The Walking Dead Watch: “Indifference”

The medicine run is a success, but many things will never be the same

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Gene Page/AMC

“One day you just change; we all change.”

It was entirely fitting that the most important line of this season’s (and arguably the entire series’) most introspective episode would go to a character who has grown and changed immeasurably since we met her several years ago. The Carol of Season 1 was a frightened, battered housewife, living with her abusive husband; the Carol we saw leave last night (not for the last time, but more on that later) was sharpened like the edge of the knife she carries, reckless and drowning in her own version of moral equivalency. It was a transition that, in many ways, mirrors the show’s narrative as a whole.

There is a lot to unpack in the opener when Carol says goodbye to Lizzie, but quite a lot that happened in the rest of the episode. Daryl, Michonne, Tyrese and Bob, having survived the zombie mega-horde, make their way to a run-down garage where they find a working automobile. When Daryl and Bob clear the garage to find spare parts, Bob puts down a trapped walker, then looks up at the wall and sees who that person used to be. The walkers in and around the garage were part of a hunting club, and the happy photographs of days long past are a reminder that each walker was once a person with a life and a story.

It was a sad reminder of the fragile mortality and the collective tragedy in which our characters live. For some lucky survivors, the zombie apocalypse brought new dreams. The nice young couple Rick and Carol meet in the house — she with the bum leg that never healed right and he with the dislocated shoulder — didn’t know each other before the world went to garbage. But by finding each other, and falling in love, they’ve proven that there is more than death and despair in the world.

And yet it was no surprise — like most of you, I’m sure, I wasn’t exactly shocked — that the nice young couple didn’t make it. When Rick and Carol followed the blood trail through the fence gate to see that severed leg with the girl’s tattoo, it brought us back to a harsh reality. Romances don’t flourish in the wake of the apocalypse, not many of them, anyway. Even when they have the best of intentions, like gathering a little more food for the group, people die.

In the midst of that tragic day, Carol barely flinched. She’s seen too many people die, including her daughter, to care much anymore. And her rapid transformation from last season to this one seemed pretty complete. We knew that after killing Karen and David, Carol couldn’t return to the prison like nothing happened. As Rick pointed out, Tyrese would kill her if he found out, and Rick, utterly disapproving of Carol taking matters into her own hands, wasn’t about to lie for her. But what happens when Tyrese finds out it was Carol all along — and that Rick let her go with a carload of supplies?

The Carol that drove away last night was a far more complex character than I imagined she’d become in Season 1. She has a fierce devotion to Lizzie and Mika that, in many ways, conflicts with what she’s done. She was willing to kill two people who got sick so that she could, she argues, save other lives. That’s why I think we’ll see more of Carol before this season ends. It would be one thing if a character who’s gotten that much development from the writers were to die off in a dramatic death. Andrea got a worthy death scene; Shane got two. Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of Carol. Perhaps she gets picked up by what’s left of The Governor’s crew; perhaps she comes back for the two girls. Either way, it will be something interesting to look forward to in a season that’s already been full of surprises.

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

Zombie-Kill Report: We had lots of the usual slices and dices: Michonne with her katana and Daryl with the crossbow. During the frantic escape from the veterinary college, a few dozen walkers went down, boosting the numbers to bring up the average of what was an otherwise slow episode. One question persists though: When the group was trying to escape from the college, Bob warned against shooting the zombies, lest they get infected blood on themselves and get the virus. Two problems here. (1) How in the world could Bob tell the difference between ordinary zombies and infected zombies whose blood will make them sick? Tyrese killed dozens on the road and walked away covered with blood and guts. Were those zombies somehow different? And, (2) Weren’t they all exposed to the virus during the fight for cell block D? This attempt at drama didn’t make any sense.

Speaking of Things That Make Little Sense: On the way to the veterinary college, Daryl and crew ran into a huge zombie horde. Then they ran through the woods for a while, found a new car, and miraculously made it to the college in no time. As they left to head back to the prison they consulted a map, but I thought they made it a little too easily.

Another Misfire: Bob’s hysterically awkward jump out of the window that all but ensured his bag would go over the edge and get grabbed by the walkers. TWD has some great stunt coordinators; please teach the actors better moves in the future.

