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Recap / The Walking Deads 04 E 03 Isolation

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Season 4, episode 03


As Rick investigates a string of murders, Daryl leads a team out to help Hershel cure the plague.

After finding the burnt bodies of Karen and David in the inner courtyard, Tyreese looks on in despair as Rick, Daryl and Carol try to console him. Tyreese explains that he came to see Karen when he discovered the blood trail and followed it outside, before asking to find out who burned the bodies. When Rick tries to calm him down, Tyreese snaps and punches Rick three times, leaving him bloodied and bruised on the ground. Daryl attempts to intervene, but Tyreese shoves him up against a wall. While Daryl tries to calm him down, Rick stands back up and brutally punches Tyreese to the ground, hitting him over and over until Daryl drags him away.


Inside the prison, Hershel and Dr. Subramanian look on as one of the victims from the attack in Cell Block D passes away from his injuries, and the latter prepares to stop the man from reanimating. A short while later, Hershel bandages Rick's hand and informs him that it will be sprained for at least a week. He then tells Rick that The Virus in the prison is spreading, and that a Council meeting will be held to determine the best course of action.

In the prison yard, Glenn and Maggie (wearing facemasks) continues digging graves for the victims of the attack, while nearby, Tyreese is digging two graves for David and Karen. Bob comes up and tells him he should get his injuries checked. Tyreese looks up, revealing a very swollen eye, and says he will once both the bodies are in the ground, leading Bob to start digging as well.


Soon after, Daryl comes up to Hershel, but the latter informs him they shouldn't get close. Glenn states that the infection may have been stopped due to the two bodies being burned, but he is soon proven wrong when Sasha stumbles out of a nearby doorway, violently coughing. She tells Glenn and Hershel that she's heading to Cell Block A to see Subramanian, only to be thoroughly disoriented and fatigued as she walks inside the quiet wing. After being startled by a victim of the virus (who turned and tried to escape the locked cell) and passing a woman coughing Blood from the Mouth, she sees Subramanian, who has also been infected.

The Council meets the next morning, just as Glenn becomes lightheaded and sick. The group agrees that something needs to be done to curb the infection, and that medical supplies are needed. Hershel says that there is an animal control facility that may have the supplies they need, but it is 50 miles away from the prison.


Outside, Carol tries to pump water from the nearby river, only to discover that little is being produced. She tells Rick that the line is likely jammed up, and offers to go out to fix it, but he tells her to wait until the following day. She also suggests that he should talk to Tyreese and make amends.

It is decided by the Council that all of the infected civilians will be quarantined in Cell Block A, with Carol designated to make sure no one leaves. As several civilians are led into the block, one complains that she just has allergies and doesn't want to go in, but is forced to anyway. Later, Lizzie comes to her and says she isn't feeling well. Carol gives her a hug and tells her to go to Glenn in the cellblock before breaking down and crying.

Rick cautiously approaches Tyreese and apologizes for what happened during the fight. He then asks if Karen or David had any conflicts or enemies who wished to harm them, before Tyreese denies it and tells Rick that he should stop spending his time looking at water pumps, and spending more time finding the culprit.

Inside, Rick goes to Carl and tells him that to look over the office wing of the prison, albeit being quarantined in the process. While Carl doesn't much like the idea, he agrees to do it. Elsewhere, Tyreese is standing guard for the quarantined area, but is asked by Daryl to come with them on the medical supply run. While Tyreese insists that he doesn't want anymore civilians being killed or burned, Daryl assures him that he can do more good looking for medicine. Tyreese goes to a sick Sasha and tells her he'll be back, before going to meet with the supply run group.

In his cell, Hershel looks over a coffee mug and has an idea. He walks through the office block towards the exit, but is stopped by Carl, who tells him he can't leave. After Hershel tells him he's going to the forest to obtain something, and that it's safer outside compared to in the quarantine zone, Carl offers to go with him and stand guard while he completes his task.

