Monday, October 14, 2013

The Walking Dead, Season Four, Episode One: 30 Days Without an Accident

Six or seven months have passed since the season finale of the The Walking Dead.  They are now governed by a council, which was originally suggested by Dale. Darryl has taken over going out on runs and has gotten a lot of the food lately.  In fact, Darryl almost has celebrity status. They are super organized with each person having a role to play.

The garden is blooming in the prison and Rick goes out to to work. When digging, he finds a gun in the soil and when he looks up, the zombies are banging against the fence. Rick turns up the music on his MP3 player and continues to work.  Carl approaches and complains that Rick didn't wake him up and Rick says it's because he knows that Carl was up late reading comics with a flashlight. They move towards their livestock and Carl asks what's wrong with Violet the pig. Rick admonishes him for naming the pig because they're not pets, they're food. I'm wondering how they managed to get livestock that the walker hadn't gotten to yet.

Carol is serving food and Darryl is talking about the amounnt of people Rick has brought in.  It seems that they have a real community at the prison.  One of them thanks Darryl for bringing in a deer and even refers to him as Mr. Dixon.  The residents of the prison take their turn slaughtering the zombies lining up against the fence.  Carol and Darryl walk of together and she tells him that hey have had a big build up of zombies last night.  She worries about them pushing against the fences.

Glenn and Maggie are in bed when Glenn sits up and tells Maggie that she shouldn't go on the expedition today. Maggie tells him that they have the suits but Glenn feels that she doesn't have to go. Maggie assures him that everything is going to work out but Glenn again asks for her to stay. Tyreese approaches Karen and says that he is going on the run because he doesn't like killing zombies against the fence.  Tyreese wants to do something different to help out.  Clearly a romance is brewing between Tyreese and Karen. 

We learn that the prison is being run by council and Beth seems to have a new boyfriend.  Bob approaches Sasha and says that he wants to start earning his keep.  Sasha reminds Bob that he was out on his own when Darryl found him and she has doubts about him playing well with others because of it.  Bob calls Sasha a tough sell but hops in the car.

Hershel and Rick are working together in the garden when Carl whistles to get Rick's attention.  Michonne is ridding up to the prison on a horse and they rush to open the gates. Rick and Michonne admit that they are glad to see each other and she hands Carl comics and Rick a new razor because his face is losing the war against his beard.. Rick asks Michonne if  she is going to stay awhile and she agrees.  Darryl pulls up and Michonne says that she didn't find him and that she is thinking of looking over in Macon.  Michonne believes that it is worth it but Darryl questions it.  Clearly Michonne is finally part of the team though she seems to be the only one determined to find Philip.

Rick plans to check the snare and tells Carl to hang out with Patrick, do his chores and possibly go to story time. Carl point out that story time is for kids.  Hershel tells Rick that there is nothing wrong with staying safe and adds that he needs to look the part of a farmer.  Hershel says that the rest of the council wanted him to talk to Rick about using a gun when he goes out.  Rick says that he takes a knife and that if gets in trouble, six bullets won't make a difference. Hershel tells Rick that they want him to be safe and again suggests he take a gun.  When Rick gets to the first trap, he discovers that a walker has gotten there first.  When he moves onto the second one, a woman calls out to him and asks him to wait. She begs Rick for help.

Clara pleads with Rick to help her get the stag to her husband saying that she hasn't eaten in days.  Rick approaches cautiously and pulls some food out of  his bag and hands it over.  Clara slowly accepts the food with thanks. She asks if they have a camp around there and asks if they could come back with her.  Clara says that they have been doing badly on their own and Rick says that he would have to meet her huband and ask him some questions.  Clara wonders what questions and Rick says just three.  Rick asks for permission to search Clara for a gun and finds a knife.  Rick says that he doesn't know Clara and warns her that if she tries anything that she will be the one who loses.  Clara says that she doesn't have anything else to lose and Rick assures her that she does, before handing the knife back.

At the prison, the kids are naming and teasing the walkers.  Carl tells them that they had name when they were alive and they are dead now.  The kids says that people kill people.  Carl asks if they have seen someone die like that and again says that the walkers are not people, are not pets and demands they don't name them.

Darryl and the crew have found a new site that used to be under control of the army.  They used noise to draw the walkers out and are now investigating.  Someone tries to guess what Darryl did before the turn and says that judging from Darryl's role at the prison, he used to be a homicide cop. Michonne bursts out laughing and Darryl tells him that he was right and that he used to work under cover.  Darryl claims not to want to talk about it because it was a lot of heavy shit.  The guy realises that Darryl was joking.  They get organized and plan to move in.  They head in the building but do not realise that zombies are gathering outside of the building.

