29 October 2013

Walking Dead Recap: "Isolation"

The title "Walking Dead" has always been a reference to the shambling corpses we lovingly call zombies, but since the end of the first season, it has also alluded to the latent infection every survivor carries, which turns corpses into zombies whether they died of a bite or not. With that news from the CDC, we learned that there are 2 types of zombie virus: the one that kills you quickly from a zombie-bite-caused fever, and the one that lies dormant in your healthy body until you die. Shambling or strolling vibrantly along, you're dead no matter what.

So is this new superflu a third version of the zombie virus? One whose symptoms kill you, just not as quickly as a bite? Is it just a regular old flu, but with no doctors or Zicam to fight it? What kind of flu makes people bleed from their eyeballs and throats? And where did it come from? AND WHY ISN'T CAROL EVER TAKEN TO TASK FOR ANYTHING ANYMORE?

Sometimes holding a dirty hankie over your mouth is necessary to keep you from getting sick, and sometimes just standing 5 feet away is enough. Sure, Tyreese kisses and hugs Pretty Klingon Lady (RIP), but he doesn't qualify as quarantinable for some reason. Last episode showed Carl running to hug a (possibly-)freshly-exposed Rick, then running back to the unexposed-until-now Michonne and Carol. Is everyone infected? Why is anyone wearing masks anymore? How do ANY doctors, even in real life, avoid contagious illnesses? Aren't they the ones we need to keep alive?

Clearly none of these questions are getting answered anytime soon.  So we'll just focus on all the totally logical parts of the episode, like all the ways Carol still sucks + Hershel's elderberry potion + what happens to the antibiotic scouts in West Peachtree City.

Now that Glenn's getting sick, the council decides it's time to cut the crap and actually find a cure for this flu. Daryl and Michonne are all set for the veterinary-meds adventure, but they need a third. Someone big and strong, someone with a serious emotional break in his recent past, someone who just got beaten up by the prison's resident peacenik, Ricky Grimes. Plus they'll take D'Angelo Barksdale for good measure.

Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and D'Angelo Barksdale go for a drive, picking up a radio signal from somewhere (WHA?!!?) immediately before careening directly into the largest herd of zombies we've seen yet. Why don't people watch the road in this Zombiepocalypse? Why must the driver fiddle with the radio when there are 3 other able-armed passengers who could do it? Why are they treating Daryl like he's suddenly not the most competent human on earth? STOP MAKING PEOPLE CRASH CARS, FRANK GLEN SCOTT GIMPLE.

In a nod to the awesome Tyreese scene in the comics where he locks himself in a gym full of zombies only to somehow come out alive (see below), Tyreese tries to fight off the 3,000 zombies we're looking at right now, currently swarming the car.

The gang escapes into the woods (surely followed closely by a few enterprising zombies), and wouldn't you know it, the friend they left for dead has survived. The scouts are reunited - but where are they going to go now? How long will it take, and how can they possibly shake the thousands of zombies that will trail behind them for eternity?

Back at the prison, Rick is losing it again. He beats up Tyreese and spends like 20 minutes making googly eyes at his own gun. It seems like his investigation into the Case of the Burned Bodies might bring a normalizing force back into his life by reminding him that he was once a dutiful cop, but that doesn't really work. He does figure out that it was Carol who burned the bodies (and who knocked over the fucking WATER SUPPLY and who snuck out alone to "fix the water pipe" as a dozen zombies closed in on her), but he doesn't call her on it. WHAT'S GOING ON, RICK? WHO ARE YOU? The Rick we know and love would've trotted his own son in front of a makeshift court of law for much less. Now he's letting CAROL go after she KILLED two PEOPLE?

Carol, Carol, Carol. You were almost chill for like, one second. Now you're telling little girls they're weak for not stabbing their dead daddy's head. You're literally pushing people into the quarantine cell block. You're mumbling uselessly as zombies close in on your water-pump footbridge. YOUR MACHETE GOT STUCK IN A ZOMBIE'S HEAD. Plus you killed two people. And you're bad at running. Carol. Stop it, Carol. Carol, stop. it.

At least somebody's got his act together - ol' zoo doc Hershel hobbles out of quarantine to pick elderberries in the woods nearby. They'll make a nice wine, he thinks, and it'll bring everybody's fever down. Plus Carl can come too, to keep him safe with a huge freaking gun. I thought we agreed to stop handing this kid guns. I'm fine with all of this, actually, even them running into (possibly?) the psycho lady and her husband from the first episode, now both zombified. But when Hershel returns to the prison and insists on BREWING THE TEA INSIDE THE QUARANTINE and FEEDING IT TO EVERY SINGLE FLU PATIENT PERSONALLY, I'm out.

Doctor S, the new MD who would save them all, doesn't know how to cover his mouth when he coughs. He doesn't know how to aim his bloody mucus away from Hershel's face and eyes. Somehow, the group's newest and best asset is a fucking MORON who's doing his best to make sure the only other medical professional gets sick, too.

Everyone has turned stupid in record time this season. The only person left to trust is Judith. Play with those red solo cups, little one. Play with them until you are the emperor of this stupid idiot prison. It won't be long now.

All photos courtesy amctv.com

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