As Rick makes his way back to the camp, things are not looking too good for the prison ill. With the help of a sick Glenn and Sasha, Herschel intubates one of the most ill patients. As he and Glenn get up to make rounds, Glenn asks him how long they are going to keep doing it; Herschel replies “As long as we’re willing to do it…as long as it takes.” When Mr. Jacobs dies, Herschel tells Glenn they need to take him away, do what needs to be done somewhere other than the makeshift infirmary. Lizzy sees them wheeling out the body and Herschel distracts her from it, reminding her that they all have a job to do. In a more private area, Herschel tells Glenn that people don’t need to see it the final kill, despite them knowing it’s being done. Maggie comes to visit and Herschel runs interference for Glenn, who doesn’t want her to seen him so sick. Herschel asks his daughter to hold it together just a bit longer. Maggie jumps onto the fence, taking her anger out on the gathering walker crowd when Rick arrives. Though he needs to move fast with the supplies, he tells her about Carol. Maggie believes he did the right thing but isn’t sure she would’ve had the courage to do the same thing. Rick tells her she could have, reminding her she’s done much harder things and they cannot afford to doubt themselves anymore. Rick stops down to check on Carl who still wants to do more. In one of those moments that shows just where Carl is in maturity, he tells his father “You can’t keep me from it…from what always happens.” Rick agrees though, as his father “it’s my job to try.”
Herschel goes to check in on Dr. Caleb who understands he’s on his last legs. His words to Herschel are so very true; “If you’re not ready to lose one, you’re gonna lose ‘em all”. He brought a gun to finish the job if need be. Herschel refuses to give up, though the bloody tears coming from Caleb’s eyes are a bit tough to get through. Not long after, Herschel loses another patient, this one dying in the middle of the quarantine block. Sasha helps Herschel put the body on a gurney and he wheels him out of site. Rick checks in on him and Herschel tells him about how “a sad soul can kill quicker than a germ.” The people need to believe, it’s the driving force behind Herschel’s actions, on why he wants to keep the necessary actions away from their eyes. “Life is always a test,” he tells Rick. The last few days get even harder when Rick tells Herschel about Carol. The news saps a little bit more of the doctor’s strength though he gets back to his duties. He stumbles across a passed out Sasha and, in his haste to help her, he doesn’t close the door on a recently deceased patient. Sasha’s okay, just a bit dehydrated though things quickly spiral out of control. The intubated patient dies and Glenn ends up with a coughing fit and, just like that, all hell breaks loose.
Rick and Maggie are reinforcing the fence when Lizzy finds Herschel to tell him about Glenn, the dead woman pounces on Herschel, a guy brings out a gun to save Herschel but he ends up getting chomped on by his friend and ends up shooting the woman that pulls the walker off Herschel.
The gunshot rings outside and Rick sends Maggie to go investigate and he taps Carl to help solidify the fence. Lizzy saves the defenseless Glenn from the intubated walker, luring it away. Herschel ends up saving her when she falls down. He knows there are more walkers down in the zone and goes to get Dr. Caleb’s gun. He puts the now dead Caleb out of his misery and takes out some more walkers. Maggie ends up helping Herschel with the intubation tube and they save Glenn. Outside, Rick and Carl team up to stop the zombie wave that breaks through the fence.
It’s all quiet now with father and son pokering the left over walkers when Carl sees the Daryl and the others return. “It’s going to be okay,” he tells Rick. And, for now, things are okay as the antibiotics do their thing, Herschel allows himself a moment of grief for those lost, and father and son are getting a a place of strength. But there’s a bit of information concerning Carol that Rick has yet to share with Daryl.
And then there’s the Governor…
- Herschel was at the forefront of the episode and solidifies himself as the spiritual center of the show. His energy, faith, and skill have been the reason some many of the sick folks are still trucking ahead. He does allow himself a moment of grief in his solitude but the next day is back to it.
- Talk about a father-son bonding experience. It was great watching Rick and Carl co-op against an onslaught of walkers and, afterwards, sharing in the new peas. Two peas in a pod, those two.
- He’s back…And for now, that’s all that needs to be said.