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The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is a drama about a zombie apocalypse. It is based on the 2003 Image Comics series. AMC 2010-???

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Episode 5 - Internment

13 November 2013

Hershel alone

Synopsis: Hershel tries to keep hope alive on Death Row. However when three people turn in a short space of time he is pushed to his limits. Maggie comes running in to help but Rick has to stay outside and tend to the sagging fence. He asks Carl to help him but the fence collapses and they are forced to gun down a whole crowd of Walkers.

The Unknown: In its totality the sequence in Death Row was pretty strong. The mood of claustrophobic angst was well conveyed and Hershel carried the load as an actor in bringing a sense of futile hope to a desperate situation. I did feel for him as he went door to door trying to raise spirits and delay the inevitable for one more day. That story had satisfying book ends too with the sad moment of Doctor S letting Hershel look into his bleeding eyes and concluding with a weeping Hershel mourning for all he’s lost.

The main action sequence was certainly tense but was not structured well. Hershel is faced with two Walkers downstairs and seems frozen in panic. Then he looks up and sees another Walker closing in on Lizzy. The cutaways did not help the sense of consequence in this sequence (as I felt they didn’t when Patrick ran wild) because when we return Hershel is upstairs. What about the two Walkers downstairs Hershel? Most of your patients seem to be down there and surely they could help you a little?

Of course Hershel saves Lizzy and despite a couple of unknown Woodbury survivors getting chomped Maggie steps in to end the danger. So all we seem to learn from this is that Hershel is foolish and should have weapons at the ready in a situation like this. And STILL no one is locking doors in a prison! I didn’t think the sequence was terrible. I did like Lizzy’s mature effort to save Glenn from getting bitten. But this was average and should have been better. We’ve seen the show do much better in the past.

I did appreciate that the fence gave in at the same time. It certainly added to the drama and was a very logical result of the build-up of Walkers. However there was something vaguely unsatisfying about the way Carl and Rick calmly mowed the invaders down. It felt a little like the only reason the Walkers broke in was to make the point that Carl could handle himself. And it again made me wonder why there aren’t more defences outside the fence. Or why the Walkers are allowed to build up as much as they do. Again not a bad sequence but one which didn’t elicit as much emotion as it could have.

Finally of course it has to be pointed out that everyone we know has survived and the only people to die are those we don’t. Literally the four people inside Death Row (Maggie, Sasha, Lizzy, Hershel) that we know are all ok and saved by the return of Darryl’s crew. It’s hard for that not to take the edge off any sense of tragedy or loss. 

The return of the Governor is an interesting moment. Despite their flaws these first four episodes have done a solid job of showing us how hard life is beating these people up. To return us to a state where the main antagonist is a super villain might seem a strange tonal shift.

Best Moment: "Ok Hershel, take a look." - Dr Caleb Subramanian. Poignant and plot point perfect.

Conclusion: This was flawed but had its heart in the right place.

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  • That was an excellent episode. First of all, watching Hershel parenting the sick people was perfect scenario. Hershel choice to stay with sick people and help them was completely in contrast with carol’s way of helping them. Hershel explanation of strength really helped us to understand bad side of Carol decision and her explanation of strength very effective.

    The main point of episode was about Hershel who is doing whatever he can to save the lives of people around him and more important prevent their souls to be broken.

    And we had action sequences that were really tense. Especially when fences fell down, I found myself at the edge of my chair. But it didn’t really satisfy me. The directing was kinda weak and it made that strong scene as simple as pushing the triggers.

    Rick and Carl scene in the garden was great and remind us Carol’s advice that “you can be a farmer but not just a farmer”.

    After all, It was a remarkable episode for me till now. We had character moments and good action sequences. These two helped us to understand The Governor danger better. Prison situation isn’t so good and it’s so good for Governor to step forward.

    But does he have any army or something? Is he gonna launch an obvious attack or he has something like stealth plans to break down prison?

    By the way, I’d really love to see the next episode as a Governor focused episode only. I mean, we just see what happened to him during his absence and nothing else. What do you think Robin?!

    Thanks for the review!

    Viewer score: 70 / 100

    Posted by Reza, 12/11/2013 5:22pm (6 years ago)

  • You pretty much echo my thoughts Robin, I too found the whole sequence in Death row as awkward at best. I think the girl playing Lizzie is a terrific young actress. but they seem to put her in strange sequences that are not executed very well.
    What an episode for Hershel. Gimple said at the beginning of the season that all major characters would be fleshed out better and here we see a dutiful doctor going about his business without any concern for his own health. A truly selfless man in a hopeless position. The whole experience really took a toll and to see him crying alone in his cell was very moving for me. Fantastic stuff.
    I think the writing team made a clever decision to leave the Governor out of the first 4 episodes. It was just long enough to make me wonder what he was up to and his reintroduction has just compounded Rick and the gangs problems. Its pretty much what happens in the comics but under very different circumstances.
    Im extremely excited for the rest of the season.

