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Out Of The Grave: This Week on The Walking Dead (S4 Episode 1 / October 13, 2013)

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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 Governor’s 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 didn’t 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 can’t be easy, but I immediately dug the change of pace around the prison. There’s a real sense of community now. They’re farming crops, they have horses and pigs, and best of all, people are actually smiling on occasion. Sure, we all know it can’t last, this IS the Walking Dead after all, but it’s 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 they’d eventually go that route. Daryl’s 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 couldn’t understand why Rick would ever risk it outside the perimeter without his gun. Come on man, didn’t you watch TRUE ROMANCE? It’s better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it. Rick’s chance meeting in the woods took me by surprise for more reasons than one. He couldn’t have been that far from the prison, yet this Clara chick (who looks to have been camping out there for a while now) didn’t know they were there? Just seems a little odd to me, considering all the recon she’s doing in the area. I had a bad feeling about her from the beginning. She kept talking about Eddie, and how she’d be dead without him, yet I couldn’t help but think he’d be out there with her if he was able. She doesn’t look very imposing, and if it were just the two of them, I just didn’t buy her walking around alone. I knew it wouldn’t end well, but damn, poor Rick, how many more hits can his moral compass take?

One of the things I didn’t 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 didn’t expect her to just give him a pass (especially after Andrea), but I would hope that she’s 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 irony—the Flash, known for being one of the fastest dudes on the planet, gets eaten by zombies. Priceless. Another new addition, Larry Gilliard Jr. (D’Angelo Barksdale from THE WIRE) is also a welcome sight. I’m thinking he may be a recovering alcoholic by the looks of things, but seeing as how the drink almost killed him (literally), he’ll 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 doesn’t just explode with violence and danger, but it’s not a monotonous trek through the forest looking for Sofia either. I’m digging the pace. There’s a sense of safety, but it’s laced with secrets. There’s been a moral evolution for the better, yet we still have children naming walkers like they’re 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 pig’s linked to the same thing?). And that’s the one thing I dislike about the TV show—the fact that everyone’s infected. I’m sure you all have your own view on this, but I hate it. It makes everything feel like it’s 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 he’s a walker, and bites two or three people before everyone figures it all out. Maybe they contain the situation, maybe they don’t. Same thing will happen with Patrick. The point is, they’ll never be safe and that’s 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, I’m excited for the new season and look forward to the inevitable emotional roller coaster ride.

ZOMBIE KILL OF THE WEEK: D’Angelo 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 there’s lots of bloody goodness to go around. There’s 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, she’s had a hard go. Seeing her transform from the group’s ray of hope last season, to an emotionless shell this season is a bitter pill to swallow. Can’t say I blame her, but it’s a damn shame.

COOLEST SCENE: For me, it was Rick’s wakeup call in the woods with Clara and Eddie’s 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.

FINAL VERDICT:

 

 

TELL US WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THIS EPISODE BELOW!

Extra Tidbit: I don’t remember Tyreese being such a bitch in the comics.

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