This weeks episode opens on someone treating the walkers to a little midnight snack. An anonymous person dangles an enormous rat up to the chain link fence, and the walkers scramble to gobble it up.
Meanwhile, Karen and Tyreese are engaging in a nauseating make out sesh in the library. Tyreese starts to sing, “I’ve got you under my skin”. Please someone make it stop. All I can think is, “please let Patrick stumble in and bite them both right in the face, ending this misery.” Zombie Patrick doesn’t heed my wishes, but he does indeed stir as Karen makes her way back to her bunk in D Block. He follows her sound, stumbling past Karen’s cell and into some random guys cell, going straight for the jugular. Do these zombies ever actually eat brains?
The next morning, Patrick is still noshing on what looks like a human drumstick as the gang starts to wake up and face the day.
Maggie and Glen are camped out in the tower, keeping watch. There’s that team spirit kids! Glenn gets the Polaroid out and snaps a pic of Maggie sleeping. She looks at it and tells him to throw it away. Chicks still got vanity despite the apocalypse. She doesn’t put up too much of a fuss though when Glenn says he’s going to keep it. They’re sweet.
Michonne is leaving. Any requests? Stale M&M’s? (Side note - How quickly do M&M’s go stale? How long has the world been wacky? I guess at this point we can kind of go by how old Judith is, and she appears to be somewhere around 7 – 9 months old, so about 1.5 - 2 years total? I don’t think M&M’s go stale that fast. Mmmm now I want M&M’s. Sorry. End side note.) She asks why Carl doesn’t wear his hat anymore. He replies by saying it’s not a farming hat, and he is correct. Carl asks - see you soon? She says pretty soon.
The fence bends against the weight of the walkers as Carl and Rick go collect some wormy feed for the pigs. Carl apologizes, and then asks for his gun back. Rick doesn’t have a chance to respond, because shots ring out from inside the prison. Michonne impulsively returns on her horse, and walkers start to stumble inside as Carl goes to let her in. Carl shoots one in the head, as Michonne twists her ankle while tussling with a few walkers. Maggie and Carl help Michonne inside and close the gate.
Inside the prison it’s total pandemonium. Wow. Lots of people dead and turned. Somehow Patrick is still alive. How on earth have so many people been turned into zombies? And why are all these people screaming and doing absolutely nothing? The new people are all totally worthless and deserve to be zombie breakfast. D block is a nightmare. (This episode brought to you by the letter D – Dumb, Dismembered and Dead.)
In the midst of the melee, Carol goes to help a newbie who’s arm has been bitten. She readies him for an emergency amputation, but sees that his neck has been bitten. And we all know you can’t amputate a neck.
Daryl, Glenn and Rick continue to clear the area, and Daryl finally puts an arrow in Patrick’s head. (Side note - Seriously, how did the people in D Block survive before the prison? I’m thinking that they’re possibly all the Woodbury transfers, but that doesn’t explain the guy with the arm and neck bites, because as an able bodied male he would’ve certainly been a casualty of the Governor’s army. Maybe our gang just put all the stupid people in one block.)
The three men survey the damage. A blonde is on the ground, dead but not turned. Daryl swiftly shoots her in the head. With a nod, Rick steps into another cell and readies his knife.
What an evening has wrought. The gang discovers that Patrick has no bites on him. With the help of a new doctor guy and Hershel, they ascertain that he choked to dead on his own blood. New doc explains that it’s the flu saying, “Bugs like to run through close quarters”. Everyone’s been exposed.
(Side note – Well this blows. This situation reminds me of a chapter in Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’. In the first third of King’s novel, a virus runs rampant and kills off the majority of the population, leaving a small percentage of people alive. Sound familiar? It’s the situation our gang is in, but no zombies. If you haven’t read it do yourself a favor and go get it immediately. The chapter I remember so vividly details that calamity could befall even those ‘lucky’ enough to have immunity to the virus. King lists casualty after casualty from falls, heart attacks, fires, drug overdoses, electrocution, etc. This year the gang needs to learn how to survive the world, because nature – both human and Mother will not let up just because a virus wiped out the majority of humanity.)
Carol brings the girls come to say goodbye to their dad. They hold his hand and he tells them to take care of each other. The oldest one, Lizzie, says that they should be the ones to let their dad go. Lizzie tries to do it, but she has a panic attack. Her younger sister, Mika, tries to talk her through it, telling her to count and breathe. Lizzie can’t bring herself to do it, so Carol does the deed and ends up with two naïve girls in her charge.
Carl, Michonne and Maggie see Rick coming out of C block, and Carl tells Rick that he had to use the gun. Michonne corroborates the story. Rick ignores the gun issue and explains to them what happened with Patrick. Rick lets them know that as a result, everyone who was directly exposed needs to be quarantined. Including himself.
