Don't you just love that The Walking Dead is on Sunday evenings? AMC went and took a time that's intrinsically mopey ("that terrible listlessness which starts to set in at about 2:55, when you know that you've had all the baths you can usefully have that day, that however hard you stare at any given paragraph in the papers you will never actually read it … and you will enter the long dark teatime of the soul") and they jam-packed it with ZOMBIES. Plus, starting this season anyway, a horrific outbreak of deadly contagion (as if one's not bad enough). Man, aside from its lack of shiny future-tech a la Minority Report, this show has pretty much everything I love in one Bear McCreary-scored hour.
Assuming you're not in the business of avoiding spoilers, let's discuss the zombie hordes, viral craziness, and final shocking revelation that went down in tonight's Walking Dead.
Things kick off with yet another festive grave-digging scene. Glenn stares at Patrick's glasses (RIP Token Nerd) before the camera pans back to reveal multiple survivors working exhaustedly at the dirt. This corpse-disposing system is the worst. I mean, except for the flesh-eating walkers and the fast-moving disease and the apocalypse and all.
Tyreese shows the burned bodies of Karen and David to Rick, Daryl, and Carol. "You found them like this?" Rick asks. Tyreese is like, THE FUCK KIND OF QUESTION IS THAT? NO, I DRAGGED THEM OUT HERE MYSELF AND THAT'S WHY I'M LOSING MY MIND RIGHT NOW. BECAUSE MY ARMS ARE SUPER TIRED.
Okay, not really, but Tyreese does get pretty fired up about how he wants Rick to find the murderer immediately if not sooner and lashes out at both Daryl and Rick, while Rick's all, bro, I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd. Things eventually escalate to a knock-down bar fight, leaving Rick with a sprained hand and Tyreese with Popeye Face.
Glenn and Hershel are discussing the seriousness of the flu situation when speak of the pathogens, Sasha comes staggering in, sick as hell. She's looking for Dr. S, whose name must be too ethnic for the survivors to deal with. She finds him, after encountering both a woman hacking up blood and a zombified prisoner, but bad news: the S stands for Sick. "We have to tell the others," he hacks weakly.
The council decides to quarantine the vulnerable members of the population, and send out a party to get medicine from a veterinary college which is 50 miles away. Glenn joins the flu-ridden, and Beth cares for Judith while robotically repeating that they're not allowed to get upset, everyone has a job to do. Tyreese reluctantly joins the flu-med posse after a tearful conversation with Sasha, who's barely hanging on.
Hershel gazes thoughtfully at a coffee cup with “Java Saves” written on it and for a minute I'm POSITIVE he's going to be like, IT'S IN THE WATER! But no, he's remembering a home-brewed flu remedy made from elderberries, so he heads out into the woods with Carl, who insists on joining him because Carl never stops being a pain in the ass.
After encountering a couple of slow/non-mobile zombies (the bear trap girl was particularly spooky, wasn't she?), Hershel braves infection by bringing tea to Dr. S, who repays the favor by violently coughing blood all over Hershel's face. Damn, Dr. S, how old are you? Cough into your elbow.
Out on the road, Daryl briefly hears a voice on the radio, which distracts him so much he nearly plows into a few walkers. Whew, that was close! Now all they have to do is drive past those guys and over the giant teeming thousands-strong horde just down the road, and they'll be -- oh, right. Problem.
Why are there so many zombies? The only person who seems to be taking time to ponder anything at all is Tyreese, who sits stewing in the car as everyone else makes a break for the woods. Finally he gets out and starts savagely attacking zombies left and right, swollen eye and all. I YAM WHAT I YAM, he seems to be saying. (Whereas "yam" = "pushed to a nearly suicidal edge.")
Daryl, Bob, Michonne, and gore-covered Tyreese barely make their escape, but they're miles from the prison and surrounded by eleventy frillion zombies. Vaya con Dios, gang. I hope you brought some Clif bars.
Meanwhile, Carol decides to go out on her own to un-clog their water hose, which is outside the fence. It's amazing how she's willing to do so much to help the community. It's almost like she'd do anything … anything at all. Her solo plan nearly falls apart when walkers inevitably descend, but Rick comes to her aid. Later, he tells her what she did was stupid, then pierces her with an all-seeing gaze. He says he knows she sacrifices a lot, she takes care of everyone. She starts to walk away, but he stops her. "Carol. Did you kill Karen and David?"
"Yes," she says ... and keeps walking.
Sorry for suspecting you, Bob Stookey! And holy shit, Carol -- Tyreese is going to be destroyed by this. Assuming he makes it back, that is.
Were you surprised by the way we learned the murderer was Carol? (Why was Rick staring at that bloody handprint, did that tie back to Carol in some way that I totally missed?) Also, any guesses for how the medicine-outing-gone-wrong is going to resolve itself?
Image via AMC