The Walking Dead Watch: “Isolation”

Glenn is in a bad way — and a huge zombie horde approaches

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Gene Page/AMC

English actor Andrew Lincoln as The Walking Dead's Rick Grimes.

If last week’s episode of The Walking Dead gave us some mysteries and crucial details in the opening scenes, this week’s beginning was a bit of a ruse. We picked up right where we left off — with two mysteriously charred corpses that once belonged to Karen and some new guy whose name wasn’t that important (David, for those keeping score at home). Tyrese is pissed, naturally, and takes it out on Daryl and Rick, initiating a fight, where it looked like Rick was headed back to Crazytown.

That didn’t happen, nor did Tyrese remain a hulking angry mess. In the grand scheme of things, the fight didn’t accomplish much, other than to give Tyrse a Raging Bull look for the entire episode. A friend of mine with a great eye for television plots put it best when she observed that Rick needed a sprained hand so Hershel could give him a talk — yet another time we see Hershel the Philosopher or Hershel the Would-Be-Martyr run through the episode.

But during that early chat, we heard as close to a theme as we’ve seen this season. Hershel tells Rick, “Everything we’ve been working so hard to keep out, it found it’s way in.”

“No,” Rick replies, “It’s always there.”

He was far more right than even he knew. During the medicine run to the nearby veterinary college — with Michonne, Tyrese and Bob packed into a muscle car — Daryl hits one walker, then another on the road. At first, this didn’t seem like a huge problem: Since when was that ever  an issue? But then the camera pulls back to reveal a wide-open valley filled with perhaps the biggest walker horde we’ve seen yet. There were thousands of them, maybe tens of thousands, far more than the group that descended on the farm at the end of Season 2. It’s a sign of how bad things have gotten outside of the gates while the group was creating a civilized little colony. No wonder hundreds of walkers pile up on the fences each day; there are hundreds of thousands of them roaming the countryside.

The enemy outside, though, will have to wait, because most of Episode 4 focused on the enemy within. Only a day or so since Patrick died and caused mayhem in cell block D, half of the camp is sick — mostly new people who’s names we barely know: cannon fodder, if you will, to the approaching hordes. But Glenn is also now infected, lending a sense of urgency to the need for medication. We don’t really care how many of the new folks are killed off (callous as it sounds, it’s also true), but Glenn is an original member of the group. He’s a key asset, both to the group and to the story. Right now, his life hangs in the balance — and help is nowhere in sight.

Given the reveal at the end of the episode — that it was Carol who killed Karen and David and burned their bodies — it’s worth asking, somewhat rhetorically, if she would have done the same had it been Glenn who was infected. Carol has grown and developed as a character in a very short time, something we were hoping for when this season started. But she’s also proven impatient and impulsive, personified in her nearly deadly mission outside the wire to fix the water hose. A tough Carol is a good thing, but the Carol we’ve seen so far has the potential to cause a lot of problems. If the episode’s closing scene is any indication, she doesn’t care. When Rick asks her if she was the one who killed Karen and David, she responds — without hesitation and barely a pause: “Yes.” Now that Rick’s somewhat back in cop mode, it’ll be interesting to see what he does, now that he knows the truth.

Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Gene Page/AMC

And now for a hail of bullets:

First, an Apology: Winston Churchill is said to have once remarked that the United States and the United Kingdom were two great nations divided by a common language. Last week, when discussing the new breed of zombies, I pointed out that they moved faster than a walk, but didn’t quite jog. I then tried to name them by combining the words walk and jog. Some British friends pointed out that the resulting word is a racial slur. My sincere apologies.

Zombie-Kill Report: Episode 4, with lots of dialogue-heavy scenes, was light on the zombie kills. Carol’s outside-the-wire foray to fix the water hose (ill-advised as it was) did serve as a nice slash-and-scrape to break up the rather pedestrian pace. We saw some real action when the medicine mission ran into the zombie horde. Daryl and Michonne were in top form and we know that Bob can shoot (he was an Army medic, after all), but the big surprise was Tyrese. After appearing to just give up, he was surrounded by walkers and I thought he was a goner. But the man can work the hatchet, and when he stumbled into the clearing in the woods, exhausted and covered in zombie guts, I wasn’t totally surprised, but certainly relieved.

