‘The Walking Dead’ Learns To Just Let Things Go

Published 1 year ago by

Norman Reedus Danai Gurira Lawrence Gilliard Jr and Chad E. Coleman in The Walking Dead  The Walking Dead Learns To Just Let Things Go

[This is a review of The Walking Dead season 4, episode 4. There will be SPOILERS.]

Last week, Rick figured out that Carol had made a decision that impacted two lives rather negatively, in the hope of saving many, many more lives. Of course, that’s in reference to the two people she killed in a fruitless effort to prevent a particularly virulent flu from spreading.

All of that leads up to the bigger issue in ‘Indifference,’ discussing the changes that’ve taken place in nearly everyone on The Walking Dead – or at least in the characters who’ve been around long enough for there to be a noticeable change. Early on in the episode, Carol and Lizzie have a fairly unambiguous chat about the concept of change and what it means in the world that they’re in now. Lizzie’s young and inexperienced enough to see some kind of hope in every little change, from her someday turning into an adult and hopefully growing stronger, to people turning into walkers, as that is – to Lizzie, anyway – an extension of the life that’s too frequently cut short nowadays.

It’s possibly one of the most overt conversations The Walking Dead has ever had, but at least it was an overt conversation about something that led to a more significant moment, and not just some dialogue intended to point out something that’s literally happening onscreen the moment someone says it (which has been a problem for the show in the past). Still, overt or not, the conversation manages to throw in a few telling references to Carol’s past that shed a little light on her current way of thinking about tough choices, and walking a very thin line between being strong and simply being ruthless. And, as Rick’s actions at the end of the episode suggest, he’s firmly in the Carol’s actions were ruthless camp.

Andrew Lincoln and Melissa McBride in The Walking Dead Indifference The Walking Dead Learns To Just Let Things Go

Rick justifies his decision of exiling her in much the same way Carol made her decision to kill David and Karen: by weighing the potential good of doing something bad against doing nothing at all. In this case, Rick essentially saves Carol’s life in the immediate future by ensuring she’s nowhere near Tyreese, as he also makes it pretty clear keeping her secret isn’t going to be an option for him. It’s another demonstration of how people can change, as not too long ago, Rick might’ve thought there was a way everyone could work past Carol being a killer.

But it’s also in keeping with the other overt theme of the episode, in that characters are no longer in a world that affords them the luxury of holding onto things, no matter how much they may mean. Whether those things are emotional or physical, or both, depends on the individual. Newcomer Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) is certainly packing a lot of both, as the guilt over getting Zach killed in the season premiere seems to be haunting him as much as the quiet he’s so desperate to drown out with drink.

In the end, ‘Indifference’ may have been the most accurate title of an episode yet, since despite the apparent dismissal of a major character, it feels as though the show was more concerned with making a series of thematic jabs than it was with landing a significant emotional blow. Perhaps that will be saved for when Rick comes back to the prison without a character the series has known for so long.


The Walking Dead continues next Sunday with ‘Internment’ @9pm on AMC. Check out a preview below:

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  1. Dell C loved it. Dell C is enjoying this season of TWD

  2. I thought this episode was great, I really enjoyed it. Some of the action scenes were kinda odd though. I feel like the writers just shove hordes of zombies into the mix just to add suspense but it’s starting to have the opposite effect on me. I don’t really care if there are several zombies up ahead because at this point, it’s expected. I’m also hoping the overall plot quickens, the last 2 or 3 episodes have been somewhat unsatisfactory in this category for me.

  3. I thought rick did the right thing here. carol went over the group’s heads and has thereby created a devastating situation for the group. would Karen and david be the last of her killings, with the rest of the prison populace uninformed and her acting so decisively? where does this conduct start and stop? she clearly didn’t have high regard for the leadership council, executing this decision on her own. however daryl feels about her banishment, so be it. this is the same guy who advocated executing the unseen killer. now he’s going to take issue with carol getting ditched? might be she got off easy, if she latches on to a new crew ( it seems as if she’s bound to lead one, in my opinion ), and with the coming fall of the prison ( I suspect the governor is leading that legion of walkers the supply group came across towards the prison ).

    just a guess, but I think the supply group negated engaging with the walkers at the college because as bob put it to tyreese, there was the risk of getting doused with blood from an infected walker, as there seems to be numerous.

    I think the show is what it is at this point, as others have pointed out in reference to George Romero’s recent statements. this show has been and will always be a drama in a walker world. hoping the show will become something other than at this point is futile. I love the show, prefer the character driven format it uses, don’t endlessly compare it to breaking bad even as a breaking bad fan myself. the show just works for me but just isn’t going to connect with many others at this point. probably best to jump ship now than continue going through the motions and provide a ratings bump for a show some now consider a joyless carcass and a sideshow rough draft in the world of quality television.

