I can now start getting my Fall zombie fix again because ‘The Walking Dead’ is back! After an explosive and tense third season finale, the fourth season opened relatively calm. Of course the little peace Rick and the group had wouldn’t last for long.
Things at the prison have been thriving. Rick has a garden, the horses are growing, but something is wrong with Violet, the pig. Rick telling Carl not to name the animals was kind of a sweet moment, but because Carl is still being an annoying little kid, Rick’s words get turned from a lesson about the food chain into a sad description of life as they know it. When Michonne returns from a run, with comic books and a beard trimmer, some of the group gears up for a trip out for more supplies.
We see that Tyreese has a lady friend in Karen (Melissa Ponzio), one of the adults tasked with killing the growing numbers of walkers at the fences. Killing walkers face to face isn’t his thing, so he volunteers to go out, along with Zach (Kyle Gallner) and Bob (Larry Gilliard, Jr.) who seems a bit too eager to pull his weight. Before he goes out on his own, Hershel asks Rick to bring his gun because he and the others are worried about his safety. He heeds the warning, but later he’s going to wish he left his knife behind.
Next to Rick, the character who has changed the most since season 1 is Carol. I love how much of 180 she has done since having to put up with an abusive husband, to dealing with the death of her child and now making sure that the kids of the prison don’t meed the same fate as Sophia. She’s taken on the role of overseer, cook and knife specialist. She uses story time in the library to teach the children how to properly hold and handle knives. It’s a nice gesture, but she asks Carl not to tell his dad. Here was one of those moments where I just didn’t get Carl, and wondered where the writers were going with his development. When he and friend Patrick (Vincent Martella) find the kids at the fence naming the walkers, he chastises them with the same speech Rick gave him earlier, only it came off as portentous. Maybe the kids, who didn’t look any older than 10, were being a bit too carefree, but they hadn’t lost their childhood innocence, and naivete, yet and Carl shouldn’t scare it out of them. It’s not something we were beat over the head with, and I appreciate that, but perhaps losing the only other kid he knew, and his mom, has made Carl grow up faster than he should have.
Away from the prison, Daryl, Glenn, Michonne, Tyreese and the newbies hit up a Big Spot (I see what you guys did there) for more supplies. Walking through the aisles, Bob comes past a shelf of wine and in a moment of weakness picks up a bottle but puts it back, a little too hard. This one little moment told us a lot about his character. Think about having to sober up during a zombie apocalypse. I need a drink just to watch this show sometimes. The shelf breaks and then falls on him, trapping his leg. This alerts the walkers on the roof, which is so rotted that they start to fall through it. I’ll save you a “raining dead” joke, but it was simultaneously gross and awesome. The ones that didn’t die upon impact attacked the group, including poor Zach. He never did find out what Daryl did before all this happened. The rest made it out a live, and Tyreese had to learn the hard way why Karen preferred killing the fence walkers. While in the store Glenn came across some baby stuff and looked at it with unease. To his relief, Maggie wasn’t pregnant, but she wasn’t ready to give up on the idea. “I don’t want to be afraid to live,” she told him. Just because Judith is ok, for now, doesn’t mean that the world will be a better place for her when she’s older.
While in the woods, Rick spies a dead animal, and then a woman. Thinking she’s a walker he quietly tries to get away before she calls out to him. Everything about his just seemed wrong and Rick should have known better, but he decided to help her and even gave her his knife. She tells him that her and her husband haven’t eaten in days and that they survived by staying at the airport until it was just them. Rick tells her that he wants to ask her husband three questions before he will help them and then we, and Rick, quickly discover what’s wrong her husband. He’s just a head! I would have been fine with him already being dead and this woman being delusional, but she had been holding on to his head and wanted to feed Rick to him. Faced with death either way, she stabs herself with Rick’s knife. Hershel later tells him that he could always come back, and he should be glad that he broke out of whatever that woman was going through. So Rick’s telephone was this woman’s disembodied head, or something like that.
‘The Walking Dead’ is known for it’s slow moments, but I enjoyed every moment of this episode and with The Governor out of the picture for now, there is a new threat. A sick Patrick collapses in the showers and turns. Was whatever killed him the same thing that took out poor piggy Violet? When Daryl tells Beth that Zach, her boyfriend, died she is unfazed, telling him that she doesn’t cry anymore. She does do hugs though, which Daryl seemed a bit uncomfortable with. I don’t think Carol would like that. Oh, and wasn’t it cute how he called Carol “Pookie?!”
Rick’s 3 questions: “How many walkers have you killed?” “Have you ever killed a human?” “Why”
R.I.P. to Patrick, Zach, about 50 walkers and Violet The Pig.