Season 4 of AMC’s The Walking Dead is off to a strong start, with threads of plot line strung out for audiences through out the premiere, the show promises an intense story arc to an already expansive zombie-verse.
S04xE01 “30 Days Without an Accident”
Imagine, four years of the zombie apocalypse. Years in which to experience regrets, see your friends die and become a stone-cold killer. Then, finally, a safe place. An opportunity to breathe easy–grow food, have horses, enjoy story time and make love. Those living inside the prison have created a haven in the middle of a violent and frightening wasteland. So, 30 days without an accident seems mighty nice, until we are reminded what an accident in the zombie apocalypse looks like. This episode immediately introduced a few new characters and concepts to the reality of The Walking Dead zombie-verse. First of all, the prison has become fruitful and full of life. There are gardens, flowers, animals and children. We are immediately introduced to 3 couples seemingly in love, or, as in love as one can feel when walkers are groaning loudly in the background. Finally, we see Rick. Last season, he kinda lost his shit, and so, it is nice to see him tending the veggies, listening to his headphones and spending time with his son and daughter. The group seems to be getting along fairly well, with new members brought in from the wilderness by Mr. Dixon and, occasionally, Sheriff Rick. There is a new leadership Council made up of some of my favorite group members; Daryl, Carol, Glenn, Hershel and Sasha, who seem to have an equal say in running the prison and have helped create a sense of community within the walls.
Yet, something doesn’t feel right. There are dozens of zombies crowding the fences at the prison and there are not enough living to stave them off at all times. I have a feeling this is going to be a major plot point in the coming episodes. There seems to be more zombies and less living and that will eventually lead to the prison being overrun. In fact, we meet one of those living outside of the prison and she is crazy gone nuts yet Rick doesn’t seem to have a problem following this strange woman into the woods to meet her husband. He tells her that before he can help, he must ask them 3 important questions that will determine if he should bring them back to the larger group. The woman, who looks suspicious from the gate, claims herself and her husband haven’t eaten in days and asks Rick to help. Of course, Rick’s guilt moves him forward into what is obviously a trap. Turns out, crazy lady’s husband in a zombie head and she wanted to feed Rick to her dearly departed/not departed. When Rick becomes privy to her plan, the woman hari kari’s herself and begs Rick to let her turn so she can remain with her zombie-head of a husband. She also asks him what the 3 questions were. 1) How many walkers have you killed (none, her husband did all the killing) 2) How many living (only herself) 3) Why? YIKES. Rick walks away, before she turns, leaving the stranger and her zombie-head hubby to do what most people have done since the turn, which is die. While other reviewers see this as a possible break from reality on Rick’s part, to me, the scene felt raw and honest, revealing the choices we make in the past as catalysts for future events. Rick is looking for forgiveness or absolution for his past actions. Things with the Governor and Woodbury didn’t go well, and even before then, Rick participating in some shady activities that caused him to lose his shit and wander outside the fences in search of his dead wife’s ghost.
Still, the prison has become home for our wanderers, and life doesn’t seem as hopeless as it has in the past. Yet, it seems that the themes of redemption and instability will run throughout this season because, just because there is a safe haven at the prison does not erase the fact that there are a ca-jillions zombies running around who want to gobble up our heroes at any given opportunity. Case and point, Daryl and his team go out on a supply grab and end up with zombies falling from the sky when a broken roof caves in, and lose a poor newbie to the zombie hordes. Again, the zombies are numerous, and even though Daryl and Michonne are consistently kicking ass, they have to back off and get out before they lose anyone else. The newbie who is eaten seems to be in a relationship with Beth back at the prison, and so we all dread when Daryl has to tell the fragile young thing about his death. Instead of taking it hard, Beth admits to Daryl that she doesn’t cry anymore, and she is just glad to have gotten to know the kid. Daryl seems more shook up than she is and we come back to the idea of, after four years living in the zombie apocalypse, people are going to be jaded and brash, not experiencing emotions as they once did, even young, pretty girls.
For the most part, this was a strong episode, weaving plot points into the character stories and whetting audience appetite for more zombie fun. Enjoy the promo for episode 2, “Infected,” below.
The Collectiva Diva
- ‘The Walking Dead’ recap: Season four, episode one, ’30 Days Without an Accident’ (haveyoubeeninformed.wordpress.com)
- Recap/Review: ‘The Walking Dead’: Season 4 Episode 1: “30 Days Without An Accident” (littleblogofhorror.wordpress.com)
- NOC-aps: The Walking Dead, Accidents Happen (thenerdsofcolor.org)
- The Walking Dead (AMC) Season Premiere — Will Andrew Lincoln and the Others Have to Deal with an Airborne Pathogen? (twcc.com)