It’s no secret that The Walking Dead has a lot of characters rounded up in the ol’ prison, but hardly any of those characters have been given any substance. Of course there are the core survivors, but it’s all too easy to forget about the people who were picked up between season three and four. The Walking Dead’s “Indifference” doesn’t help the unnamed survivors’ case by focusing on the two away teams on the hunt for supplies. However, “Indifference” shows us the current mental state of some of the more able bodied survivors (aka whoever isn’t a child). Instead of doing a recap of “Indifference” I think looking at specific pairs from the episode could be more valuable: Carol and Rick, Bob and Daryl, and Tyreese and Michonne.
Tyreese and Michonne are two people who arguably have the most going on in their heads right now, yet they have the most underplayed dynamic. Michonne is clearly still coping with The Governor getting away – seeing how she was still going out and looking for him – and Tyreese might still in berserker mode from the rage of his girlfriend getting killed. I’m upset that the writers didn’t allow the two to dig deeper in to what they were dealing with. My prediction involves Tyreese and Michonne gaining more chemistry based off the way they’ve opened up to each other and how I’ve read the comics (wink). I think the two are off to a slow start and I hope we hear more dialogue between them in the future.
Bob and Daryl don’t have the best chemistry, but it’s not like they’re completely incompatible either. Bob gives credit to Daryl for saving his life – thus, giving him purpose – and Daryl sees potential in Bob to have an important role in the group. Bob did a great job opening up to Daryl when he talked about his drinking problem and I liked that Daryl took the opportunity to give Bob more hope than he had. However, I’m a little irritated that the writers saw the veterinary school as an opportunity to have Bob fall off the wagon. How does it make sense to have Bob succumb to the pressures of his bad habit after having an upraising moment with the leader of A team? If I were Daryl I would have pushed Bob right off the balcony in to the mosh-pit of walkers; however, that tactic might be a tad too harsh, so I guess I’m ok with the Daryl’s decision to simply kick Bob’s ass.
Finally, the closing act…
Rick and Carol are two characters that at one point in the show clearly were contrasted against each other. Somewhere in the second season Rick the most active character – seeking solutions to problems and getting his hands dirty – and Carol was a passive character – sitting out on what needed to be done around the farm and basically figuring out what to do in the wake of her daughter’s death. As I said in my “Infection” recap, Carol has become more of an active character this season, making her more compelling. “Indifference” allowed Carol to come out and talk about her current mental state – specifically how it was a result of having an abusive spouse and Sophia dying. Rick was challenged to make some of the same decisions that he had to make as the group’s leader (albeit on a smaller scale). Rick is slowly being drawn back in to making big decisions for the good of the group because he simply doesn’t have the luxury of standing back and tending to the potatoes. “30 Days Without an Incident” showed how Rick could still help people who needed it (crazy or not); “Infected” showed how Rick could get his hands dirty again when it came to killing the walkers of people they knew; “Isolation” was Rick’s display of thinking critically while under pressure; finally, “Indifference” shows us Rick’s ability to make tough choices (I’m looking at you Carol). Carol made a mistake when she underestimated Rick’s capacity to tell the group about how she killed Karen and David; especially seen when she claims how Rick “can’t make that decision for the group.” Rick says that he’s making the decision for himself, it just so happens to also work for the good of the group. Both characters seem to be stuck in a middle ground that demands that they remain both passive and active; however, I doubt Rick will have to remain in the middle ground for long. The last few episodes of The Walking Dead have shown Rick coming out of his turtle shell to lead the group. “Indifference” has been the first verbal sign that Rick wants to start making big decisions again; not because he doesn’t trust the decisions the council has been making, but because he knows he can’t sit on the bench anymore. It will be good to have Rick back, he’s had enough R & R.
I won’t give any spoilers regarding what happens in the comics, but “Indifference” should put Carol in an interesting state of mind for future episodes. Like I said, I’m also interested to see what happens between Michonne and Tyreese in the future. I think The Walking Dead has shown us a very interesting direction the show will be heading in for this season. However, I don’t think that “Indifference” did a good job at making us feel the opposite of the title. I want to know more about the people we haven’t met yet, and this week’s episode didn’t help me put a new name to a new face. Was “Indifference” the worst episode The Walking Dead gave us? No. But as far as I’m concerned it didn’t do a whole lot either; for the most part it just suspended the pace a little too long. I’m still hopeful though. If I had to rate “Indifference” on a scale of 1 to 10 – 1 being a hipster’s sigh and 10 being Tom Cruise talking about how much he loves Katie Holmes – I’m going to give it a 6.5.
Mine isn’t the only opinion, so don’t be shy to comment about what you took away from the episode so we can create more discussion surrounding the episode. Also, if you feel up to it you can follow me on twitter here.