(Warning: this post contains MANY spoilers.) Last week we left the Walking Dead gang in some pretty dire straits: more and more people at the prison were coming down with a mysterious and highly unpleasant (symptoms include feverish staggering, hacking up blood, and eventual zombification), the posse dispatched to find medication at a veterinary college had been overcome by a giant horde of walkers, and Carol had just admitted to murder-burning the ailing Karen and David in what was clearly an ineffectual method of stopping the spread of contagion. Plus, Carl put his shootin' hat back on, so you know shit got real.
Here's what went down in tonight's Walking Dead episode, which was titled "Indifference":
We start with Rick gearing up a vehicle to make a supply run, but his gas can is empty. Ugh, rude. What a-hole took the last of the ... ohhhhh, right. God, Carol, don't you know the first rule of slaughtering your fellow community members and incinerating their blood-drenched corpses? MAKE A FRESH POT.
Carol and Rick head out on the world's most awkward road trip. She mentions that Maggie had wanted to come, and Rick says someone had to stay back and watch over things. “Someone you trust, you mean,” Carol says, acknowledging the skull-stabbing, gas-can-wielding elephant in the room. “I was trying to save lives. Somebody had to,” she explains. That was a total farming burn right there, Rick.
Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob Stookey make their way to the veterinary school, pausing to hot-wire a car, reveal more of Tyreese's reckless rage-against-the-zombies ways (Michonne: "Anger makes you stupid and gets you killed," Tyreese: "Oh yeah? Well, I know you are but what am I?"), sadly contemplate a couple of suicide-victims-turned-walkers at a service station (Bob: "Gosh, I am having a complicated emotional reaction to these people," Daryl: "Douchebags"), and allow for a deeply entertaining moment when Michonne teases Daryl that a piece of jasper brings out his eyes. *Cue Saved By the Bell "OOOOOHHH" audience reaction*
Bob tells Daryl that he was last survivor in two different groups, and he feels doomed to watch people die around him. He confesses that he'd wanted to grab a bottle at the Big Spot, and he blames himself for Zach's death. Daryl doesn't bother doling out hugs or gently convincing him to let the guilt go; he just cuts right to the chase: "That's bullshit."
The medicine-mission gang finally gets inside the college and finds antibiotics, but while their entry seemed simple enough their exit involves a series of terrifying pitch-black areas that are teeming with walkers, who as a little freaky side bonus have blood streaming from their eyes because they're infected with the superflu. A nerve-wracking scramble to escape ensues, resulting in Bob nearly being pulled off the roof when zombies clutch at his knapsack and he refuses to let go. Way to bravely protect those hard-earned meds, Bob! Oh wait, it turns out all he had in there was a bottle of booze. (Seriously, he couldn't fit a fifth in there AND a couple bottles of penicillin?) Daryl's furious and goes into alpha-male chest-bumping attack mode, which is pretty good stuff. I'd love to see him square off macho-style with Jax from Sons of Anarchy. In this scenario, they would obviously both be shirtless.
Elsewhere, Carol and Rick go creeping into an abandoned house where they discover a couple of survivors holed up with a zombie. This must be the "Jack and Erin" characters that were leaked earlier, although this guy's name is Sam and I don't know what the girl's name is. Limpy McShortLived, I guess. The new folks decide to join the prison community, despite the raging infection that's killing people left and right. "You got fences and walls? We’re in!" Sam chirps happily. Yeah but they don't have Purell, Sam.
Sam and his girlfriend head out to help forage, and they all plan to meet back in two hours. Unfortunately for Limpy, she's mutilated and eaten, like, instantly. Fail. Sam's nowhere to be found, and Carol allows as how he might be alive but it doesn't matter: they have to go.
Carol has also unloaded on Rick, telling him that he needs to face the reality that she's killed two people and to -- I'm paraphrasing here -- quit being such a goddamned pussy. Rick spends pretty much the entire trip chewing things over, but comes to a decision as they're about to get back in the car. He rightfully points out that Karen and David might have lived, and it wasn't Carol's decision to make. He mentions the shitstorm that will go down once Tyreese hears what happened, and how the others won't want her around once they know. Carol tries to say that no one needs to know, and Rick says that even if everyone else died, he wouldn't have her around Judith and Carl.
“Rick, it’s me," Carol pleads. "I thought you were done making decisions for everyone."
"I’m making this decision for me," he says. “You’re not that woman who was too scared to be alone, not anymore."
And that's the end of Carol ... at least for now. She drives away in a separate car, as everyone else makes their way back toward the prison. Bob Stookey is tormented. Rick can't stop looking in the rearview mirror. Daryl stares at the jasper, the rock he said they could use as a trail marker. While all the while, the background song plays mournfully:
Serpents in my mind, looking for your cries
I don't want life to this time
What did you think of tonight's Walking Dead? Do you think that's really the last we'll see of Carol? What do you suppose Daryl's reaction will be?
Image via AMC