Comic Vine Review

45 Comments

The Walking Dead #403 - Isolation Review

4

The disease continues to spread and a few characters leave the prison to locate medical supplies.

The Walking Dead is a show which thrives off its drama, but let's be honest, it tends to be really hit or miss in this regard. Once in awhile we're hit with some brilliant character-driven moments, but for the most part, they tend to go by without really reeling you in and ultimately it's the zombies which keep many of us coming back for more. Lucky, "Isolation" nails the drama like a headshot and does a fantastic job pulling us into the latest threat and the toll it's taking on the group.

Usually spoilers are somewhat addressed in these reviews, but seeing as this was such a huge episode and made ginormous developments all the way through (both in the narrative and how characters are coping), it's best to just play it safe and avoid them at all costs in here. Unlike previous seasons, the story is now moving full speed ahead and taking some very logical steps forward. This new breed of danger (in addition to... you know, monsters which want to rip you apart) is putting an extra weight on everyone and it gives all of the characters a moment or two to allow their personalities to shine. There's a twist or two you'll be able to call before they reveal it, but it's still executed well and something they could have really dragged out is thankfully brought front and center before the credits roll.

Just as I was thinking "this episode is awesometastic and they don't even need any action to top it off," the show goes ahead and throws a bloodbath our way. Naturally, what stems is a blast as Michonne and others lay waste to countless zombies; shooting, stabbing and slashing one decaying head after another. It totally wasn't needed, but man, it was greatly appreciated.

Biggest gripe with this episode: references to Robert Kirkman's comic. When two key characters went at it in the series, it was full of emotion and was downright shocking. It kept me on the edge as I read from one panel to the next. Sure, this had some degree of passion behind it, but the moment in the comic had so much weight to it and this came off as a somewhat hollow imitation. Same goes for another homage involving Tyreese and his hammer. Don't get me wrong, it's great they're continuing to draw scenes from the comic, but these weren't nearly as impactful as they could have been.

"Isolation" is definitely the strongest episode Season Four has yet to offer. Not only did it deliver on excellent drama and story progression, but it also managed to implement a good old-fashioned zombie killing spree. The only thing holding this back from 5-stars for me is weak use of some standout moments from the comic.

Viners, what do you think of "Isolation?" Remember to use spoiler tabs!

46 Comments
Posted by MaddogExplosive

I thought this was the first genuinely excellent episode of the season, and fingers crossed that things only keep getting better (which, sadly, probably means that things need to keep getting worse for the good guys).

Posted by The Stegman

Anyone watch Talking Dead? Marilyn Manson was quite awkward.

Good WD episode though. And I like how they handled Tyresse fighting the zombie horde, good callback to the comic.

Edited by turoksonofstone

Marilyn Manson seemed..disconnected for sure.

Another Good Episode of Walking Dead. This show is becoming twice the treat for fans of the comic.

Posted by danhimself

I've been having a really hard time getting interested in this "virus" storyline

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Posted by scouts1998

has anyone realised that there have been no 5 star reviews on comic vine for a tv show yet!

Edited by lifeboy

I liked that part where the zombie suprised that person. It was like 'RRRRR!' And also that was so interesting what that guy or girl told that girl or guy. I was like 'HHMMM...' But I really loved the part where you could see that they really wish there wasn't zombies and everything was back to normal. I love this show! I watch it everyday on that cable or UHF/VHF station that it comes out on! I can talk about this show all day long, but just don't try to talk to me tomorrow when the new episode is on :)

Posted by Saint_Wildcard

@scouts1998 said:

has anyone realised that there have been no 5 star reviews on comic vine for a tv show yet!

The mentioned that getting a 5 star on a show should be harder to get.

Posted by vPuik

Has anyone ever laughed in this show?

Posted by Commander_Kane

@scouts1998: Pretty sure Breaking Bads Ozymandias got a perfect score. But I can't say for sure, I'm just assuming since I didn't see one negative review on it at all.

Posted by JairamGanpat

Anyone watch Talking Dead? Marilyn Manson was quite awkward.

Good WD episode though. And I like how they handled Tyresse fighting the zombie horde, good callback to the comic.

Marilyn Manson seemed..disconnected for sure.

Another Good Episode of Walking Dead. This show is becoming twice the treat for fans of the comic.

Could you guys see Chris Hardwick's eyes screaming "NO, MANSON, NO" the entire time?

Edited by IndieComicsFTW

@jairamganpat said:

@the_stegman said:

Anyone watch Talking Dead? Marilyn Manson was quite awkward.

Good WD episode though. And I like how they handled Tyresse fighting the zombie horde, good callback to the comic.

@turoksonofstone said:

Marilyn Manson seemed..disconnected for sure.

