Season 4, Episode 5: “Internment”
Original air date: Nov. 10, 2013
- The “The Walking Dead” version of “ER” ended as you would expect. Hershel (Scott Wilson) keeps hope alive, but people start dying in bunches and he has to, at last, kill some zombies. The fence collapses. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl (Chandler Riggs) team up to blast the horde with machine guns. Before the zombie apocalypse, Rick and Carl probably played catch with a football. Now they shoot zombies together. Greeting card companies take note. This is the father-son bonding moment of the 21st century. It was some good zombie slaughter, but nothing spectacular. You could do just as well to play one of the umpteen zombie games on PlayStation or Xbox and probably be just as entertained, if not more so.
- Despite the burst of action, “Internment” was mostly another dull episode. Rick and Hershel have a heart-to-heart talk, because this father-son relationship needed to be reinforced for the viewers who didn’t get they were the moral center of the show from the previous 217 discussions between the characters. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) talks about how competent she is, demonstrates it by hacking off a zombie’s, but then asks Rick for his seal of approval anyway. Feminism is another casualty of the zombie apocalypse.
- Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira) Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and Drunk Bob (Larry Gilliard Jr.) return with the medicine. All the important characters live. A cheerful Hershel goes on a zombie corpse burning run with Michonne. Rick and Carl have a quiet moment eating a snowpea in the garden. The writers will just not let this garden thing go. It’s probably a metaphor for something, maybe hope, but at this point, I really don’t care.
- Rick holds off telling Daryl about Carol’s (Melissa McBride) banishment. That’s an important lesson for young writers. Never do in one scene what you can string out for three or four. It creates the illusion the story is moving forward when it really nothing happens at all. For more examples, see every soap opera ever. Also, the Governor (David Morrissey) is lurking in the woods outside the prison. That’s suspenseful. They held out bringing the Governor back for so long I forgot he was a character on the show. The preview promises more of the Governor next week. The good news is there are only three episodes left until the show’s mid-season break. The Governor will only have two episodes to screw around and do nothing rather than the five the rest of the cast has had.
- I look at my watch a lot this season. Each time I think, “Isn’t this almost over?” I think there is a reason horror films are two hours or less. There is only so far you can go with this concept. “The Walking Dead” seems to be well past the point of doing anything interesting. The ratings remain staggeringly high despite its mediocre quality. AMC renewed it for a fifth season. But I’m very close to deleting this series from my DVR record list.