The council meets to discuss the situation. Glenn, Hershel, Carol, Sasha and Daryl. They decide to move into Cell Block A, otherwise known as death row. This doesn’t bode well. Karen walks by, hacking. She wants to go snuggle with Tyreese, death outbreak be damned. The council tells her in no uncertain terms that she is to be quarantined, and especially to avoid contact with Judith. Karen agrees, but not before tattling on some guy named David who is coughing too. At this point I cannot wait to see Zombie Karen. Maybe she’ll off Tyreese too, and this whole annoying plotline can be done with.
Later, at the fence, Carol talks to the girls, and yells at the older one for being weak and losing her nerve. Lizzie stares out and starts babbling about how her dad was special and now he’s dead. At some point it becomes unclear whom she is talking about, and she asks, “What if they kill Nick?” Nick is a zombie, honey. He’s already dead. Lizzie’s younger sister yells at her, and tells Carol that Lizzie is, “messed up, not weak.”
Out in the yard, Daryl’s digging graves with a mask on. Rick comes up to help, and Daryl says that he’s glad Rick is back. He says that Rick earned the time off, but they need him back. Daryl’s noticed that every time things get bad, Rick’s, “standing there with a shovel.” They have a lovely bro-moment. A’broment’ if you will.
The broment is shattered as Maggie runs up and screams for their help. The fence is about to give under the weight of the walker horde. (Side note – For some reason I wondered here: What happened to the big groups of walkers from season two? If one of those encountered the fence, wouldn’t it definitely take the entire fence down?) Rick and Daryl pitch in and start to skewer the heads of the walkers.
Back inside, Beth proves that she’s actually good for something as she wraps Michonne’s foot. Cutie Judith plays in the corner with some red Solo cups. They chat, and Michonne tells Beth that they should’ve left her out there. Beth says that they care about her, and when you care about people, “hurt is part of the package”. Beth asks if any children were killed. She wonders if there’s a term for someone who’s lost a child, and Michonne grimaces. Judith starts to scream, and Michonne asks if she always cries like that. Beth says that she senses people’s moods.
Back at the fence, the gang tries to stem the tide of walkers by skewering head after head. Sasha sees the rats on the ground, and takes the time to wonder if, “someone is feeding these things?” The fence starts to give, and the team starts to push it back. Rick seems to be having an epiphany. He looks over at the pigs and says he knows what to do. Daryl’s eyes light up.
Carl and Carol chat while Carl makes crosses out of scrap wood. Carol says that she has to keep teaching the kids to survive. Carl asks if Carol is going to tell the parents, and she says no. She says she’s just asking him to not say anything. Carol: Leader of Children.
Beth sings to Judith as Michonne works her abs. Judith spits up carrots on Beth, and Michonne is reluctant to take the baby. Michonne becomes emotional as she looks at Judith’s face, and cuddles the lil one to her forehead. Michonne begins to cry and instantly becomes my new favorite. This is the first time she is vulnerable and open on the show, and I truly hope we learn more about her past as the season progresses. Once again, I wish for LOST-like flashbacks.
Rick and Daryl go on a mission to get the walkers away from the fence. They drive out and distract the walkers by using the piglets as bait. It’s pretty graphic stuff as Rick digs a knife into each piglet, drawing blood from each one before letting the walkers devour it. Ugh. Blood sprays in Rick’s face. If he’s not infected by now, he’s got some sort of diesel immune system.
Once the walker threat his been diffused, Rick starts to disassemble the pig pen. Carl walks up to him, and lets Rick know what Carol has been doing. But Carl puts in his two cents, and says he thinks that they should let her continue teaching the kids how to use weapons. Rick agrees, and gives Carl his gun back. He peels off his bloodied shirt and throws it onto the burning remains of the pigpen. With a dramatic flair, he secures his holster on his hip and surveys the landscape.
The sheriff is back in town.
As thrilling as the sight of shirtless Sheriff Rick is, the episode has one more surprise in store for us. Tyreese goes to bring a lovely bunch of wild flowers to Karen in her confinement, and sees a trail of blood leading to two bodies burnt to a crisp. He notices a metal ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ bracelet on the wrist of one of the corpses, identifying it as Karen. Tyreese howls in agony and drops to the ground.
A few notes – Thank goodness Karen is dead. I couldn’t stand that Karen/Tyreese storyline for one minute longer. Also, since Tyreese was playing tonsil hockey with Karen while she was infected, does that mean that he’s not too far behind? Is that little weirdo twerp Lizzie feeding the walkers? If not, who is? Lastly, does Rick get a spot on the council just because he decided to strap his gun back on? Will Carl start wearing his hat again?