The Walking Dead - Season 4, Episode 5: "Internment” TV Episode Review
Directed by David Boyd
Written by Channing Powell
2013, Rated TV-14
Originally aired on October 10th, 2013
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Danai Gurira as Michonne
Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene
Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha
Warning! This review contains spoilers!
After a prison-free episode last week that had road trips for everyone who wasn’t sick (and a special bon voyage party for Carol), this past Sunday’s show returned to the dark and gloomy location of the jail. Hershel is doing his best to help the sick, and Sasha and Glenn are doing everything they can to help him, but people are still dying. And turning.
Steve: Before we get to the (inevitable) reveal at the end of this week’s show – titled “Internment” – let’s talk a minute about what went down at the prison. I have to say, after a slow 30 minutes of unnecessary chitter chatter between the characters, the last half of the show had me at the edge of my seat. I was literally holding my breath in parts – and I mean that. I ‘m not just saying literally for effect. I was actually holding my breath because I was so caught up in the suspense of the walkers rising and going after those sick in the prison.
TGM: I completely agree that the last half-hour of this episode might be some of the best of the entire series. So, where do we begin? With how much of a badass Hershel is? I thought that old codger was done for good, but DAMN, that coot sure is spry on his one good leg. I mean, he definitely made some questionable decisions (um, how about locking all the end-stage looking super-sicklies in their cells in case they turn?) that ultimately exacerbated things, but he really knows how to clean up his own mess. It was like watching Kris Kringle: Zombie Hunter™.
Steve: Hershel has no time for shenanigans, that’s for sure; everyone has a job. Whether it’s making IVs, moving dead bodies so they can be stabbed in the face outside the view of the sick, or reading Tom Sawyer, it doesn’t matter, Hershel has something for you to do. I loved the extra hop in his step at the end of the show when Daryl called him a badass and he was invited by Michonne to go along and dump some bodies. The ending, up to a point, was a really nice breather for an otherwise tense-filled episode.
Steve: Before we get to that ending, let me ask you something: It dawned on my last night, as Hershel was fighting for his life, what difference does it make if people are bit? It was established in Season Two that they are already infected. Everyone on the planet is already infected. So what if you get a little scratch? What’s the big deal? You already have the disease. I’m pretty sure Hershel had his leg lopped off for no good reason. They should have just stopped the bleeding and he would have been fine. Maybe some scarring, but at least he’d have a leg.
TGM: Yeah, I’ve thought about that as well. They’ve sort of wrote themselves into a little bit of a conundrum with that particular revelation. My guess is that a zombie bite somehow accelerates the process. Somehow. Does it only happen with a bite? Does it happen with a scratch as well? I mean, if it is only sped up because of a bite, be it saliva or something else going on in a zombie mouth, then how is sharing an intubation tube with a zombie safe? Clearly we’re over thinking things.
Steve: Yeah, clearly. It’s just a little...lazy. The writers make a big deal about keeping the “it’s inside all of us” a secret, then don’t follow through. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal.
One last thing (I PROMISE!) I wanted to bring up before the elephant in the room: I’m kind of loving the relationship Rick and Carl have now, more so Carl’s aspect of it. He has so much potential as a character now. I know I mentioned in our first discussion of this season that I liked sociopathic Carl from last year, but I have to admit, this new kid has really grown on me, and fast. He really has his shit together and, as much as I hate Rick, I dig the two’s time together on screen because the actors have great synergy. Last night’s scene of the two opening fire on the incoming horde of walkers was one of my favorite scenes in a good while. So much so, that I forgave the ridiculousness of the guns they had stored in convenient giant laundry hampers. It must never rain there. Because the best place for a stash of weapons is in random spots through the area, weather and bad guys be damned.
TGM: Yeah, the location of the weapons cache was a little suspect, but I think it was on wheels, so they could easily move things around where they need to be. The bigger problem I had with that whole scene was they spent how many episodes trying to fortify that fucking fence, and really all it took was a man and his preteen boy about thirty minutes to wipe out that entire herd of threatening walkers? Why couldn’t you have done that sooner? Back when you had the safety of a fully intact fence to protect you? I just don’t get it. Their perimeter defense has been a joke. I mean, I do get it, it’s creative license and makes for good drama, but still doesn’t make it any less aggravating. With that said, don’t get me wrong, the resulting scene with father and son mowing down zombies and tossing rifle clips back and forth sent chills down my spine. I loved it. It was absolutely, positively, completely unnecessary, but pretty damned cool nonetheless.
TGM: Now, let’s just get it over with. The Governor. He’s back. Yay. I can’t be alone in dreading his return. I thought the entire Governor arc up until this point was a major misfire. I don’t read the comics, but I know that most of the staunch fanboys felt that the writers did a great disservice to the character. I’m just not looking forward to his return. He’s a caricature in an ensemble of characters that strive for reality. All he’s missing (besides his eye) is a Snidely Whiplash handlebar moustache to twirl as he cackles about not getting away with his dastardly plan due to “those pesky kids and their meddling dog.”
Steve: I couldn’t agree more. Listen, I like the character of The Governor (both TV and comic) a lot. But, like Tyreese, this Governor is an emasculated version of his comic-book counterpart. This man, this terrible, terrible man, raped Michonne, lopped off Rick’s arm, and damn near wiped out our fearless leader’s group in a stunning attack on the prison in the funny books. If I recall correctly, Lori never even birthed Judith because she was shot through her pregnant stomach when ole’ Gov raided the prison. So unless we get that Governor, I really don’t care because this neutered version won’t really pose that much of a threat until he has the balls of the man in the comics. Plus, it just feels like it’s too soon for his return. It would have been much better if he came in with more drama, too, instead of peaking at the prison like some low-rent peeping tom. Honestly, unless he’s already built up his following, how much damage can he really do?
TGM: LOL, yeah, I half anticipated that they’d pull the camera back from the final shot of The Governor revealing that his pants were down around his ankles and he was whacking off in the woods, crying from that one good eye from shame. Look, I don’t mind one final swan song with The Governor; in fact, I look forward to him getting his eventual comeuppance. I guess where I really feel deflated is the news that broke last summer that he’s been signed on for multiple upcoming seasons. Hopefully that news was a smoke screen, but somehow I doubt it.
Steve: Let’s hope that is a rumor because I think we all can agree that having the same protagonist each season is ridiculous, no matter how cool or well liked he or she is. Unless it’s Daryl beating the tar out of Rick each week. I’d watch that.
Steve: Speaking of which, how annoyed were you that Rick didn’t tell everyone’s favorite cast member about Carol this week? I was so looking forward to Daryl’s reaction of the news. And I’m still waiting for more on the mysterious voice on the radio. But at least we now know who’s been throwing rats at the fence. (I have to assume that was The Governor’s doing.)
TGM: Was it The Governor, or was it that creepy little girl who playfully swirled her foot in that puddle of blood at the end? See the kind of screwed up kids you get when you homeschool them? What was THAT all about?
Steve: That child has Bad Seed written all over her. Now that I think about it, I don’t think it’s Daryl that Rick has to worry about, it’s the reincarnation of Rhoda Penmark. If she finds out about his decision to boot Carol, she will be wearing Rick’s face for a mask.
TGM: Ignoring that final shot, I think we can agree that this episode was a vast improvement over last week. Sure, it was a bit of a cop-out that Rick and Daryl’s confrontation regarding Carol didn’t happen, and I have a sinking suspicion that when it does go down it will happen off-screen, having already been dealt with in between episodes. I hope that’s not the case, as I think we’d all like to see Daryl bash in Rick’s face at this point.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a TV episode.
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