If we were ranking tough sons of bitches on The Walking Dead, there would be no doubt that Hershel Greene would occupy a top position, and after the events in this week’s episode, “Internment,” even Hershel knows it. He is a tough old coot, and in a series where we are used to seeing people rise from the dead, it’s nice to see Hershel bring them back from the brink of death before they turn.
Let’s give that man a Dave Grohl power-riff salute!
The episode opens with a touch of possible foreshadowing: Rick, cruising along in his car, heading back to the prison, passes an immobile walker on the side of the road, which recalls the hitchhiker walker from the episode, “Clear.” The last time we saw a similar scene, Morgan (who I believe we’ll see again this season) reappeared, which hinted at another reappearance this episode, which we’ll get to in a moment.
Meanwhile, back in the prison. it looks like an apocalyptic episode of E.R., as Glenn, Sasha, and Hershel are intubating a guy to keep him from aspirating, and Hershel is playing Clooney with the wisecracks: “I hereby declare that Spaghetti Wednesdays will happen every Tuesday.”
The scene is not good in the prison; the ill are dropping, and it’s all Hershel can do to snuff them out permanent-wise without the other sick people seeing it and losing faith. “A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ,” he tells Rick later. But Rick reminds Hershel that they’re also witness to Hershel rallying, putting his own life at risk. Hershel is a goddamn Peter Cetera song come to life, although his assessment that there’s a master plan at play, that they’re all being tested, sounds a little John Locke from Lost to me, perhaps introducing into the series something that’s rarely spoken of: The whys and hows of the zombie outbreak.
When Rick returns, Maggie’s the first to find out about Carol, and Rick doesn’t soft-pedal it. “I couldn’t have her here,” he says. Maggie agrees with the decision, but doesn’t know if she could’ve done it herself, although Rick reminds her that they know no longer have the luxury of doubting themselves. Rick also brings fruit leather back to the camp, and for some reason, insists that Carl tell everyone to brush their teeth after eating it, because in a zombie apocalypse, oral hygiene is obviously of the utmost importance. Doy.
Maggie wants into the quarantined area to help out, because those Greenes are heroes, that’s why, but Hershel isn’t about to let her. “If she saw me, you couldn’t keep her out,” says Glenn, who may be flattering himself a bit. Dr. C, meanwhile, knows he’s a dead-man walking, and encourages Hershel to triage. Hershel insists he’s not giving up on anyone, but Caleb knows. I mean, look at the guy. Tea is not going to save him at this point.