There’s nothing sadder than a wasted bouquet of flowers. Sorry, Tyreese (Chad Coleman). And sorry Karen (Melissa Ponzio) — she who got under his skin in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 2, “Infected,” then got sick, and then got burned.
Does Karen qualify as a major death? We met her last season in Woodbury, and she was the only survivor of The Governor’s (David Morrissey) finale massacre (The Grim Reaper was determined to take her!), but it feels like her death mostly serves to fuel Tyreese’s story. That’s the problem with “redshirts” dying — they don’t really affect us, and it almost feels like a cheat to barely introduce them before they die, leaving the main cast to live. For now. That said, what’s with the burning? Tyreese found another person too, was it that guy Karen mentioned also being sick — David from the Decatur group? Did someone accelerate their deaths? Or is someone just killing people, maybe the same someone feeding rats to the walkers?
Episode 2 amped up the action from the premiere, which basically introduced us to the prison as it exists six or seven months after Season 3. Now D block is massacre site, Carl (Chandler Riggs) has his gun back, Carol (Melissa McBride) is getting a little too badass with the kids, Michonne (Danai Gurira) apparently has her own history with kids, Judith is crying in a new way, Beth (Emily Kinney) is still singing, someone is feeding rats to the walkers, and Rick is feeding pigs to the walkers too. At least the walkers are well fed.
Team Prison is now separating the sick from the healthy, and a preview for next week shows that Tyreese's sister is now sick too. Not Sasha! She's one of the cool ones. Episode 3 is "Isolation," so maybe that's a hint to Team Healthy Prison vs. Team Sick Prison. Maybe not everyone dies when they get sick ... apparently it only affects relatively minor characters. We're rooting for you, Sasha!
Read on for a full recap of Episode 2:
It’s night. Someone has a flashlight, shining it through the fence at the walkers. Aww. Why’d they have to pick such a sweet-faced rat to sacrifice? Poor little thing. But who is doing this and why? Is there a logical reason, meaning a reason that doesn’t involve evil, just a misguided idea or misunderstanding? Is there a spy in the house working for The Governor? Is there just a crazy person in the prison stirring up poop for his or her own purposes?
TYREESE + KAREN = COLE PORTER
Tyreese can’t top thinking about Zack (Zach?) yesterday. Used to be they had acquaintances and it was no big deal if they moved in and out of your life. Now they’re like the only people in the world. He sings “I got youuuuu, under my skin.” They get cute and kissy. He’s not exactly ready for American Idol, but it’s sweet. “I got you,” he says in the end. He offers to have them crash at his place. “Not just yet.” She’s not ready. Oh … feels like foreshadowing.
KAREN IN THE DARK
Now she has a flashlight. Flashlights are trouble! We see her wandering alone in the bathroom, like she’s in her own little horror movie. Where is everyone else in this cell block? Enter Patrick! He rises from the dead. Oh, this is D block. Bad sign, based on the promo where Glenn yells “Walkers in D!” Multiple walkers or just P?
WALKER PATRICK IS BITING
Harry Potter boy is undead and on the take in D block. Apparently he’s not making enough noise since no one is stirring and he manages to bite someone … who was already dead, or just so asleep that he didn’t hear this guy shuffle his way in and bite him in the neck? Nice. After the commercial we see him eating the entrails. No one hears this? No one?
TIME TO WAKE UP
Farmers keep early hours, so Rick - holding Judith - wakes Carl to go outside.
DEAD MAN IS NOW A WALKER
Light sleepers in D, man. The guy’s intestines fall out but he’s on the move, ready to bite with Patrick.
GLENN & MAGGIE SLEEP IN A GUARD TOWER?
He watches her and decides to take a photo with an old-school Polaroid camera. Where exactly are they in the prison? Wasn’t the guard tower shot up and destroyed on Season 3? She’s a light sleeper too, but she wakes up when the camera goes off. It’s not safe to sleep in this place, people are always interrupting you.
