At the end of last week's episode (click here to read the recap of 'Indifference') Rick demanded that Carol leave the prison and their group and never return after she admitted to him that she killed David and Karen. It was a shocking twist because Carol has been has been a major character since the series started and for this entire season so far, Rick has shown no interest in making any leadership decisions. So why now?
Internment focuses on the plight of those quarantined with the illness and Hershel's quest to ease their suffering. Once again, Hershel shows an incredible sense of compassion and heroism in a world that is rotting away at its core. He's the soul of the living and embodies everything that is honorable in a human being. It's also his kindness that almost gets cell block A wiped out. At the end of the episode we are asking ourselves if Hershel's convictions have been shaken after surviving through this hell night. This episode in a way also backed up Carol's claim that you have to act first to prevent tragedy or else you will not survive. This is the morality play the writers have set up for this season and it is unfolding quite well.
Hershel believes that the human spirit is the key to survival in Walker-World and his willingness to wait until the very last second before dispatching those hopelessly infected and the lengths he goes to spare those of watching that horror is also a weakness in these times of zombies.
The B story line was the bonding of a father and son named Rick and Carl. No longer should Carl be banished from doing the dangerous work this world demands. He may be the most efficient killer of them all and I think Rick has become well aware of this fact.
Rick is driving back to the prison after banishing Carol, reflective and staring at his watch on the seat of the car as he passes a mutilated zombie clutching at the air.
Back at the prison, we get a look at how bad things are in the segregated cell block A for those infected. Hershel is trying to save as many as he can and doing wondrous work while many others are diseased and failing. Glenn is coughing badly and helping Hershel move a very sick Mr. Jacobson's body (elderly black man) to a quieter place so they can kill him without any of the others seeing it happen. Hershel believes he is giving them a form of mercy from their pain. Glenn plunges his knife deep into the head of the newly minted zombie of cell block A as we go to a break.
Maggie is worried about Glenn and wants to come into the contaminated zone, but Hershel denies her.
Rick pulls into the prison and is greeted by Maggie. She says that there are more zombies at the fence than before and they have to do something to stop them from crashing through. She then asks him about Carol and he tries to dodge the question.
Rick tells her that Carol killed Karen and David and that she had to leave before Tyreese found out. He's going to tell Hershel, but she shouldn't tell anyone else yet. Maggie is stunned at first, but then hesitantly agrees with Rick that she should have left. Where's the loyalty? I was surprised at her response. They could have figured a way to work around Tyreese possibly so why not at least try? Hasn't Carol earned that much? Rick finds Carl to see how he's doing. Carl assures him that he didn't use his gun yet, but wants to help the others, but Rick refuses.
In cell block A, Doctor S. (Caleb) wants Hershel to kill him, but that's not going to happen. Caleb warns him not to wait to long to dispatch those that are ready to turn into walkers and to make sure every cell is locked so zombies don't spread out and kill more people. Hershel finally gets a look at Dr. S and it appears he is on death's door. Caleb sounds an awfully like Carol, doesn't he?
Hershel's locking every sick person in their cells when one gets out and dies on the floor. Hershel knows he has to kill him, but he sees everyone staring down at him. He tells them to get back in their cells. He gets him on a gurney and wheels him to his kill room and uncomfortably drives a knife into his head. Rick had come to see him sees this through the glass partition. "This is the third person to die so far," he tells Rick.
He explains why he doesn't want those that are interned to see any executions because their sadness would do more damage than the disease ever could. Hershel is heroic in his determination to help. Hershel believes there's still a point to the zombie apocalypse, a test of some kind by the Almighty. His faith seems to keep him going and helping others. Off camera Rick tells him what happened to Carol and we don't see his reaction, but then he heads back to the cells and finds one women dead and Sasha passed out on the floor. As he's trying to cool her down, the dead women's eyes open.
Maggie and Rick fortify the fence with some branches and he gets grabbed by a zombie hand, but Maggie quickly chops it off.
Sasha was suffering from dehydration and she wakes up in her cell to Hershel's relief who had applied cool wraps to her head. Glenn is caring for Henry, who's wearing an intubator-type mask and when he stops breathing Glenn calls out for Hershel's help, but he's suddenly overtaken by a coughing fit which causes blood to start pouring out of his mouth.
