So last night was the premier of Season 4 of The Walking Dead… and I have to say… for a premier, it was a good episode BUT kind of felt like filler, except for a few key points, that I’ll address in this blog.
The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1: 30 Days Without an Accident
But first here’s part of why it felt like filler:
There was actually very little excitement. The most exciting part of the episode at the “Big Spot!”, which I’ll admit elicited some gasps and exclamations of surprise at our TWD viewing party, in retrospect felt kind of underwhelming, s at no point was I worried about any main characters dying. Not to mention the episode opening with Carl naming the pig just felt slow. Though it was actually kind of cute.. despite the fact that I feel like he’s growing up right before our eyes… I mean look at how he’s progressed from Seasons 1-4 … though I guess if nothing but growing veggies and repaired relationships have occurred, then why waste screen time on it. And even Hershel teased Rick that The Council (can’t wait to learn more about them!) was making jokes about him behaving like a farmer. Also as a side note, I’m once again perfectly fine with the fact that they’ve jumped (as the EP Scott Gimple on Talking Dead pointed out) about 6-7 months in the future, because it would feel silly to make it seem like only about a month had passed and Chandler Riggs had gotten older, as show above.
Speaking of character growth and development… I’m pretty much in what I’ll refer to as “Beth-Mode”, and by this, I mean I’m not getting attached to any new characters. Beth’s reaction to what’s-his-name’s demise on a run was pretty typical, she wasn’t even that emotional when he left. I suspect Daryl is more her type, especially after that hug, but who can blame her, he’s kind of a leader now, and he’s one of the few people in her short life who has lasted. I think it’s sad that Beth like Carl is adapting to this new world in a cold way, and I think it will definitely bring about some tension between her and Maggie. This is important considering the fact that Maggie wants some level of living, not just “breathing” to be a part of their lives, even if it means bringing a child into this world, instead of spending all of their time in fear, which is, at least in part how Beth is living. It’s a practical, yet fear driven outlook to not get attached to people that may not be there tomorrow.
Now on to those characters that we may not see much of, and let’s face it tonight’s casualties won’t be the only ones, during the Season 3 finale, as I saw the Woodbury folks arriving, all I could think was “gee, there’s a bunch of walker food”.
Anyway, Tyrese’s group will be around for awhile, and while I may sound merciless, I’m totally fine to have one of them go, instead of one of our favorites, but if the writers could weave Hershel in and Dale out as well as they did, and as Beth and Maggie look to be taking on some of the female drama story lines that were once reserved for Michonne and Andrea (shutting down vs. holding out hope for a better life) , well I suppose the writers would be able to work in Tyrese’s group. Though Tyrese complaining about the tasks that have to be done was disappointing, and I look forward to what Executive Producer Scott Gimple said about this season, it will have a lot to do with children, adults, and what it means to “grow up”… oh and in case you’re wondering, growing up in a zombie apocalypse DEFINITELY means providing BOTH story time, AND Weaponry 101!
I am a bit interested in the army medic who seems, based on his actions with the wine, to be a recovering alcoholic, and I applaud his action at putting the wine back… after all how could he know after crashing the shelf the roof would cave and it’d start raining men?!?! I figured though that when we saw him make that hard choice with the alcohol that we’d get more information on him… which means that he wouldn’t be going anywhere for awhile.
I’m not trying to sound like a know-it-all, but to be completely honest the last time I remember being completely shocked that a character died, it was Amy, Andrea’s sister all the way back in season one, other deaths were sad or perhaps unexpected, but none caught me so off guard as that first one.
I was a bit surprised though by the village nerd dying the way that he did, and I was a bit offended… they finally get someone on the show that likely would have attended SDCC, and he only lasts one episode… Though, I guess if the did away with BOTH the strapping young lad all ready to take on the world and go on supply runs AND the nerd… well I guess I shouldn’t be too offended… plus it looks like we’re going to get a revenge of the nerds as soon as the next episode opens… which probably also means that … (Skip Past Spoiler Warning at the bottom to finish section)
What’s also something to ponder is what made him sick… was it a scratch from a walker, or maybe something in the water supply, Violet the pig also got sick and died and the camera focused quite deliberately on the shower faucet.
Now the sections of the episode with sweet Clara in the woods (thank goodness Hershel told Rick to take his gun!) that’s where the episode felt like filler BUT as I put down my thoughts I do think about the fact that all stories have to start somewhere, and if the pointless stuff (like growing veggies and feeding pigs) is shown to set the tone, well then the better it’ll be in the long run, when we see that all taken away. This episode showed us where our characters were at and Rick’s experience with Clara was definitely a catalyst and brought to the surface the question of can you come back from the person you’ve had to become to survive in this world? And based on that, what lies ahead?
Again I think of the kids, who may never come back, simply because this is the only life they’ve known. I also think of Rick’s three questions, “How many walkers have you killed”, “How many people have you killed?” and the 3rd, which mattered most “Why?”, after all it doesn’t even take a zombie apocalypse to draw a line between murder and self defense, it’s just all the more of a pressing issue.
So, after putting down all my thoughts, I take it back (but I won’t delete my previous notions.. because this, like surviving, is a process) this episode wasn’t filler. It gave us all the information we needed, slow though it may have seemed, and it pointed us forward, towards what ever may lie ahead, and I can’t wait to watch it.
Thanks for reading, happy watching, and leave a comment about how you felt about the episode!
SPOILERS from the Talking Dead Sneak Peak
We will probably, for a while NOT find out who’s feeding rats to the walkers at the gates, or it may be that we the viewers find out, but our survivors won’t learn about it for a bit, because they’ll be too distracted by the walkers in the cell block. My money is on one of the adorable twerps that thought naming walkers was a good idea… ugh kids these days.