Outside, Carol is still trying to get water from the drums of collected water, only to discover that there's very little left. In anger over what happened to Lizzie, Carol knocks over the drums, spilling out the rest of the water, and sits down and contemplates what has happened. Nearby, Rick is investigating the scene of the burned bodies, when he discovers a bloody handprint on the door.

In the nearby forest, Hershel is collecting elderberries while Carl stands guard. Hershel remarks how peaceful it is outside, and how he can create a remedy that will mitigate the symptoms of the virus. The two are interrupted by the moaning of a half-decomposed walker laying against a tree, who pitifully reaches out for them. Carl prepares to shoot it, but Hershel reminds him that they have no reason to. The two leave as another walker, snagged by a bear trap, tries to walk towards them.

Carol goes outside the prison gates to the river, and tries to unclog the hose piping the water into the prison. As she works, several walkers notice her and begin to move towards her. Carol continues clearing the hose as Rick walks outside and sees her. He runs towards the gate, yelling at her to stop and get back inside, but she continues clearing the hose. She finishes just as a walker tries to attack her, only for it to be shot down by Rick, who has reached the gate. Together, they kill several more walkers and barely make it back inside. Rick chastizes her for not waiting for assistance before doing the work herself.

In the inner courtyard, Hershel walks towards Cell Block A. Maggie sees him approaching the door and asks him what he's doing. Hershel then tells her and Rick, who has just arrived and overheard their arguing. Hershel tells them about the remedy and, despite Maggie and Rick telling them that he will surely be infected if he goes inside, the elder Greene tells them that they don't have a choice. Hershel indicates that the only choice people can make while risking their lives is what they risk it for, before walking inside the cell block. Inside, Hershel serves Subramanian the herbal tea. Subramanian coughs blood into Hershel's face, leading to the latter calmly taking the bandana covering his mouth off and wiping his face down. Soon after, he gives Glenn the tea and tells him to stay strong.

Elsewhere, the supply run group, composed of Daryl, Michonne, Bob and Tyreese, are heading towards the animal hospital. As Daryl tries to put a CD into the car's player, he hears a faint female voice saying, "Survive... survive..." The distraction of the voice causes Daryl to nearly hit two walkers on the road, and he hastily stops the car... only for the group to be confronted by a horde of walkers in the middle of the road.

As the horde gets closer, Daryl tries to reverse the vehicle, only for it to get caught on a pile of walkers crushed beneath the vehicle. Surrounded by walkers and with no other option, Daryl tells everyone to flee the vehicle and get into the forest. He opens the sunroof and begins firing arrows as Michonne opens her passenger door and begins carving up walkers. Bob follows soon after and shoots several walkers, but Tyreese silently sits in the vehicle, clearly distraught over Karen's death. When Bob yells for him, Tyreese snaps out of his despair and exits the vehicle, smashing several walkers' heads in with his hammer. Bob looks on as Tyreese is surrounded, but he keeps killing walkers with his hammer. Confronted with more walkers, Bob is forced to leave Tyreese and flee into the forest.

A few minutes later, as the group runs through the forest, they stop for a moment to take stock of their situation. Suddenly, Tyreese stumbles out of the nearby brush, clearly rundown and fatigued and covered in blood, but alive and unscratched. The group hauls him up and continues moving towards the animal hospital...

Later that day, Rick approaches Carol and says he noticed how far she was willing to go to protect the lives of the others, to the point of risking her own life. When Carol tells him it's just what needed to be done. He then asks her if she burned David and Karen's bodies, only to be told point-blank by her that she did.


