(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)
Sorry this post is late…I have been under the weather but am on the mend!
I ended last week’s post with the question:
What advice would Hershel give to Marilyn Manson, after his wasted debacle on last week’s Talking Dead ?
Here’s my entry:
“Son, after watching your guest spot last week on Talking Dead, I could only assume that you were under the influence of various intoxicants…Judging from your incoherent ramblings, your inability to modify your actions in response to the negative verbal and non-verbal cues your host and fellow guests were giving you, and the general bloatedness and puffiness of your face, I would guess that you have been self-medicating with a combination of alcohol and pills for some time now.
Now, son, we all have a job to do in this life, and it appears that your job is to clean up your act. First, I would advise that you send Chris Hardwick, Gale Ann Hurd and Jack Osbourne each a note of apology with a dozen black roses or whatever you see fit to extend as an act of contrition…Next, I would advise you to seek out an excellent rehabilitation facility that would assist you in getting sober and book yourself an extended stay in that facility and get clean of all drugs and alcohol.
Finally, I would advise you to go on sabbatical and immerse yourself in some sort of combination of exercise and meditation, like an extended yoga retreat…you will need something that rebuilds your body, mind, and spirit while diverting your attention away from your former chemical activities.
After you get lean and clean, focus your considerable energy, talent, and intellect on your art and music, and put out a groundbreaking comeback album. It’s not going to be easy, but just remember: you are Marilyn Manson, for God’s sakes! You were doing the casual, everyday zombie look before anyone else jumped on that bandwagon…Godspeed, son, and the best of luck to you.”
How did I do?
(For a detailed look at some of MM’s weird and irrelevant ramblings on last week’s TD, check out):
So, when we left off last week, Hershel was ministering to the sick in Cell Block Die and probably infecting himself in the process; Daryl, Michonne, Bob, and Tyrese were making their way through 7500+ walkers to get to the vet school in a desperate search for life-saving antibiotics; Glenn and Sasha were among those infected with the explodey flu, and Carol just fessed up to Rick that she indeed was the perp who killed Karen and David, dragged their bodies outside, and burned them.
Oh, and there was a mysterious transmission on the car radio telling survivors about some “sanctuary” somewhere…but we know that the promise of “sanctuary” in post-zombie apocalyptic times seems to come with a steep price. All in all, many game-changing plot lines are in the works in Season 4.
Opening scene of Rick bandaging up his injured hand and making preparations to go on a food and medicine run with Carol, while Carol goes to the visiting area to check in with Lizzy and say her goodbyes. There is a great shot of Carol looking down at the knife in her hand, the one that she killed Karen and David with, as Lizzy approaches the glass partition. The exchange between Carol and Lizzy is profound and rich in foreboding.
“Nobody’s died yet,” Lizzy says. “Yet?” asks Carol. “I think a lot of people are going to die,” Lizzy replies. “It’s what always happens…It makes me sad, but at least they get to come back.” As walkers, that is. Carol tells Lizzy that if people come back as walkers, they are not the same as they were. “Yeah,” Lizzy agrees, “but they’re something, they’re someone.” Lizzy continues, “I know now, if I don’t die, I’ll get big, but I’ll be different…that’s how it is….we all change…we all don’t get to stay the same as when we started.”
Carol reviews with Lizzy what to do if she runs into danger…run as fast as she can, run until she is safe, and don’t be afraid to kill. “If it’s your life, or your sister’s life, don’t be afraid to kill..understand? You, your sister, and me, we are going to survive…I know it.” Carol then asks Lizzy where her knife is, and during the knife check, Lizzy slips and calls Carol “Mom.”
Carol puts the kibosh on that right away.“Don’t call me that.” Lizzy nods to show she understands. She is learning fast…keep a knife on you, don’t get too chummy with anyone, and don’t be afraid to kill if needed…got it, Don’t-Call-Me-Mom-NewMom!
