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5 Not So Major Reasons Why I Loved The Walking Dead “Infected” 

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Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

[WARNING: Spoilers for The Walking Dead “Infected”]

The Walking Dead “Infected” was a crazy good hour of television.

There were zombies inside the prison that had to be dealt with. There was so much blood and gore to be had. The virus that took Patrick spread. RIP Karen. She had just started a thing with Tyreese when a coughing and quarantined Karen ended up charred beyond recognition.

Who did it? Can’t wait to find out. And who was the one feeding those zombies rats? The walkers were extra energetic and extra strong as they threatened to tear down the barriers to the prison. Rick’s heroics in keeping the them at bay included sacrificing the pigs.

All of this zombie-battling action was great to see. As was Carol giving those kids the facts of the zombie matter. She’s trying to toughen them up in this new world. It’s a bit hard to take but Carol’s going to do her damndest to make soldiers out of the children. After all, those kids should NOT be naming individual walkers.

However, the most memorable moments for me were actually some of the quieter ones of the episode. They were more of the character-driven moments and one of them was memorable for purely shallow purposes. Here are five not so major reasons why I loved “Infected”:

1. All the Carl and Rick goodness

I am liking this father-son duo so much this season. I especially liked it when Carl confessed to Rick about what he had witnessed with Carol and the kids (she was teaching them to soldier up). I really didn’t dig the fact that Carol was telling a kid not to tell his dad something major. But Carl trusted his father enough to tell him and to know that he wasn’t going to overreact or betray his confidence. Rick agreed to not to say anything. In fact, even though he has seen for himself how this world can affect a child (Carl was bloodthirsty at one point), he also knows that everyone needs to be prepared. It’s survival of the fittest.

Also, Rick giving Carl his gun back and then putting his sheriff’s belt on and equipping himself with a gun was a really great moment. Rick likes to think he’s Mr. Farmer and has left his other badass leader self behind, but when he’s needed he’s there. Glad he finally realizes that.

2. Shirtless Rick

Shallow TV Alert: Rick set fire to the makeshift pig sty he had created. After all, there were no more pigs to care for (and the virus may have started there to boot). After sacrificing those pigs to the walkers, his shirt was super bloody. No more need for it, right? One has to be careful, especially since the blood could be infected. So Rick took off his shirt and threw it onto the bonfire. And we got a Shirtless Rick sighting and I’m thankful for that. That is all.

3. The Daryl and Rick conversation

Daryl gave Rick props over being quick to act and battling the zombies like Patrick who were inside the prison. It was nice to hear. I think of these two as brothers. They don’t judge each other. They don’t ask each other for more than they can give. But they also know they will have each other’s backs. Rick knows how valuable Daryl is to the group. He wouldn’t have relinquished his leadership to just anyone. Daryl is part of that. On the other side of things, I love that Daryl realizes how integral Rick is. And he’s going to let Rick do whatever he needs to do in order to get himself correct. If he’s going to play Farmer Rick, then so be it. That doesn’t mean he’s beyond giving his pal a little nudge here or there:

Daryl: “Glad you were in there.”

Rick: “Wasn’t much use without my gun.”

Daryl: “No, you were. All this time you’ve been taking off, you earned it. We wouldn’t be here without you.”

Rick: “It was all of us.”

Daryl: “No, it was you first. You gonna help us figure this out?”

Rick: “I screwed up too many times. Those calls you got to make, I start down that road…I almost lost my boy, who he was. Whatever else this place needs, I’m here for it.”

Daryl: “Like I said, you earned it. But for what it’s worth, you see mistakes. I see when the s–t hits, you’re standing there with the shovel.”

I like that Rick is hard on himself. He almost lost his mind last season. Carl was going down a dangerous path as well. But I think this conversation he had with Daryl really helped lead Rick to that moment that went down at the end of the episode when he gave Carl his gun back and started carrying his own gun again.

4. Glenn and Maggie Polaroid Scene

Before the s–t hit the fan, Glenn and Maggie had a real cute scene where Glenn took a polaroid picture of a sleeping Maggie. It was adorable, especially when Maggie wanted Glenn to get rid of it and he was not having it. And while we didn’t get much in the way of Glenn and Maggie goodness in this episode, this was one of those quiet moments I really loved.

5. Michonne holding Judith scene

This may be my favorite moment of the entire episode simply because we always see Michonne so hardcore and unflinching. We never get to see her be vulnerable. Beth is taking care of Judith and singing her lullabies (beautifully, I might add) but needs some help when the baby spits up on her. She hands Judith to Michonne who reluctantly takes her. The baby quiets down in her arms and Michonne’s pain just comes out in tears. It’s a beautiful moment, one that makes me tear up just thinking about it. Something happened in Michonne’s past — something that will probably explain her reaction to holding Judith. Wonder how long it’s going to be before we find out the specifics?

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.

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