Review: The Walking Dead - 'Indifference'

By: Heather Seebach

Click here for my review of S4E1, "30 Days Without An Accident"
Click here for our podcast about episode 1!
Click here for my review of S4E2, "Infected"!
Click here for our podcast about episode 2!
Click here for my review of S4E3, "Isolation"! 
Click here for our podcast about episodes 3 and 4!

**Warning: The following contains spoilers about S4E4**

 This fourth episode is probably my favorite of the fourth season so far, but a couple of things still bug me. For one thing, they've done exactly what I expected/feared by booting one of the show's better characters. As I said in my last review, I hate the notion that Carol actually murdered Karen and David because it seems inconsistent. Just two episodes ago, she had Lizzie's father, bitten by a walker, in front of her, and still did nothing to him until he actually died. For a moment, I thought she was going to kill him before he changed and guess what? I wouldn't blame her if she had, nor would her fellow survivors. And much like a walker bite, this flu with full-blown symptoms means certain death followed by certain homicidal zombieism, so what's the big deal?

Still, she did not kill that guy, so why would she do so to Karen and David? Her reasoning: to spare them from the agony of choking on their own blood. OH MY GOD WHAT A CUNT, RIGHT?! (sarcasm, of course). Part of me still wonders if Carol is covering for Lizzie, but if so, the writers probably would have revealed that to us by now. That would be WAY more interesting, in my opinion. 

Still, this Carol situation has opened some needed conversation about Rick's leadership skills (or lack thereof) lately. Carol says, "I was just trying to save lives...somebody had to" and reminds Rick that he killed a human being too - Shane. Is it different? Well, as Carol said, both were a threat. Just because Shane didn't have anyone to mourn him or go on a rage-fueled hammer vendetta for him doesn't mean his death was more justifiable than Karen's. And lest we forget that Carl killed that Woodbury kid who was arguably surrendering (according to Hershel, at least).

Assuming Rick's vision was correct, we can now rule out the theory that Carol burned Karen and David alive. I think this whole burning thing was a poor choice by the writers because I found it distracting and confusing. If the victims had been found in their beds, still human, but in a pool of blood, this whole murder mystery would've had a greater impact on me.

This episode began with Rick and Carol going on a run. Within the first minute or two, it was obvious what that implied. It felt like Old Yeller watching those two ride out to nowhere together. I am confident that Rick made up his mind before they even left - he was going to leave her there (but totally use her to collect supplies first). So the final moments came as no surprise to me. As for that little watch moment, some speculate it's Carol "letting go" but I think it's purely a plot device - it may later bite Rick in the ass when Daryl finds it on him and recognizes it as Carol's. 

The hippies they meet on the run are pretty useless - oh gee, more new people who die instantly! Still, it was kinda funny to hear yet another new term for the zombies - "skin eaters" - and Rick trying out his questions again. Apparently there was speculation that those two would be the infamous cannibals from the comics, but I never got that vibe, and it seems pretty unlikely now.

Mostly, I enjoyed Rick and Carol's conversations while in the suburbs. "You can be a farmer but you can't just be a farmer." While Rick refuses to face harsh reality, Carol has been stepping up and doing the dirty work. Their little conversation about Lori's pancakes just shows that Rick is still foolishly holding onto hope for normalcy, but there is nothing for Carol in that old life - her eyes are on the future. 

I like this side of Carol because it shows how much she has grown from a meek, abused housewife who couldn't even protect her child. She has become stronger and calloused because of those experiences. As Chris Jericho pointed out on The Talking Dead, Carol is like the Walter White of this show. I also think it's interesting how she keeps Lizzie and her sister at bay to avoid heartache. "Don't call me mom" and not acknowledging Sophia (when asked if the kids were hers). 

The themes of this episode was laid on pretty thick - "let go" and "everything changes." The latter idea book-ended the episode: Carol and Lizzie's discussion about how everybody changes (including people), and the song in the final sequence. Of course, "let go" featured prominently - Ty and the walker; Bob and the booze; Rick and Carol; Michonne and the Governor (which was totally shoehorned in). These themes are necessary but felt awfully heavy-handed this episode.

I think I liked this episode as much as I did because it took us away from that fucking prison! There were no sickies, no Glenn and Maggie mush, and no Beth singing! While the Rick-Carol situation played out, Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob finally found the antibiotics after a pit stop at an old gas station. How'd you like that not-so-subtle sign?

 Yeah, yeah, it sorta says "HeLL" but all I could think is, Someone took the time to put those numbers up there like that. Who had the time and no fear of zombies to do that?!

Also, I know this means nothing but I want to mention it anyway. The bearded dude in that gas station photo immediately gave me a Axel (from the comics) vibe:

 So anyway, Ty continues to be a whiny little bitch and risking everyone's lives. Hey, buddy, you still have a sick sister back at the prison who needs that medicine so why don't you quit washing yourself in that lake and get a fucking move on? Tyreese in the comics went through much worse shit and came out of it like a champ. I'm starting to lose patience with this version and his "woe is me" bullshit. 

The most interesting part of that field trip was Bob's alcoholism inevitably coming to the surface. I was not particularly shocked when the whiskey fell out of his bag, but I was taken aback when he nearly drew his gun on Daryl! That was fucked up. Daryl's white-trash response of forehead-fucking the guy was pretty hilarious, though.

So meanwhile, Rick gives Carol the boot and she puts up very little fight. Smart move giving her the gas can, Rick, she'll need that to burn more sick fuckers.

I wonder how Rick will explain this to the others, especially Daryl (who will no doubt want to go find her). They may not appreciate the fact that Rick made this decision without consulting anyone, namely this council the prison supposedly has. One could argue his decision benefits everyone, but Rick readily admits to Carol that his choice is a selfish one - he doesn't trust her with his children. The fact remains, however, that Rick's emotional attachments hinder him as a selfless leader. 

Overall, the episode didn't thrill me, but it had some interesting human drama. As I said before, it was nice just to get away from the prison. The zombie kills were abundant but generally pretty lame. All the gore so far this season has been boring, except when it rained zombies. This is as good as it gets in "Indifference":

Finally, I'll leave you with my favorite funny reactions from reddit:

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