The Walking Dead Infected October 20 (Review)

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The Walking Dead episode tonight is called Infected, and with good reason. The virus that has caused dead people to rise up as the zombies known in the series as walkers now appears to becoming an airborne virus. Carl’s friend, Patrick, was its first victim in last week’s season premiere.

With the virus now spreading through other means, no fences will be able to prevent the virus that turns people into the walking dead from infecting the survivors who are trying to struggle on in small enclaves of humanity, like the prison where Rick Grimes, his son Carl, Daryl Dixon, Michonne, Glenn, and the other main characters of the show are currently calling home.

As the episode Infected opens, someone is shining a flashlight and dangling a rat by the fence where we see walkers on the other side. The rat gets consumed by the zombies, who are indiscriminate in their dietary habits, though seemingly preferring to eat human flesh.

We see Patrick rising up from the showers where he fell and became a zombie in last week’s episode of The Walking Dead. He starts in on his search for human flesh, right in the midst of the community of survivors in cell block D, where many other former Woodbury residents now reside.

He rips into the neck of a sleeping man’s neck, immediately getting the attention of the man, who wakes up, but now finds it impossible to scream out for help. When this man also becomes a zombie, and begins searching for prey, we see how easy it is for the disease to spread. How many more people will succumb? Daryl Dixon, after all, shook Patrick’s hand in the last episode of The Walking Dead….

Cell block C is where Rick, Glenn, Carl, Beth, etc. live — they are so far unaware of what’s going on in cell block D. We see them the next morning, enjoying the fresh air, working in the garden, and feeling their permanent sense of unease at being surrounded by the walking dead on the outside of the fence which encloses the prison.

Carl helps Rick in garden, but asks if they should help kill walkers along the prison fences.

“I’ve got other plans, involving dirt and cucumbers,” Rick tells his son.

Carl asks Rick: “Dad, can I have my gun back?”

Rick doesn’t answer him, instead saying that “worms will give them extra protein,” talking about the vegetables he’s working on.

Rick and Carl hear gunshots from the direction of the prison, and Rick goes running to help, if he can.

Hearing that there are walkers in cell block D, Rick, Daryl, Sasha, and Glenn hurry to cell block D and quickly dispatch the zombies there who are terrorizing the residents using machetes, crossbow shots, etc.

Then, we see Michonne returning from a search for supplies on horseback. She has walkers all around her, and is close to the front gate of the prison.

Michonne turns her horse around at the sound of the gunshots. As Carl opens the gate to try to let Michonne in, she gets attacked by two of the walking dead. She fights them off, but it’s Carl and Maggie who shoot and kill the two main attackers. Michonne falls off her horse and injures her ankle, but manages to hobble to the relative safety of the prison.

After killing the walkers in cell block D, Rick, Hershel and a couple of other survivors encounter  a snarling walker in its cell. The walker was Charlie, an ex-Woodbury guy who, due to his sleepwalking,  locked himself in every night. He. aslo, had become a walker despite not having any bites or wounds on his body.

Another ex-Woodburian, examining Charlie, says it looks like he died of “pleurisy and aspiration.” These are flu-like symptoms…Hershell says that Charlie died from choking on his own blood. Daryl says he thought that Patrick had looked the same, when he said in last week’s episode of The Walking Dead that he felt sick.

The former Woodbury resident says it could be something like the flu. Hershell utters the reassuring words: “We’ve all been exposed.”

The council votes to separate the survivors who have been exposed from everyone else, but that might be difficult to do, if what Hershell says is true, that in some way, they’ve all been exposed.

Because of this potential to catch the virus, Rick warns Carl they need to stay away from baby Judith for awhile, to see if the virus that turns people into the walking dead is going to spread further.

Sisters Lizzie and Mika are taking the impending death of their father, Ryan, very hard, as they should. Ryan had gotten a bite on his arm — if that had been all there was to it, Carol might have been able to save his life and stop him from turning into one of the walkers by amputating his arm.

But, Ryan had also gotten scratched by a zombie on the back of his neck, so there is nothing that they can do to save his life. Ryan, before he dies, asks Carol to take care of his daughters. He also  says something to Carol about “the keys are in my room.”