And a Few Things That Went Well: I liked the story behind Bob’s alcohol dependency. Even the goofy booze-bottle reveal didn’t take away from his heartbreaking situation. His explanation — “It was just for when it gets quiet” — fits in well with the tragic nature of the rest of the episode. So did the short discussion of Rick’s and Carol’s past. Rick’s memory of Lori’s horrible pancakes was a nice detail, as was Carol’s ability to reduce a dislocated shoulder — she learned how on the internet because it was better than telling the ER nurse she fell down the stairs again. This little nugget shows us that Carol was tougher than we ever realized, and the scene invoked one of my favorite dislocated shoulders in cinema history. (By the way, bonus points for anyone who can identify the actor behind Mel Gibson egging him on. Hint: You saw a lot of him in a really great show recently. We’ll post the answer next week.)

I was even a little moved by the Sophia discussion because it was short. Losing a child has to be one of the most tragic things someone can go through (as we’re learning with Michonne), but I’m glad we didn’t dwell on Sophia too much. TWD went from about 8 million viewers in early Season 2 to about 16 million each week now, which means at least half of our current audience wasn’t watching that year. My guess is they caught up by binging on Netflix, and they have no idea how slow and laborious and horrible the “Sophia Watch” was. I’m glad they didn’t make us as viewers relive the tragedy that was that season.

Have we seen the last of Carol? Tell us in the comments below.

32 comments
vanthadoun1
vanthadoun1

Actually what I find kind of funny was that when Rick and Carol encountered the two young people. They didnt supervise them more. Carol and the young man being one team, and Rick with the young woman. Two experienced people with two inexperienced people. But the plot of the show required the young couple to die and Rick and Carol to have a heart to heart conversation. Its the rule of horror movies and shows, young/naive people must stick together while wily/strong characters pair up to maximize the badassery. If this were a real survival show you always want to have groups with a balance of strong and weak members. But then again, Rick surely knows about this and wouldn't put two naive teenagers together on a Roming expedition, would he?

DionneHamilton
DionneHamilton

I think we will see carol again rick had to protect her the others would turn on her x

DionneHamilton
DionneHamilton

don't normally comment but the comment about tomatoes really ?!!!!they cant grow wild really ?

Ruffian9
Ruffian9

"Have we seen the last of Carol?"

Unfortunately, no

nellydesign
nellydesign

Walkers with flu have blood stains coming from their eyes and mouth and no other signs of trauma, meaning they died of flu and turned without ever being bit.  That's how they can tell they are infected.  Most of the zombies in the fight for cell block D were people who had been turned by the one infected Patrick zombie killing them in their sleep.

bernski
bernski

Nah I'm getting bored. I don't even really care about the main characters now, other than Rick and his son and possibly Daryl. Thing needs drama beyond risk of life, needs something else to make it interesting. Even the flu thing sucks as what really is the difference between a walker and a walker with flu? Stoopid.

xerebiii
xerebiii

Carol did the right thing. She made the decision to attempt to stop a fatal virus from spreading across her home. Killing two people just happened to be the way to do that. What are two lives compared to hundreds? Particularly in the Walking Dead Universe. But Rick throwing her out was a stupid thing to do. Like he wouldnt mow down an entire cellblock full of people if it meant saving one of his kids. He would take hundreds of lives just for two. Living or nort. This isnt the last of Carol. Her character is to important to leave the show under a giant question mark. 

I have two theories after watching this episode reguarding Carol: A) She'll be found by the Governer and taken hostage. Rick will come running like a good man on a guilt trip to save her. or B) Daryl will go after her. Everyone is so focused on Carol's character development, they're not looking at the effect she has on others. Carol is all Daryl has left. He'll go after her. And there will be a shift in power against Rick. 

got2bReal
got2bReal

I think Rick should of just arrested Carol-put her on lock down away from Tyreese. He's a cop they live in a prison.

lkjhgfdsa
lkjhgfdsa

1) How in the world could Bob tell the difference between ordinary zombies and infected zombies whose blood will make them sick? Tyrese killed dozens on the road and walked away covered with blood and guts. Were those zombies somehow different?

The infected zombies had streaks of blood on their faces, ordinary ones do not. The former die from the "flu" sickness, the latter ones die from zombie bites, hence they do not have the blood streaks since they won't suffer the flu symptoms.

