Oct 28 2013
While I can nitpick any episode of The Walking Dead to death, I am pretty impressed overall with this season, and can’t find much to complain about with this week’s installment. Scott Gimple, the new showrunner, was responsible for some of the best episodes of the series to date, and I think he’s doing a fine job re-establishing tone and ensuring characters aren’t constantly doing outrageously stupid things.
I can also appreciate the new type of “villain” in the first part of the season here. While the Governor was evil incarnate as a eye-patch wearing psychotic murdering rapist, this lowly, common infection that’s brought the prison to its knees also makes for an effective adversary. There’s no one way to fight it, and therefore you have the cast branching out in many ways to combat it.
We’ll start with the most stunning way someone tried to fight the disease, the revelation that Carol killed the two infected Woodbury folks last week. At the time, I wasn’t sure if that was supposed to be a mystery or not, but it turns out it wasn’t anything like that they simply died of natural causes and were burned. They were outright killed and burned, and through Rick’s detective work, he discovers that caring Carol did it for the betterment of the community.
Of course, it was all in vain, as the disease has spread to nearly everyone. It explains why Carol went so far as to kick the water barrel, as she had more on her mind than simply a lack of hydration. What I wasn’t quite clear about was why the barrel was actually full of water while she couldn’t hardly get anything out of it.
Tyrese you goofball!
The Carol situation is going to be extremely complicated once Tyrese returns. He’s going to want blood, and Rick’s going to have to play dumb to protect her. This is of course providing Tyrese didn’t get bit when he was being clawed at by thirty walkers, which seems simultaneously both likely and unlikely. Logically, I don’t know how he would have escaped without a bite, but story-wise, I don’t think they’d sacrifice one of the shows best new characters, and one that’s just starting to be developed in any meaningful way. That said, it could be something like he gets bit, and his last mission is to make it through the zombie hordes to save his sister before he turns.
Maybe I’m the only one, but I noticed a bit of romantic hinting between two different pairs in the show, or at least a scenario where I could see them getting together in the future. I got a little flicker between Rick and Carol, right before he calls her out for killing the infected, and also between Daryl and Michonne. Perhaps that’s just my fangirl imagination at work, but I felt something in both scenes.
And I certainly felt something in a different way when Herschel was giving his heartfelt speech about the need to risk his life to help the sick. That was a powerful moment for him, and I even enjoyed his little outing with a more self-restrained Carl in the woods. Was that girl in the bear trap the one Rick encountered and let live? I feel like her hair and clothes are similar. If that is the case, now that Rick AND Carl have passed up a chance to kill her, I have a hunch that’s going to come back and bite them. Possibly literally.
Was that her, sans coat?
I’m still a bit confused about the possible saboteur inside the camp. First we saw zombies being lured to the wall with mice, which led to the fences almost coming down, then I assumed it was connected when it was revealed the two burned dead were murdered. But that didn’t quite make sense as the goals seemed contrary, one putting the camp in danger, the other likely an attempt to save it. Now that Carol has been revealed to be behind one, I assume someone completely different is behind the other. But with no further acts of sabotage this week, I’m not sure if this is a real or phantom plotline.
At the end of the episode we got a brief hint about what’s to come in the future, as Daryl’s gang hears some human voices being broadcast on the radio right before they run into the sea of zombies blocking their path. And of course, there’s further hints about the Governor’s trail “going cold,” so you know we’re going to see him again at some point.
I predict next week will be about them getting the medicine, and this sickness business will get cleaned up in a week or two before the show moves on. I don’t think Glen or Sasha will die, but we’ll likely lose a lot of Woodbury extras, including, I would guess, Dr. S. That’s what you get for spitting blood on poor Herschel.
The Walking Dead is hardly the greatest show on TV, but I think it’s improved a lot as time has gone on, and season four is off to a strong start so far. It’s a show I’m looking forward to each week now, which I can’t say was always the case.
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