The Walking Dead recap: 'Indifference'
Rick and Carol go on a run as the others continue on their quest for medicine
Before we get into the big development of “Indifference” — Rick casts Carol out of the group — let’s discuss for a moment Rick’s investigation of Karen and David’s deaths. Following Rick’s suspicions and Carol’s admission, Rick continues to ruminate on Karen and David’s deaths and stares meaningfully into Karen’s cell. Then, in a flashback, we see Carol stab Karen in the head under the guise of taking care of her. Was he able to extrapolate Carol’s actions from the evidence at the scene? He’s no blood splatter specialist, but he was a cop, after all. I’m not totally convinced.
Rick’s understanding of what exactly Carol did looks a bit too much like Westeros CSI to be fully believable. Mild spoilers to Game of Thrones season one! Catelyn determined the Lannisters were responsible for her son’s crippling fall from an abandoned tower. She came to this realization after discovering a strand of blonde hair in the tower. (The Lannisters are blonde.) Rick determined Carol murdered Karen and David and burned their bodies from a small, bloody hand print. (Carol’s hands are small.) Huh? It doesn’t matter that Rick — and Catelyn — were correct in their inferences. Such conclusions would be grossly hypothetical in reality. Rick is natural poh-lice, but not even Lester Freamon could solve a case so well that he has a perfect premonition of the crime.
This type of realization is a silly, albeit useful narrative device to move the plot along towards the consequences of a violent action. Is there a better way Rick could have discovered that Carol killed Karen and David? Maybe. Were the subsequent events filled with dramatic tension and rich in future story possibilities? Yes.
The Meds Crew
Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob, or the Meds Crew as I like to call them, spent the night on the move, continuing their quest to the veterinary college on foot. After a cathartic berserker moment killing ALL the zombies he could, Tyreese is still not okay. He now assumes Sasha and the other infected people at the Prison are dead because the crew is delayed. He is angry, and since no one on this show deals well with emotions, it can’t be a good sign.
The crew winds up by a nice, old gas station in Hell, or at least, the gas station sign now refers to the realm as such in hexspeak. Daryl uncovers a car hidden under brush near the gas station garage, but the car’s battery is shot. The crew cut their way through the brush covering the garage to retrieve a new battery. Knowing full well there are Walkers inside, everyone makes slow, methodical progress through the vines.
Ha! Just kidding! Tyreese Hulk-smashes through anything his machete touches, including vines, leaves, and wires holding the garage door closed. Dammit, Tyreese, you totally Britta’d a relatively easy task. Luckily, a good talk and brood with Michonne mellows him out, or Tyreese merely ends his turn at the crazy one in the group. Don’t worry, though, Bob Stookey is there to pick up where Tyreese left off.
NEXT: Bob the Witness! Can he endanger the group? Bob the Witness! Yes, he can!
As Daryl tinkers with the group’s new car, Bob shares a bit about his past experiences during the Zombiepocalypse. He has a bad case of survivor’s guilt, stuck in a solipsistic belief that he is cursed to witness the deaths of all those around him. Daryl’s response: “That’s bulls—.” Classic Daryl. Never change. This provides a peek into Bob’s psyche but not much in terms of his actual past actions. How did he end up as “the Witness” in his last two groups? As an alcoholic, what is he like when he drinks? What was he like before the Zombiepocalypse? Bob Stookey shares his personal demons, yet he has yet to share himself.
Once the car is fixed, the crew make it to the vet college. It must be an unwritten rule that all TV colleges are comprised of various ivy-covered brick buildings. After making their way into the right once-picturesque building, the crew finds the medicine they need. Before joining the others, Bob makes a beeline for something on an abandoned cot and sticks it into his rucksack.
Side note: Highlighted in this episode are the characters’ various backpacks and bags, some of which are quite cool, even the Bob Stookey rucksack. It’s simple yet sturdy, perfect for an weekend trip to Trader Joe’s — or Big Spot!
With all of the supplies packed in the sporty and stylish backpacks, the Meds Crew fights its way out of the building. Daryl leads the charge but all members contribute. Daryl strategizes, Michonne slices, Tyreese smashes, and Bob stalls the onslaught of flu-infected Walkers. Did they die of the flu virus, or can Walkers also contract the flu virus? How does zombie biology work?!
Bob follows the rest of the crew escape onto a ledge from a window, but trips. He lands safely on the ledge, but his rucksack dangles from the edge in front a group of agitated Walkers. He holds onto the bag for dear life and, with the help of the others, he is able to retrieve it. Michonne, Tyreese, and Daryl think the bag holds medicine. Instead, it holds Bob’s poison — a bottle of liquor.
Daryl is pissed, but more importantly, he is betrayed. Bob gestures at his gun as Daryl moves to throw the bottle, which sends Daryl almost over the edge. Moving like an enraged mountain lion, Daryl threatens Bob not to drink before he is able to administer the medicine or face the wrath of Dixon.
This is a significant moment for Bob, setting him up for a potential downward spiral or a much-needed wake-up call to address his deeply entrenched issues and addiction. It’s also significant for Daryl, who shows just how much he cares for the group throughout the episode. Playfully deriding Michonne for not sticking around to meet people, collecting the jasper for someone back at the Prison, and threatening Bob are all signs that he cares for the community and will do anything to protect them and be a part of the collective. So how will community leader and council member Daryl react to being a part of the Prison group now that Carol is gone?
