The Walking Dead Review: “Infected”


Gotta give The Walking Dead credit for its innovative episode titles. “Infected.” Man, that couldn’t have applied to like, any of the past 50 episodes!

I kid, I kid, but yeah, I am fairly impressed with this season of the show so far, now under the command of the competent Scott Gimple. I’ve come to accept the fact that we’re probably going to be at the prison for a while longer, due to the show’s budget constraints. Stabbing 20 different zombies in the eye socket each episode costs a lot, it seems.

Is it just me, or does it seem like there are less people in zombie make-up and more animatronics zombie puppets as of late? I’ve always loved how real the zombies in The Walking Dead have felt, but lately they feel like robots rather than living things (well, not living, you know what I mean).

Anyway, back to the events of the evening. There’s a mysterious new virus going around besides the zombie virus but ultimately leading to the zombie virus. Some of the zombies have it, the pigs have it, and glasses kid from last week had it. Oh and some guy who sleepwalks and locked himself in his cell had it (what?).

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Why are all zombie’s skulls made of paper mache?

Glasses kid bites a guy who bites another guy and sure enough, it snowballs into a large number of extras dying within the prison. With so many new bodies on the show, this was bound to happen, but it is kind of hard to feel bad for them when we literally have no idea who they are.

Like, the scene where the guy gets bit and has to say goodbye to his two little girls should have been powerful, but we’ve never seen this guy before the moment he was bit, and the moment is further mucked up by Carol trying to make the little girl knife her own dad. Like really? I get that you’re teaching these kids survival tools, but your first object lesson is to make a ten year old girl knife her own father? Jesus Christ, Carol.

To me, the saddest part of the episode was Rick sacrificing his beloved piglets to move the zombies away from the fence. I’m not sure that was logically the best plan, as the noise of the truck alone was probably enough to move the heard away. And I’m pretty sure feeding zombies 50 feet away from the fence isn’t all that much better than feeding them at the fence. Like, I’m pretty sure a bunch of piglets are going to draw more zombie diners out of the woods than a handful of rats.

But the larger point the piglets made was good in terms of the story. Rick is forced to give up his newfound persona of “farmer” in order to come to terms with the fact that yes, he still needs to kill zombies and carry a weapon if he wants to survive and protect the ones he loves. I’m still really not clear as to why Rick was so traumatized that he gave up zombie killing and his revolver in the first place. Is it because Carl was becoming too much of a hardened killer, and Rick didn’t want to be a bad example? Sure, I’ll go with that.

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Piglet POV: “C’mere buddy, got a mission for you!”

So, even though we’re stuck at the prison right now, I’m not sure how long that will actually be true. Zombie herds are trying to knock down the fences, and apparently the survivors can’t eye-socket stab them fast enough. Worse yet, there’s an insider that’s bent on sabotaging them, as someone was feeding rats to the zombies to get them to show up. Who do you think it is? The Governor has to have at least one plant in the whole of his old town. But this person would also have to be literally insane to jeopardize their own safety by doing this.

I was a bit confused by the closing moments of the episode, where Tyreese finds bloodstains and the charred body of his new lover, whose name I never caught despite her having a speaking role across two seasons. Either A) The two people died naturally of the disease and were dragged out of their cells and burned or B) The two people were killed beforehand and dragged out of their cells and burned. Or less likely C) they knew they were going to die, and escaped and lit themselves on fire like Tibetan monks. Whatever happened, I don’t think it was very clear. Was it supposed to be a mystery or just sad?

So far, this season of Walking Dead is succeeding because there are a lot less overtly stupid decisions being made by the characters, and less annoying characters making them. Lori and Andrea were the worst, but now they’re both dead, and there’s no one stepping up to replace them in terms of hateability. But honestly, half the fun I had reviewing last season was bitching about all the dumb things Andrea was doing. I suppose I’ll trade that ability for a better show, however.

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  1. I don’t think the rats being fed to them was sabotage at all, I think it was the little girl (whose dad died), feeding her pet zombies as foreshadowed in episode 1 of this season.

    I also think it’s pretty clear the burned bodies were option A.

    The new alcoholic PTSD doctor is the one who likely burned the bodies. Episode 1 foreshadowed this once again as he talked about how there was a similar disease outbreak that wiped out his fellow soliders, so it makes sense why he would make sure things were done right by burning the diseased dead bodies.

  2. I’m going with option B. The prison provides a relatively safe environment, zombies at the fence aside, so someone on the inside killing people who might be sick is now a threat on the inside.

  3. Why don’t they have people manning the fence 24/7 to stab the cardboard-skulled zombies? And getting some decent props for the fence, the ones they had were very crude.

  4. A coworker theorized that Glenn might be responsible for the bodies. Him and Maggie sleep separately from everyone else, but everytime they show the two of them in the tower, Glenn is awake. I wonder if he might be going a little stir crazy and a little overboard in protecting Maggie (i.e. killing sick people so they don’t turn into zombies).

    I personally, think (and hope) it will be someone else, but I thought it was an interesting theory nonetheless.

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