In The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4, a member of the group is banished!
Continue reading for a spoiler filled discussion of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4 entitled “Indifference”. Let’s dissect the episode!
I’m going to very briefly touch on a few points in this episode. This post is more of a conversation starter than a detailed recap. As always, please feel free to share your thoughts and insight in the comment section. I look forward to discussing with you further.
Let’s start off with some general thoughts on “Indifference”. Aside from the cold open, the episode is set outside the confines of the prison and away from the infected survivors. Although I didn’t find the first few episodes too claustrophobic, it is a welcome change of pace and a breath of fresh air to be outside the prison.
Last episode ended with a one-word conversation: “Yes”, when Carol admitted to Rick she’s responsible for the murder and burning the bodies of Tyreese’s girlfriend and David. “Indifference” is an entire episode that is dedicated to continuing that conversation.
The Walking Dead is effective when it poses moral dilemmas for the audience on what they would do if they are in a character’s shoes. If you are Rick, would you keep Carol’s secret to yourself? Would you leave the decision up to the ruling council on what to do with Carol? Or take it upon yourself to oust her out of the group?
Don’t Call Me Mom
Carol is in survivor mode. She’s disconnected her humanity and put up a wall between her emotions and what she believes must be done to survive. She doesn’t want to be called Mom because she wants to insulate herself from sentiments that’ll cause her to make poor emotional choices or a mental breakdown. Carol went through an immense grief after Sophia died and now Lizzie’s life is in danger. She doesn’t want to go down that road again. Talking to Lizzie with a wall of glass separating them perfectly depicts Carol’s state of mind.
Of all the survivors, Carol’s has gone through the most dramatic evolution. She’s changed from a battered housewife to a mopy, grieving mother to a mentally tough killer. From Carol’s view, she didn’t necessarily lie to Sam & Ana about not having a dead daughter, it’s more that she doesn’t see herself as the weak helpless Mom anymore. The mother of Sophia is a broken, feeble lady while this version of Carol is the guardian of two young girls.
Carol has let go of the past and changed into the person who can keep the group alive even if it means doing things she knows is not entirely moral. It’s the survival of the fittest and if people don’t change or adapt, they’ll die sooner than later. In her mind, she’s facing the reality of their situation head on and making proactive decisions for the benefit of the entire group rather than the needs of the few. She tells Rick, “you can be a farmer, but you can’t just be a farmer.”
Similar to when Rick took Michonne out on an expedition in “Clear” to evaluate her, he does the same with Carol in this episode. There’s no judicial system in the post apocalyptic zombie world but Carol is very much on trial and making a strong defence for herself. We don’t hear Ana and Sam’s answers to the three questions because it’s actually Carol that’s being assessed. Introducing Ana and Sam is like a case study that showcases everything that is good and troubling about Carol.
With Hershel in death row, Carol’s medical knowledge is a strong benefit to the group. She didn’t give up relocating Sam’s shoulders when he wanted her to stop due to the pain and it was the right non-emotional decision.
Carol overruled Rick’s decision by accepting Ana & Sam’s offer to help gather supplies. She was indifferent to the fact that Ana’ foot is gimped and Sam’s shoulder is hurting and put their lives in danger. She put the objective over the welfare of the individuals and it cost Ana’s life.
After weighing the pro’s and con’s, Rick’s decision comes down to his belief that Carol’s a liability to his family. In a way, Rick did what Carol did and what she wanted him to do: make a difficult judgement on his own that not everyone (certainly not Daryl) would agree with but is for the greater good of the people he cares about. I think Carol recognizes that and respects that Rick is stepping up out of his farmer’s role, which might be why she readily understands his decision. She accepted her own decision to kill two people in her group and she accepts Rick’s decision, even if it’s not what she would have done.
Anger Makes You Stupid
Michonne is flirting with Daryl but he can’t accept her nomadic tendencies. Perhaps she’s goes out on the hunt for the Governor as an excuse because she’s reluctant to stay and build an open, meaningful connection with the prison survivors.
Though Tyreese is a mental wreck, he’s fairly perceptive to Michonne’s underlying obsession with the Governor. Tyreese is a time bomb right now. He already exploded on Rick, what would he do to Carol if he found out? If doesn’t get a control of his anger, he might get himself or other people killed.
A difference between what Carol did and Bob not getting any medicine and instead hoarding the alcohol, is that Carol did it for the benefit of others. Bob might think the deaths of the infected survivors is inevitable and he’s preparing himself for the “quiet” like what happened when everyone in his previous groups died, leaving him alone. While taking one’s own life by drinking anti-freeze is not the same as numbing yourself with alcohol, Bob is noticeably sympathetic to those car garage walkers.
As Chris Jericho said on The Talking Dead after show, this episode has characters letting go while others are unable to do so. Bob can’t let go of his dependency on alcohol and Tyreese can’t let go of his anger & anguish. On the other hand, Rick let’s go of Carol and Carol let’s go of the group. But I think Carol will return just when the groups needs her the most.
What did you like and didn’t like in this episode? Are you Team Rick or Team Carol?