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The Walking Dead Recap, 4×2: “Infected”

In which everyone continues to not realize that they are in a horror franchise.

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This week, the group learns what happens when you don’t have the CDC around to keep checking up on everybody’s health. The moral of the story is that we should probably all get flu shots. Like, right now.

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It’s nighttime at the prison, and somebody is up late with a flashlight feeding rats to the walkers behind the gate. Man, I live in the rat capital of the world and even I think that’s a bit cruel. We can’t tell who it us behind the flashlight, but my money’s on either Carl or that weird blond girl who was naming all the walkers.

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Meanwhile, Karen and Tyrese are making out. Tyrese is still shaken up about about the supply run the day before, and weaves his concerns into this speech about how nobody really has acquaintances anymore. “Used to be we all had these people moving in and out of your lives… now you have the people you know, and that’s it. Might as well be the people left in the world.” Karen is moved, but not so moved that she doesn’t want to keep making out.

Then he sings “Under My Skin” to her and man, you’d think the people on this show would be more genre savvy than they are at this point. “Under my skin?” Yeah, sure, let’s pick the absolute creepiest song in Sinatra’s entire catalog to sing in the middle of the night during a zombie apocalypse while we’re getting some heavy petting done. That’s not the worst idea ever.

At least Tyrese’s voice is pretty smooth, though. You know, until they part ways and Karen goes down to the scary basement-looking bathroom to… splash her face with water. You know, where Walker!Patrick is hanging out being dead. Not that Karen knows that, of course, so when she hears a spooky noise, her natural inclination is to wander around aimlessly searching for the cause with nothing but a flashlight. Girl! How have you not died already! You are clearly too non-genre savvy to survive this experience.

Karen makes it out of the bathroom-basement unscathed, surprisingly, (though I’m surprised that a cat didn’t jump out at her first), but now Walktrick has got her scent and stumbles through the cell block to where she sleeps where her DOOR IS WIDE OPEN JESUS CHRIST. Except then he walks right past her and sinks his teeth into some other generic white dude who I don’t remember in the next cell over. Karen, of course, does not wake up. God damn it, Karen.

After the commercial break, we come back to Walktrick feasting on Generic White Dude’s innards. Seriously, the kid is elbow deep into this guy, and NO ONE hears him. What? What.

It’s morning — it is morning and no one heard this — and Rick is (presumably) in another part of the prison feeding L’il Asskicker. He checks in on Carl, who is definitely not concerned about his only male friend’s current predilection for human flesh.

We cut back to Walktrick again and he’s calmly sitting on the floor chewing away at a large organ. In fact, I am about 60% sure that he was sitting cross-legged.

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Somebody coughs in a different part of the cell block and it occurs to Walktrick that oh yeah, there are other people to eat! So he gets up and while he’s moving, Generic White Dude rises to join him.

Back to the Grimes JESUS CHRIST WHY HAS NO ONE NOTICED THE ZOMBIES YET, Beth takes the baby while Rick goes off to do stuff and things. Yup, everything’s fine! Nothing out of the ordinary on this fine morning!

Back to Generic White Walker, who rolls out of bed. A sizable amount of his organs do not follow. He stands and wanders out of the cell block too, because hey, it’s not like anyone’s paying attention!

Now we go to the walkers outside the gate. Oh good, Glen’s on guard duty, so they’re not completely stupid. He a pretty picture of his sleeping girlfriend with what is admittedly a very covetable camera. The flash wakes her up, so he goes off to perimeter check and she hangs out on the tower.

At the path leading up to the gate, Rick and Carl are sending Michonne off. Because Michonne is the best, she offers to get he dumb kid some more comics, and asks him about his badass hat. Apparently “it’s not a farming hat,” which is why Carl does not wear it anymore. Which begs the question: what is a farming hat? Nobody stops to figure that out, though, because Rick and Carl have worms to catch and throw in a bucket, or something.

