When “The Walking Dead” returned for its fourth season on Sunday, Oct. 13, viewers were left on the edge of their seats as a mysterious illness killed prison newcomer Patrick, turning him into a walker within the cell living quarters. Fans were left with a series of questions and episode 2, “Infected,” managed to clear a few up … while adding some more to the list.
The Symptoms Of The ‘New Threat’
In episode 1, “30 Days Without An Accident,” viewers saw a zombie with bleedings eyes. By the end of the episode, Patrick was not only bleeding from his eyes, but his mouth and ears as well. Other symptoms that Patrick showed include: stomach ache, fever, sweating, coughing and nausea.
Patrick’s Not The Only Victim
After doing some investigating the group discovered that Patrick wasn’t the only one without a zombie bite. Another D Block resident had locked himself in his cell and showed the same symptoms as Patrick -- no bites but bleeding eyes.
What Killed Patrick?
According to the new prison doctor, Dr. Subramanian (or Dr. S for short), what killed Patrick was an aggressive flu strain. The flu makes pressure build up inside the sick person like shaking a can of soda and having the top pop. “Only imagine your eyes, ears, nose and throat are the top,” the doctor explained.
How Did The Flu Spread?
The initial blame for spreading the flu is put on the pigs and birds but Rick doesn’t feel the same way. Noting that he did find one of his pigs and another animal in the woods dead, Rick doesn’t believe that the sickness spreading comes from his animals. However, to be on the safe side he does sacrifice the animals when a large number of walkers threaten to take down the fence along the prison yard.
Realizing that they are living in close quarters and that this flu could spread, the council decides to keep those that came in contact with the flu out of C Block. Loved ones are forced to stay away from each other out of fear of spreading the flu and having the body count grow.
The Sick Grow
Nobody paid any attention to Patrick when he was sick but now everyone has become very watchful. Karen, Tyreese’s girlfriend, is forced to stay in A Block (death row) after getting a fit of coughs. And she’s not the only ill one in the prison. Another resident is discovered to have similar symptoms to Karen and is forced to stay in the separate cell in an effort to keep everyone safe.
With the body count growing in episode 2, it appears as if some prison residents decided to take matters into their own hands regarding the sick people. When Tyreese went to visit Karen in A Block he discovered a gruesome sight. Her cell block was covered in blood and the floor had a trail leading outside. Upon walking outside, Tyreese found Karen and the other sick prison resident smoldering … the two had been doused in gasoline and set on fire.
Did Karen and the other sick person die in the cell due to the flu? Were they burned alive? Was the blood in the cell caused from a struggle? Who set them on fire? Many questions regarding the new threat still remain, but hopefully more information will be revealed in episode 3, “Isolation.”
What are your thoughts on the new threat in season 4 of “The Walking Dead”? Let us know in the comments section.
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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