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EPISODE 1: 30 Days Without an Incident
THE HOOK: In the wake of the war with Woodbury, Rick and his group have turned the prison into a working community, but danger continues to stir on the outside as well as from within.
The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode
THE LOWDOWN:†Last season was a little disappointing. From the Governorís watered down evil, ridiculous character decisions, to a very anti-climactic final showdown, I just expected more at this point. That said, the trailers for this season looked great (but then again, they always do), but I didnít go in expecting much. The good news is, the premiere re-invigorated my enthusiasm for this show. Walking the line between being exciting and getting redundant canít be easy, but I immediately dug the change of pace around the prison. Thereís a real sense of community now. Theyíre farming crops, they have horses and pigs, and best of all, people are actually smiling on occasion. Sure, we all know it canít last, this IS the Walking Dead after all, but itís cool to see people joking around and reading comics (the latter being a nice touch). But even then, as Rick looks out at the walkers hoarding around the fence in the opening moments, you can feel the inevitable dread circling like a hungry vulture.
On the plus side, I dug the forming of a council. They had one in the comics and it makes sense that theyíd eventually go that route. Darylís stepped up and the community loves him (we all do too), but that was pretty much a given. But even though things have calmed down a bit, I couldnít understand why Rick would ever risk it outside the perimeter without his gun. Come on man, didnít you watch TRUE ROMANCE? Itís better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it. Rickís chance meeting in the woods took me by surprise for more reasons than one. He couldnít have been that far from the prison, yet this Clara chick (who looks to have been camping out there for a while now) didnít know they were there? Just seems a little odd to me, considering all the recon sheís doing in the area. I had a bad feeling about her from the beginning. She kept talking about Eddie, and how sheíd be dead without him, yet I couldnít help but think heíd be out there with her if he was able. She doesnít look very imposing, and if it were just the two of them, I just didnít buy her walking around alone. I knew it wouldnít end well, but damn, poor Rick, how many more hits can his moral compass take?
One of the things I didnít like was how Michonne has become a lone wolf/ranger who apparently comes and goes for days on end. I get that the Governor is unfinished business for her, and I didnít expect her to just give him a pass (especially after Andrea), but I would hope that sheís not fool enough to go after the guy by herself. That feels like a group endeavor to me, or at least have a couple others for backup. I loved seeing Kyle Gallner (who played Flash in SMALLVILLE) added to the mix, but define ironyóthe Flash, known for being one of the fastest dudes on the planet, gets eaten by zombies. Priceless. Another new addition, Larry Gilliard Jr. (DíAngelo Barksdale from THE WIRE) is also a welcome sight. Iím thinking he may be a recovering alcoholic by the looks of things, but seeing as how the drink almost killed him (literally), heíll probably never look at the stuff again. Being caught in a storm of zombies falling from the sky will do that to a person. What a cool scene though, very well done.
THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 4's premiere doesnít just explode with violence and danger, but itís not a monotonous trek through the forest looking for Sofia either. Iím digging the pace. Thereís a sense of safety, but itís laced with secrets. Thereís been a moral evolution for the better, yet we still have children naming walkers like theyíre pets, Carol teaching kids to use weapons (loved it), and lest we forget, our boy Patrick suddenly keeling over in the shower and turning (was his death and pigís linked to the same thing?). And thatís the one thing I dislike about the TV showóthe fact that everyoneís infected. Iím sure you all have your own view on this, but I hate it. It makes everything feel like itís for nothing. Case in point, say they kill off all the walkers, outlast them, or whatever. Great! But then poor Hershel (congrats on the new prosthetic leg) has a heart attack in the middle of the night and dies. Oops. Now heís a walker, and bites two or three people before everyone figures it all out. Maybe they contain the situation, maybe they donít. Same thing will happen with Patrick. The point is, theyíll never be safe and thatís a bit of kick to the junk. Something may change down the road, but for now, it sure does make things look painfully bleak. That aside, Iím excited for the new season and look forward to the inevitable emotional roller coaster ride.
ZOMBIE KILL OF THE WEEK: DíAngelo Barksdale ripping into a walkers head with his fingers while pinned under a rack of booze. Win.
BLOOD AND GORE: The walkers look fantastic this season and thereís lots of bloody goodness to go around. Thereís fence face stabbing, a crazy warehouse battle with walkers falling through the roof and peeps being peeled and eaten. Good times.
WTF CHARACTER MOMENT: Beth. I love Beth, and to her credit, sheís had a hard go. Seeing her transform from the groupís ray of hope last season, to an emotionless shell this season is a bitter pill to swallow. Canít say I blame her, but itís a damn shame.
COOLEST SCENE: For me, it was Rickís wakeup call in the woods with Clara and Eddieís head. I loved the awkward walk back to her camp. I loved the three questions. I loved the emotion. Well done. A close second was Zach trying to guess what Daryl did in the old world. Homicide cop. Hilarious.
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