Season 4, Episode 3: Isolation
With last week’s episode culminating in two members of the camp being turned into charred corpses, this week it’s all about ‘whodunit.’ Picking up from the end of the previous episode, we see the hulking Tyreese (Chad Coleman) devastated and angry at the barbecued bodies; so angry that it leads to him and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) having a good ol’ fashioned punch-up. What’s most interesting about this scene is that we see a glimmer, just a glimmer, of the ever-popular bat-shit-crazy Rick – well, until Darryl (Norman Reedus) steps in.
Elsewhere, the virus that decimated the camp last week is still going strong. With more faces getting sick, there’s a feel of doom and gloom surrounding the once-safe prison that the group call home. Whilst most of those suffering are fairly new, disposable characters, the scale of the problem is fully portrayed by Glenn (Steven Yeun) also getting sick. A part of the show from the very beginning, putting such a character in such a troubled situation isn’t something new to The Walking Dead. Whether Glenn will make it through, that’s yet to be seen. The only thing for certain with The Walking Dead these days is that all bets are off. That said, fans of the comic book will know Glenn’s fate, but, that said, the show has already shown that it’s not afraid to differentiate from the books.
Similarly, those familiar with the comic books will know what lies in store for Carol (Melissa McBride), and it appears that the show is following a similar route. Growing more and more single-minded, the character is becoming a concern for Rick, as we see Rick starting to come more and more out of his shell again. When this season started, he was almost in his own bubble, trying to be low-key and focus on looking after his children. Now, it appears that Rick is starting to step to the forefront of the story again, and we get some great interaction between he and Hershel (Scott Wilson) this time out, as the camp is heavily split and disorientated by the apparent virus that is sweeping over it.
Whilst the biggest threat of the episode seems to be the illness within the group, it’s also noticeably clear that the walker menace is a massively growing threat. By sheer numbers alone, the walkers are starting to become a major worry for the survivors. As this season started, it was played up like the walkers were just seen as part of everyday life now, that they were a threat so low on the totem pole that they were comparable to a bee sting. Purely down to numbers, it appears that the walkers are once again a severe threat.
Constant throughout this episode is the speculation as to who was responsible for the two charred bodies that the second episode’s climax brought us. Here, you have your suspicions throughout, and what’s more shocking is not so much who was responsible for these actions. The bigger shock is that character’s nonchalant attitude and lack of emotion at openly admitting to crisping up some of their cohorts. It also poses the question, if this person can do that to relative strangers, how about if some of their longer-term friends are also sick?
Again a stellar, episode, Isolation doesn’t quite reach the heights of the previous week’s Infected, but it’s still an impressive, progressive showing from The Walking Dead that promises a lot more to come.