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The Walking Dead Review: Whatever It Takes

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Life in a zombie apocalypse is tough.

It’s all blood, sweat and fears battling walkers and people, and it’s easier to catch a cold than it is a break. Except, now sickness is just another problem added to the list of dilemmas the survivors have to worry about.

And while it’s exciting to see the hacking and slashing of decaying walkers or the facing off against human foes, struggling with a virus allows for a real look at characters. It’s a quieter way to expose certain truths like Tyreese’s anger, Carl’s responsibility or the mic drop at the end of this episode — Carol willing to do whatever it takes to survive.

It’s an interesting direction for the series, a positive one, and The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3 took full advantage, even if there were times when it felt like the hour dragged a bit.

Sasha Heads Out

Tyreese went into rage mode over the death of Karen and David (who, like viewers, Rick didn’t really know), but it was great to see a transformation from the laid back, go easy person. Did anyone notice Rick flinch the couple times Tyreese stepped up to him? Sure, Rick got his own angry punches in, but it also stirred Rick to take action. Forget pumping water, sheriff, do something about the murders!

Unfortunately, Tyreese’s problems kept on going with sister Sasha getting sick. It was enjoyable to witness the care and concern for her while expressing that they should only have positive thoughts.

Really, that’s all anyone can do at this point with the pesky prison plague continuing to spread. It’s seemed to have infected most of the new survivors (poor Dr. S), but also Glenn and Sasha. And I like that possibility that either of those two could meet their demise not in a blaze of glory but by a quiet and glorified cold.

It’s also good to see characters like Maggie and Beth, who have stood tough in the face of danger (Beth even more so recently) have a tearful heart to heart about their situation and remaining resilient even if that scary feeling is that things won’t be OK.

Having someone like Hershel step up and try to do something - even if it means putting himself in danger - provides a possibility he could certainly die also, but ultimately that he isn’t willing to just sit idly by.

Granted, Hershel and the Carl hall monitor scene felt a bit awkward, but the point was there. Even Carl has stepped up while trying to work with his father. He’s not just running off somewhere and causing trouble.

And I liked that rather than have Carl and Hershel turn around in the woods and see a bunch of walkers, they only had to deal with one creepy foot dragging one and a mossy tree walker. Carl didn't have to go trigger happy either.

If anything, it made the scene where Daryl and the gang running into that massive group of walkers that stretched out over the horizon more shocking. That’s what playing with the radio while driving gets you.

I didn’t quite understand why Tyreese decided to just sit in the car while Daryl, Michonne and Bob were desperately trying to escape, let alone hack his way out when it seemed like he should have died. Kind of similar to the Governor’s escape in The Walking Dead Season 3.

It just seemed odd for his character to do, even if it was supposed to be a cool moment where he miraculously appeared and survived afterward.

And I like that having Bob along for the ride didn’t mean that he was the obvious one to become walker food. I still have my suspicions about him, but I liked his short bonding moment with Tyreese while digging the graves and trying to wait for Tyreese after the zombies swarmed the car. I’d really like to see Bob’s character last and not have a few episodes later where we learn about his past and then he’s quickly killed.

But the real surprise of the hour was all about Carol.

She’s no longer that timid wife from The Walking Dead Season 1. She’s so much more hardened from her experiences. Lest we forget, she lost her daughter Sophia. She’s so intent on surviving and protecting the ones she cares about that killing a few for the greater good is worth it to her.

Sure, she’s not a robot about it all. Carol feels guilt and perhaps regret, especially after Tyreese asked her to watch over his sister. It’s going to be an awkward conversation between those two when he finds out what she did.

But I liked that a scene where she almost got herself trapped and killed for the water that could have been just writing the characters into dumb decisions was instead called out as a stupid move by both Rick and Carol. She knows that those sick might not have extra time (although it took Daryl a real long time to get the car gassed up, right?), and she’s clearly trying to step up to help even if she has to struggle with her thoughts and emotions over the whole ordeal.

And yet, having her so calmly and openly admit to Rick’s question about killing Karen and David? Cold, chilling and a perfect illustration of just how far Carol has come as a character. It’s fantastic to see her as more than a background player and really getting into the fray of it all.

Too bad those deaths didn’t stop the sickness like she had hoped. There’s definitely going to be some fallout.

While "Isolation" did feel a little slow in parts, it took time to focus on characters, still get in some bloody walker gore, and provided a great ending. If only getting to next Sunday's episode was as fast as Zack's car...

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (93 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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    19 Comments New Comment Subscribe

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    Tyreese surviving the swarm of zombies is almost exactly like the scene in the comic book, except for the fact that he was in a gym rather than on the road.

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    Seriously boring episode that could have easily fit into about 20 minutes. I'm about to abandon the show until the season's over so I can watch it all at once -- at least then SOMETHING might happen.

