All of the zombies have died off, Rick has taken up with Michonne, and Carl and a surprisingly mature Judith have started a folk duo! All is well on The Walking Dead!
Our intrepid and draggy survivors are still holed up in the prison when season four of The Walking Dead opened last night. The influx of people from Woodbury has seemed to brighten up the place; there’s house plants! Flowers! And Rick is a farmer, now, seeming to eschew guns.
For some reason, Rick doesn’t seem to like guns, now. I have no idea why. To try to be a better example for Carl (who showed some homicidal tendencies last season, I’ll admit)? At any rate, it’s a noticeable change. So much so, that Hershel approaches Rick and tells him that the Council (made up of Carol, Daryl, Hershel, and several others) have officially requested that Rick carry a gun when he goes outside of the prison fence. Apparently, he hasn’t been taking one? Um. Okay. Weird. Also, Rick is NOT on the Council. Interesting!
Let’s hit the highlights of last night, shall we?
– Tyreese has a love interest. My prediction: she’s walker bait.
– Glenn thinks Maggie is pregnant and won’t let her come on a supply run. Probably a wise choice, because even though Maggie ends up NOT being pregnant, the folks on the run get attacked by walkers…of course. Let me just rant about this for a bit. So, the people who go are Daryl, Sasha, Michonne, Tyreese, Glenn, Zack, and a Dude that tags along last minute (Highly suspicious in this world. What’s his angle? I’m not sure I believe his “I just wanna pull my weight” speech.). Zack is Beth’s new Boo, and as the group is leaving, Beth flippantly refuses to say goodbye. Obviously, Zack is toast. The group goes to a store for some good ole fashioned looting and a leaky roof proves to be their downfall. Well, it proves to be Zack’s downfall, anyhow. See, there’s a helicopter on the roof that appears to have crash landed. There are also a crapload ton of walkers ambling around. (Why…?) We are clued in on the roof situation when Dude (whose name I can’t remember, because I don’t think I care) is checking out some booze and inexplicably causes an entire shelf to fall, pinning him to the ground. I can’t think of a good reason as to why this would have happened, but it did. As the rest of the group are trying to get Dude free, the walkers, who ALL heard the crash of the shelf falling, migrate to the part of the roof that has water damage. The weak ceiling gives way, and walkers start falling into the store. Here’s my problem with that: They fall through the ceiling ALL OVER, not just at the water-damaged portion. Wouldn’t they all fall through at the same place? Of course, the hole would get bigger and bigger, but it would be in the same place! It makes no sense for them to fall through helter-skelter from all over the ceiling! Ugh. Everyone makes it out except for Zack, who does nothing but scream as a walker noshes on his calf. Wouldn’t you kick it or something? But, no, he just screams and helpfully falls down while the others look on in horror. Then, somehow the walker is suddenly at Zack’s neck nomming away. RIP, Zack.
– Rick is out checking the snares when he happens upon a crazed woman, who I thought for sure was a walker at first. Turns out she’s just remarkably filthy (most likely covered in walker gore to throw off her scent). She sells him a story about her survival and how she’d never have made it without a man named Eddie. Eddie’s back at her camp, and he’s a bit under the weather. Won’t Rick come and help? She’s done terrible things! It’s awful! But they had to survive, of course. And can they please come to Rick’s camp? Rick says he’ll need to meet Eddie and ask both Crazed Filthy and Eddie three questions that will determine if the pair will be able to join the prison group. We never see Eddie, but I can only assume he’s a head in the crate Crazed Filthy bends down to talk to when they arrive at her camp. Rick guesses she’s off her rocker and manages to dodge when she lunges at him with a knife…the knife Rick confiscated…then returned to her, by the way. Crazed Filthy babbles about Eddie needing something alive because he’s getting weak (Eddie is totally a head in the crate.). She led Rick to the camp for Eddie to eat, I guess. Then, she loses it totally and stabs herself, begging Rick to let her come back as a walker so she can be with Eddie. Ah, true love! As she lays dying, she asks what Rick’s three questions were. They were 1.) How many walkers have you killed? (She says none; Eddie took care of that); 2.) How many people have you killed? (“Just me,” she whispers.); and 3.) Why? (She burbles something about it being the only way and dies.) Rick, ever the romantic, hacks off her head and leaves it in a bag by the crate. True love! Gross.
