The Walking Dead: Isolation

Posted on October 28, 2013

TWD+S4E3+8

Norman Reedus and Danai Gurira in AMC’s The Walking Dead

Well, this is likely to be a very short review. You should consider that a good thing. The reason it’s so short is that we really don’t have any significant complaints about or criticisms for this latest episode. Without getting too gushing and optimistic, this is the Walking Dead series we’ve always been waiting for. We realize that, much like life in the zombie apocalypse, this could all go south at any second, but for now, we’re digging this newfound focus.

And “focus” is definitely the word. We’re in the middle of a story in which not only every character appears, but every character has an emotional arc they’re going through. That isn’t easy to pull off even with a modestly sized cast, but the writers are managing to do it here, with their ever-expanding one. And that’s the thing: they’re accomplishing the triple task of helping to define long-undefined characters, adding much more depth to characters that actually have some definition to them, and at the same time, defining the relatively new characters to the group. That’s a damn impressive balancing act. What makes this particularly thrilling for us is that it’s a story that has no real antagonist, unless you want to call a virus the bad guy. This is pure human struggle, and in our opinion, this type of story is far more revealing of human nature and has far more depth to it than a hundred Mad Max-style “society has collapsed into violence and rape” scenarios. It reminds us of the very best episodes of early-season Lost, when the story was less about figuring out all the mysteries of the island and more about getting the hell off of it. Our heroes aren’t facing a violent enemy, they’re facing a quiet extinction and what few of them that are left standing are scrambling like crazy to stave off what looks like the inevitable.

In addition – and maybe this is just our nerditry showing – we’re the types of viewers who need to see how the sausage is made in a world like this. This is something the show has largely avoided up till now and it’s been the cause of mounting frustration on our parts. We need to see at least some details of how people are living and managing in this setup. Prior to this season, the prison was just a backdrop and we had no real idea of how they were living in it, but we’re getting some real idea of what they’ve built there. We’re fascinated by their water system, their wheeled contraptions for distracting walkers, the hierarchy of jobs and work assignments. Obviously, we don’t want entire episodes structured around these concerns, but this episode in particular did a wonderful job of integrating them naturally into the story and underlining why they’re important. Seeing not just growing crops, but actual flower gardens in the background tells you how “civilized” this group of people have become; how much they’ve allowed themselves to hope for a better world (much like Rick and his naive belief that he wouldn’t have to strap on a gun again). Seeing that empty mess tent with all the seats for all the people who are either now dead or fighting for their lives illustrated wordlessly and perfectly how much is at stake with this group at the moment. After all, the only reason they have flower gardens and water tanks is because there’s enough of them to collectively put together and work on systems like that. If significant numbers of the prison population die off (and it would be kind of nice to know how many of them there are – 50? A hundred?), then the group is back to hardscrabble living and might be forced to move on from the site. Those are real stakes, and we find ourselves truly worried for them in a way we never were before. The character stuff is clearly working.

In other news, Carol is even more badass than previously thought, possibly bordering on a little crazy. But it seems to us, if she really did kill and burn those two people, it was of a piece with teaching kids how to use knives and plunging one into the skull of a dying man in full view of his daughters. She believes, more than any of the other main characters, even Daryl and Michonne, that hard choices need to be made in this world and hard deeds committed for the sake of survival. That is to say, if she did do it, then she did it to save the group.

We say “if,” because we’re half-convinced she’s covering for someone else; someone with hands small enough to leave a handprint that clearly isn’t an adult male’s. Hmmm.

Oh fuck it. Let’s not be coy. We think she’s covering for Carl.

Anyway, good stuff this week. We’re deeply concerned about the fates of most of the characters and for once, they’re not in danger because one or all of them did something so painfully stupid it made us want to turn the TV off.

 

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC]

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  • HobbitGirl

    Oooh, I love the Carl theory! I told my hubs last week that I thought Carol might go a little Lady Macbeth-y and was excited about it, so her killing the two people fit right in line with what I was hoping to see. But I would be even happier to find out it’s Carl who killed them, because that kid frightens me. He’s gone from a nuisance to a menace pretty quickly.

    • jen_vasm

      I thought Carl at first, too, but took Carol’s word on it. Hah, I think it’s Carl again. And I think they were dead or REALLY close to it already because of the blood mark dragline.

    • BeccaGo

      I really don’t get the Carl hate. I feel like he’s one of the few characters who’s actually got his shit together. I’d probably throw my lot in with the kid before I’d follow his dad.

      • HobbitGirl

        I don’t hate Carl now that he’s become a full character as opposed to a stone around everyone’s necks. He’s an interesting little psychopath.

  • MilaXX

    Never considered that Carol might be covering for Carl, but I not only like badass Carol, I wouldn’t even mind if she’s covering for the kid. Either way I like that she is willing to make those hard decisions.

  • bellafigura1

    OMG. I thought “Carl,” too.

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    Hmmm… covering for *Carl*, interesting! I mean, that makes sense too, and there IS speculation at other sites that she’s covering. However, most think she’s covering for Lizzie – who is also now sick. The only problem I have running around my head is how a kid – either Lizzie OR Carl – would single handedly drag out two dead bodies to set them on fire. He or she wouldn’t have to overpower them, necessarily – wait till they’re asleep or conked out from the sickness, stab them – but then the dragging. Tougher to do.

    The two times my stomach just flip-flopped from nerves – seeing Hershel get a face full of coughed up blood while attending to Dr. S, and seeing that Glenn had gotten sick. My heart just sank both times.

    • MrsAtaxxia

      I think we posted at the exact same time. I think it may have been Lizzie too. The only way i can figure it is if Lizzie killed them with those newly acquired knife skills from Carol and then Carol found the aftermath and helped with the drag-and-burn portion. It would explain the handprint and why Carol would feel guilt and the need to apologize to Tyrese but also her need to cover for the kid(s).

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        That makes a lot of sense. It would explain how a kid could have done it, without trying to figure out how two adult bodies were dragged.

      • Mismarker

        If your hypothesis is true and Carol is covering for Lizzie, then she knowingly let a murderer into the quarantine cellblock. Damn, that’s cold.

        • MrsAtaxxia

          Good call! I didn’t even think about that part. I think more than anything I suspect Lizzie because something seems so deeply off about her. I keep waiting for her to do something really, really bad. And I still think she’s the one feeding the walkers at the fence.

