The Walking Dead Season 4 Review “Indifference”

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4 Indifference (1)

I don’t often pay too much attention to who is directing episodes of The Walking Dead, but I was very excited to hear that Tricia Brock was returning to direct tonight’s installment “Indifference”. Tricia has only directed one episode before tonight, and it was last season’s incredible installment “Clear”, where Rick, Carl, and Michonne visited Morgan in his booby-trapped town. It was a great episode, and remains one of my favorites to this day. While tonight didn’t quite reach the highs of that one, it was still my favorite episode of the season as it (very similarly to “Clear”) focused on members of our crew being on the road.

We already had the foursome from last week out on the road looking for meds to take back to help the sick, but now this week Rick and Carol have already decided to go out looking for their friends. Sure, they were out looking for meds as well, but I found it a little odd that they so quickly decided to go out themselves. They’re leaving the prison even more vulnerable with basically only Carl and Hershel to defend a prison full of sick people, so I would have bought this move if a little more time had passed. It seemed like the foursome from last week was picking up right from where we left them, with Tyreese cleaning his bloody shirt from the end of last week’s episode, so I don’t quite buy Rick and Carol not having enough faith in their friends.

We did seem to get some confirmation that Carol was the one to kill Karen and David, though. I’m not sure if that brief shot of her stabbing her in the head was supposed to be an actual flashback, or if that was just how Rick was picturing it, but this does seem to put to bed the theory that she’s just covering for the real killer. There’s still a possibility that there could be a swerve down the line, and somebody else could be revealed as the killer, but that’s looking less and less likely.

Tonight was actually very similar in structure to last season’s “Clear”, as Rick goes out on the road and finds some survivors holed up in a house somewhere. Yes, tonight introduced us to hippie lovers Sam and Ana, who seemed perfectly content to hole themselves up in a bedroom and throw apricots at people. I found it a little refreshing that Sam and Ana both kinda sucked at the whole “living in a zombie apocalypse” thing. It feels like just about everybody on this show has turned into a weapons and survival expert, so it stands to reason that some people just wouldn’t be built for this kind of lifestyle. While Ana certainly wasn’t long for this show, I was surprised that we didn’t get any kind of closure on Sam. It’s possible that he’ll reappear down the line, but with both Rick and Carol driving away I can’t imagine where he’d pop up. I guess Rick did tell him where the prison was, so he might make that 8 mile trek and show up down the road, but I wouldn’t buy that he could survive that trip with a messed up shoulder and needing five or six shots to take down a walker.

We got a little more character development from Bob Stookey tonight, which more than likely means he’s dead meat pretty soon here. I’ve already said in the past that I’m not a fan of his cliched “alcoholic war veteran” character, but tonight he confessed to Daryl that he’s still guilty about Sean, feeling that he’s partially responsible. I’m with Daryl here, though. That’s complete bulls***. How does knocking over a shelf of alcohol cause a chain reaction that makes the roof collapse in a dozen places? It made zero sense when it happened in the premiere, and it makes even less sense to be beating yourself up about it three episodes later.

Bob’s story did make a much more interesting turn when Daryl found some alcohol in his bag on the way out of the clinic. Maybe I missed this, but I’m not entirely sure what the problem was here. We saw Bob stuffing tons of medicine into his bag, right? So why did Daryl say that he only had booze in his bag? Didn’t he have enough room for both in that big messenger bag? I get that it’s not good for a confessed alcoholic to be smuggling booze back to the prison, but it hardly deserved this intense showdown.

I didn’t mind Carol killing Karen and David (If that is what happened), but comparing it to Rick killing Shane is, to quote Daryl Dixon, “bulls***”. Shane was a psychopath that had already shown homicidal tendencies towards Rick and other survivors, not to mention sexually assaulting Lori. He also was about to kill Rick right then, so Rick acted in self defense. Carol killed two people who had never hurt a fly, and they were quarantined in a cell all by themselves. They were separated from the group for the specific purpose of being able to kill them if they turned into walkers. Why hasn’t she gone into the new quarantined area and killed all of the sick people in there? Her logic doesn’t carry through, so hearing her justify it to Rick just bugs me.

Despite Carol’s argument with Rick being total baloney, she is quickly turning in to my favorite character. Her complete apathy about Sam and Ana dying was just great. When they found Ana dead she didn’t even flinch, and just told Rick they should get back to the car. Then her only reaction to Sam not returning was that Rick wasn’t getting his watch back! That was her response! “Dude, I’m sorry about your watch!” Somebody probably just died, lady! There’s definitely been an effort in this season to show everybody developing a thick skin when it comes to their loved ones dying. We’ve already seen Beth, Lizzie, and now Carol deal with this issue, and I hope it continues in episodes to come.

There was a lot of other great stuff tonight, like the opening scene between Lizzie and Carol, the walkers hanging limbless from the vines, and Michonne actually smiling! Tricia Brock might not be a household name, but she sure knows how to direct a Walking Dead episode. I can’t wait for her next one!

Random Thoughts:

– I loved the little call back to Rick’s interview with Clara in the pilot, when he asked Sam and Ana how many walkers they’ve killed.

– That girl being eaten by the walkers, so far away from the camera that you couldn’t even see her face, was very reminiscent of the backpacker from “Clear”. Tricia Brock seems to be very fond of making these casualties seem insignificant and unimportant. It’s like she’s directing the episodes so that we’ll feel like Carol: detached and uncaring about a human being losing their life. Very powerful stuff.

– They rarely use licensed music on The Walking Dead, so it was a nice change of pace to hear Sharon Van Etten’s “Serpents”. I bet she’s loving the publicity!