After last week’s relatively tame episode of The Walking Dead the action ramped back up in ‘Internment.’ The prison camp is still dealing with the zombie flu, but a new threat looms over the survivors that could further disrupt their attempts at living peaceful lives.
(Please note that this post contains SPOILERS)
‘Internment’s’ narrative was heavy on Hershel, but also followed a Rick thread as well.
Hershel the healer
A majority of ‘Internment’s’ plot focused on Hershel’s losing battle to aid the survivors who have been infected with the zombie flu. He remains determined to save as many of the sick that he can, even while they begin to drop around him like blood vomiting flies. He does his best to keep the dying out of view of the other survivors, but quickly loses that battle once multiple sick people reanimate as walkers.
Both Sash and Glenn take a turn for the worse, and at times both seemed like they wouldn’t make it to the end of the episode, but thanks to the late arrival of Daryl’s search party, they may be in the clear. While trying to save them both Hershel came under attack from the other patients who died while he was tending to the sick, so he had to resort to violence to wipe out the zombies looking to feast on his innards.
The insanely ridiculous little girl who thinks walkers are pets also had to be saved by Hershel, which is unfortunate, because she put herself and Hershel at risk with her insane belief that walkers can be docile like a pet dog. Quite frankly, she’s becoming one of the most annoying characters on the show, and her scenes tonight only reinforced her ridiculousness.
Rick and Carl’s gun show
While Hershel is trying to save the sick, Rick and Carl tend to the perimeter prison fence to bolster its defenses. The zombie horde has begun to make another push into one of the sections of the fence, so Rick and Carl desperately try to reinforce the steel with tree trunks. Their efforts quickly become futile as the undead begin to pour into a breach in the fence like a tidal wave of rotting flesh. They make short work of Rick and Carl’s supports and proceed to chase the two back into the prison’s courtyard.
Sensing that the internal fence is about to be breeched, Rick caves in on his stance to limit Carl’s violence factor and heads to the weapon lockup to get himself and his son two high powered assault rifles. With these weapons in hand the father and son duo proceed to mow down legions of undead in a massacre style shooting that eventually stems the influx of walkers into the prison yard.
‘Internment’, in a sense, is a love letter to the character of Hershel. He dominated the episode, and was most definitely the main focus of the narrative. His unrelenting desire to help those in need was perfectly showcased throughout this episode as he risked both his own health and safety on numerous occasions to save those around him. He is the ultimate Father figure, and can’t help but take care of those in need who fall under his care. Hershel continues to sacrifice his safety, knowing that he still has his own real family in tow, which just goes to show you what type of character he truly is. Hershel believes deep down that there’s still reason enough to save people in a world full of nothing but death and despair, which is evident throughout this episode thanks to his heroic actions with the sick.
He also grew in a sense thanks to this episode. Up until now he hasn’t been able to kill a dead person before they reanimate as a walker. This is teased in the beginning of the episode when he relies on Rick to stab a recently deceased patient out of sight of the other sick patients to keep them unaware of their dire situation. He couldn’t physically do it thanks to the pain and uncomfortable feelings the act brought to his mind. It isn’t until the end of the episode when all hell breaks loose that Hershel must get over his own weaknesses, and is forced to snuff out a deceased survivor before he reanimates as a brain eating zombie. That act makes him so uncomfortable that he has to pull a sheet over the dead person’s face, which just goes to show how hard the ordeal is for him to execute. Regardless of his fears and emotions though, he manages to overcome them and ends the dead person’s zombie life before it can even begin.
Rick too continues to grow in this episode, namely in how he manages his son. This whole season Rick has done his best to keep violence away from himself and Carl, but with each new episode Rick begins to realize that there’s no way not to live violently in a zombie apocalypse. Rick finally has to break down and ask Carl for help when he realizes that the prison fence is going to be breeched by walkers. At first they try to brace the fence, but that quickly fails and the horde begins to violently flow into the prison’s outside perimeter. Knowing there’s no other way to plug up the flow than shooting the zombies en mass, Rick hands Carl an assault rifle to help him shoot them down.
It’s clear in Rick’s face that he doesn’t want to enable Carl’s violent side, but there’s no other choice when walkers are streaming into the prison camp for a human guts buffet. Rick’s battle to live a peaceful life is clearly lost at this point, and he knows it. Carl has been armed again, and seems to enjoy the violence, which is why Rick tried to keep him away from it this season in the first place. There’s a part of him that wants his son to live a normal kid’s life, but no matter how hard he tries to keep him safe from the horrors of a zombie apocalypse, his efforts continue to fail. Both he and his son must embrace the violence if they, and the other survivors want to keep living in their horrific world.
Even with all of the character growth taking place in this episode the elephant in the room is still the reappearance of the Governor at the end. Now that Daryl and his team are back, and the sickness may be contained, it’ll be interesting to see how season 3’s villain will play into the rest of season 4. There’s a good chance that he may be responsible for the zombie fence surges, but he surely is up to no good, so hopefully next week’s episode will shed a little more light on his return.
The whole Carol banishment has yet to be fully let out of the bag too, so be prepared for fireworks once Daryl and Tyreese find out. My bet is that Daryl will go looking for her, and take offense to Rick’s decision to kick her out in the first place. Tyreese on the other hand will either be pleased with the move, or what to find her himself so he can deal out his own punishment.
[schema type=”review” name=”The Walking Dead: ‘Internment’ | Review Summary” description=”The Awesome: Zombie shooting gallery, Hershel’s self sacrifice, Carl with an AR | The Not so Awesome: Zombie flu, Creepy little girls, The Governor” rev_name=”The Walking Dead: ‘Internment'” rev_body=”‘Internment’ definitely amps up the action factor after a rather docile preceding episode. The focus is squarely placed on Hershel’s attempt to save the sick, but the episode also deals with Rick and Carl’s relationship as well. ‘Internment’ helped to further all three characters in terms of personal growth, but it also teased the return of an infamous enemy. Overall, there wasn’t much to not like about the latest episode of The Walking Dead.” author=”Matt Heywood” pubdate=”2013-11-11″ user_review=”9″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”10″ ]
Photos by Gene Page/AMC