    • Eric Stott

      Hershel would be quite capable of a mercy killing – he’s a veterinary. A very compassionate man, but probably not squeamish about ending life if he thinks it’s right.

    • Krafty_L

      I, too, think Carol must be covering for someone. Her frustrated, angry reaction after speaking with Tyreese indicates that Carol is also upset about the burning of the bodies. She doesn’t agree with the act, but wants to protect the one who did it. If she had been the one to do it, I think she would have had a different reaction – furtive, or worried, but certainly not the outburst that she displayed.

  • MrsAtaxxia

    I think Carol is either covering for Carl or for Lizzie (or Mika?), the little girl. Something is not right with that kid – she was naming walkers at the fence, and I get the distinct feeling that FAKED being sick to get into into A Block (where all the sick are being quarantined), I have no idea why she would do such a thing, but there is something..wonky there.

    • MilaXX

      The little girl faked bring sick? Nah not buying that.

    • Mismarker

      I also thought she was faking to get in the cellblock and thought, by episode’s end, she would be caught killing someone who hadn’t yet succumbed to the illness. There is something supremely effed up about that girl.

  • toastedink

    No. All of this is Carol. She is doing it for the “good of the group”. She couldn’t save her daughter so she is trying to save everyone else. That and it goes against TV logic. Everyone on that show has had a moment of crazy with the exception of Carol…. its her turn to ride the crazy train.

    • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

      Also, from a dramatic standpoint, the little scene where Carol is coldly putting people in quarantine means less if Carl did it. Second, if Carol didn’t do it, the scene with Tyrese is meaningless. Third, they’ve done a pretty good job establishing that, whatever Carl’s level of crazy, he doesn’t fart without telling Rick immediately.

      • toastedink

        And she was really scared about Carl telling Rick about teaching the kids weapons training.

      • BeccaGo

        Dead on (to coin a phrase). I’m calling Occam’s Razor: Carol says she did it, she did it. She’s not covering for everyone. The show’s not smart enough to get that complicated.

  • Sobaika

    Diggin the Carl theory.

    But if it was Carol – I wonder. Were they already dead/zombifying when she dragged them off? Or did she take two ill humans, maim them, and burn them alive? That is a load of crazy. A lot of survival instinct, but crazy.

    I love the actress. I had a feeling it was her when she broke down and knocked over the water barrel. There’s a bunch of guilt that must come with murdering two people for the good of the group and still failing at keeping them safe.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      That’s the same thing I’ve been wondering all along..were they already dead, or did she straight up kill them? I’m not sure why she would kill them when they were already isolated.

      • wisdomy

        My guess is that they were close enough to dead that she felt it was inevitable. I don’t believe she’d have killed two people who she thought had a shot at getting better, after they were already in isolation. But she absolutely killed them, because if all she did was burn the already-dead bodies of plague victims, she’d have nothing to feel badly about. They should be burning ALL the bodies.

        • tereliz

          “They should be burning ALL the bodies.” I feel this way for a lot of reasons, most of all because who knows what kind of health hazards that might cause, but also because it’s a huge waste of time and manpower. Graves are for the living, the dead don’t give a shit.

  • DonnaHC

    I think Carol did it and she’s not sorry. To save the whole, she attempted to stop the spread of the virus. Just like fixing the water issue today not tomorrow, even if Rick wouldn’t help her. She has taken on the role of protecting the entire community, maybe like she couldn’t protect her daughter.

    • Mismarker

      Poor Carol. I think she will be the one to suffer most from the whole “can we ever come back from the things we’ve done?” theme that’s going on this season.

    • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

      I think she is sorry. She would not have been sorry if it worked, but as it stands. It was futile on top of inhumane.

      • wisdomy

        I think she’s sorry for differing values of “sorry.” You can feel sadness and regret without thinking you necessarily did the wrong thing.

    • Darren Nesbitt

      Well when Rick saw a bloody hand print low on the door I assumed that THEY KILLED THEMSELVES. I imagine them making a near death decision to go outside and light themselves up.

  • MilaXX

    A few thing s I wonder about. Since they knew that getting medical supplies has always been a challenge, why has Hershel not been growing a natural path herb garden all along? To my mind it goes along with the other civilization making plans like planting gardens and creating a water system,
    Why does the so called counsel still look to Rick as a leader of sorts?

    • Sobaika

      Speaking of – Carol is on the council. I suspect there will be a rebellion of sorts when what she did comes to light.

      Either that or the excommunicate her, Survivor-style.

      • MilaXX

        Depends on whether rick has the balls to say something.

    • ShaoLinKitten

      Maybe he doesn’t know jack about herbs. Many doctors do not. As for Carol, I think that people are going to be split on her actions. Many will agree that it was the right choice, though the fact that it did not prevent the outbreak will not help her case. Tyrese is going to be baying for blood, and good luck holding him back. I have no idea why anyone looks to Rick for anything anymore. His beating of Tyrese was way out of line and out of control. He was not going to stop punching even when restrained. WTF?

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        I’m not saying that Rick hasn’t been riding the train to Crazy Town on again, off again, but remember, Tyrese went after Daryl. I don’t like our group giving the beat down amongst themselves, but there was a point when Tyrese was about to punch out Daryl – that was when Rick pulled him off and the whole thing started. And I’d imagine with a guy as big as Tyrese, a skinny guy like Rick had better get in a few extra punches or so to calm things down.

        • ShaoLinKitten

          I think he went way further than he needed to. When Daryl pulled him off, half a dozen punches had been thrown, and he wasn’t at all ready to stop. So much for Give Peace a Chance Rick.

          • NYCGlamourpuss

            Yeah, no doubt Rick was getting his beat on, BUT… it’s one of those things where Rick went too far, but on the other hand, Tyrese could have snapped him like a breadstick. No right or wrong on either of their parts – it was uncomfy to watch.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            Except that Tyrese was in deep grief that his lover was murdered and burned. That’s the proximate cause of his flip out. What’s Rick’s excuse? Except that they all have PTSD, but if you’re going to be the leader, you have to rein that urge in.