Another Good Episode of Walking Dead. This show is becoming twice the treat for fans of the comic.

Could you guys see Chris Hardwick's eyes screaming "NO, MANSON, NO" the entire time?

Manson RUINED Talking Dead for me. You can see everyone eyes scream shut the flip up! He also interrupted and dragged out metaphors that did not relate at all to the show. Chris was getting annoyed by him.

It was GODAWFUL!

@danhimself said:

I've been having a really hard time getting interested in this "virus" storyline

Also I agree, this was the best episode yet, but this whole Virus thing is so dang boring. I just had the flu, there is NOTHING exiting about it. 90% characters are sick. They mope around and cough. Big Freaking Whoop.

I feel so let down with this season.

Edited by danhimself


@danhimself said:

I've been having a really hard time getting interested in this "virus" storyline

Also I agree, this was the best episode yet, but this whole Virus thing is so dang boring. I just had the flu, there is NOTHING exiting about it. 90% characters are sick. They mope around and cough. Big Freaking Whoop.

I feel so let down with this season.

the herd has me hoping that it's going to get better

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Edited by CuddleBear

How last weeks episode got 3 stars and this weeks got 4 stars just bottles my mind. this was pure filler until the end... how long does it take to get going on the trip? PEOPLE ARE DYING BY THE SECOND.

last week episode had stuff happen, this weeks episode felt like the director was off camera giving the actors the "Strech it out" sign. next weeks episode when stuff happens better get at least 4.5 stars. ok im talking about stuff ya know things... stuff

Posted by IndieComicsFTW

@indiecomicsftw said:


@danhimself said:

I've been having a really hard time getting interested in this "virus" storyline

Also I agree, this was the best episode yet, but this whole Virus thing is so dang boring. I just had the flu, there is NOTHING exiting about it. 90% characters are sick. They mope around and cough. Big Freaking Whoop.

I feel so let down with this season.

the herd has me hoping that it's going to get better

I think it is funny how everyone gets sick, and the whole Rat Mystery is forgotten! No one addressed the Rat Feeding at the fence in this episode and the Walker crashing the gates was forgotten.

WTF!?

Posted by danhimself

@danhimself said:
@indiecomicsftw said:


@danhimself said:

I've been having a really hard time getting interested in this "virus" storyline

Also I agree, this was the best episode yet, but this whole Virus thing is so dang boring. I just had the flu, there is NOTHING exiting about it. 90% characters are sick. They mope around and cough. Big Freaking Whoop.

I feel so let down with this season.

the herd has me hoping that it's going to get better

I think it is funny how everyone gets sick, and the whole Rat Mystery is forgotten! No one addressed the Rat Feeding at the fence in this episode and the Walker crashing the gates was forgotten.

WTF!?

well there are a LOT of people getting sick and dying so it would take priority over the rat mystery....walker crashing the gates?

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Posted by IndieComicsFTW

@indiecomicsftw said:

I think it is funny how everyone gets sick, and the whole Rat Mystery is forgotten! No one addressed the Rat Feeding at the fence in this episode and the Walker crashing the gates was forgotten.

WTF!?

well there are a LOT of people getting sick and dying so it would take priority over the rat mystery....walker crashing the gates?

Everyone is sick and dying, yet Rick has plenty of time to investigate who killed and burn the 2 people.

The Walkers crashing the gates in Episode 2. Rick had to kill the baby pigs to get the Walkers away! It was a pretty freaking big deal last episode.

Posted by danhimself

@danhimself said:

@indiecomicsftw said:

I think it is funny how everyone gets sick, and the whole Rat Mystery is forgotten! No one addressed the Rat Feeding at the fence in this episode and the Walker crashing the gates was forgotten.

WTF!?

well there are a LOT of people getting sick and dying so it would take priority over the rat mystery....walker crashing the gates?

Everyone is sick and dying, yet Rick has plenty of time to investigate who killed and burn the 2 people.

The Walkers crashing the gates in Episode 2. Rick had to kill the baby pigs to get the Walkers away! It was a pretty freaking big deal last episode.

Farmer Rick has been anything but proactive this season

oh yeah...I just didn't know what you were talking about....I'm thinking that the zombies crashing the fences is going to play out more with the herd.....they're definitely going to have to abandon the prison this season

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Edited by IndieComicsFTW

@danhimself: Yeah, It seem that herd will play a role.

How is it after 3 years since the Virus hit, Insects have not devoured all the Zombies into nothing? All these dead people should be near bones by now lol.

Posted by The Stegman

@jairamganpat said:

@the_stegman said:

Anyone watch Talking Dead? Marilyn Manson was quite awkward.

Good WD episode though. And I like how they handled Tyresse fighting the zombie horde, good callback to the comic.