2) Weren’t they all exposed to the virus during the fight for cell block D?

Yes they were exposed, except Michonne and Tyrese (they weren't there if i'm not mistaken). But from what we've seen the flu acts fast. And given that Sasha and Glenn are already deathly sick and those others are not, and that they were all exposed at the same time, then it's a safe assumption that the latter uninfected ones did not get the flu despite their exposure. It happens. Maybe they just have a better immune system, but it happens.

vrcplou
vrcplou

We'd BETTER see Carol again; that's no way for her to exit the show.  I'm stuck on the irony of Rick TAKING MATTERS INTO HIS OWN HANDS in order to punish Carol for TAKING MATTERS INTO HER OWN HANDS!  Hello, they have a council; shouldn't they be included on a discussion about how to handle the Carol situation?  And it's also ironic that Rick, who has removed himself from any decision making responsibilities this season, suddenly makes such a dramatic decision on his own.  Ricktatorship anyone? 

I'm having trouble reconciling Tyrese's character also.  I know Karen's death was upsetting but his character is getting out of hand.  He's gone from being this very gentle character that we didn't know much about to being this confused, angst-ridden mess (doesn't want to kill zombies on the fence, doesn't want to go out on raids, well, what DO you want to do?) and now he's this rage-monster stomping around half suicidal putting everyone at risk.

I'm not saying this season is "bad"; it's still better than 99% of what's on tv - but I'm not loving it.  I'm not sure if it's a show runner issue or what.  It's slow, characters are acting in ways that don't make sense and there's been more than a few clunky action scenes.  And 2 out of 3 episodes thus far have introduced new characters just to kill them off in the same episode.  Yeah, yeah, we get it; it's tough out there for a human. 

jqtwoa
jqtwoa

I definitely think we will see Carol again, the same way we saw Andrea when she was out on her own after leaving the farm. I also predict that Carol will be the one who finds the Governor.

iamoverit2
iamoverit2

They mentioned in the last episode or the one before that the ones who died of the infection had burst blood vessels and streaks up the neck. 

TallusRip
TallusRip

I'm glad that Carol is gone.  She was becoming the Carl of season 2.5, where every episode she does yet another thing that makes me wish she'd get taken by walkers already.  She might come back later, or sulk around, but once Rick tells the others that she was responsible for Karen and David (and it's looking like Sasha, too, though I guess that wasn't entirely confirmed since it was just Rick's imagination) she will never be welcomed back.  Killing enemies is one thing, but killing allies is another entirely.  I doubt Carol would just cold-heartedly kill Glen or Lizzie like she did Karen and David, which just puts a big double-standard on the whole thing.

When Daryl finds out, I think he might be mad, but Daryl trusts Rick so I don't think he'd doubt what he says about it.  I don't think he'll go out of his way to try and bring her back like he did with Merle.  Carol betrayed everyone's trust by killing folks and burning them in secret...and the fact that she just stood there all innocently when Tyreese freaked out about it just makes it all that much worse.

BenjaminWyatt
BenjaminWyatt

Herschel: Your son is a total psychopath who just gunned down someone trying to surrender.
Rick: Shut up, I'll invent story time and he will be fine.

Carol: I killed two people would were very likely to die and could also have infected the rest of the group killing even more people.
Rick: You are banished because I can't every trust anyone who could kill someone else in cold blood!

ohlawdy
ohlawdy

It's sad what happened to Carol, but killing two people just for a small chance that it may help the group made her dangerous.  However, I wonder why Rick didn't do the same thing to Shane in season 2 after learning that Shane had sacrificed Otis to get back to the farm.  I wonder what Rick will tell the group and how they're all going to react.

Gremlin
Gremlin

There is a glow to the infected walkers, and they bled from eyes, nose an mouth. 

The deaths of new people are formulaic.  They meet the group, then they're doomed.  Managed to survive for a year and a half, but get waylaid in a suburb by two walkers.


And the excursions, really, risk going up 50 miles for a couple of knapsacks full of drugs. Oh, we don't need these drugs right now, we'll just come for them when we need them and need to lose a couple of people.  Then the standard, oh no, we're trapped in a dead end with zombies all over the place.  These folks are disproving most of Darwins'  theory of evolution.  