          • NYCGlamourpuss

            Rick doesn’t really NEED an excuse – none of them do. Some people keep their shit together in a ZA, and some don’t. I think we’ve seen that Rick has his moments of “some don’t”. It’s not like he needs a note from the doctor as for why he flipped out.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            If he’s going to be the self-styled leader and he doesn’t want to turn into the Governor, he needs to not beat the everloving crap out of someone else who is having a normal grief reaction. God knows how many beat downs he would have received if he got one every time he wigged out due to his own grief.

          • NYCGlamourpuss

            Okay, so obviously we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one, but all I can do is repeat my last point – dude has gone round the bend plenty of times. You’re asking a person who’s going nutty to just snap it on and off like a light switch, according to the appropriate situation. That would be great if he could just do that; it would be great if we all could do that. Some can and some can’t. That’s the only point I’m trying to make here.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            My issues are this:
            1. Rick is abusing his power. In the Ricktatorship, Rick gets to excessively beat the crap out of the new guy. What if Tyrese did to Rick what Rick did to him? Not the same response ( zero response), I’m thinking. The way that no one calls him out on anything drives me nuts. What was the blowback for the decision to hand over Michonne, him and the 3 other white guys he consulted? Nada. That is both frustrating and not particularly true to life.
            2. If Rick is nutty, why is so much power still invested in him? Does he not realize he’s a nutbag? It seems like he does, but still chooses to wield all that power. And clearly everyone else notices too, but, see #1 on this list.
            3. Is it me, or does Rick seem to do a disproportionate amount of the excessive violence in this group? As well as making a lot of bad decisions? He is going to be hard pressed to say anything to Carol about her bash and burn, considering some of the things he’s done.

            Overall, I am really done with Rick as a character. He’s poorly written and utterly hateable. The show would be better off killing him off and starting over with the power vacuum, the show how the group would coalesce around a new leader.

          • NYCGlamourpuss

            ‘Kay, got it.

          • Trickytrisha

            1. It’s clear this is no longer a dictatorship – the council was formed to make the decisions.
            2. Mental issues can come and go, depending on circumstance. Rick’s apparently been relatively stable in the months that happened between seasons, playing Farmer Rick. The recent crisis was bound to stir him up. As for being a “nutbag” and wielding all that power – like I said in number one, he chose to step away from the “my way or the highway” thing AND is handling his issues in a more stable manner.
            3. Well, he’s ex-police. Some do tend toward physical solutions to problems, but I can’t say that I’ve seen him being excessively violent, until this last episode when both he and Tyreese went batshit on each other.

            Let’s face it… you don’t like Rick, don’t understand him, you want him dead and off the show. I take exception with the poorly written and hateable stuff, but it’s your opinion. I can’t imagine TWD without him.

          • NYCGlamourpuss

            Jesus, thank you. I was going around in circles with “let’s agree to disagree” just because of a different opinion!

            As for wanting Rick off the show, I agree with you – I like him, and it wouldn’t be TWD without him. And let’s face it, at the end of this series, Rick is going to go the way of Jack Shepherd – the main guy will be the last one killed off in the series finale. Like him or don’t like him, he’s here to stay.

      • MilaXX

        I’m not saying Hershel in particular, he was pretty useless when it came to quarantining the animals. He’s not even the official doctor.

      • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

        There was no “right side” of that fight. It was an expression of animal rage for both of them. One lost to woman he loved; the other lost the illusion that his struggle years were over. They weren’t even fighting each other. They were punching reality.

        • NYCGlamourpuss

          This was the point I was trying to make before, exactly!

      • Nonmercisansfacon

        Did you somehow miss the 2 punches that Tyrese threw out *first* and his already increasing violent behavior with Daryl? Or are those 2 violent punches normal behavior to you and Rick should have just let a brawny guy like Tyrese punch his gried out on him?

        • ShaoLinKitten

          Did I miss them? What do you think? Once you have a guy down on the ground and have punched him a couple three times, you can stop. You don’t have to keep pounding so that you have to be dragged off, still wanting to punch more. As for if Tyrese’s behavior is normal, no. I don’t think he is normally like that, but his lover was just killed in a really horrible way and he was freaking out. I think once he was down, that was enough. It was a recreational beating after that point.

          • Nonmercisansfacon

            “I don’t think he is normally like that”. If you can say that than I wonder if you even bothered to watch last season. Because we already have clues about Tyrese’s rage and issue with violence. He pummelled a guy (one of the governor’s men) almost to death.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            Are you talking about the fight with Allen? There was a hell of a lot of backstory there that led up to that, firstly. That wasn’t a comparable situation to this. Rage issues? Who doesn’t have rage issue on this show? Tyreese has them. Rick sure has them. I stick to my original answer: Tyreese isn’t normally like this. If you push him, he will throw down. Rick doesn’t even really need much of a push.

          • Nonmercisansfacon

            “Who doesn’t have rage issue in this…”Apparently, only Rick doesn’t get to have rage issue! And no matter the backstory, the way Tyrese pummelled that guy was something scary to watch, for Sasha, even for him. He was close to dropping him in the pit filled with Walkers. But I guess that’s totally fine since they had bad blood between them right?!

          • ShaoLinKitten

            So go ahead and point out where I said it was totally fine.

            ::Crickets::

            Right. I said it was a different scenario. There was much more build up and provocation than there was in this situation. It was scary to watch, yes, but it wasn’t bizarre to me or out of the blue. I wasn’t left thinking, “Wow, WTF is Tyreese’s problem?” I knew exactly what his problem was in both situations. I’m not saying it’s OK. I’m just saying, I wouldn’t characterize him as a person prone to random, excessive violent outbursts.

            However, the same cannot be said of Rick. The extent of this beating seems out of left field. He snapped for reasons that are not readily apparent to me, and there was no indication he was going to stop with the beating any time soon. Was that reaction at all built up to or justified?

            Also remember that Rick is basically the president of this society. Tyreese is not. He has to be held to a higher standard.

          • Nonmercisansfacon

            Well I obviously disagree on your characterization of the fight with Allen. It was needlessly brutal. Even after he had the upper hand, Tyrese kept on punching. He was close to murder. My first thought watching this was indeed “WTF is wrong with that guy”, until then I remembered the Tyrese of the comics and his rage issues. The rather thin scenario (envy, bitterness from Allen’s part about Tyrese’s authority) did nothing to change the brutality of the beating. Heck, Tyrese was the leader of their own little group of survivors, shouldn’t he have been above that???

