The episode starts over on the heels of episode one and in the beginning it is quite suspenseful and creepy. I’m talking about the sequence where Karen leaves Tyrese and walks down the hall. She hears a noise in the shower room and investigates it for a bit. She ends up letting it go and heads towards her room, but undead Patrick starts to follow her. She lays down to sleep and undead Patrick is ready to run in and tear her apart, but the guy in the next cell coughs which draws undead Patrick’s attention and he eats that guy up instead. If there was one lesson that I learned from this episode, it’s to never cough during a zombie apocalypse. Never! You cough at night; you draw walkers to your room. You cough during the day, people think you’re contagious and burn you alive. Imagine if this season took place in a colder climate.
As you can imagine, the entire D-Block section of the prison is later under attack by walkers from the inside. Daryl and Rick rush in to fight off the walkers. They kill them all, but they of course had a fair amount of casualties. There is a sad scene where two girls try to kill their father before he turns into a walker. They can’t do it, so Karen finishes the job.
Rick, Daryl, and the others gather around Patrick’s corpse and notice that he was not bitten and has no reasonable cause of death. This becomes the gateway into the main reason for this episode’s existence: Is there an airborne virus that is causing infection around the camp? A meeting is held and Hershel decides that it is best to separate the sick from the healthy.
Outside, walkers start to gather in one section of the fence. They all push up against one spot and slowly start to cave the fence in. Everyone rushes over to try and kill all the walkers, but it just isn’t fast enough. Rick decides to take Daryl and drive a truck with pigs on it. That way he can lead the walkers away from the fence by leaving a trail of dead pigs that lead away from the prison. Smart plan…or was it? Apart from Rick showing flashes of crazy again when he is cutting up the pigs, all the walkers come back to the fence towards the end of the episode. It was really just a temporary fix that resulted in Rick giving the walkers a free lunch.
On top of it all, Rick decides to give Carl his gun back. Why, because he asked nicely in the beginning of the episode? I know he helped out Michonne earlier on, but besides that, we really do not know if he should be carrying a gun. Perhaps there is something that we missed between the several month gap between Season Three and Four that proved him responsible, but I’m not entirely convinced. Maybe I’m wrong, I very well could be, but this decision just rubbed me the wrong way. After this, Rick has no reason to be mad at Carol even though he seemed to be pissed off when he finds out about her training classes.
Michonne crying when she holds the baby is probably going to lead to more backstory for her later on in the show. Perhaps she had a daughter before who was killed. The two walkers that Michonne carries around in Season Three could have been the walkers that killed her child. Who knows, but I’m sure we will find out more soon.
Then there is the other big question of the episode: who is feeding mice to the walkers in order to draw them towards the prison? An easy answer could be The Governor, but I think that’s way too easy. It could be someone living in the prison. Maybe they work for The Governor, maybe they have their own reason for doing this, or maybe it is someone we haven’t been introduced to yet. Guess we shall find out.
All in all, “Infected” had a great start with some cool gore moments like the walker rolling out of bed and his guts falling out (apparently a Day of The Dead tribute). It also set up a couple huge problems for our characters: How do we handle an airborne infection? Who is feeding the mice to the walkers? Who torched Karen and the other guy? Outside of that, I found this episode a bit dull at times and felt that it was purely an episode to set up later events. Not to say that this was entirely bad, but I feel that they need to start answering things soon before too many questions pile up and we become annoyed with the whole ordeal. In the end, this episode was not bad and it was not good. It was just really fucking okay.