The Walking Dead – S4 – E1: “30 Days Without an Accident” A re-view-cap By Sagebeth

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“Things break but they can still grow” -Hershel

 

 With yet another new showrunner (Writer Scott Gimble) taking the helm of his dreadnought of poor character choices and everlasting gore, I was left expecting nothing special but after the season four opener I am pleasantly surprised. In the six months that has taken place between seasons our dysfunctional pack of survivors have reinvented themselves into one of their better incarnations: a living society. In place of a blank prison of death, a ripe allegorical ground has been seeded for the survivors to govern themselves. Its not amazing but it seems like a big step up, leaving a promising future of episodes (I hope at least). So before I say way too many positive things and the world implodes on itself, lets jump straight into our recap with some character catch-up, and a tally of some of the better gorey violence on this show.

 

 

 

OLD MAN RICK HAS A FARM AND AN MP3 PLAYER

 

In the past six unseen months our prison has turned into a functional society complete with mini farm fields, storytime, regularly scheduled meals, and a council for the decision making. The run-down dead prison looks semi-alive as potted plants line stairways, and laundry lines string across the courtyard. Considering the council has taken up Ricks leadership (as per his request last season) he has taken a major mental time out. No longer the man carrying the big decision making stick, he instead has turned into the community farmer. Yes, in a move I unexpectedly liked Rick has separated  from his gun and married a gardening hoe. In move to “come back” from all of his hard decisions, and horrible actions to survive Rick lost his mind a bit but as this new serene farmer he looks less crazy so its a plus. But, it turns out becoming the community farmer has taken out a lot of Ricks bite. His weapon of choice is an mp3 player to drown out the groans of the dead as he tends to his garden (Makes me wish these people were more classic rock fans, and less religious country). Opening credits cut in and for the first time in awhile I enjoy them.

 

 

 

CARL IS NOT A FAN OF KID STUFF

 

Another new edition to the prison community is some farm animals (OMG PIGGY and HORSEY!). Carl has named the pig Violet even though Rick warned him against it considering they will probably have to eat it – out of all of the new characters I am solidly attached to sick piggy Violet. Also in a Rick constructed move, Carl is being forced to live as the child he is. He stays up late reading comics with his flashlight rather than using one as a silencer for a gun. But Carl is ‘all better’ as he still deems some of the activities as “kid stuff” and you know this is what Carl has been saying about everything he’s been asked to do for the last six months. Granted Rick thinks Carl should go enjoy some of the groups “storytime” unbeknownst to both of them storytime isn’t all what it seems.

 

 

 

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WE LOVE YOU DARYL, OH YES WE DO

 

Much like TWD fans, the new prison community loves them some Daryl as he has become a sort of savior for most of them. Carol teases him about, and also notes that she liked him first. Carol is becoming someone I genuinely root for after this episode. She is no longer a head scarf screaming but a living breathing part of this society machine. Losing her daughter did not break her but turned her into a big mother hen. While taking part in food duty a young man named Patrick embarrassingly praises Daryl and asks for a handshake in thanks for the deer Daryl recently hunted. Carol asks Patrick to take over for her so she can update Daryl on some of the daily issues buzzing in the community. They need more people to deal with the walkers at the surrounding prison gates because the walkers are not spreading out like they used to. Also they mention a supply run happening later on. Carol also awesomely calls Daryl pookie which earns her a playful shove. I’m glad Daryl approaches romance like a child. It seems natural.

 

 

 

TYRESE AND KAREN SITTING IN A TREE K-I-L-L-I-N-G

 

Tyrese, looking like a boss, but acting like his predictable self has been signing up to work with a group of people who are assigned to killing the walkers at the fences. Equipped with weapons and aprons to protect against gore, the people are working as an efficient part of the community as fence clearers. Tyrese, who in the off season has gotten mighty interested in Karen, calls her beautiful and then complains about the wicked easy zombie killing they are doing. He doesn’t like how hard it is…? The face to face aspect is rough. His humanity is itching and this character would be so much better if he were just a badass. What does this man have to loose to become a true survivor, and not a hanger on? Karen being insanely too rational for this show questions this and we find out that Tyrese just wanted to get close to her – which worked. He then notes that he is going on the supply run – because that’s much more humane? I don’t know but whatever.

 

 

 

GLENN + MAGGIE = PREDICTABLE PLOTLINE

 

Our favorite couple wakes up together that morning, and a worried Glenn notes that Maggie will not be needed for the supply run today. She doesn’t really think so but Glenn just won’t let her go. It feels controlling and crazy but whatever – We find out later that this is because Maggie thinks she might be pregnant. This is a bombshell I could have done without but I suppose they’re rolling with Maggie now wanting to continue her regular life without fear (even though she should be fearful) and want a family. Glenn sees everything wrong with this but even though Maggie literally saw first hand everything that can go wrong with a pregnancy nowadays (and had it up to her elbows) she wants to have a kid. Are you invested in this predictable plotline? I hope not because I’m going assume they adopt one of the cutesy little girls we meet later in this episode and leave it at that.