During Carol and Lizzy’s exchange, there is a montage of Rick going through Karen and David’s cell areas, imagining Carol killing them with her knife and dragging out their bodies. Out at the car, he checks through the wrapped knife collection and sees one missing: Carol’s knife. Rick’s face is grim…we have seen this look before…he is mulling everything over in his mind, and deciding on a future course of action…and looking majorly hot in the process.
Back inside the visiting area, Lizzy says, “I am not afraid to kill…I am just afraid.” “You can’t be,” says Carol. Lizzy tears up at this. “How?” she asks Carol. Carol’s answer is simple and immediate,”You fight it…you don’t give up, and then one day, you change…we all change.”
In the woods, Tyrese is washing the blood out of his shirt in a stream…Bob calls to him to get a move on, but Tyrese seems resistant to rejoin the others in their quest to find nearby town and a new vehicle. He seems to be giving up…”My sister, the others, they are probably dead by now.” (Yes, I know now that Sasha and Tyrese were never together…she’s his sassy little sister by the same mister.)
There is some major tension in the Rick and Carol car…Carol is trying to justify her actions...Karen and David were sick, going to choke on their own blood, she was making it quicker and easier for them, blah blah blah. Rick’s face is stony; he doesn’t reply. Carol keeps on, “I was trying to save lives…somebody had to.” Rick sounds hoarse as he replies, “Maybe.”
It took me a few watches to catch the exchange between Daryl and Michonne on the trail, when Daryl picks up the piece of jasper. Michonne is super cute with her smile when she tells Daryl the jasper brings out his eyes…we are seeing her softer side more and more.
Daryl tells Michonne that he is bringing the rock home for Mrs. Richards in Cell Block A, that she had asked him to keep a look out for something to mark her husband’s grave.
Michonne seems surprised that Daryl knows all of the residents at the prison. “You stick around long enough, “ Daryl replies, “you’d be surprised what you can pick up.” Oooo, a subtle dig at Michonne for going off on her solo reconnaissance missions instead of connecting with her prison community.
Rick and Carol pull up to a neighborhood. Rick sees a station wagon in good shape, keys still inside, loaded with goods. He checks it out…we can practically see the wheels turning inside his head. Carol seems uneasy, like she knows something is up…
She reviews the mission with Rick…in and out, get food and medicine to buy time and get needed goods until Daryl and the rest return.
Great scene at the abandoned, overgrown gas station…the numbers displaying the price of gas on the marquee are upside down, spelling, “hell.” Daryl spies a car beneath the underbrush of a felled tree, fails to hotwire it, and tells the rest to clear a path in the overgrowth so they can get into the station for another, usable battery. Tyrese is furiously hacking at the vines, despite Daryl’s telling him to “go easy.”
Suddenly, a walker’s arm grabs at Daryl…Michonne hacks the walker’s arm off, then Daryl knifes the walker in the head (making the “Kill of the Week” on Talking Dead). Michonne pulls off sweet decapitation of Bob’s walker with an upswing of the sword, sending the walker’s head rolling.
Tyrese, however, will not let go of his brush walker, and it ends up on top of him. Bob shoots it through the head. Michonne turns to Tyrese, demands, “Why the hell didn’t you let go?”
Inside one of the homes, Rick looking through a medicine cabinet…a walker in pajamas appears at the top of the stairs and topples down. (Note to self: walkers cannot seem to negotiate walking down a stairway…good to know.)
Rick calls out a warning to Carol, pulls her out of the way…Carol recovers from her “whuuh?” moment, pulls out her trusty knife and thrusts it in the walker’s skull. (Rick seems creeped out as he notes her technique…it is how he imagined her doing it when she dispatched Karen in her cell.)
A scuffle and a creak of a door upstairs startles Rick and Carol. Rick draws his gun, aims at the stairway, and two hippie kids appear at the top of the stairs, holding out fruit as a peace offering, “Apricot? Peaches?”
Sam and Anna. At first, I didn’t know if I could trust them. This show does that to us by now, doesn’t it? We don’t trust anyone from outside the prison group.