            And Rick isn’t the sole and offical leader of the prison anymore. He handed the power to the council when he went crazy. He recognized it himself. So I don’t get it when you say “if Rick is nutty, why is so much power still invested in him? Does he not realize he’s a nutbag? It seems like he does, but still chooses to wield all that power.” Were the first 2 episodes of this season not clear enough to you? How many times and in how many ways did they have to convey that Rick stepped out, didn’t want to have any responsability anymore, except that of a farmer (he doesn’t even go on runs anymore)?! And yet, Daryl, Hershel, even Carol kept asking him to get back on it. Even Tyrese’s first reaction is to demand that Rick as a leader and a cop deal *right freaking now*, at the exact second that they are standing near the bodies, with the issue.

            As for the reasons for Rick snapping out, what I saw of the scene: Tyrese in his grief is lashing out (which is not the first time we’ve seen in do that) in a violent manner, attacking Daryl, attacking Rick (who are trying to calm him down). Rick, who is an already sensitive nutjob reacts and lashes back, not pulling any punches, even after getting the upper hand, because he punches to kill. Because this is the automatism in this new world, you fight to death.

            And may I ask, except when he went completly crazy with his own grief, when has Rick lashed out without any provocation?

          • ShaoLinKitten

            I haven’t read the comics. I thought the beating of Allen was super violent and scary but not way out of the blue. This beating seemed out of the blue to me.

            Rick stepped out of power? I know he SAYS that, but it doesn’t appear to be ACTUALLY true. If he was really out, then he would make it much more clear to them that he’s not up to it, and tell them why. This “reluctant sheriff dons the badge” story line is very tiresome.

            Tyreese was lashing out. True. I don’t think his actions justify being punched to the death, and you appear to have made my point for me: if Rick is so crazy and so close to the end of murder (your implication), then he has no business leading anything. He’s obviously very dangerous. At least Tyreese requires some severe provocation for his excessive outbursts of violence–death of a woman he loves. Rick? Apparently getting hit with one punch is enough.

            This goes to the larger question–is this finally going to be the death of society? We have Rick, who by all accounts was a decent guy before this, totally losing it. If punching people to death is the new normal for him, he’s far gone. Carol, a sweet mom, killing sick people and burning them. Beth shrugging at the death of her boyfriend. Carl shooting people. If these people are losing it, what hope is there?

          • Nonmercisansfacon

            Tyrese did NOT require severe provocation to almost beat someone to death and push him in a pit fulled of freaking Walkers! Rick was punched 2 times, which is more than Allen punched Tyrese! What, you think Allen questioning his authority and blocking him from leaving was enough justification for his near-murder? Which is my whole point. Both Tyrese and Rick are violent-prone individuals. We already had proof of that about Tyrese (which you can’t even bother to deny anymore), we had proof of that about Rick last night.

            And what, you don’t think NOT being in a deciding council, only occupying yourself with farming duties and NOT wearing a gun (in a zombie-infested world) for more than a month is a sign of stepping out of power? What did he need to do to prove to you that he stepped out, an official letter of resignation?! He told them, in many clear ways why. He wants to take care of his family, the strain of responsability made him crazy after the death of his wife and blinded him to the fact that his son was turning into a cold-blooded psychopath. He told that to Hershel and Daryl at least 2 times in the first episodes. Are we even watching the same show?

            There is no hope in the Walking Dead world.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            Wow, you are really, really putting a lot of words in my mouth. Justification? Where did I say that? More crickets. I am merely saying (I will repeat once more): it did not seem out of the blue to me! Do you remember the entirety of what went down with Allen and Tyreese? We are meant to understand there was a lot of simmering resentment between them that went far back, before Tyreese’s group appeared on the show. What was saw as the endgame between them. That seemed clear to me–that fight was the outburst built up to for a long time. Doesn’t mean I endorse what Tyreese did. It merely seemed adequately contextualized.

            Ditto Tyreese’s lash out against Rick. Remember when Rick turned out Tyreese’s group, which is how they wound up with the Governor? I would have serious, deep anger at Rick too under those circumstances. Then, his inadequate response (in Tyreese’s mind) to Karen’s death brought all that anger to the surface. Again, not out of the blue.

            Again, I repeat: the “reluctant sheriff dons the badge” theme has been apparent this season. Did you not read when I wrote that? He is RELUCTANT, but he’s going to do it. Basically, I find very little redeeming about this character anymore. They’ve written him into a miserable mental patient. I’d love to see them Ned Stark him and give us a new scenario. Won’t happen though.

          • Nonmercisansfacon

            “Tyrese requires some severe provocation for his excessive outbursts of violence”. This is a justification. And a bad one to boot. That Tyrese only attacks when provoked, Rick does not, he attacks at the slightest provocation. Except Allen did not severely provoke Tyrese. There have been resentment brewing on Allen’s part, disagreement over Tyrese’s leadership sure but nothing like 2 punches thrown at him. Nothing to justify Tyrese almost punching him to death and almost throwing him to the Walkers. You may repeat that is was ‘contextualized’ it doesn’t erase the fact that it was proof that Tyrese was someone prone to excessive violence. Tyrese’s answer in grief is Rick’s answer in grief: violence (remember how it was grief talking that made Rick turn out their group???). The issue is not that it (the fight with Allen) is out of the blue, it’s the brutality of it. And Rick’s fight with Tyrese would have been ‘contextualized’ enough (guy throws you a punch, is being aggressive with you and your friend, you punch him back), if he didn’t keep on beating him brutally, even when he was down (JUST LIKE TYRESE DID)!

            It is clear that you have a firm, irreversible, obtuse view of Rick that makes you interpret everything he does, in a certain way. It is a waste of my time to further point out the short sightedness of your argument regarding the fight. Rick reacted exactly the same way Tyrese reacted to Allen. If for you, 2 punches from an out-of-control grieving heavily muscled man is not context enough but a couple of comments/scenes about Allen’s grudging bitterness about Tyrese’s authority is enough context, there is no hope.And I don’t even like Rick that much.

            Also these are your exact words: “Rick stepped out of power? I know he SAYS that, but it doesn’t appear to be ACTUALLY true. If he was really out, then he would make it much more clear to them that he’s not up to it, and tell them why.”. 1) He actually stepped out of power for more than 30 days (see all the things I enumerated before). 2) He told them why. Except they keep telling him they’re giving him space but he’s needed and asked him to regain some power. And we don’t know as of now, if and how he will do it (the council is still the one making the decisions about quarantine, etc.).