Before he passes away, Ryan whispers “take care of your sister” to Lizzie.  Carol asks Lizzie if she can take it, if she will use the knife and stick it into her father’s brain before he becomes a walker. Carol wants to see if Lizzie has learned from the lessons she’s been teaching the kids in the library, and also to see how tough Lizzie can be in a very difficult situation.

Lizzie acts like she’s about to try doing it, but then she can’t go through with the deed. Carol ends up dispatching their father, instead.

Later on in the episode, Carol tells Lizzie that she needs to toughen up, that she has “to be strong.”

Carol tells her that  what they need to understand that the walkers are their enemy.

“Hey, you might want to stay back!” Rick says to his son, who comes running up to him.
Carl: “What happened in there?”
Rick tells him that his friend, Patrick, turned into a walker, and that others became walkers in cell block D, but that they were all killed.

In Infected, the survivors now suspect that anyone who begins coughing might be coming down with a sort of flu that ultimately turns its victims into the walking dead.

Daryl tries to reassure Rick that he was a help to them, and that he “earned it,” about not having to now use his gun to dispatch the walkers.

Michonne tells Beth that she was “Stupid — so stupid. When I fell on my ass, they should have left me out there.”

Beth then attempts to soothe a crying baby, who I think is Judith. Will she become one of the next survivors to turn into a walker?

The massing hordes of walkers who have been smashing into the fences finally begin to weaken them. A section of the fence leans in and threatens to give way as Glenn, Sasha, Daryl,  and others stab at the walkers, trying to hold them back.

They see carcasses of animals along the fence, and wonder about the possibility that someone’s been feeding the walkers. This might account for their being so aggressive and thronging around the fence in such large numbers, trying to break in.

Carol asks Carl if he told his father about what he saw in the library, about Carol trying to teach the children there about how to use knives. She tells him “I’m not asking you to lie; I’m asking you not to tell him anything.”

Beth is a pretty good singer. She tries singing to Judith to calm her down. Michonne holds the baby tenderly to her cheek, perhaps longing to have a baby herself, but not in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. However, if the baby is, as I’m thinking, Judith, perhaps Michonne is actually becoming infected in her attempt to act motherly.

Rick comes up with the plan to lure the walkers away through sacrificing the pigs one-by-one, leading the walking dead further and further away from the prison fences, to give the people inside the prison grounds time enough to repair them.

As Daryl drives the Jeep, Rick sits at the back, with the pigs. He slices one after the other, and tosses them to the walkers. The plan works; the walking dead leave the fence and follow the Jeep, wanting to eat the pigs that Rick throws out to them.  That gives the other survivors time to repair the fence with wooden posts.

Of course, Rick knows that luring the zombies away is just a temporary fix, and it is also depleting the community’s food supply, but he has little other choice if he wants to get the walkers away from the fence long enough for it to be repaired.

Carl tells Rick, after his father returns, about Carol’s teaching the kids how to use weapons. He says that he thinks Carol should be allowed to continue on. Rick tells him “Thank you for telling me,” and says he won’t say anything about it.

Then, in a somewhat touching moment, Rick gives Carl his pistol, and places his won holster and his gun back on himself. But, he burns down the pig pen where the possibly infected pigs had lived, and he takes off his bloody shirt and burns it, also.

The last few scenes of Infected are pretty powerful ones, as Tyreese is seen holding a bouquet of flowers he intends to give to Karen, who was earlier quarantined with someone else from Woodbury. He doesn’t find her, but follows a trail of blood which leads outside.

There, Tyreese sees the bodies of both Karen and the other man from Woodbury, blackened and smoldering, with a can of gasoline near their bodies. Tyreese falls to his knees, still holding the bouquet of flowers.

That ends this episode of The Walking Dead. Infected, in my opinion, was even better than the premiere episode, 30 Days Without an Accident, last week. What are your opinions? Who do you think will by the next to become infected and turn into one of the walking dead? Please leave your comments below!

 

Written by: Douglas Cobb