The Walking Dead – “Internment” TWD – S4 – E5 A recapview by Sagebeth
“A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ” -Hershel quoting Steinbeck about the fate of the infected
What is this? Opposite month? I really enjoyed this Hershel-heavy episode of TWD. It had just the right amount of desperation, positive character development, carnage, and fear. My gripes are growing fewer and further between while my enjoyment level is rising. Hershel is a tough son of a bitch – in every way. Carl is my favorite little sociopath. Maggie is turning into comicbook-Andrea getting some sharp shooting talent. Possibilities are rising. And THE GOVERNOR! Let me drop this compliment parade and get on with the recap.
Rick comes back to the prison after telling Carol to screw and we get some of the usual brooding close ups leaving me realizing that Rick is basically the only character I don’t really enjoy nor understand. Can we get some new camera shot on him other than ‘brooding and/or deep thinking’? He breaks the news about Carol to Maggie who (unlike me) is still loyally Team-Rick. She thinks his move was right but she doubts she could have done it. Doubt. That spurs Rick to tell her not to doubt because it is obviously some advice he never takes for himself. Doubt can poison any decision and that is like kryptonite to big ‘deciders’ like Rick. Doubt and survival are closely related especially to Rick. Then instead of staying with Maggie to help her fend off the walkers that have been STILL building up against that one area in the fence he leaves to go check in with Hershel and Carl. Before Rick arrived we got a fun shot of Maggie trying to tame the increasingly growing crowd of walkers who are larger than ever. I don’t think we are reminded enough of how much of a tough bitch Maggie is who has been holding down the fort ALONE. So much more logical to never get rid of Carol and use her extra experienced hands but alas hopefully Carol is getting some bigger and better plotlines in the future. Later Maggie begs Hershel to let her help with the sick but he rightfully tells her she is needed outside as the walker horde is still growing outside the fence. Even my cynical brain sighed ‘aw shit’ when I saw it.
Hershel’s initial decision to stay with the infected felt so wholly dumb originally but now I truly get it and understand. Hershel needs to keep hoping, and doing his duty as a man of medicine. What was he going to do? Sit back and hide with the children eating ‘fruit leathers’ and getting reminded by Carl to brush his teeth? No he is going to bust his ass trying to save as many people as possible and not just protect their bodies but their spirits. In order to best explain himself to Rick he quotes Steinbeck: “A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ”. He fears for the fates of the infected but finds strength and hope in their being some religious/spiritual plan which I don’t believe but can totally see as a genuine character trait in this man I am growing to respect and fully enjoy.
Working with a very sick Glenn and Sasha, Hershel struggles to intubate a red shirt which totally works as well as it can in keeping the man in the land of living. We also learn that they’ve been transporting people out of A-block when they expire to protect the survivors spirits but Sasha and Glenn are really beginning to grow ill, and Hershel has to start doing some work he has never done before by knifing someone in the head before they can reanimate. On paper it feels dumb and not needed but it was oddly powerful to watch him take some new character steps in badassdom. We also spy little creepy Lizzie in A-Block sliding around the shadows acting creepy but Hershel awesomely shoos her away telling her to go read Tom Sawyer in his bunk. What the hell is the endgame for Lizzie? The writers have to be laying the tracks for something right? If they have nothing planned for her I’ll eat my laptop. Also we check in on how Caleb, the sick doctor, is fairing and the key point of that scene is for as horrible as he was for flat out coughing in Hershel face last week he also is awesome for totally storing a shotgun and ammo in his bunk for when the outbreak inevitably becomes too much. Thanks Doc – Hershel is going to need it. He also offers some IV bags before telling Hershel something he needs to hear: He is dying and so are others so Hershel better focus on the right people and keep everyone’s cell gates closed.
Back to creepy children, I think it’s time we got to everyone’s favorite sociopath: Carl. While Rick checks in and drops off some food Carl offers his help for the millionith time and even though Rick needs it he instead tells Carl to go remind the kids to brush their teeth – Ugh. Carl, feeling probably a little powerless, tells Rick he can’t shield him from the awfulness that is the world now. Rick responds in a way that actually earns him marginally favor: even though it is a near impossible task he is his father and it his “his job to try”. This scene also got me thinking: out of the entire group of survivors Carl is actually the most like Carol now. No wonder Rick fears her so much. Both Carol and Carl see the world for how it is now and are completely fine with forgetting how it was. He fears Carl would easily slide into more of an anti-hero role like Carol. After all Carl is not gun shy, and deems deadly force is necessary a bit too quick.
