The Walking Dead S4E2: Infected
Original Airdate: October 20, 2013
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
But first, there’s a traitor in the Prison Gang. It’s nighttime and the Walkers are at the fences. So, too, is someone with a flashlight and rats to tempt the hungry Walkers to the weakest part of the fence. Who would do something like that? Who, indeed.
Meanwhile, Tyreese and Karen are getting to know each other in the library. Tyreese is still thinking about losing Zack during their run. With all of the craziness, they might as well be the only ones left in the whole world. He starts singing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” She decides they need some rest, so once they offer to crash at each other’s places; they depart for their own cells, alone. Along the way, Karen stops to go to the bathroom. She has a flashlight (how many people have flashlights?) and she pauses to look at a child’s drawing on the wall. (I think it was Lizzie’s picture because it shows Nick, the Walker that she named in last week’s episode, much to the ire of Carl) Karen thinks she hears something in the bathroom but dismisses it after looking around and heads back to her cell. Little does she know, she woke up Patrick.
Remember when I ended last week with “Poor Patrick”? Well, Poor Patrick turned into Walker Patrick. And he is hungry. Walker Patrick takes a trip to Cell Block D and enters one of the cells. Kneeling, he takes a bite out of the sleeping man’s neck, effectively silencing him while he’s being eaten alive. And then there were two Walkers.
It’s early morning and Rick gives Carl his 6am wake-up call while he takes care of Judith. Carl doesn’t look like much of a morning person. While Rick hands the baby to Beth, Sleeping Guy is now Sleeping Walker and he joins Patrick in the feast. Outside in the tower, Glen takes a picture of his sleeping sweetheart. When he wakes her up, he offers to bring breakfast. She kisses his hand as he leaves. They are so sweet together. Michonne has saddled up her horse and is heading out as Rick and Carl head to the field. She asks Carl if he wants anything, like comics or “stale M&Ms” but Carl points out that she’s the one who likes candy. She asks the question we have been wondering ourselves—why isn’t Carl wearing his hat anymore. “It’s not a farming hat,” Carl replies. Rick beams. They head to the field to grab some worms and lettuce for the pigs. Carl watches as the Walkers form a cluster at the fences. Their numbers are increasing and Carl wonders if they should help the others take care of them, but Rick has other plans for both of them. Evidently this is something that they have discussed before. Carl apologizes and says he has been trying, but he’d like his gun back. Rick ignores this and talks about worms and protein for the pigs.
Michonne has left the gates when there’s a noise. Rick hears it, too, and tells his son to stay back. Lizzie and her sister run out of the cell block saying that there are Walkers inside. Glen and Sasha are there already, and once Rick knows that Judith is safe, he rushes in. Daryl joins them. Outside the gates, Michonne whistles for Carl, and he manages to open the gate but he can’t close it fast enough to keep the Walkers from coming in. She struggles to fight them off, tripping over a rope. Maggie climbs down from the tower as Carl shoots one of the Walkers with a shotgun from the tower. Maggie grabs Michonne and they get back inside, but not before the Walkers decide to form a cluster nearby. The fences sway dangerously.
Inside Cell Block D, it’s a madhouse. Chaos reigns as scared women and children try to flee and newly reborn Walkers emerge from their cells. Rick leads people to safety while Daryl and Glen kill them. Carol finds Lizzie’s father with a wound on his arm and tells him that they’ll have to amputate. But then she sees that he’s been bitten in the back of his neck. There’s no hope. Tyreese finds Karen and they embrace. Once the bottom floor has been cleared, they head upstairs to find Patrick. There are other bodies on the ground and they have to make sure they don’t turn into Walkers. Daryl uses his crossbow while Rick tries to make use of his little knife. Even with the attack, Rick is still hesitant to resort to violence.
Carol knows that her patient is going to die and become a Walker. When he realizes it, too, he asks her to take care of his girls. He doesn’t have anyone else and he’s seen how she is with children. She agrees. Carol tells him that she is going to bring the girls in to say goodbye.
Rick uses his knife to kill a Walker who is locked inside his cell. As Hershel, Daryl, and two others gather round, Rick observes that the dead Walker doesn’t have bite marks, and he was locked in (he used to sleep walk, Daryl explains). That means there is a sickness going around. The Woodbury doctor, Dr. S, says that it looks like they had an infection and choked to death on their blood. Rick mentions that one of his pigs was sick (something will need to be done about them, Hershel says) and so it’s probably an airborne virus. That means they’ve all been exposed.
Carol leads Lizzie and her sister in to see their father. They arrive just in time to say goodbye, and then he dies. In one of the more disturbing scenes I’ve seen, Carol tells the girls that they have to do what they’ve talked about, meaning they have to make sure their father doesn’t come back as a Walker. Carol takes out her knife, preparing to stab him in the ear, when Lizzie decides she should be the one to do it. She loses her nerve and starts to have an anxiety attack, so her sister helps her focus on her breathing while Carol does the deed. It was very disturbing.
