October 25, 2013
One of the characters who has been receiving some attention this season has been Michonne. She's been limited in screen time, but it's more important time, and the show has taken great pains to develop her character a little bit more. She is no longer just the lone Andrea-saving, Governor-hating bad ass with the fan service katana and one facial expression. Not only does she get to smile and make a joke this episode, she also gets to show some legitimate emotion. She gets probably the best scene of the night, and that's saying something because A) she shared the scene with Beth - a character that is improving this season - and B) the writers have turned Carol into a quietly great character. Has anyone on the show made such a huge turn from season one to season four? Carol, unlike some other survivors, has really grown and changed as a character, even in the last two episodes.
There's a real sense of dread to Infected that's a testament to the show's ability to play with shadows and light and background noise. Guy Ferland does a great job at creating the tension and slowly cranking it up in the early stages of the episode. While there's not an immediate blow-off, the show keeps things simmering, using a lot of shots of zombie Patrick going about his zombie business within the friendly confines of Cell Block D, the zombies milling about by the fences, and the show's opening shot of a mysterious person offering up rat snacks to zombies.
When the blow-off does come, it's impressively choreographed and executed. The Walking Dead is a show that has a very large cast, and the amount of extras the show has access to is even more impressive, probably because everyone loves zombies and there aren't a lot of acting gigs in Georgia (until the past few years, of course). When they need to have a mass of walkers or a mass of panicking civilians fleeing walkers, they've got it. Ferland and company make great use of their extras this week, with multiple scenes featuring dozens of people scrambling and fleeing and zombie shuffling that feel very chaotic without being too overwhelming visually. It can be easy for small details to get lost during a riot, but Ferland does a good job of keeping sight lines clear and focusing on the action, even if the action is behind a bunch of screaming, flailing people or is a morass of angry zombies.