Note: This recap contains spoilers.
We’ve had to say goodbye to some complex, interesting and important characters on “The Walking Dead” throughout the show’s three previous seasons. In “Indifference,” we say goodbye to Carol, not in a bloody battle, but behind the wheel of an old station wagon as she drives away after being cast out of the prison community by Rick.
Carol has transformed from the scared, battered and weak character she was in season one to someone numb to violence, pain or fear. Carol was cold and calculating when she murdered Karen and David, she tells Rick, because it was what she thought she needed to do to save lives. “It’s about facing reality,” she says of her decision.
Carol shows Rick her hardened side once again while out on a run for supplies. She is somewhat indifferent after meeting a nice, young couple hiding in one of the suburban homes. The couple — unsurprisingly — does not survive the episode, and Carol barely bats an eye. She’s seen too many people die, including her daughter, to care that much anymore.
Carol has become a shadow of her past self, and Rick does not like it. They seem to fundamentally disagree on issues of survival and morality, making Rick genuinely afraid of letting Carol be near his children. Rick also knows the reality of what Carol faces if Tyreese finds out about the murders.
How the past has shaped the current cast of survivors plays a big part in this week’s episode. Rick and Carol discuss everything from Carol’s struggle with her abusive husband to Lori’s habit of making pancakes every Sunday for Rick and Carl.
After last week’s car troubles, Michonne, Tyreese, Daryl and Bob stumble upon an abandoned gas station and work to revive a vehicle. Bob and Daryl discuss the groups Bob used to travel with while Michonne tries to coach Tyreese through his anger regarding Karen’s death.
After starting the car and quickly gathering supplies at the veterinary hospital, Bob’s battle with alcoholism (first hinted at in the store raid from the season premiere), almost derails their successful trip.
This season, the survivors are coming to terms with who they are, who they’ve become and how it affects their actions. For Carol, it now means facing survival alone.
Romance report: Besides seeing another lovely couple die at the hands of walkers, not much to report here.
Unanswered questions: Is this the last we’ll see of Carol? I’m doubtful. She’s devoted to Lizzie and Mika and she’s not dead. We’ll have to wait and see.