The dead walk again

Catching up with “The Walking Dead”

 

the-walking-dead-season-4-poster-comic-conThe screens are filling with ghouls and goblins, yet no show was more anticipated than AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” The first two episodes of season four aired the last two Sundays, and only one word can give it justice.

Wow.

After last season’s finale, which received mixed reviews at best, people were left wondering if the show had already reached its height.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. If feelings of skepticism followed the season three finale, they were soon to be replaced with awe. The show of the undead has been brought back to life.

Rick is no longer the sole leader of the group and it is unclear if he has any say at all anymore concerning the group’s direction. Instead there is a council of members that lead the group, which has grown into a fully functioning community of survivors. Discussion between whether strangers should be added is now based on the question: “can these strangers be of value to the community?”

Fans of the comics will of course recognize the admission questions strangers must answer to be accepted: “How many walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed? Why?”

Episode one was a big budget thriller that kept you on the edge of your seat. Half of the episode focused on fighting off monstrous walkers, while the other half was devoted to Rick discovering a woman who is a grim reflection of what he could have been if he lost his grip in this apocalyptic world.

Episode two was a perfect blend of mystery and action that introduces a deadly disease that can kill overnight. Not even the prison is as safe as it once was; as the danger now comes from within.

So far it appears that the group is staying at the prison for at least one more season. It seems the writers have learned their lesson that constant change of setting isn’t always positive.

With a whole new list of additional characters, hopefully there will be three dimensional development of the new guys, rather than merely using them as red shirts and quickly killing them off to advance the singular story.

The show seems to have found its niche with a new goal: “survive the undead.” While that may have seemed like the previous goal of the show, in reality the previous goal was: “keep your humanity, in an inhumane time.”

The last three seasons of the show saw a steady decline of the dead and an incline of the living. Not many complained considering Jon Bernthal’s performance of his descent into madness as Shane and the sheer cruelty of David Morrissey as The Governor. Now that the show has a large fan base, season four is the perfect time to change up the pace and remind us just how outnumbered and isolated people are in this dystopian world. The zombies are back, bigger and bloodier than ever.

Over all the two episodes were the perfect combination of gripping story, and heart pounding action, that leave us with exciting cliffhangers that we love to hate: a reassuring reminder that the writers of the show have perfect control over the drama.

The dead will be walking around for many more seasons to come.

Gregory Garofalo

Staff Writer

 

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