The first thing that comes to mind in regards to tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead is “I was not expecting that.”
The opening scene, which switched back and forth between Rick preparing for his run with Carol and Carol herself giving a sort of zombie apocalypse pep talk to Lizzie, seemed to immediately belie the episode title ‘Indifference’. Though Carol certainly tries to keep Lizzie at arm’s length, the entire conversation also serves as a reminder that she took the two girls under her wing and is giving more of herself to them than anyone else.
When the focus shifts to Daryl, Tyreese, Michonne, and Bob, the irony of the episode title makes itself known once again. Tyreese is still so angry that he puts himself, and therefore the people traveling with him, in danger. Daryl and Bob have a heart to heart, and Michonne even opens up a bit about her hunt for the Governor. It’s definitely interesting to see different characters interacting with each other this season – to me, having several more people fleshed out has made for some of the more engaging moments in the past four episodes.
And we certainly get a lot of that in ‘Indifference’. The vast majority of the episode takes place between the aforementioned characters and the action outside of the prison is a welcome change. It is a testament to The Walking Dead that when Rick and Carol find two new people in an abandoned house, I felt as jaded as they did (if not more so!). Who is this young couple, and why are they so nice? They can’t be ‘for real’, right?
But it seems as if they were. When Ana dies practically right away and Sam doesn’t return at the appointed time, Rick’s disappointment is palpable. This is such a huge change from him leaving the backpacker on the road last season. On the other hand, Carol is clearly being the more logical of the two – at least in that moment. In light of this and of his own past actions, Rick’s choice to kick her out of the group came as one hell of a shock. So much so that it is hard to focus on the seemingly less important discovery that Bob was only worried about losing the bottle of liquor he found to the zombies (and that he didn’t have any medicine in his bag at all).
If next week’s episode sees everyone back at the prison (everyone minus Carol, anyway), it’s likely that we viewers should prepare ourselves for what may turn out to be even more changes in the group’s dynamic. While Daryl & co.’s return with the medicine could bring some relief, there is still the outstanding mystery over who has been using rats to lure zombies to the fences, and the question of whether Rick will admit the truth about what he did to Carol, and why he did it. He himself doesn’t seem to trust his own choices, and there will surely be mixed feelings about his decision. We may be surprised to see exactly who they come from and what they are.
All photos copyright AMC.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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