The Walking Dead Episode 404
Written By: Matthew Negrete
Directed By: Tricia Brock
Original Airdate: 3 November 2013
In This Episode...
With Daryl’s crew still not back yet, Rick takes Carol on a supply run to the suburbs. Their first priority is antibiotics or medications that might help with the flu. They also need food, as much of their reserves were compromised during the outbreak. The ride is tense, and Carol tries to break the ice by explaining why she felt killing Karen and David was the right thing to do: it was a quick death, better than them drowning in their own blood; she had to try to save lives. Rick says nothing.
Pulling up in a neighborhood, they see a car with a cleaned-off windshield. Someone has been here recently, but the car is empty. Heading into the first house, Rick raids the medicine cabinet when a noise upstairs draws their attention. A walker appears and tries to come down the stairs. Lacking basic coordination, the walker tumbles down and Rick pulls Carol out of the way. Carol reciprocates by ganking the walker. But there is another creak from upstairs. A door opens, and two twentysomethings appear. They promise they are cool and offer them some fruit. Rick and Carol are wary. The kids are excited to see humans and spill out their story hurriedly while Carol cleans up the guy’s cuts and relocates his shoulder (something that impresses Rick). The couple, who didn’t know each other before the apocalypse, got separated from their group about a week ago. They stuck together, played it safe, and found a greenhouse around the corner that was full of fresh, ripe fruit. When they entered the house, they discovered the walker (or “skin eater” as they call them) still in residence and hid for about two days. Rick starts in on his questions: How many walkers have you killed?
Rick decides the kids (the guy is Sam; I don’t know the girl’s name, but it won’t matter in a few scenes) can come back to the prison with them, but he warns them of the virus and that they can’t guarantee their safety. The kids are eager to join them. Rick will circle back for them when he and Carol are done sweeping the neighborhood, and Carol interjects, suggesting they sweep, too, so they can cover more ground. Rick isn’t comfortable with this, but tells them to meet them back at this house in two hours. He gives them his watch. With Carol and Rick on their own again, he questions if Carol thought it was the right thing to do, offer to take the kids back. She does - if nothing else, it is the humane thing. Carol finally comes out with it: “I killed two people and you haven’t said anything.” Rick doesn’t want to face reality. Carol wants the old Rick back, their former leader. “You were a good leader. Better than I gave you credit for.” “I never murdered two of our own,” he shoots back. “Just one.” She is of course talking about Shane, and Rick plays the self-defense card. Carol plays the same card. Changing the topic, Rick asks Carol how she knew how to relocate a shoulder. She taught herself, because it was easier than telling the ER nurse she fell down the stairs for a third time. This is the first time she really speaks of Ed. She thought he was better than being alone, and she thought that she loved him. “I didn’t know I was strong.” She does not, however, want to talk about Sophia. Rick admits that he still wakes up and expects Lori to be laying beside him. The pair turn a corner - and see a broken basket on the ground. Following the trail of smashed fruit, they find the girl’s leg - just the leg, with an unmistakeable tattoo - caught in a gate. Further out, two walkers feast on her body.
They return to the house to pick up Sam, but he is not there. They wait. And they wait. Carol decides that, he might be okay, but he is not here and they have to get going. They pack up the car, and Rick kind of dances around it, but he has made a decision: he doesn’t want Carol to return to the prison with him. Tyreese will kill you, the others won’t want you back, if it were down to you, me and the kids, I wouldn’t want you there. Carol begs a little bit, but quickly toughens up and states that she won’t leave without Lizzie and Mika. Rick promises to keep them safe. “You are strong now. You will survive out there, and find others who don’t know.” He leaves her with a car full of supplies and some extra gas.
Daryl’s crew is still trying to get to the vet school. They find a car, have to put a new battery in it, encounter some walkers, and take care of them. Tyreese, who believes Sasha is already dead and has his own death wish. They make it to the vet school, grab what they need, and head out. It can’t be as easy as that, and they encounter more walkers. Escape out a back door yields more zombies (which Bob, for some reason, thinks have the flu and will infect all of them). They kill what they can, escape down the hall - and come to a dead end. Tyreese breaks a window and the crew climbs out onto a ledge. Bob, the last one out, trips and his rucksack dangles over the edge of the overhang, within easy reach of the walkers, which have grown in numbers. Tyreese, Daryl, and Michonne try to help Bob up, and encourages him to drop the bag so they can escape. Bob refuses, and they eventually pull Bob back to safety - with his bag. Daryl discovers just a bottle of booze inside - no meds or supplies. Bob had just admitted to Daryl that his desire for a drink caused the huge crash in the first episode, and Daryl told him it wasn’t his fault. But now Daryl is pissed. He threatens to break the bottle, and Bob reaches for his gun. Daryl gets up in his face and Tyreese begs him to let it go. Daryl does - but takes Bob’s gun. Giving him back his bottle, Daryl threatens to beat the hell out of him if he takes even a sip.
Dig It or Bury It?
That was a very somber episode - and that is saying something for The Walking Dead. I take tremendous issue with Rick kicking Carol out of the group. There was no malice in her kill; she really thought it was in the best interest of everyone. Rick certainly has no moral high ground to stand on. Besides Shane, he killed those two douchebags in the bar in season two; he killed one of the prisoners they found hunkered down in the prison, and forced another into a crowd of walkers. That’s just off the top of my head. When Carl shot a boy in cold blood, the only punishment Rick dished out was to take Carl’s guns away. So how hypocritical is Rick for saying “Sorry, you killed two dying people in the hopes of saving dozens more. You’ve got to go?” It’s really infuriating, and I think that Rick is going to realize that he fucked up when he gets back to the prison and realizes that Carol kept that ship running.
I am not an addict, but it seems to me that the zombie apocalypse would be good rehab. Sure, you are stressed and depressed and scared, but for most people, the survival instinct would kick in and you wouldn’t be thinking about booze. Plus, I imagine alcohol would be scarce, so you would go through forced physical rehab anyway. Again, I’m not an addict, I don’t know how it works.
It seems like zombies can’t really navigate stairs very well. Why don’t the survivors all live in treehouses or penthouses or something like that?
Zombie Kill o’ the Week
When Daryl’s crew is chopping through the underbrush, trying to free a car, and a zombie arm shoots out and grabs Daryl. Michonne chops the arm off. The rest of the kill is a pretty standard beheading, but the arm just seemed like comedy to me.
Looks like the sick are getting sicker - and getting deader. Plus, I assume Sam will show up at some point. Maybe not next week, but before the halfway point in the season.