Tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead was a real tension-builder and for good reason! — Spoilers if you haven’t seen tonight’s ep of The Walking Dead (“Internment”) — One could argue that every episode of The Walking Dead is like a horror movie, but is that really the case? Zombies are a part of these people’s everyday life, so having one pop out from the bushes or a closet or something doesn’t really have the same shock-value as it might have in a scenario where people are far less prepared for such an assault. I bring this up because there were moments in “Internment” that captured that horror genre tone in a way the show doesn’t always manage to do. Whether it was the Night of the Living Dead-ish shot of the walker legs rushing through the fence, or Hershel fighting off walkers inside the prison, there were some real pulse-pounding moments in "Internment."
I feel like I need to point that out because I’ve complained a bit this season about how depressing this show is getting. Thrills certainly compensate for that. The reality of these characters’ situation isn’t much better than it once was — apart from the acquired antibiotics, of course — but seeing the lead characters survive some pretty major zombie attacks throws a bit of perspective on the show. Life in this reality mostly sucks, but it’s a win when we don’t get to see what any of our favorite characters look like zombified.
Never has Bob’s domino metaphor felt truer in this series than inside the quarantine area when the sick people started dying and turning faster than the other sick people and Hershel could head-stab them. First, it was the guy Glenn was tending to, who inconveniently died just as Glenn had a coughing fit. Other dominos continued to fall as other deceased flu victims shuffled out of their cells and began to attack sick people, making more zombies and putting Hershel in grave danger. And after tonight, Lizzie may be re-thinking her theory that walkers are just people who have changed, as she tried to lure Glenn’s patient somewhere (no idea where she thought she was taking him) and nearly got herself killed. Meanwhile, after hearing the gunshots, Maggie struggled to find a way into the quarantine to save the day. And she eventually made it, managing to save her father and help get the medical equipment to Glenn before he choked to death on his own blood. Crisis majorly averted.
Outside, Rick and Carl were scrambling to reinforce the fence, which was on the verge of collapsing. The posts they were using to support the fence began to buckle and in came the walkers, which Rick and Carl eventually mowed down with some rapid fire weaponry. Has anyone ever actually killed all the zombies in these mob-attack situations? Rick and Carl’s efforts were impressive, and it’s a mark of their determination to take care of things. Of course, those guns did their part. How different would a lot of this series’ worst walker moments have been if automatic weapons were involved?
Rick and Carl get points for re-securing the perimeter, but Hershel wins the episode for his tireless efforts to tend to people, and his adorable comments about having Spaghetti Tuesday on Wednesdays... if they had spaghetti. Tonight’s episode was kind of a bloodbath in terms of sick patients, but I’m willing to bet a lot of those people lasted as long as they did because Hershel not only stayed with them but also encouraged them to fight, to rest and to stay hopeful. I don’t think I’ve ever liked him more. He came close to death tonight, as did Glenn. And Sasha wasn’t doing too well either. But the foragers returned and medication is being administered, so let’s hope this squashes the sickness.
And then there’s the final moment. The Governor is back! Has he been luring walkers toward the prison this whole time? It’s possible he just happened to show up tonight, but I think it’s just as possible that he’s been intentionally testing and nudging the prison’s defenses to see how much it took to flood the place. We also know there's something fishy about the rats, though that's presumably related to someone inside but it could be connected to the Governor. We don't know yet. Regardless of whether or not he’s been messing with the prison, his timing couldn’t be more perfect, considering Rick’s group is just overcoming their most recent challenge. In this reality, it’s only fitting that one more be lined up to follow not long after.
The flu may be dealt with and the Governor’s nearby, but there’s another major issue left to be resolved, and that’s what Daryl’s going to do when he finds out Carol was sent packing. Maggie seemed on board with Rick’s choice to send Carol away, but her perspective may be biased, considering Glenn was one of the sick people. Daryl might not feel so supportive of what Rick did, and that could cause some pretty major internal strife. Rick seems to realize that, as he opted to eat some snap peas, rather than deal with the inevitable confrontation with Daryl. It'll be very bad if Daryl decides to leave, considering the Governor's lurking around outside and may be planning something.