The Walking Dead – S4 E02 Review
The Walking Dead – S4 E02 “Infected” ***Spoilers*** Recap and Review
After a fantastic season opener last week, we’re treated to a great second helping. Though there was a little less action this week (sadly no helicopter crashing through a ceiling this time), we got another well paced episode that served to push several character and plot points forwarded…well mostly. We still only see Glenn and Maggie minutes after they’ve woken up and that’s it which is a total shame considering how hot Lauren Cohen is.
A quieter start than expected, the episode opens up with a shadowy figure feeding late night num-nums in the form of rats to the walkers patrolling the fence. We quickly shoot inside the prison where Karen leaves her cell with the Junkyard Dog , er, Tyrese pass through the prison showers where we last left a walkerized Patrick/Harry Potter. As she leaves, Zombie Potter follows her back to D Block and proceeds to find and chow down on Prison Extra #1. We’re treated to a gleefully gory scene. Guts and blood and squishy sounds galore-I officially like Zombie Potter better than human Potter.
Quick switch over to the next day farmer Rick and Carl discussing rearming Carl, gun shots are heard in the compound. In the chaos to get back into the compound, Michonne is snared on one of the prison traps but saved by Carl and Maggie. Inside the compound the A-Team of Darryl, Sasha, Glenn and Rick get back in time to clear out D Block of several walkers. Sasha gets one hell of a good head stomp-top kill of the episode by far. An interesting note on this scene-as Rick enters, he is handed a firearm which he immediately hands off to someone else and uses only his blade. Even in the midst of chaos, he still does not use his gun in the attempt to avoid being a trigger happy role model for Carl.
When all is said and done, several characters we don’t know or care about are dead. Ryan (Victor McCay), the father of Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) and Mika (Kyla Kennedy), is bit on the arm and is tended to by Carol. And by tended, I mean she wants to go all 127 hours on his arm to keep the virus from spreading and turning him. Sadly, we’re not treated to a Tarantinoesque samurai limb hacking scene because Ryan had to get bit on the back of the neck too-way to ruin it Ryan! When Lizzie can’t finish her Pops off, Carol has to, though not before Ryan asks her to take care of his daughters.
The group finds Charlie (aka Prison Extra #5) who was locked in his cell and has no bite marks or scratches. Hershel and newcomer, Dr. Subramanian (Sunkrish Bala), conclude that a super-flu is what has been causing the deaths of Charlie, Patrick, Violet the Pig, with the haemorrhaging of the eyes being a tell tale sign. This begs the question – Who the hell is Dr. Subramanian? Whatever, moving on.
The Council; Hershel, Daryl, Sasha, Carol, and Glenn, meet to decide that all those who may be infected with the super flu should be quarantined in the Death Row Cell Block for the time being. This means Karen and some other random soon-to-be dead guy named David will be taking up residence in the check out unit. JYD/Tyrese is about to go all dog-collar match on the Council sending his woman away, but Karen calls him off. Arrrooooo!
Michonne and Beth have a moment. Having her mobility taken away from her at the moment, Michonne is forced to hold baby Judith. Face to face with the youngling, she breaks down into tears. This is a major move forward for this character. Up until now the only thing we know about Michonne is that she is a badass sabre wielding walker waster. Did she lose a child, niece, nephew, brother, or sister? What happened? We look forward to finding out!
Carol speaks to Lizzie and Mika about their dad being dead. Now taking on the role of surrogate parent to the girls, Carol coldly informs Lizzie that she is weak. Upset at this and that her zombie, “Nick”, has been killed, she runs away. I never saw Carol going so capo cold on this little girl. I suppose it’s fitting, though, as Sophia was about the same age as Lizzie. Carol’s approach appears to be to make up for what happened to her daughter, training the children to protect themselves and survive in the new world. Carol’s new LT. Ripley attitude is really intriguing, however I do think she could have waited a day or two after Lizzie’s dad died before reaming her out for being a weakling. I mean there’s realistic-approach-to-your-situation-cold and then there’s kill-your-brother-Corleone cold. I’m gonna say she overstepped that line on this one. Seriously, let Fredo/Lizzie grow up a bit before you cap her! She makes up for it later on though, placing a flower in Lizzie’s hair, to which Lizzie takes the knife from Carol’s belt.
Dauntless Daryl Dixon is digging graves for the hot off the press deceased and chats with Rick in what equates to a “whenever you’re ready to get off your farmer ass routine and help us you’re welcome to it” speech. Great scene. Daryl has humbly taken on a leadership role, not because he wants to or desires it, but because Rick has left a vacancy that needs to be filled. Rick starts to see, though not yet fully, that he is avoiding his responsibilities, playing farmer and running away from the new world they live in. He needs to lead (Wolverine and Cyclops type bromance anyone?)
Daryl and Rick…another time, another world
The walkers begin to pile up at certain areas of the fence as foreshadowed by Carol in the first episode. The fence starts coming down despite the best efforts of the crew to clear them off. We get another awesomely gory gush of brains, blood, and eyeball as a walker’s head is diced through the fence. Ska-wish! When it becomes clear the crowbars in the head approach isn’t going to work, Rick steps up and sacrifices the pigs to lure the walkers away from the fence, biding time for the group to shore up the supports. That’ll do pig, that’ll do.
Still visibly affected from having to shank the pigs and soaked in their blood, Rick takes apart the pig pen. Carl confesses Carol’s weapon arts program to which Rick does not object. The symbolism of this scene is undeniable. The disassembly of the pig pen, and Rick shedding his bloody shirt show an acceptance that the farmer life can no longer go on. Rick gives Carl his gun back knowing he will have to defend himself. Lastly, Rick looks at the fence and sees walkers returning, knowing the fight isn’t over and a storm is in the horizon. He rearms himself-the King has returned.
In the final scene, Tyrese is on his way to bring flowers to Karen, only to find her and David’s charred bodies. This leaves a beautiful hook ending-there’s a vigilante killer in the prison. On to next week!
Caligula’s rating – 4 squashed walker heads out of 5
So who do you think is the one feeding rats to the fence walkers? Who went all flambé-nutso on Karen and David? Did Michonne lose a child, or is she just breaking down?
Brought to you by Stephen Sudac
Ego’s reviewing Caligula