Before we dig into Hershel, the hero this prison and band of survivors deserve, let’s start with the last scene’s big reveal. The prison is in its worst shape ever. Survivors are dead and dying from the contagion. The poorly defended home is constantly attacked by literal zombie hoards. While our survivors are doing their best, an enemy is at the gates. The camera pulled back to reveal our favorite one-eyed villain in the final scene. This would be prime time to attack the place. Despite the three-man staff he had last time we saw him last season, Rick and the guys are hurting. I love how The Walking Dead compounds the traumatic plot lines with even more trauma. We haven’t lost in A Listers this season unless you count Carol. It might be time, kids.
Hershel is resolute. His faith and hopefulness drove the episode fraught with death and trauma. Despite all this man has lost, he never fails to be the voice of reason and compassion. Armed with his natural teas and IV solutions, Hershel took care of the sick and dying, even when it came time to utilize his weapon as a healing mechanism. The gang is at its most vulnerable despite Daryl and crew returning with the veterinarian supplies. Sasha was down, Glenn was almost totally down I worried at one point. Thanks to Hershel’s quick thinking frame of mind, Glenn is still counted as a survivor. It was tense as hell watching Maggie axe herself into the quarantined section.
Rick and Carl shared some heartwarming bonding time tonight as the unleashed the automatic weapons on a massive horde. At one point he tosses Rick a full magazine like a bad ass. Carl has grown and clearly has future leader stamped on his head. Impressive for the kid that just couldn’t stay in the house. Rick had the sad task of telling Hershel he banned Carol from the prison. Maggie understood all things considered, but what happens when Rick tells Daryl? He clearly didn’t want that task and chose to dick around with Carl in the bean garden. Probably a wise move. Will this impact Daryl in the same way the deaths affected Tyreese? Carol’s dismissal seemed warranted and even with Hershel taking it in stride, this sets up two more inner sanctum people to hate Rick. That might be the proverbial straw.
Season four is everything last season didn’t deliver in my opinion. The action is non-stop. Hard decisions are being made, and no one is guaranteed to live with the sickness and impending Governor attack. Last night had a metric shit ton of zombie deaths, the bulk from Carl and Rick going fully automatic to protect the prison. Rick is all about making his old school hard choices now. Will his next choice lead everyone to safer living quarters? I’m excited to find out. This is the brand of survival horror drama I wanted all along. Great episode. Did we all catch the scene of Hershel giving up on his beloved Bible for the time being? This is just one more thing that insists we don’t take our eye off this patriarchal character.
Looks like The Governor is back for good.