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We All Need a Drink: What We Learned From This Week’s ‘The Walking Dead’

While I wouldn’t say that “Indifference,” the fourth episode of The Walking Dead’s season four, hit a lull exactly, it was definitely a slower-paced episode of the series that often recalled the earlier, Frank Darabont seasons. With Scott Gimple taking over showrunning duties from Glen Mazzara, Robert Kirkman has expressed a desire to better utilize the source material (as Darabont had). If this episode is any indication, that apparently means more supply runs and, in the midst of those, more conversations. Indeed, while the season-long plot didn’t advance very much this week, all the blah blah blah helped us better get to know the characters.

What did we learn about them? Let’s dig in.

Ninety percent of the episode alternated between two supply runs: One for medicine (Bob, Tyreese, Daryl, and Michonne) and one for food supplies (Rick, Carol), and here’s what we learned about everyone along the way.

Dammit, Bob. There’s No 12-Step Program in the Zombie Apocalypse — Bob’s conscience has been weighing on him ever since Sasha picked him up. The unlucky son of a bitch has been the last man standing in two groups, and he’s not anxious to be the last man standing in a third one. He’s still torn about Sasha picking him up, because he’s not so sure that he couldn’t have been happier roaming around on his own, brown-bagging a liquor bottle like an apocalyptic hobo, happy to be drunk and away from all that death. Unlike Daryl, he understands why the “douches” trapped inside a garage took their own lives: At least they had some control over it, and had the ability to go together. Daryl, ever the survivalist, thinks anyone that exits the world before they’re taken is a “douche.” Meanwhile, Bob was wondering what the alcohol content of anti-freeze is.

Also, these two could make a really sweet couple, couldn’t they?

Meanwhile, Bob is also feeling guilty about the death of Zach, because he knows that taking that liquor bottle, which brought the shelf down, is what killed him. Daryl thinks that’s dumb, at least until later in the episode when Bob risks his own life to save a bottle of liquor from the walkers. NOT SO DUMB NOW, HUH, DARYL? Bob’s an alcoholic, and it’s potentially impeding his ability to help the infected people back at the camp. Who knows? Alcohol may have played a role in the deaths of his last two camps. Bob is a big-time blockbuster drinker; he even made toward his gun when Daryl threatened to toss his liquor.

Daryl, meanwhile, has no patience for that kind of weakness (although, you’ll notice that at one point, both Bob and Daryl are sharing a cigarette together. WHO’S WEAK NOW, DARYL?). The good news is, they managed to get the medication, and avoid two camps of walkers. The bad news is: Bob’s a wild card. His alcoholism is a threat to the camp.

Here’s the Bob Stookey character summed up in two GIFs:

“Anger makes you stupid and stupid gets you killed.” — Tyreese is going through the stages of grief, specifically anger, while Michonne is on the other side of it. Tyreese gives no f*cks, putting his own life at risk because he’s neither sure life is worth living without Karen, nor sure that it will ever get better. He’s in full-on, Eli Manning face sulk mode, a phase we’ve already seen several characters go through (specifically, Rick), while Michonne thinks Tyreese needs sack up and get over it. I agree. Scowly Tyreese is not my favorite character right now.

But what about Michonne’s anger? Why is she still trying to track down The Governor? Michonne is over it, she says, I think her moment with Lil Ass Kicker a couple of episodes transformed Michonne. She wants to live, not just for revenge, and not just to kill the Governor, but for living’s sake. For all the words, however, the biggest advancement in Michonne’s character came when she said that Jasper brings out the color in Daryl’s eyes.

That Michonne, she’s a charmer.

At the end of the episode, the foursome — still working through their own issues internally — heads back to camp with the medical supplies. HOORAY. EVERYONE IS SAVED.

