Note: This article contains full spoilers for the show. If you are a newcomer to the series, refrain from reading.
“Isolation” offered little remorse to the survivors this week, opening with a bare-knuckled brawl and rarely slowing down.
Our poor gang of zombie killers can’t seem to catch a break.
It was revealed that a total of 14 people died last week, 12 dead from the “outbreak,” while two were mysteriously murdered. One of the residents who was murdered happened to be Tyreese’s (Chad Coleman) love interest Karen, so this episode focused on finally fleshing out his character, which it did in great stride.
Comic book fans should be pleased with this episode – it offered several glances into the hot-headed Tyreese familiar to the comic universe. Everything from the opening fist fight with Rick (Andrew Lincoln), to the rage-fueled hammer streak against seemingly unbeatable odds was derived from Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels.
With his lover gone and his sister confined to the sick area, there is little going for poor Tyreese in this world and yet he remains one of the more genuine characters out of the bunch. He is always willing to help the group whenever necessary and shows this further in this episode by putting aside his grieving in order to help Daryl (Norman Reedus) search for medication.
This was also a big episode for Hershel (Scott Wilson). Instead of limping around and spouting grandfatherly advice, he actually went out of his way to help the group this week. It was a side of Hershel not seen since season two, and it was nice to see this stern, motivated yet risk-taking side to him again.
People seem to be dropping like flies to the flu outbreak, leaving not even the fan-favorite Glenn (Steven Yeun) safe from the infectious cough.
It is rough seeing the gang try and deal with such a thing when their plate is full with so much else. Without the proper tools to treat the victims, their only option was to isolate them all to a cell block as a sort of medieval sick ward.
In a haze of hacking and coughing, people are choking on their own blood, crying out for help and grasping to what little life they have left to try and fight the disease. There’s no telling who could wind up in this threatening atmosphere next. Luckily, Hershel decides to throw his life on the line and put his veterinary skills to good use with a symptom-aiding tea. With the young and the old most susceptible to the flu, however, it is not looking good for Hershel next week.
Towards the end of the episode, we got our first glance at a “horde,” and it was impressive. Hundreds if not thousands of walkers migrated as one unanimous force and Daryl managed to unluckily drive right into the middle of them.
This horde presents some scary opportunities, especially if Daryl or someone from the search party happens to lead them back to the prison. Surely the already wavering walls could not handle this sheer amount of walkers.
With Daryl’s search party stranded and unable to look for antibiotics, the gang will feel the pressure of time next week when the flu continues to stir up problems. That is, if Carol (Melissa McBride) doesn’t kill all the victims first.