All Grown Up: We said at the beginning of the season that we’d be watching Carl closely. After so many years of fighting and running, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see him having some issues. But with each new episode, Carl seems increasingly mature, to the point where he’s become a budding philosopher. So it is that he ventures into the woods with Hershel, and after letting a couple of zombies go, he replies to Hershel’s observation that all seem so peaceful, he tells him: “It was. Can’t be like that all the time.”

But He’s Not Alone: Maggie is obviously upset that Glenn has been sent to quarantine to ride out the mysterious illness that, so far, no one has survived. Little sister Beth kept her focused on what was important. We saw in Episode 1 that she’s become stoic (or numb) to too much emotion, but now she’s stepping up to guide the family. It’ll be interesting to see if that continues.

Poorly-Named Fast Aombies Aside: There is still little consensus on whether Patrick and company were a new breed of zombie — or just seemed faster and more with it than most walkers. Do they have higher abilities, or was I delusional?

Was Carol right to kill infected people for the greater good? Let us know in the comments.

22 comments
EunjiroDomingo
EunjiroDomingo

visit GATVERcom to watch walking dead the replay

AndiTomasevic
AndiTomasevic

Hi just a friendly thought, please watch episode 1, season 1. On the opening scene the blonde zombie girl picks up her/a teddy bear off the ground (indicating Intelligence) then starts from a slow stagger to a fast walk towards Rick.

In a later scene Rick rides his horse through the city only to turn a corner and be faced with a very large group of zombies that can clearly be seen running towards Rick and his horse as they try to flee.

How  has this not carried on into the newer seasons? Has it ever been explained? I dont see how this would be written off as a production mistake!

Thanks Guys

NateRawlings
NateRawlings

I didn't realize Tyrese carries a claw hammer–I assume that's in the comics. Thanks for pointing that out. As for the zombie speed, I may have been reading too much into it, but they sure seemed more with it. Does anyone know where I can find an interview where the producers have talked about it? I found this:

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/greg-nicotero-walking-dead-owes-a-lot-to-george-romero-20131012

where Nicotero says Night of the Living Dead is basically TWD's holy grail. I'd say they're doing pretty well. 



PersephoneK
PersephoneK

They're not a faster breed of zombie. The producers (Nicotero in particular) have repeatedly said that the rule they follow is no zombie can move faster than the first zombie that appeared in the graveyard in Night of the Living Dead.  If any zombies are moving faster, its a mistake in production, nothing more.  

Regarding Tyrese and Rick's hand, two things... both are nods to the comic books (although I think the fight and Rick's hand were out of place used here).  In the comics Tyrese becomes legendary when he survives a large horde after the others had left him for dead when he tries to clear out a part of the prison.  Not to nitpick but he doesn't use a hatchet... he uses a hammer.  Its Tyrese's weapon of choice, just like Michonne has her katana, and Daryl has his crossbow and Rick has his Python.... Just sayin'.   :)

mstevens69
mstevens69

I agree. Its not a new breed of walker. The only odd is how they managed to identify  that the Throat is the vulnerable part for the survivors. 

mstevens69
mstevens69

no. Its not the Governor. Its the other community/camp living on the other side that is trying to move the walkers away. They didn't know that Prison group existed by then. On the other hand, Ms Mcleod is the Governor's ally inside the prison. Remember, last season when she wanted to join the prison raid but Governor said he can use her in a different way. It was never revealed until now but her character status is active and named than the rest of the Woodbury survivors. Lizzie is indeed messed up after her mom turned into a walker and she really feeds nick. While its not carol who killed Karen and David. She just took the blame because she knows she can handle it. It was Glen and Sasha who somehow killed them. But in a flashback Karen and David is indeed dying. That is the reason why he got the flu. Carol should be sick by now if it was her. She is emotional about it because she knows how it feels to loose someone. Not really because she killed the two. 


