The Walking Dead: S4

Walking_Dead_S4_Poster

The Walking Dead: Season 6 is merely days away and I’ve been catching up with every season in readiness – #4 is up next for review. I’ve made it through 3 seasons so far without having a panic attack over the zombies and this season had a lot to live up to compared to the last one. I still wasn’t really rooting for any of the characters though, I wasn’t particularly attached to any of them. I liked them but I didn’t really care about them and I’m not entirely sure why that is but at least the storyline is enough to make me keep watching.

Warning: Contains spoilers.

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Season 3 ended with The Governor on the loose somewhere, Andrea had just died, Merle had turned and was then killed by Daryl, and the residents of Woodbury had been liberated and, well, that was that. There wasn’t a cliffhanger or any lingering questions (except for the whereabouts of The Governor) that made me want to race onto the next season. I was still keen nevertheless.

The title of the opening episode is 30 Days Without an Accident which suggests that everything has been going swimmingly in the prison and everyone’s playing happy families. Marvellous. Except that the fence is about to collapse as the walkers swarm around the prison and a virus has infected some of the inhabitants who are choking on their own blood and turning into walkers. Fun!

I thought this series was a lot better in terms of character development and exploring the main players from the first couple of series. Carol, while becoming more empowered and finally freeing herself from the wrath of domestic abuse, has also shown her darker side. Her maternal instincts over the group have gone to the extreme and she’s now willing to do anything to protect her loved ones – including killing the living as well as the dead. I’m not sure I like this about her though. I was just starting to warm up to her when she turned cold-blooded killer on Karen and David but redeemed herself slightly when we saw her anguish over losing Lizzie and Mika, showing she still has that soft side.

Daryl is still shrouded in his air of mystery somewhat. This is highlighted at the start of the series when Zach is trying to guess what Daryl did before the apocalypse and then later when he evades some of Beth’s questions during a drunken game of ‘Have you ever…?’ But, it was during this episode with Beth (Still) that we see more of the real Daryl. The vulnerable side. He hasn’t had a happy childhood – if you can call it a childhood at all as he had to grow up fast in the Dixon household – and I think he forms a connection with Beth because of her naivety. While he wants to protect her and sees her as a silly little girl, she encourages him to relax for a while and play games and he opens up to her. It shows that his bravado is just for show and underneath he’s just a stroppy kid with anger issues. After what happened with Beth, I hope they explore this side more in future episodes.

Michonne has really been brought to life this season. In S3 she was a bit two dimensional, just a tough chick with a sword but this time around we actually see who she is and why she locks herself away so much. The relationship she’s got with Carl is adorable and I love the scenes with the two of them in Claimed. Carl has been an annoying bratty character so far but this series really shows the acting capabilities of Chandler Riggs, from the breakdown at the prison when he finds the bloody baby carrier to the conversation at the breakfast table with Michonne when at first he’s laughing and then suddenly remembers Judith’s gone. The two of them in this episode did make me warm to them both. Michonne opens up about her son and her former relationships and this makes her more 3D and relatable. She’s definitely not just a tough chick with a sword and is starting to show she’s a whole lot more. I want to see where her relationship with Rick goes in future episodes. She definitely knows how to keep him on track and he respects her for her honesty. I don’t think it’s a romantic connection though (or that it should be) as the dynamic they currently have is great and shouldn’t be spoiled.

And of course, this series, brings Abraham Ford! Michael Cudlitz at his red-headed best. We definitely haven’t seen enough of his group yet to properly get to know them but I think Abe’s on a similar line to Daryl in that he has this façade of badassery (that’s a word!) he’s got a real vulnerable side too. I hope they keep him around and develop him a lot more. I know he’s one of the comic characters so hopefully he won’t be killed off any time soon.

The season was probably the best so far with lots of action and emotions. We saw the return of The Governor and his demise amid the tank and guns of the prison shoot-out, the shocking (I was shocked) decapitation of Hershel and then the discover of Terminus not quite being what everyone thought it would be. I even missed the brief appearance of Denise Crosby as Mary the BBQing welcome wagon at Terminus. Being a Star Trek: TNG fan I was appalled at myself for not spotting her but, with everything else that was happening in this series, I’ll let myself off.

I can’t wait to see how the Terminus storyline continues, I want to see more of Abe (obviously) but need to see more of Tyreese and Sasha as well before I can make up my mind about them. Glenn and Maggie still don’t feel like a couple to me, I can’t get my head around that still, and I’m loving Eugene’s mullet. Here’s to season 5!

The Walking Dead: Season 4 – it just gets better and better. 8/10

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Related:

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