Last night's episode of The Walking Dead, "Infected," was nominative determinism at its most pure, as an outbreak swept through the prison, threatening the existence of everybody inside.
The problem, however, with a pandemic in a zombie apocalypse is that dead people don't stay dead for very long, so even if you manage to avoid infection, you still have to try and not be eaten by the reanimated corpses. It must be exhausting work.
But let's not waste time on a general overview of the episode. Instead it's time to dive into the guts of "Infected," sort through the entrails of plot and take a look at three developments that warrant further discussion.
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I Think I Smell a Rat
In all the disease-ridden carnage and bleeding eyes, it's easy to forget that it's not just Mother Nature that wants to get her hands dirty and, as the kids say, f@%k s#%t up.
During "Infected" we learned that the reason the walkers always gather at the same spot at the perimeter fence is because they are being fed. Obviously it's no gourmet three-course meal of pickled liver and freshly marinated brains, but somebody is hand feeding the undead fresh rodent. The question is who? At first I thought that the nefarious one-eyed monster the Governor was responsible, but the perpetrator is clearly somebody on the inside of the prison. I doubt the Governor could live undetected at the prison for 6 months, let alone try to undermine the integrity of the defenses. Could it be that one of the Governor's trusted lieutenants is living undercover at the prison? Or is it somebody we haven't come into contact with, and If so, what are their motives?
Baby Got Back
I said last week that Michonne was becoming one of the most captivating presences on the show, and so it proved again this week with her handling of little Ass-kicker. Asked to hold Judith while Beth cleaned the vomit from her shoulder (maybe she is the source of infection!), Michonne was at first reticent to hold the sprog, before giving in and then breaking down in tears. We know very little about Michonne's life BW (before walkers), but there's clearly some residual pain still there. I'm intrigued to get to know more of her backstory over the coming weeks.
Blood is thicker than water
Beware: I'm going to talk briefly about the comics and it may contain mild spoilers. I advise you to tread carefully from here on in.
One of the more shocking episodes that occured in the comics takes place between the young twins Billy and Ben. Without giving too much away, the death of their parents hits the twins hard, especially Ben, who starts to exhibit psychopathic tendencies. If you want to know their fate, check out the comic or the Walking Dead wiki page.
Anyway, while watching "Infected" I couldn't help but draw parallels between what happened to the twins and what is currently going on with Lizzie and Mika. They lost their father to a walker, with Carol stepping up to make sure that his death was permanent. What this means for the long-term prospects of the two girls is unclear, but I think it was telling that Lizzie is already displaying signs of abnormal behavior by crying over the killing of a walker she'd named. It was ominous that the last we saw of her was her taking back the knife from Carol. There're lots of things you can do with a knife and most of them are very painful...
Points for further discussion
Rick burned his clothes to prevent the spread of infection. It was also a symbolic act. Farmer Rick is gone. There's an old Sheriff back in town.
I felt more sorrow for the death of the piglets than I did for Andrea. What sort of person does that make me?
Tyreese is going to hurt somebody very badly soon.
Carl can add snitch to his list of unattractive personal traits.
Let me know your thoughts on "Infected" by using the comment section below.