Sunday, November 10, 2013

Review: The Walking Dead "Internment"

Non Spoiler Review:
Internment finds Rick returning to the prison as Hershel desperately struggles to hang on to the last vestiges of civilization while dealing with the worsening conditions of his patients. On the outside, Maggie manages the ever-increasingly herd of walkers pressing against the fence.

I found the first half of Internment a tad slow and uneven, especially following a string of slow-burn type episodes. But it really turned around for the second half and made for quite a tense and riveting hour when all was said and done. The dark tone of the series seemed extra heavy here, especially with the focus on Hershel, who has always had his faith in a higher power that their situation was happening for a reason.

The Carol revelation only got cursory mention given the more pressing events at the prison, so hopefully that provides suitable drama next week. The final act brought a satisfying cliffhanger that answers the anticipation of many viewers.

Spoilers Now!
Rick continues his drive home, staring at Carol's watch. Meanwhile, Hershel, Glen and Sasha try to save the seriously ill who are choking on their own blood, but people continue to die, and Hershel insists on removing them from the cell block before they dispatch with the body. Lizzie finds him and Glen taking out the latest fatality.

Hershel goes to talk to Maggie and reassures her Glen is resting. As she tries to clear the massing walkers from the wall, Rick returns, and she sees he doesn't have Carol with him. He reveals the truth about Karen and David and tells her to fill in her father. He then asks if she would have brought her back, and after a moment Maggie admits he was right to send her away. He goes on to find Carl and is relieved he hasn't had to use his gun. He passes off the food he gathered, but won't let him out of quarantine yet. Carl points out he hasn't gotten sick, but Rick needs to protect him for as long as he's able. 

Dr. Caleb believes he's past the point of recovery and urges Hershel to focus his attention on the others as well as securing the cells in case people begin to turn. Despite his best efforts, someone dies in the middle of the cell block and Hershel tells everyone to go back inside. A very ill Sasha comes over to help him take the body out. 

Rick finds him afterwards, learning they've lost three so far. Rick assures him the people still have hope. Hershel still believes there's a reason all of it has happened. Rick confesses what's happened with Carol, which weighs heavily on Hershel as he closes off all the cell doors. He finds Sasha unconscious and tries to save her, while in the next cell over another has died and begins to rise as a zombie.

Sasha wakes up and thanks Hershel for being so damn stupid to come in and care for them. Meanwhile, Glen has been looking after one of their patients helping him to breathe with a makeshift tube, but he starts to choke. Glen collapses himself before he can call out for Hershel. Lizzie finds him bleeding from the mouth just as the other wandering zombie takes down Hershel, and Glen's patient also rises from the dead. That makes three walkers on the loose as the others are roused to the commotion.  

Hershel gets up as Lizzie leads the zombie away from Glen. Lizzie falls down but Hershel throws it over the rail. He finds Glen struggling to breathe. Caleb has also turned and Hershel stabs him in the head. 

At the fence, a gunshot alerts Rick and Maggie that trouble is brewing inside. He tells her to go, as he'll take care of the fence, so she runs off. Rick goes to find Carl and gets him to come with him to help, but the weight is too great and walkers pour through a break. Carl and Rick run back into the inner fence.

Maggie finally breaks through the viewing glass window to get inside the quarantine. Hershel begins to draw another walker away and kills it, then returns to Glen's side. The other walker that was Glen's patient still has the breathing pipe in its throat and he tries to tear it out to use on Glen. Maggie arrives and shoots it in the head. They rush back, connect the tube to Glen and get him breathing again. Lizzie comes back, asking if it's over. 

As the walkers get through the second barrier, Rick and Carl start firing to hold them back. They finally manage to take down the herd and go through to ensure they're all dead. They see Daryl's group returning.

With the situation inside under control, Tyreese rushes to Sasha's side. Maggie brings the supplies for Hershel and Bob to begin dispensing and tells her father to go rest. He goes back to Caleb's cell and tries to read his Bible, but starts crying. 

In the morning cleanup of the prison begins. Daryl asks Hershel where Carol is. He suggests he talk to Rick about it. Hershel asks to tag along with Michonne as she drives out the pile of bodies. Rick and Carl taste the first beans from their garden as Rick delays talking with Daryl. Outside the gate the Governor watches from the trees.

The Verdict:
While some of Internment felt ploddingin hindsight I did enjoy the end result. The level of tension and foreboding was pretty weighty, and Rick voiced everyone's thoughts that life at the prison will never be the same again once this plot is resolved.

As people begin dropping like flies for a second outbreak, I was left with my criticism from the beginning of the season—we've never had a chance to see these Woodbury characters in any context other than about to die. While Rick and Hershel and the rest have had months to bond with these people, the continuing slaughter of the background characters doesn't provide the emotional impact it should. Even Dr. Caleb, who has had more screen time that most, didn't affect me in any way.

While we didn't get the anticipated Daryl/Rick confrontation, that must come next week. I guess Maggie's reaction doesn't surprise me, given her faith-based upbringing, but when all hell was breaking loose and the wall was coming down, my only thought was that they certainly could have used an extra set of capable hands like Carol.

Some well-deserved shout outs go to the Hershel focus this week, someone who is juggling his own character arc, as well as plenty of Dale stuff that passed to him from the graphic novels. Watching him struggle to kill the walker (given his previous history) was effective. Also great to see Maggie, who really shone in her command role. And finally to Sasha, for surviving the flu, given her character holds a lot of promise.

The reappearance of the Governor came sooner than I thought. I don't know if he can be the rat-feeder, given that person was operating from within the prison. But it suits his modus operandi to slowly wear down the prison defences with the herds as has been happening so far this season. It's more likely Lizzie, who is treating the undead like pets. As the The Walking Dead approaches its midseason break, I'm sure that events will begin to accelerate for what promises to be a significant cliffhanger.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...