Halloween carries many traditions, but for the past four years a new tradition has surfaced with the premiere of “The Walking Dead.” Now in its fourth season, AMC’s thrilling show about survival after a zombie apocalypse
is showing no signs of slowing down. Despite a lackluster third season finale, this new season looks to offer more obstacles for officer Rick Grimes and his band of survivors to overcome.
Continuing where the third season left off, Rick and his group have taken in the citizens of Woodbury after their leader, the insane Governor, abandoned them. With seniors, women and children to take care of, Rick steps down as leader in favor of a council, which includes Hershel, Glenn, Carol and Daryl. Michonne, now riding a horse, is still looking for the Governor, while Rick has taken to farming. Things seem peaceful until Rick encounters a mysterious woman, a supply run goes awry and a new threat emerges from within the prison itself.
While lacking some of the immediate danger that came with past season openers, the fourth season still manages to hook audiences looking for their zombie fix. A standout sequence involving zombies raining down from a collapsing ceiling is delightfully entertaining and exceptionally gory. Rick’s encounter with this mystery woman, while ultimately not leading anywhere, is still engaging and shows how Rick has reclaimed his sanity following the death of his wife.
With an entire town now living at the prison, several new faces are introduced, some of them not even surviving the episode. One death in particular spells grave misfortunes ahead for the group, as what seems to be a mutated zombie plague begins creeping in.
There’s a lot to chew on here, but what keeps the show afloat is the performances. Andrew Lincoln still delivers as Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs keeps growing as Carl and Norman Reedus is ever the standout as Daryl. Star-crossed lovers Glenn and Maggie aren’t given a lot here, along with Hershel, but they work wonders with what little screen time they do get. It’s also a shame
that last season’s fan favorite Michonne is barely here, but with all the new faces, it makes sense that the old gang isn’t as prominent.
Given the show’s penchant for killing off characters, the wealth of new faces could mean we may see more beloved characters meet their ends. The very thought of a mutated strain of the zombie virus could very well signal doom for our prison dwellers. Then there’s still the mystery of the Governor, who hasn’t shown up yet, but is poised to return.
Threats to the prison are everywhere, and given what the premiere sets up we’re in for what looks like an amazing season. Should the new season keep up the momentum from season three and ignore the plodding filler of season two, we might potentially have the best season of “The Walking Dead” yet. If they can deliver a truly memorable season finale, then the Dead will likely walk for more Halloweens to come.