Carl notices that a cluster of walkers is able to move the gate about pretty significantly, and calmly relates to Rick that the fence cleaners only took out one group yesterday, so they’ll probably need more people. Too bad you’re rapidly loosing folks to the walkers in your basement, but okay. Rick tells him that they have other plans and can’t help. Carl accepts this reluctantly, but he still wants his gun back.

Then, suddenly, a shot! Rick, Carl, and Michonne all hear it, and everybody goes running to Cell Block D. Finally. It’s not a break-in, Daryl tells Rick on the way. Meanwhile, Carl opens the gate back up for Michonne, who comes galloping in like the fearsome champion that she is. A couple of walkers get in, too, and Michonne — pushes them? YOU HAVE A SWORD USE THE SWORD WHY IS THIS HAPPENING.

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They get on top of her, but she kicks one up and Carl shoots it in the head with a shotgun that, I don’t know, I guess Checkov put there earlier or something. Then Michonne throws the other one off and Maggie shoots it, but somehow Michonne’s been hurt in the scuffle. Y’all, if this lady gets bit, then I am going to be so angry about everything. But that doesn’t matter right now, because it looks like the walkers are making a concentrated effort to take down the gate. Uh oh.

Back at Cell Block D, there are a bunch of Walkers. Walktrick got busy, y’all. Rick gets handed a shotgun too but immediately drops it to help all the non-walker cell block residents. Okay. Generic White Guy is eating somebody in the corner but Daryl shoot him in the eye with a crossbow and scoops up a scared little Hot Pie-looking kid on his way to safety. He hands Hot Pie off to Karen — HOW IS KAREN STILL ALIVE? — and doubles back. Meanwhile, Glen shovels somebody in the face on his way to help Carol and some other little girl, whom Karen also takes in. It seems like the plan is to take survivors and lock them in the cells while the badass killy-types clean out all the walkers.

Of course, does Karen stick to that plan? Noooo. She sees Tyrese and basically jumps out of the cell to hug him. Girl! There are undead people everywhere! Let him come to you or something! Meanwhile, Carol is trying to amputate an arm off of somebody all by herself because she’s amazing and so much better than Karen. Finally, Patrick gets arrow’d in the head and it’s all clear. Wheeee.

In the aftermath, Rick and Daryl survey the scene while Daryl puts crossbows into everyone that Patrick’s eaten. Karen can’t believe how this happened because she’s very dumb. Carol is still trying to amputate that guy, who tells her to look after his kids for them when he dies. She says that they should be able to say goodbye to him though and then lets them in the cell. I mean, I guess they need closure or whatever, but this really does not feel safe. Especially when the older girl decides that she has to be the one to stab her dead father in the head. Wow, kid. You are fucked up. She chickens out at the last second, though, which is for the best. You know, unless you’re Carol.

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The clean-up crew notice that the walkers don’t have any bites or wounds on them, but they are bleeding from all their orifices as if their internal organs all exploded at once. Somebody doctor-ish whose name I feel like I should know suggests that it’s due to an aggressive form of flu that they might have been exposed to through Rick’s sick pig. I mean, yeah. Did you all think regular diseases stopped existing after the zombie virus started spreading, guys?

Rick comes out to great Maggie, Michonne, and Carl, who was really worried that Rick had died. He also immediately admits to shooting a weapon and apologizes. Michonne seems to have just sprained something, so that’s better than her turning, I guess. Rick tells Carl about Patrick and everybody is bummed about everything.

The council has a meeting to figure how best to separate everyone who could have been exposed to the virus. They decide that everyone still living in D to A (which is Death Row — oh, irony) while they clean up, and then suddenly everybody hears Karen coughing from across the hall. KAREN. Tyrese is going to take her back to his cell to “rest” (AKA sing creepy songs to her and then make out) but they all talk him out of it and send her off to some clean cells in the tombs, along with some other guy who’s been coughing — David, I think. Carol and Daryl share some concerned words with each other and I’m pretty sure he calls her “babe” before he walks off. I would tell them to just make out already but that tends not to go well for a lot of people on this show.

