If there was one word to describe this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, it would be intense. Disease is spreading throughout the Prison, and nobody is safe.
This week’s episode – appropriately titled ‘Infected’ – picked up where last week’s left off, with the fallout of new character Patrick’s unexpected death and consequential turn. Remember what I said last week about not getting attached to the newbies? Here’s proof of why. The producers obviously decided that they’d cast too many background characters and needed to get rid of some.
People were dying left, right and centre, including the father of two little girls. Brutal. And this doesn’t just apply to the human characters. After realising that his piglets were also infected, Rick makes the decision to sacrifice them to drive the Walkers away from the Prison.
One thing I’m really liking about season four so far is the focus on character development; because, let’s face it, this is an area that the show has lacked thus far. Considering how long they’ve been around, we don’t actually know much about Carol or Beth; even more central characters like Glenn haven’t been given much in the way of backstory. But hopefully that’s about to change – just two episodes in and already we’re seeing more focus on individuals than before. Is more going to be made of Beth’s new nonchalant attitude towards death? And what about Carol’s insistence on teaching the children in the Prison how to use weapons?
Just because the episode was character focused, however, doesn’t mean it lacked the gory Walker-kills and unexpected plot twists that make The Walking Dead what it is – there was a Walker that cut its face and eye open pressing against a metal fence. Nice. We’ve seen threats of all sorts from the outside world, but this is definitely a new direction. Poor Karen should have slept with Tyreese while she had the chance.
How long will it be before the first major character death of the season?
And therein lies the other element that’s setting up this season to be more exciting than those before it: mystery. Who killed Karen? The same person who appears to be feeding the Walkers at the fence, or someone else? Who else is infected? And how long will it be before the first major character death of the season? (Karen, you seemed really cool, but you haven’t really been around long enough to count as a ‘major character’). On a show like The Walking Dead, all we know is that no-one is safe. As for the rest – we’ll have to wait and see.