With a horde of Walkers at the door, the prison is on the verge of a crisis.
Last Sunday’s episode was tense, even from the beginning. With an extreme close-up on Rick, you as the viewer can really feel the stress that is upon Rick’s shoulders. Back at the Prison, we become fully aware of how the situation in Cell Block A has fittingly gone from a hospital of some sorts to a full-on death row. We watch as a coughing Glenn and a solemn Hershel roll a dead man out of his cell. Once out of view from Glenn, who was actually infected with the flu, Hershel reads a passage from the Bible, and then Glenn silently drives a knife through his head.
A large part of the episode focuses on the main plot of Hershel and the infected in the doomed Cell Block A. As Hershel talks with Dr. S (Caleb), he quotes John Steinbeck by saying that “[a] sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.” This explains why Hershel and Glenn took the dead man out of Cell Block A; they want to keep the spirits of the infected in an optimistic mood.
The inevitable Walkers on Cell Block A showed how people are willing to sacrifice themselves for the safety of others. Lizzie almost gets killed by drawing a Walker into her direction away from Glenn. A man is bit after shooting a Walker off of Hershel. Glenn gives all of his energy pumping air for Henry, which led to Glenn’s violent coughing fit. Finally, out of desperation, Maggie risks receiving the virus when she saves Hershel from Henry, a Walker, which then helps Glenn survive the coughing fit.
I believe that the writers caused all this chaos on purpose. They ‘babied’ the first four episodes so that not as much action went on as did in the last season. So this episode was really the bomb they dropped on the viewers. For the entire prison sequence, I was incredibly scared and on the edge of my seat. Furthermore, the episode really allowed the viewer to watch Hershel strongly develop as a character. At the end of the episode, as we are watching Hershel breaking down as he tries to read the Bible, there is an indication that even the strongest are vulnerable, and that even Hershel’s faith cannot help him.
In the second plotline of this episode, we watch the father-son bond between Carl and Rick strengthen. It starts when Rick calls for Carl’s help. This is big since Rick had Carl in isolation with the other children, and recently didn’t allow him to leave isolation to help. Then when the fence came down, he gave Carl the AR-15 and the two wiped out the mass horde of Walkers. This is interesting, seeing that Carl gunned down an innocent boy last season. During the massacre of Walkers, Carl even saves his father from one. It could be that Carl has come of age and Rick is finally going to stop treating him like a child.
And finally, this episode’s review would not be complete if I didn’t have anything to say about the Governor’s last-minute appearance, which provided a great cliffhanger for the season. Could he have been the one drawing the Walkers to the fence? Where was he hiding? Was he hiding in the Prison? So many questions to be answered next Sunday.
Edsman Rating 10/10