Today we'll be looking at last night's episode, "Indifference." Spoilers abound from here on in, so if you aren't up to date with all things TWD, I suggest you stop reading, go and watch the episode and come back.
And here we go.
Poor me. Poor me. Pour me another drink
Poor Bob Stookey. The former army medic just wants to get a little drink action going on but whenever the opportunity arises to imbibe some of the hard stuff, really bad things happen. In the season premiere his heavy handedness with the booze shelf caused a downpour of undead, while here at the veterinarian hospital he chose to take liquor instead of meds (why he couldn't fit both medication and booze in his bag was never really explained). To be honest if I was living in constant fear of death, or worse, having to listen to Carl spout his faux-macho bulls@%t all the time, I would fall off the wagon faster than you could say Mojito.
But this isn't about me, this is about Bob and Bob's got a problem; everybody around him dies. When talking to Daryl about his past, he admitted that the two previous groups he was traveling with both got wiped out, with him being the sole survivor. That's the sort of information that gets people worried for their own safety as it suggests that Bob might not be the best team player. By choosing booze over medication (meds or death!), Stookey has shown that he puts himself before anybody else. In a community that needs to stick together to survive, that is not going to sit well.
Judge a book by its cover
It wasn't just hard liquor that caught Stookey's eye at the hospital. Next to the bottle of booze was a collection of books that on closer inspection, might hold some clues. The first was titled The Pathology of Fear, which was a theme that ran through the entire episode, from Carol's talk to Lizzie on how to overcome fear, to Bob's fear of his fractured mental state. The second book, Enter A New Dawn, could be a reference to life at the prison after the flu outbreak, or about Carol's exile from the community and her new life as a social pariah. The third book, called Completely Illustrated, has left me stumped as to its possible meaning. The entire history of the zombie apocalypse illustrated with pictures of Kate Upton perhaps?
The eagle-eyed among you might also have spotted the hidden message displayed at the gas station, where the numbers had been turned upside down to spell HELL. It was a nice touch.
As the episode came to an end, the Sharon Van Etten song "Serpents" played as the groups went their separate ways. Written about an abusive relationship, "Serpents" contains the lyrics:
Serpents in my mind
Trying to forgive your crimes
Everyone changes in time
I hope he changes this time
People changing was a prevalent theme throughout this episode. Carol told Lizzie, "You fight it, and fight it and don’t give up, and then one day you just change." Carol's rationale is you have to do what you can to stay alive, even if that means murdering two people for the good of the group. But, for Rick, this was stepping off into the deep end. He doesn't trust her around his children any more and, despite the horrible things he (and Carl) have done to keep themselves safe, he orders her into exile. Clearly he can't forgive her crimes. How will he explain her absence to the rest of the group? She was on the security council, whereas Rick gave up all leadership responsibilities. What will Tyreese do if he finds out that Rick let her go? And how will Daryl react to losing his closest friend?
This little saga is a long way from done.
What were your thoughts on "Indifference"? Do you think we've seen the last of Carol?