Carol comes back to talk to Lizzie and Mika about their dad. She decides to comfort them by telling Lizzie that she’s weak for not stabbing her dead father in the head when she said she was going to. Yeesh. “You have to trust your gut and act fast,” she tells Lizzie, who seems to be having a change of heart about walkers and dead things and runs away. “She’s messed up,” Mika tells Carol. “She’s not weak.” Yeah, that sounds about right.

Daryl is digging a hole to bury the bodies when Rick comes up, and they talk about Rick’s current not-using-guns decision.Rick seems to feel really guilty about not using guns, and Daryl keeps trying to tell him it’s fine, but then Maggie runs up to alert them to the walkers once again trying to take the fence down. Meanwhile, Beth and Michonne are talking as Beth wraps up her foot. Michonne is going on about how stupid she is (after the whole pushing-a-walker-), and Beth tries to comfort her before Lil Asskicker loses her mind crying.

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Perhaps she senses that the fence-cleaning is not going well, as the fence is giving way — though they do find the trail of rat carcasses first, which is probably what attracted this cluster in the first place. There’s this great moment where a Walker is so pressed against the fence that it starts slicing their head open. Sorry, did I say great? I meant disgustingly horrifying. Rick tells Daryl to go get the truck, because he has a plan.

Carol comes across Carl building a bunch of crosses for the graves. He hasn’t told Rick about Carol’s teach-tiny-children-how-to-stab-people sessions, and he says that she should probably tell all the parents about it. She doesn’t think they would understand, and wants Carl to continue keeping the sessions a secret.

Michonne is doing crunches with a sprained ankle and everything is perfect. Beth is also singing to L’il Asskicker, and she sounds surprisingly good. Michonne is once again very, very uncomfortable around the baby, so naturally she has to hold her as Beth runs off to go take care of something. And then her mood immediately changes and she holds the baby to herself while crying profusely. Yikes. Did Michonne lose a l’il asskicker of her very own? Considering the way she looked when Beth started asking whether or not there’s a term for a parent who loses a child, I’m inclined to say that she probably did.

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Either way, Judith looks unimpressed.

Rick’s plan gets put into action — he and Daryl draw the walkers away from the wall with the infected pigs, which they cut to draw blood and then throw down in a trail. It’s easily the most brutal thing that happens in the episode, wich is saying a lot given that 14 or so people died and that one walker got sliced up by a metal fence in a really horrific close-up. However, I would really like to draw attention to the fact that everybody thinks these pigs are what spread the flu, and Rick is basically allowing their blood to spray straight into his eyes. Kids, if you’re ever in an undead apocalyptic hellscape and you think somebody or something might be sick, don’t let their blood get in your face. That is Survival 101, for chrissakes.

On the other side of the camp, Carol finds Lizzie and Mika and puts a flower in Lizzie’s hair. Lizzie responds by taking Carol’s knife and tucking it into her belt for safekeeping. Carol seems very touched by this. Bonding!

Rick is tearing down and burning the pig pen, and Carl takes the opportunity to let Rick know about Carol’s teaching sessions. He thinks Rick should allow her to continue, and Rick… agrees not to stop her. Huh. Well, all right. As the pig pen goes up in flames, he decides to give Carl a gun again, and puts one on his belt as well. Then he takes off his shirt and throws it into the fire. It’s a bit late for that considering the pig’s blood got literally all up in your face, but I will not complain. Dang, Rick Grimes. Dang.

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Speaking of things going up in flames, Tyrese has picked a lovely bunch of flowers for his bedridden beloved and goes to her new cell to deliver them. Unfortunately, instead he finds a trail of blood leading outside to a couple of burnt bodies and an empty gas can. Seems like somebody decided that it would be best if Karen and David not infecting everyone else, and also if they were on fire. I can’t say I’m surprised that Karen bit the dust — well, the ash, really — but I was sort of hoping it would be due to her being an idiot and not just a person who coughed in front of the wrong people.

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This episode definitely was not as strong as the last one to me, probably mostly because I spent the majority of it being really upset with how stupid everybody seemed to be. You really think we’d all be used to it by now after four seasons, but surprisingly the minor characters always find new ways to disappoint me right before they get eaten. Or burnt to death. Whichever.

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