he premiere episode of the fourth season of The Walking Dead was a very entertaining, solid piece of television. It wasn't perfect, and it wasn't as exciting as, say, the third season's debut episode, but it may have been one of the more competent episodes in the show's run. The relationship stuff worked better than usual, the special effects were as outstanding as ever, and there were some clever choices made in both the set-up and the execution of the It's Raining Men action sequence in the Big Spot store. It would be a pretty tough feat to top that episode so early in the season, and yet, the second episode of the fourth season does exactly that.
One of the better aspects of this week was the relationship between the characters. There were some good moments of contrast; early on the show emphasizes Tyreese and Karen's relationship, then in short time we see Glenn and Maggie together, and then finally we close that sequence with Rick, Carl, and Michonne (there's a very amusing family dynamic there that's probably a nod to the multitude of Rick and Michonne shipper-fuel moments over the past two seasons). The character relationships have been one of the show's weaknesses over time, but Angela Kang is one of the writers that does a better job of that sort of thing, and it really shines through in this week's episode. The quieter moments work very well between the characters, Tyreese and Karen feel like a real couple, and it's a credit to Kang that she's able to really bring those emotions to the forefront (while still working in some great action sequences and some clever ideas for Rick and the gang to execute).
We mix it up quite a bit. We were starting the story, and the velocity ups quite a bit, and then it goes in a different direction, then it ups quite a bit. There are episodes that are much more frantic, and there are even episodes that are quieter. With this episode, one of the big challenges with this season was adding a story for every character. And the challenge was to start those stories all in a single episode.
There's now a council that makes decisions for the group -- but Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is not a part of it. What needs to change in order for him to get involved again?
That's really it: What does need to change for him to get more involved, and are those things about to happen? In the forest, Clara said something to him that might be akin to a curse, which is that you don't get to come back from the things you've done. That's what Rick has done up until this point, when we started with him in the morning. By the night of that day, he's heard that news and things are starting to happen, and the fuse may be lit.
Some of the zombies now appear to have been bleeding from their eyes, which we see when Patrick dies. Is it safe to say this flu is impacting other survivors beyond the prison and they're turning as well?
It is safe to say Patrick died of what ever that was. The walker that was at the fence that we saw was rather fresh; he's not very rotted. I would intuit that because it's a fresh zombie, that the person who died recently was by the same method Patrick died.
One of the characters who has been receiving some attention this season has been Michonne. She's been limited in screen time, but it's more important time, and the show has taken great pains to develop her character a little bit more. She is no longer just the lone Andrea-saving, Governor-hating bad ass with the fan service katana and one facial expression. Not only does she get to smile and make a joke this episode, she also gets to show some legitimate emotion. She gets probably the best scene of the night, and that's saying something because A) she shared the scene with Beth - a character that is improving this season - and B) the writers have turned Carol into a quietly great character. Has anyone on the show made such a huge turn from season one to season four? Carol, unlike some other survivors, has really grown and changed as a character, even in the last two episodes.