TV Recap: 'The Walking Dead' Episode 403 - 'Isolation'


the walking dead isolationThe Walking Dead Episode 403
Written By: Robert Kirkman
Directed By: Dan Sackheim
Original Airdate: 27 October 2013

In This Episode...

Tyreese is insane over Karen’s murder. David’s too, but he wasn’t trying to get into David’s pants. He shows Carol, Rick, and Daryl the bodies, and when Rick tries to calm him down, Tyreese gets angrier and punches Rick. Rick retaliates with punches and kicks that get out of control. Daryl has to physically pull Rick away, and even then, that angry spark has ignited in Rick.

Whoever killed Karen and David was clearly doing it to stop the contagion, since they were the only two left with the illness. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop it. It sweeps through much of the remaining population, including Sasha, Glenn, Lizzie, and Dr. S. They are all confined to cell block A, and since the children and the elderly are in the high risk group, they are sent to quarantine in the administrative offices. This includes Judith, with Beth going along as her caretaker; Hershel (by the way, when did he get his new leg?); and Carl, who does not want to be stuck with the kids. Rick insists that he has to go to keep everyone safe, and even lets him bring his gun - but not to use it unless absolutely necessary. Carl takes his duties a little too seriously, and when he sees Hershel trying to leave, Carl won’t let him go. They argue over the nothingness of it, then finally Carl lets him go - but he has to go with him. Hershel is going out to pick elderberries. They are used to ease flu symptoms, so Hershel wants to make tea for the ill.

Rick and Maggie catch Hershel trying to head into the infected block. They don’t think it is safe for him to go in, but Hershel has a sound reasoning behind it: “You step outside, you risk your life. You take a drink of water, you risk your life. Now if you breathe, you risk your life. You have to choose what you are risking it for. If can save lives, that is reason enough to risk mine.” Maggie lets him go - angrily. Hershel is like Mother Teresa, administering tea to those that are so ill, they are coughing blood in Hershel’s face. (I don’t care how sick you are, why can no one cover their mouth when they cough?)

The community is in desperate need of antibiotics, but all the pharmacies nearby have been swept clean. There is a veterinary school about 50 miles away; Hershel suggests they check there. Most people wouldn’t think to check a vet for drugs, but it is all the same stuff that humans take. Daryl, Michonne, and Bob head out. At the last minute, Tyreese decides to join them. He has calmed down a little bit and realized that sitting around, seething over Karen’s murder won’t help save his ailing sister. So the crew heads out. A few miles down the road, Daryl turns on the radio but before he put a CD in, the group thinks they hear a human voice. He tweaks the radio dial, ignoring the road and hits a few zombies. He pulls over and realizes that a few zombies turns into a dozen... then hundreds. There is no end to the flood of zombies. With no good options, the team gets out of the car and starts killing walkers as fast as they can. Tyreese attacks with fury, and is soon overwhelmed by the creatures. Daryl, Bob, and Michonne think he is a lost cause and take off into the woods without him. They think they are free of the zombies, but then a rustling reveals two walkers - and Tyreese. He is exhausted and covered in bloody zombie bits, but he is unharmed and unbitten. Daryl takes care of the two rogue zombies and they help Tyreese get the hell out of there. 

Rick has been “investigating” Karen and David’s murder - and by investigating I mean he looked at the area where Karen and David were burned. He has a suspect: Carol. When asked point-blank if she did it, she simply answers, “Yes,” and goes back to refilling the water tanks.

Dig It or Bury It?

The Carol murders didn’t surprise me. I didn’t necessarily see it coming, but when she said “Yes,” my first thought was, “Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me.” Some may say she has become cold; I see her as being logical. She truly thought that burning the bodies would quell the outbreak. Clearly, she was wrong, but she was doing what she thought was best.

The rest of this episode was a little too weepy for my tastes. I can handle an emotional breakdown or two, but when everyone in an episode is having one, I lose my patience. On top of that, there were some emotional responses that I couldn’t quite follow. Mainly, this fell to Carl and Hershel. I get that Rick wants Carl to hang out in quarantine because he is still young, but he doesn’t think of himself as a “kid” so Rick tells him he is in charge and keeping an eye on things. So why won’t he let Hershel out? Does he think Hershel will go hang out with the infected, then bring the disease back to the kids? What does he hope to accomplish by walking Hershel out to the woods - and thereby leaving the rest of the kids (including his baby sister) “unguarded?” That scene really annoyed me and put me in a foul mood for the rest of the episode.

Oh, and also, I don’t trust Bob. First of all, his name is Bob. Never trust people named Bob. But beside that, he is one of the few newbies who has been given a name and a few lines. There was Zach, who was killed in the first episode and was there to show how desensitized Beth has become. There was Patrick, who died in the first episode and kicked off the flu epidemic. Technically we met Karen last season, and there are the two little kids and Dr. S. Other than that, all the other Woodbury refugees have been a silent mass in the background. So if Bob has a name, lines, and is allowed on runs, there has to be some reason.

Kill o’ the Week

Daryl and his crew are bombarded by zombies as they try to head out to the vet school. Clearly there is no other choice but mow them down with the car. That is just what Daryl does, piling up at least a half-dozen as he backs up. The problem is his rear wheels sink into the newly-created mountain of rotting bodies and his tires spin helplessly, kicking up zombie muck as he revs up.

Zombie o’ the Week

Crushed tree zombie was my favorite this week. She is leaning against a tree, with several branches crushing her legs, but when she sees Carl and Hershel, she reaches an arm weakly towards them, acting on an instinct that can’t be turned off.


The hunt for antibiotics gets more desperate.