The Walking Dead review, "Isolation"

The Walking Dead review, "Isolation"

"You breathe and you risk your life. No choice. The only thing you can choose is what you’re risking it for." -- Hershel

This week's episode of The Walking Dead ("Isolation") was all about choices -- choosing between life and death, between freedom and duty, between what's safe and what's necessary.

The lives of our zeroes are always in peril; but never more so than this week, when several different factors are threatening their very existence. There are still the zombies just outside the gate. There's the deadly flu working its way through the entire camp. There's the dirty, sparse water supply and the lack of food. And there's a MURDERER.

The Murders: Last week ended with the bodies of Karen and David from Decatur burning in the yard. Tyreese was the one who found them and he was, naturally distraught. Karen was his ladyfriend, and no one every had a bad word to say about David from Decatur. Tyreese, very reasonably, told Sheriff Rick that he was going to do his duty as a law enforcement officer and figure out who did this. Rick balked, Daryl got handsy, and fisticuffs ensued.

As much as Rick likes to be "the guy," he sure does like to shun duty when it stares him right in the face. Sure, the person who killed Karen and David from Decatur probably did it for noble reasons. That was pretty obvious. Karen and David were the two biggest sickos in the camp. They had been in isolation. Getting rid of them might get rid of the killer flu. But. Karen and David were still members of the group, members Rick had sworn to protect. Tyreese was exactly right when he said that not pursuing the killer would tell the rest of the group that murder is OK here now.

So, of course Rick ended up doing the right thing in the end, accidentally on purpose. He found himself back over near the scene of the crime and he found a bloody handprint. The size of the print told him exactly who the killer was, without much more than a moment's thought. Rick is so good at crime solving. He's a regular Jessica Fletcher.

And when Sheriff Rick confronted the murderer at the end of the episode and asked her if she did it, Carol just replied, "Yes," and went about her business. She's colder than Hannibal Lecter hanging out inside his meat storage locker.

Again, it brings us back to choices. Carol chose to use the breath in her body to snuff out the breaths of a couple other people in the camp. Some might think she's a hero. Some might think she deserves to rot in Cell Block A with all the infected folks and Hershel. Carol risked her freedom (and possibly her life, exposing herself to the deadly virus) for what she thought was the good of the group. Should she have done it? Would you have done the same thing?

Hershel also risked his life for the community. When the council decided to quarantine the weak (i.e. the kids and the old folks), Hershel wasn't happy about it. He didn't like being stuck somewhere unable to help. But he got a great idea from a coffee mug (where most great ideas come from), and he decided to head out into the woods and pick healing herbs for tea.

Carl chose to go with Hershel to protect him, but really I think Carl just wanted a chance to use the gun his father recently returned to him. Carl loves a good gun, and he isn't afraid to use it. Though Hershel, whose body has been inhabited for some time now by the hippy-dippy ghost of Dale, insisted that Carl not use his gun on unthreatening zombies, to save the bullets for times when they are truly in danger.

The Drug Runners: Hershel (who was all over this episode, by the way, in case you couldn't tell) finally remembered that he was a vet and that vets prescribe drugs just like human doctors do. He sent Daryl (and Michonne) out to find a veterinary school, which may not have been ransacked for medicine yet. D'Angelo Barksdale chose to come with them, and so did Tyreese, even though he wanted to stay with his sick sister and watch her through a window. Ultimately he decided that his breath would be better spent trying to save his sister instead of just being there for her.

It almost ended badly for Tyreese, who went all catatonic for a second when zombies started attacking the car. But he rallied and somehow managed to escape unscathed from an entire zombie defensive line pouncing on him from all sides.

The episode ended with Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and D'Angelo Barksdale on foot trying to get to the doggie drugs. It ended with Hershel having been covered in bloody phlegm, courtesy of Dr. S, and Carol confessing to the crime of killing Karen and David from Decatur. Next week we'll find out if the drugs get there in time, if Carol will have to answer for her crimes, and if Hershel gets the flu.

Other Stuff:

  • When Beth finally cracks, it will be glorious and epic.
  • I wasn't really worried about Tyreese, even though he was basically covered in zombies for a minute there. I think the Walking Dead powers that be are going to be a little slow to kill any more African-American men on this show for a while, after they so unceremoniously got rid of T-Dog and then New T-Dog, not to mention Rick's first black friend.
  • That said, Indian doctors are fair game. You're on notice, Dr. S.
  • I think it's hilarious that all of these people live and sleep and whatever together in such close quarters, yet the doctor still makes everyone call him "Dr. S." That's just badass.
  • If they're trying to set up a whiff of romance between Daryl and Michonne, I'm not on board. #Richonne4EVA
  • "Java Saves," said the cup that inspired Hershel to go traipsing off into the woods. Deep stuff, that.
  • The "just allergies" excuse Jeanette tried to use to keep her out of quarantine is such obvious bullshit and I kind of hope Carol kills her because of it.
  • They haven't given D'Angelo Barksdale a Walking Dead name yet, have they? I keep waiting for someone to say his name, but no one does. They used the name "Caleb" this episode, but I think that might actually be Dr. S.'s first name. I refuse to look on IMDB.
  • Carol is horrible at killing zombies and D'Angelo Barksdale is horrible at firing guns.
  • Daryl heard someone talking on the radio! Was it real? Will this come back or was it just thrown in to get Daryl to take his eyes off the road and run into a million zombies?

What did you think of this week's episode of The Walking Dead? What will happen to Carol now that she's a confessed murderess?

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