THE WALKING DEAD Recap – “Indifference”

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Tonight’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead took our survivors outside the relative safety of the prison gates, but not everybody would be returning.  We’ve bid farewell to characters for various reasons – Walker bites, friendly fire, and recently, illness – but tonight’s episode, “Indifference” featured a new method of departure never before seen on the show.  It remains to be seen how the events of this episode will impact the rest of the story arc in season four (or perhaps even the planned companion series), but things will certainly get interesting from here on out.  Hit the jump for my review, and to find out if hipsters have survived the apocalypse.

the-walking-dead-indifferenceMuch like last year’s standout episode, “Clear”, tonight’s hour took us outside the comfort of the prison gates and into the unpredictable wilds of suburbia.  Two groups are now out in search of supplies: one led by Daryl (Norman Reedus), with Michonne (Danai Gurira), Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) and Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) along for support, and one comprised of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carol (Melissa McBride).  The second one is more interesting, so we’ll save that for last.

Daryl’s group ran into trouble last week by way of the wandering herd of Walkers, but Tyreese’s hammer rage got them out of the worst of it.  Tyreese is still a bit uneven – he’ll sulk and wash his bloody clothes in a creek one minute, then hold a Walker in a deadly embrace the next – and Bob remains unproven. It’s hardly Daryl and Michonne’s first rodeo, but the fact that they have to keep an eye on the other two makes things a bit more difficult.  (And it’s not just me anymore, there’s definitely some chemistry between the two former loners.)  After the group secures new transportation, they deal with a small pack of Walkers lurking behind the kudzu vines and make their way to the vet school.  Here, Daryl and Bob have a face-off, with the latter giving in to his alcoholism and (stupidly) testing Daryl’s leadership.  Bob has yet to prove himself useful or even trustworthy, so we’ll see how this new turn of his character works out for him; perhaps they’ll just kick him to the curb.

Meanwhile, Rick and Carol head out in search of medicine and food.  This pairing was the real heart of the story this week as both of them dance around the issue of Carol’s decision to murder Karen and David in the hopes of preventing their illness from spreading to the others.  Rick is clearly not pleased with her behavior, but since he’s taken a back seat to other leaders lately, he’s not really sure if he’s in a place to say anything.  Carol, on the other hand, is entirely convinced that her actions were necessary as she was doing whatever was needed to protect the survivors.  This was a great episode for McBride, whose character has gone from timid victim of domestic abuse, to impotent mother of a lost and undead child, to confident and competent survivor of the apocalypse.  She was a strength for the rest of the people at the prison, but as Rick found out, she was also a liability.

the-walking-dead-andrew-lincoln-melissa-mcbrideRick and Carol’s back and forth carried over the entire hour and dug up past events, such as Shane’s death at Rick’s hands and Carol’s loss of Sophia.  Rick stated that his decision to kill Shane was purely in self defense, while Carol’s actions were not her decision as the two sick patients had a possibility of recovering.  Any attempt by Rick to elicit an emotional response out of Carol is turned aside with a measured reply akin to, “I did what I had to do.”  Carol’s not without emotions though, as Rick’s threat to kick her out of the prison causes her to question what will happen to Lizzie and Mika, and whether or not she could take them.  Rick, apparently back in charge by no other appointment than his own decision, banishes Carol to the wilds with meager supplies and a vehicle, saying they’ll take care of the kids.

Rick’s banishing of Carol from the group definitely came as a surprise, just as much as killing off a character would have.  The story surrounding Carol’s departure is every bit as interesting as the manner in which she leaves us.  Rick alone bears the responsibility of the knowledge that she murdered David and Karen, a decision that will not only cause Tyreese to come after her, but would also likely divide the remaining survivors as to what to do with her.  Just because Carol is no longer with the prison group doesn’t mean they won’t still ask questions or that they’ll be prevented from forming a schism amongst themselves.  The two most volatile character reactions should be reserved for Tyreese and Daryl; surely Rick knows this, so it will be interesting to say the least just how he handles the burden of this information.

As for the show itself, why let McBride go in this fashion?  Was it just a unique way to off a character without ripping out their entrails or shooting them in the head?  It was certainly a fitting departure for Carol, who has grown into a more-than-capable survivor.  Perhaps her manner of exit has further implications, however, since it opens up the possibility of her return not only in this series, but maybe even in the companion series.  It’s a shame that we’ll no longer get to see McBride each week, but Carol’s character arc has certainly been the most rewarding thus far.  Because of that strong focus on character, this week’s episode of The Walking Dead earns a bump in the score even if its level of spectacle was toned down a bit.

Rating: A-

Zombie Kills: 10 – The fewest this season.

Casualties: Ana, or as I like to call her, Hipster Velma.  Not sure if we’ll see Sam, aka Hipster Shaggy, again.

Best Kill: Michonne’s two-for-one. Slim pickins this week.

