The Walking Dead Recap 4.3: “Isolation”

By Jeannie Chan

Last week, we learned that there’s a fast-moving killer flu infecting the prison. Before they can even get a sense of how bad it is or how to treat it, someone took the initiative to eliminate the infected and killed Karen and David. It didn’t do much good since the infection has already spread. This week, tension runs high all around as more people get sick and Tyreese tries to deal with Karen’s death.

(Full recap and spoilers under cut!)

Glenn, Maggie, and some others are sadly, silently digging A LOT of graves in the aftermath of the D block attack. The camera focuses on two crosses, one with a pair of glasses hanging from a nail, the other a gun. The glasses were Patrick’s.

Hershel and Dr. S are inside the prison, checking in on a patient. Dr. S listens hard for a heartbeat but hears none. He shakes his head at Hershel and silently pulls out a pocketknife. We are thankfully spared the sight of what happens next.

Rick, Tyreese, Carol, and Daryl are in the courtyard with Karen and David’s still smoldering bodies. Tyreese angrily says to Rick, “Somebody dragged them out here and set them on fire.” He moves towards Rick, who instinctively backs away, and Daryl lurches forward, ready to take Tyreese down. Tyreese demands that Rick finds out who did this and bring them to him. Daryl tries to pull Tyreese back and calm him down but there really is no good way of doing that right now. Daryl reminds Tyreese that they’re on the same side. Rick tells Tyreese that they know what he’s going through, that they’ve all lost someone, that he needs to calm down. Rick approaches Tyreese and puts a hand on his shoulder. These people really need to get better at reading body language. Of course, the last thing Tyreese needs is someone touching him so he shoves Rick away and comes at him. He punches him in the face. Daryl wraps Tyreese in a bear hug. Rick gets up. I think it’s over, and that Rick has enough sense to let people just cool down, but this is all just too much for him to handle. Rick loses control and starts beating the crap out of Tyreese. When Daryl tries to intervene, Rick screams at him but it’s enough of a reality check and Rick stares at his bloody hands in horror.

After the opening credits, Hershel tells Rick that his hand will be sprained for a week. His bedside manner is still on its cheesey A-game and he tells Rick that he can’t type for a few days before he gets real with him and asks him if he’s okay. Ever the narrator of this story, Hershel says that a lot has happened and that everything that they have been working so hard to keep out has found its way in. Hershel reminds Rick that they have a lot of work to do and invites him to the council meeting the next day. Rick says he’s done enough damage for one day. Hershel says that he’s “fallen off the wagon” before but he did not waste time feeling bad about it because he knew he had responsibilities and that people counted on him. Rick gestures to his bandaged hand and says, “Is that what this is?” Yeah, Hershel. Way to completely minimize what just happened.

If you’re wondering where Tyreese is after this fight and if his wounds are being looked after, he’s actually out in the yard, working out his feelings by putting them all into the grave that he’s digging. Bob approaches and suggests that Tyreese have Hershel or Dr. S tend to his wounds, get stitches, whatever. He looks up and we see that his left eye is completely busted and swollen shut. Rick really messed up his face. But Tyreese will not stop until Karen and David are buried.

Glenn and Herschel are talking about the flu. Glenn is desperate for reassurance and asks Hershel if they’re going to be okay. There’s no way to answer that question. Sasha comes out –  pale, coughing, sweaty and unsteady on her feet. She says she’s going to see Dr. S and she’s going to be okay. Sasha stumbles into A block where all the sick are. It’s like I’m suddenly watching a horror movie. There’s a man shaking in his cell. A shadowy woman coughs bright red blood into her hands. It’s dark as hell. She almost gets nabbed by a walker in another locked cell. Dr. S himself stumbles down the hall and braces himself against the stairs. He’s fallen ill too. He says, “It’s starting.” Aahh!

The council meet to discuss the spread of the illness. Hershel says all the survivors of the D block attack, Sasha, and some others have gotten sick, but I can’t even pay attention to what he’s saying because the camera cuts to Glenn who is looking VERY SWEATY. Hershel says there is no stopping this. There is no preventive measure they can take. You have to just get through it. Michonne (yay!) chimes in and basically says, you mean let it kill you. Hershel says they need antibiotics. That’s going to be very hard to come by. Hershel suggests raiding the supplies at an animal hospital 50 miles away and quarantining the most vulnerable populations. Daryl heads up the team to get the meds.