Don’t Call Me Mom — The theory that Carol had taken the blame for Lizzie killing David and Karen was quickly put to rest in the only meaningful scene back in the prison, as Carol had another conversation with an infected Lizzie — who doesn’t look nearly as sick as the rest of the quarantined folks — reminding her to watch out for herself, protect her sister, and run anytime she’s in danger. Carol has mentored a mini-version of herself inside the infected ward, ready to kill when necessary, and I fear that Lizzie could pose a significant danger to the infected before Daryl and Michonne return with the supplies.

Also, don’t call Carol “Mom,” OK. JUST DON’T. BECAUSE REASONS.

Sam and the Attractive Zombie Food — Rick and Carol stumbled upon two strangers — Sam and The Woman with the Leg Tattoo — during their supply run, and offered to take them back to the prison after they scoured the area for supplies. Rick wanted them to stay back until they were done, while Carol encouraged them to help. Leg tattoo was killed, while Sam — who has Rick’s watch — never returned, and may or may not be dead. That’s on Carol. Never mind Sam’s death. Carol cost Rick his watch. It’s too bad about Leg Tattoo, though; the camp could use another pleasant face or two.

Also: DON’T SHOOT. FRUIT.

RIP Leg Tattoo.

Zombie Kill of the Week

Michonne, for the casual walk-by head slice.

The Ricktatorship is Dead, Long Live the Ricktatorship — What the incident did demonstrate, however, is that Carol is a lousy leader with questionable judgement. With Rick taking a back seat this season in his leadership role, Carol has tried to fill some of that vacuum, and she hasn’t excelled. She killed David and Karen too soon, and possibly for no reason. She’s training the kids to be zombie killers. She got Leg Tattoo and, possibly, Sam killed, and she’s mentoring what is possibly a little Lizzie Borden. That sh*t doesn’t fly in Rick and Hershel’s more conservative world.

Knowing that if the rest of the camp found out that Carol had killed Karen that Tyreese would kill her, and having his own trust issues with Carol, Rick insisted that Carol not come back to the camp. She’s on her own now, and strangely, she didn’t put up much of an argument. Rick made the right decision. Truth is, in a way, Rick was being merciful. Carol probably would’ve been killed if she’d been brought back to camp. More importantly, THE RICKTATORSHIP IS BACK.

And it’s not like he left Carol completely empty handed.

Honestly, though, none of that really jibed with those characters — there have been A LOT of mistakes made in the camp, and Rick has never booted anyone — but I’m willing to make an allowance for it, knowing that Scott Gimple is likely setting Carol up for something big. There’s a few possibilities here: 1) Carol, left to her own devices, dies (not likely). 2) She’s the one that locates the Governor, and returns to the prison to warn them (maybe). 3) The most likely scenario, I think, is that Carol will be meeting up with a character we already know from casting news that will be making an entrance on the show later this season. That would work. The least likely scenario is that 4) Carol will disappear only to reappear two years later in the The Walking Dead spin-off.

Daryl/Michonne/Tyreese secured the medicine, and Carol got booted. That’s your episode in a sentence. Still, I appreciated the context on Bob Stookey, and knowing that Michonne has gotten over her anger issues. The scene that I liked the most, however, may have been the conversation between Carol and Rick about their pasts. The action has moved so quickly over the past couple of seasons that there’s barely any time for reflection. It’s been so long, and Carol has changed so much that I barely remember that she once had an abusive husband, and that Sophia — the little zombified girl that entirely too much of the second season was devoted to — was Carol’s daughter. That Carol seems like a completely different woman than this Carol, who has transformed from a grieving mother and victimized wife into a strong but over-aggressive leader.

It has been a remarkable metamorphosis for Carol, and a marked contrast from her comic-book character, who killed herself even before Sophia died. I suspect we’ll be seeing her again, soon. I also suspect that Daryl is not going to take her ousting well, and after asserting some leadership with the Bob Stookey incident, there may be a power struggle between Daryl and Rick in our future.

Also, OF COURSE LORI MADE TERRIBLE PANCAKES.

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