Before I dive into last night’s episode of The Walking Dead I just want to touch on the length of these recaps and reviews. Over the past three weeks I’ve written extremely long and wordy R&R posts for The Walking Dead, and while some may be interested in these long winded diatribes, I must shorten them for my own sanity. The shorter recap and review for “Indifference” has nothing to do with its relatively unexciting content, I just need to get these types of pieces to a manageable size for everyone. Thanks and enjoy!
(Please note that this post contains SPOILERS)
“Indifference” follows two main parties throughout its runtime – Rick and Carol, and Daryl and his search party.
Rick and Carol’s banishment excursion
Rick and Carol go off on a supply mission to a nearby neighborhood after he curiously asks her to come with him (think his last solo mission with Shane) to help aid his quest. While looting homes for meds the two run into a couple hiding from walkers who Rick offers to take in. Carol seems to care less about saving strangers these days, which strikes Rick as odd, especially since he knows what she did to David and Karen back at the prison. He feels her out throughout the entire episode due to his knowledge of her murders, and wanting to know what to do with her, so he digs into her thought processes like a shrink. After realizing that she’s forever changed and lacks a moral compass, he surprisingly banishes her from the prison and sends her on her way to fend for herself.
This banishment signals Rick’s return to a leadership role, which he’s been avoiding since the end of season 3. It’s unclear what will happen to Carol, because she’s the first main character to not actually be killed off the show, so there’s a great chance that she’ll make an appearance before the season is through. Rick now has to explain her disappearance, and continue to lead the now fragile prison camp, which will surely make for some interesting TV as the season plays out.
Daryl and the search party squad
While Rick and Carol are doing their thing, Daryl and his search party continue to look for medical supplies. His party scores some meds and eventually finds a new ride to replace their car that became overran with walkers in last week’s episode. Nothing really happened to this group that is noteworthy outside of the fact that Michonne tries to ease Tyreese’s pain, and the group finds out that Bob is a drunk. Bob’s booze problem almost causes the group to get killed again like it did during the first episode, so now that his secret is out, he’s firmly lost favor with the members of the search party. The group is last seen making its way back to the prison, with each member reflecting on their current situation.
“Indifference”, when compared to the first three episodes of The Walking Dead season 4, falls flat in terms of action and story progression. It didn’t shed any light on the mystery flu plaguing the prison camp, and it didn’t really move the overall story forward outside of Carol’s banishment. In fact, many of the main characters weren’t even featured, so the episode felt a little flat and dialogue heavy.
This episode did offer deeper insights into the ever evolving psyche of the show’s main characters, namely Rick and Carol. Rick’s concerns over Carol’s behavior signal his return to a leadership role, especially when he banishes her without consulting anyone else. Each week Rick continues to morph into a more complex character, and no matter how hard he’s tried to remove himself from the horrors of his current existence, he can’t help but to be the natural leader he’s meant to be. Knowing that Carol has become an emotionless vessel willing to do whatever it takes to survive scares Rick, and he no longer trusts her around the prison camp members, so he sends her on her way.
I was impressed at the way Carol handled her verdict, especially when you think about her psyche at the beginning of this series. She was a battered woman who feared everything. Her emotional state was in constant flux, as she experienced loss around every corner. Her family was brutally taken from her, and there was a time when she filled the role of the scared and helpless woman perfectly. Fast forward to season 4 and Carol has become a self-sufficient survivor who is void of emotions thanks to her extreme pain and loss. When Rick told her to beat it, she hardly argued his stance and took her punishment like a man-woman. She truly has changed more than any other character on the show, so I hope that she returns in a big way, and isn’t left as an unresolved thread.
The scenes featuring Daryl and his search party didn’t do anything to advance the plot of the show outside of revealing Bob’s alcoholism to the rest of the party. Quite frankly they could’ve been cut altogether, but I guess the show needed some zombie killing, so these scenes definitely served that purpose. If anything, Bob’s boozing reveal may foreshadow an event yet to come, but the group as a whole didn’t really have much to offer to the overall story featured in The Walking Dead.
“Indifference” didn’t pack a punch like the previous three season 4 episodes, but it did offer a deeper look at the personal side of this series. The main takeaway is Carol’s banishment and lack of moral compass, so it’ll be interesting to see where the show goes now that Rick is returning as a leader, whose first move was to kick Carol out of the prison camp society without any input from the council.
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Photos by Gene Page/AMC