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The Walking Dead: Isolation

Carol: “We don’t know if we get a tomorrow.”

How many enemies can you face and still survive? What if one of those enemies is invisible, insidious and almost always deadly?

Most of the people in the prison are sick and likely to die. Our little group might end up with fewer people and more children to protect. That is, if the children don’t get sick and die. Two of my favourite characters are on the hit list and I am increasingly attached to and worried about Judith. At least she didn’t show any more signs of the flu. I guess all babies throw up carrots.

Although there continue to be some huge plot holes (Where did all the fence rocking zombies go? Why are they all so terrible at quarantine procedures?), I am intrigued by the impact this illness is having on our survivors. You need people to survive in this post-apocalyptic world but we are rapidly losing community members and the isolation is not just for those who are sick but for each of our main characters. Rick is struggling with his hold on reality. Carl is walking the halls of the administration building. Maggie and Beth are trying to comfort each other through a closed door. Hershel has just walked into what appears to be certain death and Glenn is already there, talking about dying. Carol has separated herself from everyone by her desperate act of killing Karen and David. She is a murderer and even if she did it for the good of the group many are not going to see it that way and it obviously wasn’t effective. Tyreese, who is proving to be the mad man I thought he might become, will not be understanding. Now that Rick knows the truth, what will he do? He has to know that telling Tyreese will mean that Carol will be in danger. It may also break apart whatever community is left.

The only people who don’t seem isolated are those who have taken the run to get antibiotics from a nearby veterinarian college. They are now isolated from the prison by a huge hoard of zombies but at least they are together. What will they do if any of them become sick? How will they escape the hoard, find the medication and get back to the prison with it before everyone dies? This could take a whole season to resolve or the next story arc could include whoever was broadcasting that radio signal.

This episode included a continued exploration of Rick and Carl. Rick is still very close to the edge. He has tried to step away from violence but it is, as he says, always there. It didn’t take much to throw him into a rage. Carl may seem more mature but it seems that he is not as far away from the cold, mad boy that we saw at the end of last season. He is playing the game for his father and the other adults but he seems to know that it is just make believe for those around him. They are not safe and it is not peaceful even if it seems so for a little while. It seems to me that it still won’t take much to push Carl into being a brutal man but I have more hope that he will see a way to remain human in this terrible world. He may be one of the few that does.

Bits and Pieces

Poor Dr. S., not only is he sick but he also has to run a knife through his patients when they die.

I do get sick of stupid macho boys beating each other up when they are upset. It really is a waste of valuable time and energy.

The scene with Glenn saying to himself, “It’s going to be okay” was heartbreaking. The scene with Hershel ministering to Glenn was very nicely lit and quite sweet.

Some people were wondering if Rick and Michonne had something going on. Now I think it might be Daryl and Michonne.

The quote on the picture in the office said, “Smooth seas do not make good sailors.” They aren’t so great if they drown, either.

I’m really not sure why everyone isn’t using a sword. It seems the most effective weapon, although Tyreese with an axe was pretty awesome.

I don’t like to be mean but the young actress who plays Lizzy – Brighton Sharbino is terrible.

Things I could live without – zombie in a bear trap. Who the hell was trapping bears? Also wormy non-moving guy was very well done but gross. Zombie snow – can’t rock your way out of that one.


Hershel: “Everything we worked so hard to keep out. It found its way in.”

Glenn: “If it’s walkers, if it’s people we can do something, we can fight but with this I’m just digging graves.”

Michonne: “He’s already given me fleas.”

Daryl: “When we’re out there, sooner or later, it’s always the same. We run.”

Beth: “We don’t get to be upset. We all got jobs to do.”

Hershel: “I think it’s done you good to step back.”
Carl: “Yeah, it’s all right. Can’t be like that all the time.”

Daryl: “What’s that word.”
Bob: “Zanamivir.”
Daryl: “Yup, we need ya.”

Hershel: “You step outside, you risk your life. You take a drink of water, you risk your life and nowadays you breathe and you risk your life. Every moment now you don’t have a choice. The only thing you choose is what you’re risking it for.”

Glenn: “After everything, we just get taken out by a glorified cold.”

Rick: “Is there anything you wouldn’t do for the people here?”
Carol: “Nope.”


  1. I'm fairly certain Tyreese was using a hammer. It's also his "signature weapon" in the comics. And in real life a sword, especially a katana, would be pretty terrible for zombies. It still bugs me that Michonne's sword is somehow nice, sleek, and clean after the amount of times she's given the zombies a bit off the top. I'm more surprised more people don't carry around a sack of blunt objects like Casey Jones from Ninja Turtles.

    And yes, the actress who plays Lizzy is pretty bad. "Carol, I'm sick." *pauses* "Cough cough." Honestly I still think Lizzy may have shanked Karen and David and Carol burned them to cover it up or something. And if that turns out to be the case, they basically let the wolf in the sheep herd.

    It's so sad seeing Rick teeter on the edge like that. He's just a pressure cooker and he knows it. But everyone keeps trying to get him to do stuff anyways. I really didn't see that fight as machismo, at least on Rick's part. I dunno what Tyreese's deal is. I guess he just wears his heart on his sleeve. I personally think he has Carol pegged, so kudos to him for not crushing her head in his manmitts. And yeah, Carl's at least pretending to try, but that boy's got an itchy trigger finger.

