(Warning: this post contains spoilers!) It's probably unnecessary to keep opening my Walking Dead recaps by acknowledging that everyone was in a bad situation at the end of last week's episode, isn't it? That soooooort of seems like a no-shitter at this point. Still, things seemed particularly dreary for our gang: a deadly contagion was running rampant through the prison, walkers are now apparently traveling in massive herds, and Carol got voted off the island thanks to violating the Hippocratic Oath in a pretty big way (depending on your interpretation of this line: "I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure").
Here's what went down in tonight's Walking Dead (season 4, episode 5, "Internment"):
We start with a silent scene of leaves blowing around in the wake of Rick's car. Did you think something was wrong with the sound on your TV? I totally jacked up the volume, then about peed my pants once the music kicked in. Anyway, Rick's driving back to the prison and periodically staring down at Carol's watch. Haven't we learned anything about taking our eyes off the road, Zombie Apocalypse Survivors?
Back at the prison, Hershel's entrenched in cell block A, handing out elderberry tea and heroically intubating a patient who's choking on his own fluids. Despite Hershel's best intentions and herbal remedies, though, people are starting to keel over. Glenn and Hershel smuggle a corpse away from the still-alives so as to not dampen their spirits ("Nothing to see here! Everything's fine! No reason to get distracted from your very important coughing-up-a-pint-of-blood duties!") and Glenn skull-stabs the guy to keep him from turning.
Rick arrives at the gate and Maggie rushes to let him in. "Where's Carol?" she asks. Rick tries to pretend like he's developed a tragic selective case of hearing loss, perhaps a new flu symptom, but Maggie presses him. "It was her," Rick says. "She killed Karen and David." He does a sanity check with Maggie on his banishment decision, and she agrees it was the right move.
Back in the prison sick bay, things are just completely going to shit. Glenn's choking to death. The intubated guy dies and reanimates, making a particularly creepy-looking zombie with the bag hanging off his face and all. Sasha passes out from dehydration. Dr. S. dies and zombifies. Lizzie tries to lure the bagface zombie by treating him like a dog: "Here boy! WHO'S an adorable gore-soaked flesh-eating member of the living dead? YOU are!" More walkers are swarming. Jesus, I sure hope things are better outside.
Or ... not. Carl and Rick are trying to hold up the perimeter fence, but there's a mass of zombies with, like, the worst timing ever. They break down the fence and come lurching into the courtyard, and Rick overrides his own "no weapons for Carl" rule by giving Carl a big-ass machine gun. They lock and load. “You shoot or you run,” Rick tells Carl.
Carl obviously decides to go with the shoot option, because the two of them mow down an entire herd of zombies with so many well-aimed headshots I can't believe Carl hasn't been holed up in front of Call of Duty for the last 18 months. I mean, seriously, this scene is an even bigger stretch than the time Hershel had the infinite-ammo shotgun. But it's pretty righteous -- zombies dropping left and right! CGI brain-splatter everywhere! -- so I guess I'll allow it. At one point Carl tosses a clip to Rick with the practiced ease of a Marine sniper, and even Rick gives him a disbelieving side-eye.
In the prison, Maggie takes out the intubated zombie with a just-in-time bullet, and Hershel and Maggie rush to resuscitate Glenn. He's hacking up red slime everywhere and things aren't looking good, but they manage to clear his airway before he stops breathing altogether. Outside, Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob pull up with the medicine, and Bob the ex-Army medic starts helping dose the infected.
Hershel, who had earlier told Rick he still believed there as a divine plan behind their overall terrible situation, returns to Dr. S's cell and picks up a Bible. He opens it and then succumbs to racking sobs.
The next morning, Daryl asks Hershel where Carol is. "Is she up in the cell block with Lizzie?" he says. Hershel, who's done enough dirty work over the last 24 hours, tells him to talk to Rick. Daryl heads off to look for Rick, who's out in the garden marveling over some peas with Carl. Look, they grew something from the soil of this tragic and dangerous world, surely this signifies fresh starts and rebirth and possibility and the perseverance of life and whatnot! Now that they have antibiotics and there will be enough non-sickly people to fix the fence, I bet everything's going to be back to normal in no time!
Except, of course, for the fact that the camera's panning back to the outside of the prison, where the Governor stands, staring in with his one good eye.
What did you think of tonight's show? Did it feel like the right time to re-introduce the Governor?
Image via FX