But, as the episode progresses, we see that we, like the characters, are being faced with the reality…the fences aren’t going to hold forever, and the illness inside the prison may drive the group out and into the world beyond the fences. The outside world keeps making its way in.
But, Sam and Anna are adorable. And funny. Their story totally checks out.
They were looking for a place to “crash” after getting separated from their group. They first found a greenhouse full of fruiting trees and were there a day before the “skin-eaters” found them. (Sam actually then calls them “killjoys”… two of my new favorite names for walkers.)
Sam and Anna ended up at the house before the “deadie in the pj’s” (ha!) surprised them, forcing them to lock themselves in the bathroom until being found by Rick and Carol. Both of them are injured, Sam’s shoulder and Anna’s leg, which was broken when she got trampled by a panicked crowd running from a fire. It has healed funny, with Anna’s foot turned inward.
Carol assesses Sam’s shoulder, tells him, “It’s dislocated.”
Carol has Sam lie on the table and puts his shoulder back into socket. It’s actually pretty badass, the way she sets it. Even Rick looks pretty impressed.
When the kids ask Rick and Carol what their setup is like, Rick evades the question, asks in return the first of his three questions, “How many have you killed?” Poor Rick, always having to be the heavy…the man just wanted to be a farmer, people!
I got this pic of Sam and Anna with my phone…sorry so flashy, but it makes it a little dreamy, just like them:
Cute + cute = adorable! ❤
Back at the gas station, Michonne and Tyrese are chopping away the vines entangling the car they found. While they hack away at the vines, Michonne gives Tyrese the biz: “Anger leads to stupid, stupid gets you killed.”
Tyrese asks her if she is still angry at the Governor…she says she isn’t, but can’t seem to give a reason otherwise as to why she has been out looking for him.
Meanwhile, Bob and Daryl discover that the family inside the mom & pop gas station committed suicide, “holding hands, kumbaya-style.”
As we have seen in previous episodes, Daryl has no tolerance for those who opted for suicide as a way out of the zombie apocalypse, dismissing the family as “douchebags.” Bob wonders at this, and Daryl replies, “They could have gotten out.”
Bob replies, “Everybody makes it, until they don’t.” He finds some pictures of the family in better times, arm in arm, drinking beers, laughing and smiling. tacked on the bulletin board. Upon leaving, Bob does Pop Walker a solid and drives a screwdriver (holding the Men’s room key) through his brain for a mercy rekill.
Back at the pajama walker’s house, Sam and Anna are wanting to know if they have passed Rick’s test and if they can come back to the prison with him and Carol. Rick and Carol tell them that the prison where they are staying is overrun with illness…people have died, including kids.
Anna asks Carol if any of the kids who have died were hers. Carol quickly says, “No…thank God,“ making no mention of having lost her daughter, Sophia, in the past. Rick shoots Carol a look as she continues, “One of my girls, she’s got it…but she’s strong..she’s gonna make it.”
Carol is becoming more and more adept at rewriting the past and penning a whole new life story for herself.
When Sam and Anna offer their help in any way, Rick tells them to sit tight in the house while he and Carol finish their sweep of the neighborhood, but Carol is quick to suggest that the kids help comb the neighborhood for supplies. Rick is hesitant, as both Sam and Anna are injured, but the kids are eager to contribute.
Sam assures him if things look clear, they’ll go in, but if not, they will hang back. Rick reluctantly assents, handing Sam and Anna each a handgun and telling them, “Fire a shot, and we’ll come running.” The group agrees to meet back at the house in two hours.
Rick takes his watch off and hands it to Sam. “You’ll need this,” he tells him. Such a sweet hero.
Crazy Carol has already walked away at this point…that’s cold, Crazy Carol, real cold.
While Daryl works on the car, he asks Bob about the group he had been with before Daryl picked him up. The guys have found some cigarettes, and they are having a smoke and a chat. In response to Daryl’s question, Bob exhales, asks dryly, “Which one?”
