Monday, October 28, 2013

Carol's Been A Bad, Bad Girl


“Isolation”
All I could think about during this show was how much funnier it would be if Benny Hill music was being played in a continuous loop in the background. Zombies staggering in fast motion forwards and then backwards, or Michonne repeatedly stabbing a walker in the head! Also, Carl and Carol—separated by one letter, “O.” Significant? Hardly. Yet interesting nonetheless.

Tyreese is understandably very, very upset about Karen’s death. David is a loss, too, but mostly Karen, whom as you recall was his BFF. Tyreese loses his shizzle a bit and has to be schooled by Rick. That is, Rick responds to Tyreese’s blows by opening a can of whoop ass on him, because, well, Rick is the boss. He can’t tolerate insubordination. He’s under a lot of stress. Rick, being Rick, instantly regrets what he’s done. The person who killed Karen and David and set them alight is still at large; Tyreese is out for bloody vengeance, while Rick, Carol, and Daryl take a more balanced, wait-and-see approach.
Hershel bandages Rick’s hand as he waxes philosophical on the internal threat that imperils the camp, namely the outbreak of disease as well as the Patrick Attack. He advises Rick to keep it together, comparing it to his personal struggle to get sober all those years ago. Tyreese takes his aggression out on a shovel as he digs graves for David and Karen. There are a lot of holes being dug on the grounds due to the swine flu’s spread. Sasha, the pretty lady who was in Tyreese’s original group, has come down with it. She staggers into quarantine.
A snapshot from the good old days!

A group meeting occurs, with Hershel, Daryl, Carol, Glenn, and Michonne in attendance. Hershel says that they need antibiotics. It just so happens that he knows of a veterinary college that could have the stash they need. It’s 50 miles away. Time for a bad-ass run!
Rick and Tyreese kiss and make up. Tyreese looks a little worse for the wear, as one of his eyes is swollen shut from his violent encounter with Rick. Tyreese comments that the epidemiological experiment failed; killing the two infected individuals did not halt the spread of the infection. He reaffirms his personal commitment to finding Karen and David’s killer. When Rick says he has the rest of the camp to worry about, Tyreese responds, “You worry about that. I’ll worry about what’s right.”
Bad-ass in training (BAT) Carl is excited to have his weapon back, the gun with the nifty homemade silencer. You can tell he’s itching to use it, but Father Rick advises him to fire only when absolutely necessary. Carl’s definition of “absolutely necessary” is decidedly more fluid than his dad’s. Between the walkers within and without, it seems there’s always an occasion to fire a gun, so Carl should be kept pretty busy.
Hershel sits in a former administrative office as he muses over a coffee mug with a pithy saying on it (“JAVA SAVES”) before venturing outside. Carl volunteers to accompany him. Rather, he imposes himself on Hershel. Meanwhile, Carol is shepherding sick people into Cell Block A. One of her young charges, Lizzie (dead bearded man’s daughter from the last episode), has come down with the flu. Carol can only take her as far as the door where she bids a tearful farewell to the little girl. Beth is locked in a room with Judith, a sort of mini quarantine for babies. She tries to impart her stoic wisdom to her teary sister (now Glenn is ill) Maggie: “We all have a job to do.”
As Hershel collects medicinal plants, Carl stands watch. They come across an abandoned campsite. Upon investigation, they happen upon a walker who has nearly become one with the vegetation he fell upon, as if he is growing out of the tree roots. Another female walker stumbles by, her ankle hobbled by the metal teeth of an animal trap. Carl cocks his gun to fire on her, but Hershel warns him against doing so. What’s the point? They’re not in any danger. Here we see Carl getting advice from another male authority figure besides his dad, a grandfatherly figure. Carl definitely needs some reining in. Recall last season when he shot a young kid from the Governor’s camp in cold blood as Hershel looked on in horror. In the immortal words of Kenny Rodgers, you have to know when to hold ‘em, and when to show ‘em. Or something like that.
If only it were this simple.

Initially Tyreese planned to stand vigil over Cell Block A to ensure the safety of the infected, but at the last minute he joins Michonne, Daryl, and Bob Stookey (Bald Black Guy). It’s a confederacy of bad-asses in one automobile!
The water supply is dwindling. Carol notes that the supply hoses are gummed up with mud. Rick already said that that’s a problem to be dealt with later. Something is bothering Carol. She even kicks over one of the water barrels in anger. Usually she doesn’t lose her shizz like this; what could be up? (WARNING: OVERT FORESHADOWING!!)
Certified bad-ass (CBA) Hershel volunteers to minister to the infected. He brews up a natural flu remedy with the leaves he gathered in the forest. Rick and Maggie warn him that he’s susceptible, but he defends his actions by stating that every action they take now is a risk, so what the heck? Back off. End of story.
Seeing Baby Judith being locked up with Beth and sitting on her lap so peacefully makes me wonder: Is Judith that easy going of a baby? My kids would have been going stir crazy. Maybe Judith is not so mobile yet. Maybe Beth is sedating her.
BAT Carol takes matters into her own hands to de-gum the water supply source. A crowd of walkers hovers nearby but is captivated by the noise of the pump. Rick happens to be around. After seeing that Carol is in danger, he has to intervene to defend her. Carol recklessly waits until the last minute to flee. It could have been a real cluster-eff. Rick is pissed.
Back to the bad-ass run! Is that a late-model Mustang they’re driving? Trouble ensues when everyone thinks they hear a voice over the crackling static on the radio. Driver Daryl is so distracted he hits a walker, losing control of the vehicle. Then, dear reader, there’s nothing but walkers for as far as the eye can see. Not sure how far Daryl can see but it’s a veritable Woodstock, a Lollapalooza, a Burning Man’s worth of endless, stumbling walkers. He backs up the car in a hurry but the tires get stuck on a pile of run-over zombies. Michonne, Daryl and his other brother Daryl (ha ha, 1980s television show reference to see if you are still paying attention)—I mean, the BBG waste no time in getting out of the car, weapons drawn, where they slay walkers like there’s no tomorrow. All except Tyreese, that is, who remains in the car, brooding. BBG is like, “TY!!!!!” Eventually, Tyreese exits the vehicle, guns blazing (so to speak) with his sword drawn. All the anger and loss he experienced after Karen’s death goes into slaughtering zombies; that’s a good thing, because he’s surrounded by them!
As the bad-ass clan flees from the roadside into the dense forest, Tyreese emerges, like a phoenix from the ashes, into a small clearing, preceded by two zombies but unfortunately pursued by a butt-load more. For now, they are safe, as long as they keep running.
Hershel visits Dr. S, who thanks him by hacking up blood on Hershel’s face. Nice. BA Hershel simply wipes the blood spatter off. He also spends some time with Glenn, who’s faring rather badly. Hershel repeats the notion of Beth’s that every one has a job to do, even the sick. Not sure what that job is exactly, but whatever.
Rick meets up with Carol, who’s ferrying water to the camp, to criticize her for her stupidity. He has an inkling of who killed Karen and David, coming right out with it: “Did you kill Karen and David?” She responds in the affirmative. Clearly she did it to protect the camp. However, with this single, terrible, bloody act Carol has crossed the line from bad-ass in training to murderer!


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