@turoksonofstone said:

Marilyn Manson seemed..disconnected for sure.

Another Good Episode of Walking Dead. This show is becoming twice the treat for fans of the comic.

Could you guys see Chris Hardwick's eyes screaming "NO, MANSON, NO" the entire time?

Manson RUINED Talking Dead for me. You can see everyone eyes scream shut the flip up! He also interrupted and dragged out metaphors that did not relate at all to the show. Chris was getting annoyed by him.

It was GODAWFUL!

I normally watch Talking Dead because I'm interested in what other fans of the show have to say, especially celebrities, Hayley Williams was just delightful last week. But the entire time I was thinking "Shut up Manson!" during this week's episode. He kept interrupting with these long, rambling thoughts that were obviously wrong, even Hardwick was like "I don't agree with that theory" everytime Manson spoke.

Posted by Frobin

Ok, compared to the first two episodes this episode was better in terms of plot development and characterisation. But it was very far from being good and lightyears away from being even near to "awesometastic" like mentioned in the article above (new on the payroll of AMC?).

Problem still is: The flu plot is just boring! In my opinion it is just a trick to stretch the story arc of the prison till the second attack of the Governor, because the Hunters story would be to short for a whole season.

But fighting the flu instead of walkers and bad guys is still boring and the writing isn't this great! There were much better written episodes in season 3. And all this fillers and stretching is starting to bore me.

Edited by Commander_Kane

Can you people just stop complaining? It's atleast better than the second half of the 3rd season. It's just a slow build, I sure as hell don't mind it. Besides you gotta get through a lot of bad to truly start appreciating the good again (trust me, I'm a Supernatural fan). I think they'll surprise us.

Edited by Dark_Guyver

This show needs to be twice weekly.

Edited by k4tzm4n

But it was very far from being good and lightyears away from being even near to "awesometastic" like mentioned in the article above (new on the payroll of AMC?).

I considered making a legitimate reply this silliness, but honestly, it's just not worth it. So, this should be adequate enough:

24 Things Single People Are Tired Of Hearing

Posted by AlKusanagi

Wasn't the "rat mystery" solved already? I thought it was the girl feeding the zombie she had named.

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Posted by SupremeHyperion

Is it just me or is Carl quickly becoming the most annoying character in all of television.... something about his character bugs the hell out of me, not a big fan of how he's portrayed right now. I so wanted Fake Foot to just backhand him and tell him I go where I want and you are not coming with me... Go to your room you little S&^%

Posted by k4tzm4n

@k4tzm4n said:

But it was very far from being good and lightyears away from being even near to "awesometastic" like mentioned in the article above (new on the payroll of AMC?).

I considered making a legitimate reply this silliness, but honestly, it's just not worth it. So, this should be adequate enough:

This is EXACTLY what someone secretly on AMC's payroll would say!

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

Here is my review on the episode:

Edited by illmatic06

Can you people just stop complaining?

Exactly this.

I guess I am the only one the appreciate this season and I am not convinced that this season is lackluster or void of drama. I like the flu/virus theme because this group keeps getting faced with new challenges where they cant simply kill or run away from plus it seems likely that this would occur in world where the dead roam the earth.

I really be perplexed on what you guys expect per episode. Nonstop dumb violence like Resident Evil?

Posted by Mega_spidey01

How in the heck did Tyrese survive all those zombies around him and not get bitten ?

Posted by k4tzm4n

How in the heck did Tyrese survive all those zombies around him and not get bitten ?

It's a nod to one of his scenes in the comics. And in the comic, his struggle was even crazier. He was locked in a room with "dozens" and won.

Posted by The_Absolute

Here's my theory:

The walker-virus is an organism, right? And as with all organisms it wants to thrive, to grow and proliferate. The only way for it to do this is to kill the living. Since everyone is already infected with it, it attempts to bring out irrationality, rage, insanity, immorality and whatever else in a person that may cause them to kill or get themselves killed. You saw this effect in a scene with Shane when he was spiraling. They would cut into the scene quick shots of walkers as if to say the virus was compelling him to confront Rick. This would also explains Rick rapid descent into madness.

To that end, I think the virus is somehow sentient. **HERE ME OUT! hahaha.** And it somehow sent the flu-virus into the prison as it was losing it's influence with the living inside (30+ days without incident).

Huh? huh?

Edited by CerealKillz

@frobin said:

Ok, compared to the first two episodes this episode was better in terms of plot development and characterisation. But it was very far from being good and lightyears away from being even near to "awesometastic" like mentioned in the article above (new on the payroll of AMC?).

Congrats, you've won the "stupidest comment of the weeK" award.

