The Walking Dead: “Internment” (Episode 4.05)

TV Reviews The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead: “Internment” (Episode 4.05)

Shane Ryan and Josh Jackson review The Walking Dead each week in a series of letters.


Let’s just talk about the last five seconds of the show because holy crap The Governor. How long has he been hanging out on the other side of that fence watching Rick? Did he kill off his remaining henchmen? Did he somehow cause the initial infection or lure the zombies to the fence? Did he put the rats by the fence to attract walkers? Do we owe crazy young Lizzie an apology?

I really hope next week’s episode is all from his perspective. I want to see our saboteur in action. At this point he doesn’t just want to kill off the survivors. I think he wants to get inside their heads. Forget infections and zombies; The Governor is still the scariest thing this show has spawned.

Okay, now on to the other 99.9% of the show. At some point, all the characters on this show have showed their badassedness (badassadry? badassitivity?). Carl continues to be up to any challenge thrown his way, including mowing down a herd of zombies with an automatic rifle. I wanted him to yell, “Say hello to my little friend,” but I think he’s too young for that reference. Maggie stormed Death Row to save her dad and Glenn. But I think Hershel’s latest exploits are going to be pretty tough to top. I have a general aversion to dark prisons, untreatable viral infections and zombies, and he handled all three with aplomb. When Daryl calls you a tough sumbitch, all you can say is, “Yeah, I am.”

Scott Wilson turned in another fantastic performance. Just when he thought things couldn’t get worse, his reaction to the news that Carol was the murderer was so full of shock and grief. And he has real gravitas delivering the Steinbeck quote, “A sad soul will kill you faster than a germ.” Hershel is holding on to the hope of some kind of purpose to life and a loving creator, but he can’t read the Bible at the end of the episode without breaking into tears.

Lizzie might be off the hook for feeding rats to the walkers, but that doesn’t mean she’s any less creepy in this episode. Not only does she think she’s found a new pet in the intubated walker, but she rubs her foot playfully in Glenn’s bloody vomit. Make that four scary things that Hershel tackled on Death Row.

Also, I forgot to mention how great the use of Sharon Van Etten’s “Serpents” was last week, but the music supervisor did it again with Ben Howard’s “Oats in the Water.” It’s been a good season so far, musically.

So how excited are you about The Governor? Too much to focus on this episode at all?




Man, oh man. That Governor ending was exactly what I thought we were going to get, but I thought we’d get it in the season finale, setting up a Governor-centric Season Five. And I thought we’d see him amassing an army and preparing to inflict all sorts of evil in anyone standing in his way. (So … I guess it’s not what I thought we’d get at all, except for the brief ending shot.)

But now what are we supposed to think? That the Governor, with all his psychotic charisma, has been reduced to a saboteur who haunts the perimeter of the camp dangling rats in front of zombies? I don’t know, Josh, but it feels a little below his pay grade. It’d be like if we found out that Hitler never killed himself in the Führerbunker, but instead escaped to Argentina where he spent the rest of his life perfecting the dine-and-ditch. And it raises other questions, like: Did his two henchmen desert him? Is he all on his own? And why didn’t he just grab a sniper rifle and take everyone out one by one? (Too scared of Michonne?)

More importantly, what’s going to happen between him and Michonne/Hershel next week? During the entire sickness saga (super well done, I thought), it seemed to me that Hershel was going to martyr himself for the good of the others. Maybe I’m alone, but it felt like the show was even telegraphing it a little; everyone would be saved, but Hershel would die after playing the savior. I thought he’d succumb to disease for a twist of irony, but with Daryl calling him a tough sumbitch and Michonne offering him the ride, I’m seeing it clearly: The man’s going to his reward next week, and the Governor is going to pull the trigger. I know I’m on the record as liking the Governor, but I don’t think I can take him killing Hershel, Josh. I can’t take it at all.

As for the rest of the episode, I think it was another coup from the darkest season to date. There wasn’t much in terms of plot advancement, but as a sort of brooding, contemplative piece with some good zombie fighting action at the end, it hit all my Walking Dead pleasure points. (Man, that sounded weird. Not gonna change it, though.) Like you, I loved the Steinbeck quote, and it reminded me of books I’ve read about the Holocaust and, more recently, American WWII POWs in war-time Philippines. In both cases, survivors agree that, hard as it is to define, spirit played a part in a prisoner’s ability to survive. When someone gave up psychologically, it wasn’t long until their body followed, and those that made it until the end tended in general to be people who kept up daily routines, attended to hygiene, and were able to (somehow) stave off total mental despair. That’s why it made sense that Hershel wanted to stab the dead away from the other infirm, and why he was so adamant that Glenn get rid of his defeatist attitude. Even if the specter of death was all around, he knew how critical it was to the living to maintain any vestige of hope and order.

