Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 3 “Isolation”

“Isolation”

(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)

When we left off last week, the prison was under quarantine after an outbreak of the explodey flu, and, subsequently, walkers, in Cell Block D. In explodey flu, the infected person’s lungs reach max pressure and he/she dies from a surge of blood exploding out of all mucous membranes …totally gnarly, and btw, this is my name for it…not Hershel’s. All persons exhibiting the signs of explodey flu are quarantined in Cell Block D, which pretty much stands for Cell Block Die unless somebody gets some antibiotics in this joint.

Digging graves…the prison’s latest pasttime…Glenn and Maggie exchanging smoldering sex looks while doing the gloomy work. Maggie’s shooting Glenn a look like, “Mmmm, sweetie, your hair’s looking good, all long and shit, and you’re working that shovel…why don’t we sneak off and knock one out real quick?” and Glenn gives this cute regretful look back, like, “Girl, I wish we could, but, you know…we gotta dig these graves…” Back inside, Hershel and Caleb, the young med, are checking on a sick patient…Caleb checks the vitals, looks at Hershel, and they share a shake of the head, Goner. Caleb pulls out his knife for the rekill. On to number next in Cell Block Die.

Outside the entrance to the D block, Tyrese is boiling mad.  He’s not going to need any encouragement to exact his style of justice on whomever killed Karen and David. This scene is amazing, with Chad Coleman playing Tyrese as truly menacing and unpredictable in his fury and grief.  Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus kill it once again, as Rick and Daryl both bob and weave, light on their toes, keeping an eye on, and a step away from, Tyrese in serpentine unison. Daryl stays behind Tyrese, ready to jump in if needed, and Rick is face to face with Tyrese, trying to reason with a man who is not to be reasoned with. When Tyrese steps to Rick, Daryl reaches out a arm to try to restrain him, and quick as a whip, Tyrese shoves Daryl across the concrete and jacks him up on the bars. Tyrese is fast and crazy strong!

Even in Tyrese’s chokehold, Daryl puts his hand up to signal Rick back, letting Tyrese have his moment and get it worked out. (That is majorly cool of Daryl, who understands dude code pretty much more than anyone, ever.) Rick is behind Tyrese, giving him some weak sauce about how “We’ve all lost someone” and how Tyrese needs to “calm down.” This badly timed (and badly put) advice sends Tyrese right up, and he shoves Rick. There’s a great shot of Rick, looking kind of pissed and majorly sexy, then he says something stupid, and totally unsexy, like, “Karen wouldn’t want you acting like this.”

In the next instant, Tyrese is beating Rick down…Daryl jumps on Tyrese and pulls him back as Rick puts a shaky hand up to his bloody mouth. With one taste of his own blood, Rick leaps up and begins pounding Tyrese down berserker-style while Daryl tries to restrain him. Rick screams at Daryl to let him go, ready for more…he stops only when he hears Tyrese break down into sobs, lying on the concrete. The scene ends with a shot of Rick’s face, dazed, as he looks down at his bloody hand and realizes that he just totally lost his shit.

I got it DIY-style on my phone from the TV screen…prison-yard beat-down, Rick, Daryl, and Tyrese-style, while Carol looks on in horror…ummm, what did you think was going to happen if you kill sick peeps, drag them outside and burn their bodies, and then leave the whole mess for a bereaved man to find, Carol, you sloppy bitch?

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Later, in the prison, Hershel is fixing up Rick’s hand. He says it’s strained and basically tells Rick that he can’t play piano or punch anyone out for about a week or so. Hershel then tries to invite Rick to the next council meeting…they need him there. They are in super-crisis mode. Epidemic flu, walker attack, major casualties that keep mounting. “Everything we’ve been working so hard to keep out, it’s found its way in,” Hershel says.  Rick replies, “It’s always been there.” Perfect line, perfectly delivered. Then, Hershel gives Rick the first of many epic-Hershel-pep-talks of this episode, basically telling Rick that “everyone has a job to do”, and that his job is to keep the people safe as best he can.

“Everyone has a job to do,” is one of the main themes that run throughout this episode …it is Hershel’s teaching from years back, passed to his kids, and now it is being passed along to many key characters, like a mantra to live by, to keep steady and keep going in such dark and uncertain times.

Outside, Bob comes to check on Tyrese….I actually give Bob lots of props this episode for coming through, again and again. (Sorry I was such a dick before, Bob, but I still am keeping an eye on you!) Tyrese’s eye is swollen shut, refuses treatment for his wounds until the bodies of Karen and David are buried. He looks really burly with his black eye…check it out:

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Right? What a badass. Freaking awesome.

Glenn is looking for reassurance from Hershel, which he gets, to a degree…then Glenn and Hershel see Sasha, coughing…she has it…she can barely speak, says she’s going to see Doctor S. It’s a nightmarish, crazy scene when she’s weaving through the sick ward, looking for the doctor…all the sick and decrepit people are hacking and moaning; a flu-casualty-turned-walker rushes Sasha and tries to claw at her though the locked cell door. Oh, damn, Doctor S is sick too…”It’s starting,” he tells Sasha. This flu sucks!

