Daryl leads a group out of the prison to find essential supplies while Rick deals with threats from both inside and out plus we find out who killed Karen….
By Scott Harris — Staff Writer
The early-season fireworks are just smoke on the wind. The lines are drawn. The third episode of the fourth season of The Walking Dead begins to add flesh to bone. Sorry.
Like every addictive TV show, The Walking Dead knows just how much line to feed out, and just how fast to turn the crank to keep things moving along. This episode, titled “Isolation,” showed off how you do that.
For me, the key headline of the evening was a simple one: Tyreese is now crazy. The nice guy who just wanted to earn his keep is gone. Now he’s a crazy guy who just wants to kill everybody.
“You bring ‘em to me!” he shouted to Rick and God. “Bring ‘em to me!”
After he discovered the still-sizzling corpse of his murdered girlfriend at the end of the last episode, that’s not a huge surprise. What was more surprising was how fast it all happened. I figured it would be more of a slow burn, if you’ll pardon another wonderful pun.
I mean, he punched Rick. Right there, in front of the remains. Rick, whose temper is one of my favorite qualities of any character on the show, snaps and beats him up. Nevermind that it was a bit of a, eh, narrative reach for that to happen. Never mind that! The leader beat up the crazed subordinator.
A little later on, they get together and talk it out over a little grave-digging. Bygones are bygones, but Ty lets Rick know that if Rick isn’t willing to make finding the culprit his top priority, he sure as hell will. A little vigilante justice, mayhap?
“The vibe I’m getting is that murder is OK in this place,” Ty says. Back away, Rick.
With that on the back burner, the season’s big thread re-emerges: this deadly airborne germ, now in full flower across the camp. Glenn catches it, as does Sasha. Plenty are quarantined, including the young and old. One notable exception is Hershel, who is, interestingly, doing whatever he can to avoid being in the cells. Maybe it’s because, with Dr. S. among the sick, he’s the primary caretaker. That’s his story, anyway, But maybe it’s something else. Hard to read at this juncture.
Anyway, the episode’s primary action is a trek to a veterinary school 50 miles away, where they may be able to score some meds to fight the disease. Daryl and Michonne sign up for the job, but they need one more. Who might be available? How about, oh, I don’t know, Tyreese? Perfect! Now nothing can go awry.
At least not until they drive into the biggest single horde of walkers I remember seeing on the show. Those distant fields were like boiling anthills, bro. Their car is overwhelmed, and the search party flees. All of them, that is, except a certain dude who kind of lost his mind earlier in the episode. Ty just sits there, staring straight ahead, seat belt buckled like he’s waiting for his mom to come back out of the grocery store. He does this for a while, until he gets up and starts hammering his way through the walker wall like John Henry through the mountainside. Somehow he makes it back alive to his companions, and they flee together into the woods. To be continued.
Oh, and Carol killed Karen and David and burned the bodies. Rick (and, earlier, viewers) got some little hints, and Carol cops to it after a brief one-on-one with Rick at the very end of the episode, which went something like this:
“Carol? Did you kill Karen and David?”
People may remember this episode as The One Where Tyreese Snapped, and that’s fine. But it is also pretty clearly established the season’s theme, which was framed in the first two installments. While a clear good vs. evil clash was at the center of season three with Woodbury and the Governor and what not, this campaign will address what lies within. No society, no matter how well-intentioned, in the post-apocalyptic world or any other, is purely good. That shit’s for the movies. And when you’re living in zombieland, keeping the bad fully out is a fool’s errand.
“Everything we’ve been trying so hard to keep out? It found its way in.” Herschel said.
“It’s always there,” Rick answered.