Friday, February 23, 2018

The Walking Dead - Internment


*** / ****
I guess you could say Internment was Scott Wilson’s big kiss goodbye, Hershel’s swan song.

The Governor, the show’s antagonist of the time, had been absent in the fourth season. At the very end, The Governor is shown, eyepatch distinctive, just outside the gates looking on. Despite all those walking dead Rick and Carl have to machine gun into oblivion, The Governor seemed to have no trouble remaining safe and sound. Hershel going with Michonne outside the prison is the kind of fated decision underlining that the choices made at any given moment could be the catalyst in one’s doom.

But during the episode of Internment, The Walking Dead certainly gives Wilson and his character of Hershel quite a parting gift. Hershel is almost totally the focal point of the episode, with plenty of attention devoted to him. While Dr. S is nearly dead, Hershel must replace him, tending to all the flu-sick folks in the cell block quarantined until medicinal supplies can be brought in by Daryl and company.

Hershel’s dedication to the sick is highlighted as he uses what help a weakened Sasha and Glenn can provide. Wilson really gives us this weary but willing Hershel, not complaining but forgoing his own fatigue and woe to help others. Even as it appears the cell block will (and eventually does, resulting in them turning zombie) succumb to the flu, Hershel nonetheless gives them his full attention and care until they turn, as Glenn and Sasha assist until the flu plaguing them renders them unable.

With Lizzy too preoccupied with thinking the zombies are still people she can look at as humans “going through another change” and those few physically able to help him, Hershel eventually will need the help of someone outside the quarantine (ultimately Maggie, despite Hershel’s objections). Meanwhile outside the quarantine, Rick will have no choice but to recruit his son to help him ward off a horde breaking through the gate defenses. Carl equips himself well, not only courageously backing up his father against the horde but also does so without any panic or fear. Both father and son eventually halt the onslaught, afterward stabbing the skulls of those zombies still animated.

 Maggie helps Hershel with a suffocating Glenn by inserting a tube in his mouth, down his throat, later ridding the block of the remaining zombies turned after those sick reanimated after dying of the flu. Sure enough Daryl and his party return, with Hershel and Bob giving Glenn some injection of the medicine located as the vet college. Michonne will carry off all the bodies to burn them, welcoming Hershel (who finally leaves the prison as medicine had arrived) to tag along. His accepting the invite could very well lead to his own demise.

Internment further removes numbers from the prison through the use of flu. More turn zombie and threaten Hershel while he tries to see to the sick. Maggie so desperately wants to help her father but he refuses, caring that she remains uninfected. He tries not to kill those who die in front of those still alive but gradually worsening to the flu. Glenn and Sasha offer temporary assistance but the flu eventually subdues them. By episode end it looks bleak for Hershel. But Internment won’t be the episode that snuffs Hershel out. Clearly his demise will be presented with more grandeur. What Internment does is offer a showcase for Wilson, given his Hershel lots of screen time. It is The Walking Dead so such devotion often serves as notice for the character’s upcoming death.

Rick tells Maggie about leaving Carol behind, explaining her responsibility for the murder of Karen and David and how it was for her own good that he does so. With Tyreece returning soon, Carol’s own welfare could have been in jeopardy. Rick knows Daryl will not be particularly happy, expecting potential backlash. He temporarily avoids it for the time being as Hershel tells Daryl (looking for Carol) to find Rick for explanation in where she is. This episode avoids that conversation, leaving it for a later date. Tyreece returns to Sasha’s bedside while Glenn begins to improve thanks to the meds. Too bad the red shirts weren’t able to survive the flu as Glenn does, turning zombie (or getting startled and eaten by zombies) and receiving knife stabs to the head. This episode certainly gives us plenty of zombie threats but they are all thwarted before overwhelming the main cast at the prison.

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