Season four, episode two of The Walking Dead could have been titled please do not feed the walkers. In the season premiere of season four, the amount of walkers surrounding the prison where Rick and the survivors decided to stay had increased. Not only had they increased but they were gathered around the fence in droves. This increased presence was a little baffling, but, tonight it was learned that someone was feeding the walking dead rats.
So it seems that the walkers do not just want to munch on human flesh but that any flesh will do. With the walkers reaching what could soon be critical mass around the prison, the sub-plot of the new flu that not only makes you ill, causes your eyes to bleed, and culminates in turning you into a walker has struck the survivors inside the fence.
The two big questions that arise from these new developments are, what is causing the flu and who on Earth is “baiting” the walkers. Someone definitely has their own agenda and it has nothing to do with turning the prison into a survivor Xanadu, While it seems apparent that the ill pig Violet may have passed the walker version of swine flu on the the occupants of the prison, the rat “feeder” will be harder to catch than the flu.
So Rick, with his reluctant leader’s role being thrust back upon him despite his attempt to become one with the soil for his sanity and his son’s, must now be the instigator of investigation. Besides the vermin vittles being handed out, there was the added stress of Patrick being inducted into the ranks of the walkers.
It was a foregone conclusion that the poor man who was bleeding from his eyes in the shower would turn, and he did. His overnight transformation led Patrick to attack his comrades from within the confines of the prison, bringing back to mind the warning by the show’s runner and Greg Nicotero saying that season four of The Walking Dead was going to be all about the threat within. Episode two seems to be backing up that assertion.
Of course Patrick was already turning by the end of episode one and he spent this episode munching and turning other group members into walkers. By the end, most denizens of Cell Block D had either been killed, turned, or were in the process of dying.
The stress levels, along with the threat levels, are rising exponentially. This new flu cannot be treated with a walker version of night nurse and the fact that it kills and transforms its victims quickly means that this mini-pandemic could wipe everyone out pretty damned fast.
Rick has a moment where he has to return to the “killing fields” when he decides to kill the piglets, who may or may not have the flu, and feeds them to walkers outside the fence. This tragic moment seemingly results in an epiphany for Rick who realises he cannot actually be the non-violent man of the soil as planned.
Worse than all the questions that needed answers, was the issue of the fence coming down. Since the amount of walkers has increased due to the rat treats, the fence is being pushed to its limits. Rick, Maggie and Glenn joined other survivors to keep the fence from falling. As MTV noted, this afforded the show a great “gross-out” moment when a walker’s face is “fed” through the fence like a large Ronco Veg-O-matic.
The episode also looks to be providing an opening into the backstory of Michonne. The baby scene raises all sorts of questions that could explain a lot about the samurai sword slashing warrior.
Another interesting, yet tragic, moment comes about with Tyreese. In a romantic/blackly comic moment, he tells his gal Karen what he is really thinking of during a clinch. This turns out to be a real mood killer and Karen decides to pass on having a sleep-over at his place.
A pretty bad idea, as it turns out. After the failed romantic tryst, Tyreese’s new squeeze comes down with a case of the flu. When he goes to see her, he spies a blood trail and follows it outside. When he gets to the end of it, he finds a very well fried Karen. It seems that someone in the camp may be just as dangerous to the group as the walkers.
There is at least on blackly comic bit of humor. After a fellow survivor is bitten, Carol decides to amputate his arm in order to save his life. Turns out, though, that it wasn’t his arm that was bitten. Where he was bitten, Carol would have had to amputate his head. Oh well, give Carol an “A” for effort. Viewers will have to decide if this moment is blackly funny or simply tragic.
Episode two, of The Walking Dead‘s season four, is zipping along nicely. There are still plenty of questions that need answers. For example, where is The Governor? With everyone connected to the show saying, “just wait,” it is hard not to imagine him popping up when you least expect it, like some malefic Jack-in-the-box. For right now, fans will have to focus on the flu and the “turncoat” with the rats.
By Michael Smith