          • ShaoLinKitten

            I don’t appreciate being called “obtuse” because I disagree with you, especially when you keep putting words in my mouth. It’s uncalled for in a discussion about a fictional character. You seem insistent that your view of Rick is the only right one. It’s not.

            The difference between what Rick did to Tyreese and what Tyreese did to Allen is that the bad blood with Allen goes way back. Let’s review, since you seem to be forgetting: Allen wanted to kill Rick et al and take over the prison–a dangerous, homicidal plan doomed to failure. Then he wanted Tyreese to go forward with another murderous plan to kill people from Rick’s group by feeding them to walkers, which is why he and Tyreese fought. Dangling Allen over the walker pit was certainly a good way to get him to understand the inhumanity of what they were being asked to do, what he was more than willing to do. In addition, there was some romantic triangle between them. This you write off as “Allen questions Tyreese’s leadership.” HARDLY. It was well contextualized and more than adequately built up to.

            Between Rick and Tyreese, all the bad blood would be on Tyreese’s side, and it really wasn’t even. Tyreese stuck up for Rick and his group several times to the Governor, despite his unceremonious ousting. So Rick’s complete flip out, unlike Tyreese’s IS TOTALLY WITHOUT CONTEXT OR RATIONALE. It’s just “hey, got punched, gonna break my hand on this guy’s face and not stop.” That’s the sum of it. This doesn’t make you think that Rick is way over the top?

            But this has made me wonder if maybe the dysfunction here is larger than Rick. These people keep coming back to him to lead them, despite his many complete freak outs, violent outbursts, and bad decisions. You would think they would be giving him a wide berth, but they cannot help craving his leadership. And he’s going to take it back, there seems little question of that, which is why it’s the tired old “reluctant sheriff dons badge” story. Now, is this just bad writing, that none of these other, more competent individuals are willing or able to fill his shoes? Or are these people intentionally written to be pathetically dependent on Rick for leadership in a crisis? If so, why?

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            You don’t get to say this:

            “I don’t appreciate being called “obtuse” because I disagree with you, especially when you keep putting words in my mouth. It’s uncalled for in a discussion about a fictional character. You seem insistent that your view of Rick is the only right one. It’s not.”

            And then follow it up with this:

            “The difference between what Rick did to Tyreese and what Tyreese did to Allen is that the bad blood with Allen goes way back. Let’s review, since you seem to be forgetting:”

            You’ve more than held your own with the snarkiness (“Crickets”) and obnoxious dismissal of other people’s points. It’s disingenuous to act like you’re hurt now.

            I think it’s past time to let this one go.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            “Wow, you are really, really putting a lot of words in my mouth. Justification? Where did I say that? More crickets.”

            You don’t actually have to say the word “justification” in order to justify something, which is what you’re doing all over this argument.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            There is a difference between contextualizing and justifying. I’m not actually arguing about who’s more violent, or who is a better person. This is more of a meta-analysis of which violent act shocked me more as a viewer. I felt there was a ton of tension and build up between Tyreese and Allen. I knew something was going to happen. But the fight between Rick and Tyreese, and the extremity of Rick’s reaction, really surprised me. All seemed well between them until Karen’s death. I thought that Rick of all people would understand why Tyreese wigged out, but he seemed not to. Then he broke his hand on the guy’s face. So that is my point– I was really surprised by that, and it made me think Rick was really crazy. Tyreese’s violence made me think that he was a person capable of extreme violence, but not unexpected acts of violence.

            It also seems to me like the viewer is supposed to think of Rick as a flawed hero, a good guy, someone to be admired despite his shortcomings. But recently, he’s been written more as a psychically deteriorated mess. The beating of Tyreese supports that. This is why I am not sure why the group keeps turning to him. Is this intentional–are we supposed to think that they are unable to cope in a crisis without his leadership? Or that they are blind to his deterioration?

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            “There is a difference between contextualizing and justifying.”

            Only to the person doing it. To the people debating them, there’s no difference whatsoever.

            As I said, I think it’s long past time to let this go. It’s going around in circles and no one has changed their mind on anything.

        • NYCGlamourpuss

          Bingo.

  • section 34

    I like that Carol is getting more definition, but dragging out two adults and burning them? How does nobody hear that? Moreover, how is she not infected.

    • MrsAtaxxia

      If Carol did do it, no one heard it because they were quarantined in A Block, which Daryl called “Death Row.” At that point they weren’t using it cause you know, creepy, also when Karen and the guy from Decatur were killed they were the only two in there, which is why I think no one noticed until Tyrese went in to give Karen flowers and found the burned corpses.

  • tereliz

    “We’re deeply concerned about the fates of most of the characters and for once, they’re not in danger because one or all of them did something so painfully stupid it made us want to turn the TV off.”

    YES! I’m so glad this show is finally making me care about what’s happening. I’m not sold that Carol is covering for Carl, but they both have the proper motivation and ability to compartmentalize when it comes to doing what’s “best” for the group. So I could see it. I’m just happy they didn’t just pull some Woodburyite out of the woodwork who happens to be a psycho-killer. The emphasis on how much the prison has become a community felt so shoved in our faces I was worried that this was to set up an eventual “snake in the grass”. Glad that “snake” was Carol instead.

    Loved the scenes with Maggie and her sister through the closed door. Their actions said as much about their dad as they did about them, and I just about gagged when Dr. S spewed blood all over Hershel. The scenes with Ty and Sasha talking through the glass mirrored those scenes beautifully. I was worried at first that Sasha was a goner (she comes out of the cell-block coughing right after Ty and Larry Gilliard’s character’s scene where they BOTH HAVE DIALOGUE! Can you blame me for being worried about her?), but Michonne and the others WILL get back with meds in time. They just HAVE to! AARRRGGGHH!!

    *sigh* Good episode. :)

    • BeccaGo

      Not only did Sasha survive the episode, THREE black characters shared a significant amount of screen time without any of them getting killed off! I’m so proud of our little writers; they’re growing up so fast! *sniff* :D

      • Trickytrisha

        Yeah, but it sure looked like Tyreese was a goner after he finally exited the car and got surrounded by the walkers. It was a huge relief to see him come out through the trees, but will be interesting to see if he was nibbled on or escaped with no injury by the zombie mob.

