In last week’s episode, “Indifference,” Rick (Andrew Lincoln) ditched Carol (Melissa McBride) after she admitted to killing sick people and burning their bodies.
This week’s episode “Internment” opens with Rick on his way back, but quickly shifts our point of view to the prison, where Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) and his glorious ponytail are doing everything possible to keep people alive.
(WARNING: Spoilers below.)
Seriously, this guy is awesome. Unlike most of the characters on the show, I like this version of Hershel a lot better than his comic book counterpart (although being alive still probably helps, too). He tries to joke around a bit to keep everyone’s spirits up while still managing to incubate a patient better than Elliott Reed on Scrubs ever could.
His boundless optimism sometimes begins to wear a little thin, but it’s tempered by a lot of human moments, as well. Probably the most telling one was when he was unable to kill his former patient-turned-zombie without covering his face with a sheet.
Hershel also manages to do everything he can to not only make his daughter’s boyfriend Glenn (Steven Yeun) feel better, but also to feel useful by giving him tasks that don’t really require any assistance.
Maybe one of his most amazing feats, however, was assigning Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) a book report to keep her from seeing anyone get killed, which inexplicably worked.
When Rick gets back to the prison, he is asked by Maggie (Lauren Cohan) about Carol’s whereabouts. After admitting that he ditched her and explaining his reasoning, Maggie agrees with him.
So… that went pretty smoothly. The talk with Hershel also seems to go well (though we don’t really get to see it), which is good because everything is about to hit the fan.
Pandemonium in the Prison
Hershel tries to convince the random extra who also happens to be a skilled doctor that he’ll make it. The doctor, however, knows better (especially since his eyes have started bleeding). His last request is that Hershel make sure to close all the cell doors. Fortunately for us and the sake of dramatic television, that task does not get completed in time.
It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that people who were all infected with a lethal virus start dying at the same time, but it still seems to take Hershel off guard. Even Glenn, who has the powerful Main Character Antibodies in his bloodstream, seems to be close to kicking the bucket.
As the sick begin to turn (and one of the inmates stupidly fires a gun inside the cell block), things go downhill pretty quickly. Fortunately for the remaining survivors, Hershel is a badass and can still take down the undead on one leg. He even manages to take down a walker that Lizzie was playing ‘Zombie Whisperer’ with and convinces the creepy little girl for once in her life not to do anything stupid and stay put.
Father/Son Action Duo
While many sons and fathers have bonded over a game of catch, Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Rick do so by working together to try and reinforce the outside fence, which is left without a full time gate stabber after he sends Maggie inside to see why the hell there was a gunshot coming from inside the prison. When the prison walls fail, however, Carl and Rick go into full on Rambo mode and start smoking walkers like they’re playing easy mode in Call of Duty. It’s a very cool moment to see father and son working together instead of arguing.
Back inside, Hershel is incubating zombies with a boomstick when Maggie rushes into the infected zone to help save Glenn. A well placed shot kills one that is attacking her boyfriend while sparing an incubator, which is used to help him be able to breathe again.
Right about then is when the group that had gone on a medicine run returns, bringing the supplies needed to end at least one of the deadly infections wreaking havoc in their world.
Hershel takes a moment for himself to read some scripture and try to find comfort, but instead finally breaks down and sobs quietly to himself.
One confrontation delayed, another on the docket
After an evening of getting medicine to people who need it, things seem to be looking up. Tyrese (Chad L. Coleman) is reunited with his sister, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), and people seem to be getting better. But when Daryl (Norman Reedus) asks where Carol is, Hershel suggests that he talk to Rick about it. He then smartly beats a hasty retreat out of there with Michonne (Danai Gurira).
Back inside the prison walls, Rick has a relapse to his farmer days as he and Carl pick and eat some beans from the garden. Little do they know that they are being watched from a distance by none other than Snake Plissken!
…Er, wait, I mean The Governor! (David Morrissey)
- Scott Wilson has always been great, but this episode shows why he (and Hershel) are all types of awesome
- Carl stops being a whiny brat and Rick starts letting him act like a man
- The return of a very bad man
- Infection story line starting to get a little played out
This episode could have ended up being very redundant and boring; we already know how bad the virus is and have been reminded about it repeatedly. But Scott Wilson’s performance as Hershel made it a riveting hour well before the zombie action started cranking up.
It was more than enough to forgive the delaying of Rick and Daryl and Tyrese all having at it over the decision to leave Carol behind. Add in the long awaited return of the governor, and you’ve got one hell of an episode.