In this latest episode of The Walking Dead, we say goodbye to yet another character.
Over the past three seasons, Carol has transformed from a very timid, subservient wife into a brash survivor, indifferent and numb to pain, violence, fear. Rick is notably uncomfortable with how she has developed into a shadow of her past self, as he walks through the aisles of the cell block and envisions where Carol killed Karen and David in cold blood.
With the absence of Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob, Rick and Carol drive to a neighborhood to gather some more supplies, where they run into a young couple. Though they ask for Rick and Carol to adopt them into the group, it’s clear to them that these two are not very experienced with surviving on their own, and unsurprisingly do not survive the episode.
Carol initially shows some interest in bringing them into the group, but as their deaths are revealed, she returns back to her hardened side, contrasting with Rick’s concern and empathy.
When they return back to the car, Rick confronts Carol about her actions. To him, killing people is not something that can be taken so lightly, even if it was, as Carol states, something that might have helped the group survive. Carol is unperturbed, stating “You don’t have to like what I did, Rick. I don’t. Just accept it.” After seeing many people die, including her own daughter, she simply doesn’t care anymore.
With that, Rick shows that he’s not okay with her presence at the prison, and hands her the supplies they’ve accumulated, effectively “banishing” her out of the prison community. For the first time in the episode, Carol allows her emotions to get caught up with her, before swiftly taking the car keys and driving on her own way.
Returning back to last week’s troubles in the forest, Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob come across an abandoned gas station, and set out to jumpstart one of the cars they find.
Noticing Tyreese’s own indifference to living in general, Michonne tries to talk out his struggles with him. She has a simple solution: get rid of the anger. “Anger makes you stupid. Stupid gets you killed.” Her words have a reviving effect on Tyreese and on herself, as she convinces herself that there’s no point in trying to track down the Governor in the wake of her anger.
After starting the car, the group drives over to the veterinary hospital and gathers the supplies. The mission is thankfully successful, though it is almost brought down by Bob and his troubles with alcoholism. This new characterization, and the fact that he risked the group for selfish reasons isolates, him from Daryl’s approval. They drive back to the prison armed with medical supplies.
Throughout these past episodes and in the wake of the infection, the survivors are recognizing how they choose to see the world they live in, and how they choose to survive. Though this means facing the world alone for Carol, we can’t be too sure this is the last we’ll see of her.