In The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2, the group defends the prison fence and the new infection spreads!
Continue reading for a spoiler filled discussion of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2 entitled “Infected”. Let’s dissect the episode!
We’re All Infected
The introduction of the new threat injects some fresh blood to start off Season 4’s story line, which otherwise could feel stagnant especially with the group remaining at the prison.
“Infected” demonstrates the new threat is effective as a plot device in a several ways. As a lethal danger, everyone in the prison is potentially exposed and vulnerable no matter how battle tested they’ve become.
Unlike a new villain who would require a bit of set up, the infection is an immediate threat that cannot be stopped with a bullet.
And it’s not just the infection that’s a danger, sick people quickly die and turn which makes them sort of like a walking time bomb (or exploding soda pop can as one dude put it).
Indirectly, the new threat created some strong character moments and some further insight on how the council works. In this episode, it functions as a catalyst for Rick’s reawakening to who he needs to be in order to take care of himself and others.
Rather than spending a few episodes dragging out the mystery, it’s good to see the group (okay maybe too quickly) figuring out and reacting to the new threat which is like a deadly flu virus or meningitis type infection.
Hershel believes a vector is swine and birds but by the way Karen (Tyreese’s new girlfriend) got sick after splashing her face in the bathroom sink, it’s possible the infection is also spread by water contamination.
My kill of the week is the sleeping victim who got his neck gnawed on by Patrick. The disgusting moment is when he rolls out of bed, his guts spill out.
Let’s Kill Daddy
All those Woodbury people and newcomers in Cell Block D are excellent zombie fodder! More than a dozen deaths considerably thins the herd, however I thought the massacre could have been depicted more gruesomely.
The newbies bring an element of panic and fear which would be less believable if Rick’s group were in danger. Even Beth is unaffected by death and Carol is becoming a mini badass.
Carol’s progression is a welcome surprise after turning story time into Knife-Fighting 101.
Giving the girls a moment to say goodbye to their dying father is touching. It’s something Carol never go to do with Sophia and would have helped her in the grieving process. Taking the girls under her wing is like getting a second chance with Sophia, except this time it’s raising them to be strong with survival skills.
I’m all for teaching the kids how to knife walkers and shoot guns, but I can only imagine how traumatizing it is to stab one’s own father in the head for their first kill.
Lizzie volunteered to put an end to her Dad, but did Carol go too far by agreeing to it? Killing a dying family member who is about to turn into a walker is a necessary survival skill.
If parents shield their children from the harsh realities, it could get them killed one day. Telling Lizzie she’s weak is meant to make the girl take a look at herself and finds ways to become stronger. On the other hand, it’s quite disturbing for a child to kill their parent like how Carl was emotionally damaged by shooting Lori in the head.
Carol’s approach to raising her surrogate daughters is a good opposing parallel to how Rick is raising Carl. While Carol is arming the girls with knives, Rick refuses a gun during the Cell Block D outbreak.
After what happened with Carl in the season 3 finale, Rick is trying to set an example and prevent Carl from becoming a trigger happy kid without a shred of humanity.
There’s also a part of Rick that is conflicted with the decisions he’s made for the group which explains why he doesn’t believe he should have a voice on the council.
I’m glad to see Rick reassert himself in “Infected” because after the premiere I was a little concerned this would be a drawn out character arc that was already portrayed in the latter half of season 3. Telling Daryl he has an idea and to bring the truck around is a sign the old Rick is coming back.
The pig’s blood spurting on to his face is a wake up call. Literally and symbolically, he’s doing away with his farmer’s life – that fantasy for a “normal”, peaceful existence. He’s snapped back into living in a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world and all the unavoidable dangers that come with it.
Carl’s level of maturity and truthfulness about revealing Carol’s knife lessons demonstrates he values his relationship with Rick as the father figure. Rick sees how grown up his son has become and that Carl does need a gun (but wouldn’t the gun look so much cooler with that silencer from Season 3?). If Carl did not have the rifle when the walkers pushed against the fence, Michonne could have gotten bit.
Speaking of Michonne, crying while holding Judith hints at a back story that hopefully will be explored in upcoming episodes. It’s nice to see her connect and let down her guard because she’s built up an emotional fence, essentially isolating herself from the rest of the group, aside from Carl and Rick.
Rats and Burned Bodies
My initial guess on who is feeding rats to the walkers by the fence is Lizzie. After all, she is “messed up” as her sister puts it and is attached to the walker she named “Nick”. However, that would be too obvious plus I think the person who is feeding the walkers wants the fence to be broken down.
Although Rick set fire to the pig pen with the gas canister I don’t believe he would burn the bodies. However, It might be the smart thing to do instead of burying the infected bodies. With all the new comers in the prison, could one of them be a mole planted by the Governor?
What did you like and didn’t like in this episode? What do you think about Carol’s methods to make the girls stronger?