Rick finds Tyreese finishing up with Karen’s grave and apologizes for what he did to him, and “for everything.” Tyreese says that it was on “both of us” and says again that Rick needs to find who did this. Rick assures him that they will but Tyreese awesomely calls him out on it: “All I see you doing is pumping water.” Tyreese adds that the message he’s been getting is that murder is okay now. Rick argues that murder is not okay but places an emphasis on the need to keep the place going. Tyreese says Rick can worry about that; he’ll worry about what’s right. I know Tyreese is not in the calmest and most rational mindset and that this may not be about what’s right as it is more about vengeance, but I want to slow clap for this man right now.

Back in C block, Carl begrudgingly packs up his things. He whines about needing to move in with the little kids, naturally. He holsters his gun as Rick tells him that he needs him to keep an eye on Judith. Rick tells Carl not to use his gun unless he absolutely has to. Carl’s like, then you know that I might have to actually use it. Rick nods. Glenn huddles in a dark corner in his cell, coughing, sweating. Maggie comes in but Glenn holds out a shaky sweaty hand to stop her before she gets any closer. Glenn is sick. GLENN. IS. SICK. :( He’s going to be sent off to A block.

Daryl attempts to get one of the cars up and running. Michonne offers her assistance. Daryl tells her that he’s glad she’s here instead of running off. Michonne gives him this look that’s like, “Is that what you think of me?” But of course, they don’t discuss it any further. They do talk about bringing along a fourth person on this run though. Bob is coming but they’ll need an extra hand. Who else can go? Cut to Tyreese heading towards A block. Daryl finds him to talk him into helping. Tyreese says that someone needs to stand guard and he is not going to leave Sasha in there.

I have no idea where they’ve put the children and Hershel but Carl’s been acting as hall monitor and catches Hershel on his way out to the woods. They have a pretty amusing stand-off in which Carl says he can’t let Hershel leave and Hershel’s all like, excuse me young’n? Carl convinces Hershel to let him tag along.

Carol is herding people into A block. Just as she locks the door, Lizzy comes in and tells her she’s not feeling well. Carol hugs her and tells her she’s going to get better but that she should go in there to lie down.

In the woods, Hershel attempts to have a heart-to-heart with Carl. He acknowledges that Carl has taken on a lot of responsibility but that it was good for Carl to have slowed down in the last few months. Carl disagrees. They happen on two walkers. Well, one of them has decayed so badly that it’s basically one with the tree it’s leaning up on. The other is hobbling and clearly not a threat. Carl steadies his own at the one walker but Hershel tells him that he doesn’t have to. They continue on their way. Hershel says that it’s peaceful out there. Carl says that it can’t be like that all the time.

In A block, Sasha struggles to breathe and talk at the same time while Tyreese and I choke back tears. Sasha tells Tyreese not to cry, and always the boss of him, he listens. She starts to apologize for what happened to Karen but he tells her to stay positive, that she’ll get better. And then she breaks down into tears. Tyreese tells her that Daryl is leading a group to get medicine from the veterinary college. She looks hopeful, which changes his mind and he runs off to join them. He makes a pit stop to ask Carol to look in on Sasha while he’s gone, because he knows how she is and knows that Carol cares about others. She looks like she’s about to cry. At the very least, she looks upset. She agrees to check in on Sasha though and when Tyreese walks away, she flings her water bucket aside and cries. Guys. I may be jumping the gun here… but did Carol kill Karen and David?? Oh, Carol..

Hershel is about to enter A block with elderberries and supplies for the sick but Maggie catches up to him and tearfully demands that he return to quarantine. Hershel is adamant about doing what he can to help the ill. He tells her that Glenn is in there. Maggie’s face crumples, as if she didn’t already know that. As if that wasn’t all the more reason why she needed her father to alive and well and away from A block. Rick comes along and basically reinforces what Maggie is saying. Hershel puts his foot down and says that every step they make, everything they do puts them at risk, in direct danger of losing their life. They don’t have a choice. What they can choose is what to risk losing their life for and if he can risk his life trying to save these people, then it’s worth it. They stop fighting him and let him in.

Rick is in the courtyard, putting his policing skills to the test and examining the burn patterns or blood trails, or whatever. He discovers a bloody handprint on the doorframe, which was most likely left by either Karen or David, which means that either or both of them were still alive when they were being dragged outside. He leaves the site for now and goes out for water, I guess. He sees Carol struggling with the hose beyond the fence. Their little distraction device fails to hold the attention of some of the walkers and a good sized group is now making their way towards Carol. Rick runs to help. They make it back on the safe side just in time.

