A Collection of Caliginous Choppings

Tidbits of the Dead — 30 Days Without an Accident

thewalkingdeadseason4

I’ve decided to take on a shorter, character based form with my The Walking Dead reviews, seeing as that I am blogging in-depth about American Horror Story this season.  Now, it must be said that I am a huge fan of the show, and zombies are my favorite creatures of the horror genre. But, honestly, I almost feel a bit of fatigue from these hungry former humans. It seems that just about every low budget B-movie that comes out chooses flesheaters as their go to villain. They are easy, aim to be queasy, but sometimes come off as cheesy. Thus far The Walking Dead has refrained from that last aspect, but I am afraid of getting tired of these tireless ghouls since they have become the de facto mainstream monster.

Well, on with the specifics. AND SPOILERS!

  • Carol — The opening title hasn’t much changed, but I did notice the addition of Melissa McBride to the maincast. As Carol, she has flown under the radar through the entire series, despite being a character with the most growth during the zombie apocalypse. She has transformed from a meek, abused wife, to a grieving mother, to hardened survivor, and now she has taken on the teacher role for the youngins of the prison flock. And a kick-ass knife-wielding teacher at that! I just hope that McBride’s being part of the maincast doesn’t spell the character’s doom.

  • Rick — Despite being safe behind prison fences, I doubt I’d ever be comfortable enough to do farm work while wearing headphones. Sure, it drowns out that annoying and incessant moaning, but it also deprives you of one of your main senses in the face of surrounding danger. It was more stupid when that skater boy did it in Land of the Dead, but it doesn’t seem like Rick to let his guard down here. Later the show proves that this isn’t the Ricktator of old. He has changed (yet again) into some sort of pacifistic type. What imbecile would willingly go outside the fences without packing heat? And is the opening scene implying that Rick was the one who buried the pistol? Is his halfhearted change of heart against firearms for the sake of Carl and Judith? Rick might not want to be the leader anymore, but he can’t be a pansy either.

  • Carl — Finally a season has come that doesn’t see a noticeable change in the appearance of Chandler Riggs.  This episode shows the viewers a Carl who is less jaded by the evils that he has endured (and committed). Rick wants him to still be a kid, and it seems that Carl is steered back onto the path towards innocence. He still wants to do more, but his dad would rather have him safely inside the prison fences rather than wandering around the wilderness with him. Carl even seems to have found some children near his own age, and although one can tell that these tweens & teens have been through some hell themselves, none of them seem to be on the path of budding (Shane-like) psychopath that Carl was on at the end of last season.

  • Darryl — The MVP of the end of the world led the troops into a big box warehouse store and that unfortunately brought about the demise of a newbie redshirt Zack. Darryl had some flirtatious moments with Carol, but the show has yet to depict anything concrete about their relationship (or lack thereof). Darryl remains one of the most likeable characters because he can remain caring while shooting arrows through skulls. Like Carol, Darryl’s character has progressed a great deal since this start of The Walking Dead, but instead of becoming harder (a rather easy to do given all that he’s been through — particularly Merle’s abandonment & later his death, Sophia’s death & his wasted energy in searching for her, and being shot by Andrea) Darryl has softened up. He is still the take no shit badass of the group, but he also seems to be one of the most trusting and most well-adjusted psychologically.

  • Glen & Maggie — I have mixed feelings about having a baby in the situation that these people are in. Lori paid the ultimate price of trying to repopulate the Earth. Rick is proving that being a father and being a valuable and productive fighter for the group may be a mutually exclusive ideal. Hell, if Glen weren’t wearing the prison riot gear out on his run, he wouldn’t have even learned whether or not Maggie was pregnant. If I were in this situation, I’d want to sit tight. Get a year or two in the prison, and a few harvests in, before trying for a family.

  • Beth — cold as ice. Unlike Darryl, I think that Beth is a character whose pysche has been profoundly warped by living in a zombie world. She no longer seems capable of grieving like a normal person. I was originally a little jealous for Carl to see Beth smooching Zack, but if anything now I am weary for Carl should they hook up. Beth doesn’t have a strong attachment to the group, or to anything really. All she does is count the days since tragedies (I wonder what happened 30 days prior).

  • Hershel — There wasn’t much from the old farmer and the show’s moral compass in this episode. He is walking around pretty well on a new prosthetic leg, but I’m glad the director also decided to show the viewers his stump. Hershel still remains one of the most valuable members of the group (with his knowledge of animal husbandry and crops), but the addition of Bob the combat medic means that Hershel no longer the go-to doctor of the prison. Given the limp, I’d say he is on the chopping block for this season.