MICHONNE IS LEAVING AGAIN
She’s taking her horse out again. Yes, pick up some M&Ms. She chats with Carl, they talk hats and “requests” for her trip. Is she on a supply run or searching for The Governor? She should not be doing it alone, whatever it is. Remember Rick’s horse in Atlanta? That could happen again.
CARL WANTS HIS GUN
Carl does not seem to enjoy farming. Carl has been trying, and Rick is proud. However, Carl: “When can I have my gun back?” Awkward. Saved by the BOOM!
WALKERS IN D
Oh so now you’re awake. Little girls come out yelling for help. Michonne rides back. Glenn shouts about walkers in D. Hershel’s on guard? Some walkers accidentally come through the fence as Michonne rides in. Bad timing for this, we have D issues! Carl gets his gun and shoots. Maggie shoots too. Michonne is hurt, though. Carl should keep his gun. If he hasn’t learned not to kill people by now, at least he’s not killing live Team Prison members. But don't give him the hat. He hasn't earned it.
D IS A BLOODY MESS
Daryl grabs a kid to safety — a scene most likely included just to make fans swoon. Carol and Karen also try to hide kids as Rick and Glenn go to town. Oh some guy is bit and Carol goes for the amputation move Rick tried in Season 3. Go on Carol! But he’s bit in the back of the neck too. Poor guy. It’s too late. Run, Carol! Daryl ends up saving Glenn from Patrick. Patrick was put down by his hero, Mr. Dixon. But hey, thanks again for that deer!
Gets an extra crossbow to the head from Daryl, just in case. Was that one of the girls by the fence last week? Naming walkers? Ironically … what was her name?
DARYL AND RICK SHARE A LOOK
It’s loaded with sexual tension. Don’t lie, you saw it too.
CAROL IS STILL WITH THAT GUY
He hasn’t turned yet. Tyreese and Karen watch and wait. He wants Carol to look after his daughters, Lizzie and Mika. (OK, they were the girls by the fence last week.) “Can you look out for them? Like they’re your own?” She says yes. They will be her new Sophias. Melissa McBride is so good with tragic compassion. Remember how she reacted to Lori’s death?
One of the guys who died had no bites or wounds. Rick talks about the walker with the bloody eyes on the fence. The new guy talking about internal lung pressure - Dr. S. - is Dr. Subramanian (Sunkrish Bala). Bob Stookey is now here, saying it’s a sickness. Dr. S said it’s most likely an aggressive flu strain. Daryl said this guy Charlie was a sleepwalker and locked himself in. He was eating BBQ just yesterday. Rick talks about his sick pig Violet who died quick. He saw a sick boar in the woods. Hershel says they’ve all been exposed.
DAUGHTER CAN’T KILL HER OWN DAD
Two daughters get their own scene with Carol. Carol has been teaching knife classes, but it’s more than they can do. Look at the flowers, Lizzie!
CARL SHOWS EMOTION!
He’s so glad to see his dad alive. Rick tells them Patrick got sick and attacked the cell block. “We lost a lot of good people.” He says not to get close to anyone who might’ve been exposed.
Carol remembers how Patrick was fine the day before. (Not really, girl. He told you he was sick at "storytime.") He died overnight. “Two people died that quick? We have to separate everyone that’s been exposed.” That’s everyone. Hershel said the sickness can be lethal but they don’t know how it spreads. Where do they put the people? Death row? Oh my. How ironic.
KAREN IS COUGHING
Every TV show’s shorthand for “you’re about to die.” Tyreese doesn’t believe Karen could be sick. Hershel wants to keep Karen separate in the meantime until they figure this out, and figure out what they have in terms of medication. Karen said David from the Decatur group has been coughing too. There’s a Decatur group?
CAROL AND DARYL TALK
Briefly, but at least they touch base.
CAROL GETS HARSH WITH LIZZIE
She’s going to protect Lizzie like her own, but it’s time someone told her the truth. “Honey, you’re weak. You lost your nerve. You have to trust your gut and you have to trust your gut every time. That’s life and death.” Carol, she’s a little girl. Her dad just died. “If you want to live, you have to become strong.” He was special and now he’s dead. The sister, Mika, said Lizzie isn’t weak she’s just messed up. Why doesn’t anyone think Lizzie is acting appropriately? Unless by "messed up," Mika is giving us a hint that maybe Lizzie was the one feeding the walkers at the fence, since they are like her buddies. "Nick" was one of them, right?
