The Walking Dead Season 4 Review “Infected”

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2 Infected (1)

After last week’s somewhat meandering season finale, I was really happy with what we got with tonight’s installment “Infected”. The Walking Dead is a series that can sometimes lose it’s focus, and too often can just rely on cool zombie scenes and forced character tensions to ratchet up the drama. That’s why I was pleased to see a clear path laid out when last week’s installment ended with Patrick’s transformation into a walker.

So the aptly titled “Infected” picks up right where we left off, with Patrick having a midnight snack on some poor, unsuspecting Woodbury red shirt. Some mayhem quickly unfolds, as a few other red shirts are killed. I was a little surprised how quickly everybody was able to identify exactly what happened. “Yeah, Patrick got sick and died, became a walker, then ate everyone”. Dang, these guys are pretty good! Get them on CSI and the killer would be identified in five minutes.

The only other casualty that got any significant screen time was Ryan, a father to two of the little girls we saw last week. We didn’t know this guy at all before this week, but man was that scene powerful! I think the idea of kids growing up in a zombie apocalypse is a very powerful one to explore, and it’s clear that they’re very interested in exploring this even further in this season. As if seeing your dad get stabbed in the skull wasn’t hard enough, but then Carol even criticizes new character Lizzy for being too weak to do the deed herself. I love the transformation that Carol’s character has made over the past few seasons, and seeing her impart her newfound wisdom to these two little girls is really rewarding. I never thought that I would care about the death of some dude that we’d never met before, but it’s Carol’s involvement that really roped me in tonight.

We also saw our first council meeting, which confirmed that it in fact does not include Rick. I’m a little confused why Rick wouldn’t be included in this group, though. Sure he did go a little crazy last season, but everybody in that group has had their moments of weakness. I mean, Carol is in that group, for goodness sake! It’s not like she’s known to have the best judgment. Rick kept these people (mostly) alive for these last three seasons, for goodness sake! The only real explanation here would be that Rick asked to be excluded from the group, but I’m hoping that after tonight he’ll be a more vocal part of the decision making process. I do love that Daryl takes his crossbow to the meetings, though.

Rick did get to make a few big decisions tonight, though, with his first being to distract the walkers with the pigs. I’m not entirely sure how much sense this made, though. I mean, you didn’t need to kill all of them! Maybe save a couple pigs for the next time the walkers are banging down your fence, like they were at the end of the episode! He also made the big decision to give Carl his gun back and not tattle on Carol for her junior survivor school. I’m not sure if this newfound casual attitude is Rick just giving up on his life, or if he’s starting to realize that being controlling in the past has gotten him in a lot of trouble. Either way, I’m loving the increased screen time between Carl and Rick, and I’m hoping this father/son bonding continues over the course of the season.

Michonne’s past was only hinted at a bit last season, but tonight’s installment really all but confirmed that she lost a child. I really wish that we got this confirmation last season, as that would have actually given Michonne a reason to be all grumpy and quiet the whole time. I was just praising her for finally smiling and joking around with the Grimes boys last week, but now it looks like she’s back to her old grumpy self.

On top of this mysterious infection that’s taking victims left and right, we now have another mystery to ponder: Who’s screwing with the survivors?! Somebody lured the zombies to the gates with the rats, and the final scene shows us that somebody has killed Karen and David and burned their bodies. This little mystery is very reminiscent of last season, when Andrew used deer carcasses to lead the walkers into the prison. This clearly seems to be an inside job, though, so it’s anyone’s guess who could be the culprit.

Who do you think this mysterious flashlight holder is? Sound off in the comments section below, and let me know what you thought about tonight’s episode in general!

Random Thoughts:

– If his voice sounded familiar to you, Vincent Martella (Patrick) also does the voice of Phineas from Phineas and Ferb!

– What are the odds of PETA releasing an angry condemnation of The Walking Dead tomorrow for their senseless slaughter of rats and pigs?

– Tonight’s grossest zombie kill has to be the zombie being squished through that fence. I swear that it must be some dude’s full time job to come up with grosser ways to kill a zombie every week. I want that job!