  4. Has anyone noticed the show is getting rid of a lot of women?
    The women are either killed,sick,or driven out.This could be
    the start of a hole new show….The first gay zombie show.

    I’m kidding!!!!

    • Yes, I noticed and I still think the death of Andrea was a waste of a great female character.

      — Comic Book Spoilers —

      … besides Michonne she was the only female bad ass character and her role as sniper as well as new “girlfriend” for Rick (in the Alexandra Safe Zone) will be missed on TV and has somehow to be replaced. In near future a new femal character will join the group on TV: Rosita Espinosa – on TV she could replace Andrea, I guess. She isn’t a really strong woman character in the comic book, but maybe on TV.

      Besides Michonne there are just strong male characters now. Maggie and Glenn are totally sidekicks at the moment, Beth isn’t really a strong characters (even if he will evolve, she never will be a strong woman character).

      On the other side we will soon have 3 bad ass characters: Daryl, Tyreese and in near future: Abraham. Very similar roles … I’m pretty sure one of them dies soon (hopefully Tyreese … in my opinion very bad adapted to TV … bet let’s see how Abraham works on TV).

      • Totally agree. Andrea was a missed opportunity on the Television show especially since they had the perfect actress for the role. She was developing into the badass we had been hoping for through the whole 2nd season only to lose it in season three. It was the perfect set up after the whole governor debacle for her to revert back to hardened warrior but they chose to off her. I would have preferred a different outcome as Laurie Holden as badass Andrea was a splendid sight to behold. I think Tyreese’s sister (if she survives) has potential badass possibilities.

        • Hey, you passed criticism on the TV show? Weird! πŸ˜‰

          Here we agree. Laurie Holden was a perfect match for the role of Andrea and they killed her in a very pathetic (not bad written, but still lame) scene just for the drama of this pathetic farewell scene. A fulminant showdown between Rick’s group and the Governor’s army would have been much better. In my opinion the two most wrongest decisions for the TV show … many problems of the show at the moment trace back to these wrong decisions in my opinion (killing a very strong female role without replacement, not finishing the Governor/ prison story arc).

      • I think they totally laid an egg on the Andrea character. The potential they had to make her one of really 3 characters on this show that is important was a missed opportunity. Her character started out in the right direction but the way it ended in S3 was just horrible, IMO. I think they also messed up on the T-Dog character as well but since it’s a new character who knows. Maybe that was the whole plan along but I feel they could have made him play a more important role in the group. S4 seems to be a little bit more on track with what S1 was offering(still not the same). I do like the fact that they are getting down to more of what the comics had but with differences here and there(Ty gym scene). The show has it’s issues but so far I am rather happy with the direction they are going. I also love the fact that they have little clues in each episode.

        • Totally agree with the Andrea character. Not so sure about T-Dog (consider him well done and brought to his potential). He always was referred as kinda Tyreese replacement, but never really was. Now we have Tyreese and I consider him as one of the more bad adapted characters. Really hope for a better TV adaptation of Abraham!

          • I think they started off really bad with Tyreese and now they are trying to fix it. The “gym scene” was an okay start but we shall see where it all goes. I do hope that Abraham is every bit as good as he is in the comics. If he is, then I will put aside the Andrea issues because I rather like the Abraham character a little more from the comic side at least.

  5. don’t think t-dog was well done at all. what was well done about him? the guy was a three season shadow, with little to no dialogue. to not be a fan of the character is one thing, but to think of him as a well done character?

    in addition, the fact he was to die in season one and they kept him around says why he was kept around, as a token character. he trended on twitter for the reasons above, as a running gag amongst viewers. then glen mazzara lies to folks with a promised focus on the character. to kill him off or keep him around is up to them, but there’s no need to peddle horse manure to the public, just as there’s no need for a show runner to publicly discuss who survives and who perishes. if your not going to further develop a character, there’s no reason to tell the public so just to save face for the botch job.

    • Yeah, exactly what I’m saying. He was a sidekick character … or a team character … and as I said above … as such a characters brought to his potential and well done. That doesn’t mean I consider him a great character … he had his role and this “shadow role” was ok or well down (contrary to many saying T-Bone should have been a more important character and even some TV Tyreese … which I don’t think). Also as token character he served his purpose and that’s it.
      So he was well down.