NEXT: Carol pleads her case to Judge
Rick and Carol
With no word back from the delayed Meds Crew, Rick and Carol make their own run for food, supplies, and any medicine they can find in the suburbs. Still reeling from Carol’s revelation, Rick keeps conversation short. Carol, on the other hand, continues to state her case to him, justifying why she ended Karen and David. She explains that she wanted to stop the flu virus from spreading and protect the group and herself from a very real threat. But she wasn’t cruel, she made it quick. Rick might as well be called Stonewall Jackson, as he is virtually unresponsive and difficult to read. Sticking to the task at hand, Rick leads them into a house to raid. Far from the Rick at the start of last season, who refused to eat dog food, he states, “If we can eat, we’ll take it.”
Inside the house, they take out a Walker in pajamas and uncover Zombiepocalypse Ethan Embry and Zooey Deschanel, who is not to be confused with Plantpocalypse Zooey Deschanel from The Happening. The young couple, Sam (Ethan) and Ana (Zooey), were trapped inside a room by the Walker in pajamas, which makes me see this in a whole new light. Separated from their larger group when it was overrun with Skin Eaters (zombies), they helped one another and fell in love.
Rick and Carol inadvertently switch roles between good cop and bad cop throughout their interaction with the naive, albeit kind duo. At first, Rick is the cautious one, asking them the Three Questions, which they pass although off-screen. Meanwhile, Carol fixes Sam’s dislocated shoulder, a trick she picked up from her days of hiding her abuse at the hands of her husband from the public. But later, when Sam fails to show up at the designated time, Carol is the one comfortable leaving without him. Ana didn’t make it past picking apricots and peaches before she had her skin eaten by zombies. Rick is reluctant to leave without him, if only so that he can retrieve the watch Sam borrowed. (Aw, was it this watch? That was a cool watch. Add that to the list of Walking Dead merch AMC should sell.)
As Rick and Carol forage for supplies, Carol forces Rick to respond to her admission of murder. She does not like what she “had to do,” but she accepts it and wants Rick to do the same. She also calls out Rick’s failed agrarian project, stating, “You can be a Farmer, Rick. You can’t just be a farmer.” That’s one more nail in the coffin of Farmer Rick. But his farming skills aren’t totally out of commission, and they stop to harvest tomatoes and vegetables growing in a nearby patch. Reminiscing about her life before, Carol muses, “I didn’t think I could be strong. I didn’t know I could, but I already was.” Yes! Yes, she was always strong! This is her shining moment as a full-fledged anti-heroine. She’s a strong, loyal, and ruthless one, which is so refreshing to see on a drama. This is the moment I finally understood who Carol is. This is the moment I realized I really like this character. It is also the moment before she is banished. She’s the anti-heroine we deserve, but not the one we need right now.
NEXT: Carol Confession
Confession: I never liked Carol. I didn’t know why this whimpering, weak-willed woman was part of the group, not contributing much except for losing her daughter. The never-ending Sophia arc made me lose patience with her — and everyone — even more. I even stopped watching the series until I could binge-watch the second season on Netflix. It was not until this episode that I finally appreciated how vibrant a character she has become. From an emotionally stunted, abused housewife and mother to a fearless, post-apocalyptic anti-heroine, she has gone through a dynamic shift. Her transformation is no Walter White/Heisenberg shift, but it taps into the same vein of a true self-identity emerging free from the shackles of pre-prescribed notions of who we are supposed to be.
That being said, I’m ambivalent towards Rick banishing Carol from the group. (Or am I indifferent? Heh.) For the sake of good television, I want Carol to stick around and deal with the reactions of the rest of the group. For the sake of what is right and wrong if this was a real situation, Rick may have made the right call. For me, it boils down to this — it is not up to Carol to determine who lives and dies. It is not up to anyone. She made the wrong call for the right reasons. However, what character hasn’t done that, including and especially Rick? I generally agree that Carol should face some sort of retribution for killing Karen and David, but I’m not sure it is up to Rick to cast her out. He may be the protagonist and hero of the series, but that doesn’t make him the Arbiter of Zombiepocalyptic Justice.
I don’t think Carol has lost her humanity, but I do think she has hardened her heart too much, making her all the more compelling to watch. A very possible reason why I happen to like this Carol so much is because she is an actual, three-dimensional character as opposed to “that lady with short hair that helps out with the kids and stuff in the group.” Regardless, it doesn’t matter because she’s gone! For now…
Walker of the week: The “deadie” in the PJs was whimsical, but the old gas station Walker was a sad, helpless sight akin to last episode’s tragic Tree Walker.
Questions to consider:
Was Rick right to cast out Carol?
How will the community react to Carol’s departure, especially Daryl?
When will we see Carol again?
Will the Meds Crew get back in time to save the characters we care about? *cough*GLENN*cough*
There’s a voice on the radio, a mega herd miles outside of the prison, and someone feeding zombies outside the prison. When will these looming issues affect the group?
I’m going to keep asking this until I don’t have to anymore: When will the Governor return? (Carol wouldn’t join him, would she?!)