In the wake of Patrick’s rapid death his newly animated corpse wanders into the cell of another group member where he feasts on his internals. Shortly thereafter the man himself awakes and returns as a walker, wandering about the cell block for a meal of his own. Outside Rick and Carl are going about their farming business. Carl asks Rick if he can have his gun back and help clear the walkers that have been crowding along the fence. Rick immediately shuts him down but not a few minutes later gun shots are heard from inside the prison followed by Mika and Lizzie, two younger members of the group, running out screaming for help. Rick pursues inside while Carl runs to help Michonne, whom outside the gate is fighting off two walkers who’ve fallen onto her. Maggie rushes to help as Carl grabs a gun and kills one of the walkers, they open the gate and pull Michonne back bite free but with a sprained ankle.
Inside the cell block chaos has erupted as walkers feed on several members of the group and those unharmed attempt to escape. Rick, Daryl and others help contain the situation and kill the walkers. They’re initial worry is that a part of the prison has been compromised but when they come across a walker in a locked cell block, bite free and showings signs of having vomited blood postmortem, a former Doctor in the group suggests a disease. Finding it concurrent with Patrick’s death Rick tells them of one of the pigs that had passed away in the previous episode leading Hershel to inject that prior illness in the world were passed from pigs to humans. Ultimately suggesting that the mysterious disease might be a violent strain of the flu.
As Carl, Maggie, and Michonne are heading back inside Rick stops them out front to relay the events that have happened inside the block. He warns them to stay away from those who’ve been infected as they are unaware of what caused the illness or how to treat it. During the attack Carol has pulled Mika and Lizzie’s father into one of the cells to perform an emergency amputation on his infected arm. As shes about to perform she becomes aware that the virus has already begun to take over and he only has a few minutes left to live. Aware that he’s dying he asks Carol to take of his girls as if they were her own, she promises and goes out to find them so they can say goodbye. When Carol brings them back the older sister, Lizzie, offers to stab her father in the head so he wont return as a walker, referencing from Carol’s knife teachings. After he passes Lizzie approaches to do the act but falters and begins crying when it becomes to much for her. Mika distracts her attention as Carol slides the knife into the side of his head.
The potentially infected discuss how to handle the situation and quarantine those who were in the cell block. Thus far the only two people who are showing signs of illness are Karen, Tyresse’s love interest, and another group member named David. Rick, Daryl, Hershel, Glenn and others discuss how to proceed and what to do with the bodies. In the safe section of the cell block Beth wraps Michonne’s ankle while watching Judith. The two talk about those they’ve lost and Beth absently mentions what you’d call a person who has lost a child, as there’s nothing in the likes to Widow. Michonne, quiet as usual, seems troubled by the topic but hides it from Beth. Later on Judith vomits on Beth and she asks Michonne to hold her while she cleans up, apprehensive at first she takes Judith and begins to sob while holding her. Beth walks in to a crying Michonne but silently leaves her with Judith.
Mika and Lizzie stand by the fences and watch the walkers. Carol approaches Lizzie to talk about what happened with her father. She criticizes Lizzie for being weak and sternly tells her that if she wants to survive in this world she cannot be. Lizzie, upset, cries about the death of a walker who they’ve identified as Nick in the prior episode from his name tag and runs off. Mika tells Carol that her sister is not weak but undoubtedly messed up with all the events that have just happened. Carol follows after her later on and tells the girls of the promise she made to their father to look after them like they were her own. She also tells Lizzie not to identify with the walkers but to briefly grieve for them and her father and then to let it go. She gives Lizzie the knife she used to kill her father and Lizzie places it in her belt.
As Daryl buries the dead Rick approaches him and they talk about Rick’s leave of absence. Daryl tells Rick he’s earned his time away after having made the decisions he had to make for the group. Rick counters with how his mistakes got him close to losing who his son was. As they talk the walkers, that have been herding along the fences in a mass now, are wearing down the metal and leaning the fence to break. Daryl and Rick rush to help Sasha, Glenn, and Maggie kill the walkers along the fence. It proves too many though as the fence leans further towards the ground from all the weight. Sasha notes the half eaten dead rats along the fence and that someone must have been feeding the walkers. This being the cause as to why they’ve been grouping together as opposed to spreading out along the walls like they use too. Rick asks Daryl to get the truck and the two of them drive outside the fence. Rick cuts the back legs of a pig from their farm and throws it out the back of the truck, luring the walkers away from the fence. Rick clearly effected by the act quietly sits in the back as he kills the remaining pigs to drive more walkers away.
As Carl and Rick take down the fences of the pig pen Carl tells his father of what Carol has been teaching the kids in the reading group. He asks Rick not to confront Carol and to not tell the parents. Rick agrees not to confront her. Impressed by Carl’s honesty and more mature perspective Rick gives Carl’s his gun back and begins to carry his own on him again ultimately giving up his farming life. Tyresse goes to the quarantined section where Karen has been isolated. Intending to visit her and bring her flowers he discovers a gruesome trail of blood that leads him to the burnt corpses of Karen and David.
After thought: Clearly aiming to set up plot points for the season the second episode moves at the steady pace of its predecessor offering more character reflection than action. The strong acting and the walkers keep you interested for the next episode, as well as the unknown person who’s been creating the recent conflict inside the prison walls.
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