Speaking of Glenn—Josh, I’m sick of him. I hate to say it, but his whining has finally gotten to me. Here’s a list of Walking Dead characters who have annoyed me over time, along with the fates they’ve met:

Dale – Annoying since day one – DEAD
Lori – Annoying almost since day one – DEAD (weirdly, not so annoying as a ghost)
Andrea – Pretty consistently annoying also – DEAD
Shane – Annoying in the sense that I was always afraid he’d kill Rick – DEAD
Carl – Annoying originally, then murderous and scary, but kinda awesome now – STILL KICKING!
Carol – Only annoying this season – ABANDONED
Hershel – Annoying for his stubbornness in season two, now awesome – ON DEATH’S VERY DOOR
Glenn – Only annoying lately – ????

I think my opinions are probably pretty common, and what’s interesting is that, all of the prominent characters who have never really annoyed me (Rick, Maggie, Michonne, Daryl, Governor, Stookey, Tyreese, Sasha), none of them are dead! It’s almost like the writers take an approach of, “let’s try these characters out for a while and see how the public reacts, and then we can kill them if necessary.” The only exception? Merle. I wish Merle was still around, the ol’ racist goof!

I’d be interested to see how your list is different. Before I kick it back your way, I’d just like to ask that, aside from apologizing to Lizzie for your baseless and reactionary rat accusations (I may have introduced that…), you give her credit for luring the zombie away from Glenn. She saved his life! I’m pro-Lizzie now. I think she’s bound for great things.




Just because I continue to find her creepy doesn’t mean I’m not pro-Lizzy. This is The Walking Dead, and if it doesn’t come up with new ways to make the zombie apocalypse a little creepy, I might as well just go back to watching Low Winter Sun (just kidding, AMC, that will never happen—I tried, really). So yes, props to Lizzie for drawing the unnamed zombie away from Glenn (and not naming this one).

And you make a good point about the Governor being reduced to saboteur. But he is a changed man. Losing your zombie daughter, your eye and your deluded cult followers changes a man, Shane (trust me on this). And is the Governor any less terrifying on his own, hiding outside the prison, than he would be with a roving gang of mercenaries? Okay, maybe a little. I was half expecting that the TV show would give a twist to the comic and make the Governor become “Negan,” the leader of the Saviors. But since that’s not happening, might I suggest The Walking Dead spend big and get Javier Bardem? Or Tom Hiddleston? But I’m getting way ahead of myself—and anyone who hasn’t read the comics.

I really hope you’re wrong about Hershel because he’s just gotten way more interesting this season. By the way, how awesomely corny was his Spaghetti Tuesdays line? I love that his patients didn’t give him any kind of reaction there. Don’t encourage the cornball. He survived the disease, but not everyone can survive the Governor, right? And we just sacrificed almost all the extras to the Outbreak.

One scene we haven’t mentioned so far was the dad who hid the truth that his son had died from Hershel (“He’s sleeping. I’ll stay in here in case he wakes up”) so Hershel wouldn’t take him away and knife him—and paid the price by getting eaten by his zombie son. There’s a middle way between not being able to let go when it’s time and becoming Carol who lets go to soon. Something to remember for the real Zombie Apocalypse in 2032.

I agree with your annoying list except I never had anything against Dale. I see why he had to die, though, because he would have complicated the Andrea/Governor romance. And I always had more patience with Carl Prince of Georgia than the average viewer. You’re forgetting T-Dog, though. He wasn’t annoying—didn’t have enough lines to be—and he still got eaten. Here’s hoping that Glenn’s latest brush with death will get him back to his fearless-solo-mission-running, killing-zombies-with-chairs ways.

So who is the Governor going to get? He’s got reason to be pissed at Michonne (who took his eye and killed his daughter) and Rick (who took everything else). Does he start picking them off, one-by-one? Does he sneak in and steal Judith? What’s going to happen, Shane?!? I’m not sure I can wait until next week to find out.