Hershel is locking more people in their cells when the newly minted zombie women attacks him. A blonde haired woman comes out and pulls her off him. A man with a gun comes out of a cell, but gets attacked by his dead son, who just turned into a zombie. He bites down on his gun arm which causes an errant bullet to hit the woman that tried to save Hershel. Rick and Maggie hear the shot outside and Maggie runs into the prison to help.
In cell block C, Lizzie is coaxing Henry the zombie who Rick was trying to help towards her on the floor above Hershel.
Rick comes into the prison looking for Carl because he finally needs his help to strengthen up the fence. Lizzie is still coaxing zombie Henry to follow her when she stumbles and falls to the floor. Henry pounces and she starts screaming. Hershel rushes up the stairs towards them and picks up the zombie off her and heaves him over the rail onto a wire mesh. Maggie comes running towards the door of the cell block with an axe and starts hammering, trying to get inside. Hershel finds Glenn still alive, but barely.
Rick has Carl helping him fortify the fence that the walkers are trying to overrun. Rick is finally seeing his son's value when the zombies break through the fence and come flooding towards them. They make it to the guard tower which locks the horde out and then out into the prison, but the zombies are pressing against another fence that could lead right into the prison.
Hershel loads up on weapons from inside his cell.
Rick and Carl load up on automatic assault rifles as the zombies knock down another fence and approach them. Rick and Carl become the defacto new fence and open fire with their automatic weapons.
Hershel starts making noise to draw the zombies in the cell block towards him.
Rick runs out of ammo and Carl saves his life by shooting a walker who is almost upon his father in the head and then he throws his father another clip of ammo. Rick looks at him in stunned admiration.
Maggie finds a glass partition she can shoot through and makes her way into cell block A to help Glenn and her father.
Rick and Carl are shooting as many zombies as they can. Hershel blasts a few zombies with his shotgun and bends down to help Glenn, who's coughing blood profusely now from his lungs, which is choking him. He realizes that the respirator on the zombie that he threw off the level could be used to save Glenn so he makes his way onto the mesh and is trying to get at it when Maggie comes upon them. She calmly vanquishes the zombie with one shot and her dad gets the mask. Maggie holds Glenn's arms down as Hershel forces a tube down his throat so that he can breath. It does the trick, Glenn has calmed, but now Maggie is at risk of infection. Lizzy comes into the cell and asks them if it's all over.
Rick and Carl have shot every one of the zombie herd and now they are going around and making sure every one of them is dead.
A minivan approaches and Carl says: 'Dad, everything is going to be okay.'
Daryl and the others enter the prison and Tyreese asks Rick how Sasha is. He rushes to her cell and hugs her close to his body. Bob the drunk is giving Glenn his meds and Maggie tells her father to go and rest now since the others have returned. Hershel goes to his cell and picks up a Bible, but he can't read the words. He begins sobbing uncontrollably.
* The Governor reveal came at the end of the episode. Are you wondering if he was directing the zombie mobs at the fences of the prison?
* I can't wait to see Daryl's reaction to Carol's banishment by Rick.
* Is Rick now ready to assume a leadership role again?
* Why was Lizzie using her boot to play with blood and goo?
* I'm not that happy with the way the writers are introducing Woodbury characters into an episode so that they can be killed or slaughtered.
* Hershel and Rick agree that everything is going to be different after the plague, but in what way? Will Hershel give up on his faith and will Rick start embodying Carol's beliefs form now on?
UPDATE: Zack Handlen makes a good point about those porous fences:
But since the Woodbury crisis has passed, you’d think they would’ve sat down and taken a look at that damn chain-link fence. Rick and various others have been struggling to keep it standing since the start of the season, and whether or not the push of walkers is due to bad luck or sabotage, the fight hasn’t been going very well. Surely there had to have been some way to make those walls stronger that wasn’t just stabbing the endless hordes in the head and hoping for the best? By the time “Internment” begins, any long term strategy is a moot point: The fence is coming down despite Rick, Maggie, and Carl’s best efforts, and the only immediate necessity is killing what needs to be killed. But it’s odd that even with such a good location and time to settle in, our heroes aren’t better at this.
Hey, how else would the zombies be able to breach the fences?