The Walking Dead (Season 4) – “Infected”

patrick walker

patrick walker the walking dead

When it rains, it pours. But I guess Season 4 of The Walking Dead would be pretty boring if we were witness to 30 days of no accidents. So, for our benefit, Walkers multiply and disease spreads. The first episode was a little slow in terms of battling Walkers, but any lost ground that was lost there was quickly regained in the second episode, “Infected.” And it wasn’t just the Walkers who perished here, a lot of the Woodbury refugees were also 86ed. That is amazing foresight on the show-runners’ part, to increase the tribe’s population with numerous expendables just as a virus outbreak becomes eminent.

Among our first Woodbury victims is Patrick. We saw him collapse and become a Walker at the close of the last episode. In “Infected,” Patrick awakes inside the prison as a Walker and has a tasty jugular for breakie before spreading his disease. We’ve seen symptoms within the prison, but none so obvious as the dead pig Rick and Carl were raising and the sick and dying boar in the wild. I didn’t put it together at first in the premiere episode, but I did think it was disgusting and wrote it off as Merle residue in the way Daryl licked his fingers clean before shaking poor Patrick’s hand. But, after thinking about it, Daryl had killed a deer and drug it back to the prison for food, and now it become plausible that Daryl is patient zero. However, he’s likely just a carrier, which means that the already useless quarantine efforts will be even more pointless.

patrick eating

But more to the point of Episode 2. To reiterate, don’t get attached to any Woodbury refugees, and, more importantly, we have a couple mysteries that need explaining: Who’s feeding rats to the Walkers on the fence line and who burned the quarantined citizens, Karen (Tyreese’s love interest) and that other expendable guy? Are these acts those of one or two people?

Three Issues

A couple other issues include Carl and if he’s responsible enough to carry a firearm again, the quarantine issue and how far the infection has already spread, and why Rick was so reckless with the piglet blood.

Carl got his gun

Carl has been disarmed since last season for obvious reasons (if you’ve forgotten, he shot a kid in cold blood). His lack of firearm seems to parallel whatever psychological issue Rick has going on about not carrying a sidearm himself. However, he did grab a rifle to save Michonne and he’s shown penance, so to speak, he seems to have been there for his father, and he’s been extremely honest with Rick (even at the expense of reporting the actions of others). The most telling of signs that Carl has really turned over a new leaf was his statement to Michonne regarding his hat, saying that it’s not a farming hat so he doesn’t wear it anymore. I guess serving prison time will reform a kid and will get you your gun back.

michonne horseback

Spreading the disease

The quarantine seems to be pretty pointless. First of all, these people have been living in close quarters for months now and I imagine that any virus that’s going to spread has spread. Secondly, when Tyreese and Karen walk by in the hall and Karen coughs, the council simply walks out and says Karen has to go to quarantine — and nobody cares that they’re standing there breathing in Karen’s trail of cough virus. If this were real life, at least one council member would have freaked out in that hallway. Although the quarantine hasn’t been announced yet, Judith, Rick’s baby, throws up on Beth and gets handed off to Michonne. If Judith is infected, this is just another example of how the virus has probably already touched everybody in the prison.

Also, what’s up with Michonne’s reaction to the baby? I’m guessing she had a baby that became a Walker/Crawler and she had to kill it herself.

Blood-borne pathogens

Last, but not least, there’s Rick cutting open the piglets to attract the Walkers away from the fence. If he suspects the pigs are infected, which he does otherwise he wouldn’t be sacrificing them, then why is he not protecting himself with gloves and a mask? Why is he letting piglet blood spray him in the face? Why does Rick make physical contact with Carl and his son a gun with his bloody hands? Then, after all that, decide that he needs to burn his pathogen soaked shirt?

crispy walkers

So, what’s the direction of this season? Is it sabotage from within? Is finding a cure for the virus? Our threat is clearly the virus, but will another threat be introduced or reintroduced (i.e., the Governor)? Are we all about to get badass again?

Rock Hard \m/

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