After a strong start to the season, we slow way back down again for E3. Lots more folks are sick, lots of people talk about it and Carol makes a behavioral change which is supposed to be character development but which just seems abrupt.
As the episodes open, twelve more graves are being dug as the sickness ravages the prison population. Meanwhile, Tyrese shows Rick, Daryl and Carol the still smoking bodies of Karen and David. He is wild with fury, shouting that they were murdered. He and Rick get into fisticuffs: Tyrese unable to deal with his rage and Rick letting his inner killer loose just a little. Daryl pulls them apart. It's a rough, horrible scene and you can just imagine how this might be how zombie apocalypse survivors would live - violence always lurking just beneath their skins.
There is lots of walking and talking, bandaging wounds and talking, digging graves and talking. Everyone is stressed big time since this isn't something they can actively fight - you just sit around and wait for the next person to get sick. Sasha comes down with it, and Glen, and little Lizzie too. Quarantine is strictly enforced for the sick folks but even Dr. S gets sick as he tries to help the patients. The council meets and decides to send Daryl and Michonne out after antibiotics, heading to a veterinary college fifty miles away that Herschel thinks maybe won't have been scavenged like human hospitals and pharmacies. Bob the medic volunteers to go too and Daryl recruits Tyrese as well. Tyrese is reluctant to go until he learns that his sister is sick. Before he leaves, however, he pushes Rick hard to find out who killed Karen and David. He also asks Carol if she would look in on Sasha for him while he's gone on the meds run. She says she'd be happy to - but once he's gone, she freaks out a little, knocking over some water barrels and sobbing. So, we're to understand that it was Carol, then, who killed and burned Karen and David.
The healthy children, plus Carl and Beth, plus Herschel, go into isolation in the administrative offices in the hopes that this will keep them healthy. Herschel gets fidgety, though, and decides to go out into the woods to gather elderberries - he has remembered that his wife used to make elderberry tea to help combat flu symptoms. Carl sees him leaving and goes with him to protect him. They gather a bunch of berries and only run into a couple of walkers who aren't really threats - one is just a torso, stuck under a tree, and the other has a bear trap stuck around one of its legs. Herschel and Carl don't even take out the zombies (I guess Herschel is trying to keep Carl from killing as much as possible) and return to the prison unmolested. Maggie finds them and yells at her dad, not wanting him to go into the quarantine area. Rick comes up and backs Maggie up, begging Herschel not to do it. The old man is adamant: "We risk our lives every day. I can save lives and that's reason enough to risk mine. And you know that." He takes his berries and enters the quarantine.
Carol sneaks out to fix the water hose. The fence zombies don't notice her at first, until she starts banging the hose around, trying to clear the mud out. Rick sees what's going on and runs to help her as the zombies converge on her. Carol clears the hose and fights off the zombies, running for the fence. Rick shoots a few to help clear the way. Once back inside the fence, he says, "We decided to do this tomorrow." She replies, "We don't know if we get any tomorrows."
The group on the meds run is in a low-riding muscle car that is just eating up the miles. Daryl plays with the radio and they are all startled to hear a voice. But then, just around a blind corner, there are thousands of zombies, a huge herd, and the car is quickly stopped and surrounded. Daryl tries to back up, running down a bunch of walkers and getting the car's axle stuck. They decide to make a run for it. Daryl, Michonne and Bob jump out of the car, hacking, slashing and shooting their way to the edge of the woods. Tyrese just sits in the car, ignoring Bob's shouts to him. Finally, Tyrese gets out of the car and starts swinging his hatchet, but the walkers surround him quickly. The other three watch, resigned, knowing the odds are against their rescuing him, then turn and run into the woods. They pause in a clearing, turning to face what is following. A few walkers lurch out of the woods and then, incredibly, Tyrese staggers out, covering in zombie entrails but seemingly unbitten. His team collects him and they keep running further into the woods.
Back in quarantine, Herschel feeds his tea to Dr. S (who repays him by coughing blood all over his face) and Glen. Glen is frustrated, pissed off to "be taken out by a glorified cold" after all they've been through. Herschel chides him gently and tells him to think positive thoughts.
Rick finds Carol outside, lugging water around. He tells her that what she did was stupid, going outside like that. He says, "You know, you do a lot for us. For the kids. You sacrifice a lot. Is there anything you wouldn't do for the people here?" She looks at him ... and then my damn DVR cuts off the last little bit. But this is where it comes out that yes, Carol killed Karen and David and burned their bodies to try to stop the infection from spreading. Because I didn't see it, I don't know if she feels badly about it or not (and "not" would be a big jump for the character - but then so is killing innocent people, I think). But at least we won't have to go through weeks and weeks of Rick doing his investigation. Now we'll just have to deal with the aftermath.
Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead
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