      • I do see your point and now thinking about it, I would agree with that. I hope this years view of the Governor is more menancing than last year. I think the guy took the steps in order to become that “more dangerous threat than the zombies” last year towards the end(well, kind of). I think though he needs to take a even darker tone in order for the guy to become that epic bad guy that is soo well known from the comics. That doesn’t mean the guy has to go all Rambo on everyone but even providing a certain facial expression or “look” can work wonders. We shall see. I have a feeling his time to show up is pretty near

        • I guess we’ll see the second attack of the Governor before midseason, hopefully. And I hope the prison falls and the Governor dies and the story goes on. I really hope they do not start to hang on characters like the Governor just because of great actors.

          The Governor showed how really sick and mad men can take over in times of chaos. But compared to Negan he’s a minor threat. Negan isn’t mad, he’s very smart and rational, but also very brutal and obsessed by power and his very own self-interest and advantage.

          • Yes, Negan is the biggest threat as of yet. I am hoping the prison attack happens by midseason and thus they move on. Maybe get to the Safe Zone by end of season with Negan being introduced by midseason in S5. I don’t know though. If they move that fast they might catch up to the comics and then end up having issues with that part later on. It will be interesting based on what happens by episode 8

            • I guess they will adapt the story arcs a bit for TV. They need some great season final cliffhanger. So If all goes well (from my point fo view) at midseason we’ll see the fall of the prison (hopefully death of the Governor). Then they’re on the road again … and next half of the season will be the regrouping of Rick’s group and joining with Abrahams group. So I guess the season final will be the beginning or peak of the Hunters story arc. This is a short story arc and shows how badass Rick and Abrahams group already got … guess in beginning of season 5 we’ll see the quick end of the Hunters and then maybe soon the Alexandria Safe Zone.
              But I don’t expect to see Negan in season 5. Maybe he’s the cliffhanger of season 5 finale (at the earliest).

              • Yes, good point. After reviewing the span of events leading up to Negan there is still a bit of events that they need to go through in order to lead up to the character. The hunters story arc is going to be great

  6. I get what you guys are saying about they needing a place that’s safe helps my point in my eyes…your saying they need time to rest and think things thru but over 1 1/2 years it’s a whole lot of time..when will the right time be whenever everyone is dead because over half of originals are..which makes even more sense to see what the world has to offer.because staying there they will clearly die anyway..what I am saying is even if a cure hasn’t been created yet…there could be government facilities..all I’m saying is it doesn’t make sense that nobody cares for answers anymore..when they were so adimit about it in season 1 and yes I know what the coward doctor told them…would u really take his word not to mention it was years ago 20 months same thing..do u know what can happen in 6 months…this is clearly just a case of a excellent show being ruined so they can stretch these week plots..up until season 3 midseason it was arguably the best show on television

    • As much as I respect your thoughts on the show I can only disagree with your estimation that one and a half years is a long time…not even close (it is a relatively short time especially in light of how drastic a change to life as they knew it) and the majority of that time they were kinda wandering between the camp and the farm and now the prison which they haven’t been at all that long (maybe 6 months..Frobin would know). And this cowardly doctor you keep admonishing, cowardly or brave really doesn’t figure into it at all…INFORMED is the key here which he was. The show has it’s faults but for me being boring is not one of them. And season 4 has so far been one engrossing experience thus far.

      • i’m in agreement with you on the time line issue, in the sense that I often read critiques of the show or episode reviews where critics bemoan the fact that the show is too bleak and hopeless. to the viewers we’ve taken in four seasons of show time, but in the fictional world of the walking dead they likely haven’t hit two years. that is a pretty short span of time to expect an immediate societal and moral revival, especially if one attempts to picture themselves trying to function in this world gone to s**t. i’m with Robert kirkman in that i’d picture our world actually being much worse, so tv critics stay away from my show.

        as for t-dog’s characterization, I guess it’s just my take on the character. considering the leap he made returning to Atlanta with the group looking for merle, those sorts of expeditions and character spotlights made the first season outstanding to me. it differentiated it from most other tv shows and made an odd dynamic believable and functional ( sheriff, Asian gamer, religious black guy, racist redneck ). I thought they would have therefore shed more light on him, and he certainly is one of the reasons folks have taken shots at the show from season 2 onwards for their lack of character building.

        as for negan, three episodes in some viewers will be calling for his ouster from the program. just the way things go nowadays.

