comScore The Walking Dead Episode Recap: "Isolation" | The Mary Sue

The Walking Dead Recap, 4×3: “Isolation”

Oh, great.

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Last time on The Walking Dead: a bunch of people got the sniffles and it turned them into walkers pretty much immediately. Rick had to kill some pigs and it bummed everyone out a lot. Also, somebody cockblocked Tyreese by setting his girlfriend on fire, but watching the pigs die was way sadder for some reason.

We open on Glenn digging a bunch of graves for the infected. Yeah, if the whole hour could just be Glenn performing menial labor, I would be okay with that. Unfortunately the show wants us to be sad, so instead Glenn stops to look at the markers that have been nailed to each grave to represent the dead. There’s a gun hanging from one branch, and farther down somebody’s nailed Patrick’s glasses to a wooden plank. Uh, guys? You’re in an apocalypse. You can’t think of anybody that could use a set of eyeglasses or, I don’t know, a gun? Okay, fine.

As it turns out, Glenn was not looking at these markers after all — he’s ogling Maggie again, who’s digging more graves up ahead. You guys have had it too good, man. The way this show’s been killing off significant others recently, one of you is not going to make it the end of the episode.

Meanwhile, that doctor guy is tending to the wounded with Hershel. By “tending,” I mean that he is stabbing recently deaded people in the head. At least he’s not setting them on fire, I guess. Hey, speaking of which, Tyreese is showing Rick, Daryl, and Carol the bodies he found, which are… still smoking for some reason. Tyreese is understandably very upset about this.

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“You’re a cop!” Tyreese shouts to Rick. “You find out who did this and you bring them to me, you understand?” Rick and Daryl try to talk him down, and this manifests as them taking turns being thrown against walls after trying to comfort Tyreese from behind. And then Tyreese starts wailing on Rick, and Rick retaliates by punching Tyreese in the head and then kicking him in the ribs while he’s down, and wow guys remember how there are two dead bodies in front of you? What are you even fighting about right now?

Eventually Rick gets so insanely worked up that Daryl has to pull him off of Tyreese, which I guess is one way for the show to distance itself from the angry black man stereotype it’s gingerly dancing around right now –sure, Tyrese started it, but it’s the crazy white guy who went overboard here. That’s okay, right?! (spoiler alert, it’s still kinda not). Anyway, maybe you should be rethinking that “owning a gun” thing again, huh, Rick? You still seem to have some rage problems you need to work out.

After the cold open — and after the last hostful Nerdist episode I can’t not hear Chris Hardwick’s voice singing “THE WALKING DEAD” in time to the theme song, so thanks for that, Hardwick — Hershel is cleaning Rick’s wounds. Rick’s wounds? What about Tyreese? Rick literally sprained his hand beating up on this guy, so how badly is he injured? Whatever, Hershel’s talking about the flu and how Rick should be back on the council now because clearly he shows such wonderful judgement in the face of such difficult situations, i.e. beating up people who’ve just lost loved ones. Rick doesn’t want to, though so at least he’s not a total idiot all the time.

Tyreese, in the meantime, has channeled his energy into furiously digging an extra grave for Karen and David, apparently without stopping to get medical treatment. As the only other black guy on the entire show, Bob comes over to offer his support and to convince him to get some stitches, but Tyreese is pretty committed to getting the bodies buried first. So Bob helps him dig instead. Aw, Bob! And to think I was pretty convinced you were going to die pretty much immediately. Don’t start endearing me to you now.

Glenn asks Hershel if the disease going around has run its course now that Karen and David are dead. It hasn’t. Sasha come out of a doorway coughing terribly. Oh, come on, first Tyreese’s girlfriend and now his sister? Is this whole episode going to be about women dying to make Tyreese feel sad?

She says she’s going to be okay and wanders off to go find Dr. S in the quarantined block. It ain’t pretty, y’all. She does not even make it, like, ten feet in before she comes across walkers and people coughing up blood. And oh, great! Dr. S. is sick too. Wonderful.

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At the council meeting, Hershel is talking and oh, no. There’s a close-up on Glenn and he looks sweaty and not-at-all good. No, no, no, that is not allowed. I didn’t mean what I said earlier about either him or Maggie dying, okay? NO to Glen dying. I will turn these recaps around, do you hear me, AMC?

