The Walking Dead Review 4.2 'Infected'
Posted by Josh Syvertsen on 10.21.2013
Airborne viruses, burned bodies, and rats...lots of rats. Josh Syvertsen takes through all the happenings on the last episode of The Walking Dead
"Welcome back...Your dreams are your ticket out." Thanks John Sebastian. Now get back to sweeping the floors. I am Josh Syvertsen and welcome back to your weekly recap/analysis of The Walking Dead. And thank you dear reader for for attempting to read this drivel for a second week in a row. But before we get to this weeks episode of The Walking Dead a little bit of housekeeping:
Caveat #1: First, and most importantly for some of you I guess, I have not read the acclaimed graphic novel series on which the show is based. I have not done this for a myriad of reasons, the first being laziness. I'm a busy man people. But the second and most important is that this column/review is about the television show The Walking Dead, not the graphic novel series. It would be unfair to the show and unfair to you, the reader, if I was constantly bitching about how the show is different than the source material (and believe me I would bitch). Think that's wrong? Hit me up on twitter some time and mention 'Under The Dome' - watch my head explode. I will make this promise to you who are ever so pissed about my lack of The Walking Dead graphic novel experience, that someday when the show has completed its run, I will check it out.
Caveat #2: Have fun. What's expressed here is one solitary, bitterly lonely mans opinion. If you believe something different, write about it! Let everyone out there know what you think, but don't be a dick. It's a television show - not life or death.
As the immortal Smash Mouth (Ha!) would say..."Fuck it lets rock"
Last Week On The Walking Dead: It was a week of many things. Rick has a thing for gardening. Tyreese has a thing for Karen. Beth has a thing for Zach, but Zach has a thing for dying. Newcomer Bob has a thing for red wine and clumsiness. And everyones favorite military helicopter has a thing for falling through department store roofs and crushing things.
This Week On The Walking Dead:
We open with rats. Fresh rats. Fresh rats being used to taunt the gathering storm of walkers outside the prison gates. I think we can safely say that other than Henry Jones Sr. everyone is a walker taunting suspect. Let the paranoia begin. Inside the prison, Tyreese and Karen continue to flirt - heavily. He even belts out some Sinatra - badly. She rejects his advances on this night because she's more of a Tony Bennett person. But she lets him know that there's a pretty damn good possibility that he's got a pretty good shot at getting some later. On her way back to her cell we hear the kid who turned last episode start wandering through the cell block. He's stalking Karen, but stops at the last minute when he hears a noise from a neighboring cell. Entering Karens neighbors cell, he descends on the unaware man and bites his throat out as he sleeps.
The next morning the kid finishes feasting on the guy when he finishes and starts looking for more victims. Outside Glenn watches Maggie sleep. And if that's not creepy enough he whips our his....camera...you perverts...and he takes a picture of her. Asian with a camera stereotype - low hanging fruit I guess. What's next showing the Jew with the dradle? Oh wait...there are apparently no Jews after the Zombie apocalypse. I digress. Michone and Rick flirt a little as best they can. They are better at it than me so who am I to judge? After she leaves, Carl asks Rick about getting his gun back. Rick ignores the question, instead describing the large amount of farm work that needs doing.
Suddenly there is a scream from the prison. Michone wheels the horse around but falls. Carl and Maggie save her just before she can be bitten. Rick as taken off inside the prison where he meets up with the usual suspects (Glenn and Darryl). They quell the walker insurrection, but killing the four or five walkers in the prison opens up a whole new can of questions. Rick observes that the one walker had no bites - no skin punctures meaning that he dies from natural causes and quickly. The small council (Rick, Daryl, Carol, Tyrion, Glenn and Herschel) meets to debate what should be done in the situation. They agree that there needs to be a quarantine of everyone exposed to the "new" walkers, but before they can agree on the parameters they hear Karen coughing in the hallway. Tyresse is walking her back to his bunk (what a smoothie!). The council informs both of them of the quarantine situation - they hesitantly comply.
Later that day Daryl is burying the newly dead bodies when he challenges Rick about being a leader. Rick again states that he has no desire to be the guy who calls the shots. They are interrupted by Maggie screaming like an idiot. The walkers - drawn by the fresh rats are about to over run a section of the prisons fences. Thinking quickly, Rick instructs Daryl to grab a truck while he grabs the remaining pigs. He sacrifices each of the pigs to lead the walkers away from the fence. This gives Glenn and Maggie time to reinforce the fence, some how this is a metaphor for their relationship...or maybe not.
Carl approaches Rick and apologizes for using a gun during the saving of Michone. He then echos Daryls thoughts about Rick being the leader. Rick blows him off but gives him his gun back. He also straps his old gun on. He then takes his shirt off and burns it. There's a nice shirtless glamor shot in there for the ladies (and certain guys) so if that's what you've been waiting for, this is the episode for you. Tyreese is looking to comfort...or get a little comfort from Karen, going so far as to bring her some flowers (I told you he was a smoothie). However, when he makes it to the quarantine area he sees that her and the other person who was also being held in quarantine are missing. There is a trail of blood from the cell heading outside. Once outside Tyreese sees the bodies of Karen and the other guy burnt to a crisp. End Episode.
Elsewhere: There was some really touching stuff with Michone. Left in a pinch to care for baby Judith, her distaste for the child quickly turns into her breaking down as she holds the child. Michone weeping while holding the child adds yet another dimension to the character after angry and awkwardly congenial...The last large development was Carols sudden "adoption" of two girls left orphaned by the walker attack. She challenges one of the little girls to kill her father before he turns. When she can't Carol does it, then she calls the little girl weak. Carl took it upon himself to rat out Carols knife fighting teaching to Rick. Rick doesn't care because he's not the leader. Which I think everyone gets by now.
Those who trifled with the pacing of the season premiere this is the episode for you! Fast paced and action packed, walker attacks from within and without the compound made these 48 minutes fly by. It did a lot to further the thought that there is really a power vacuum developing at the prison. If it wasn't clear last week, it was certainly drilled home this week, no one is the decision maker and no one wants to be the decision maker.
That leads into one of the big development from this episode - the rats. The rats seem like they are coming from inside the prison, meaning it's internal subterfuge. We may be meant to think it's The Governor, at least that's how I interpreted it. Is he in the prison? There are roughly 35 refugees from Woodbury, maybe there is one who is still loyal to him. Could one of them be housing The Governor somewhere on the property? It certainly adds to the intrigue and opens a whole mess of questions.
The other big development was of course the prisons worst nightmare - an airborne virus that kills and kills quickly. A little bit of The Stand in The Walking Dead . Add a dose of man vs. man paranoia to the already fragile prison structure and shit could get really crazy - something that looks like it will start to happen next week after Tyreese discovered Karens burned body. This paranoia fits in nicely with the whole lack of leadership in the prison structure. If this is the way the season is going to go, it certainly dispels the fear that this would turn into Season 2 2.0.
For those that judge episodes based on such criteria, there was some pretty damn good gore. It still amazes me that AMC can get away with some of the stuff they do. The first turned walker just bending down and ripping the throat out of the sleeping guy was awesome. Not to mention when he reaches his hand in the guys stomach, like an entrail grab bag, and pulling out whatever organs he felt like feasting on at the time.
That's it for this week. As always - thanks for reading and "enjoy every sandwich."
The 411: A tremendous episode after a bit of a middling to slow first episode. The development of both the power vacuum and the airborne virus go a long way towards solidifying the direction the season is apparently going. And don't for get the rats - never forget the rats.