During last week's season 4 premiere, we learned that Rick's crew turned the prison into a peaceful safe haven, only to see that peace interrupted when one of the occupants died from a mysterious disease and resurrected inside the prison walls.
In this week's episode, "Infected," the prison residents experience the fallout from that unexpected turning, and someone goes to extreme measures to try and stop the disease from spreading. Read on to find out if The Walking Dead
can deliver the mix of sweet zombie action and rich character development we crave.A Not-So-Peaceful Night
This week's episode starts on quite a disturbing note, with someone feeding the fence-walkers live rats. I guess we now know why so many of the fence-walkers are sticking around. I wonder who would be foolish enough to keep those walkers so well-fed.
We switch from that lovely scene to a moment of actual loveliness between Tyreese and Karen. They chat about how hard it is to lose someone when there are so few people left in the world. They kiss and Tyreese romances Karen with a song. Their adorableness all but guarantees something horrible will befall one of them before the end of the episode.
As Walker Patrick resurrects in the shower room, Karen and Tyreese say goodnight and Karen heads back to D block. She comes very close to being Walker Patrick's first meal, but he picks someone else to munch on, thus creating another walker inside the prison. Everyone else in D block sleeps soundly until the next morning.Day of the Dead
Rick and Carl wake up early for another day of farming. Carl asks Rick if he can help with fence patrol that day, but Rick says no. Carl also asks about getting his gun back, but the walker attack is about to take care of that for him.
As Michonne heads out for another Governor-hunt, they all hear the screams from D block. Rick runs to help the others, while Carl goes to let Michonne back inside. When she gets surrounded by several walkers, Carl grabs a gun and kills one of them to save her. She's wounded, but Maggie and Carl get her inside safely.
Rick and our other regulars head to D block and start the walker killing. They take care of it quickly enough but are too late for many of the D block residents. Carol looks after a man who has been bitten, while Tyreese reunites with an uninjured Karen. Rick has to break his new no-violence rule and get his hands dirty in order to kill several walkers.The Threat is Not Over
After the prison walkers are taken care of, Hershel and Dr. S. -- yes, the prison has an official doctor now -- check out the two deceased D-block inhabitants who were not bitten. They quickly deduce that Patrick and the other guy died from a flu-like illness, and everyone who came into contact with them has been exposed, including many of our regulars.
Hershel and the council members decide that everyone who has been exposed needs to be isolated. This includes Karen, who is showing signs of the illness. She and another guy -- David -- who are coming down with the infection will be isolated in a cell of their own until their symptoms subside. What Do You Call Someone Who Has Lost a Child?
The man who was bitten in the attack asks Carol to look after his two daughters -- Mika and Lizzie -- and Carol agrees, despite the pain she still carries from losing Sophia. Carol brings the girls to say goodbye to their father and makes sure he does not resurrect after Lizzie is unable to do so. After their father is gone, Carol is brutally honest with Lizzie and tells her that her inaction makes her weak and she need to do better in the future.
When Lizzie gets upset over a dead walker, Carol takes both girls to the fence and explains the difference between human and walker death. I doubt this is the last we have seen of this storyline, but for the moment, Carol's lessons seem to be working.
In another emotional moment, Beth asks a wounded Michonne to look after Judith while she gets cleaned up, and Michonne's reaction is very telling. After initially refusing to look after the baby, Michonne cradles Judith in her arms and silently sobs. The audience -- and Beth -- begin to suspect that Carol is not the only mother who has lost a child. Violet Had It Easy
Thanks to all the noise from the attack on D block, even more walkers have started to swarm the fence. Rick and his crew try to keep the walkers at bay, but there are too many and part of the fence starts to give way. Rick has a gross, yet brilliant, plan to use the live pigs to draw the walkers away from the fence, giving the others a chance to repair it. I find this sequence even more disturbing than the attack on D block, but I realize I might be in the minority on that one. At least Rick seems to share my disgust and horror over the pig slaughter.
Before the pig slaughter, Sasha notices the dead animals near the fence and realizes that someone has been feeding the walkers. Will the group discover the identity of the walker-feeder before it is too late?Rick and Carl Get Back in the Game
Throughout the episode, Rick continues to fight against the urge to step up as leader once more. He tells Daryl that the leadership position almost cost him everything last time and he is not willing to take that chance again. Daryl understands and says that Rick deserves the time off but also points out that Rick is the one who gets the job done when things turn ugly.
Despite Carol pleading with Carl to keep mum about her weapons classes, Carl tells Rick and asks him to keep it quiet. Rick agrees to keep the classes a secret from the other parents, in case they do not understand. After a day full of death and horribleness, Rick decides to take his gun out of retirement, and also returning Carl's gun. Is Rick right to give him back his gun? Is it only a matter of time before Carl gets back to his "kill-em-all" ways?Tyreese, Why Did You Have to Sing?
As predicted, Tyreese and Karen's blissful love is destroyed in the episode's final moments. Tyreese brings Karen flowers and finds an empty cell full of blood. Tyreese follows the blood trail outside and discovers the charred remains of Karen and the other infected guy. Did they succumb to the disease and someone simply burned their bodies to stop the spread of the illness? Or were they murdered and burned to cover up the crime?
What did you think of this week's episode? Was the attack on D block tense enough for you or did you find it underwhelming? How do you think Tyreese will handle Karen's death and how many more characters will be lost to this new disease? Were you surprised to learn about Michonne's loss? And are you glad Rick and Carl are back in the walker-killing business? Let us know your thoughts and theories in the comments section.
Want to add The Walking Dead to your very own watch-list? Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.(Image courtesy of AMC)