AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 4, Episode 3: “Isolation”
Directed by Dan Sackheim
Written by Robert Kirkman
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Infected” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Indifference” – click here
More graves are dug in the yard, as Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) try to remember they’re engaged, despite the brutal new world in which they live. Inside, Dr. S (Sunkrish Bala) and Hershel (Scott Wilson) deal with another dead member of their group.
But outside the worst is happening, with Tyreese (Chad Coleman) obviously distraught over Karen being killed, burned. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) try getting him to calm down, Carol (Melissa McBride) tries, as well. But he attacks Rick in anger, then gets the absolute shit beaten out of him. Both men raging. All that violence Sheriff Grimes was burying isn’t too deep, just barely covered over.As always, Hershel gives Rick the best advice he can. Trying to lend a hand in helping his mind heal. The old man’s also worried about that dreaded word “outbreak” and that the prison might be headed for nasty times. While people are quarantined, there’s only so much they can do to prevent the sickness from spreading. Glenn likewise looks to Hershel for help, to keep him on the right track.
Meanwhile, more are getting sick, like Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), who’s not looking well. Not at all. The block where everyone’s been quarantined is a veritable house of horrors, people coughing up blood and even a couple people already dead in their cells. “It‘s starting,” Dr. S tells Sasha as she stumbles in to find help; he seems to be getting the illness, too.
Hershel and the others get together to discuss looking for medication. Michonne (Danai Gurira) offers to go with Daryl on the road to a veterinary college 50 miles out to search. At the same time, Carol and Rick are gathering water, worrying about what may come next. He reassures her by simply saying they need to do what they can for whom they can right now.
After the latest graves are finished Tyreese and Rick have a moment. The sheriff apologises, as does Tyreese. Most of all the latter wants to find out who did this to Karen and David. There needs to be SOME semblance of justice in this post-apocalypse world. Certain things can’t go unpunished, and killing then burning people preemptively has gotta be one of them. But Rick and Tyreese disagree on how to handle the investigation into what went down.
And poor Glenn – he’s caught the sickness. DON’T LET HIM DIE!
Before heading out Daryl and Michonne also share a moment. He expresses a bit of happiness, that she isn’t running off on them. That she’s a part of their group. They also want to take another person out on the road. One of the only people left not sick, and without responsibility, is Tyreese. He’s worried for his sister and doesn’t want to leave.
We see Hershel come up against Carl (Chandler Riggs), who’s guarding the place while his dad’s away. The kid is turning a corner, he’s not going the way of a psycho killer anymore. Yet he does feel a sense of duty, for himself, for the group. So when the old man wants to go to the woods, the kid refuses; unless he goes, too.
When they get to the woods Hershel collects some plants. He commends Carl for discovering his responsibility. They come across a tent and sitting against a tree is a rotting walker. No immediate danger, but danger nonetheless, as another one stumbles around close by with a bear trap stuck on its leg. Carl opts not to kill it when Hershel tells him “You don‘t need to” – a nice sign that the boy’s at least trying to change; if he were gone psycho, he’d kill just for the sake of it. A nice sign, indeed.
Tyreese tells Sasha about the medicine run, giving her hope. Then he decides on going, seeing that it’s made her feel at least a tiny, tiny, TINY bit better even if she’s deadly sick. Daryl, Michonne, and Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr) are getting ready to hit the road. Before Tyreese leaves, he talks with Carol, asking if she’ll watch over his sister. She gladly agrees and offers condolences about Karen; something in her eyes isn’t right.
Was she the one who did it? I believe so.
After Maggie discovers that Hershel isn’t quarantining himself, she tries to get him to go inside. But he’s relentless, he wants to help those he can while it’s possible. Rick and Maggie both urge him to go in. He can’t do that, not with people near death, especially with his new son-in-law on the brink. A noble lad.
Carol goes out to fix the water pump outside the gates. By herself. She makes a bit too much noise and draws some walkers, which Rick spies from inside the gate. He rushes out to help as the zombies crowd her quickly. She’s taking risks now, being stupid. And why? Because it’s that guilt she’s repressing. It’s not long before someone notices, either.
Along the road Daryl and the others get stuck in the car. They have to abandon the vehicle in a horde of the dead. They all manage to make it away. Except Tyreese, he doesn’t move. Then suddenly a burst of that rage lets out again. He walks into the crowd of walkers with a hammer and starts bashing heads, letting Bob go ahead of him. The walkers cover him and the others are forced to leave. SHIT! I love Tyreese, I don’t wanna see him die.
But out from the trees he comes when the other three stop, covered in blood and gore and very tired. We’ve got a bad ass over here! For real, though. One of the most intensely vicious moments in the series. No other character could’ve made it in that way, Tyreese is a tough dude.
Dr. S isn’t far from death. Hershel opts to stay at his side, no matter what. And Glenn isn’t that much better. The old man takes care of them both, feeding them a bit of what he’s prepared with the plants to ease some pain.
Later, Rick tells Carol how dumb it was for her to go out past the fence alone. He also talks about how she sacrifices for the group. He knows how far she’d go to protect them. Possibly far enough to have done something terrible. Then he asks straight out if she killed Karen and David, to which she replies, simply: “Yes.” Wow. A no bullshit confession.
This episode is heavy. There’s a lot that’s gone down and it leaves Season 4 unsure of where it’s headed. After all the Governor’s horrifying madness, the “glorified cold” is poised to decimate their numbers. Let’s hope in “Indifference” that changes, at least slightly.