Stop reading right this instant if you don’t want to know what happened last night on “The Walking Dead”. You’ve been warned. Stop.
Okay, for the rest of you, I’m going to give you a very, very quick recap of what happened on last night’s season four premiere.
First, there was a quick recap of how we got here. The zombie apocalypse happened, Rick led a group of people through the wilderness and to a prison. Some from the group ran into “The Governor” and his people at a nearby town. The two groups clashed. A lot of people got killed. The Governor then got all dictatorial and, like every good dictator, turned on his people when the pressure was on. He even killed a whole of them at the end of season three. So, by the opening of season four, Rick has welcomed people from the town into the more defensible prison. They are now growing food and raising pigs. Even with the zombies all bunching up at the gates, life is still pretty good for an apocalypse.
Except that this is the apocalypse and things can’t stay good for a while. A group from the prison goes on a supply run and gets caught in a store with zombies falling through the ceiling. Why were they falling through the ceiling? They were falling through the ceiling because they were on the roof around a fallen helicopter. Noise within the store attracted the zombies, and it was caused by a guy with a problem with alcohol (in that a whole shelf of wine bottles fell on him). Most of the group gets away. Very few get eaten, but none of the main cast, thank God.
Back at the prison, there’s a discussion about naming things that you will kill. Carl, Rick’s son who has some issues, names some piglets and wonders what is wrong with one of them. The pig is sick and looks like it’s about to die. Rick tells Carl not to name it, which is something I’ve heard farmers do with their livestock. I guess you can look tomorrow’s bacon in the eye, but you can’t name it. And then some of the children in the group have a discussion about naming zombies. These same children, by the way, are being taught to kill zombies under the guise of being taught how to read. Both skills come in handy during a zombie apocalypse… Thought the case can be made that reading is fundamental.
There are also a few scenes where Rick goes outside the prison grounds and stumbles onto a woman who looks a bit off. The woman tells Rick that she and her man are stuck out in the wilderness and need help. When Rick gets back to her camp, he notices that she has been living there all alone, except she’s not alone. She has something in a bag. After she tries to kill Rick to feed him to her man (woman’s gotta feed her man!), we learn that her man turned zombie and she wants to be with him. When she realizes that Rick will never take her to the prison along with her zombie lover, she commits suicide by seppuku. What is seppuku? Google it.
In the last scenes of the episode we see most of it being tied together when a kid gets up from bed and goes to the shower room. He looks like hell. He tries to shower with his clothes on, and we realize that he has some sort of flu-like illness. This ties it in with the pig, which is all but dead as well. In the final scene, we see the kid reanimate as a zombie. Remember, everyone is infected, and they will reanimate (or “turn”) once they die from any cause and their brain is intact. And this sets up the immediate threat to the prison group now… If they catch the flu, they’ll die and turn.
I almost giggled with excitement at the possibilities of a flu outbreak. (Yeah, I’m that guy.)
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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