The Walking Dead is back! October 13th, 2013 marked the season 4 premiere of The Walking Dead on AMC, and things definitely started off with a bang. When we left off last season, The Governor had just attacked the prison and gotten shut down. In disgust he retreats and heads back towards Woodbury, only to stop half way and murder almost everyone that survived the fire fight with the prison. It was one of the most brutal scenes we’ve seen in the show and makes you realize just how much of this show is about the people in a world filled with zombies rather than a show about zombies. After killing everyone that was helping him, The Governor knows there’s no way he can return to Woodbury, so he disappears. The rest of the people at Woodbury are brought to the prison to set up shop and recreate their lives in a new environment without the tyrant leading them.
30 Days Without an Accident Recap
Season 4 picks up a few months after the altercation with The Governor and the addition of quite a few new people to the prison population. We see that they have set up stables and a little farm in the courtyard, along with reinforcing the front gates and setting up some pointed spears at the entrance. Things seem to have gone back to semi-normal, and the new people, including yet another cast member from “The Wire”, seem to be fitting in quite well. We also come to find out that there is sort of a “government” that has been setup with certain people holding spots. Daryl, Carol, Hershel and a few others are all seated members; Rick is not. It’s no longer a dictatorship, now there are educated votes on all major decisions being made in the group. We also learn that Michonne is no longer a permanent fixture at the prison. Instead, she’s been out trying to track down where The Governor disappeared to so that she can exact her revenge; she has yet to find him. We also see that there are a few relationships blooming within the prison walls. Carol and Daryl seem to still be pretty close, while of course, Maggie and Glenn are still together, but the relationship that surprised me a bit was Beth and Zack, a new character. They seem to have gotten very close over the in-between months.
So that’s the bulk of what’s going on at the prison. There’s definitely more, but we’ll get there in a minute, for now lets talk about the 2 main plot lines of the season 4 premiere. The less exciting plot line involves Rick going outside the walls to check the traps to see if there’s any food. While out there he comes across a half-dead boar. He’s taken aback when, what appears to be a walker, makes her way over to the dead animal. However, as soon as he starts to slink away, she asks him for help; she’s alive. Rick checks her for weapons and agrees to follower her back to her camp in order to question her and her husband before possibly bringing them back to the prison.
The entire walk back to her camp is a bit strange. She seems completely out of it as she tells Rick the story of how they were getting ready to go on their honeymoon, but the airports shut down so they never made it… And how her husband is the only reason they’ve survived. He’s taught her things she’d need to do in order to survive, things she may not want to do. The whole conversation was a bit strange, and it only got stranger when they got to her camp.
Her husband was not alive, Rick notices this right away as she begins to talk to nobody. She kneels down near the fire pit and starts talking as if someone is alive, but Rick’s not stupid and notices right away that nobody else is in the tent either. As he turns to look back at her, she’s lunging at him with a knife. He quickly throws her to the ground as she breaks down in tears and starts talking about how she wants to be with him, and how Rick shouldn’t kill her when she turns. It’s then that she jams her knife into her own stomach.
As she lay dying, she asks Rick what the 3 questions he needed to ask both of them were. See, Rick and the group have devised 3 questions to determine whether or not new people will be allowed in the prison. Those 3 questions are: How many walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed? Why? The woman has not killed any walkers, and only killed one person, herself. Once she stops breathing, Rick leaves her to turn as he realizes her husband, or at least part of him, is wrapped in a burlap bag, and is still breathing.
Back at the prison, a group is going out to look for supplies at a “Big Spot” store they spotted a few days prior. It looked like it was setup for a military base for a while, but had since been overrun by zombies. A few of them had setup radios on the other side of the camp a few days prior to draw all of the walkers away from the store, so it should be a pretty simple day… but we all know that’s never the case.
Daryl, Glenn, Zack, Tyreese, Sasha, Zack and Bob (our 2nd cast member from The Wire), make their way inside to scavenge for supplies. The store is still pretty well stocked, so finding what they need doesn’t seem all that difficulut, but of course the new guy, Bob, has to let his inner demons come out and screw over the entire group. Bob is clearly an alcoholic, or at least was before the zombies took over. You can see it in his eyes has he passes the wine section in the store. He grabs a bottle of wine and starts to put it in his coat pocket only to have a sudden change of heart as he places it back on the shelf. As he does so, the whole shelf collapses causing all the shelf, along with all of the wine to come crashing down on top of him, pinning his leg. The noise alerts the walkers that were on the roof of the store and they start to congregate above the area where the noise was. This wouldn’t have been such a big deal had a helicopter not crashed on the roof causing structural damage.
As the walkers congregate around the helicopter, the roof starts to give away causing zombies to rain from the ceiling into the store. A lot of them land awkwardly and die on impact, but there are some that survive and start to attack the group. These scenes were pretty exciting and there were some pretty sweet zombie kills, which I know will make a lot of people happy. There are a lot of people out there complaining that there wasn’t enough of the zombies in the last couple seasons and that it was focusing too much on the people and a single location, but I don’t think people get what the show is truly about. It’s not about the zombies, it’s about people trying to survive in a wold overrun by zombies, and what those people will do to survive. The zombies are just the catalyst for the living confrontations. I think if people realize that and stop focusing so much on the zombies, they’ll realize what a great psychological show this truly is. But don’t get me wrong, I love the zombies just as much as the next guy.
Anyways, back to the Big Spot. The group manages to kill off most of the threat, but still have to rescue Bob from under the shelving. As they are doing so, Zack is bitten in the leg by a walker and eventually eaten alive, but the rest of the group makes it out unscathed.
Back at the prison, Daryl as the unfortunate job of telling Beth that Zack was killed, which she takes surprisingly well. “I don’t cry anymore” are her exact words as she changes the “30 Days without an Accident” sign to 0. We also find out that Maggie is not pregnant, which Glenn is happy about, but Maggie is indifferent.
To wrap things up I have to jump back a bit. While Rick and the other group were out on their run, Carl decides to sneak in and see what “Story time” is all about. He’s pretty surprised to find out that it’s not just reading books, but instead, Carol is teaching the young children of the prison how to use weapons to defend themselves. I don’t blame her, it’s a great skill for these kids to have, but I don’t think Carl likes that Carol is going against what her dad would want and he storms out of there. At the same time Patrick, the kid with glasses, excuses himself from story time as he’s not feeling well. This comes back around at the very end of the episode when we see Patrick stumbling through the halls of the prison, sweating profusely as he makes his way to the showers.
At first I thought he was going to put his head in the vat of water that was in there, thus contaminating it and making everyone else sick, but instead he takes a cold shower to try and cool himself down. It doesn’t help and he collapses on the ground and dies. With the very last shot in the episode we see him open his eyes to reveal the milky white death stare we’ve come to know from the walkers… The walls have been breached.
I thought season 4 started off great and I can’t wait to see what happens throughout the rest of the season. I like how Rick is finally starting to step back a bit and be a little more trusting, I also like how things at the prison have gotten back to normal after The Governor disappeared. Although I hope they don’t get too comfortable, cause you know The Governor won’t stay away for too long.
Next week’s episode is titled “Infected”, here’s the synopsis:
The Walking Dead – Infected
As the group faces a brand new enemy, Rick and the others must fight to protect the livelihood they worked so hard to create at the prison.