        Surely the show’s producers are aware that their viewing public are a tad tired of the whole ” any black man isn’t long for this world” thing in the show.

  • ShaoLinKitten

    My complaints are the usual: another car accident on a mostly empty road? Though I did love the image of the car slipping for traction on a pile of corpses. That made it worth the stupidity of the usually awesome Daryl. Next, really, every single shot is a head shot? Do the writers not know how hard it is to make a called head shot, especially on a moving target, esp. under duress… EVERY SINGLE TIME. It bugs me every time it happens.

    Does Hershel have a death wish? Why was he so sanguine about being around sick people, getting blood coughed in his face, and going out into the woods alone? Something is up with him.

    • Mismarker

      I thought only Lori would be dumb enough to hit a walker in the middle of the road. Oh, Daryl. Interesting radio transmission, though!

      • Inspector_Gidget

        Yes, the transmission. It’s the French Chick from Lost!

        • Sobaika

          I thought it might be Boone on the other side of the island.

        • Mismarker

          Dammit. They’re gonna need Shannon to “translate”.

    • TropiCarla

      That was the only thing about the episode that bugged me. SERIOUSLY, Darryl? It took you that friggin long to put the car in reverse? You had to wait until 20 walkers were banging on the car?

      I was so mad … you shouldn’t survive dumb shit like that in an apocalypse. So you crashed into 4 or 5 walkers on the road. Then you stopped in alarm when you saw 40–7500 ahead of you. OBVIOUSLY you have to immediately go backwards. How is that a 2–3 minute decision?! SIGH

      Besides that — great episode! LOVE the tension. Love crazy Carol, or covering for crazy kids Carol. Love badass Tyrese, even though it took him too long to get out of the car. Do not love other vaguely disturbing recovering alcoholic guy.

      • ShaoLinKitten

        Agreed! That whole car situation was totally played for extra drama, dumbing down a character we love for his smarts and his survival skills. And THAT, ladies and gents, summarizes what I hate most about this show. The fact that character development goes out the window for plot convenience very single time. This is the same ailment that plagued LOST, btw.

    • KirFla

      Why are they not driving an off-road vehicle!? WTH.

      • tereliz

        Gas mileage?

      • MilaXX

        speed. They said Zach’s car was the fastest. I think they were more concerned with getting to a very far place and back as quickly as possible because of how rapidly the virus kills.

        • Nice_Shirt

          Who is Zach? Am I just blanking on a character here?

          • MilaXX

            Zach was the guy from ep 1 that Beth kissed before he went on the grocery store run where all the zombies were falling from the ceiling. He died saving stupid new character Bob when the shelving collapsed. Darryl went and told Beth and she was like {{shrug}} okay.

          • Nice_Shirt

            Ah, a “one and done” character. Thank you.

    • Inspector_Gidget

      Some of the editing during action sequences was a little confusing. It was hard to figure out how they got into the middle of a herd without seeing any of them, even if they were distracted by the radio. Also, that scene were Carol is trying to clear the water hose and Rick is yelling at her to run, it was a bit confusing how far there were to each other, in relation to the fence, etc.

      I think some of the reason actions like these look dumb is because of not-crystal-clear editing.

    • marlie

      That was something that bothered me, too. For a couple of moments before Daryl lost control of the car, I kept saying to the bf “why is he not looking where he’s going? He’s not looking at the road!” It bugged.

      • MilaXX

        I was okay with that part. They were distracted by the radio and what sounded like someone on said radio.

        • marlie

          It was even before then, but you do have a point. And that’s also something that bugs me about almost every TV show/movie that features someone driving. They ALWAYS spend unrealistic amounts of time NOT looking where they’re driving. Maybe I should suspend my disbelief and just enjoy the show. ;)

        • ShaoLinKitten

          The driver does not need to screw with the radio when there is a passenger in the front. It’s flat out insane to do it on a road where there are zombie hordes.

          • tereliz

            LOL, agreed, but that was at least one of the few TOO STUPID TO LIVE moments in the episode. Usually there are many more. ;)

          • ShaoLinKitten

            Damning with faint praise! That’s what this show does to us– we love episodes where the characters only make three horrendous errors that ought to kill them.

          • MilaXX

            I’m fanwanking the shock of getting a signal with what appeared to be a live person on the other end.

          • Mismarker

            Dollars to donuts, that transmission is going to play a part in the story this season.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            It blows my vision of Daryl as relatively unflappable, esp in matters of survival.

          • MilaXX

            In an otherwise pretty interesting ep. I can give it a tiny pass as long as Darryl doesn’t start doing more dumb stuff.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            I also may be fanwanking a bit– the hottest part about Daryl for me is his competence. Well, that and his biceps.

  • mjude

    I just love this show. it was just stressful to watch last night. I gasped when we saw that glen was sick. tyrese surrounded. Herschel & the Dr. Maggie & her sister. Rick & Carol. & on & on.
    I do have to vent about the talking dead (which I love) but Marilyn mason pissed me off the entire show making his stupid comments & what ever. I always learn a bit from that show but he was so damn distracting.

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      I tweeted last night to the Talking Dead, “Please tell Marilyn Manson to shut up and let other guests get a word in edgewise.” He is hands down the most annoying guest that show has ever had. I loved towards the end of the show when the host was just flat out telling him, “I don’t understand anything you’ve been talking about this whole time.”

      • Mismarker

        Chris Hardwick said that?? That is awesome. I had to turn off the show after MM started talking about “criminal ears”. A true WTF moment.

        • NYCGlamourpuss

          Not only that, but I could have sworn I saw Jack Osborne roll his eyes at the Manson babble at least once. I never had any kind of opinion on Jack Osborne one way or the other (although I fucking love Kelly), but he could be the second Osborne child I just fell in love with.

      • KirFla

        Yes Yes Yes! What an a hole. I wish Kevin Smith was always the guest.

        • AutumnInNY

          He’s a great guest, he knows the show and astutely contributes to the conversation. I wish they would book more of the actors/writers/directors tho on the show than some of these celebrity guests. I’d rather see 2 WD people on the couch and one guest than the way its been of late.

      • MilaXX

        I wished they hadn’t fixed hi microphone.