    • I agree with your impression on stretching the plots (or adding unnecessary subplots just for reasons beyond characterisation and plot development) started in season 3 and now in season 4 is very prevalent (first 2 episodes could have been one). There’s also a problem with the set-up of plausible action scenes … however …

      … BUT I do not agree with your view of the proactive acting of characters, having a plan beyond surviving and what can be done within 18 months. I really really like The Walking Dead, because it on a very basic level it very realistically portrays the framework of human living and survival at a time veery looong ago (even before mankind started to build political communities like kingdoms) – when mankind wasn’t the dominant species and not on top of the food chain. If you read some anthropological books, for example the Pulitzer Prize (1998) winning book of Jared Diamond “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies”, the acting of the characters in the Walking Dead is very much as described in such non-fictional, anthropological books: it’s all about keeping your offspring save and alive … which works better in trusted clans of family members and known allies, so humans lived in very small, manageable groups, strangers are dangers and aggression a survival strategy, communication back then wasn’t a survival strategy, trust is highly important and affirmed by rituals and clear rules. And these clans had their territory (known and common ground) or moved very slowly. Today in 6 months the world can change, back then 1 year was just a struggle of survival and preparing for winter.

      Sorry for this excursus. Back to the point:
      In season 1 Rick and his group were on the run and they did as you suggested: they headed for a governmental facility for help. But they didn’t find any help, just desperation and frustration. Then they found Hershel’s farm (in the same year!) and spent the summer and autumn there … they were glad to have a break, and Carl was shoot and had to heal, they searched for Carol’s daughter … and then got overrun by a herd of walkers … so the did very much this whole summer and autumn of the first year.
      After the farm was overrun, they had to survive the first apocalyptic winter – as we’ve seen at the start of season 3 – so again 3 – 4 months with very much to do, namely find something to eat and sleep and just survive (here you could ask why they didn’t move on to another region before winter … but maybe because Hershel knows the region … who knows … they considered their chance for survival better here).
      Then they find the prison in spring. They survived a horrible winter and are totally enthusiastic to have found something like a safe haven … they start to clean the place of walkers … so they have much to do … and then they have tinned food there … yeah … so why moving to another place … it’s a break again, this time a break with fences … much smarter than camping in the woods like in season 1 … so they adapt, slowly … but then the Governor occurs … and as with the two guys at the bar in season 2, Rick and the others for the first time realize: it’s not just surviving the walkers, but also the living … again they have much to do …

      … then things got a bit out of control, because the wrong decision to not end the Governor/ prison story arc with season 3. Because now it really seems they just sit around and do not develop proactive strategies. So for this reason the writers came up with the flu (a clear stretching trick).

      But with the end of the prison there will be a new story line in the direction you suggest … finding a cure or at least a solution. Maybe the voice on the radio is a hint (don’t know if you read the comic book). But this would be a comic book spoiler.
      I totally understand your impatience with all the stretching in season 4 (after a slow season 2 and a disappointing season 3 final) … but I hope it will end with midseason.

      • Agree with most of your analysis and am quite impressed with the historical references and their direct comparisons to the actions and motivations of the characters on The Walking Dead. It is such a breath of fresh air to have someone support their position with some intellectual thought process as opposed to the usual “this show sucks” mentality. I continue to disagree with you in regard to the stretching claim in regard to this season as events have moved quite swiftly and the flu is a totally plausible turn of events (actually inevitable)within the framework of the setting (zombie apocalypse or any kind of doomsday scenario). People existing in communal clusters with little or none of the types of protections from infections we enjoyed before the you know what hit the fan.

        • Thanks. But as much as I like the show overall, I am actually one of these guys who say “this show sucks” at the moment πŸ˜‰ (compared to the level of Season 1 & 2 … but not overall: there are a few better shows, but many worse) … and I hope they will fix it … and I see an upward trend, but the first two episodes as well as the flu really suck. Guess, we won’t agree on that. πŸ˜€
          However, I understand why the writers have to come up with the flu … it’s needed to bypass the time to the Governors final attack which should have happened in season 3 final (or immediately in the first episode of season 4).

          • You may say the show sucks but you back it up with some well thought out rationale. I may not always go along with it but it gives me reason to pause and contemplate…that is the difference.

  7. I actually never thought of how they were sidetracked by the governer…so in actuality they only have been of 7 months off on getting back on track because I can be wring but I believe rick was a farmer around 6 months…so u actually didn’t mess up in my eyes until the farm thing..I don’t think they messed up they switched writers….

    In season 3 rick clearly says and firmly I believe it was Glenn do not bury any body’s on the prison land…and now that’s all they do..clearly I can tell how the head writers never even pay attention to old dialogue,plots,and scripts…Breaking Bad had 5 great seasons and cut it when they clearly could have had 6…But they figured why mess it up…Now we have Twd trying to make at least 10 just go with the flow it will never work if you already have a set number of 10 in your head

  8. what’s with all the mature debating? considering fans threatened andrea holden for shooting ” imaginary character ” daryl, or glen mazzara in fear of him killing off daryl last season?

    or a critique using facts to support claims? the hell is going on around here? we’re suppose to be Neanderthals!