For the second straight week, the action of The Walking Dead took a backseat to a different kind of conflict. This episode is the first of the season to basically ignore the prison (except at the very beginning) and focus around just a few of our survivors. On one hand, we have Rick and Carol scavenging for enough supplies and basic medicine to help hold the prison over until our other group, led by Daryl and Michonne get back from their adventure to the veterinary college 50+ miles away.
While this episode focuses on the two groups, Rick and Carol are the main focus here. I’m admittedly not the biggest fan of Carol and haven’t been for pretty much the entire series. (Something about her just doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the TV show universe, but maybe that’s just me!) Rick is giving Carol the third degree about murdering those people in the prison. You can really tell that being the only one that knows the truth is really weighing on Rick and he feels that it’s up to him to take action. I think it’s great to see Rick transforming back into the leader that he’s meant to be, Farmer Rick is again referenced in this episode (WHY?!?!), but you can tell he has no intention of going back to that lifestyle. Carol has also changed a great deal this season; she’s not so mousey and afraid of her own shadow. She actually has the nerve to step up to Rick a few times in this episode. (They even use a couple of hippies as cannon fodder to prove this point!)
While all of this is going on, Daryl, Michonne, and their group are scavenging the vet. college for the medicine needed to help curb this outbreak of Swine Flu. I realize without these guys doing this that the people at the prison will likely die, but that takes a back seat to human interaction. We get a good look at who Bob is as a person. He’s an alcoholic so traumatized by what’s going on in the world that he can’t sleep without having a drink. His problem has gotten so bad that not only has it cost someone their life, but he doesn’t lift a finger to help bring meds back to the prison. (All that’s in his bag is a bottle of liquor!) Daryl calls him out and almost kills him over it, but decides in the end that he’s not worth it. I’m worried Tyreese isn’t going to last much longer on the show. He’s in the middle of a mental breakdown that rivals, if not trumps, Rick’s last year after Lori died. He’s been taking a bunch of stupid risks, and even averts to wanting to die.
This episode packed a punch from the aspect of both inner and outer turmoil in the group. It ends with Rick making the choice to send Carol on her own way, telling her she’s no longer welcome at the prison. I’m not sure if this is going to be a welcome decision at the prison, but it completes Rick’s transformation back into a leader. Will we see Carol again? Is Daryl’s conflict with Bob over? Is Tyreese going to snap out of it and rejoin the group? I don’t have the answers to these questions; in fact, I’ll add one of my own…is it Sunday yet?!?
4 out of 5 nerds