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The Walking Dead 4×02 “Infected” Recap

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This week’s episode starts us off over at the fence in the nighttime, where we are introduced to a mysterious figure feeding rats to the zombies.

The scene then transitions to inside the prison, where Tyreese and Karen share an intimate moment. When he leaves, Karen goes to the bathrooms in the ground below to wash up. Unknown to her is Patrick, who follows her back up to the cell block and proceeds to attack the innocent civilians in slumber.

In the morning, it’s clear that Patrick’s outbreak has spread through to the entire cell block. Rick, who has been farming with Carl, hears the shouts and orders Carl to stay back with Maggie while he, Glenn, and Daryl run inside. Michonne, who was about to head out on a supply run, falls off her horse and, while trying to defend herself, ends up spraining her ankle. In a turn of events, Carl takes the very thing his father has sworn against (and who has been denied access to by his father) – and shoots a zombie off of Michonne with a rifle.

In one of the cell blocks, Carol finds Ryan (one of the newcomers from Woodbury) who has been bitten beyond repair. She brings Mika and Lizzie, his two daughters in (also happen to be two of the children she’s been teaching in her self-defense classes), and gives them the option of killing their father themselves. Lizzie volunteers, but backs out at the last minute, ridden with shock and fear.

Inside the prison, the council holds an emergency meeting and deduce that there’s been some type of flu outbreak, which might have been the reason for Patrick’s death. They all agree on separating those who are showing definite symptoms of sickness from everyone else. Sadly for Tyreese, Karen has acquired these very symptoms (after washing her face with the water the previous night), and is taken away to a separate cell block.

Carol later finds Mika and Lizzie at the fence, staring at the walkers. She tells the girls that their father asked her to take care of them, adding that Lizzie is weak, a quality that stands between life or death in their world. As Lizzie runs away, distraught that they “killed” one of the walkers outside, Mika explains to Carol that Lizzie isn’t weak, rather she’s “messed up” in the head.

Michonne, who has been accompanied by Beth (and Judith) while her ankle is nursed back to health, blames herself for putting Maggie and Carl in harm’s way when they saved her. Beth assures Michonne that helping putting the blame on herself is completely wrong, and that Carl and Maggie risking their lives to help her was definitely well worth the risk. Michonne is struck by this love, as Beth explains that if you care about someone, hurt is part of the package.

Later, Michonne is called upon by Beth to hold Judith while she cleans up a mess that Judith made. At first, Michonne is clearly very uncomfortable, displaying certain facial expressions that definitely serve as the comic relief in the episode. But Judith apparently grows on her, as Michonne loses control and weeps while gripping the young infant. This scene touches a very soft side and opens up the possibilities of exploring Michonne’s backstory this season.

Meanwhile on the perimeter, Rick expresses to Daryl his worries on killing zombies, as he’s taken a hiatus from guns and has focused on agriculture instead. Suddenly, Maggie runs over to them and gestures over to a section of the fence, where a horde of zombies have been pushing against to the extent of the fence falling down, which would bring the zombies inside. Sasha points out a group of dead rats, questioning the possibility that someone’s been feeding the zombies. Rick and Daryl understand that there is only one way to drive the walkers away, and proceed with their plan.

Rick and Daryl approach the fence from the opposite side, with Rick holding a huge crate. When they get close to the zombies, Rick pulls out a pig that he’s been taking care of, and sacrifices it to the zombies. He proceeds to do this two more times, reminding us of the fable “The Three Little Pigs”, though in this situation, the wolf (being the zombies) has blown all three houses down, leaving few options. Though this was the only alternative to saving the prison, Rick appears very distraught by the outcome as he and Daryl drive back.

Carol finds Mika and Lizzie at the fence once more, where they are both staring at the walkers like before. Carol takes a flower and puts it in Lizzie’s hair, telling her that she needs to be strong and to not let the fear of zombies get in her way of surviving. Lizzie understands, and takes the knife from Carol’s hand.

Later, Carl approaches Rick and tells him about how Carol has been teaching the kids on how to use weapons. Rick appears to be very stressed about this news, but tells Carl that he’ll let her carry on and won’t tell anyone. Noticing a growing maturity in Carl, Rick realizes that it’s time for changes to occur for the Grimes, and gives Carl back his gun. He proceeds to wrap a holster around his own waist with a gun strapped in, and burns the patch of farm that he’s been working on, signifying a major change in identity. The Sheriff is back.

In typical The Walking Dead fashion, the episode ends on a thrilling cliffhanger, with Tyreese walking to Karen’s cell block to give her flowers. When he gets there, he discovers that Karen is missing, and is instead replaced with a blood trail leading outdoors. He follows it to find the figures of both David (who was identified in the council meeting as showing symptoms of the flu) and Karen, who have been burnt to crisp.

Rating: B+