    And hey, sometimes a man's just gotta punch somethin'. So many guys I know can have knock-down drag out fights then hug and continue what they're doing.

    Still pulling for Rick and Michonne. I just want Rick to have something happy in his life, haha.

  2. Oh my stars! Tyreese has to go...ASAP. Wow, he was annoying in this epsiode.

    The most stupid weapon is still the crossbow. Daryl lost quite a few arrows with the herd.

    They CANNOT let Glenn die. He is one of the best characters.

  3. Yeah, so that thing I said last week about Carol starting to scare me a little? I'm sticking with that. Carol is the new Shane. Willing to take out friends/allies/group members for the protection of others. Doing what it takes to save lives and "keep this place going" vs. what's right. Does madness await her, too? One more on the "can we come back from the things we've done?" train.

    And while Carol is channeling Shane, we've got Herschel channeling Dale. An interesting contrast of the kind of people they want to be, or feel they need to be. Herschel feels it is worth risking his life to bring comfort to others; if he's going to live in this world, he's going to do it in a way that lets him preserve his humanity. Carol, on the other hand, has decided that it is worth risking her soul to protect the lives of others. She's willing to sacrifice her humanity and basic decency so that the people she cares about can keep surviving. And, as before, Rick is caught in the middle, wrestling with reconciling the person he was and wants to be --- and to model for his son --- with the person this world keeps forcing him to be.

    As you say, Doc, it will be interesting to see how Rick responds to learning what Carol has done. He told Tyreese that they aren't building a community where murder is okay. So what's he going to say now, knowing that Carol is the murderer?

    And how does he respond to seeing her on that path he's so afraid of going down again? He desperately doesn't want to be back in that place where he's killing the living and contemplating turning a friend/ally over to a madman in order to protect his kids. But despite all his down time, he's clearly still struggling to manage his rage and his violent impulses. (How does one stay "on the wagon" when the entire world has become a liquor store?) Will he out Carol and leave her to the group's judgment, or maybe keep quiet and attempt to help a similarly struggling friend?

    I've seen assorted speculations that Carol may be covering for someone. Either Lizzie or Carl. It's not beyond the realm of possibility, but I hope that's not what's going on. I just don't think Carl would have done something like that at this point. Lizzie, maybe. But even that seems a stretch (if she'd done that, why would Carol then be cool sending her in with all the sick people?). Overall, I actually think it is much more interesting if Carol did it, and a realistic extension of the journey she's been on. (Remember when she was telling Andrea to straight up murder the Governor in his sleep last season?)
    Plus, I think it makes her reaction to Lizzie getting sick have more shading. She did this horrible, unthinkable thing to protect the group, and especially Lizzie and Mika, but Lizzie got sick anyway. Her grief in that moment reflects her regret that her terrible actions were all for nothing.

    On other fronts: It kind of defies logic that Tyreese could have escaped with that many walkers surrounding him, but maybe he has magical powers like the Governor did back at the Terror Warehouse where he chased Andrea.

    Another suspension-of-disbelief challenge: The antibiotics run doesn't really make sense. It's viral; you just have to ride it out. How is it causing symptoms that can be treated with antibiotics? It all seems pretty hinky to me. Ah, well. One of the many things we just have to let go when we watch this show. :)

  4. This episode had so much potential for the bad lip reading videos and the honest trailers :D

  5. "Another suspension-of-disbelief challenge: The antibiotics run doesn't really make sense. It's viral; you just have to ride it out. How is it causing symptoms that can be treated with antibiotics? It all seems pretty hinky to me."

    Oftentimes the flu itself isn't fatal, but rather the secondary bacterial infections (including pneumonia) that it causes. Antibiotics would help with those. It's the reason we probably won't have another deadly flu pandemic like the one in 1918, despite scare stories to the contrary. While we can only treat the flu virus itself to a limited extent, we have antibiotics to treat the secondary infections and keep the mortality rate down.

  6. Good to know! Are the deaths we saw on the show consistent with "secondary bacteria infections"? I think I'm getting hung up on how quickly people are dying, versus how long it seems like it would take for secondary infections, such as pneumonia, to set in. Can it happen that quickly?

    Overall, given the high number of things that require extensive suspension of disbelief on this show, I'm not going to spend too much time sweating the details on this one. It was just an issue that gave me slightly more pause than usual. :)

  7. The scientific rigor of what we're seeing on the show is vague (to be charitable). But secondary bacterial infections would seem to be what they're implying; otherwise, antibiotics wouldn't be any use, as you rightly indicate.

    (There certainly are bacterial infections - like anthrax and necrotizing fasciitis, or even acute bacterial pneumonia - that can kill you as fast as, or even faster than, what we're seeing on the show. Of course, a bunch of oral vet pills wouldn't do a thing to treat those. But I still can't really accept the basic concept that "a virus" is supposed to somehow allow rotting corpses to walk around, so it's probably best not to think about it too much.)

  8. Carol! No! I did not see that coming.

    Ok, I liked the theory that she is covering for one of the girls. I want that to be the truth, because otherwise this is too much of a drastic development for Carol.

    This show is depressing for most of the time, and sometimes it is deeply depressing, like this episode. Man, I feel depressed.


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