by Rick in last week’s episode, “Indifference”. Carol accepted things stoically enough, even giving Rick a watch to replace the one he lost. But how would the others feel? With the expression on Rick’s face as he made the drive back to the prison, you even had to wonder if Rick felt confident in his decision. His glances at Carol’s watch seemed to reflect his struggle with his choice. Once back at the prison, he seemed more confident, especially when he explained his reasoning to Maggie, who agreed with his actions. He did, however, ask her to keep things quiet, as he only planned to tell Hershel for the moment besides her. Her father, however, doesn’t take the news about Carol quite as well.
Hershel, meanwhile, has been tending to the sick, using homemade devices and home remedies to provide aid. Things are obviously wearing on Hershel, but he soldiers on, even taking out one of the corpses before it could turn. Sasha and Glenn do their best to help, though the sickness is taking its toll on both of them. Things do go bad, as one might expect, even in the wake of Caleb’s dire statement that “not everyone gets to live.” Despite precautions, some of the dead do turn and wreak havoc upon the sick ward. This led to some pretty tense scenes, and one creepy scene of Lizzie leading a zombie away from Hershel, calling it as one would a puppy. This nearly got her killed, but Hershel saved her at the last moment. You can see the toll events have taken on Lizzie, and she seems to be heading for the dark side, especially as she dips the toe of her boot in a pool of blood towards the end of the episode, swirling it around casually as if she was dipping her toes into a puddle after a rainfall. Wonder what the news that Carol isn’t coming back will do to her.
Outside, the fences aren’t faring well, and first Maggie and Rick and then Rick and Carl work to shore them up. Rick at first is reluctant to let Carl outside, since he’s been keeping him in to keep him safe from the sickness, but he realizes the boy is more than capable of lending a hand. The fence does go down, and Rick and Carl engage in a little father/son time blasting the invading walkers with assault rifles. The dynamic between Andrew Lincoln and Chandler Riggs just keeps getting better, especially as Carl gets more mature in the face of the zombie apocalypse.
This episode had some incredibly tense moments, thanks to a strong script by Channing Powell and the direction by David Boyd. It started a bit slow in terms of action, but when the action began, it ramped up significantly. The tension was felt throughout, and highlighted by Maggie’s frantic attempts to break into the sick ward with an axe. This was an episode where you didn’t know who was going to buy it, as plenty did, though Caleb was really the only big character to die this week. Still, there was plenty of suspense, including when Glenn took a turn for the worse, and Hershel and Maggie frantically worked to keep him alive. Help arrived when Darryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob returned with the medicine, which Bob administered to Glenn in what appears to be in time.
Speaking of Darryl, the episode ended before Rick gave him the news about Carol. Darryl asked Hershel about her, and Hershel just said he needed to talk to Rick. It’s doubtful that Darryl will take the news as well as Maggie, but we’ll have to wait and see. This episode just had some very strong character moments, and Scott Wilson has now become the group’s moral center and bastion of hope, much as Dale was in the first two seasons. His scenes with Lauren Cohen as Maggie were terrific, as were his scenes when Hershel was speaking with Caleb. One can see Carol was thinking along the same lines as Caleb when she killed Karen and David, and I hope we haven’t seen the last of her and that she returns in a future episode.
Speaking of returns, what an ending! The camera just pulls back away from the prison fence, only to show The Governor lurking in the woods. Things can only get worse now that he’s back.
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