The Walking Dead Returns
With “Breaking Bad” ending after its 5th season television aficionados didn’t have long to wait before having a new show to look forward to every week. The 4th season of “The Walking Dead” aired this past Sunday (just in time for Halloween, might I add) and it’s off to a solid start.
The episode opened with business as usual with some of the zombie apocalypse survivors/prisoners clearing the walkers along the prison fence and others tending to household chores. Since the Governor’s group decided to join up with Rick after the former’s roadside massacre, there were plenty of new faces briefly introduced. Of course, anyone that keeps up with “The Walking Dead” at all knows that those new faces’ days are numbered.
Low and behold, one of the new guys gets chomped by a walker on a routine supply run in a store in which the ceiling is collapsing. “The Walking Dead” likes to play the “business as usual until something unexpected happens” plot device. Hey, I figure if it works, why fix it? The episode also reveals some significant character development. Beth doesn’t even bat an eye when Daryl informs her that her most recent love interest was killed during the store run. The mannerisms these characters display are stark contrasts to Carol’s previously timid nature and Beth’s ultra-depressive mood after watching friends and family get killed. It’s reassuring to know that the show is still putting a focus on deeper details and not just capitalizing on the “Hell yeah! Blood, gore, and violence!” angle they could easily get away with.
After the events of the third season it was a little unclear (especially to those of us that don’t keep up with the comic books) which direction the show would take. Will we have a second season of Rick’s group versus the Governor? Or will there be some sort of schism within the group on whether they should stay in the prison or find somewhere better? It doesn’t help that the show lacks some sort of overarching objective with a clear end like, “get to Mordor to destroy the One Ring” or, “get off the island”. With a more concrete goal than “just survive”, it becomes far easier to guess what step the plot needs to take to get closer to that goal.
What the season’s trailers (and the episode’s cliffhanger) appear to imply is that the prison will get overrun by walkers and the group will be forced to be on the road again. Such a development would keep true to the show’s tradition of changing locations each season as the previous location becomes uninhabitable. Furthermore, the trailers don’t suggest that there is a clear antagonist, like the Governor, that the group must fight this season. No matter the case, even with the whole event involving Rick and the disillusioned, foreign lady (and not to mention one of the new kids suddenly falling ill, dying, and turning all without anyone else in the prison knowing), I’m still definitely hype for the new season of “The Walking Dead”.