Zombie Round Up: Indifferent
Happy Monday Evil Geeks and welcome to your morning after therapy session/breakdown of The Walking Dead! Last week things got… complicated for Rick in his seemingly newly regained status as the leader of the prison group. After finding the corpses of two members of the community horribly charred and burned, Tyreese is understandably a little agitated, seeing as one of the deceased was his pseudo girlfriend. Rick promised Tyreese he’d find the killer, but the bereft Tyreese didn’t think Rick was acting fast enough. Rick did get around to investigating, only to find that the killer was Carol. What’s a former sheriff with a tenuous grip on sanity to do? Protect his friend who would seemingly do anything for the group or keep his promise to a person he only recently met, to bring a killer to justice? On top of all that, there’s a killer flu thinning the community’s numbers rapidly and whilst out on a run to get some medicine for the flu victims, Darryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob are overtaken by a massive horde of walkers. Things certainly do not look good for our heroes.
This week’s episode keeps the key players of the impending Carol/Tyreese car crash that seems imminent; with Rick and Carol out scouting for supplies in one spot and Tyreese along with Darryl, Michonne, and Bob continuing on the quest they began last week, to hit up the veterinary college for medical supplies to help those infected with the killer flu. Even though the stories happen in separate places, thematically they revolve around the same thing: Change. The main focus of the episode is the ways in which people change or fail to change and how the failure of picking the wrong side in the change/no change decision can drastically affect a person’s life.
For Rick and Carol, the trip they take is just as much about getting to the bottom of what happened with the two flu stricken people whom she murdered. As I said before, Rick is in a precarious position: he knows that Carol is the murderer and he knows that Tyreese is out for revenge. Carol further explains the situation and although she did have a reason for burning the infected people, her justification for doing so comes off incredibly cold and callous. The mystery of whether or not the people died from the disease or from Carol’s actions gets cleared up when Carol clarifies that they had not yet died from the disease, so she sped the process along by killing them. Her reasoning is that she spared them from dying a much worse death at the hands of the sickness and that she protected the rest of the group by eliminating a potential source of infection for anyone not yet exposed. She did what she did for the greater good, not thinking about the individuals who’d be dying because of her plan.
Up until now, Carol has been known mainly for the fact that she cares about others so much. She is known as being a sweet, warm, mothering person, but Rick sees that she is actually no longer that same person. She has hardened herself to the world and extinguished her defining characteristics in the name of survival. Her ability to care for others is the reason she survived, but she has been so damaged in the process that she now sees that ability as a weakness. Carol has changed because of the new state of the world, but not for the better. Because of that; because she no longer can be depended upon to be the compassionate voice of reason, Rick decides that she can no longer be a part of the group. Carol makes a valid point in her defense, saying in a round about manner that what she did was no different from when Rick killed Shane and I have to agree with her there (granted, she went about it the wrong way). Rick killed Shane, because Shane was going to kill Rick. Rick did what he needed to do because it was what was best for him and his family. Carol did what she thought she needed to do, because she thought it was what was best for the entire group, albeit with flawed means. Even though the two people would have died eventually, she should have allowed them to die on their own terms before killing them prematurely. Because she has become an unrecognizable wild card in Rick’s eyes, he makes the decision to banish her from the prison. That’s a decision I can’t imagine going over with well with ANYONE back at Zombieville Correctional Facility, especially Tyreese. Rick’s decision will rob him of the ability to personally deal with his girlfriends killer and might be seen by Tyreese as basically letting the killer walk away from the crime without consequence.
The group on the other road trip isn’t having a whole lot of luck on their outing. Their car got stuck on a pile of dead zombies, so they had to hoof it to the veterinary college for supplies. At the college, they run into a bunch of zombies who appear to have died from the flu as opposed to zombie bites. If they come in contact with the bloody-eyed zombies, they run the risk of bringing even more disease back to the prison when they return. At one point during the hectic journey, Bob begins talking to Darryl about his past with drinking and the guilt he feels over being the last remaining survivor of the two previous groups he was with. He confesses to Darryl the reason that the shelf fell over in the store back in the season premiere, was because he had been tempted by a bottle of booze and when he put the bottle down, he did it so hard that it broke the shelf. Darryl tells him not to sweat it and to make sure that he doesn’t let booze interfere in the future. In the crazed fracas of escaping the college, a group of zombies latches on to Bob’s backpack and instead of jettisoning it, he stays and wrestles with the horde for control of the bag. Clearly there must be something important in the bag right, maybe like medicine for the others back at the prison? Nope, when they get to a place of relative safety, Darryl checks the incredibly important contents of the bag, only to find a bottle of booze. He flies off the handle and for a second I thought he was about to feed Bob to the horde. Instead he makes him the promise that if he ever sees him drinking a single drop of booze again, he’ll wish he had fed him to the pack of zombies. Bob has failed to change and just like Carol, it is absolutely to his detriment. He can’t get past his addiction to booze and it’s to a point where it’s putting the lives of others at risk.
This message of this episode seems to be that in order to survive, one needs to adapt to the new reality without sacrificing your humanity in the process. If you don’t try to eliminate your weaknesses, then eventually they will be your downfall. Conversely, if you become a cold, distant, killing machine, then you’ll also alienate yourself from those who you’ll need to rely in order to survive. This was a really deep episode along the lines of “Clear” that serve to provide a valuable lesson to Rick on what he’ll need to do to be a proper leader to the rest of the people at the prison. Rick has sort of side-stepped his way back into the leadership role and booting Carol was his first major move after reclaiming the role. The decision is of course going to brush Tyreese the wrong way and I can’t see it sitting all that well with Darryl either. Darryl and Carol are close (or at least were anyway, he seems to be getting pretty cozy with Michonne all of a sudden), so he may even get upset enough to take off in search of her once he finds out Rick tossed her. It looks like we’ll have to wait until next week to find out though. Make sure to check back here next Monday for another Zombie Round Up!
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Posted on November 4, 2013, in Reviews, TV, Zombie Round-Up and tagged AMC TV, Andrew Lincoln, daryl dixon, Geeks, nerds, Norman Reedus, Rick Grimes, The Walking Dead, TV, Zombie, Zombie Round-Up, Zombies. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.