“You have the people you know. That’s it. They might as well be the only people left in the world.”
It’s fitting that the episode began with that quote from Tyronne. Like he says, there are no acquaintances anymore. The people who are in your life, who you see on a regular basis, are the only people you may ever see again. The world of The Walking Dead is miniscule. As far as any of the survivors know, or even could know, there is nothing left of the world but the place they currently are. The rest of the world could have crumbled to dust for all they know. There’s no television, radio, or newspapers to ensure you that anything else exists. If you don’t currently see somebody you know, you can safely assume that they’ve died.
For the survivors we’ve been following, D Block of their prison is their home and, for many of them, their whole world. And in “Infected” it’s been breached. Last week, we saw Patrick die from some sort of extreme coughing fit. His walking corpse becomes an infection on the entire D Block. He bites one sleeping man and in no time the entire prison is fighting for their lives. They lose quite a few people, but the danger isn’t over even after the last walker is down.
Since Patrick died without a since walker bite, Rick and the gang realize that he’s died of something else. Now they’re all in danger of becoming sick too. The menace isn’t just walking corpses and asshole humans anymore, now their own bodies can betray them.
This leads to some interesting dynamics. Rick wants to keep those who may have been exposed, himself included, quarantined from the rest. His son hugs him and Rick’s helpless to stop him. There’s also hints of the survivors turning against anybody who so much as clears their throat. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t stick with the concept for very long.
Instead, attention is turned to the walkers at the fence and the mysterious culprit who has been feeding them rats. The walkers have pushed the fence in, making it unsafe and ready to topple over. Rick, Maggie, Glenn, Daryl, and a few of the newcomers try to kill as many of them as they can but it’s futile. Instead they decide to lead the walkers away by cutting the poor pigs (Violet included?) and letting the walkers eat them.
The way Rick reacts to giving up these pigs is strange. Is he upset that they just gave up a huge food source? Sad that the poor piggies had to be eaten alive? Or just weary of life altogether? It was a weird moment and it probably would have been more interesting to see how people were reacting to the coughing, possibly lethal infected people around them.
In the end, the sick people don’t get much screen time. Tyronne goes to give his post-apoloyptic girlfriend, Karen, a bunch of flowers (seriously dude? What’s she going to do with them? Put them in the prison toilet?) only to find that she and one other person have been burned to death by someone in the prison. My money is on the alcoholic guy who last week caused walkers to rain from the sky.
- Tyronne singing I’ve Got You Under My Skin was a cute moment
- Patrick Zombie seemingly makes a decision to pass by one cell for another before chomping onto someone random’s neck. Was that an intention way to show him making a decision or just weird walker nuances?
- Michonne/Rick/Carl family time is still the best. Later, Michonne spends some time with Baby Judith. She starts off not wanting anything to do with the baby but has a cathartic moment where she holds the baby and cries. Either this moment was setting up Michonne becoming a bigger part of the Grimes family or that she lost a child at one point. Really, I’m hoping it’s the first.
- Carl doesn’t wear his hat because it’s “not a farming hat.”
- The new walkers change in the matter of minutes, while in the past it has taken hours. That’s not a good sign.
- A new walker got crushed with a boot, how weak are their skulls?
- The two little blonde girls, Lizzie and Mika, watch their father die. The older girl wants to kill him but she can’t bring herself to do it. She’s still a child despite Carol’s best efforts. Unfortunately she’s also a creepy child. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, she may be the one feeding her pet walkers.
- Carl hugging his dad and saying sorry was another moment where they’re showing him as a kid. It may be a reoccurring theme this season.
- “Honey, you’re weak.” Thanks Carol.
- Creepy blonde girl: “She’s messed up. She’s not weak.”
- Beth to Michonne: “When you care about people, hurt is kind of part of the package.”
- Maggie is hitting people with a walking cane. Badass
- A walker literally pushing his face into pieces through the fence. Terrifying.
- Rick puts the gun on again. Okay.