So far Season 4.1 of The Walking Dead has been pretty darn stellar, and this episode, "Internment," was among the best hours the show's ever had. At least until that very last shot. But we'll get to that in a moment. First, the meat.
Maybe it's because I just saw About Time this afternoon, but I thought this episode was very much about fathers and their kids. Well, namely two fathers and their kids.
One of the best moments of the episode was when Rick went to check on Carl after returning from banishing Carol. Carl told his dad that nothing happened during his absence and that even if something had happened, Carl would be able to handle it. He's ready. He's been through and seen a lot. Rick can't keep trying to hide Carl from what's going on, because it's going to find him anyway. To which Rick responded, "Maybe. But I think it's my job to try."
Just as it's Rick's job to try and keep Carl and Judith safe from all the horrors of a world in the throes of a Zombpocalypse, so is it Hershel's job to keep everyone in the sick ward from falling into despair. Hershel, who moved himself into Cell Block Cough in order to offer up his medical services against his better judgement, is making sure to keep up appearances as best he can while caring for the actual living dead. He gives them tasks, having people take turns pumping air into the lungs of Henry, some guy who's super sick. He tells Carol's little girl project to go back to her room and read Tom Sawyer. He has Glenn join him on rounds and help remove the dead bodies from the ward via gurney in order to zombie-kill them away from the eyes of all the other sick people. Hershel is in the hope business and business is good.
I feel like, right now, Hershel is the glue holding the whole operation together. If Hershel goes down, the whole society goes down.
Hershel, however, is fighting a losing battle. He's an old man with one leg and he's the person in the best shape in the cell block (except for those to randoms who showed up out of nowhere just in time to get shot and zombie-bitten. Where were they when Hershel needed them to help pump and lift corpses?) Things get a little out of hand once Henry dies and Glenn gets sick and Sasha almost dies and Caleb the Indian doctor dies and another lady dies and then zombie Henry chases after Carol's little girl project. Hershel does his best to fight, but it proves too much for him, until his daughter, Maggie, shows up with her gun and her ability to pump air into her boyfriend's lungs.
Thankfully, not long after the zombies have been subdued and Glenn has been intubated, Tyreese, Daryl, Michonne, and D'Angelo Barksdale show up with medicine. Hershel finally gets a moment to rest and breakdown and read his bible. And in the morning he has a fresh new attitude that agrees with Daryl that he's a "tough sumbitch" and hops in truck yelling, "Hell yeah," to go driving with Michonne. There's a new Hershel in town and he is ready to party.
The other piece of the story was Rick and Carl and Rick's realization (once again) that Carl's not a baby who needs to be coddled. When the zombie horde breaks through the first barrier fence, the father/son duo grab machine guns and tire irons and start killin' zombies. And then they share a fresh pea. And it's a lovely moment for the ages.
So now we're left with these questions: How will everyone react when they learn that Carol has been sent away (we already know that Maggie's fine with it; she never liked that bitch anyway)? Now that the flu is less of a problem, what will be the next Big Bad in the prison? I think we already know the answer to that question, and it's "The Governor," who has been waiting outside the prison gates for who knows how long. John's reaction when he saw the Governor lurking in the bushes, "Not him again." This season has been so good so far, and part of it has been because of the distinct lack of Governor. They didn't know what to do with him last season, but have the writers used the time since to solve their Governor problem? I hope so, because watching this show the past few weeks has been a treat.
- Does the time between "dead guy" and "zombie" vary, because sometimes people seem to turn very quickly, and then sometimes it seems to take a while. Hershel seemed to think he had all day to load up bodies on gurneys and get them away from the sick ward.
- It doesn't look like Carol is with the Governor. When do you think we'll see her again?
- And when will Rick lose that hand and when will Hershel fashion him a bionic one?
- Rick and Michonne totally shared a moment. Did you see it? #Richonne4EVA
- But he also almost shared a moment with Maggie. Maybe they're just testing out Rick-related chemistry to see what sticks.
- Carol's little girl project mentioned that she thought Henry the Zombie was listening to her. Are the zombie's advancing? Are we moving into Day of the Dead territory? Can a zombie-human love story be far behind?
- Carl's a BAMF, but you knew that already.
- There are three episodes left before the big mid-season break. I feel like some major character has to get dead. Who do you think it's going to be? I fear for Hershel, because losing him would make the biggest impact on the rest of the characters.
What did you think of this episode?
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