“Infected” was a better episode of The Walking Dead than “30 Days Without an Accident,” but it couldn’t have had the same level of impact without the premiere as a lead in.
Without seeing Rick as the leaderless farmer with no gun, there couldn’t be a payoff we got when he finally reattached his belt and holster. I don’t want to see Rick digging in the mud, I’m sure the rest of you don’t either, but if he decided to lock and load again last week, it might have felt rushed.
Last week ended with Patrick dying in the shower and turning into a walker, Patrick started eating the prisons in cell block D; creating all kinds of chaos. Many of the group died, most from Woodbury, leaving the group confused and vulnerable.
After disposing of the walkers and trying to figure out how the infection made contact with their group, they realised they had another problem. The walkers gathering outside the prison fences were starting to grow to the point that they were threatening the foundation of the fence.
One of the strengths of this season so far has been the sense of balance. It’s something I’ve had a problem with previous seasons but new showrunner Scott Gimple promised that each character would be given their due, and he seems to be living up to his commitment.
The second episode of Season 4 of The Walking Dead balances the dramatic and horror elements well, while pushing the central characters forward in some of the more interesting story arcs on the series to so far. Let’s hope that this storytelling upswing continues. 8/10.