Well today's subject matter should be no big surprise to anyone - we have to talk about The Walking Dead! Season four starts tonight, and as I type I have AMC's Walking Dead marathon on TV. It seems so very long ago that season three wrapped up, and I feel a little fuzzy on the details. In fact I just saw Rick go nutso after finding out his estranged wife was dead and learning the details of his newborn's birth. That was as emotional an episode as they come on this show, and to my shock I found myself getting very emotional over Lori's death, even though I'd spent the better part of two seasons wishing she would get bitten! Let's see what else I remember..............
We also had several reunions of a sort, most notably Daryl with his brother Merle who we'd last seen hacking his handcuffed hand off in order to escape a horde of walkers. It was not a happy reunion, with some expected bumpy patches, but again the writers managed to take a less than desirable character someone you start to root for. There were several episodes in which Daryl left his core group to try and make a go of things with his brother, who'd been flatly rejected by everyone (and for very good reasons). I for one always knew Daryl would make his way back to the fold, and so when the arrow pierces the head of a zombie threatening to eat Rick I was happy but not surprised. Another crying fit I had last season was Daryl's final scene with his brother Merle. The Governor, who we will definitely be discussing more had killed Merle but didn't use the ever crucial head shot now necessary to "really" kill someone. And so Daryl is forced to do the right thing in mercy killing his brother. I actually am tearing up a bit just remembering the look on Daryl's face when he realizes what has happened to Merle, and what he has to do. Strong stuff.
And then there is poor Morgan. He goes way back to episode one, and when he and Rick are reunited we see that Morgan has fallen way off his rocker due to the death of his son. It is not a pretty picture, and once again Rick almost dies trying to give people the benefit of the doubt. This season we begin to see that as much as every little settlement of survivors try to make things as normal as can be, normal was tossed out the car window long ago. There are no more easy choices.
There were a number of new characters introduced in season three, The Governor and Michonne. With these two characters we learn that the guy who acts nice and concerned on the outside is really a twisted sadist on the inside and the gal who looks out for number one and seems only able to snarl is really a teddy bear at heart. I could go on and on with how evil the Governor is, but I won't. I clearly remember the wall of floating zombie heads, his zombie daughter on a leash, his mass killing spree in the finale, and his disgusting romance with Andrea. Icky!
I thought Michonne was pretty one dimensional most of the season. She kicked ass, hated the Governor, and scowled her way through most of the episodes. But then there was the exchange between her and Carl when she helps him get an old picture of his family before everything went to hell. It is a sweet moment and she lets her guard down just enough to let us like her a bit.
The season finale was basically a show down between survivors, with our core group succeeding in driving off the townies and then taking in the remainders. I was not sorry to see Andrea go, I have never liked her, and even though she died trying to make peace, I'd have to think that even Dale would have stopped talking to her long ago. The only thing I regret in her death scene is that it involved Milton, who was an oddball that I'd come to appreciate. I'm guessing there will be no more science experiments in season four.
Of all the things that happened in season three, I think what I remember the most is Carl. He has gone from being a naive little boy into a cold blooded killer ready to rationalize every murderous behavior he participates in. Season two had him sneaking away and into every bad situation he could get his hands on, and season three showed his bloody education on how to survive in the new world. I think season four will have us all shocked at just how far Carl is willing to go in order to survive.
I have been avoiding any and all trailers or sneak peeks at what season four will bring us. There are plenty of new bodies within the confides of the prison for the walkers to feast on, and I anticipate this will be a gore-filled season. I also think that we will see a battle between Carl and Rick over what's left of Carl's humanity. I also think we will be hearing from the Governor again, even though I have no idea in what capacity he would return. I just hope the season is as good as the last three. Fingers crossed!!
WALKING DEAD SEASON FOUR BEGINS TONIGHT AT 8 p.m. on AMC
Oh - and on a purely personal note, I am just happy that Scott Wilson returns for another season as Hershel. It was a tough season for his character and I'd written him off two or three times, so let's knock on wood that he can keep alive. Although I expect that Carl will take Hershel out and try to explain it away by saying he was crippled and no longer an asset! I hope I am wrong about that.