After last week’s surprise dismissal of Carol from the group, I’m sure that I’m not the only viewer who expected this week’s episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ to be somewhat of a filler episode before things amp up again for the mid-season break. However, in a show that’s full of twists and turns, ‘Internment’ turned out not only to be the best episode of this season, but one of the show’s all-time best entries.
Things are going from bad to worse in the cell block full of those infected with the deadly flu. Hershel, who has yet to show any signs of illness, continues to do the best he can, but it becomes clear that if Daryl and the gang don’t make it back with the medication soon, everyone in the block may wind up dead. When one of the ill dies, Glenn prepares to stab him before he turns into a zombie – but Hershel insists on taking the body out of sight of the others who are ill. He confesses to Glenn that he hasn’t yet been able to finish off any of the recently deceased. As we’ll soon see, all that’s about to change….
Maggie is the first to welcome Rick back to the prison, and her first question is about Carol. Rick decides to tell her the truth, and when Maggie learns that Carol was responsible for the deaths of Karen and David, she tells Rick that she thinks he made the right choice. Rick makes his way to the quarantine cell block and tells Hershel (on the other side of the glass) what happened as well. Hershel imparts to Rick that he’s still a man of faith and believes that there must be a purpose for all this death and suffering.
Back inside the cell block, Hershel has a conversation with the very ill Dr. S, who shows Hershel a shotgun and some shells that he keeps in his cell just in case things turn bad. When another of the ill falls dead, and with Glenn and the others far too sick to help him this time around, Hershel wheels the man out on his own and, realizing that he must be the one to finish him off, pulls a sheet over his head and stabs him.
The Walkers continue to be a problem along one area of the fence. Rick and Maggie work furiously to set long wooden poles against it, hoping to brace it before it collapses. They hear a gunshot from the cell block and realize that things have just taken a turn for the worse. Rick tells Maggie to go help and then he enlists Carl to assist him with the fence. However, the poles snap under the weight of the Walkers. Rick and Carl soon find themselves retreating as the horde breaks down the fence and intrudes further into the prison grounds.
Maggie makes her way inside the cell block, where all hell has broken lose. Several new Walkers are attacking the still-living, and among the casualties is Dr. S, whom Hershel has to finish off. Worse yet, Glenn has collapsed onto the floor and is spitting up blood. Hershel needs to get the ventilator bag that was on another patient, but that patient has turned into a Walker. Seeing the struggle between her father and the Walker, Maggie makes a decision and fires off a shot to save her father, even though she risks hitting the bag that Glenn needs. Fortunately, she kills the Walker instantly, and they’re able to get the ventilator onto Glenn and save his life. Whew!
Meanwhile, back outside, Rick gets out the heavy artillery. He and Carl arm themselves with machine guns and start mowing down the Walkers. They manage to stop the swarm and then walk around finishing off any that are still moving. At this point, Daryl and the gang return to the prison with the much-needed medicine. Better late than never!
Thankfully, the medicine seems to work, and the sick who have made it this far – including Glenn – begin the road to recovery. Hershel goes to the cell where the deceased body of Dr. S has been placed, and takes a moment to read from his Bible – except he can’t anymore. Hershel is now a changed man. Or, as Daryl points out at the end of the episode, “a tough sumbitch.”
With everything working its way back to normal, you didn’t think our heroes would have time to catch their breath, did you? In the final shot, we see a mysterious figure overlooking the prison from outside the fences. He has an eye patch. The Governor is back!
It looks like we’re morphing from one major storyline into the next. Rick still has to tell both Daryl and Tyreese about Carol, and it will be interesting to see how each handles the news. The Governor is back – but no one in the prison knows it yet. Does he have a plan, and more importantly, does he have a mole inside the prison already? I’ve long suspected that the person feeding rats to the Walkers at the fence was working for the Governor. Why? Because he wants to flush those people out of the prison and deal with them on his side of the fence. With the Walkers having already knocked down one section of fence, is an evacuation of the prison that far away?
What an episode! I’ve always loved the show, but I’ve never seen a performance I thought was Emmy-worthy until this week. Scott Wilson is simply fantastic in this entry, and shows why the writers need to find a way to keep Hershel alive for a long time to come. What were your thoughts?