Don’t expect the walkers to have a gracious bedside manner in “Internment,” the most suspenseful episode yet in this season of “The Walking Dead.”
The episode starts with Rick driving back to the prison after exiling Carol for killing two survivors who came down with the deadly flu that is ravaging the camp. He has a troubled expression in his eyes and keeps glancing at the watch that she gave him. Did he make the right decision in sending her away? Only time will tell.
The star of “Internment” though is Hershel, the one-legged veterinarian, who has locked himself in the quarantined cell block to take care of the infected. Even his deeply held religious conviction may not be enough to get him through the hell the sick are about to endure. The flu has ravaged the ward and, except for Hershel, most of the victims seem close to dying.
As the ill begin to die Hershel, assisted by Sasha and Glenn (both sick), strap them to a gurney and roll them out of sight, where they plunge a knife through their brains to keep them from returning as walkers.
Outside, the situation isn’t much better. The horde of walkers haunting the prison fence has grown to epic proportions and is about to overrun the yard. Maggie and Rick are in a desperate race to keep the fence from collapsing. Carl offers to help, but Rick tells his son to stay inside, as usual. “You can’t keep me from whatever happens,” Carl says, in a bit of foreshadowing.
Hershel faces a desperate struggle to keep up the hopes of the ill survivors as a third succumbs to the disease. As he’s tending to Sasha, another prisoner returns to life as a walker in the cell block. All hell breaks loose, as yet another prisoner turns into a walker and attacks a survivor. The zombies are spreading through the cell block now. Hershel proves his heroism and the tenets of his faith as he fights them while trying to save Glenn.
Outside, Rick and Carl do a little father-son bonding, cut short when the fence collapses and the walkers stream onto the prison grounds. Like a small-town turkey shoot, the survivors take assault rifles to the walkers, mowing them down.
When all seems bleak, Maggie breaks into the ward and kills the last walker that Hershel is grappling with. The two keep Glenn alive until Daryl, Michonne, Tyresse and Bob return with medicine.
There’s never necessarily a happy ending for “The Walking Dead” though. The episode ends with the return of an old enemy. The cameras pan back to reveal the Governor watching the prison from the woods.
“A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ.” – Hershel