Rick walks outside into the courtyard as Carl and Maggie help Michonne. Carl rushes to his dad and tells him about using the gun, saying that he didn’t want to do it. Michonne confirms that he was helping her. Rick had tried to keep Carl from hugging him, but he couldn’t. He tells them that Patrick died from an infection and attacked the entire cell block. He tells Maggie that Glen and their father have both been exposed.
The Council has a meeting to discuss the situation. Carol had been with Patrick the day before and he hadn’t showed signs of being sick. They’ll have to separate everyone, and the whole Council had been exposed. Hershel says that the people who are sick need a place to be. Carol suggests Cell Block A, or Death Row. “It’s clean,” Daryl points out. As they talk, they hear coughing in the hallway. It’s Karen. Tyreese is taking her to his cell, but Hershel says that Judith is there and she can’t be exposed. The Council will need to reconvene. Daryl asks if Carol is okay, but she’s worried about her girls.
Carol finds the girls at the fence. Lizzie is clearly distraught, but not for reasons that we’d think of. Carol tells her that she was weak, that she lost her nerve, and if she wants to live she has to be strong. Lizzie is looking beyond Carol to the area outside the fence, where her special Walker named Nick is crumpled in the grass. “He was special, and they killed him,” she says, running off. Lizzie’s sister looks at Carol solemnly. “She’s messed up. She’s not weak,” she tells her.
Daryl is digging graves for the deceased when Rick walks up. He seems a bit apologetic, but Daryl says that he deserved his time off. Rick was the one who got them all there, and without him they wouldn’t have made it. Besides, Daryl says, “When the shit hits, you’re standing there with a shovel.” Their moment is interrupted when Maggie screams from the tower. The Walkers are clustering again and this time the fence is about to go down. They all rush over and start poking them through the fence. Rick pauses, and then he starts poking with a vengeance.
Beth is taking care of Michonne’s leg. Baby Judith gurgles beside them. Michonne is upset at herself for what happened, and what could have happened if Maggie and Carl hadn’t been there. Michonne says they could have been hurt. But Beth points out that they all care for Michonne. “When you care about people, hurt is part of the package.” Beth continues her train of thought, pondering how many parents have lost children. What are they called? Judith starts to cry, and Michonne cringes in agony. Beth says that Judith seems to sense people’s moods.
Maggie falls and Glen tries to help her but she tells him to stay away. The group finds the dead rats on the ground and realizes that someone has been feeding them, leading them to that particular area. (Do you suppose it was Lizzie?) Something has to happen. The fences are about to come down. Rick tells Daryl to get the truck. He knows what needs to happen to save the day.
Carol finds Carl making grave markers. He asks if Patrick was Catholic, but she says he was a “practicing atheist.” They talk about what Carl saw in the library, and she asks if he is going to tell his father. Carl doesn’t want to lie to his dad, but she just wants him not to say anything. She feels very strongly that she is doing the right thing.
Michonne is doing exercises while Beth sings to Judith. When Judith spits up, Beth asks Michonne to hold her, but Michonne doesn’t want to. When she relents, Michonne starts crying. Hard. Baby Judith has triggered something deep inside of her.
Daryl fires up the truck and pulls a trailer outside the gates. Rick’s plan is to lure the Walkers away from the fence using his sick pigs. They had been infected already, and so they would have been killed anyway, so this solves two problems. The Walkers take the bait, but when Rick gets to the last pig, he looks into its eyes before slicing open its leg and leaving it to the Walkers.
The girls watch the Walkers. Carol tries to explain that Nick was a Walker, and they had to take care of her father to prevent that from happening. Carol cuts some flowers and puts them in her hair. Lizzie reaches over and clasps her hand.
Rick tells Carl that they might have made the pigs sick, or vice versa. He thinks that they should stay away from Judith for a while. Carl agrees, and then he takes a deep breath and tells his dad about Carol. “I think you should let her,” Carl says. Rick agrees not to say anything, and agrees not to stop her. He’s glad Carl told him. Once he has taken the pig pen apart, he lights it on fire. Then he goes over to a toolbox and gives Carl his gun. He also straps on his own gun.
Rick is back!
Rick and Carl share a father-son moment, and then Rick peels off his bloody shirt and throws it into the fire, a sign that the times are changing at the prison.
Tyreese goes down to visit Karen in her quarantine area. He finds her door closed and a bloody trail leading from her cell to the back courtyard. Outside, he finds the charred remains of two people. One of them is Karen.
Well, that was one roller coaster of an episode! Who do you think is the saboteur? Is it Lizzie? Who killed and burned Karen? Leave your guesses and your comments below!