Posted by Commander_Kane

@illmatic06: Took the words right out of my mouth. Is it as captivating as season 1 and 2? No. But this show in my opinion, is taking all the right steps. I like action just as much as anybody, but I also appreciate drama. That's what actors do, that's why they're are there. To give you your fix of zombie killing acting action, but also to give you a realistic vision of how this situation would go down. I gotta admit I like the change-up. It's fresh, they are basically fighting an inside and outside enemy. And "Isolation" really jump started what I think will be a series of some exciting, suspenseful, glorified television.

Posted by illmatic06

I just think that its "conventional" virus but it is in an environment with little available medication and poor sanitation. The cirumstances are ripe for a devastating outbreak.

There are similar outbreaks like this in the real world. In some countries, ppl are still dying from diseases that are virtually unknown in the western world like malaria and polio.

Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek

@frobin said:

Ok, compared to the first two episodes this episode was better in terms of plot development and characterisation. But it was very far from being good and lightyears away from being even near to "awesometastic" like mentioned in the article above (new on the payroll of AMC?).

Congrats, you've won the "stupidest comment of the weeK" award.

Agreed. Obviously k4tz is supplied by BayBucks, not AMCash. Oh Frobin!

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Posted by texasdeathmatch

@frobin said:

Ok, compared to the first two episodes this episode was better in terms of plot development and characterisation. But it was very far from being good and lightyears away from being even near to "awesometastic" like mentioned in the article above (new on the payroll of AMC?).

Yes, AMC totally needs a comic book website like ComicVine to write positive reviews for its shows to ensure its success.

Gotta love the asinine theories of the Internet.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Liked this episode, but i liked last week's better. Tyrese's badass moment could have been better and the ending was shocking but weird.

Edited by CaptainHoopla

Loved the episode. Like others mentioned here, I would loved to have heard the conversation Chris Hardwick likely had after the show with the Talking Dead producer that scheduled Marilyn Manson. He was pathetic. I felt sorry for Chris and the other guests.

Posted by spidershamrock

I can't seem to get back into this season. better than the 3rd for sure, but what wasn't

Posted by KomicKev

How last weeks episode got 3 stars and this weeks got 4 stars just bottles my mind. this was pure filler until the end... how long does it take to get going on the trip? PEOPLE ARE DYING BY THE SECOND.

I made this comment out loud (to myself as nobody was around watching with me). How freakin' long could it take to get the car ready? You'd think that would be a main priority every time they get back from a run: gas 'er up, oil 'er up, load 'er up ready for a quick getaway in case, you know, ZOMBIES CRASH THROUGH THE FENCES!

Otherwise, I do so love this show, do don't get all the griping and wanting action and zombie killing to happen each and every minute of the show.

Posted by Dud317

I'm not sure having standout moments from the comic in the show warrant losing a star. Granted, it is your opinion, and I'm sorry they were weaker for you. They worked for me. The show is obviously going into its own universe, which I think is pretty awesome, but having nods to the comic is probably something that's not going to stop. Let's hope they maintain the integrity.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@scouts1998 said:

has anyone realised that there have been no 5 star reviews on comic vine for a tv show yet!

The mentioned that getting a 5 star on a show should be harder to get.

This. I'm trying to reserve TV 5-stars for the ones I believe are truly exceptional. Like, the ones that make you reflect and say, "holy funk master flex, that was an amazing episode."

Posted by Renchamp

@k4tzm4n said:

@saint_rog_el said:

@scouts1998 said:

has anyone realised that there have been no 5 star reviews on comic vine for a tv show yet!

The mentioned that getting a 5 star on a show should be harder to get.

This. I'm trying to reserve TV 5-stars for the ones I believe are truly exceptional. Like, the ones that make you reflect and say, "holy funk master flex, that was an amazing episode."

No doubt Funkmaster Flex would appreciate being involved in the episode that gets five stars.

For me, I liked the nods to the comic, though I, too, wish they had been done with the same impact. Let Tyreese's fate be unknown by the end of the show so that he comes out seeming like a superhero in the next. Also, the fight was good because I think it served as a call to arms for both men. I don't see the comic fight happening this season so I think it good that something like it happened.

As for the comic: I think Carol is slowly heading into her comic counterpart. I think she is losing her sense of reality and will devolve. Darryl and Michonne are far too similar to each other for them not to have something happen and I think he steps into the Tyreese shoes for that arc. The little girl dies of the illness Carol tries to stop and that breaks her. The doctor survives and brings a walker in to study. Carol is ostracized for killing Karen and David and she finally turns to the zombie for attention and dies happy. But I have been gloriously wrong before.

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Posted by Black_Arrow

I dont know why people think that it have to follow the comics exactly, I love the show to have its own identity. Why are watching it if you already know what is going to happen?

Also I love this arc it is something that I wanted in the comics to happen but it didnt.

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