If The Walking Dead Season 4 gets any darker, we’re not going to be able see a thing.
Not the tone, which is consistently and brilliantly bleak, but in terms of light or lack thereof. If it gets any worse, we’ll begin to think we have a starring role in the show since our face is reflected in the screen so much of the time.
It’s especially apparent in episode 5, ‘Internment’, which is set mostly at night in the A block, where the flu is claiming more lives. It feels a lot like episode 2, ‘Infected’, where someone turns and a massacre ensues, but this time there’s the added terror of Glenn (Steven Yeun) spewing blood, Hershel (Scott Wilson) pinned under a former patient and Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) pulling a stunt to rival Carl’s infamous stupidity.
Things look pretty dire for our original survivors, and the fact that the script focuses on Hershel makes us fear for his future. He’s undoubtedly one of the standout members of the cast, with strong morals that never spill over to self-righteous Dale territory, and he’s one of the few actually blessed with an intriguing character arc. From a god-fearing patriarch to broken boozer and back again (minus a leg).
Faith has always been an issue for Hershel since the zombie apocalypse began, and this week sees him calling upon the Bible in order to give the deceased a proper send-off. Only once he’s wheeled them out of sight. Far from a charade, however, he backs up his actions with a powerful quote: “A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ,” from John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley. Actor Scott Wilson does a fine job of making this man of medicine so together and yet so vulnerable, often conveying an entire monologue worth of emotions with just a look.
Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl (Chandler Riggs) also get their moment to shine when the fence collapses and they’re forced to take out an undead army, but disappointingly Maggie (Lauren Cohan) misses out on most of the action. We want to see more of this:
Meanwhile, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and co return with medical supplies and A Block gains hope of overcoming the disease that’s seen Carol (Melissa McBride) ousted and Beth (Emily Kinney) locked in a room with a baby 24/7. It comes as a relief to us too, as a more exciting plot starts stirring – Daryl’s heading off to have an uncomfortable conversation with Rick about Carol, and the Governor is about to return…