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The Walking Dead 4×03 “Isolation” Recap


This latest episode of The Walking Dead explores a worsening situation at the prison, where flu season is raging on.

The episode begins with Glenn and Maggie solemnly digging graves for the ones that have passed at the zombie attack. At another part of the prison, Tyreese is showing the bodies of Karen and David to Rick, Daryl, and Carol. When Rick and Daryl try to comfort him, Tyreese gets more and more aggravated, resulting in a fist fight between him and Rick (who kinda loses his cool).

In a moment between Glenn and Hershel, Glenn voices legitimate concern about the plague. He seems really scared, saying that they can prepare for external attacks, like rogue humans and walkers. But with this new enemy, he’s “just digging graves.” At that point, Sasha enters, clearly affected by the flu, and mutters to the two that she’s going to see Dr. S.

At the council meeting, Hershel suggests using Cell Block A for isolation of the sick. He reminds everyone that illness doesn’t kill, but the symptoms do. There is hope for the sick, but they do need the resources and antibiotics to ensure a future for everyone. Daryl is set to lead a run to go to a veterinary pharmacy store.

On Carol’s advice, Rick goes over to Tyreese in the fields, and apologizes. Tyreese repeats that he wants Rick to find the killer as soon as possible, and bring them to him. Rick sympathizes, but does emphasize that their priority right now is keeping those who are safe healthy. Tyreese is angered by Rick’s choices and storms off.

As the council has decided, the most vulnerable (mostly children) are to be sent to a quarantined part of the prison. Inside their cell block, Rick watches Carl pack up for this sectioned-off area, which includes strapping the gun into his holster. Rick once again warns his son about using the gun and reminds him to only use it if he absolutely needs to. Carl replies that he might be in that situation in the future.

In a dark room, we see Glenn shaking and muttering to himself in the corner. When Maggie approaches him, Glenn faces her and reveals that he has become infected.

Hershel is seen thinking at a desk, and after coming to a conclusion, attempting to leave the walls of the prison for some unknown reason. As he is about to leave, he is spotted by Carl. Hershel is angered by Carl’s unwillingness to “let” him go into the woods, and his threats to tell his father. The two finally settle on allowing Hershel to go only if Carl will accompany him.

Down in Cell Block A, Carol is monitoring the transfer of the infected people. Lizzie approaches Carol, and reveals that she too is sick. Torn by this news, Carol embraces Lizzie and reminds her to be brave; everything will get better. As soon as Lizzie in the block and out of sight, Carol breaks down and cries, grief-stricken with their current situation.

Maggie and Beth are in another part of the prison, talking to each other through a door for risk of contamination. Maggie is clearly distraught by news of Glenn’s infection, but Beth urges Maggie to not get taken down by this, and reminds us of her widely-used motto: “We don’t get to be upset. We all got jobs to do.”

In the woods, Hershel is seen plucking some plants from the bushes (suggesting that he may be trying a natural medicinal approach to helping the victims of the infection), while Carl stands watch. They discover an abandoned tent, with one walker trapped down in a tree and another walker approaching them, with its leg caught in a snare. Carl moves to shoot it down, but Hershel stops him, stating that he really doesn’t need to. On this note of self-discipline and control, they leave the woods peacefully.

Tyreese, who was earlier approached by Daryl, ultimately decides that he will join the run to the veterinary pharmacy, and tells the news to Daryl, Michonne, and Bob (who Daryl seems to approve, on account of his ability to read). Before departing, Tyreese goes over to Carol, letting her know that he appreciates her unwavering concern and care towards both the infected and non-infected. He requests that while he is gone, she looks over Sasha. Carol promises, and reminds Tyreese that she is truly sorry for what happened to Karen. When he leaves, she loses control and kicks the water jug, and falls to the floor, crying.

Hershel returns from the trip and is about to enter the infected cell block, but is stopped by Rick and Maggie. He reveals that he will be using the plants to make tea for the infected, a flu-remedy that his wife used to make. Maggie is angered by Hershel’s actions that may threaten his life. Hershel becomes irritated by the two and their concern of his own health.

Demonstrating his unwavering support for those who are sick, he declares that he will do whatever he can, in the time that he has left, to help save lives. “You breathe, and you risk your life. You don’t have a choice. The only thing you can choose is what you’re risking it for.”

Far outside the perimeter, Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob are driving along to the pharmacy. While they are adjusting the radio, they actually hear snippets of what sounds to be survivors on the other side, catching the word “alive” now on then. Distracted by this new development, Daryl doesn’t look ahead and unknowingly drives the car straight into a swarm of hundreds of walkers.

Swarming the car, the walkers block off the road completely. Daryl attempts to reverse, exploding a couple of zombie heads in the process, before ordering the group that they need to abandon ship and run to the woods. Though it seems that Tyreese is seemingly overrun by the walkers, he thankfully emerges behind Daryl, Michonne, and Bob, and they all run out of sight from the walkers.

Rick, who has been investigating where Karen and David were murdered, comes to a conclusion on who might have killed them. He approaches Carol, acknowledging to her that he is obviously very selfless, always putting her life at risk in order to help out. He then asks point blank “Carol, did you kill Karen and David?” to which she replies “yes”.

Though the episode saved a lot of the suspense for the end, it leaves us with horrible tidings of Glenn’s infection, and the ways two different people are using to help save lives. Carol has surprised us all, acting impulsively so that she could maybe squash out the infection before it spread. On the other hand, Hershel has risen as the man of the prison, the man with a conscience. Risking his life to try herbal treatment (homemade tea) on the infected, he has become a beacon of hope to the others. If he goes down, there’s really not much hope for the rest. Let’s just hope that he doesn’t get infected too.

Rating: A-