Mar 17, 2014
The Walking Dead Recap: Coughing Up Blood? Have Some Tea
This week we face the fallout from last episode’s extra-crispy ending, fall deeper into a sub-pandemic during a larger pandemic that is probably really an apocalypse but no one wants to think of that right now and find out that Carol has crossed over to Carl territory. It’s “The Walking Dead” season four, episode three.
We begin directly after Tyreese’s morbid discovery and he’s gathered the others to seek vengeance with furious anger. All he manages to find however is Rick’s fist multiple times.
Rick “Hands of Stone” Grimes is far more palatable than Rick “I know what you’re going through” Grimes from before the tussle. I’ve said it numerous times in my life and it’s always been as empty as it sounded here, leaving little question why Tyreese threw the first punch. It’s a bullshit response to trauma and it often just feels like a cold shoulder. The punching solution is a lot better. Fighting is what the Russkies do to solve disputes!
Later during a group meeting, we find out that the mystery flu is spreading like a weed. The group has already lost 12 counting those in the zombie attack, but all the others from the cell block who survived are now infected with the bloody sickness.
If that wasn’t enough to make things seem serious, several name-brand characters have found themselves infected. Tyreese’s sister Sasha (honestly, this was like gang up on Tyreese week) and young clean-shaven hipster Glenn are both feeling the effects and soon corralled away with the other infected in a makeshift quarantine zone.
After deciding on the quarantine, the group decides to make a suicide run of sorts to a local veterinary university to collect antibiotics and medicine that may have been overlooked by scavengers. Herschel volunteers to go with Daryl and Michonne, but is rebuked due to his missing leg. Seems that moving with a limp isn’t beneficial during a zombie apocalypse, but riding a motorcycle everywhere is perfectly fine.
Instead they take D’Angelo Bobsdale (I really enjoyed “The Wire”) to handle the medical side of things (and to build his confidence after he got a man killed in the premiere episode while on a supply run) and try to coax Tyreese away from his sister and the other infected as a fourth helping hand.
They head off and Herschel joins the rest of the uninfected in the admin building. Also joining him is Carl who is frustrated by his father’s rules (like any kid really) and his own lack of action. It’s sort of fitting that he and Herschel get together on a rogue mission to collect elderberries in order to help the infected in any way they can. Herschel gets to be more than just a hobbled old man full of wisdom and Carl gets to use his gun and throw on the hat to play cowboy yet again in the wilds of Zombieland. It’s a bit of rebellion against order that has dripped from this show since the season premiere, where Rick is sort of silently at odds with all the other members of his group.
Back to team Daryl speeding off on the road to get medicine. We return to them fiddling with the radio (exactly what anyone would be doing if faced with the prospect of being eaten by a pack of rotting ghouls) and they come upon a voice broadcasting over the airwaves. This is a nice bit of seed planting for the future of this season, seeing as Woodbury is deserted and the prison is most likely compromised beyond repair. Sure, it isn’t as intriguing as someone feeding the walkers in the night or who burnt the infected to a crisp, but it gives us something to think about.
This mini-plague isn’t enough to sustain an entire season of television and we’ve been in one place for far too long on this show already that it could be treading on Herschel’s farm territory. I can’t live in a clean-shaven Herschel world again, spending episodes searching for Sophia and crying myself to sleep. I can’t do it!
So hopefully this radio broadcast will send our group on the way to finding the source or a new place to call home for a while.
Then, like a PSA for safe driving, Daryl takes his eyes off the road and drives straight into a horde of the undead. We are talking thousands of CGI zombies lead by a few dozen real ones, hungry and ready to throw down. It was almost a given from the moment Daryl told Herschel they might have to run that this was going to happen. Plus it had been a while since we had a large mass zombie sighting (Herschel’s Farm once again).
Daryl, Michonne and Bob fight their way to a clearing, but Tyreese had seen enough and went into super-aggro mode, bashing anything that moved with a hammer before being surrounded and spelling his end.
Or so we think.
Moments later we meet up with the trio in the woods who are soon joined by a bloody, exhausted Tyreese and a bunch of zombies, of course.
For a second, I thought they might’ve let Tyreese kill the lot of them like some sort of angry feat of strength in the face of death. I was incorrect, of course, because that would be silly and characters on “The Walking Dead” still need to be emotionally stupid at various points in the show. It’s an entertaining show, but not always top notch (Herschel’s Farm).
So now we have Daryl and his crew running on foot like “The Warriors” while back at the prison Herschel is brewing up tea and entering the infected zone to heal the sick and ease their suffering.
This leaves room for a short Rick and Carol encounter, which reveals that Carol was the one who lit Karen and David up in the previous episode. Carol isn’t just a mother figure to Lizzie and Mika, she’s a den mother to the group, doing what she can to protect them from sickness, zombies and dehydration (which almost gets her killed if not for Rick). Like Carl, Carol has lost her innocence and helplessness from earlier in the series. Everyone in the prison has realized this about Carol except for Rick.
When Tyreese tells him that murder is an option, it’s supposed to be a wake up call for Rick. Murder is the way of this world and there is little you can do to stop it. Even the Governor resorted to murder to keep the qualities of normalcy in Woodbury, as did Rick when the group first arrived at the prison. But following Lori’s death, Rick has seemed to forget where they are and what they are doing. His idea of keeping people safe is locking them away from the bad and living like it is a minor inconvenience. But when the trouble arrives from within, you see that this can’t be the case. Everyone but Rick realizes this and soon he’s going to have to come around.
Will Daryl and the gang find themselves back in the cozy confines of the prison cellblock? Or will they succumb to the vicious attacks of the Baseball Furies passing through Riverside Park? Tune in to AMC next Sunday at 9pm for “The Walking Dead” and find out.