In tonight’s episode, the story continues after the two revelations from last week’s episode involving Phineas and rat sushi, separately. Episode 4.02, “Infected,” was written by Angela Kang and directed by Guy Ferland.
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read any further if you haven’t watched the episode yet. This is a recap with specific details from this episode. Continue only if you have already watched it.
This episode started like how it ended last week. The walkers at the fence were being teased and fed a live rat by a mysterious person with a flashlight hiding their identity.
It’s still nighttime, and Tyreese and Karen tried to have an intimate moment together but they were both still distracted by Zach’s death the day before. These people were no longer acquaintances, Tyreese thought out loud, as they might be the only people left. Karen was very understanding even when Tyreese started to sing. They shared a kiss before she went off to bed.
Alone in the communal bathroom with only a flashlight, Karen was startled by a noise and started to investigate. Not finding anything, she chalked it up to her imagination and calmly walked out of the bathroom. In the dark, a figure that we all knew was the fallen Patrick rose up hissing.
Karen made it back to her cell and went to bed while walker Patrick followed her from the bathroom. Passing by Karen’s cell, walker Patrick stumbled into another cell and started feasting on its sleeping inhabitant, biting into his throat and preventing him from screaming out loud.
Title sequence plays.
When we came back, walker Patrick was having a field day rummaging through his victim’s guts.
Somewhere else in the prison, Rick was tending to Judith when the 6am alarm rang to wake Carl. Beth came to take Judith.
Walker Patrick was done with his feast and strolled out of the cell when his victim turned, got up and followed.
Outside, Glenn kept watch at the tower with Maggie sleeping next to him. They shared a light moment with a Polaroid camera as they were ready to change shift. Glenn volunteered to bring back breakfast. Rick and Carl walked Michonne out to the gate and then they tended to their farm duties. When Carl wanted to join the walker trimming crew, Rick had other farming plans for Carl instead. Carl even tried to ask for his gun back but before Rick could change the subject, the boom rang out.
Rick ordered Carl up the tower with Maggie and ran towards the prison. The other fighters rushed out following their plan. Michonne turned and raced back on her horse. Carl tried to open the gate for her on his own but Michonne got stuck in the holding area. She had to fight off two wandering walkers on her own before Maggie could help open the gate. Carl dispatched one walker while Michonne got the other one, but not before hurting herself. Helping Michonne inside, Maggie noticed the walkers were congregating at the fence.
Inside, there was chaos during evacuation and walker fighting. Daryl even saved a little boy while taking out a walker with his crossbow. When a man was bitten on his arm, Carol ushered him into a cell and started to amputate his arm but found another bite on his neck.
When we came back from commercial, the group surveyed their losses and began to clean out the dead a second time.
The bit man knew he was done for and Carol sat with him waiting for him to turn.
Examining the walker they found who happened to lock himself inside a cell due to sleepwalking, a medical guy suggested it was a flu strain that kill the sleepwalker. Everyone there has been exposed.
The little girls came to say goodbye to their father, the bit man. When Carol needed to finish him off, the elder sister wanted to do it but couldn’t. So Carol had to finish with the girls in the room with her.
Michonne, Maggie and Carl got caught up by Rick, who directed them elsewhere to prevent further exposure.
The council (Carol, Daryl, Sasha, Glenn and Hershell) discussed their next steps, when they heard Karen coughing. They had to separate Karen and others who exhibited symptoms.
The girls were still in shock over losing their father when Carol came up to them. Their father told her to take care of the girls, and instead of consoling them, Carol told the elder sister she was weak. Whoa, from mousy battered wife to survivalist, Carol sure had evolved. The younger sister calmly came to her sister’s defense too.
Burying the dead, Daryl thank Rick for fighting the walkers even though Rick had stepped away. When they needed him, he was always there. Their bonding got interrupted when a gaggle of walkers started pushing at one section of the fence and they all rushed over to trim to herd.
When tending to the injured Michonne, Beth also schooled Michonne on being a part of the family, especially when Michonne thought that Maggie and Carl shouldn’t have come out for her. Beth even asked if Michonne had any children and Michonne’s reaction to Judith’s cries may be a precursor to us learning more about Michonne soon.
Back at the herd trimming at the fence, Sasha found the dead rats that were fed to the walkers, right before the fence started to topple.
Damn commercial break!
When we came back, the herd was still pushing at the fence. The group had to try another method.
Inside, Carol asked Carl if he told Rick about her teaching the children about knives. When Carl asked if she told their parents, Carol didn’t want to take the risk that they won’t understand. Carol specifically asked Carl to not tell Rick.
The next bit with Michonne and baby Judith is both touching and revealing. Holding the baby, Michonne wept.
Outside, Daryl and Rick led the herd away from the fence by feeding them the sick pigs that Rick had been farming all this time, while the others started fixing the damaged fence. Rick had to sacrifice his farming fantasy life in light of what’s happening. This allegory is so not subtle! Don’t you agree?
Carol continued to school the two girls on life and walkers. They had to learn the difference between humans dying and walkers dying.
Breaking down the pig pen, Carl confessed to Rick about Carol’s education and Carl urged Rick to let her continue. Rick agreed and handed Carl the gun he asked for earlier. Rick also holstered his own gun. Burning his pig-blood soaked shirt, the allegory was completed as he looked back at the walker herd at the fence.
Visiting Karen with some flowers, Tyreese found her cell empty with bloodstains leading outside. Opening the door, Tyreese came upon two burnt bodies next to gasoline cans. We see Karen’s bracelet on one of the bodies.
Despite that one obvious storytelling cue, this episode portrayed a sense of dread (ha!) well and moved the story forward. Thoughts, comments, feedback? Tell us in the comments section below.
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