– Carl has a friend! It doesn’t last. So, there’s this kid, Phillip, who is incredibly polite and nice. Rick actually encourages Carl to hang out with Phillip, and he does. The boys happen upon a group of younger kids who are talking to the walkers at the prison fence, giving them names and treating them like pets. Carl is not amused and reads them the riot act, and the group disperses and goes to story time. Story time, run by Carol, is for little kids! Not really, but kinda. Carl wants to go, but thinks he’s too old. Classic pre-teen/young teen attitude, Carl. Phillip goes, though, and we are treated to a nice scene with Carol reading to a semi-circle of kids. Phillip, who is quite pale, excuses himself because he doesn’t feel well. (Suspicious! I sense a plot device! And let’s not forget about the sick pig, Violet, who later dies… Will there be a plague outbreak of some kind in the prison?) Carl sneaks in to listen to story time and is surprised when Carol pulls out an assortment of knives. She’s teaching the kids how to use them. Seems sensible to me! But, for some reason, Carl seems scandalized, and when Carol sees him, she begs him not to tell Rick about it. What’s that all about? Why wouldn’t you teach kids how to use weapons in post-apocalyptic walker world?
– Daryl tells Beth about Zack’s death, and the girl doesn’t seem all that affected. She tells Daryl that she doesn’t cry about those things anymore; she’s just happy to have known him. In her room (cell), she has one of those it’s been ## days since the last incident signs, and she changes the number to zero. Talk about overt foreshadowing!
– Michonne has been out looking for The Governor but hasn’t had any luck. She’s thinking of heading to Macon, but that’s about 70 miles away, and no one particularly wants her to go. And is it just me, or was there some chemistry between her and Rick at the beginning? I’m probably reading into it, but I think it’d be awesome if they hooked up!
– Sick Phillip wakes up and goes to the shower room. It’s obvious that he’s really ill; he’s all sweaty and pale. Is this the same illness that killed Violet the pig? Just a bad case of the flu? He stands under the shower, trying to cool himself down and abruptly passes out. Phillip falls and (I’m assuming) dies from drowning…or hits his head…or something, because a time later when the camera pans up his lifeless body, he opens his WALKER EYES! [Insert dramatic music] I’m guessing he died and came back, but wouldn’t it be interesting if the walker disease was now somehow catching among the living? That’d raise the stakes! [SEE UPDATE BELOW!] The episode ended with Phillips walker eyes, and we know he’s going to go rampaging through the cell block.
Okay, so my first thought was: Even if you think you’re in a safe place like the prison, wouldn’t you still shut all the doors? They didn’t address the whole swiss-cheese-prison issue, and I can only assume there are still gaping holes in the building. Yes, that’s in another section/cell block, but I’d certainly still lock my cell every night.
You know they don’t. And they’ll suffer for it!
I’m glad The Walking Dead is back; I’m not glad The Walking Dead is back. There is nothing the survivors can ever do to fix their world, and that is very bleak. It depresses me. What hope do they have? Little, if any at all. Theirs is a tale of constant struggle and defeat against an ever rising tide of walkers. They will never find peace, for if they do…the show would be over, and AMC can’t have that, now, can they?
What did you think of last night’s episode?
UPDATE: So, I just took a quiz on AMC’s website about the season opener. I only missed one question, and it was about a walker at the fence during the beginning of the episode that had blood streaming out of its facial orifices. Foreshadowing I totally missed, folks! It’s evidence that some kind of plague is coming, or is already there, actually, since at the end, when Phillip collapsed we were shown blood seeping out of his nose and mouth. This leads me to believe we’re heading into virus-y zombie territory. An interesting change! It’ll really ratchet up the stakes, as I stated above.
[Cover image courtesy of AMC.]