This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home…and this little piggy got fed to zombies.
The second episode of season 4 was pumped full of just as much suspense and horror as the premiere. It also became clear to the gang and residents of the prison (as well as the audience) that there really will be no peace in this post-zombie apocalyptic world. I managed to make it through the episode without feeling the need to hide under a pillow (an improvement from last week), but I am pretty sure I did start crying when the pigs died. I have problems, I know. I am working on them. Just be glad you aren’t watching with me. In any event, let’s get to talking…
1. Silence is scary – What was the most terrifying part of last night’s episode? Definitely when Karen was tippy-toeing through the prison bathroom where zombie Patrick had recently died at the end of the premiere. Nothing happened in these few minutes, but I found myself on my edge of my seat acting like a nervous-wreck. Yes, zombies chewing people’s necks out is terrifying, but even more terrifying is knowing as the audience that something horrible is about to happening and all we can do is sit there waiting for the other shoe to drop.
2. Rat stew anyone? – In the opening scene this week, we became privy to the fact that someone has been feeding the zombies. At this point, we have no idea who though. This one scene put so many questions in my mind though. Is someone purposefully trying to attract the zombies? Are the nightly feedings leading to an influx of zombies at this spot in the fence (which will ultimately lead to the fence toppling)? Is this the work of the little girl whose father died (and who her sister says “is messed up”)? Rick and co. notice the rat piles when they are attempting to secure the fence, so hopefully someone will get to the bottom of this soon.*
*I had been wondering why there seemed to be so many more zombies surrounding the prison this season. I had been assuming that the increase in humans had somehow created a higher attraction for the zombies. But, it is possible that the zombie numbers are increasing because someone is feeding these zombies nightly (this theory of course assumes that zombies can remember where their food comes from).
3. RIP Miss Piggie – Man, did I take the slaughtering of the pigs hard last night (probably just as hard as Rick). I mean, I know it was a good plan to save the fence and since it is possible that the zombie flu originated from the pigs, they had to be done away with. But, that didn’t make it any easier to watch the poor demise of the little animals. The pigs dying symbolized something more to Rick, I believe though. In taking this action, Rick had to fully come to terms with the fact that he isn’t going to be able to live in a world or raise his kids in a world where they are shielded from death and killing. So when the pigs died, so did Rick’s farming dream (I think that is why he cried so hard ). And, this ultimately led to Rick and Carl both becoming armed again. I know Rick wishes for a simpler life of a farmer, but I think we all know that it simply isn’t possible in this zombie-filled world. I wonder now how involved Rick will become in taking on the responsibilities of leadership that he gave up 6 or 7 months ago.
4. More insight into Michonne, maybe – Between this season and the premiere, once Michonne was given the ability to talk, it became clear that she had been forming a special relationship with Carl. But, as we see Michonne interact with Beth and Judith, it becomes clearer that Michonne has had some sort of significant relationship with a child in the past. Was she a mother herself? I know in season 3 it was revealed that one of her walker friends was actually her boyfriend turned zombie, so it is possible that Michonne had a kid at one point too. And, the loss of a child could certainly explain the driving force behind her lack of communication and need for independence that we experienced in season 3. As I said before, Michonne is one of my favorite characters so any insight into her backstory would make me very happy.
5. Karen who? – Last week we lost a few of the new characters, and this week we lost a few more–namely, Karen (also known as Tyreese’s lady friend) and dad with two daughters (yup, he is so new I don’t even know his name). Between the end of season 3 and the beginning of season 4, 6 or 7 months had passed at the prison. I hadn’t minded the time skip because I believe that showing the prison as a fully functioning community has been interesting. But, the problem with this approach is that the audience is only getting briefly introduced to the new characters before they meet their demise. This makes it a little more difficult for the audience to feel the same sense of loss that the prison community is feeling–there is somewhat of a disconnect appearing. So this week, it was hard for me to feel incredibly bad for Tyreese or for the orphan little girls beyond some cursory feelings of “that sucks.” I think this is just the nature of The Walking Dead universe and something the show has decided it is a necessary evil that it must deal with in order to keep the overarching story progressing.
6. Who forgot the s’mores? – Ok, that was somewhat crude, but I am trying to make light of a rather dark ending to this week’s episode in which we find the bodies of Karen and infected-person #2 burned. Did they die before they were burned? Did someone decide to take matters into their own hands and try to stop zombie flu from spreading? Tyreese seems to think that the latter is true (at least that is how the promos make it look). At this point though, how many people knew about the infection? It does not appear that a large announcement had been made to the prison community as a whole yet.
A strong second episode for season 4. Definitely looking forward to next week. What did y’all think?