Carl sneaks into a session of story time to see what all the fuss is about. Carol reads from the book but immediately stops once another adult leaves the room. story time is really a cover for How to Stab and Slash 101. While I'm all for children experiencing a sense of culture even in these darkest of times, learning how to wield a knife is the more immediate concern. (I got some major Dumbledore's Army vibes from this scene, and I liked it.) Feeling queasy, Patrick excuses himself from the knife tutorial, leaving Carol to teach the girls defensive skills that she unfortunately could not teach her own daughter before it was too late. As Carl reveals himself from the shadows, Carol asks him not to tell his father. (Farmer Rick still holds authoritative weight even in this post-Ricktatorship republic.) Carl storms out. Don't ruin this, Carl! Every child deserves to learn to defend themselves as you did.
Back from his Creepy Clara encounter, Rick notices the bloody teared Walker still moaning at the fence. (Hint! Hint!) He also notices that Violet has stopped moving. Today is a day a pig did die. (This can't be good.) The squad also returns to the prison. Tyreese confides in Karen, saying he doesn't like going on runs, either. Glenn is relieved to hear Maggie is in fact not pregnant. Daryl tells Beth the news about Zach. She takes it in stride, changing her board of "Days Without an Accident" from 30 to 0. Having lost so much already, she's just grateful she got to know Zach when he was alive. Daryl, on the other hand, seems more upset than her; he's "tired of losing people." Rockstar Daryl is an integral part of the community, and that means he is rocked whenever that community faces loss.
Rick confides in Hershel about his experience with Creepy Clara, seeing himself in her. In moral opposing force to Clara, Hershel affirms that Rick can come back from the brink of madness and despair, establishing Rick's internal conflict this season. (Side note: Judith is adorable!)
Since not enough of turmoil happened in this season premiere, Patrick stumbles towards the bathroom, sweating and coughing along the way. It turns out he's actually sick and not just afraid of knives. In the stupidest move a teenager in a fragile post-apocalyptic settlement can do, he coughs all over the shower water supply, cools himself off under the running water, and collapses on the ground. Moments later, he lies motionless on the ground, blood spilling from his eyes. (Like the Walker!) Patrick is gone, which means Walker Patrick is here.
So to run through it: There's a Walker inside the prison. A disease primed to spread rampant throughout the prison and possibly the world. Plus, dozens of Walkers ready and waiting to pursue anyone who tries to escape. Oh, and if that's not enough, somewhere in the wilderness is a very pissed off Governor.
What did you think about this action-packed, ominous start to the fourth season?