Hershel says that the symptoms are the problem, not the virus itself, and that there might be antibiotics at the veterinary hospital nearby to help treat these symptoms until the sickness has run its course. Nearby, of course, means 50 miles away, so Daryl immediately pulls a team together. Meanwhile, Hershel plans to separate out those who would be most vulnerable from the illness and keep them away from everyone else.

Carol and Rick are pumping water from the well, but it’s coming up muddy. Carol wants to go fix the problem but Rick says it can wait while they get the water they have to the people who need it now. Carol also says that Rick should probably go and talk to Tyreese about what happened. He’s just finishing up those graves (where did Bob go?), and is surprisingly cool when Rick apologizes. However, he does still really want Rick to find out who killed David and Karen.

Rick theorizes that the killer might have been trying to stop the virus from spreading, because I guess he moonlighted as Captain Obvious while in King County. Tyreese notes that it didn’t work and that Rick doesn’t seem to be making this investigation a priority. “In fact, what I’m picking up is that murder is okay in this place now,” Tyreese says. He’s got a point. Rick does too, of course, but it really doesn’t seem like anybody else is too upset over two people getting set on fire, which is odd.

Later, Carl is packing up for Hershel’s healthy-person quarantine, but he sure isn’t happy about it. He does have his gun, though, which Rick tells him he isn’t allowed to fire unless he absolutely needs to.

In another part of the prison, Glenn is definitely sick. Maggie walks in on him huddled in a corner trying to psych himself back into wellness, which obviously is not going to work. “I have it,” he says. NO. NOT ALLOWED, SHOW.

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We cut to Daryl and Michonne, who are preparing to set off together, “just like in the old days.” God damn it, Daryl, why is it that every one-on-one scene you have with a female character is rife with sexual tension? Stop charming the pants off of all the ladies. He goes off to find Tyreese because they think they need one more to round out the expedition team,, but he’s decided to stand watch at the infected cell block so nobody else gets lit on fire.

At the administration office where all the young, healthy people are being holed up, Hershel is wandering around downstairs when Carl finds him. He tells Carl that he’s deliberately trying to stay away from all the kids to keep them safe from possible infection, but of course Carl is on self-appointed patrol duty and the rules don’t apply to him. He figures out that Hershel is going into the woods by himself and threatens to tell his dad, but Hershel says to go ahead — he’ll be long gone by the time Carl gets to Rick. So of course Carl decides that he has to go with Hershel to keep him safe. God, kid, really?  Let’s hope L’il Asskicker isn’t actually Rick’s daughter by blood so she won’t grow up to have this stupid saving people thing that the rest of her family does.

Carol has the unfortunate task of wrangling up all the sickies and putting them in a cage. Apparently, that includes Lizzie now, as she appears outside saying that she doesn’t feel well. Carol can’t go in to tuck her in, so she tells Lizzie to look for Glenn in there to do it. But then Lizzie does that thing where she loses her nerve because she’s, like, 12, and it’s really upsetting.

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Maggie and Beth have to talk to each other through a door so that Maggie doesn’t accidentally infect her or Judith, and she tells her about Glenn. “We don’t get to be upset,” Beth tells her. They all have jobs to do, and they need to focus on those.

Carl and Hershel are in the woods now. Carl’s wearing the dumb sheriff’s hat, so we know that he’s not farming, at the very least. Hershel is picking plants when Carl spots movement — they come across a tent and a malnourished walker who reaches out for them. Another one comes stumbling out of nowhere with a bear trap wrapped around her ankle, and Carl aims at her, but Hershel tells him not to fire. “You don’t need to,” he says. Surprisingly, Carl obeys, and they walk off.

Tyreese and Sasha are talking through a window, and he keeps telling her to keep her thoughts positive. Bob comes on as the third on Daryl and Michonne’s team, and when Bob questions the decision, Daryl holds up a list of medicines for Bob and cites the fact that Bob can pronounce their names as proof that he needs to come along. The Tyreese shows up — he wants to help, too! Oh, good.

Carol is trying to scrounge up enough water from their tanks when she runs into Tyreese. He is just everywhere this episode, huh? He asks her to look in on Sasha and she says she’s sorry about Karen, but it sort of sounds less like she’s saying that she’s sorry for his loss and more like she’s… apologizing. He picks up on this too an d gets a weird look on his face, and when he leaves Carol throws the mostly-empty bucket of water she’s got, and then knocks over another tank that had a pretty decent amount of water in it as well. Carol? Did you do something, Carol?