The council convenes. Hershel tells them that antibiotics may help save those infected with the flu, and that there is a vet school about 50 miles away. They need to send a team to go try to get the needed meds…Daryl’s in, Michonne volunteers, and after Hershel reminds her that Daryl has been exposed to the flu and may be a carrier, Michonne answers, “He’s already given me fleas!”  Ha ha, thank you Michonne, for bringing the funny, because Glenn is looking pretty sweaty over there in the corner…and that is worrisome.

Carol and Rick outside, the water’s looking brown and shitty. Carol says the line in the river is clogged with mud and someone needs to go out and clear it. Great…sounds like a job for you, Carol, you cray bitch. Then, Carol sends Rick off to talk to Tyrese and pay his respects, but declines to go herself, coming up with some excuse in the moment…yeah, Carol…we find out why you couldn’t face Tyrese…it’s because your crazy ass killed his special lady friend, and another dude,  and burned their bodies.

My buddy’s good friend, Neil, totally called it with Carol…his initial theory was that Crazy Carol was feeding rats to the walkers. I loved that theory.  I called it The Crazy Carol Theory, a.k.a., The CCT.  Now I love The CCT even more knowing just how crazy Carol can be…she’s killing the sick people and burning their bodies…she may be feeding the walkers, too! My friend at work, Jeff, thinks it’s Carl who was feeding the walkers through the fence, doing it to up the risk ante at the prison, which would force Rick to give him back his gun.  Fascinating…The Carl Theory.  I love it too.  I guess I’m kind of a ho for a good theory.

All I’ve gotta say about Carol, and then I’ll move on, is that it’s going to be a total dealbreaker for Daryl when he finds out about this shit.  My best WD buddy agrees. He’s a moral dude she texted.  Way to blow it, Carol.  You used to be with Ed, who was an abuser, and gross, and now you are, or almost are, Daryl’s girlfriend, and now this… Way to self-sabotage.  I was totally rooting for you, and now I think you are gross. Next subject.

I love the scene when Rick approaches Tyrese as he finishes up with the graves, and apologizes to him.  Rick’s apology to Tyrese is direct and humble, and Tyrese accepts both the apology and his own responsibility in the brawl. Very cool of him. But Tyrese isn’t fucking around. He presses Rick to find whoever killed and burned Karen and David.  Tyrese serves Rick the biz, straight up,  when Rick tries to assure him that the perpetrator will be found…Tyrese basically tells Rick that he isn’t exactly “feeling the urgency” from Rick to go find out who did this (ouch, truth hurts!), and that it “seems like murder is becoming more and more ok around this place.” Rick denies this, saying that the first order of business needs to be saving people’s lives…”You worry about that,” a grim-faced Tyrese replies, “I’ll worry about what’s right.”  Aw, Deputy Grimes, I believe you just got served!

Maggie comes into the cell and finds out Glenn is sick. It’s so awful to think of losing Glenn. We are not ready for that, and by we, I mean me and Maggie. Get to that vet school and get those fucking meds stat, people!

It’s a powerful scene when Maggie and Beth are sitting back to back on opposite sides of the door.  Beth is shut in with Baby Judith to protect her from contracting the flu.  Maggie tells Beth that Glenn is sick. Beth is quick to administer the pep talk that Maggie needs.  “Maggie, we don’t get to be upset. We all have jobs to do, that’s what Daddy always says…focus on what you have to do…whatever happens, we’ll deal with it…we have to.”

Carl wears his father’s sheriff’s hat as he, gun drawn, accompanies Hershel into the woods so Hershel can gather elderberries to bring back to the prison…Hershel tells Carl he’s noticed that Carl has grown up  and made positive changes in the past couple of months. Hershel acts in a very easy and grandfatherly  way to Carl, who receives it well. It’s a nice exchange between the two. They encounter two walkers, but neither is a real threat….Hershel holds Carl off from making an unecessary shot at one when Carl instinctively raises his gun. “Don’t…you don’t need to.”

Tyrese is in on the road trip. After visiting Sasha, he is motivated to assist, especially after telling Sasha about the vet school run,and she says, “We could get medicine as early as tomorrow…we’ve got a chance.” Tyrese finds Daryl and tells him he’s in on the run, and Daryl says simply, “All right.” You can tell he’s relieved.

Tyrese finds Carol and asks her to look in on Sasha…he tells Carol he can tell she cares about people. Yeah she does…she cares so much, and has lost so much, that it has made her crazy…and overly dramatic, it seems, as she kicks over the good water in the water barrels and spills it all over the ground. Awesome hissy fit, Carol.  Even though she is being really annoying right now, I do like Carol’s boots and her general style in this episode.  Maggie’s, too.  I think the women are rocking some seriously cute, tough-gal looks in zombie apocalypse: layered cute shirts, jeans or some other cool sturdy pants, boots, belts, knife tucked somewhere in the pants or belt, and some leather type makeshift bracelet or necklace. Nice.

