Aired 13/10/13 on AMC
It’s a brand new season of AMC’s The Walking Dead and we’re back with the gang and a bunch of change. It’s four months since the events of last season and prison now houses the Woodbury survivors (a bunch of new characters who will probably all die). There are farm animals and vegetable patches, Tyreese is wooing a lady, Beth has a boyfriend, Maggie might be pregnant and Michonne actually cracks a joke with a smile or two. Life appears to have picked up for our heroes since they defeated the Governor and things seem to be, dare I say it, happy. Of course, this being The Walking Dead, happiness doesn’t last for long and by the end of the episode it’s back to constantly fearing for our favourite characters' lives again.
It was a pretty solid first episode; not much happened in the way of violence compared to previous ones, with the bulk of it happening on a run to an abandoned army camp in a super store. While looking around, one of the new guys contemplated stashing a bottle of wine in his jacket without anyone seeing but decided against it. When he put the bottle back on the shelf, the wood cracked, the bottles smashed, the shelving fell and a whole bunch of walkers started falling through the ceiling, hanging by their guts like undead piñatas. If that’s not a cosmic sign to stop drinking I don’t know what is. Beth’s new boyfriend Zack was the only one killed and she grieved for maybe a second before moving on, because death is common these days people; she’s not phased a bit.
Back at the prison, it appears that the Ricktatorship is up and the community is run by a council, while Rick has turned into a regular farmer Jim, shovelling dirt and looking after pigs. He spent the episode following a crazy Irish lady back to her camp so she could feed him to her Walker head. It was a nice way to highlight what he could have become had he not come back from the edge of going cuckoo last season, but in all honesty Rick really is as boring as regular farmer Jim. Hopefully he’ll get his groove back and become badass Season One Rick, who takes down threats without the blink of his eye, rather than this guy who only takes a gun with him because Hershel persuades him. Yeah, Hershel. That’s when you know it’s bad.
Carl is also less gun happy now and acts more like a kid his age should; fooling around and reading comics that Michonne brings back from her time searching for the Governor. He still seemed pretty determined to prove himself as mature though, deeming 'story-time' too childish for him, but that little spark of innocence that we’d thought he’d lost still lingered and he snuck into the library to have a cheeky listen. Turns out that story-time with Carol is a lot different to the one I had as a child, as she actually teaches the kids about weaponry and Walker killing techniques in secret. It makes sense given the zombie apocalypse that’s happening, but she asks him not to tell anyone as the parents might not be best pleased that their young offspring are being exposed to a world they’re trying to deny in their cushy prison.
It looks like Carol’s doing right though as new kid Patrick becomes sick, dies in the shower block and wakes up as a Walker, something I should have seen coming as he was adorable with his ‘Sirs’ and hero worshipping of Daryl. It’s what this show does; makes you like a character then brutally kills them. There were a few Walkers outside the fence who seemed to have died the same way so maybe this will be the ‘governor’ of the season or maybe just a new threat to humanity to add to their growing pool of threats to contend with on the side. Either way, there’s now a hungry Walker ten feet from where they’re all sleeping so it’s not going to be a happy community for long.
Last season was a bit of a rollercoaster as the good episodes were intermixed with bad episodes that weren’t really relevant, but this episode has planted the seeds quite nicely and ended with a situation that promises a lot of bloody deaths to come. If the season promo is anything to go by, it looks like their happy semi-normal life is about to change - big time.