Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ – ‘Internment’

A quick review of tonight’s “The Walking Dead” coming up just as soon as I declare we have Spaghetti Tuesdays every Wednesday…

Though Rick appears in both, “Internment” was essentially the flip side of last week’s “Indifference,” depicting the hell the prison population is going through while Daryl’s group is off getting medicine. It’s a simple episode, leaning more heavily than the show ever has before on Scott Wilson’s warm, stoic performance as Hershel, and effectively continued the season 4 mix of despair and complicated action, with Hershel having to deal with a zombie outbreak in quarantine while Rick and Carl break out the heavier artillery once a horde of zombies bust through the fence. There are a lot of logistical/plausibility questions – Why isn’t Hershel locking every single person inside a cell to prevent exactly what happened here? How is Carl instantly that good a shot with the kind of weapon he’s never used before? – but when “The Walking Dead” is humming like it has this season, it effectively puts you into the scary moment so that the questions don’t come until well after the carnage is over.

Hershel’s struggle to stay upbeat – and to keep finding theological meaning in this never-ending nightmare – nicely grounded the episode, and worked in parallel with Rick’s story, as both fathers are trying, futilely, to keep their children out of harm’s way in the post-zombie apocalypse. Had the episode ended on Hershel crying in his cell after failing to find comfort in the Bible, or even on a relatively peaceful (if somber) note like Hershel and Michonne riding off to dispose of the bodies, “Internment” would have been a fairly satisfying experience all around.

Instead, though, we close on the cartoonishly menacing return of the cartoonishly menacing Governor. I knew we weren’t done with him forever, but I kept holding out hope that Scott Gimple would keep the guy off-screen until at least the end of this half season. Now my hope shifts to Gimple doing a better job writing this guy than Glen Mazzara did. I’m not opposed to Rick’s group having a human opponent, as the period before the Governor turned into a bonkers supervillain was one of the best stretches this show has ever had. But this season has been working just fine without the Governor, and unless his time in the wilderness led to a major personality transplant, he needs to be dispensed with quickly.

What did everybody else think?