      • mjude

        thank you for tweeting that! I am going to try to email the talking dead. I also thought he was so rude to the PRODUCER of the show (cant remember her name.) she was the most important guest. I was a bit irritated by jack’s comments but he could have been trying to defuse stupid MM

        • NYCGlamourpuss

          I know, he kept talking over Gale Anne Hurd! Bitch, you don’t cut off and interrupt “Gale To the Anne To the Hurd”! Sit your has-been ass down and shut the hell up, bitch!

          • Mismarker

            I understand he has been on Talking Dead before and wonder if his previous outing was also much maligned and, therefore, buzz worthy. If so, expect him to make another appearance next year. #ididitallfortheratings

      • Mismarker

        Your tweet (and the, no doubt, hundreds like it) may be have the impetus for him saying that at the end. Hardwick is all about the Twitter and hyper-aware of how he and his shows are being perceived by the audience.

    • YoungSally

      I started watching TD last night and got about five minutes when Manson went all biblical community college philosophy seminar and said — okay time to watch something else. They really need to pull that show back into a 30 minute timeframe….an hour is too long.

  • imakeart

    I said last week I thought it was Carl. The story is immensely more interesting if it is.

    To those who watched Talking Dead… was Marilyn Manson just sad, or what?

    • Mismarker

      He was absolutely inscrutable and painful to watch.

    • BayTampaBay

      Very Sad. I even wondered if he had watched any of the show being so out in left field as he was.

      • jjtxgrrl

        I dunno about sad….I think he’s a HUGE NARCISSIST…. And like to hear himself talk.
        Ugh. Soooooo annoying!!

    • MrsAtaxxia

      Permanent drug damage, it ain’t pretty.

      • TropiCarla

        Exactly what I told my husband … “This is your brain – on drugs.”

        He was incoherent and disruptive and Hardwick was clearly annoyed. I would love to hear reports of the post-show conversation. lol

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      Sad? You’re being too kind. He was an all out knucklehead.

    • Saturnine

      Turned it off. I have no idea why he came off that way, I just knew I couldn’t sit through it.

    • MilaXX

      Worse guest ever. Half his comments were complete nonsense. Even typically kind Chris Hardwick was snarking at his comments by the end.

    • Shelley

      I’m late to the commentary game this week, but you are SO right. Marilyn Manson was WAY out there. I loved Chris Hardwick’s reaction to most of Manson’s comments. The expressions on his face were PRICELESS! I was a little disappointed. I’m not a Manson fan, but when I saw he was going to be a guest, I was hoping he would contradict the stereotypes people have of him and be really insightful and interesting. Instead, he was nonsensical.

  • Jeannie Shmina Greenwald

    Not sure it this has been mentioned, but could Carol be covering for Maggie’s sister? That girl’s not right. “We all have a job to do,” she kept repeating, the camera focussing on the vacant look in her eyes. Previous episodes have portrayed her as almost pathologically pragmatic. Remember in the first episode when her friend (that guy) was killed, and didn’t come back? When she was told about it, she displayed an ‘oh well,’ attitude. She’s definitely been shown as lacking emotion, and being quite focussed on ‘we all have jobs to do here,’ which could translate to her killing two infected people to save the group, and possibly, the smaller, bloody handprint.

    • Saturnine

      I don’t know; she’d have to put down the baby.

      • Mismarker

        They could have found a Baby Bjorn on a supply run.

        • TropiCarla

          LOL!

          An ERGO would have been easier – she could do a back-carry. ;-)

          • Saturnine

            LOVED the back-carry. Plus, it frees the hands for sticks and fighting.

          • Mismarker

            Ha! True. And Baby Judith wouldn’t have had to witness the murders or get splattered with infected blood.

    • tereliz

      Nah, Beth is focused on keeping the baby safe. I don’t think it would even occur to her to kill sick people. If anything, she’s trying to hold it all together the only way she knows how after losing so much. I think the “oh, well” attitude she took when that guy in ep 1 was killed was a mask to hide how much losing people still hurts her. So she focuses on the only sign of hope she sees–Judith–and makes a mantra out of her father’s words to keep herself going. I get it. She’s not as strong or as cold as she wants to pretend she is.

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        Right, this exactly. During her second “We all have our jobs to do” speech, she had tears running down her face. She’s not as unaffected or matter-of-fact as she wants others to think she is.

    • MilaXX

      I think this is more of Beth’s journey. Just like when the acceptance of her boyfriend Zach not returning from the grocery store run, this shows Beth accepting the hardships of living n the ZA and not getting bogged down with sentimentality when there are things that need to be done to survive.

  • Angela_the_Librarian

    We ended up flipping back and forth between this and the World Series last night, so I think that may have lost some of the momentum of the episode for me (will need to watch again). I graded it around a B+, but your review makes me think I may have missed something.

    As far as the scorched bodies, I’m not sure if Carl would have been physically strong enough to drag two full-grown bodies all that way. It certainly would make for a nice twist to his new, seemingly calmer persona, but not sure if it’s really plausible (though plausibility has never stood in the way of story on the Walking Dead!)

    I think the best scene last night was the zombie face off with Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese (who I still call “Coach” due to his character in Left 4 Dead), and the medic guy. The sheer number of zombies in that region is insane! I’m not sure how well they are going to get through all that on foot.

  • Saturnine

    Whether Carol is a killer or “coverer” is a neat storyline. At first it seems like the simplest explanation makes the most sense: Carol had motive (keeping the community safe) and means (strength to drag) to kill them. But the actual method seems more juvenile (lots of blood from the actual killing, then dragging, then setting on fire). I would think Carol would be more, oh, . . . economical. I think it would be a much larger leap for Carol to kill people who were suffering yet alive than for Carl (who already killed the unarmed kid in the woods, if I recall correctly). I’m not sure what direction that leap cuts, though. Killer? Coverer? Killer? . . .

    • BeccaGo

      But there’s no reason to believe Carl even knew they were down there. The quarantine was a council decision and the council meeting was interrupted by Karen and Tyreese. Unless they made a general announcement afterwards, those 7 + David-From-The-Decatur-Group (God rest his soul) were the only ones who were in on it.

  • marlie

    I watched my first episode ever (since the very first one), and I didn’t have nightmares, so there’s that. The prison complex was really fascinating, although I also asked the bf a couple of times how many people lived there and he couldn’t give me an answer.