Clara and Rick are walking through the wood and she tells him they were going to Puerto Vallarta when the change happened.  Clara says that on that she wouldn't have made it if it wasn't for her husband and that he saved her repeatedly.  Rick asks Clara what things she had to be willing to do and Clara replies eating whatever they could find, leaving people behind, hiding from people who needed her help, unlike Rick.  Rick tells Clara that people are the best defense against walkers, signifying just how much he has changed since last season.  

The group are grabbing supplies and Bob walks by an aisle of liquor and pauses.  Bob grabs a bottle to stash but when he changes his mind and puts it back, the entire rack collapses making so much noise it attracts the walkers.  Darryl heads over and helps to life the rack off him.  Tyreese tells Bobb that he lucked out, when he learns that Bob wasn't hurt.  A walker crashes through the ceiling and is hanging by his intestines.  Zombies start to fall through the ceiling. 

Rick and the Clara are still walking and she asks if Rick has done things that she and Eddie have had to do.  Clara asks if they get to come back from them and Rick says that he hopes so.  Clara adds that she hopes they answer the three questions to Rick's satisfaction.

Bob is still trapped, as the group continues to fight off zombies, who keep falling through the ceiling.  Bob calls for help, as Michonne and Saasha show how bad ass they are.  Darryl takes the high ground and uses his gun to fight off the zombies, as one crawls over to Bob.   The ceiling begins to cave in, as a zombie moves ever cloer to Bob. Darryl manages to get Bob out of the wreckage but not without losing John.  The group takes off runing as the ceiling falls in.

Rick and Clara return to the camp and she kneels down and tells an empty bed that everything is going to be okay.  Clara turns and attacks Rick and saying that Eddie is dying and that she cannot be without him.  Clara admits that keeping him was wrong and asks to be like Eddie.  Clara takes a knife and stabs herself in the stomach as Rick watches.  Clara asks what the three questions were and he say, "how many walkers have you killed". Clara replies that Eddie killed them all . Rick says, "How many people have you killed?" And Clara says just her.  Rick asks "Why?"  Clara replies, "I don't get come back from things, you don't," before dying.  Ricks looks over and sees walker Eddie's head moving under a burlap sack.

It's story time at the prison and Carol is reading, as Carl quietly slips into the room.  She stops reading at a cliffhanger and a boys asks about keeping watch.  The conversation turns to knives and Patrick asks to be dismissed, because he is not feeling well. Carol gives him leave to go after questioning his commitment and continues the discussion.  Carol notices Carl and begs him not to tell his father.

The zombies are getting heavier at the gate.  Carl turns to look at the pen and realises that the pig he names has died in the mud.

That night Tyreese approaches Karen who is sewing. Tyreese admits that he doesn't like going out there and Karen comforts him.  Glenn tells Maggie that Darryl is making the notification about the person they lost.  Maggie tells Glen that she is not pregnant and Glen is relieved.  Maggie says that she doesn't want to be afraid of being alive but Glen points out that being afraid is what has kept them alive. Beth is in her cell when Darryl approaches.  He tells her that Zack is dead and she doesn't really react. Beth simply takes his picture off the wall and tells Darryl that she doesn't cry anymore and is just glad she got to know him.  Beth asks Darryl if he is okay and he says that he is tired of losing people.  Beth hugs Darryl and says that she is glad that she didn't say goodbye.

Michonne is going over the map and stops at Macon.  Rick and Hershel are talking and Hershel comforts Rick, reminding him that he came back and gets to come back.   Patrick who left the reading is clearly very very sick.  Patrick makes his way through the prison and finally collapses in the shower but not before he coughs over the water supply. Patrick dies and when he opens his eyes again, he is clearly a walker.

The prison has changed a lot since we last left the survivors.  They are super organized and seem to have grown into a community.  They all have reached a level of comfort but are cautious. Rick it seems wants salvation, Darryl is enjoying having a level of status for the first time in his life, Michonne is obsessed with Patrick (and who can blame her), Maggie wants to start a family and Glenn is still very much afraid.  Carol has changed much and is now giving children knife lessons.  Carl is in a weird place because part of him wants to trust and be a kid and the other has been changed so much.

One of the things I noticed was the fact that there were so many people of colour.  Not since the first season of The Walking Dead, has there been this much diversity.  I don't find that comforting given that the narrative of The Walking Dead is that anyone can die.  I look at Ben for instance and wonder how long until he turns into T Dog 2.0? 

Now that Patrick has died, it's clear that a storm is coming.  I suspect that disease or walkers will soon run them out of the prison and back into peril.  I don't think that we are going to get another version of White people talking on a porch.  Viewers have been promised that season four is going to be an amalgamation of all of the elements of The Walking Dead that we have come to love.