[WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW]
When last episode (30 Days Without An Accident) ended Patrick was dead from what seemed like some disease and was about to turn into a hungry zombie in the prison while everyone was sleeping. You know tremendous carnage is about to take place. Unfortunately, you also know that when an episode is short on plot development, there's sure to be more plenty of blood and guts to compensate.
The episode opens up with an unknown person feeding the outside zombies with rats. What's that about? Cut to Tyreese, tenderly making out with Karen. After he starts singing "I've got you under my skin," she says she's embarrassed and leaves to let him get some rest. She heads down to where Patrick died. Cue the eerie slasher music. She hears a noise and pulls some curtains back only to find there's nothing there. As she walks towards Cell Block D, zombie Patrick comes to life and starts following her. He strolls along like a typical walker until he turns into a room and hears someone wheezing. (Are they infected too?) He enters and chomps down on a man's neck, blood gushing upwards. Since he didn't try to flee, I'm assuming he was just about dead already from the mysterious illness.
Gross out quotient.
We come back from commercial with Patrick swimming in intestines.
Rick is feeding baby Judith and an alarm clock goes off. It's 6am, do you know where your zombie stalkers are? He goes to Carl's room and wakes him up. Cut back to Patrick chowing down on some major guts like it's an all-you-can-eat buffet. Did he just start licking his thumbs? Walker Patrick leaves the room after his happy meal and the newly dead dude-turned-zombie opens his milky eyes and rolls of the bed with his bowels slamming to the ground. He's mighty hungry and heading towards the rest of the prison.
Carl and Rick meet Michonne out at the vegetable garden as she heads out of the camp to make a run. Carl asks his dad if he can have his gun back which means that he's been in hot water after he killed a human from last season. Suddenly there's two blasts from inside the prison. Walkers!!!
Rick tells Carl to go to the tower and he runs towards others streaming out. Michonne turns around and heads back to the prison so Carl rushes to open the gates. Unfortunately, a couple of walkers follow her in and then attack her. As she's fending them off, she hurts her ankle. Carl grabs a rifle and scores a head shot, killing one, while Maggie finishes off the other. Inside the prison all hell has broken loose. Woodbury survivors are being mauled by walkers while Daryl and the rest are trying to save as many people as possible. Everything finally looks clear when another zombie jumps Rick. Daryl yells for him to duck and shoots an arrow through its brain. The last roaming walker to die turns out to be poor Patrick.
After the commercial break the crew is doing another sweep for surviving walkers when Rick kills Charlie, who's turned in his cell. Rick realizes that he doesn't have any zombie inflicted wounds on him locked in his cell and deduces that he died from a sickness caused by some sort of high speed flu bug which has now infected their compound. Hershel hears Rick tell them about a sick pig and boar and he tells them that viruses have spread from pigs and birds in the past and it's probably happening now. And they've all been exposed so there's that too. I find this a bit weak from the writers. I doubt there's any way they would immediately have diagnosed a viral outbreak after just surviving through a surprise zombie attack inside their very secure prison.
Carol brings Lizzie and Mika to say goodbye to their dying father Ryan, who was bit and is now ready to turn. Lizzie bravely says she wants to kill her father like he taught them, but when she tries, she can't. Carol's knife lessons haven't taken hold yet. Carol is able to brain stick him in front of his daughters. Rick goes outside to find Maggie helping Michonne walk and Carl tells him what happened. Rick explains that Patrick died last night from a flu which caused the zombie carnage, but they are the only ones that weren't exposed to it so they have to remain outside.
The council is debating how to separate the exposed members of the prison when they hear somebody coughing and find out it's Karen. They explain what's happened and lead her off. Carol is outside by the fence with Lizzie and Mika and she's calling the oldest one weak for not killing her father. That's some pep talk. Her little sister turns around and tells Carol that's she's only messed up, but not weak.
Daryl is burning the dead and he tells Rick that he came through in the clutch during the fight today and he should come back and help lead the group so they can figure out what to do next. But Rick says he messed up too many times and almost lost his boy in the process so he doesn't want to be making decisions anymore. Suddenly Maggie comes running towards them screaming that the zombies might break down the outer fence. The three of them start punching holes in zombie heads like some lottery game as they try to stop the fence from coming down.
Beth is tending to Michonne's wounds in a cell and gives her a life lesson about care and hurt when baby Julie starts crying. Her wail pierces Michonne's ears with pain and I wonder if this is an indication that she's got the zombie flu? Back at the fence Glenn, Maggie, Tyreese, Rick, Daryl and Sasha are killing zombies when Sasha spots a bunch of headless rats on the ground. Somebody has been feeding the rats to rile up the walkers so they would storm the gate.
Just as it appears the zombies are overpowering the fence, we cut to commercial.
When we return, Carl is inside the prison making a makeshift wooden Catholic cross for Patrick the atheist when Carol walks in and asks him if he told his father about her teaching the kids how to use knives to protect themselves. She's worried that he'll tell the parents and they may not want her to continue teaching them. He replies that he doesn't want to lie to his father, but she says she's only asking him not to say anything.
Michonne is doing reverse push ups when she hears Beth singing a pretty lullaby to the baby. Julie spits up all over Beth and she wants Michonne to hold her for a minute but Michonne vehemently refuses. She stares at the puke on Beth's blouse for a minute and then takes the baby in her hands, holding her stiffly away from her. At first, she seems repulsed by the baby, but then she slowly looks into her eyes and tears well up. She slowly caresses the baby against her breasts, crying like a mother who has lost a child. This was the most powerful moment in the episode and possibly reveals some back story for Michonne.
Daryl is heading towards the fence with the truck towing Rick behind him. A moment ago it looked like the fence was coming down, but now it looks like they have extra time to save the day. The noise of the truck catches the zombies' attention and we see that there's a box full of pigs that Rick had been raising. They can't take the chance of keeping them because they may be carrying the flu so he starts sacrificing them to the zombies to get them away from the battered fence. With the zombies feasting on the pigs, they reinforce the broken wire fence that helps protect the prison.
Carol sees the girls by the fence staring at zombies and she plucks some flowers and wraps a couple around Lizzie's ear to honor her father. They needed a moment to reconnect again. The lessons are over with for the day.
Carl finds his dad cleaning out the pig stalls and tells him that Carol is teaching the kids how to kill and that she didn't want him to tell. But Carl thinks his father should let her go on teaching the kids to kill. He burns the stalls and tells him he won't say anything. He then gives Carl his gun back and straps his own around his waist.
Tyreese heads to Cell Block A to see Karen, but when he only finds a trail of blood that leads out from the cell. He follows the blood and until he finds two bodies dragged and burned to a crisp and one of them was his girl, Karen.
- The only person I can think of who would feed the zombies to sabotage the prison is The Governor. Or is it a new threat from within the group?
- Carl is becoming the sanest person in the group even if he's a cold blooded killer. Vote for Carl in 2016!
- The new moral code is being hammered out by Carol. It's not cool to be weak and timid after the zombie apocalypse. You must remove all feelings when it's time to bash someone's brains in even if they're your mother, father or lover. Tyreese has spoken repeatedly about not wanting to go outside anymore and kill things.
- Are Lizzie and Mika headed for something special at the end of the season or will they become fodder for the walkers in the end?
- Is the "Big Bad" of the season the bird flu?