In the car, Daryl continues his earlier conversation with Michonne and says he knows she wasn’t running off but gently breaks the news to her that the Governor’s trail has gone cold and she knows it. He adds that he would have gone with her otherwise. Michonne stays silent but gives him an appreciative look. Daryl fiddles with the radio knob and asks her to grab a CD, because it’s a long ride and you gotta have tunes, right? Something catches on the radio tuner and everyone in the car perks up. There seems to be a voice saying something about someone being alive. I’m getting a flashback to Season 1. They’re so enthralled by the radio that Daryl fails to see a walker in his path and sideswipes him and like 5 others before they get completely mobbed.

Daryl puts the car in reverse and runs over a few more walkers. The car gets stuck on the pile of bodies that stack up behind it. Daryl guns it and ends up grinding away at the head of a walker:

Daryl and Michonne run out of the car, swords and arrows blazing. Bob follows a short moment after and fires a few kill shots, though he seems tentative about it. Tyreese has been dead silent the entire time we’ve seen them in the car and now he’s just sitting there, seemingly welcoming his death. Bob calls back to him several times and finally Ty springs into action. He’s quickly swarmed and keeps shouting at the others to go on AND THEY LISTEN instead of doubling back for him. (Spoilers?: there’s a scene in the comics where Tyreese is in one of the prison areas with maybe one or two other people and they get completely overtaken by walkers but they amazingly hack their way through it. BADASS. I’m glad the Powers That Be kept this part in the show.) Daryl, Michonne, and Bob don’t get very far when there’s rustling in the bushes behind them. Two walkers make their way towards them but Ty slays one before falling to his knees. Daryl and Bob help him up. He made it!

Back in the prison, Hershel is tending to Dr. S and gives him his special elderberry tea. Dr. S then coughs blood in Hershel’s face. WTF DR. S. Hershel takes off his makeshift face mask because what’s the point now? Hershel sees Glenn next, who, after downing the cup of tea, makes a good effort to pretend he’s all better but can’t even manage to stand up. His face is still a sweaty, pale mess. His eyes are all bloodshot and red-rimmed. Ugh, Glennnnn! Glenn can’t get over the fact that after surviving all that he has, he gets taken down by a glorified cold. Hershel tells him to believe that he can survive this too. That if Glenn had been able to live through everything else, he has to believe he can live through this. “We all have our jobs to do. This one’s yours.” Okay, Hershel.

Carol finally succeeds in getting water. Rick is waiting for her in the courtyard. He says that Carol has done a lot for the people there, for the kids. Is there anything that Carol wouldn’t do for them? To protect the people there, the people she loves. To protect what they have. Carol says no. She starts to walk away but Rick calls her back, all sad and like he knows what she’s going to say and that he’s really not going to like it. He asks her if she killed Karen and David, and can’t even look her in the face until he gets out all the words. She doesn’t even flinch when she says yes, like it’s nothing.

Oh, boy. Talk about your ethical dilemmas.

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  • Charlotte

    I’m worried about Sasha. I’d hate to see her go but I’m afraid that the writers only see her as a “secondary” character. I really like her too. Also worried about Glen because I have a feeling that he is going to die and then Maggie will announce that she is pregnant. I want to see a few characters from the original Atlanta group make it to the end. Also, I think that Carol is covering for someone. Glad that Tyrese got his badass moment.

  • Shona

    Kendra, your review was spot on! I also was mortified at Dr. S’s coughing blood in Hershel’s face. C’mon…you couldn’t have turned your head away? Also Carol….boy, she’s a piece of work! As helpful as she seems, I don’t trust her. I haven’t since since Season 2 really. Oh and yes, Hershel was waaaay too preachy this episode. It got to the point where I was rolling my eyes at all his speeches. Maybe I’m evil, but I just love the writing for Rick this season. Very believable….very interesting! I also love all of the strong, diverse Black characters on the show. My BF even joked, “Damn, this show has certainly gotten pretty ‘dark’ all of a sudden!”. It’s just great I think!

  • schismtracer

    Okay, about the bloody handprint. If you recall the scene where Tyreese found Karen’s quarantine cell empty, there was a bloodstain on the pillow. I’m pretty sure what happened was Carol killed them in their cells, then dragged them outside for cremation, getting blood on her hands in the process. When Rick held his hand over the blood print, he was comparing sizes, leading him to believe the two were killed by a female adult, leading him to suspect Carol (I guess on account of her increased militarization e.g. teaching the kids to use weapons).