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Around the corner, Maggie demands to know why Hershel not in healthy-person quarantine. He thinks he can bring the fevers down with the elderberries that he’s picked, and they can’t wait 12 hours for Daryl and his team to get back. He delivers a decent speech about how they risk their lives every day just to survive, so what matters now is what he chooses to risk his life for. “I can save lives. That’s reason enough to risk mine.” You’re the best, Hershel. Maggie tells Beth about it later, who chooses, as always, to bury her sadness deep down behind  her mantra of “we don’t get to get upset,” though it appears not to be working this time.

At the scene of the fire, Rick is looking for clues. And he actually finds one! There’s a small handprint of blood on the doorway.

Outside the gate, Carol is dumping the mud out of the hose they use for their well. The walkers are being distracted by a bunch of bike wheels going back and forth on the other side of the gate, until one of them hears Carol making noise and figures that she’s more interesting than bike wheels. The rest follow suit. Rick sees this and races out to help, telling her to run. There;’s another bunch of walkers coming up behind her, though, and she gets her knife stuck in one of them as she tries to escape. Rick shoots some of them out of her way and they get themselves through the gate just in time. “We said we were going to do that tomorrow,” he tells her. “We don’t know if we’ll get a tomorrow,” she replies.

In what has to be the most awkward car ride ever, Daryl is talking to Michonne about trying to find the governor. The trail ran cold, he says, and that’s why he’s not out there with her whenever she leaves the camp to go hunting. He then tries to turn on the radio to break the silence until he remembers that radios aren’t a thing anymore, which is hilarious. But then, wait. They actually hear a voice! It’s tough to make out, though, and while they’re forgetting that oh right they’re on the road, Daryl crashes into a bunch of walkers.

And then a whole swarm of them descend on the car. I mean a swarm, though. Like, an impenetrable force that they are never going to make their way through.

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So Daryl does the responsible thing that everybody learns to do when they get their permits — he backs up over some of the walkers to find an opening. Except walker bodies are sort of mushy like mud, and his wheels start to spin helplessly over a pile of them as their brains get caught up in his tires.

They switch to Plan B, then, which is “let’s all get out of the car and just start attacking the hell out of everything.” Michonne and Daryl do just fine with this plan. Bob has a little bit of trouble, but he manages. And Tyreese — oh, god, Tyreese — he is just sitting in the car doing nothing. Bob shouts for him  (and he calls him “Ty,” which is kind of sweet), and finally Tyreese snaps and starts beating on walkers with nothing but a hammer. However, Tyreese is more concerned with doing damage than he is with clearing a path and heading to safety, so Daryl, Bob, and Michonne keep moving without him. Geez, are they giving up on him that fast?

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They make their way through the woods, and Daryl stops to reload his bow. There’s a rustle in the bushes ahead and the three prepare themselves for another onslaught — but it’s Tyreese! Well, it’s a couple of walkers and then Tyreese, who hammers one of them in the head like the amazing badass that he is before falling over from either his injuries or exhaustion.

Ugh! And then we cut to Hershel, who’s pouring some elderberry tea for Dr. S. This is great and all, but what about Tyreese. Dr. S. takes the tea and tells Hershel he shouldn’t be there, but Hershel still seems pretty fine considering. Dr. S. isn’t, though, and coughs flecks of blood all over the bandana that Hershel’s wearing over his mouth. Which Hershel then takes off and… wipes on his face? Dude! Are there no germophobes at this prison camp who can teach everyone to stop letting infected blood get all over their mouthes?

Glenn’s not doing so hot either. Hershel delivers a pretty great pep talk to him, along with a cold compress (“Put this on your forehead. Veterinarian’s orders.”) It’s pretty great.

Finally we’re back to Carol and Rick. Rick is telling Carol that she did a stupid thing, which she initially interprets to mean going off on her own to fix the water hose. Except that’s not what he means at all. Oh boy, here it comes.

“Did you kill Karen and David?” he asks.

Yeah, she did. She doesn’t even hesitate to admit it, in fact.

And then she walks away and the episode ends.

Geez. Geez oh man, guys. This episode was pretty slow paced overall what with all the sick people, but last three seconds made it much, much more interesting. I sure hope Tyreese comes back from his walker-rampage to hear about this. Knowing this show, though? He’ll probably die. And so will Glenn. So will everybody. The season’s just going to end with L’il Asskicker crying around a pile of bodies. Let’s all just gear ourselves up for it now.

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