    What I found the most chilling, though, was the way that the old guy (sorry, I don’t really know most characters’ names) & Carl were so nonchalant about the walker coming towards them while they were in the woods. It was chilling in the way they were so nonchalant and casual about this monster being just feet away, and simply saying “ok, I think we’re done here, let’s go.” It’s horrifying to think that their world has devolved so much that having a zombie standing mere feet away *doesn’t* inspire a panicked flight response.

    I get that they’re all used to the zombies now, but as a first-time viewer, that was one of the most edge-of-my-seat, nail-biting moments of the episode for me. (That, and when Carol was trying to fix the water pump on the outside of the prison enclosure).

  • Saturnine

    I’m worried about Glen. :-/

  • krelnick

    If Carol was covering for someone, I don’t think she would have had the reaction she had after talking with Tyrese. And I would like to add that Rick is kind of a jerkwad. He only punched Tyrese when he was being held by Daryl and then kicked him when he was down. Schmuck.

    • ShaoLinKitten

      I could not agree more.

  • Mismarker

    Minor quibble. I really hope they are getting anti-virals, not antibiotics.

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      Well, I think the problem is, they’re going to have to get whatever they can get, whatever they can find. They’re on foot right now – they may not be able to get anything.

      • Mismarker

        They can grab all the antibiotics in the world but those antibiotics will not treat a virus. Again, minor quibble. I will now go back to suspending my disbelief!

        • tereliz

          I think they’re just trying to treat the symptoms–like high fever–since Hershel thinks that is what is killing people.

          • Mismarker

            : ) Got it. My original comment was really just a jab at the general misunderstanding that antibiotics are the answer for whatever ails you. Whatever they get could be helpful in other ways.

          • marlie

            I feel your pain. I’ve had to explain to people I know that antibiotics and antivirals DON’T treat the same thing, and the way they actually work in the body are completely different. So taking an antibiotic for a viral condition could just result in a waste of the antibiotic.

          • Mismarker

            Well, more than being wasteful, taking an antibiotic unnecessarily leads to antibiotic resistance and the growth of “superbugs” like MRSA.

          • marlie

            Of course, that too (and more importantly). I was thinking more in terms of the show, in which resources are already limited.

          • Mismarker

            I was speaking in terms of both the show and the real world. We’re on the same team! Disclaimer: I am not an infectious disease doc or a vet. I am a registered nurse in an acute care setting.

          • marlie

            Oh – no worries! And my cred is limited to doing number-crunching for ID docs/researchers (I was an epidemiologist in a previous life).

        • NYCGlamourpuss

          I do see your point, but again, they’re in a “beggars can’t be choosy” situation. Plus, prior survivors in the area may have already cleaned out the pharmacies.

      • Isabel

        If medications are expired, they can change chemical composition and kill people anyway!

        • FunButNutz

          An expired medication does not spontaneously turn into something else. The medication can degrade…so in the case of pills the expiration date is the point where 97% of the drug is still in it’s active form. For injectable drugs the expiration date is the date where the sterility of the solution is guaranteed.

    • YoungSally

      That was my thought too…although do they have veterinary Tamiflu? That reminds me — time to get my flu shot.

      • Mismarker

        Tamiflu can be used to treat parvovirus enteritis (extreme form of “stomach flu”) in dogs.

        • YoungSally

          Good to know. Not that I hope my dogs ever get flu-ish. When they get some sort of GI thing, they usually get the fluid bubble and some antacid. Of course, in the zombie apocalypse, I am not certain a chihuahua/IG and a cockapoo would make it all that long – especially given their propensity trying to eat random things they find on the sidewalk.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      Antibiotics could potentially be helpful for secondary bacterial infections (which they may be susceptible to due to a weakened immune system), but not the chief infection. Of course who knows if anti-virals would be effective on this strain of super pig flu. I think Hershel stepping up to take care of those people will make the real difference. Those who are taken care of during a health incident (given fluids, provided food and care) tend to have better survival rates than those left to fester alone.

  • YoungSally

    I was thinking Beth – with all her “we have jobs to do” mantra….but I don’t see Carol covering for her (just because I feel like they just don’t hang all that much) but I do see Carol covering for Carl.

  • Isabel

    The rats might have also mutated and are causing zombie plague!

    In the Black Plague, being dirty and living with rats caused fast spreading of the plague.

  • jjtxgrrl

    BTW….Carol’s badass ass-kicker boots are AWESOME!!

    • AutumnInNY

      I know. Love those boots. I was remotely distracted from the water spilling breakdown scene by wondering where in a ZA she would have found those.

      • jjtxgrrl

        Meee Too!
        I know if there was a zombie Apocalypse….. After things have “settled down” a bit…..I’d be going to the nearest Harley Davidson shop and snag any and all ASS KICKING boots in my size…

        For future zombie stomping of course. ;)

  • beadskrit

    In answer to your question about population, TLo: A few weeks ago on Talking Dead, Greg Nicotero said there were about 45 people living in the prison before Phinius’s–I mean Patrick’s–night raid. (At least I think it was 45. Does anyone have a better memory of the number he gave?)

    • BeccaGo

      45 is about right. I remember hearing somewhere that 15 people died in the attack and they lost a third of the population.

    • harlowish

      Yes, it was 45. And he also said there were about 30 left after that attack.

  • Badriya Al-Badi’a

    There’s still the mysterious person serving rat hor d’oeuvres to the walkers at the fence. If the person was feeding walkers at head level, it’s an adult, not the little girl with her pet walker. Personally I strongly suspect Dr. S., who I thought looked as guilty as heck during Herschel’s “you’d be in here if you weren’t already in here” speech.

    Great speechifying from both Herschel and Carl in this episode.

  • Samuel Joesph Donovan

    She’s totally covering for that little girl she gave the knife to!!

  • Shelley

    I haven’t read all the comments closely, so forgive me for not doing so and coming to the party late, but with regards to who is feeding the rats to the zombies…..has anyone else noticed that there hasn’t been any focus on the rats since those two sisters went into quarantine (sorry, can’t remember their names)? Seems like the rat feeding stopped simultaneously. Either that or it was a red herring and the show has moved on. I think the older sister with the “pet” zombie was feeding them…I remember other people speculating that too, but now I’m convinced.