    BTW, last week I said I thought of myself similar to Hershel and Bob. You were spot on with the selflessness of Hershel, showcased in this episode, but I also have the same self destructiveness of Bob.
    Robin, uou strike me as a combination of Milton and Dale. The good parts of course :)

    Viewer score: 63 / 100

    Posted by Rob H, 12/11/2013 1:20am (6 years ago)

  • Good to have some action again, although I totally agree that the lack of common sense on display by our triage survivors is nearly unbelievable. The fence's collapse, which surprised no one due to its having been down behind Rick on the season's promotional poster, was another Walking Dead baby step--nothing happens fast on this show. I have a feeling it was part of the season arc; Phillip has a particular set of skills--causing the death of living humans. I actually enjoyed the father-son mow-down; how refreshing to see the walkers not magically overpowering conveniently dumb people.
    See that light on the horizon? The awesomeness is coming!

    P.S.- I've been thinking all week about what TWD character I would be, and the answer is part Rick (realistic and strong-willed when not in grips of lunacy) and part Maggie (sexy bitch;)

    Viewer score: 67 / 100

    Posted by Matt E., 11/11/2013 10:09pm (6 years ago)

  • Good Evening Guv'na! Nice pan to prison's arch nemesis at the end. Is the Governor's motives to get send the mega herd at the school to surround the prison? If Michonne had been out searching for him for a long time, how did she miss him if he was that close? Perhaps he was staying at Woodbury which is she never found him anywhere? It's pretty clear that Lizzie had an unrealistic view of what a walker is and hopefully the attack on her might yield a more sobering realistic outlook of what they truly are to her. Great focus on Hershel and his struggle with his faith versus what he has to do to keep the infection from spreading. I think at the end he was going out with Michonne to get more juniper berries. AMC has leaked some pictures of the next episode. It appears the governor is still with his henchmen and it shows a building in back of him that's on fire (similar to ones that were at Woodbury).

    Viewer score: 68 / 100

    Posted by Fluids, 11/11/2013 7:26pm (6 years ago)

  • Hi, long time lurker [Pardon the pun], first time poster on here. I have to say, whilst this episode was far from perfect, the scenes with Hershel were the most I've felt in the Walking Dead in a long time [excluding major deaths, which generally seem to be the only places I feel anything for characters, and even then they are often often muted].
    Recently the emotion has been transparently forced, painfully so in fact, sometimes, they would transparently throw character development in my face, which is inherently paradoxical and really doesn’t work.
    However this episode did seemed to build on the foundations Gimple has been constructing this season, finally we have a pay off, and I feel like by the end of the season we may have fleshed out group of survivors. Hershel’s near omni-benevolence made me genuinely feel for him & his plight whilst he was doing the rounds with the dying survivors, and I have a much better grasp of who he is… which probably doesn’t bode well for him.
    I was also glad they decided to film at night, which I can’t recall being done since Made to suffer, the same atmosphere is unachievable in the sunny Georgia landscape, but the prison is somewhat chilling.
    The episode was nowhere near perfect, despite their attempts to reinvigorate the fear factor of the zombies, I still felt far too comfortable that Hershel, Glenn, Rick, Carl & Maggie would survive, even the moment with Lizzie’s possible death evoked no visceral shock & fear for the life of a little girl. I never doubted they would survive the episode. I also wonder how Lizzie, a 12-14 year old girl was able to hold off the newly reanimated walker [who usually appear to be stronger], yet in previous seasons characters have been able to hold off far weaker walkers, such as Dale with the forest walker. I fear logic has been abandoned at this point, which seems satisfactory considering we are dealing with reanimated corpses, but it just leaves a bad taste in the mouth, as though the showrunners really aren’t trying hard enough to create a coherent continuity.
    Though I have to admit, when the gate collapsed I had a holy sh*t moment, less because of fear for characters but more because of the various ramifications this will have in future episodes. This seems to be a running trend in the series, I’m often too busy thinking about what will happen next, who’s going to die, when the Governor will show up etc, which is fine to an extent, but I rarely feel totally immersed in the moment. In fact I haven’t felt totally involved in an episode since Shane’s death, where I genuinely felt utterly engulfed by the show, since then there has been a somewhat bleak, hollow feel to the show.
    I would also like to say that I have no investment in Sasha… at all, even in regards to her relationship with Tyreese. She seems somewhat extraneous, even to the writers, I hope they have plans for her or else she will become yet another uncharacterised mess.
    By your scoring system, I would give this episode a 63, it was a good episode, but I still feel that the Walking Dead lacks a soul. Though I feel this season is definitely a step in the right direction, and I would not be surprised if by the end of the season we are dealing with an entirely different [Much better] show.

    Viewer score: 63 / 100

    Posted by Daniel J W, 11/11/2013 6:12pm (6 years ago)

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