Note: This recap contains spoilers.
It’s Hershel versus the plague this week, and Hershel comes dangerously close to losing.
While waiting for Daryl, Michonne, Bob and Tyreese to return from their run to a veterinary hospital for medication, Hershel refuses to give up on the unfortunate group inflicted with the super flu. Hershel is convinced that there is still hope — or is at least trying to convince the dying around him that there is. A few patients that collapse are taken away to be disposed of out of sight, which is Hershel’s attempt to boost morale and keep deaths hidden from the rest of the group.
“It’s hard in here but we’re holding it together,” he tells Maggie.
But really, they aren’t. One by one, the sick are succumbing. Sasha passes out from dehydration, blood drips from Caleb’s eyes and Glenn’s lungs fill with blood. Eventually, several patients turn and attack, which conveniently happens at the same time walkers swarming outside the prison breach the fences. Just as Hershel reaches for a gun to protect himself from the flu-ridden walkers, Rick and Carl gun down a large swath of the zombies. It’s a bloody massacre that throws out any attempts that Rick had to keep guns out of Carl’s hands.
Both Hershel and Rick prevail in the end. The medicine arrives just in the nick of time, and Rick and Carl’s ammunition are enough to stop the impending walkers. Glenn will seemingly survive and the threat of death by super flu has been mitigated.
But we’d be kidding ourselves if we thought the danger had truly passed. Threats are always lurking, which is apparent when the Governor makes an appearance in the final seconds of the episode, standing in the woods outside the prison.
In the end though, Hershel is the standout in “Internment.” In a season full of character development, he remains his preachy, wise self in this episode while also evolving from his experiences. For the first time, Hershel must stab someone who is about to turn into a walker. He cannot do it without placing a sheet over the patient’s face, and it clearly pains him. The scene is poignant and a refreshing change for a character who’s known for observing and lecturing.
Romance report: Maggie is, thankfully, rather composed while she helps her father revive Glenn. It’s a testimony to her faith in her father and her strong demeanor. I was glad she wasn’t a weepy mess. It seems the couple will live to see another day.
Lingering questions: Only a few know about Carol’s murderous ways and her new life as a solo survivor. What will Tyreese and Daryl do when they find out? And of course, we cannot leave out the Governor’s brief appearance. What’s he been up to?