  • Tyreese & Sasha — These two pull their weight and have integrated into the inner counsel of the prison group. Tyreese still hasn’t found a good fit for what to do in the prison though, as he doesn’t enjoy going on runs, and he also has a disdain for killing walkers at the gates. However, he does seem to have found love in a new blood-spattered cutie. Sasha on the other hand still seems underdeveloped. I hope she gets some characterization beyond being a better shot than and the teasing boss of Tyreese.

  • Michonne — She is a woman on a warpath. The best fighter of the group, although visibly distracted by her consuming desire to find the Governor. Michonne is still an enigma and as tight-lipped as ever, but the writers managed a bit of levity with her braining the Frankenstein Monster cutout in the store. I’m sure there will be a Michonne heavy episode this season, possibly finding the Governor, but we will have to wait for that.

  • The Rest — Here is my problem with the show: the background extras always rotate too much. There were some characters that popped up in the Atlanta camp and in Woodbury that were never seen again. I have the feeling that some of these people are in a similarly precarious situation, much to this viewer’s chagrin. If they are casting extras, I say keep and reuse the same ones. Where were the old people seen in season 3’s finale? Where were the other young children?

    Bob the alcoholic combat medic is the only newbie that I see lasting long term. One reason is that he is being portrayed by awesome The Wire veteran Larry Gilliard Jr. The second reason is that the show will balance out the quick turn around of purging black characters from the cast. Finally, he is an alcoholic combat medic. Imagine the hilarity that would ensure if a drunk guy tries treating zombie bites!

    In addition to Bob, there are Tyreese’s hottie girlfriend, Zack who already got eaten, a bald bearded guy, and some unnamed youngins, including a Harry Potter clone whose next episode will (probably) be his last. Obviously these are cannon fodder for the show, but I did like that both Zack and Carl’s new best friend got a good amount of screen time.

    Also, there was the crazy Irish woman wandering around the woods. She was Rick’s sidestory for the episode, and I was underwhelmed. I thought it a bit unbelievable that someone like that would survive for that long. If her husband is zombified, and she is already suicidal, then there should be no reason for her to go on a stroll through the Georgia countryside. She was in the story for Rick to be reminded of his responsibilities to the group, not to show an accurate portrayal of a foreign tourist gone made in the United States of Zombieland.

  • The Governor — Conspicuous by his absence. Perhaps he is in Macon, or perhaps he is bidding his time to strike the prison again . . .

  • The Zombies — It’s raining dead, hallelujah it’s raining dead! The bit with the helicopter and the walkers falling through the ceiling was awesome. That dude dangling from his intestines was a sight to see, but I think that my zombie of the week is bloody eyes at the prison gates.

    walkingdeadredeyezombie

Well, that actually turned out to be not quite so short afterall. I just couldn’t help myself. That familiar scent of rot and decay along with a seasonal chill in the October air, proves that it’s a good time to be a horror fan.

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4 responses

  1. Arron

    Nice post, I like the art on this page. Not sure what’s going on with the lady at the top though. I have a feeling this season will heat up fast, I’m not as interested in the characters as last season, but that could be due to the disjointed nature of the episode. I would have liked to see more of the slicing and stabbing lesson the children were taught, you know was it teacher directed or were the students able to explore the blade themselves..

    14 October 2013 at 3:42 pm

    • Thanks Arron! The above header is stolen from one of the American Horror Story: Coven promo posters. I’m also blogging about that show, and I highly recommend it.

      I think that I have more excitement for this season than the last, but I remain cautiously guarded towards it all. There were some good bits of characterization, especially of the characters who would pass away quickly. Hopefully some new established characters will get more screen time. And of course there will be more fodder for the requisite gory bits!

      Finally, I’m not sure if a lesson on knives should be as student-centered as other subjects. I mean sure, just arm them all and have them go at it would be a great way to get really good at knife skills, but you’d probably just end up with one (or parts of one) star pupil! 🙂

      15 October 2013 at 12:37 pm

  2. “The second reason is that the show will balance out the quick turn around of purging black characters from the cast.”

    I took it as a sign that Tyreese’s days are numbered. There Can Only Be One…

    22 October 2013 at 11:45 pm

    • Yeah, Mitch, I think in the long run you are probably right. I wonder if they will off Tyreese like they did in the comics or in some other fashion. That issue was an emotional shot in the gut, and I don’t think that his character has been developed enough on the show for it to have the same sort of impact. In fact, the only character whose death I can really see resonating is Darryl, but I doubt AMC has the balls to put the axe to his neck.

      24 October 2013 at 8:04 am

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