Look, I know you really want to know what happens, but I’m telling you as your friend and employee that you have to wait until next Sunday. Some of the hysterical threats you made against AMC last week went a little too far. (You vowed to “zombie stomp” several of the cast members, Josh … I don’t even know what that means.) And now Andrew Lincoln has a restraining order out against both of us, which means he definitely won’t be coming to Paste’s Spaghetti Tuesdays, which, as I understand it, will be held on Wednesdays the minute we can find some spaghetti.

That joke was one of my favorite parts of the episode. The look from Sasha and Glenn was half “groaning at an old man’s corny joke” and half “fuck you, we’re dying,” and half “should I just bite him now and get it over with?” That’s three halves, not often seen in humor. Hershel nailed it. I’d love to see a viral video that splices in Hershel making that joke with reactions from other shows and movies. Some horrified, some laughing, some incredibly sad. Can you get Paste’s A/V people on that? I really think “Spaghetti Tuesdays” could become a huge meme.

You mentioned the father who wouldn’t give up on his son, and that reminded me of what I like to call the “Old Yeller” code, which is that if something you love has to die, you have to do it yourself. (There’s a character whose name I can’t remember from Of Mice and Men who also had to kill a dog, but he let someone else do it and regretted it forever … I think his name might have been Curly?) Anyway, the zombie apocalypse adds a new wrinkle, which is that if you want to take care of the problem yourself, everyone else needs to make sure you can actually follow through. Otherwise the entire group is at risk, not to mention yourself. Andrea, of all people, might have struck the near-perfect balance when she had to kill her sister. She waited until she turned, and then, BOOM, zombie kill.

I would hear arguments that she cut it a little close.

Lastly, I am intrigued at your implication that you’ve gone through a lot of the same life events as the Governor. I’m not sure I’ve ever told you this, but I am also a former cop who led a group of people through post-apocalyptic Georgia, at the end of which I killed my former best friend and spoke to ghosts. We’ll have to explore these coincidences further at some point.

One last thing we haven’t considered: What if the Governor wants some kind of parley? What if he’s shown up to try to make peace? What if he’s sick with the flu and needs help? All probably unlikely, but we need to keep alert.




Do you really want to know what “zombie stomp” means? Because I don’t think you do… (Is this my episode to be the badass? Oh, goody! Wait, I just blew it by saying “Oh, goody,” didn’t I. Damn it.)

“Internment” certainly feels like the final chapter of this storyline, and it’s been a surprisingly good one. Disease may be the least interesting of the villains on the show after:

1. Zombies
2. The Governor
3. Shane
4. The Prison Gang
5. Dave and Tony’s group
6. The Crazy CDC Suicide Bomber
7. Hunger
8. The Nursing Home Gang

But the tension has been high throughout this season so far thanks to Carol spiraling out of control, the A-Team’s supply run and the general ghoulishness of being trapped inside the prison. But now that all just feels like … prelude. The Governor is back, and if you saw the extended sneak peek, he’s brooding. I’m really hoping for a whole episode that follows the Governor on his own—no dialogue, just him luring a zombie horde to the prison fence with dead rats and pouring vials of swine flu into the water supply, while he watches Rome (and a zombie) burn.

Parlay? Make peace? The Governor scoffs at your suggestion unless there’s a way to pretend like he’s sick and then pull a grenade out of his bloody bandages.

I have no idea what happens next, only that, like true love in romantic comedies, when you finally stop searching for the Governor, that’s when the Governor finally finds you.




I think the best way to wrap this up is to wholeheartedly agree with everything you said, and to continue your game of replacing the word “love” with “The Governor” in some popular quotes. Here we go:

• The Governor means never having to say you’re sorry.

• Life without the Governor is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.

• At the touch of the Governor, everyone becomes a poet.

• The Governor is a smoke, and is made with the fume of sighs.

• The opposite of the Governor is not hate; it’s indifference.

• In dreams and in the Governor, there are no impossibilities.

• The Governor is the hardest habit to break, and the most difficult to satisfy.

• The Governor is a friendship set to music.

• The Governor don’t cost a thing.

• A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and a man cannot live without the Governor.

• For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through the Governor.

And I think that’s quite enough! Until next week, Josh,

Please don’t die, Daryl Dixon,


Follow Shane Ryan at @ShaneRyanHere and Josh Jackson at @JoshJackson on Twitter.

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