The Walking Dead Roundtable 4.4: “Indifference”

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Hosted by Jeannie Chan

I’m so glad to see such great comments posted to the open thread for last week’s episode. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from watching this show, it’s that there’s no such thing as an easy decision, let alone a right one. It’s clear that the camp is conflicted with Rick deciding for everyone and cast out Carol. And we’re all still wrestling with Carol’s decision to kill. Read on to see how Carly Mitchell, Kiki Smith, Nicole Norkin (our newest Roundtabler!) and I process everythang.

Jeannie: I think one thing the show is doing well is capturing the children’s (well, okay, it seems to only be Lizzy right now, but whatever) struggle with understanding death in this world. For Lizzy, there’s no such thing as death. You die but you come back. Not even as a something, but someone. How can that not be confusing? And how could you ever want to believe anything else when you just lost your father to this? Granted, I don’t know how old Lizzy is but she does seem a little too old to be struggling with this concept. Her younger sister would’ve made for a more compelling case. And heartbreaking. As her sister said, she just looks kind of stupid.

Carly: In regards to her age, I appreciate the perspective on how this new world impacts development in the kids. I’ve always been frustrated there wasn’t more of that in Carl’s story.

Nicole: I totally agree with that. In a normal world, kids have a hard time grasping the concept of death and the insecurity of the unknown. I appreciate Lizzy’s way of processing death or the transformation into a zombie as any other stage of life! I actually think more people would irrationally hold on to the “un-dead” than is portrayed, like Hershel in Season 2 with his barn full of zombies. He was also overly attached.

Kiki: Yeah, I don’t think the age is that much of a stretch. Also, looking at their dire circumstances, I’m not surprised she is finding various ways of coping – such as changing to a zombie vs. changing into an adult. I think it’s even more difficult for the adults to watch these kids try to understand what’s happening or see what’s happening as totally normal since they never lived through a zombie-free world. The adults are having waaaay more issues; read: Tyreese, Carol, and Rick to name a few…

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Jeannie: AGH she called her Mom. This episode is gonna be chock full of feels I can’t deal with. But LOL re: Rick’s dramatic fence gazing.

Nicole: Pep talk got real awkward there with the “mom” Freudian slip.

Kiki: It was sweet… until Carol was all “NO.” Aftereffects of having a daughter turn and not wanting to be too attached to another, perhaps? Speaking of Carol, where is this run going? Is this Rick getting rid of her, or a real run so they can “talk” about what she did?

Jeannie: Carol’s not coming back from this run. I can feel it. I know it. But all of Rick’s dramatic faces make me a little worried about what her fate will actually be: will Rick simply leave her behind or will he kill her? I can’t think of a single logical reason to justify the latter but Rick’s pattern of behavior defies logic.

Nicole: Oh no Rick is perturbed again. Womp womp.

Carly: I’m having the same concerns about Carol lasting much longer, especially with her talk about how she’s sure she’s gonna make it…

Nicole: Maybe I’m in denial but I can’t see Carol being killed or ditched by Rick. They are working together so well. If anything, maybe she’ll conveniently be killed by zombies.

Kiki: I think at the moment, Rick doesn’t know what to think. He keeps asking her what they should do, and I think Carol hit the nail when she said, “You need to accept I killed two people.” He’s totally in denial. Rick’s head is on planet elsewhere

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Jeannie: I miss seeing Michonne in action. I’m too lazy to keep count of the bodies. Is that something I should be doing? Someone give me a decapitation count! But, if we have to sacrifice Michonne’s kill count to see her engage in awesome conversations like the one she’s having with Ty, I’m okay with that. Theme of the week/season: everyone changes, everyone has to let go.

Nicole: Uh-oh Ty is being reckless!! Though he saved the group last week. His unresolved grief is really putting him at risk.

Jeannie: I’m not as suspicious of this young couple Rick and Carol met as I usually am of strangers the group encounter on the road. They’re too young and sweet and cute and in love and so obviously, they’re not going to survive the end of the episode. WHY CAN’T LOVE WIN. Also, I wish the girl’s name had been Diane instead of Ana. You know, because the guy’s name was Sam. Too much?

Kiki: Hahaha. Love tends to run for about 43 seconds when it does happen on this show.

Carly: This couple cracks me up for whatever reason. It’s like they walked right out of the “Californians” skit on SNL, offering fruit and joking around. I half expected them to start in on what California highways they took to get to this house.

Kiki: You’re so right, Carly!

Nicole: I don’t trust them. Too creepy nice. Definitely from Cali though, LOL. Why does Carol fixing Sam’s shoulder annoy me? She’s such a know-it-all! Actually I am coming around to them, they seem genuinely eager to help.

Kiki: True, but something is CLEARLY going to happen in the next five minutes with those two, good or bad.

Jeannie: Oh, Bob. It was clear that he was going to tell someone about sneaking that bottle. You can’t carry secrets like that forever. Not if you really want help. And omg is he asking for help! Someone should have told him that Daryl was not the person to have this confessional with. Dude shut that down so fast. Oh wait, never mind. Spoke too soon. Daryl! <3

Kiki: I love that Daryl keeps having these random bonding moments with characters that you least expect him to!