Best effect: Walker wall – This season has done a good job at introducing Walkers in unexpected ways, such as Walkers raining through the ceiling or behind locked away behind a wall of kudzu.

melissa-suzanne-mcbride-walking-deadOdds & Entrails:

Carol: “Don’t call me ‘mom’. “ Lizzie: “It was an accident.” Carol: “Just don’t.”

Carol: “You just fight it and don’t give up. Then one day, you change. We all change.”

Carol on euthanizing Karen and David: “They would have drowned in their own blood. They were suffering. I made it quick.”

Michonne to Daryl: “Is that Jasper? Good color. Brings out your eyes.”

Station wagon: “Pardon our dust”

Rick: “Medicine cabinets, first aid kits, anything that can help Hershel. We get in, we get out. And if we can eat it, we take it.”

Post-apocalyptic Hipsters: “It’s cool! We’re cool! … We have fruit!”

Rick and his Three Questions again… They must not be that stringent if Shaggy and Velma passed.

Sam to Rick: “You don’t look too good yourself.”

In addition to everything else he does, Daryl’s also a pretty handy mechanic.

Carol: “Rick, I killed two people and you haven’t said a word about it.”

Carol: “You can be a farmer, Rick. You can’t just be a farmer.”

Carol says she learned how to repair a dislocated shoulder from the internet, often had to fix her own shoulder thanks to her abusive husband. This little scene served as a reminder of how strong Carol has always been, but that it took surviving the apocalypse to get her to realize it.

Rick’s story about Lori’s terrible pancakes was a nice moment that took the edge off of his conversation with Carol and reminded us that they’re each of them human after all.

Rick: “She wanted us to be the kind of family that ate pancakes on Sunday.”

I loved watching Tyreese make an exit by hulking out and smashing a window with a fire extinguisher. (Anyone got a gif of it yet?)

Daryl to Terrible Bob: “I will beat your ass into the ground, do you hear me?”

Michonne admits to Daryl that the Governor’s trail has gone cold and that she doesn’t need to go out anymore, which means he should probably be showing up some time soon.

Carol on Sophia: “That’s someone else’s slideshow.” – A line that sums up the life of the Carol we’ve watched over the last few seasons.  Here’s hoping the Carol that drove off into the sunset continues to have adventures and save lives.




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  • Leo Spaceman

    I’m not as ready as the writer of this article is to say that Carol was killed off the show. Was there an announcement somewhere from AMC saying that this was Carol’s last ride? My guess would be (Stop reading this paragraph if you don’t want to read speculation about future episodes) that when lizzie finds out that Carol got kicked out of the prison she confesses to the killing and Rick tries to find Carol, but doesn’t (unless he finds her just “Walking around looking for a bite to eat”) and he ends up being racked with guilt, Oh the irony of him killing someone who didn’t actually need to be killed.

    Calling Daryl a mechanic might not be the most fitting word. Apparently Daryl knows how to hot wire a car. If only Zach could have seen him do it, he might have finally been able to guess what Daryl was doing before the zombie apocalypse.

    I’m glad the writing is really a lot better this season with the plot constantly moving forward. It seems that the survivors are still using asinine logic like when leaving a building, lets go into the dark poorly lit room that we haven’t been in yet and don’t know where it leads rather than just go back out the way we came.

    Daryl has definitely changed since Season 1. He wasn’t much fond of T-Dawg when he offered to help get his brother off of that roof and he doesn’t bat an eye at the thought of being in a car where he is the only white person. Glad to know there’s a way to end racism, just end the world as we know it.

    • LEM

      I hoped Carol was just covering for the girl too but they had every chance to tell the audience without other characters and didn’t so I think she probably did it, even though it makes no rational sense.

    • Fiz

      Interesting take. I was one who thought she was covering for the girl after last week’s episode, but watching last night kinda killed that idea for me. What you suggest could mean it’s still plausible, I suppose.

      I was surprised that Carol was booted, but I don’t feel she’s done on the show.

    • Fiz

      Interesting take. I was one who thought she was covering for the girl after last week’s episode, but watching last night kinda killed that idea for me. What you suggest could mean it’s still plausible, I suppose.

      I was surprised that Carol was booted, but I don’t feel she’s done on the show.

  • Leo Spaceman

    Also, I wouldn’t call those hippies hipsters. They weren’t just trying to look homeless, they were homeless and they didn’t have apple products, they just had apples.

    • Scurvy

      You win

    • Scurvy

      You win

  • LEM

    Carol isn’t gone from the show or doing the spin off. I’m fairly confident her story will be wrapped up this season but probably in the second half. I just wonder what rick will tell the others because if he says he left her then he has to say why which will have Tyrese hunting for her but if he says she was killed or even if they got over run then Daryl will look for her.

  • FilmBuf82

    I was on set for a party last weekend and Carol was there. She said they were shooting ep15. I don’t think she’s gone at all. She’ll be back.

