The Walking Dead Conversations: Rick Exiles Carol, “Indifference”
[WARNING: Spoilers for the latest episode of The Walking Dead]
While Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese and Bob Stookey are on an extended run to get the meds needed to fight this flu outbreak, Rick takes off with Carol on their own more short-term supply run. There’s obviously tension between the two. After all, Rick knows Carol killed Karen and David. She confirmed it in “Isolation.”
For most of “Indifference,” they don’t really talk about it. But the topic sits there between them like a lump every step of the way. They manage to put off dealing with that whole mess until the end of the episode.
After what went down last week, I was wondering what Rick was going to do. Was he going to tell the group about the “executive decision” Carol made on the behalf of everyone? Or was he going to keep quiet and keep the secret from everyone including Tyreese? Carol expects him to say something about what she did but he stays quiet. I bet she wishes he had continued to stay mum right about now, right? Because Rick ends up making a monumental executive decision of his own.
The Rick/Carol tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte turns out to be this epic conversation where you see shades of past Rick. The one whose decision-making process involves him and him alone. Because he (thinks he) knows what’s best for the group. You also see what this world has done to Carol. She’s no longer the timid, abused wife. She’s been stripped of this persona. But in its place is this hardened Mama Bear that will do whatever it takes to ensure her safety and the safety of those she cares about, especially Lizzie and Mica. But she goes about it in such an over-the-line not cool kind of way.
Rick: “They might have lived. Karen and David. They might have lived. And now they’re dead. It wasn’t your decision to make. When Tyreese finds out, he’ll kill you. He damn near killed me over nothing.”
Carol: “I can handle Tyreese.”
Rick: “When the others find out. They won’t want you there. And if they don’t make it back, if everybody dies of this thing, and it’s just the two of us, with Judith and Carl — with my children — I won’t have you there.”
Carol: “Rick, it’s me. No one else has to know. I thought you were done making decisions for everyone.”
Rick: “I’m making this decision for me.”
Carol: “I could have pretended that everything was going to be fine. But I didn’t. I did something. I stepped up. I had to do something.”
Rick: “No, you didn’t.”
Carol: “If you think I’m going anywhere without Lizzie and Micaâ€¦”
Rick: “If you want them to leave? To go out there with you? Lizzie’s sick. Mica is ten years old.”
Carol: “She can’tâ€¦”
Rick: “We’ll keep them safe. You’re not that woman who was too scared to be alone. Not anymore. You’re gonna start over. Find others. People who don’t know. And you’re gonna survive out here. You will.”
Rick then sets Carol up in another car with supplies and everything she needs. Carol gives Rick the watch her husband gave her for their first anniversary. Her last tie with the Carol she used to be: “I should have given it away a long time ago.” And then she drives off.
“Indifference” isn’t what I’d call my favorite episode of the season. But the Rick/Carol convo is a standout scene crackling with tension, history, pain and great acting. I love Andrew Lincoln in “Indifference.” You can see how after finding out what Carol did, he starts seeing her and what she’s become. Carol maintains she did what needed to be done. That Karen and David were the only ones sick and she needed to ensure the illness didn’t spread. And she delivers her message in such a matter of fact way. Melissa McBride really excels in this episode as well.
But, now, how’s the rest of the group going to take Rick exiling Carol? When they find out what she did will they agree? And what’s to become of Carol? What will she be up to when we see her again? I’m assuming we will catch up with her at some point. She went above and beyond to keep her group safe. But she has to know what she did was wrong because she acted on her own and didn’t tell anyone about it. Until confronted with the pointed question, that is.
But did Rick have the right to kick Carol out of the prison? I don’t know. I am someone who doesn’t like when one person makes a huge decision for everyone. There’s a council for a reason. And both Carol and Rick should have talked to everyone involved in that governing group as far as I’m concerned. Both of these strong, damaged individuals are going to have to live with the consequences of their decisions.
What do you think about Rick’s decision? How do you think Carol will handle being out on her own? When do you think the group will see her again? And for that matter, how do you think the group will react to her departure (especially Daryl)? I’m excited to see how this all plays out next week.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
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