The Walking Dead (Season 4) – “Isolation”

rick and daryl

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Carl put his hat back on! This must mean that it’s on and shit is about to go down in a big way.

Issues with the quarantine

And this whole quarantine thing is dumb as hell. The prison community is so small and intertwined that this virus has likely spread as far as it’s going to go. And if you’re immune, you’re immune; if you not, well, tough luck. Hershel knows the quarantine is bullshit, justifying his exit as some sort of doctor’s moral obligation. At this point, trying to contain this virus is like using Popsicle sticks to contain a group of ants in a sandbox.

I hate this quarantine business.

The biggest thing to happen in “Isolation”

Gripes aside, “Isolation” was a fantastic episode with a lot of details. Despite everything, though, the most important thing that happened was the voice/transmission coming through the radio in the car. This was such a blip in the episode, quickly forgotten in the ensuing action, but deserving of speculation.

I couldn’t make out what was said, but there is talk that the voice on the radio mentioned “sanctuary.” And some might speculate that it’s the Governor. With the virus and the mission to get antibiotics, it seems like it will be some time before this point gets picked up again. By then it may be too late. Then again, maybe this isn’t important at all. Maybe the showrunners aren’t going to do anything with this. Maybe it was just a solar flare.

As mentioned, there was ensuing action after the radio transmission was heard. That action had to do with a shit-ton of Walkers that made the road impassable. So, what do four people in a car do? I can’t get the rabbit scene in Monty Python’s The Holy Grail out of my head: “Run away! Run away! Run away!” Yes, you do run away, but only after you back up your vehicle and get it stuck on a pile of Walkers.

Is this thousands-deep herd of Walkers heading toward the prison? And why are they migrating? I thought Walkers, in the absence of food, just kind of stumbled about randomly, bumping into things.

At any rate, our four passengers high tailed it for the woods, mostly. With three black people on this mission, and given The Walking Dead’s track record of killing off minority groups, I thought for sure we were going to lose a cast member, and I was kind of cheering for that person to be Tyreese. Dude made me hate him with his earlier actions.

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Tyreese, the sleeping giant awakened

Now would be a good time to back up and examine some of the other elements of “Isolation.” What did Tyreese do to piss me off? Well, he basically became Lennie Smalls, going from this soft-spoken mousy giant of a man afraid to kill Walkers to being an angry beast. The pain he feels is understandable, but in this world he can’t afford to be blinded by his rage and he’s gotta listen to his friends. From his attack on Rick to his emotional state in the back of the car, Tyreese has become a liability. Yes, he’s a powerful man to have as an ally, but he’s broken now and, therefore, too great a risk. Here’s to hoping the writers write him off.

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On the other side of the scuffle, there was Rick, who went agro apeshit on Tyreese. If Carol and Daryl weren’t around, he may have killed the grieving man. Something certainly snapped inside Rick, something that he’s been suppressing for a long time, and I have to wonder if this is the end of farmer Rick. I hope so because this show needs its resident ass-kicker back.

The rise of Carol

Some neglected characters are getting attention this season. For starters, Beth has lines, even if she is an emotionless babysitter. So far, that’s the extent of her role. One of the more interesting characters to watch is the elephant in the room — Carol. At the end of “Isolation” she confessed to Rick that she killed Karen and David (I’ll admit that earlier I was thinking that it might be Carl). Carol’s confession was very matter-of-fact, so it’s clear she believes what she did was the right thing to do — we don’t know if she burned the bodies after they’d turned or if she was trying to contain the virus. I think it’s assumed she murdered the two.

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The bigger point with Carol is that she’s acting on her own, believing to have the tribe’s best interest at heart. For starters, she’s teaching children survival techniques in secret, then she kills Karen and David, then she goes outside the fence to fix the water line on her own. Her new approach is very logical, to get things done that need doing. But she is acting independently, which I think will be viewed as rebellion in the council’s eyes.

Speaking of the council, how will Rick deal with Carol’s confession? Will he keep it silent, protecting Carol by keeping Tyreese in the dark? Will he confront her in private? Will he tell the council?

Glenn can’t die!

Last, but not least, let’s revisit the quarantine. Glenn is sick, and he can’t die being our only Asian. Logically, he’ll be quarantined, but will Maggie? If she doesn’t, then that only supports my claim that the quarantine is BS. Don’t worry for Glenn though, Daryl and the others will get the needed antibiotics and return to the prison just in time to save Daryl — besides, he’ll have Hershel’s tea to help him.

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Rock Hard \m/

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