Bob then tells Daryl he had almost kept walking when Daryl found him on the side of the road. He didn’t want to watch another group die. Bob had been with two other groups before, always being “witness” to seeing them die, always being “the last man standing.”
Bob fesses up to Daryl that he had gone on the store run to get a “bottle of anything.” He tells Daryl he had reached for, then put back, a bottle at the store when he pulled down the entire shelf, attracting the attention of the walkers and getting Zack killed in the process.
After Bob unburdens himself and fesses up to Daryl about his cursed past, Daryl regards him for a moment before saying, ‘grette still in mouth, “Bullshit.”
Daryl then steps back from the battery he has just installed, and sends Bob to put the green and red wires together in the car, to try to start it. Bob fires up the engine, and Daryl whistles for the others to come, turns to Bob and tells him he’s not alone any more.
Daryl looks superfine in this scene, like the coolest dude in the world, smoking, working on the car, being way cool to poor, cursed Bob.
The first exchange between Carol and Rick, in another house, is an intense back and forth… Carol finally walks up to Rick and asks him why he hasn’t said anything about her killing two people.
“What do you want me to say?” he asks. Carol makes some shitty farmer digs at Rick, grudgingly gives him credit for being a “better” leader than she gave him credit for.
“At least I didn’t kill two of our own, “ Rick replies. “Just one,” counters Carol. (Oh, no she DIDN’T!)
The group reaches the vet school, and sneaky Bob sees the top of a bottle peeking out from under some books. Oh, crap…that’s never good! Michonne almost busts him, and Bob hurries to catch up with her.
Carol and Rick in a back yard, harvesting tomatoes, Rick asks Carol how she learned to put a shoulder back in. “The internet,” answers Carol. “It was easier than telling an ER nurse I fell down the stairs a third time.”
Rick’s face registers the sadness of this, says simply, “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be,” says Carol. “Just fixed what needed fixing.” That has been the reality of Carol’s life, even before the days of walker apocalypse, from her days of being worked over by Ed. It says a lot about her motivation, why she does the things she does.
While harvesting, Rick and Carol share stories, Carol telling about her stupid life with Ed, Rick telling about Lori’s terrible Sunday pancakes…it is a really profound scene, and a really sad one.
We see all through this episode the pros and cons of Carol, and there are many pros to her. She is one of the original crew, and she has proven herself to be a very useful, key player to the group, time and time again. Carol, to me, is a very matriarchal figure, the eldest female who has actually been a mother. She teaches the children, she takes in the orphan girls. There is a lot I love about Carol, but she is on a one-way ticket to Crazytown, and she is exhibiting more and more signs that she is losing her humanity along the way.
Still crouched at the tomatoes, Rick turns to Carol and asks, “Why don’t you say her name?“ referring, of course, to Sophia, Carol’s real daughter, who got lost in the woods and eventually became a walker.
Carol sits back and regards Rick, with a look like, why don’t you get it?
“She’s dead, Rick. Sophia. Ed.” Carol pauses, then says, “It’s somebody else’s slideshow.”
Then, Rick sees the basket of fruit on the ground, and then a flattened trail of blood on the grass, leading to a gate, which is propped a crack open by poor Anna’s disembodied gimpy foot. Across the street, two walkers are feasting on Anna’s torn apart body.
A great shot of Rick, and Carol, as they watch and process this. Rick’s face shows sorrow, and I think, anger. Those kids were hurt, and naive, without the basic skills to defend themselves. They should never have left that house, and Anna’s tragic outcome is proof of that, and Rick knows it.
And, it was Carol’s idea to send them out there, hurt and unable to defend themselves or each other.
And Carol knows it too, but her face is different. Her face, as she watches the gory scene, is like, “I knew it.” And in that moment, Carol dismisses Anna altogether. “We should get back,” she says, turning to go. “Sam will probably be back by now.”