 

 

 

MICHONNE RIDES ON

 

We catch up with Hershel as he teases Rick about looking more the part of the farmer (he needs a bigger ass…? LOL) and instructing him on some farming tips because we all know the true farmer here is Hershel. Meanwhile Michonne arrives back from a scouting run on horseback and Rick and Carl react to her whistle like Pavlov’s dogs. They run out to open the gates which are SICK. Two metal doors opening outward pushing approaching walkers onto wooden stakes. Michonne rides in unhindered. These three really bonded last season and I’m liking this outcome. Michonne gives out gifts from her journey to her men: Comics for Carl and a razor for Ricks face (“You’re face is losing the war” LOL). We learn that she didn’t find someone she was looking for: The Governor most likely. In the meanwhile she volunteers for the supply run. Carl seems to fear Michonne not coming back from one of her missions but she promises to return. Its cute. Before Rick takes his leave to check some snares Hershel instructs Rick that he and the rest of the council (Which he learn is Hershel, Glenn, Carol, Daryl and Sasha) really think Rick should start bringing a gun fon his little outings (Has he seriously gotten that dumb?). Thank god Rick listens and actually arms up for his little mission because he will need it. Also I loved how I nearly forgot that Hershel is one legged because of the missing crutches. In a smooth move somehow Hershel has some sort of prosthetic attachment as we spy a metal rod in between his pant leg and boot. Later on we get a quick look of his stub though so .. yay I guess.

 

 

 

EFFING KID STUFF

 

There is a small group of young children at the prison attempting to live life and Carl is butting heads with all of them. He nit picks the children for naming the walkers (much like he named the piggies) and completely blows up their opinion of the walkers as being people still. Basically Carl is no fun unless piggies are involved. The head chicky (most likely the one Glenn and Maggie will end with quasi-adopting if I’m right) actually stands up to Carl and beckons everyone to live with her because its reading time or storytime or whatever. A little girl asks Patrick (a young man Carl seems to hang out with) if he will be coming to storytime later and he is. Carl looks a little shocked but Patrick admits he’s immature and its for kids so Carl would certainly not dig it. Ha.

 

Later on Carl is sneaking into the library to listen to Storytime because he at least won’t advertise being kid but it turns out something else is afoot. Carol is reading to the children but as soon as another adult leaves she shuts the book and immediately opens a truck to reveal that storytime is more like weapons training. A young boy Luke goes to stand watch while Carol explains that today they are learning about knifes. Dude, some of the kids look a little too excited about this. However Patrick doesn’t look excited and complains of feeling ill to be dismissed – both me and Carol seem to think he’s faking to get out of knife class but she lets him go regardless (by the episodes end we all know how wrong me and Carol are). Carl, not really believing his eyes makes himself known to Carol who begs him not to tell his father… Wait what the fuck is happening? After Rick turned Carl into a mini killing machine hes anti-children protecting themselves? What about the other adults? Whose kids are these? For my own sanity I’m going to forget they exist.

 

 

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RICK AND HIS THREE QUESTIONS

 

While out in the forest of mystery Rick pockets a hare, and observes a caught boar but before he get to it a woman ambles out of the wood and falls to her knees by it looking very much like a hungry walker but to everyone’s surprise she spies Rick trying to walk away and asks for help. This dirty alone woman, an Irish immigrant named Clara, is sort of a worse case scenario for Rick. She is someone who is literally letting her guilt eat away at her. While trying to evaluate her we learn she has a husband who shes been staying alive with. She asks if Rick has a camp and if they would take her and her husband, Eddie in. Rick admits he will as long as they can answer three special questions right. I knew not to trust Clara from this start though because of the COMPLETELY NOT SUBTLE shot of a spider lying in wait in a web as Clara leads Rick to her camp. When they finally reach her camp she talks creepily to a suspicious bundle and then insanely runs screaming at Rick with a knife. Thankfully he has his gun which he awesomely doesn’t have to use. She rambles about trying to bring the boar here but Rick would be easier and Eddie is hungry. In a crazy move Clara broken with mental trauma and guilt stabs herself in the stomach so she can find the only way she can be with her husband again: because he his a walker inside that suspicious bundle. In near delirium she begs for Rick not to end her when she becomes a walker so she can be with Eddie. We unfortunately never get to see Eddie, but I imagine just his head is in that bag. Cool. As for Ricks three questions: How many walkers have you killed? Eddie killed them all until he turned. How many people have you killed? Clara just killed herself. The third is my favorite: Why? Rick is so guilty for all the insanity hes done but he needs to believe he can come back from it all unlike Clara. He leaves her to change as she asked.