Back in A-Block, things are about to go from bad to completely horrible (in the best way – at least as a viewer). A sick father red shirt doesn’t want to let Hershel into his cell because his son is obviously dead or close to it but he insists he is sleeping. The gate is shut so it is not a huge danger yet but of course this is also when another red shirt decides to hemorrhage and die in the middle of the cell block after ambling out of his cell. No matter how much Hershel knew it would happen he is so not prepared. Sasha helps him move the body but he orders her to rest because she is looking worse and worse. I actually was a bit nervous for both Sasha and Glenn – It felt authentic that we may lose them both and I am unexpectedly attached to them. When did I get attached to Sasha? You mean the strong lady who isn’t afraid to stomp a zombie skull or two? Rhetorical question I hope. When Hershel returns, stronger now, he spies Sasha passed out on the floor. He either bypasses or misses the woman in bed close by starting to reanimate. SHUT THE GATES HERSHEL! While he miraculously sets up an IV for a very dehydrated Sasha everything in A-Block gets thrown into some beautiful chaos. Walker woman gets up and attacks Hershel and in a sort of beautiful move an unnamed sick survivor rushes to Hershel’s aid only to be accidentally shot by the grieving sick father from before who is bit by his dead son. Also during this Glenn is down for the count starting to choke on his own blood while a man begins to reanimate next to him. Lizzie, not reading but instead creeping around the block actually saves Glenn by luring the walker away by seemingly treating him like a dog (come red shirt! good red shirt!). Before she can either kill him or give him a good belly rub she trips and the walker lunges at her. She screams bloody murder though and Hershel comes to save her. Hilariously he tosses the walker literally over the railing away from them – I guess you do get super strength when you loose a limb. HAHA. Finally Hershel gets that much needed shotgun but before we get my FAVORITE ZOMBIE DEATH VIOLENCE OF THE WEEK with Hershel awesomely snapping the doctors arm around the cell bars before killing him. Wow.
Now armed Hershel still finds it hard to flat out put down the walkers in front of his patients and like Lizzie leads them into a secluded room where he can shoot them all one right after another. The earlier sounds of gunshots echo outside where Maggie and Rick are still trying to reinforce the failing fence – Rick lets Maggie go considering everyone she loves is inside. After some ridiculous shots of her trying to break into A-Block with an axe she finally just shoots out the window. While she struggles Hershel finds the dying Glenn and realizes they need to intubate him ASAP and the only problem is that the only tube available is still attached to the walker he tossed over the railing earlier. Cut to Hershel like wrestling with this walker on top of a fenced cage. Maggie arrives and Hershel warns her to not to shoot because she could hit the very piece of medical equipment Hershel needs still attached to the walkers head. He also adds that Glenn needs said equipment. Maggie lets her mind focus, evaluates her options and shoots the walker currently in a tango with her father. Clean shot. No broken intubator. It isn’t that she cares for Hershel more than Glenn but that she doesn’t let doubt cloud her mind and she takes a shot she knows will hit home. They both rush to save Glenn who is grossly puking mucus and blood on the floor. Maggie, proving her devotion to everyone’s favorite delivery man kisses his bloody face after they manage to intubate him. C’mon Maggie I predicted your cool back when you were a part of the melee team of death seasons ago and now you seem to be finally coming into your own. Lizzie appears out of the shadows again to be a creep. She seems to signify that the worst of the infection is over while also highlighting her creep factor as she calmly kicks at some of the mucus and blood on the floor with her shoe. WTF? Stop playing with the body fluid Lizzie and go read a damn book already.
Outside Rick knows he needs a hand even though he just let Maggie go so he finally gets logical and asks Carl for a hand. He jumps back into battle as if it has been calling him. They work together fortifying the fence until finally the wooden posts begin to break and walkers start to literally leak into their prison sanctuary. Falling back behind the second fence, Rick decides that its rapid fire gun time. After a super quick gun lesson Carl is right where I want him: Using an automatic rifle on a large group of walkers like he is secretly black ops. This little shit looked way too comfortable. Someone else watching little Carl is Rick who now knows how useful his little sociopath can be. They’re more equals than Rick would ever care to admit and even though I’m sure he is still insanely worried or his son he is also oddly proud of him as a sort of brother in arms. Their father-son bonding lasts the entire horde and ends as Team Meds returns with their prize. Tyreese goes to take care of Sasha. Bob administers medicine to Glenn who is most likely the worst off patient now. His duty finally done, Hershel can go relax for a minute. Instead of his own cell, he heads to the doctors because he left his pocket bible in there when he was loading up on shotgun shells. He shuts the doctors dead eyes, and opens is bible to aid in all the turmoil he has just done and in a beautiful moment Hershel lets all the pain in and flat out breaks down in tears. Keep finding your hope Hershel because you wouldn’t be you without it. The next day Hershel makes it outside for some air and accepts an invitation to go help out with Michonne. It seems after his trials in A-Block Hershel has earned himself a new title from Daryl: A Tough Sunvabitch and this gives Hershel permission to be all the badass he can be – missing leg and all.
Some last parting moments we got was Rick totally putting off telling Daryl about Carol – Which better happen on camera next week or I’m calling a foul on the field. Instead Rick let his son sleep in after there night of gun play but Carl still wants to help. They go back to Ricks little garden and enjoy a casual camera shot of both Ricks green thumb and his gun plastered to his hip. Farmer Rick plus Old Rick equals new and improved Rick? I guess. Whatever – this is hugely overshadowed by the parting moment of the episode. The episode soundtrack crescendos as we get the perspective of outside of the prison gates. What is there? The mega-horde? Dead crazy lady? Ghost Lori crashing cars? No it is something worthy – something better. The Governor stands outside of the prison watching Rick and Carl lovingly interact – his one good eye looking crazy. Woof. Until next week kids.