28 Oct 2013

The Walking Dead - Episode 4.03 "Isolation" Review

Last week of The Walking Dead gave us yet another fantastic episode that teased us with the fact that someone within the prison was feeding the walkers, causing the fences to cave in, and with an ending like that, that involved Tyreese finding the crisped bodies of his fancy Karen and another civilian only left things hanging off the cliff. Thankfully Episode 3 'Isolation' dives right into that plot as doesn't back out, delivering a straight-faced action-based episode that blows the previous two out of the water. Isolation answered most of the pesky questions we wanted, plus adding some further character development that make some change for the better, and the worst.
Isolation cuts right to the point, slicing off all the unnecessary waffle the previous two episodes made us endure (sure killing the pigs was sad, but do we really care?), we get a raw episode the explodes from the very beginning presenting a flat-to-the-mat gore-fest that both challenges the emotions of the characters and the audience. We see the series take a stroll into a darker more atmospheric theme than we have seen before with the previous two episodes, and the feel of impending doom dominates the episode, reminding us that indeed no character is safe; those who have seen the episode will know just what character I am referring too.

Tyreese dominates the episode, with Carol coming closely behind him, and it somehow feels refreshing to see Rick step aside a little more to let the superbly talented cast shine a lot brighter than before, and although this is episode displays the distraught Tyreese, Carol becomes the main focus of the episode through her transition from weak and emotional to strong and determined, and to see this change from Season One to now is astonishing; whether or not you believe her decisions are for better or for worse, we are seeing a more fleshed-out version of Carol than ever before, a character we want to see more. The struggle Tyreese faces provides an emotional depth to the piece, and in one scene in particular we see him snap out of his unwilling dase that he carries through from the beginning to only find himself in a sea of walkers in which he slashes and dashes his way out to safety; Tyreese my friend, by the looks of things you ain't going anywhere.

The sub-plot that revolves around the sickness within the prison is starting to become its own and is starting to prove itself to be something a lot more serious than we could have imagined back in the first episode, and when we watch the beloved Glenn grow with sickness, proving that indeed no character is safe. Hershel however being the good man he is looks to be in the running for the next to bite the dust, his attempt to try and help the sick caused exposure to the sickness, and with it being said during the meeting "The young and old should be kept away to safety, they're the most vulnerable" things are starting to shape up and Hershel looks to be in danger. Personally, I think this is the last we will see of Hershel, he has been the voice of reason throughout and his control over Carl's rage over killing things looks to be no more; As for Glenn, well I have said from the get-go that either him or Maggie will die in this Season, and if it proves to be him then its proves to be the better choice, plus nobody would expect it if he were to die this soon eh?

The main zombie scene this week is when Daryl, Michonne, Bobby and Tyreese drive in the search for some medicine to help those who are sick, and when side-tracked by a Safe Heaven breach on the radio they run in to a mass amount of walkers. When trying to escape the back tires get lodged in among a large bundle of dead walkers causing the car to come to a stop. The gang then fight their way through a large horde to the woods, leaving Tyreese behind who is trapped in this own little 'Whats the meaning of life?' bubble. Some slicing and dicing takes place and Tyreese makes it in one piece, but the group then find themselves stranded shaving even more time off to save the sick back at the prison. This scene is superbly directed and the tension is higher than ever; not only do we get some gloriously gory kills, but we also get to see Tyresse snap out of this stranglehold and become the man he is in the comics... About time.

The final reveal of who it was that burnt Karen to me was unbelievably shocking, so shocking that I literally gasped, something that I never seen coming yet something that after watching it seems so blatantly obvious. Carol, after almost becoming zombie chump walks past Rick, buckets of water in each hand, Rick comments "Did you burn Karen's body?" in which she blankly replies "Yes." and walks on. To me that was the biggest shock of the episode and is a clear display of how far Carol has come, personally, I think what they are doing with the character is great and to make her the one behind it was such a strong decision to make; I mean she is the one they all turn to for help in humanity, Tyreese even asks her to keep an eye on Sasha who is locked in a room due to her sickness (bye bye Sasha), and after Carol agreeing to she knocks over the water in an angered rage and cries, proving that what she believes is right is challenging her, not to mention the fact the one of the little girls that she promised to care for as her own has also taken to the sickness. She burnt Karen so will she do the same to Sasha? What will Tyreese do when he finds out? Will Glenn and Sasha make it? Will Hershel get infected? Did Michonne have a child of her own that she lost? These are all questions that hopefully the next few episodes will answer, and if they are as good as Isolation, then we may sit back and wait for the best season yet to unravel before us.

VERDICT: The best of the season so far, Isolation proves to be a powerhouse at delivering fleshed-out characters, gloriously gory zombie scenes and a plot that grows to an extent that proves that just not every character is safe; not to mention one of the most surprising reveals in a long time.

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