And Rick’s face when she says that…I think that in that instant, he made up his mind about Carol.
As I rewatched this episode, I began to see more of Rick’s process of observation, gathering information, going with the evidence shown, and going with his gut instincts.
Rick sees everything, and he feels everything, and he’s been a cop long enough to take the time it needs to figure it out…and when he does, he knows it, right then, right there.
And in that moment, at the gate, when Carol said that cold and shitty thing, that was the moment, my friends, that Rick Grimes decided what he needed to do about Crazy Carol.
Team Rick! Team Rick! Team Rick! Oh…sorry…got carried away there…but my best WD buddy and I def agreed that we were Team Rick all the way.
Back at the vet school, the gang has found the stash of meds, Bob instructs them to find anything that ends with “cillin” and talks about crushing the meds in iv’s to get the medicine into the sick people’s bloodstream sooner.
I was liking this side of Bob…then the gang runs into the Vet School Walkers, a portion of which seem to be exhibiting the signs of having died from the Explodey Flu.
Bob warns the gang away from trying to fight through those walkers, as getting their blood on them may infect them with the flu. Astute, quick thinking, Bob…so the gang busts through the chainlocked double doors and takes another walker group head-on, so badass.
Back to Carol and Rick, waiting for Sam. Carol is playing the “wrap it up” music and ready to jet. She says, “He’s not here, and it’s time to go.” She looks down at Rick’s bare wrist. “It was a nice watch.”
Oh, man, the scene where Bob almost loses his bag over the ledge and endangers them all, clinging to it, not letting go of the bag even with a horde of walkers almost pulling him and his comrades down as they try desperately to pull him, and the bag, back up to safety…
They succeed, barely, and when the bag lands, the telltale clank from inside gives away Bob’s secret…he almost risked all their lives for a bottle of whiskey, not a bag full of meds. Daryl is pissed! “Got no meds in your bag, just this? You should have kept walking that day.”
Ok, now I feel bad for Bob…I know he was just trying to sneak a secret buzz, but to almost take down the group for it is cray. He is now on Daryl’s shit list. Daryl looks smokin’ hot bowing up on Bob like that…even Chris Hardwick got all flustered talking about that scene. I love Chris Hardwick’s man crushes…he crushes on the same dudes I do!
It is now time for Rick to dump Carol. They are loading up the car, and Carol is ready to go in the shotgun seat. But the door is locked. Rick speaks up, “They might have lived. Karen and David, they might have lived…and now they’re dead. That wasn’t your decision to make.”
Rick continues to tell Carol that when Tyrese finds out what she did, he will kill her. “He damn near killed me over nothing.” Rick continues telling Carol that the others, when they find out, won’t want her there, and if it came down to just him, Carol, and his children, he wouldn’t want her there.
Crazy Carol is getting DUMPED, people, voted off the island in Walker Survivor.
Carol knows it…”Rick, it’s me…nobody has to know.”
Carol protests that she was stepping up and doing what needed to be done…she tries to work the Lizzy and Mika angle, but Rick shuts her down on that one, asking her if she really would take them away from the prison, with Lizzy being sick and Mika being only 10 years old.
Then, Rick gives Carol a consolation speech (“You are not the same woman who was too afraid to take care of herself…you can take care of yourself.”) and a car.
Carol gives Rick a watch her shitty late husband gave her, and drives away. I do wish her well, and I do have a feeling that we will be seeing Crazy Carol again in the future.
Michonne says to Daryl that she doesn’t need to go out looking for the Governor any more.
“Good,” says Daryl. He is pissed, bangs the car ceiling to signal that it’s time to go.
Do you think Rick was right in banishing Carol from returning to the prison?
How do you think the others will react to Rick’s decision?
Who do you think is feeding rats to the walkers?
Where is Crazy Carol going to end up?
Modern Lovers, “She Cracked” (for Carol)
Kings of Leon, “Closer”
Rise Against, “Prayer of the Refugee”
Sharon Van Etten, “Serpents”