Review: The Walking Dead - 'Infected'

By: Heather Seebach

Click here for my review of S4E1, "30 Days Without An Accident"!
Click here for our podcast about S4E1!
 Click here for our podcast about S4E2, "Infected"!

**Warning: The following contains spoilers from S4E2**

While I'm still not partcularly excited about The Walking Dead, the second episode of season 4 was a marked improvement over the premiere. We get tons of gore, a high body count (roughly 15 people), and what may be the single most disturbing moment I've ever witnessed on this show. 

"Infected" begins with zombie Patrick's descent on D block (well, after some obligatory Tyreese-Karen canoodling). Greg Nicotero, stepping out of the director's seat this episode, goes back to doing what he does best, giving us throats ripped out and a feast of entrails. 

Rick, Daryl & co. rush in to save the day, but consequently expose themselves to what they soon discover is some kind of flu virus that makes your head pop from the inside and kills people overnight. Meanwhile, Michonne is laid up after twisting her ankle - and apparently babies freak her the fuck out!

For me, one of the most significant storylines this episode is the one with Carol and the girls. I laughed when the girl said, "We should be the ones" and Carol insisting the girls are "weak" if they can't stab their father in the fucking brain! That's pretty harsh, but I still kinda like this side of Carol, especially in light of these little girls now being her responsibility. She  probably knows that Sophia died because she could not protect herself, and now Carol is trying to rectify that - for everyone's children, whether their parents like it or not. 

As I don't live in a world overrun with the undead, my first thought is, "why wouldn't you put those girls outside before you earfuck their daddy with a knife?!" but I do see Carol's side, and that whole scene is pretty damn sad. "Look at the flowers, Lizzie!"

However, we soon learn that Lizzie gives no fucks about her dearly departed dad, and is more worried about Nick the zombie. In the words of her little sister, "She's messed up - not weak." My first thought was, could this be the beginning of a storyline that parallels Billy and Ben in the comics? I doubt it will go there but I wish it would! It's dark shit. Fans of the books know what I mean but I won't go into the further so as not to spoil anything.

Meanwhile, thanks to the rat snacks, the outer fence is caving in. The survivors try their best to stop it to no avail. How great was that walker's eyeball popping through the fence though? So Rick hatches a plan to kill two birds - er, pigs - with one stone. Yes, I'm an animal lover, and the sound of squealing pigs cuts me deep, so what followed was pretty damn disturbing to me. It's not that Rick kills the pigs - they were gonna die one way or another - but the way he totally fucking Shane'ed them by slicing them open and leaving them to be eaten alive! It does not pay to be porky in the zombie apocalypse...

So yes, call me misanthropic, but the pig sequence was the most disturbing shit I've seen on this show, partly because of how it was shot and Lincoln's performance. Disturbing was clearly the intention - the music, the blood spatter, and Rick's face nailed it. He looked like he died a little doing that - both because of the food supply they were losing, but also because he lost a bit of his humanity in the process. Kudos to Lincoln on that scene!

 I suppose Rick felt like they were making progress and returning to some normalcy, but this episode shattered all that and so he returned to his gun. In other news, Michonne must have lost a child and it really fucked her up. Sidenote, I wish this show still did flashbacks to the time before the zombies. I'd love to see more of her backstory as a "regular" person. Also, Denai is fantastic in this scene, as is the baby! Dat face.

The episode wraps up with Tyreese discovering his infected girlfriend has been set on fire by somebody. Honestly, I just assumed she turned and somebody took care of it, who cares? But given Tyreese's pissed off state next episode, this is clearly not good. Yet another weirdo inside the prison, I guess?

Miscellaneous Thoughts:

- Fuck those metal cell doors designed to keep people in/out, we got SHEETS!

- I read a theory that the virus came from the soil - remember the close-up on those worms when Rick was digging in the dirt? There have undoubtedly been zombies decaying in that grass, and we saw Rick feed those worms to the pigs, I think. So yeah, maybe.

- Just want to personally thank the showrunners for this:

Oh Andy, we've so missed your torso...

 - On The Talking Dead, Nicotero said Daryl licking his fingers and then shaking Patrick's hand is what gave Patrick the infection, not vice versa. So rest easy, Reedus girls.

**Gif's c/o Uproxx**


Finally, I just want to share with you some of the funniest reactions I read to last night's episode on Reddit:

brokenarrow: "Rick has levelled up in Farmville."

well_golly: "Empty tin cans with strings strung in few places across the main mezzanine of each cell block at night. Humans within their group would know the strings are there, and they would know to step over the strings. Source: Home Alone with Macaulay Culkin. Also, Gilligan's Island."

Suggestions for Tyreese's rap album: 
"Tyreese ft. T-Dawg - Walker's Paradise. 
Walker's Paradise (Remix) ft. Rick G. Rhymes, Glenzilla, and Lil Beth"

justixthegreat: "Funny Karen lives in D Block 'cause that's what Tyreese calls his penis."

Russki75: "Well, shit. I hate when I'm sleeping and something tears my throat apart."

glamotte14: "Can you look out for them like they're yours? Yeah, because Carol has a great track record with looking out for kids."

Re: Carol Lee Curtis: "The Activia is making her strong." (Ohyeahhjon)

Iamtenninja: "Rick's going to see baby pigs in white dresses now."

Ordem_E_Progresso: "Fourth question - how many pigs have you killed?"

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