Nicole: I’m glad for Bob’s explanation too, that he needs to drink to sleep. Chamomile tea, bro!!

Kiki: I was wondering when they were going to bring that alcohol thing up again.

Jeannie: “You can be a farmer, Rick. You can’t just be a farmer.” I’m glad someone finally had this conversation with Rick. I love that it’s Carol. I don’t agree with her decision to kill Karen and David because I’m too soft and would never survive a zombie apocalypse but I get where she’s coming from. She made a choice to sacrifice two people for the greater good. If she had known that it was going to spread and the killing would have made no good difference, she wouldn’t have done it.

Nicole: I don’t think it was Carol’s choice to kill Karen and David, but I’ve never been a Carol fan. I am glad to see her and Rick bonding here though.

Carly: And I like her bringing up Shane too, it’s nice to see some reasonable follow-through of history here.

Jeannie: This scene with Rick and Carol talking about Sophia and Lori. I’m… yeah, I’m crying. I forgot about Sophia. And now I kinda wish it stayed that way!

Nicole: I totally forgot about the abusive husband! Sophia though… I’ve always blamed Carol for that one and then she made the dudes go out searching for her. Oh man, this is bad writing “clumps of flour not mixed in right” and that Lori wanted them to be the type of family to eat pancakes on Sunday. Cheesy and contrived, or is it just me? Sorry.

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Kiki: I agree, Nicole. But, on the other hand, this might be an attempt to re-humanize Rick a little bit. And they gotta throw in that family memory in there from time to time for good measure.

Nicole: Ha, this episode is so sitcom-y. Did anyone catch this line “If we don’t have an exit, we make one!” and then they throw a chair through the window. Go team!

Nicole: Bob, noooo, you came so far! But he saves the lot by pointing out which zombies are infected and he comes up with the plan to administer antibiotics through IVs for faster absorption.

Jeannie: OKAY. I have a huge problem with Ty’s one line about Bob making his choice. Like Bob is willingly choosing to drink over the safety and well-being of everyone else? It’s not an active, conscious choice. It’s an addiction. At one point, it had been a willful decision but Bob passed that moment a long time ago. If he’s going to kick this, he needs people around him to make it harder for him to get drunk, but guilt isn’t the answer. I don’t care if this is the apocalypse. You guys decided that Bob was one of your own now, so take care of your own.

Kiki: Daryl did a complete 180 on him! He’s all like, I’m going to listen to your story, let you know that you won’t be alone and feel for ya. Oh, but the second you slip up, I’m out?? Daryl, I love ya, but them some harsh words.

Jeannie: This last scene with Rick and Carol is hitting me pretty hard. I really hope this isn’t the last we see of her. If you’re wondering about the beautiful voice singing about how everything changes, it’s Sharon Van Etten singing “Serpents.”

Carly: I really have this strong feeling that this moment with Rick and Carol could have easily been a moment with Rick and Andrea. It has that same feeling of her making a decision about what might be best for the group and then having Rick be the judge of her actions that was such an intense part of Andrea’s story.

Kiki: Let’s be real here, guys. Carol messed up. BIG TIME. And she basically goaded Rick into making her leave on her own. It’s sad she’s gone, but I do get that she’s definitely better off not going back if he tells Tyreese and the rest of the group. And people would take sides, split up the group, etc. And clearly, with half the prison ill – ain’t NOBODY got time for that!

Nicole: Interesting point. I appreciate the compassion Rick has for Carol at the end. There’s definitely still a lot of love there and I think her exile from the group was handled as well as can be expected. I was wondering about the singer, thanks for sharing that! The music adds a level of emotion that the characters must suppress in order to survive. It’s human and meaningful.

Jeannie: Also, couldn’t Rick have just let the council decide what to do with Carol? Or did he not trust Tyreese not to let his rage get the better of him and take matter into his own hands? He better be coming up with a good story for explaining this to the group right now, because.. 

  • rebster

    @emiliennembezele:disqus I do, but I also read Racialicious for things other than commentary on this show. I saw the spoiler on the main page almost before I realized I read it. Previously they have been really careful about not putting any spoilers before the cut. I was just hoping that they would be more careful in the future. I can’t imagine that I’m the only person who can’t watch the show on Sunday night. No need for snark. I was very polite in my request.

  • rebster

    Can you be more careful in the future to put spoilers below the cut? I can’t watch TWD on Sunday nights. I inadvertently read a spoiler in the summary post and I noticed that the same spoiler (Carol being banished) was in this post above the cut–in the first line or two. Much appreciated.

  • k8dee

    I’m enjoying this Bob/addiction storyline. With all the daily trauma going on, I can certainly see lots of folks–addicts or not–succumbing to the temporary escapes provided by drugs and alcohol. I mean, if there was never a better excuse to get high to forget about things…