  • hockablah

    this show keeps getting worse as the season goes on. the inconsistency of the characters is maddening—-Tyreese’s “no i don’t wanna go out on a raid!” “Okay i’ll go to help save my friend.” “i’m just going to sit in the car and let walkers eat me.” “now i’m going to go berserk!”—please, just stop and die already. Carol’s cold blooded murder? you would have to be a certified grade A moron to think that killing those two was going to stop the virus WHEN YOU WERE IN THE SAME ROOM AS THE KID WHO FIRST SHOWED SIGNS OF BEING SICK! fucking stupid.

    Romero was right. this is a bad soap opera now.

    honestly, the only two i even care about anymore is Daryl and Michonne. everybody else can die a horrible death. it was wrong of them to deviate from the comics because now the show sucks royal donkey dick. time to introduce Negan, cut off Rick’s hand, shoot off Carl’s face, and beat Glenn’s head in with a baseball bat.

    • Grayden

      “Because Romero was aiming for, and succeeded in, showing dramatic social commentary set against the backdrop of the zombie apocalypse.” – said no one ever.

      Also, I grow tired of comic book and graphic novel fans/nerds who honestly don’t understand the necessity and purpose of altering stories and character details when the format jumps from paper to the screen.

      • hockablah

        never said anything about Romero succeeding in anything, other than creating a couple well-beloved classics that are always in the list for best zombie flicks ever. i’m just agreeing that this has become a soap opera. the inconsistencies in character behavior prove that. this show has decided twice (both during which there was a change in show-runners) that it’s not going to stay consistent and rather have its characters change to fit with whichever plot they decide to have for the season.

      • hockablah

        and yes, i do realize that people change over the course of time and between certain traumatic experiences, but those changes usually are gradual. not within the course of a day or a week. when the hell did Maggie become such a subservient partner to Glenn? what the hell is up with Tyreese? and the medic still went for alcohol even after his heart to heart with Daryl and what happened last time? if i was Daryl i would’ve tossed his ass over the roof and let the walkers have him. endanger me and my crew once, shame on you. endanger us twice, shame on me.

      • blakeavon

        with an attitude like that you would fit in more with the Governors gang. Especially given you missed the whole point of the episode was that killing other humans for what they could possible do is not what decent human folks do. Daryl is a good many things but he is not a murderer. I have to ask when I read your first post is why do you still watch it then? Sounds like you would rather throw everyone off a ledge than talk to them, which goes against the whole reason for the show. Humans fighting humans because of an external force but trying not to lose their humanity along the way.

    • JudgeMethos

      Firstly, uh, it’s been made QUITE obvious that Tyrese is on an emotional roller coaster right now. The guy doesn’t know whether to shit or wind his watch! Secondly, Carol had NO idea the kid (who was the FIRST to die, mind you) would end up being a zombie cuz he was THAT sick. She took the proper precautions after it happened (as she thought it was anyway). Thirdly, Kirkman helps with this show as it’s HIS property and doesn’t want it to be EXACTLY like the comics as he’s said himself. I believe they’re BOTH great forms of entertainment. It’s survival. There’s no clear direction how this stuff would play out in REAL life so if you can’t stand it, stop watching. Just sayin…

      • hockablah

        sorry, but it’s been two years in the timeline. if you haven’t gotten your emotions in check by then, you’re dead, or incredibly lucky. more than likely dead. either by walkers or by the people around you. i sure as hell wouldn’t want loose cannons on my crew when the shit hits the fan. and just because Carol had no idea then, doesn’t justify her behavior afterward. if one person shows signs of having a virus, chances are many more already have it. they just haven’t shown signs yet. fucking biology 101. the only thing they’ve done right was quarantine the baby.

        and yes, i know Kirkman didn’t want the two formats to be exactly the same. and they didn’t have to be. but the show has wandered so far off the beaten path, they’re just playing with each others dicks in the dark now.

    • LEM

      People are irrational and emotional and given their circumstances do you think everything would be so cut and dry? He may want to help but also may want to give up and die.

    • LEM

      People are irrational and emotional and given their circumstances do you think everything would be so cut and dry? He may want to help but also may want to give up and die.

  • JP

    Bob the “useless” doctor? You must have forgotten that he is the only healthy person with actual medical knowledge in the group.

  • rAd-1

    Oh Carol will return, she’ll end up saving everybody from the Gov’s return attack on the prison. I also think Rick dumped her off to save her from Tyresse and save his spot as leader of the group.

    • Faptain America

      My thoughts exactly. Just when the Governor has Rick and co. totally cornered, Carol will jump out of a bush and kill the Governor. Just doing the needful for the group.

  • Daniel O’Reilly

    Was I reading way too much into it or was that zombie falling down the stairs at Carol’s feet a Fargo reference?

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