    Terrie

    I commented this morning and don't know why my comments are not showing up!!!!!!!!!!

    I'm really left wondering where else they can go with this show..........

    Who was the voice on the radio?
    Are they saving an appearance from the Governor for the mid season finale?
    Will Tyreese find out that Carol killed Karen?

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    I like this season so far. I was wondering how they would get the people to leave the prison with it's "safety" fences. I guess between walkers and the flu that what's left of the prison group will likely flee at some point this season.

    Carol is becoming an interesting character who seems to do what's necessary to try and protect the group, I kinda knew that it was her that dragged the bodies outside and burned them. Either way I wasn't surprised when Rick asked her and she replied that she did kill them and burn them. Rick even knew this was the right thing to do, that's why he didn't press her.

    The sea of walkers that forced Daryl and the scavenging team out of the car was the best scene in a while. I liked it because it brought the real situation back to the forefront. Food, Water and Shelter are important but one small misstep and 10 thousand walkers will give you a bad day.

    Finally I have been wondering who was feeding the walkers at the fence line. At first I thought it might be one of the little girls that were naming the walkers but I don't think they could slip outside alone at night. I'm going to keep watching and I'll add my guess soon. I'd love to hear who everyone else thinks it is.

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    Couple of things.
    First, I think Bob is the “Rat Man”. There was a couple of episodes in Season 3 where someone was watching the prison from the woods, one time looking at Carol as she was practicing autopsy on a zombie. We never learned who that was. I think it’s Bob, although I don’t think he’s with the Guvna.
    Second, I don’t understand what the deal is with the burnt corpses and Tyrese’s reaction. It’s obvious Carol killed them after they died (that sounded strange…) and before they turned. She’s not a murderer and more people would’ve been found if she was. Why did she hide it? “They were dead, Rick” is all she needed to say, no? And I wonder if Carol has a grudge against Rick for shooting her little girl in the haed, much like Philip does with Michonne.
    Third, Darryl dude, look at the road and let Michonne play with the radio!

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    @ Kim

    The person in season 3 watching Carol practicing the cesarean on the zombie was Andrew, one of the prisoners that was discovered with Axel, Tomas and Oscar in the cafeteria.

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    @ Kim

    it's a big deal b/c they don't burn their dead, they bury them. so even if they had died of natural causes (unlikely), it's fvcking weird that carol decided to burn them.

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    I think latter in the season lizzie is going to kill carol...........that little girl is NUTS! I also think she's playing her. Rick is going to tell Daryl that it was carol he has no choice.

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    @ AshleyRae

    pretty certain either her or her sister were the ones feeding their "pet" walkers w/ rats. sigh. kids. makes carl look glorious by comparison.

    Terrie

    Carol continues to become a stronger character.

    I haven't read the comics so I am left wondering just where else they can go with this show.

    Who was the voice on the radio? Will they play that up?

    Why is it that we haven't seen the Governor? He's still out there somewhere. I bet he'll show just in time for the mid-season finale.......

    What about Michonne and her break down with the baby last week? Did she have a baby and lose it?

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    I still like The Walking Dead TV series, and I'm new to the zombie genre. My question is what is the end game for the TV series? I'm with you @HAHA on giving these people some hope.

    With no end or hope in sight, this is a depressing show. Will they find a cure? Will they zombie virus eventually disappear and the zombies just die? I've seen enough zombies now I want to see humanity rebuild from this devastation.

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    @ BeBe

    Just enjoy the show..... No one has ever asked "What Next?" The whole point of the post apocalyptic survival genre is keep your mind working over time and not for anyone to answer the question for you.

    Cheers.

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    LOVED this episode! I like the new angle that shows they're not only living in danger because of Walkers and (crazy) people. But because of "trivial" stuff like a cold or muddy water. Last seasons I always got the feeling that, apart from Walkers, the survivors had it quite easy in a certain way.

    Speaking of quite easy - how on earth was Tyreese able to escape? He was COMPLETELY surrounded! Walkers were close enough to bite his shoulder, back, arm... Don't get me wrong, I don't want him to die. I just think the writers went overboard with that scene.

    Carol was great! She was always one of my favourites, but this episode underlined so great how far she came... wow! Seems the survivors now have a woman among them who will always do what needs to be done, no matter what. And kudos to Melissa McBride!

    Jason-gillam
    @ San

    The writers did not go "overboard" with the Tyrese scene. It was clearly a reference to a similar scene that happened in the comics. There were a lot of references like that in this episode.

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    I think the rats are spreading the disease which has been manufactured as a terroristic action. Feeding the rats to the zombies could be symbolism for how the rats have served their purpose and no need for them anymore. Who brought the disease. Governor? Remember there are people there from Woodbury. Maybe an informant. Its out there but just a thought.




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