  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Averted and played straight. Carol's knife gets stuck in a walker's head when she stabs it, and she's forced to leave it behind when saved by Rick. Meanwhile, Michonne carves through several walkers easily when she, Daryl, Bob and Tyreese escape the horde.
  • Adaptation Distillation: This episode has the most scenes adapted from the comic book to date, though in different fashion:
    • Rick and Tyreese have their fight, although Rick's hand is merely sprained instead of being broken.
    • Tyreese's "gym scene" is greatly simplified for the series. Instead of happening in the prison gym, it takes place during an attack by a horde of walkers on a road, and instead of him being discovered several issues later, Tyreese returns to Daryl, Michonne and Bob a few minutes after the attack.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: It's revealed that Carol, of all people, is responsible for the murder of Karen and David.
  • Blood from the Mouth: One of the symptoms of the disease. Sasha sees one of the civilians in the quarantine zone coughing up blood, and Dr. Subramanian coughs blood into Hershel's face.
  • Blood Knight: Arguably Carol is starting to display some of these tendencies; when she is attacked while collecting water she takes out several walkers with her knife before grinning and calling it a "piece of cake".
  • Book Dumb: The reason Bob is needed to go on the supply run is because Daryl can't read most of the items on the list.
  • Car Fu: Daryl tries to do this when he swerves into an oncoming horde of walkers, but unfortunately there are so many that the bodies end up getting piled up and jammed under the wheels.
  • Contamination Situation: The disease introduced in the previous episode has started spreading rapidly through the prison community and a quarantine has been set up in an attempt to control it, but with two council members - Glenn and Sasha - and the group's resident doctor among those infected, things aren't looking too good.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Rick attempts to reach out to Tyreese after Karen's death by pointing out that he's been there himself and Tyreese has seen it.
    • Bob references the disastrous supply run from the season premiere, asking whether it's a good idea for him to come along again.
    • It's mentioned that the car Daryl drives belonged to Zach.
    • Daryl once again refers to Judith as "Lil' Ass-Kicker".
    • The ending of the conversation between Hershel and Dr. Subramanian, and the segue to Rick walking outside, uses a modified version of "The Mercy of the Living" from the pilot episode.
    • Carl has gotten his father's sheriff hat back, and wears it while out in the woods with Hershel.
    • Carl wears the backpack that was used by the unnamed hitchhiker in "Clear".
  • Death Seeker: Subverted with Tyreese; after his Heroic BSoD he sits unmoving in the car for several moments as the walkers attack before throwing himself into the horde and yelling for the others to leave him. Just when it seems like he's done for, however, he comes stumbling out of the bushes without a bite on him.
  • Disaster Democracy: The council pretty much disintegrates in this episode, as Glenn and Sasha both come down with the disease, Hershel puts himself at risk by going into the quarantine to help the sick, Daryl leaves for a supply run that's likely to take days and Carol is revealed to be a murderer.
  • Dramatic Irony: Tyreese asks Carol to look in on Sasha while he's out on the run as he knows that she takes care of people. It's later revealed that Carol is the one who murdered Karen.
  • Due to the Dead: Tyreese and Bob dig graves for Karen and David in the prison yard, while Daryl and Maggie continue digging graves for the civilians killed during the attack in the cell block.
  • Emotionless Girl: Following her new colder attitude from the previous two episodes, Beth chastises Maggie for her reaction when Glenn gets sick, claiming that they are not allowed to get upset as they all have jobs to do. Eventually subverted, as we see her fighting back tears when she finds out that Hershel has gone in to help the sick people.
  • Firing One-Handed: Bob during the escape from the horde on the road.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The medicine retrieval group.
    • Daryl = The Optimist
    • Michonne = The Realist
    • Tyreese = The Cynic, eventually becomes The Apathetic
    • Bob = The Conflicted
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Ditto.
    • Daryl = Choleric
    • Michonne = Phlegm
    • Tyreese = Leukine
    • Bob = Melancholic
  • Friendship Moment: Several between Daryl and Michonne, who have apparently bonded thanks to their mutual hatred of the Governor.
  • Gorn: The pile of walkers being ground into paste while the car tries to back up from the horde.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Tyreese's continues from the end of the last episode after he finds Karen's body, becoming increasingly agitated and attacking Daryl and Rick. He later sits in a trance for several moments as the car is swarmed by walkers before snapping into action.
