‘The Walking Dead’ Review: “Indifference”
‘The Walking Dead’ season 4 brings to life its fourth episode of the year with “Indifference,” as Rick takes Carol along on a supply run to sort out their differences, while Daryl and his group continue on to the veterinary college in search of needed medical supplies, encountering complications along the way.
Last week’s ‘The Walking Dead’ episode “Isolation” saw Rick working to keep the sick quarantined and investigate the murders of Karen and David, while Daryl mounted a supply run that ran into 7500 walking obstacles, so what does the latest episode of season 4 bring?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘The Walking Dead’ season 4, episode 4, “Indifference!”
Rick prepares the car for a run between him and Carol, all the while replaying the scene of her murdering Karen and David in his mind. Meanwhile, Carol visits Lizzie from behind the isolation glass, and urges her not to be afraid of using her knife in a life or death situation. Lizzie accidentally calls Carol “mom,” and fails to see the inherent danger of people coming back to life as walkers, both of which Carol rebukes her for.
Out on the road, Tyreese seems increasingly hopeless for his sister as the group comes across an abandoned gas station. Attempting to clear an overgrowth of vines from a car, several walkers burst through the plants, nearly overtaking the group as Michonne notes that Tyreese could have easily let go of his. Meanwhile, Carol attempts to justify her actions to Rick on the way to a housing development, though he remains somewhat distant. After emptying a nearby house and killing a walker, a hippie couple emerges from a door upstairs and offers Rick some fruit, though he remains wary of the two.
The couple explains that they’d been holed up in a greenhouse until they ended up trapped upstairs on a search for supplies, the man Sam dislocating his arm in the process. Carol fixes the arm as Rick listens in, ultimately beginning his "three questions" when they ask about his and Carol’s setup. Meanwhile, Michonne presses Tyreese that he’s looking to get himself killed out of anger, to which Tyreese points out that her missions to locate the Governor are of little difference. Inside, Daryl and Bob find a car battery and kill the remaining gas station owner.
Rick accepts Sam and his girlfriend in telling them about the prison and the flu, though he remains reluctant in allowing them to help search the neighboring houses, even as Carol insists they could speed up the process. Back at the gas station, Bob admits to Daryl that his alcoholism had caused the accident at the Big Spot that cost Zack his life, but Daryl denies Bob to be as isolated and responsible as he believes, fixing the gas station’s car in the process.
Rick asks Carol if he was right to let Sam and his companion join them, to which Carol supports the idea, but worries why he hasn’t said anything about her killing Karen and David. Rick has little to say on the matter, pointing out that it wasn’t as life-or-death a situation as he had previously with Shane, though Carol insists he needs to accept her actions. Outside the house, Carol shares that she hadn’t ever believed that she could grow so strong after her life with Ed, while Rick points out that he shares her occasional disbelief at the losses they’d endured, sometimes waking up and expecting to find Lori. As Rick and Carol turn the corner, they find Sam’s girlfriend eaten by walkers, and resolve to return to the house to find him.
Daryl and his group make it to the veterinary college, grabbing all the needed supplies before a number of walkers are alerted to their presence. Bob warns that they’d be better off fighting their way through a group behind a door, rather than risk attacking the walkers infected with the flu, and the group eventually manages to escape out a window. Bob slips, nearly losing his bag to a group of hungry walkers below them, before desperately retrieving it. Daryl finds a bottle of liquor within the bag, threatening Bob should he ever endanger the group for his own selfish pursuits again. Meanwhile, Rick and Carol find that Sam hasn’t yet returned to the house, and Carol suggests they leave him behind, regardless if he survived.
Loading up the car, Carol finds the passenger door locked, as Rick explains that Karen and David might have lived, and the choice wasn’t hers to make. Not only would Tyreese kill her upon learning the truth, the group would no longer want her around, nor would Rick if he and his children were the only ones to survive. Rick assures Carol that her strength will carry her, and that she’ll find others to survive alongside before long, loading up a separate car of supplies for her to take. Carol reluctantly accepts the decision, handing Rick an anniversary watch to replace the one he’d given Sam, before driving off alone.
Michonne gets in the car with Daryl, admitting that the Governor’s trail went cold and she won’t continue the search any longer, before the foursome drive off. Elsewhere, Rick faces the road alone, ignoring his reflection in the rear view mirror.
Sigh, poor Carol. Even as the past few seasons have built up the survivor from cannon fodder to a hardened, proactive figure invaluable to the group as a whole, her "indifference" had carried her too far from the flickering morality Rick swears by. Surprising against the sheer chaos the first four episodes of last season had brought us, but "indifference" felt a bit more akin to season 2's "18 Miles Out," a more talkative hour for 'The Walking Dead' that could be viewed in the light of a "soap opera" someone like George Romero abhors, but ultimately provides some necessary reflection for the series.
It isn't enough to show walkers bearing down at every turn, although kudos to Scott Gimple, Greg Nicotero and the rest for finding increasingly unexpected means in which to ambush the characters, while 'The Walking Dead' needs to find the humanity in all the bloodshed from time to time. Rick has to make a difficult decision, regardless of the reasonable justification behind Carol's actions, while both Michonne and Tyreese need to come to terms with their anger, and even Bob has his own addition to feed that puts him at odds with the rest.
As if the episode hadn't already beaten us over the head with the concept, "letting go" takes on multiple meanings in a world where the rising dead can become indistinguishable from the living in a young girl's eyes. Carol chose to let go of the baser humanities that saw her trapped in an abusive marriage and ultimately got her daughter killed, even as young Lizzie looks for a maternal figure in the woman now charged with her care. Carol sees "letting go" as an acceptable loss, a pragmatic action which ensures the greater survival of the group, failing to anticipate that Rick's own brushes with losing reality have awakened him to its importance. Survivors in this world are no mere dead weight, and should be given a chance to prove their value to the group, the same chance denied to Karen and David, and for which Rick ultimately must let go of Carol.
Daryl, Michonne, Bob and Tyreese's side of the story approaches this idea somewhat less directly, focusing on the mutual rage felt between Tyreese and Michonne, as well as Bob's inability to let go of his imagined idea of escape, but also offers a chance to provide some needed depth among ancillary characters whose true identities had been glossed over in the frenetic pace of the previous season. Bob's struggles with alcohols seem somewhat trivial in light of the current world stage, for which Daryl rightly gets in his face for his endangerment of others, but the story still succeeds in creating real characters -- characters for whom we'd actually care if they were to fall, or face the open-ended threat of banishment.
Not the most exciting hour, to be certain, but one that certainly opens up additional possibilities for the season, and reminds us what we've let go of in following this group for so long. Sometimes, the quieter episodes, and the open, uncertain road can prove all the more devastating.
Well, what say you? Did you get your fill of thrilling zombie killing? What did you think about tonight’s latest episode, “Indifference”? Check out all our other ‘Walking Dead’ season 4 coverage, and join us next week for another all-new episode recap of episode 5, “Internment,” on AMC!