MichaelSexton
MichaelSexton

They are not a new breed of walker.  They are just recently deceased so decomposition has not yet set in.  This allows them to move faster.

MichaelLaurent
MichaelLaurent

I think there definitely have been signs that the zombies are showing hints of some intelligence. You didn't mention the voice on the radio. For those who couldn't make it out it said "those who arrive survive"

EunjiroDomingo
EunjiroDomingo

visit GATVERcom to watch the replay of this episode

AllisonJohnson
AllisonJohnson

Tyreese uses a claw hammer,  not a hatchet.


 Crazy little Lizzie probably killed  Karen and David, was caught by Carol who dragged their bodies outside and burned them. Now Carol is attempting to take the blame to keep Lizzie safe.


Rick and Carol will be fine w/ each other. They're shown together in next week's previews rummaging thru a house together looking for medicines.

ohlawdy
ohlawdy

P.S.  I really like season 4 Sasha and don't want to see her go.

ohlawdy
ohlawdy

Carol was not justified.  Putting the ethics of killing aside for a moment; killing those two would not even be effective.  Everyone had already been exposed to Patrick.  Killing off two new sick people after that would not make any difference; especially considering that they would've been quarantined and away from everyone anyway.  If Carol's willing to kill two people in a situation where it's so unlikely to be helpful, then she's gone completely batty.  *Warning, possible spoiler*  Carol went batty in the comic so maybe she'll end up losing it on the show. 

Regarding whether Patrick is a new breed of walker, I personally didn't notice him moving any faster than any other zombie.

gam81t
gam81t

I think that Carol was justified, in her own mind.  We don't know what state the 2 people were and they were isolated but were they locked in?  Tyreses isn't going to be happy about it, but I don't know that Rick will tell him.  I don't see why he would bother.  Just make up someone who was sick and died and that would be the end of it.  But I really think the horde of walkers moving towards the prison is the work of the governor.  He's crazy and isn't giving up that easy.

PeculiarAndi
PeculiarAndi

@AndiTomasevic You know, there was this moment in the scene inside the mall, when Rick and Andrea are talking and the zombies are outside the glass doors beating on them. One zombie, off to the left side, has a big rock in his hands and is beating it against the glass. I thought, zombies are tool users?

r.casey
r.casey

@AndiTomasevic The 'intelligent zombie' angle was something Frank Darabont considered exploring. He left as producer a few episodes into Season Two, and it hasn't been touched on since. Just one of those things with long-term TV serials, I guess.

PersephoneK
PersephoneK

@mstevens69 It just happened to be the most exposed part of that dude who was sleeping.  Also, probably has yummy sounding heartbeats and warm blood flowing.  :)

skatoolaki
skatoolaki

@mstevens69 Your theories are interesting but I have to point out that Glen was sick before Karen and David were killed. ;)

GeorgiaCaver
GeorgiaCaver

@MichaelSexton But Patrick seemed to make a conscious decision not to go after Karen, which, I think, demonstrates a difference.

PersephoneK
PersephoneK

@MichaelLaurent The producers have given strong hints that the zombies are not evolving or gaining intelligence.   They're just gaining numbers, and possibly becoming more hungry as the human and animal population dwindles.

PersephoneK
PersephoneK

@AllisonJohnson RE "Crazy little Lizzie probably killed  Karen and David, was caught by Carol who dragged their bodies outside and burned them. Now Carol is attempting to take the blame to keep Lizzie safe."


I was thinking that might be the case too.  Something is definitely not right with that little girl.  I do think she's the one feeding the walkers at the fence.  

PersephoneK
PersephoneK

@GeorgiaCaver @MichaelSexton If you rewatch, you'll notice he only changed directions when he heard the guy make a loud snoring sound.  Walkers have consistently been shown to be easily distracted by shiny moving objects and sounds.  Kinda like squirrels.