RICK & DARYL TALK
They’re out digging graves. Amazingly, Daryl looks even hotter. Rick says he screwed up too many times, he almost lost his boy, who he was. He doesn't want to get back in the leadership mix.
WALKERS AT THE FENCE
The fence is starting to give, thanks to walkers herding and pushing. Dang rats! Sasha points out the dead rats, there are several. “Was someone feeding these things?”
MICHONNE SAYS SHE WAS STUPID
“I fell on my ass, they should’ve just left me out there.” She’s used to being the one saving people. Beth tells her that’s stupid. Others could’ve gotten hurt, Michonne says. As Beth notes, when you care about someone, hurt is part of the package. (That doesn't say much about Zack.) Were there any kids killed? Beth talks about widows and orphans. “What do you call someone who lost a child?”
IS JUDITH SICK?
Oh no. No, no, no. Judith is crying in a new way. Beth thinks Judith just senses people’s moods. OK…that’s gotta suck for her in the zombie apocalypse. Unless she's just drunk? What was in all those empty red Solo cups, Little Ass-Kicker?
RICK KNOWS WHAT TO DO
Of course he does. The man was The Ricktator! “Daryl, get the truck.” They should just drive away together.
PATRICK WAS A PRACTICING ATHEIST
More than we learned about T-Dog in three seasons. Carol is keeping her knife classes a secret. She doesn’t want to take the risk of telling the parents or Rick. Carol is going rogue, y’all. Is that OK, asking kids to keep secrets? Carol to Carl: “I’m not asking you to lie; I’m asking you not to say anything." Feels like a step too far.
DOES MICHONNE HAVE A HISTORY WITH KIDS?
Michonne does crunches, with her injured foot in the air, as Beth sings (again!) to the baby. Michonne refuses to hold Judith. Why? She’s good with Carl, and she seemed good with Penny before killing her. Poor Judith. Is there a story here? Does Michonne have a history with kids? In the comic books, she had two daughters but they died. Bites, apparently. She cries into Judith’s face. Well, that stops the crying.
Rick sacrifices a pig to the walkers. What a terrible day for animals. But the walkers follow the pig, away from the fence. So he does it again. Oh, the squealing. Come on, just sacrifice Carl.
CAROL WITH THE GIRLS
She puts flowers in Lizzie’s hair. Lizzie holds Carol’s hand. Carol must miss Sophia so much.
RICK DISMANTLES HIS PEN
Either the pigs made them sick or they made the pigs sick. OK, but then why don’t Rick or Carl have the sickness? They are also going to stay away from “Judy” for a while. Rick is always looking for an excuse to avoid his little girl. (Or is it Shane's little girl?) Carl tells Rick that Carol’s been teaching kids how to use weapons, how to kill. She didn’t want anyone to know. Carl says Rick should be OK with it. Remember when there was all this debate about letting Carl use a gun on Season 2? Oh how far we’ve come. Rick said he won’t stop her or say anything. Carl gets his gun back. And we get a shirtless scene from Rick, who takes off his bloody shirt and burns it.
TYREESE FINDS A TRAIL OF BLOOD
Lots of it. He’s holding a bouquet and he finds … something shocking. Burned bodies! Two of them. One of them has Karen’s bracelet. Someone is killing people and burning bodies? Did he (or she) kill them in the cell and then drag their bodies? Were they already dead from the sickness? Karen was sick, and there's that other guy she mentioned, so maybe it's not as awful as it seems...
Tyreese wants Rick to find out who did this and bring them TO HIM! Carol takes another risk. Beth is crying. Maggie can't let Hershel do something. Hershel ... does Hershel risk his life? Does he go into the sick ward and get sick? Does he sacrifice himself and die? We're always poised for Hershel to die, not hoping it happens but just expecting it. He's old. He has one leg. He's the kind of guy who would sacrifice himself for anyone.