The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2 “Infected” Recap

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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.

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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.

Sacrificing Pigs

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.

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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?

More Posts You Might Like:

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1 “30 Days Without An Accident” Recap

The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 16 “Welcome To The Tombs” Review

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About Eddie@Jaccendo

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on October 21, 2013, in Television, The Walking Dead and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Lil' Ass Kicker

    Nice review.

    I think director of photography did an outstanding job on this very episode.
    Some scenes really hit me, like Rick giving a gun to his son or Lizzy taking the knife.
    Adults are shown corrupting the youth, to optimize their chance of survival.

    The whole sacrifice pigs angle was cruel. This season really “runs” new materials.
    Livings can be harder to watch than rotten faces sometimes. Souls growing twisted, infected.

    Water is definitely a contamination medium, but I think someone is also poisoning
    the soil. Rick fed the pigs with some suspiciously looking grass. Looks like he noticed that.

    The burnt corpse found by Tyreese reminds me of the fire pit used by Woodbury mercs.
    Someone gased all the installation and light it up in the end. The prison group could be
    infected by some defecting member(s)..

    Barriers are starting to fall as some people gets sick
    and others seems to give up on the values “of the past”.

    My Kill Of The Week goes to the “Backflip female zombie” that Michonne sent to the pikes.

    • “Some scenes really hit me, like Rick giving a gun to his son or Lizzy taking the knife.
      Adults are shown corrupting the youth, to optimize their chance of survival.”

      There are some good character moments this episode that aren’t “shockers” but are meaningful. Rick giving the gun to Carl has a lot of meaning behind it. I also really liked that Michonne didn’t want to hold Judith at first, then her emotions came bursting out. Looks like one of the themes of the season is adults/parents making difficult choices to prepare their child for survival and in the process, take away their innocence.

      “The whole sacrifice pigs angle was cruel. This season really โ€œrunsโ€ new materials.
      Livings can be harder to watch than rotten faces sometimes. Souls growing twisted, infected.”

      The blood letting looked very real although apparently it’s CGI. Since the pigs were going to be killed because they might be carrying the infection and they needed to lure the zombies away from the fence it was a good idea by Rick; also at the same time saying goodbye to his farmer’s life.

      That’s a good point that the “infection” is like a metaphor for how dark, damaged and twisted the survivors have become. Some non-fans might think it’s a show about zombies, but its really a show about people fighting for their humanity.

      “Rick fed the pigs with some suspiciously looking grass. Looks like he noticed that.”

      That’s right, the camera focussed on the soil a few times as Rick was digging it up. That’s why I think burying those infected bodies in the soil instead of burning them might be a big mistake. Plus I’d avoid the contaminated water! ๐Ÿ™‚

      “The prison group could be infected by some defecting member(s)..”

      The only newcomer of note that hasn’t died is Bob. I’d like to know his back story and if’ he’s ever been to Macon.

      “others seems to give up on the values โ€œof the pastโ€.”

      Yeah, many characters have changed into a brand new version of themselves like Beth, Carol and Rick who have abandoned their old way of thinking.

      “My Kill Of The Week goes to the โ€œBackflip female zombieโ€ that Michonne sent to the pikes.”

      That’s a great scene where Michonne kicks the zombie over her head while lying on her back … then the reveal shot with the wood stakes coming out of the walker’s body. It would be grosser of the zombie kept flailing while staked.

      Great as always discussing with you! So far so good in Season 4! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thought this was a good episode. Had a hard time watching Rick sacrifice the pigs – that squealing made it so hard! No idea who is feeding the walkers. The hand that is shown looks like it might be an adult rather than a young kid, but I didn’t really look at it too hard.
    As a side note, I’m thinking either Glen or Maggie will be killed off this season. They seem to focus on their relationship a lot – the scene with the polariod was so sweete – and TWD is all about survival after trauma.
    Nice to see Rick kind returning to normal. He seemed to be struggling with being farmer Rick as well. Agree about Carol tyring to have the girls first kill be her dad. That’s a bit too harsh when they had been living in la la land at Woodberry.
    Loved the scene with Michonne. Giving the viewers a small glimpse into her was great.

    • The little pigs are cute. A lot of fans have a strong reaction to watching animals get hurt. Not so surprisingly, fans didn’t have an emotional connection to all the random people that died in this episode except for maybe Karen who we got to know a little bit.

      In another review they speculated the hand looked adult as well. I couldn’t really see but I don’t think it’s the little girl either.

      What I liked about Glenn & Maggie’s scene is that it’s an intimate slice of life not a some forced relationship drama. Like you said, when all is going well I would expect some major trauma and turbulence headed their way. I’m speculating that maybe Maggie lied about not being pregnant??

      Micah said her older sister is “messed up”. I wonder if Carol will push Lizzie too far and the girl will become unhinged and possibly a danger to others? The Woodbury people are not equipped to live in the zombie world, much less their kids. I’m really liking the potential of the storyline with the girls and Carol.

      The actress for Michonne did a great job in that scene. And since her ankle is hurt, I’m guessing she’ll be staying with the prison group for a little while instead of searching for the Governor.

      Great discussing with you as always! Cheers!

  3. Not wee piglets! So sad ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Good episode, lot of stuff going on ๐Ÿ˜€

    Who’s been feeding the zombies? Who killed those two in the cell? Where did the Governor go? And why am I asking you? ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. This was my favorite episode of TWD in a while. Actually pretty enjoyable even if the pig part was a little sad/hard to watch. I’m definitely curious how they work The Governor back in. I really thought he should have died last season, so I’m not really missing him at all, but at the same time I’m wondering how his return might play out.

    Wasn’t big on the way Carol was acting. I don’t necessarily think teaching the kids is wrong. But some of her actions did rub me the wrong way this episode. Glad Rick has his gun back.

    • The show is working well right now without the Governor. I don’t mind if he doesn’t come back until the second half of the season. The 3rd season finale felt a bit anticlimactic without either the Governor’s death or a direct confrontation with Rick’s group. The writers will have to come up with a great story that shows why he is worth keeping around an extra season.

      Yeah, I think how Carol is teaching the kids might have unintended consequences down the line. This is a side of Carol we saw when she told Andrea to knife the Governor in his sleep last season. I’m glad Rick and Carl got their guns back too, instead of dragging it out any further.

      Good to hear your enjoying this episode. Hopefully this season will be more consistent. Great to hear from you as always!

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