It seems we are 6-7 months since we last saw our group of rag tag survivors from the original group and the new Woodbury group (and apparently some other people they have picked up along with way.) The prison is more like a small community with a community gardens, farm animals , a decision making council and homey features. (As homey as you can get when you sleep in a cell block)
The episode opens with Rick, walking out of the prison, apparently just woken up, and he washes his face in the rain water barrel. He is listening to music. Some crazy old time country music and a music device that I didn’t even realize was there until he pulled one of the ear buds from his ears. It is only when he does this do you hear the walkers and their constant roar as they are outside the fence and they have come in droves. He finds a gun which he does nothing with except reflect for a moment on how he used to be and he removed the magazine, throws the gun in the wheel barrel and continues farming.
He moves on to feeding the pigs. There are is a large apparently ailing pink big which Carl has named Violet, much to Ricks chagrin, lying in the corner of the pen. Rick warns Carl not to name the animals as they are not pets but rather food. Surprisingly, after last season, Carl is not sassy.
There are apparently some new relationships and we are introduced to some new people in the group. It seems as if Daryl and Carol might be starting up a little something as she calls him “Pookie”. New character Zack, ( played by Kyle Gallner, from 2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street remake) and Beth are in love (wonder what Hershel has to say about that). Tyreese and new group member Karen are together as well. Maggie and Glen are still together and we discover that she is indeed not pregnant. Glen is relieved and tells Maggie that he doesn’t want her to go on “the run” that will happen today. We also meet the much heard about Bob Stooky who is an alcoholic veteran medic who was once in the military. I did not picture Bob to look as he did. I figured an older vietnam vet who is still dealing with his time overseas. Bob is a young, African American man, who I will assume is a vet of the gulf war or Afghanistan.
Michonne has been out, apparently looking for the Governor and returns bearing comic books for Carl. Hershel speaks with Rick telling him that they want him to take his gun with him when he goes and checks the snares for animals for food. He volunteers for this and agrees to take his gun (and that’s a damn good thing). Rick is no longer the leader and it seems that Daryl has stepped up in a leadership position moderated by the council.
Two main stories occur during this episode. The group of Daryl, Glenn, Zach, Sasha, Micchone and Bob make a run to the local “Big Spot” store (a Walmart of sorts). What they didn’t see was the Walkers and a downed helicopter on the roof. They enter the store, clear it of any walkers (one or two) and proceed to “shop” Bob proceeds to the shelves of alcohol and is very tempted going so far as to pick up a bottle but puts it back on the shelf. Placing the bottle on the shelf causes the shelf to fall and the bottles to break all over the floor, alerting the Walkers above and causing the entire shelf to fall on Bob trapping his foot. The group rushes to free bob from the shelf but before they can walkers start falling through the roof into the store. Most notably, a Walker falls through and is hanging from his own intestines and another falls through and completely explodes when hitting the floor and becomes a giant splat of blood and guts. Walker massacre ensures and a walker discovers Bob’s trapped ass and crawls toward him. This walker already looks like he has an axe put in his head from the giant crack in his head. Bob, I guess in an attempt to destoy his pain starts putting his hands inside the head peeling back soft bone, and then Daryl comes by and stomps the walkers head stopping it forever. Zach is bitten and eaten by a walker. To top it all off, the helicopter falls through the roof as the group flees the store.
While all of that is going on at the store, Rick is out checking the snares for trapped animals. He sees a downed pig lying in the foods and starts his approach but we see, what looks to be a walker fall to its knees in front of the pig. She implores him to help her. Help her carry the pig back to her husband who is in camp. Her name is Clara, she speaks with an Irish accent and asks Rick if he has a camp and if she would be able to come back with him with her husband. Rick tells her he would have to meet him first and ask him three questions. On their journey back to her camp, Clara tells Rick her story about how she was freshly married and was on her way to Mexico when the apocalypse occurred and the airport were shut down.
They get to the camp and there is no husband. Clara runs over to a crate and says he needs something live to eat. I honestly thought it was a baby at first, but as it turns out it is Clara’s husband. He is now a walker and she has saved only his head and it is in a burlap sack. She runs at Rick with a knife, attempting to stab him. She is unsuccessful. She ends up stabbing herself. As she lay dying, he asks her the three questions. How many walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed (“only me”) and Why? She has had to do many terrible things to survive and the guilt is too much for her. She dies. Rick gets up and leaves her and her walker husbands head behind. It seems you can’t come back from what you have done.
Upon the return to the prison, the Daryl, infoms Beth of Zach’s passing. She is unemotional. She cannot cry anymore. She is happy she did not say goodbye to him before he left. She hates to say good bye.
Carole is in the prison library doing story time for the children of the group. Carl sneaks in and watches from the stacks. Carole stops reading mid sentence and pulls out a tray of Knives, telling the children they will learn how to use a knife to defend themselves. Patrick sits above the other children who are sitting on the floor and asks to be excused as he is not feeling well. He actually looks green. Carole admonishes him stating that if his life was in danger would he just give up because he was sick? He says that he just didn’t want to Yak all over anyone. He is excused and he leaves the room. Carole spots Carl and asks that he not tell his father what she is doing.
Rick is back at the pig pen and we see that Violet the pig is dead. We can see Rick pondering why this is the case.
Later that night, Patrick gets up from his cell berth and is coughing while heading off the the bathroom. He leans over a barrel of water, coughing and pumps a pump and drenches himself in shower water. He falls to the ground. He is motionless lying on his back. Close up to his face. The eyes open, he is now a walker.
The big question is what made that pig and Patrick sick. Is is the same thing. Is it swine flu? Is in some other organism? Is it airborne, waterborne or vector transmitted. The episode begins and ends with water. Could that be a clue? What will happen to all those sleeping people up in the cell block now that Patrick is a Walker?