 

Back at the prison, Rick returns downtrodden and if his mood wasn’t destroyed enough Violet (OH NO PIGGY NOOO) appears to be dead. Saddest death this episode – season – series. I’m heartbroken. He goes to see baby Judith (who I nearly forgot existed) and confided in Hershel. Man love.

 

 

 

BETH THE BROKEN AND SUDDENLY LIKEABLE

 

It seems Carl has lost his crush, Beth, to a much more age appropriate young man named Zach. Zach is heading out for the supply run because they are short handed and he wants to do his part. Beth reacts with extreme nonchalance which initially I felt was too unnatural but by the end of the episode feels just right. Daryl witnesses these two sweeties parting. Zach, looking for some reassurance from Beth about her feelings or at least a goodbye but Beth no longer seems to do goodbyes and just walks away looking like nothing actually happened. Daryl teases calling them a romance novel.

 

After the supply run, which I will cover after this, Daryl returns to the prison and informs Beth that Zach didn’t make it – both he and the audience fully expecting tears but she barely reacts. She tells him she doesn’t cry anymore but at least takes a small comforting hug from him. She then awesomely resets a tally sign in her bunk embodying the name of the episode she stole from a store or something changing it to say: 0 days without an accident. Here is the same girl who wanted to kill herself at one point. Here is someone who has lost hope multiple times. I love it.

 

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ITS RAINING WALKERS

 

While packing up the cars for their supply run, newbie Bob asks to come along to help earn his keep. Sasha weary of the new face questions if he can work as a team after living alone out there for so long but eventually relents and lets him come. As they make their way to an abandoned shopping center, that used to be surrounded by walkers we get a look at how this new group works – lots of smart premeditation and guts. Two days earlier they hooked a boombox up to two car batteries to lead walkers slowly away from their prize; the shopping center. Smarties. While waiting to enter their destination Zach (Cassidy Casablancas from Veronica Mars) begins a fun conversation in which he continues a weekly game of trying to guess what Daryl was before the world essentially ended. In a comical move he guesses homicide detective and Michonne gets a good laugh out of hearing it but it really is a symbol for the savior that Daryl has become. Pretty good for some assholes little brother.

 

As they enter the store we get to see what they can’t: their music had cleared out the store, and the surrounding area however there is a helicopter wreck on the roof, also covered with walkers. Gulp. It seems in true Walking Dead fashion we will get to see a supply run go horrible wrong. Inside Bob gets interesting as he debates pocketing a bottle of booze for himself but decides against it and is rewarded with the entire shelf of booze falling on him in a dramatic fashion. Fortunately for him he only gets stuck and not dead but this commotion got the roof-walkers attention and as they start to move around the damaged ceiling begins to collapse as walkers start awesomely falling through it. In a violent dance between survivors and walkers, our heroes free Bob only to lose Zach as he is bitten in the process.Gross, expected and a bit sad. There is no time to think about it as the rest of the ceiling begins to cave in, and the helicopter wreckage falls down killing both Zach and the remaining walkers. The survivors narrowly escape the carnage. Sorry newbie Zach but you are a new character on TWD so its hard to expect you to stick around. At least the show isn’t appearing racist anymore. And as for this weeks BEST DOSE OF SWEET SWEET ZOMBIE VIOLENCE the winner is: Michonne taking a slice at the ‘Monster Give-away’ sign in the store – No I’m kidding. The entire ceiling cave-in was filled with some really sick shots so choose your pick: A walker hanging from the rafters by his intestines or maybe one of those extremely decayed walkers who literally liquified when they hit the floor. Perhaps I could interest you in an old fashion Michonne decapitation? My personal favorite was subtle: Bob still trapped trying to hold back a footless crawling zombie by holding his head, which immediately begins to peel away. Mmmm. Lovely.

 

 

 

ANOTHER NEWBIE BITES IT

 

In a move I did not expect Patrick still not feeling well from earlier is not hamming it up. He is coughing heavily in the middle of the night and gets up and goes into the showers in a move to perhaps make himself feel better under the water. Unfortunately it doesn’t and he dies right there and then collapsing onto the floor. We spy him reanimated as the episode ends. Gulp. I hope Team Rick told the rest of these people that they are all infected. So was Patrick always sick? Some sort of natural death? Or is it a plague of some kind like some dickheads on message boards are saying? Thoughts? Concerns? Are you still for Team Rick? Is it Team Prison now? Team Council?

 

 

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~ by ATOM on October 15, 2013.

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