The Walking Dead recap: Under My Skin

All hell breaks loose as viruses of all sorts run amok in the prison
Ep. 02 | Aired Oct 20, 2013

RUN MACHETE BOY RUN Glenn (Steve Yeun) runs to the aid of those threatened by Walkers in D Block.

Gene Page/AMC

D Block is in chaos: non-essential characters run and scream, Walkers attack even less essential characters, and Rick and the gang do what they do best — kill Walkers. The experienced squad soon clear out the cell block but much damage has already been done. There are many casualties, including at least one child. Tyreese reunites with Karen, who is shaken but unharmed. Carol gets to new guy Ryan and prepares to amputate his bitten arm. Yet on further inspection, she discovers he is also bitten on the neck.

Ryan begs Carol to take care of his daughters, Lizzie and Mika, as her own. She agrees but insists the girls say goodbye to him in person before he dies. Lizzie and Mika return to D Block to be by their father's side. Ryan urges Lizzie to take care of her younger sister before he succumbs to the bites. Lizzie offers to end her father before he turns. Carol gives her the knife to do it as she taught her in their Storytime knife lesson. Lizzie hunches over her father's face but chokes. Carol quickly steps in to do the job as Lizzie and Mika turn away, crying. (I know they're just child actors, but the girls' overacting puts into perspective just how nuanced Chandler Riggs' performance is.)

As part of a final sweep, Rick kills another Walker, who we later learn was a sleepwalker named Charlie. According to Hershel and Dr. S (who is hopefully a real doctor and not a vet), Charlie died from a flu that caused him to choke on his own blood. Rick connects the same bloody appearance to a Walker outside the fence, and Daryl connects it to Patrick. With Violet's illness as well as the sick boar from the woods, we officially have an aggressive swine flu strain on our hands. As any school teacher can attest to, Bob Stookey is right in saying bugs like to run through close quarters. The Prison certainly counts as close quarters. Hershel announces, “We’ve all been exposed.” Anyone could be infected. Anyone could die. Anyone could soon become a Walker. Is anyone freaking out as much as I am?

We get our first real look at the Council in action as they discuss what to do after the D Block infestation. The Council is comprised of Carol, Daryl, Sasha, Glenn, and Hershel. Meeting informally in the library, the Council is much smaller than I expected and much more like a group meeting from previous seasons. The only notable difference is the exception of Rick. While a council member could have died in the Walker Patrick attack, the empty chair at the Council's table reflects the lack of Rick's presence in the group's decision-making process.

Any disagreements in relocating D Block residents and the potentially exposed to A Block/ Death Row are voided as the Council disbands to investigate a passerby coughing. It's Karen, accompanied by Tyreese, on her way to his cell in C Block. Group politics are tricky but the identification of a sick person during a flu outbreak can make even the most difficult decisions easy to execute. D Block is officially in quarantine and A Block is now Flu Central, starting with Karen as the first patient.

NEXT: I do not like zombies here or there. I do not like them anywhere!

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