    • Carol also has one after Lizzie gets infected, going outside and knocking over all the barrels of water that she and Rick collected before sitting down and bursting into tears.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Hershel goes into the quarantine area to help the sick when Dr Subramanian becomes too ill to be of much use, despite the fact that he will most likely become infected himself and is at even greater risk of death due to his age.
  • Impairment Shot: The shot of Glenn as he begins to develop symptoms just before the Council meeting.
  • Jump Scare: While walking through the quarantine area, Sasha is startled by a deceased civilian (now walker) lunging through the bars of its cage at her.
  • Kick the Dog: Following Karen's death, Tyreese snaps and responds to Daryl's attempts to calm him down by shoving him against a wall and trying to choke him. Then Rick kicks the dog by beating Tyreese to a bloody pulp, even when he's already on the ground, only stopping when Daryl hauls him off.
  • Let Me at Him!: Rick exhibits a very unsettling variation when Daryl pulls him off of Tyreese, only screaming "LET GO OF ME!" until he finally calms down.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: Subverted. Hershel and Dr. Subramanian tried cutting off the arm of one of the injured in the cell block attack in an attempt to prevent him from coming back as a walker, but this fails and the person dies anyway.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: One example in this episode:
    • The Comic-Con trailer for the season showed a clip from the car scene, where Daryl, Michonne, Bob and Tyreese hear a very clear signal of a female voice on the radio that says, "Sanctuary... Those who arrive... survive." In the actual episode itself, Daryl barely makes out someone saying "survive" just before they run into the horde of walkers.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Rick does it to Tyreese after beating punched several times by the latter. As a result, Rick sprains his hand and Tyreese gets a serious swollen eye.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Daryl and Michonne's reaction when it's revealed that they've driven right into a horde of walkers.
    • Averted with Hershel. After having blood coughed in his face by Dr. Subramanian, instead of freaking out, Hershel calmly takes off the rag covering his mouth and wipes his face, clearly resigned to what has just happened.
  • One-Man Army: Tyreese killing what must have been dozens of zombies by himself, armed only with his hammer.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Bob. As the group flees from the horde near the end of the episode, he awkwardly struggles to pull his pistol from his pocket.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Rick and Daryl respectively during the confrontation with Tyreese. Daryl attempts to defuse the situation while Rick quickly becomes violent despite his temporary pacifism in the first two episodes of the season.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: It's not clear why Carol decided to burn Karen and David's bodies, despite her claim that she was doing it to protect everyone else. The only thing it accomplishes is leading Rick and Tyreese to come to blows, while The Virus had already spread to several other people by that point, making her attempt to contain it futile.
    • How Carol,could think they were a threat to the community is baffling. Any damage they had done via infecting others had already been done before they were isolated. Quarantined, only two things could happen. Either they'd die from the flu and could be easily put down in their cells or they'd survive and be able to return to the community. They represented zero threat to anyone.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Michonne is the only woman in the medicine retrieval group.
  • Token White: Daryl is the only Caucasian in the medicine retrieval group.
  • Uncertain Doom: Subverted. When Bob flees from the horde, the last thing he sees is Tyreese surrounded by walkers, killing several of them with his hammer. A short while later, they hear a noise in the forest, only for a weakened Tyreese to stumble out, having survived the attack.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Carol killed Karen and David and burned their bodies in a misguided attempt to stop the disease from spreading. This is actually how Rick figured out that she was responsible, as he knows that she is willing to do anything to keep the group - and especially the children - safe.
  • Wham Line:
    Rick: Did you kill Karen and David?
    Carol: Yes.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Briefly discussed. Carl tries to do this to a walker when he and Hershel are collecting elderberries in the nearby forest, only for Hershel to tell him it's not worth the risk (seeing as one walker has no legs and the other is attached to a bear trap).


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