Carol's banishment had to happen.  No way there could be peace at the prison.  Kill her?  Couldn't do that.  What is not commented so far is that there is a void with Rick abdicating leadership.  In crisis, there are war chiefs in simpler human group organization that step up.Carol did that job as no one else would.  I'm not sure that Carol wouldn't kill all newcomers in favor of the original group. Kinda like Walker Survivor Island..

BradleyCivick
BradleyCivick

I believe that 'guy' would be Hank Schrader, Water White's DEA brother-n-law (I mean, Dean Norris, the acclaimed actor).


Brandonr
Brandonr

Most definitely, good shows always tie loose ends, and towards your comment about Bob and his warning about infections I took it as he was referring to any infections they may have caught eating sick animals or the bacteria/infections used to teach the students, it could have been me subconsciously bridging the gap to make the story more plausible but I think it makes sense

Un_Lys
Un_Lys

I wish Carol wasn't let go. She was one of my favorite characters. Daryl, another one of my top faves,  will be very upset that Carol is gone. But I think she will be back.

lkjhgfdsa
lkjhgfdsa

"Bob’s hysterically awkward jump out of the window that all but ensured his bag would go over the edge and get grabbed by the walkers. TWD has some great stunt coordinators; please teach the actors better moves in the future."

Come on, that scene had nothing to do with making a great jump, these guys are actors pretending to be real people and the guy was supposed to be an ex-army medic, not an athlete. If you were an actor, playing an alcoholic in a panic situation, you may have times that you would jump awkwardly and lose your stuff too. I think it would be a bigger problem if these characters made their jumps all the time superbly thanks to stunt coordinators. That would be unrealistic now, won't it?

TallusRip
TallusRip

@BenjaminWyatt Problem with your logic is that Carl shot someone who came to the prison to kill him and everyone else there.  It was a warzone and they hadn't yet developed their 'three questions' routine yet.  The kid might've been trying to surrender, but with everyone Carl's seen, and how Shane dragged his father into the woods to kill him...I would've done the same thing.  Carl shot a potential aggressor during a conflict.

Carol stabbed two people in the brain who were sick and had not died.  It wasn't even guaranteed that they would, and being that they're in a prison, and the two sick folks were friends, not foes, it was disgusting behavior to kill them and burn them in secret.  

Un_Lys
Un_Lys

@Gremlin  

What about the tomatoes they picked? Tomatoes are annuals.  They have to be planted in late spring. Who planted them?

TallusRip
TallusRip

@Un_Lys @Gremlin It was a garden set up in the backyard of one of the houses.  The tomatoes have probably been there since before the outbreak.

Un_Lys
Un_Lys

@nellydesign

Maybe Rick's gang doesn't know about fried green tomatoes. They should,  they're southerners. I'm in NJ and I make them. Delish!

nellydesign
nellydesign

@bbb @Un_Lys That answers that question.  Unpicked tomatoes fall to the ground, rot, re-seed, and grow again the next year, with no frost to kill them off down south.  But the tomato based question I had was why they only picked ripe ones and didn't pick them all?  Green tomatoes will eventually ripen despite not being on the vine anymore, and even green tomatoes can be eaten.

Un_Lys
Un_Lys

@PresidentFurby

Gremlin pointed out the young couple who managed to survive on their own for yrs.  died after Rick and Carol found them. After Rick and Carol found them and planned on taking them with them to the prison to live with them, they end up eaten by the Walkers while picking apples. My tomatoes question was answered by bbb.

Un_Lys
Un_Lys

@bbb

That makes sense. The show is filmed in GA, outside of Atlanta.

bbb
bbb

@Un_Lys Not in the South - Maybe it just doesn't get cold enough to kill the seeds but after planting one a few years ago we've had tomato plants pop up in the same spot every year since.   

PresidentFurby
PresidentFurby

@Un_Lys Guys, the name of the show is "The Walking Dead".  And you're fact-checking the seasonality of the tomatoes?

Un_Lys
Un_Lys

@TallusRip

The outbreak was at least 3 yrs ago. Tomatoes are annuals, not perrenials. They have to be planted every year in the spring. They don't go into dormancy in the fall and come back in the summer. My parents plant small tomato plants in late spring every year.  In late fall the frost kills the plants.The only way tomatoes grow on their own is if they reseed but usually the frost gets the seeds.