Plot: Time is running out for those sick within the Prison. After running into a walker herd of unimaginable size, Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Tyreese (Chad Coleman), and Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) are forced to abandon their vehicle. Now they must find a new car as soon as possible to continue their perilous journey before it’s too late. To buy some extra time, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carol (Melissa McBride) go on a supply run to grab any medicine they can possibly find. Rick also has to decide what to do after finding out what Carol has become.
The Walking Dead went on the road this week! Every season there are a few episodes that take place outside of the regular setting and this time it was “Indifference.” We only saw the Prison very briefly in the first few minutes of this episode. Once the opening credits came and went, the Prison was pushed to the background and everything revolved around two separate groups on supply runs. On one side we had Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob who are continuing their journey that began last week. This was an immediate continuation of what happened with their car and we saw them continue the fight to the Veterinary School. Outside of this, we had Rick bring Carol with him on a run so they can both find medication and talk about the fact that she murdered two people. What followed was an episode that was sparse on the action but strong on character development. There was also a fairly shocking and divisive ending that I will go into more detail about.
Most of the walker killing action happened with the group heading to the Veterinary School. After the four were forced to walk, they needed to find a working car as soon as possible or else they’d never make it back to the Prison in time. Daryl ends up finding a mini van beneath some thick foliage, but their excavation almost ends in disaster when Tyreese lets his anger get the better of him. Why exactly he wouldn’t let go of an attacking walker is never explained, but I guess we can just chalk it up to him not thinking clearly in his angry state. We did also get a brilliant moment between Bob and Daryl during this time. While Daryl was being all badass and fixing a car, Bob lamented about his past before the Prison and his actions during the supermarket raid. Turns out, Bob is an alcoholic who drowns his sorrows in booze. Daryl brushes this off at first but Bob’s alcoholism comes back in a big way later.
Things get a lot crazier when the group reaches the Vet School. Everything is quiet upon entry and they’re able to nab what they can, but getting out isn’t so easy. Walkers start pouring into the school from all directions and the group can’t leave from where they came. Bob himself pointed out that some of the walkers there died of the very disease that is plaguing the Prison so the group absolutely cannot let blood get on them. In an extremely exciting and high tension scene, Tyreese breaks a window with a fire extinguisher and the group makes their only possible escape. This leads to Bob taking a spill and almost losing his backpack, which Daryl later notices has booze instead of medicine. In that instant, Bob’s public image is shattered and Daryl promises to physically punish him if what they bring back isn’t enough.
Bob’s actions are really where the episode name really comes into play. This episode was called “Indifference” and sure enough Bob is completely indifferent to whether or not people get the medication they need. He only wanted booze, which was his motivator to going on the first run back in the premiere. This is the first time we got actual insight into the new character of Bob Stookey as well and I welcome that with open arms. We now know he is a drunk who has some medical experience. I fully expect both of these traits to come back into play later, but his personal decision last night was a great source of both drama and character growth.
Rick and Carol were the other group in focus last night, and their little foray into the outside was extremely reminiscent of what Rick and Shane (Jon Bernthal) did back in Season 2. Rick’s public motivation about traveling out was to get whatever medicine he could find for Hershel (Scott Wilson) while his personal reason was to talk to Carol in a neutral location. This part of the episode was almost entirely dialogue as Rick and Carol spoke about their pasts and why exactly Carol murdered two people who didn’t need to die. They also ran into a couple who were hiding in a house and decided to ask them the Three Questions, after Carol fixed up the guy named Sam (Robin Taylor). Sam ends up disappearing and his friend Ana (Brina Palencia) gets devoured by walkers so they get written out mighty quick. As for Carol, she reaffirms that Rick can’t just be a farmer anymore and that he is a natural leader. Rick then decides on his own to exile Carol from the group, stating that once her actions become public, people like Tyreese will want her dead.
Rick and Carol’s journey was a bit of a hit and miss for me. What I really loved was how it put into the spotlight how much Carol has grown since she first came in. She has become a very powerful woman and a mother figure to many children in the Prison, especially Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) and Mika (Kyla Kenedy). The downside to this is she has also become indifferent to things like murder. What I really didn’t like though was the inclusion of two completely random characters that ultimately did nothing for the story. Sam and Ana were nothing more than filler and, even though we never saw his body, I can’t expect Sam to become much of an issue for the group. I’m also torn on Rick’s decision to banish Carol without any outside consultation. I understand his reasons for doing it, but they live in a society that is run by a council. Carol’s departure should have been determined by them. Plus, Carol has become such an essential part of the group that her absence will have some big ramifications. I know this doesn’t mean she is gone from the show, but I feel like Rick was too quick to bring down the hammer.
All in all, “Indifference” was a solid episode. There wasn’t a lot of action but instead we got a lot of character growth and exploration into the likes of Carol and Bob. The Governor (David Morrissey) got named dropped for the first time this season as well as Michonne admitted the trail had gone cold. I’m sure that whether or not Carol had to go will be a big discussion next week and I look forward to seeing how this will ultimately play out.