Maggie is totally freaking out right now…of course, Glenn is sick, which is enough to send her right up, and now she’s found out Hershel wants to go into Cell Block Die and bring elderberry tea to the sick people inside. Hershel is being so good and brave and wise as he gives Rick and Maggie the biz…I copied his speech word for word:

“Listen, dammit, you step outside, you risk your life…you take a drink of water, you risk your life…and nowadays, you breathe, and you risk your life!  Every moment now, you don’t have a choice…the only thing you can choose is what you’re risking it for…I can save lives, and that’s reason enough to risk mine, and you know that..”

Poor Maggie has to let him in, and Rick is once again witness to a heartbreaking moment. He stands in the background as Hershel enters the sick ward, slumped over in his grief and hotness…sigh…nobody does tragic hot like Rick.

Beth and Maggie talking back to back through the door again…”We all got jobs to do…we deal with it, right…we don’t get to get upset…” Beth’s voice has lost some of its strength and conviction…she and Maggie are so worried about their dad.

Rick is back at the crime scene, looking for clues…sees a bloody handprint on the door…

Carol on a water run…she is clearing the hose to the river, banging it on the bridge and attracting the attention of the walkers…Rick has to save her ass when her knife gets stuck on some walker’s skull.

In the car, on the antibiotics run, Daryl is telling Michonne that he knows she wasn’t running off when she went on her solo runs…he knows she was looking for the Gov…”You know that trail went cold,” he tells her, “Otherwise, I would have been right there with you.” She stares stonily ahead without answering, then gives him one of those Michonne looks.  Daryl asks for a CD and ends up turning the radio dial on a station with voices saying something about “survive” and “sanctuary”…the entire car is in shock..so much so, that Daryl runs the car right into a walker. And then, behold…the mega-herd!  Greg Nicotero said there was 7 500 walkers in this scene…and he would know.

The back end of the car gets stuck on a pile of walkers, and the crew has to abandon it…so gnarly, with the rear wheels skidding walker guts. An amazing hand-to-hand combat scene commences, with Michonne going at the walkers ninja-style with her sword, while Daryl stabs and runs through them, bayonet style.  Bob gets out of the car and begins shooting them, yelling for Tyrese to follow. Like I said before, Bob is still being cagey as hell, but  he’s also being cool, like in this scene when he’s holding the walkers off and waiting for Tyrese to get out of the car.

Tyrese looks annoyed as hell, like, “Do I really have to fucking do this shit again?” before getting out of the car and hacking at walkers berserker style…holy fuck…the others are battling through the woods, thinking they had to leave Tyrese behind…but there he is, emerging through the woods. While Tyrese is draped in walker guts, he otherwise seems miraculously unscratched or bitten…he’s a sexy tough mother, I tell you.

Back at the prison, Caleb just spewed blood on Hershel’s face, and Hershel, being the southern gentleman that he is, barely flinched…he merely took the bandanna off that was covering his nose and mouth and wiped his face with it. That, my friends, is the epitome of old-school good manners. Later, poor Glenn’s like, “Oh, man, after all we’ve been through, now I’m getting taken down by a glorified cold…” Awww…Hershel tells him that everyone has a job to do….I love Hershel in this episode.

Rick is giving Carol the biz in such a sweet way…and then he has to ask her if she killed Karen and David.  Carol says, “Yes,” and goes inside. Well, shit.

On Talking Dead, Marilyn Manson is dragging the whole conversation down…my friend and I texted back and forth, wondering what drugs he’s on…we agreed on pills…this panel has no chemistry, I am sorry to say…I texted my WDbuddy,This panel is like being at a bad party….Poor Chris Hardwick and Jack Osbourne……she texted back that MM was totally sucking pretty bad and that,  At times you see panic in Chris’s face. 

Chris Hardwick is getting pretty sick of MM at this point, you can tell.  He’s kind of disagreeing with him and mocking him, as MM keeps going off on boring tangents and referencing other shows and movies in a string of non-sequitars…now, Chris Hardwick is pretty much openly mocking MM about his irrelevant points and nonsensical theories (“at least I could follow that one.”)  It can be such a hard job to host…you have the responsibility of keeping the pace going but can’t be too much of a dick …OMG, he just straight up lauded MM for making “a straight-up lucid point” after “not understanding anything else you’ve said tonight.”  Is Gale Ann Hurd desperately dropping spoilers to defuse the tension in the room?  I can’t wait to see what the buzz on social media is like about this TD episode.

What advice would Hershel give to Marilyn Manson if he could?

Playlist:

Soundgarden,  “Fell on Black Days”

Neil Young, “Heart of Gold” (for Hershel)

Lana Del Rey, “Radio””

Ariel Pink, “Berserker” (for Tyrese…and Rick

2 thoughts on “Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 3 “Isolation”

    • I have no idea if the above comment is for real, but I approved it for two reasons…if it is real, and not some promotional self-generated thing, then it’s very nice and thank you…if it’s not from a real person, then the mere surreal factor made it a keeper…glad you are liking my nice articles!

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