Walking Dead, Season 4, Ep.4, “Indifference”

“Indifference”

(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):

shttp://comicbook.com/blog/2013/10/28/what-marilyn-manson-said-on-talking-dead-about-walking-dead/

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.

“Indifference”

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:

IMG_1374

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, “Nothank 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.

IMG_1383

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.”

IMG_1396

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.

Questions:

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?

Playlist:

Modern Lovers, “She Cracked” (for Carol)

Kings of Leon, “Closer”

Rise Against, “Prayer of the Refugee”

Sharon Van Etten, “Serpents”

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?

IMG_1292IMG_1293IMG_1295IMG_1302

IMG_1310IMG_1307IMG_1323IMG_1325

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:

IMG_1336

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