The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3 "Isolation" Recap

walking-dead isolation 403

In The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3, a small group led by Daryl heads out to find medicine to stop the infection and the person who burned the bodies is revealed! 

Continue reading for a spoiler filled discussion of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3 entitled “Isolation”. Let’s dissect the episode!

An Officer & A Gentleman

To those who have never watched AMC’s The Walking Dead, they might believe it’s only about zombies, but it’s really a thoughtful show about people fighting for their humanity and morality.

A question that “Isolation” explores is how does one define their role or job in the post apocalyptic world. As the infection spreads, each character faces that question head on.

With two unsolved murders and desecrated bodies, Tyreese believes it’s both a moral obligation and duty for Officer Rick to find the perpetrator. But Rick has not literally and symbolically put on the sheriff’s hat in a long time. To Rick, he can’t bring the bodies back to life but he can help the prison group in getting water which he sees as a priority before playing detective.

Rick went through a long process of grief and coping with loss. But Rick denied that to Tyreese by basically telling him to get over it and do what’s “right”. Of course Tyreese and Rick have very different views of what is the right thing to do which I’m interested to see play out differently from Shane versus Rick. One difference is that it’s not about principles of leadership as both Tyreese and Rick don’t have any interest in joining the council at this point.

I do have to say Tyreese is a beast. He can flick off Daryl like a flea and hammer Rick like a rusty nail if he wanted to. In the fist fight it’s an emotional and physical outburst by both Rick and Tyreese. In their second meeting by the fresh graves, it’s a rational conversation yet they haven’t bridged the gap between them but they do get a better understanding of where each man stands.

One-Legged Veterinarian

I admit I wanted Hershel to die at the end of Season 2 but now I’m glad he stuck around. For Hershel, his first instinct is to the join the expedition to the veterinarian clinic. But since he can’t run, he quickly realizes his job is as care provider and wise father figure of the group which is what he’s been doing all along.

Hershel’s perfectly delivered monologue zeroes in on what the infection represents. Even though the prison has fences which gives the group a sense that they are separated from the dangers of the outside world, the danger is always around and within. And danger is usually followed by death and despair.

Nowhere’s safe. Your life is always in danger. You can only choose what you’re risking it for. This reminded me a bit of what Maggie was saying in the season premiere about not wanting fear to dictate how she lives her life.

Pint Sized Bodyguard

Carl’s badass silencer is back. He sees himself as the protector of the group and Hershel’s little bodyguard out in the forest. Carl is actually not so little anymore. Letting the zombies live is a call back to not shooting the walker stuck in the mud which went on to kill Dale back in Season 2. Since then Carl has been hard-wired to shoot first so Hershel is teaching him to assess the situation and only pull the trigger if needed. By the way, that is great special effects and make up for that half zombie by the tree.

I don’t think Hershel should have went into death’s row but he knew the risks going in.  He could have left the elderberry tea by the entrance door but perhaps he thought the people looked way too sick to feed themselves. Since Hershel’s face got splattered with infected blood he’s going to become sick like Glenn. The question is when Daryl comes back with not enough medicine to save everyone what’s the criteria in deciding who gets to live?


Soldiers and Shepherds

A lot of people died last episode but it’s hard to feel for people that we don’t know. Now that the infection spread to characters we care about including Sasha, the danger is escalating. Because the first two episodes established how fast and deadly the infection is, it amplifies the importance and suspense of the away team’s mission.

Daryl and Michonne know they are the people who get things done especially if there’s something to kill or to hunt. They’re more like glorified warriors than plain foot soldiers. I’d pick them on my team every time.

I still don’t know what to make of Bob. He can read the types of antibiotics they need to retrieve from the clinic so I guess he’s the “brains” of the team. With all those hungry zombies it might be a bad thing to be the “brains”.

I did like the brief scene where Bob is trying to connect with Tyreese and in the end decides the best way to do that is to start digging graves. Although the producers would never admit it, I do think it’s a designed course correction from previous seasons to have two prominent African-American male characters on the show at the same time. 

So with his new girlfriend burnt to a crisp, Tyreese’s focus is on doing what’s best for his sick sister. At first, he protects the entrance door but he later changes his mind that his role should be on the team that’s searching for medicine that could save Sasha.

The mega herd of walkers added a jolt of adrenaline to an otherwise drama heavy episode. Staying in the car, Tyreese is resigned to death. What made him snap out it, I’m not sure. He might be thinking of his sister or he initially wanted to cull as many walkers as possible to buy enough time for the others to escape but ended up surviving. I hope next episode picks up on this plot point.

I have of couple kills of the week. One is Daryl’s crossbow kill as Tyreese came out the bushes alive. That’s crazy … as in awesome crazy … how Tyreese survived despite surrounded by walkers. The second kill is Michonne’s jumping katana head slice.


Mother Carol

After Carol got upset and pushed over the water container she took it upon herself to get the water line reconnected. She risked her life similar to how Hershel put himself in harm’s way. Not the smartest decision for someone teaching life survival skills. It’s probably the side of her that wants to look after sick Lizzy and rest of the gang that motivated her to take a calculated risk.

This episode she’s keen on getting water while last episode she played with fire. Whether or not you agree with Carol’s methods, her maternal instincts to keep her girls safe and to stop the infection from spreading is what led her to take extreme measures. From what I understand, Carol killed Karen and the other dude before they died from the infection and turned into walkers. Is she a cold-hearted murderer or since they were going to die, did she make a practical decision that no one else could make?

What did you like and didn’t like in this episode? What do you think about the radio transmission?


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