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TV Review: The Walking Dead S.4 Ep.2 – Infected

Warning Spoilers Ahead

the walking dead season 4Going into the second episode of the fourth season of The Walking Dead we know there’s going be issues. A walker is on the loose within the prison, with the residents still unaware. Ominous doom opens up the episode as that infection is sure to spread under the radar for who knows how long.

After the rather horror movie-esque beginning we quickly shift to Carl, Rick and Michonne with further discussion about swords to plowshares. When Michonne asks Carl why he doesn’t wear his sheriff’s hat anymore he says it’s “not a farmers hat.” But that calm goes all to hell within the first ten minutes as promised during Talking Dead last week.

While the walkers amass on the outside fences, internally an outbreak goes down with numerous unnamed new individuals being infected and dying. The focus initially is Daryl and Glenn whipping ass, but shifts to Carol and Rick. Both are thrust into their roles, Rick being forced to kill again and Carol that of “mother.” Carol is forced to deal with a father who leaves two young daughters. The death of innocence and that no one can afford to be children anymore. It’s a heart wrenching moment that spotlights the humanity that pervades the show. It reminds us this isn’t about zombies, it’s about the people who live in this world.

But the focus quickly shifts to the end of the last episode and the death of the pig. There seems to be more than just walkers to worry about, but also disease, something that hasn’t been addressed at all in the series. In this case it seems like it’s most likely a flu of some sorts. With all the death and rot, something would eventually rise. It’s a new villain for them to deal with and one that is much harder to defeat.

There’s a lot of focus on choices still and people’s roles. Carol dealing with the children, Rick’s new role of not being leader. People are clearly damaged now with the toll of it all adding up. The psychological aspect of it all is adding up and getting to the survivors and the symbolism of this episode is out there. Rick literally bathing himself in blood to ensure the survival of his people, the loss of any attempts of a normal life is clear. No one can live a normal life in this new world, no one can think that they can go about ignoring the reality they live in. In those final moments of this episode as Rick arms Carl, straps on his own belt and gun and burns his shirt it’s clear this season will be a heart wrenching.

Directed by: Guy Ferland
Writer Credits: Frank Darabont, Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard, Scott M. Gimple
Overall Score: 10