So last night’s Walking Dead was my favorite episode in quite a while. In ways where the premier felt unexciting, this one gave me tons to love, and PETA tons to hate.
So lets get to it!
While most fans loved the episode because by the end Rick and Carl (who I assume will be donning the sheriff hat again soon) were armed and ready to take on the world, I loved the episode for a few other reasons. Not that I wasn’t thrilled to see that Colt Python again, as revolvers go, it’s pretty awesome.
Now one of the first things I enjoyed in this episode, was one of the things I LOVE to hate. One of the subjects that this show tackles often is, in the need for survival, the question: if we deserve to live, what are we living for. Well maybe everyone doesn’t deserve to live, that may sound pretty harsh, but when Tyrese’s girlfriend Karen was walking alone investigating a creepy noise and tossing aside shower curtains, like some blonde at the beginning of a slasher flick, I thought she’s toast… though I didn’t think I’d be so right by the end of the episode… but I’m getting ahead of myself. The scene with Karen in the showers, and then poor Patrick rising and walking down the cell block provided some wonderful suspense, and it was no surprise that the individual with the perfect combo of deep sleep and noise was the first go, from the first bite on it was just a question of when the screams would start.
Well apparently the screams wouldn’t start for quite a bit, Patrick gorged himself on his first victim at least long enough for Rick and Carl to get ready for some farming, which included a brief and nearly one sided conversation with Carl asking about when he could have his gun back. I’m not surprised that Rick hadn’t let him use it, considering the teenager he shot in season three. And while Rick didn’t really respond, his lack of response said a lot, not just about the gun itself, but what a gun in his son’s hand represents, in terms of the safe place he’s been working hard to cultivate. By the way, the chaos also held off long enough for the show to remind us that Glenn and Maggie are still cozy up in the guard tower.
Once all heck broke loose though it felt like old times. Amongst all the screaming, biting and head shots the only thing that really stood out was a reminder of why fangirls dig Darryl. On the outside, as Michonne was struggling, I know most fans would have been happy to see her become the first significant casualty of the season, but I was happy to see Carl save the day!
Now, I’d gotten a bit ahead of myself, because before Rick went out there, there was the scene where they evaluated the corpse of one of the walkers, who like Patrick, got sick and bled out his eyes, nose, mouth and ears, and while I was happy to be getting information on what happened, all I kept thinking was “who are you random-doctor-man?!?!?”
However, regarding one of the other emotional moments of the episode, when Carol had to eliminate Lizzie and her younger sister’s father because of a neck bite, and Lizzie couldn’t do it herself. I really can’t blame Lizzie, if she hasn’t been taking out walkers all along, starting with her father, one of the last people from when life was “normal”, would have been tough for anyone… though the fact that she’s distressed over dying walkers that she knew on a first name basis is something to be concerned about, however she did take Carol’s knife at the end of the episode, so hopefully she’s adjusting.
The fact that the council decided to begin quarantining the sick came as no surprise, and it’s something that in their close quarters is a smart move. The only disagreement I had was when Bob (one of the new guys) had said that of their close quarters that “it doesn’t get any closer”, and I thought “yeah, you should try Comic-Con”, but I digress. I did feel a bit bad for Tyrese, but appreciated that Karen understood where the council was coming from.
Now then, as Rick and Daryl talk while the bodies are being buried, the walkers who haven’t been able to scale the fences of the prison are getting close to just pushing them over. If nothing else it reminded us of how much worse it still is outside the prison, and it provided a moment for our survivors to see the dead rats, and begin to wonder who’s feeding the walkers.
Back on the inside I thought we got two surprises. First was that Beth, (the very character that inspired my new phrase “Beth-Mode” of not wanting to get attached to other people, because they’ll probably die) was trying to tell Michonne that it’s OK to care, because Michonne was frustrated that Carl and Maggie could have been hurt trying to help her. Then when Beth needed Michonne to take Judith, and we saw her give in, not just to holding her, but also to feeling and crying, it all but confirmed (along with Beth’s comments about there not being a name for parents who’ve lost children) that Michonne is the way she is due to a lot of loss, and likely the loss of a child, and I look forward to some back story.
Now this has all been going on while Rick had the brilliant idea of how to get the walkers from the buckling fence. When he and Daryl started out, I had no clue what was coming. I just thought “oh yay, Rick’s going to shoot and distract the walkers”, I was so naive. I’ll admit (and maybe this puts be somewhere between Beth and Lizzie, in terms of what loss hurts more), I feel REALLY bad for those poor little piggies, especially with how much they were squealing, but if it came down to my life or a pigs, that pig would be bacon. That being said, if I’d had to do what Rick did, I’d have been crying a bit afterwards too. Not just because of the pigs, but because, the pigs, and the rest of the farming, along with an unarmed Carl were part of Rick’s idea of having a somewhat “normal” life in the zombie apocalypse.
The fact that Carl told Rick about Carol’s secret training sessions in the library, was also a bit of a surprise. I feel like Carol’s heart is in the right place, but I also think that the parents should have a right to know, but then again, I think that the kids should be able to defend themselves, even if their parents want to try and delude themselves. Anyway, Carl telling Rick showed a lot of trust and respect, and while Rick may have already decided to give Carl his gun back, Carl telling his dad what was going on likely reinforced that decision. Now, Rick sliding the colt into it’s holster might have been a nice way to close out the episode, giving viewers a renewed sense of faith in how well the prison will do now that Rick is seeming to step up again, but that’s really not The Walking Dead’s style.
Instead, we get an optimistic Tyrese going down to visit Karen, with flowers in hand, only to find that her, and David’s bodies (what’s that you don’t remember David… that’s because we only saw him for like 10 seconds in the first episode, and he was only mentioned by name in this one… hence my “Beth-Mode”).. where was I? Ah yes, Karen and David’s bloody bodies had been dragged outside, covered in gasoline and set on fire.
So now we have two questions about what’s going on at the prison. First, who was feeding the walkers, and second who killed Karen and David and why? Was is random-doctor-guy, afraid of the bug spreading, and more importantly did Karen and David die on their own first? If not, then this question is definitely more disturbing than the rat one. Either way, this whole episode was a reminder that as bad as the threat is outside the prison, it’s what’s inside that could really be scary.
Can’t wait for next week’s episode. Thanks for reading and happy watching!