All Hands

Season 4 Episode 2 “Infected”

The Episode

Our friends face some huge setbacks this episode. A lot is falling apart at the prison and it doesn’t appear it’s going to get better any time soon. It’s all hands on deck as things go awry all over the place.

Last week we left Patrick dead in the bathroom. After a close call with Karen who remains oblivious to Patrick following her back to the prison cells, Patrick chows down on a sleeping resident. All remains unknown until the early morning hours when more people start getting bit and it turns into a real nasty event. We lose a lot of nameless survivors, but also Lizzie and Mika’s father. As his last wish, he asks Carol to be their guardian.

I get the impression that Carol is conflicted or a little hesitant at this request. Which is totally understandable. And it doesn’t help that these girls are roughly about the same dew dropped flower lying on woodage as Sophia was. But ultimately I think she sees this as a second chance. She’s going to do things differently this time. We see that right away when she confronts Lizzie about being weak. She never did this with Sophia. She wants to help these girls make it farther than Sophia got to. But Lizzie and Mika are also clearly no Sophia. Lizzie seems to have some unsettling feelings towards walkers. Mika sees and is annoyed by this abnormality with her sister but also wants to help her. A strange duo.

We learn a little more about Michonne as well due to the outbreak at the prison. Michonne gets hurt trying to get back into the prison to help everyone, so she winds up stuck inside with a hurt ankle and talking to Beth who is caring for baby Judith. Michonne is very bothered by the baby, especially when it cries. She doesn’t even want to hold Judith and cries when she is forced to. I think it becomes pretty clear at this point that Michonne has lost a child, a baby even. It is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a parent and here we have two women trying to cope.

lantern on the ground in fogThe most perplexing moments of the show are the beginning and end. We start with an unknown person with a flashlight feeding rats to walkers. That’s pretty creepy and later on people find the remains of the rat and are also creeped out. Who is doing it? We don’t know yet. And at the end of the episode, Tyrese finds Karen and David’s bodies burned to a crisp in the prison yard. This is a real stunner of a moment. That’s a pretty nasty thing to do to a living person. We don’t know who or why anyone would do this to them. So we have at least one or two messed up people living amongst our friends, which is very unsettling.

Tyrese and Karen’s relationship was short-lived. They looked very much like they were falling in love at the beginning of the episode, but now Tyrese has to deal with losing her in a very traumatic way. We’re going to get to see a lot of Tyrese going forward. His character is great for its constant battle between being this incredibly physically strong man and a teddy bear who just wants to be at peace. I love Tyrese’s story.

The last major event of the episode is dealing with the walkers around the perimeter of the prison. They keep bunching up and creating massive clusters that are pushing the face down. When just killing them at the fence isn’t working, Rick makes a tough decision for himself and the group to slaughter his pigs and use them to get the walkers away from the fence.  This looks like a very difficult decision for Rick but I think it was the best thing they could do. The fact that one of the pigs died last episode implies that it is not just people getting sick. And if one pig was sick then probably the others are too. It was highly likely that the food source was infected and too dangerous to eat. Regardless, Rick doesn’t appear to like the fact that his farming failed or that they’ve lost food and people have died. He burns the pig pen to the ground. Farmer Rick comes to an end when he decides to take up his gun again and also lets Carl have a gun. It’s time to go back to taking care of business.

Best of the Episode

The outbreak attack. It’s a real chaotic mess of walkers biting frantic survivors and our more level-headed characters trying to save everyone. There’s one moment when Daryl picks up a crying little boy with one arm and effortlessly turns and shoots a walker in the head with his crossbow. Oh my stars, he can do anything! We get a good dose of walker attacks and bloody guts, which is good every now and then.

The pig slaughter. Rick and Daryl take the pigs outside the prison with a jeep and one by one, Rick slices a pig in the thigh so it can’t run and throws it down to let the walkers eat it. The last pig is my favorite because it sprays Rick in the face when he cuts it. And it’s not a little spray, he gets a full half face covered in pig blood. Just to make Rick feel even more regret at what he has to do.

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