The Walking Dead season 4 midseason premiere review

By Max Maier | Feb 10, 2014

After all the wait, and all the hype, the Walking Dead has finally come back to appease its ever-growing fanbase. This show grows bigger and bigger with every premiere, and nothing seems to be stopping it. Even after episodes that clearly disappoint fans, or characters that annoy viewers to no end, people keep tuning in and in greater numbers. This show has drawn in people, and after months of waiting, it has returned. We finally get to see what happens in the wake of the Governor's vicious assault, or at least with 3 of our heroes.

In this episode, we see what Michonne after the attack, and what happens to Rick and Carl after the attack. Michonne travels back to the prison to see what shape it is in. Where we see a Governor body that is rotted at parts, why no zombie turn? And she also finds a Hershel zombie head, which was by far the highlight of the week. It was so sad to see it, but it was a cool effect as well. Michonne then creates 2 new zombie pets from 2 of the Governor's used-to-be henchmen and carries on her way. She then starts to just walk along into a herd of zombies and walks with them. Her unwillingness to fight them represents her struggle with wanting to live. After all she has seen and gone through emotionally, it makes sense. We even get a dive into a half flashback as she dreams about her past. It's actually incredible, it only shows us things we already figured out from hints previously in the show. Her pets were close to her, we now know it was indeed her brother and her lover. We also learned she had a kid that was tragically taken away, which we pieced together in the first half of this season. We still don't know how any of them were lost. Back in the zombie walk, Michonne sees a zombie that looks like her. After several drawn out and emotional looks at the zombie, Michonne breaks away and kills all of the zombies, then goes on her way. Glad we went through all of that.

Meanwhile, Rick is on the brink of death after getting his butt handed to him by the Governor and getting shot, it's understandable. So, most of the attention between these 2 was focused on Carl, who if you have been reading my reviews, I am not the biggest fan of, but I digress. The 2 Grimes boys find a house to stay in, and Carl starts taking out his aggression and blames his Dad for everything. He even takes a stab at Rick about Shane, in what has to be the biggest slap to the face I've ever seen on this show. After awhile, Rick passes out and won't wake up. Now, being a teenage boy, Carl gives off so many emotions, it's hard to keep track until he tells his Dad "I don't care if you die." ...sigh... So, Carl goes off on his own to prove to himself he is a man and can protect himself. After several long scenes, he realizes he can't survive on his own yet, he even loses his shoe to one of the zombies. We then see him laying next to his Dad crying, showing us he realizes his mistake and what an idiot he was earlier. He doesn't say any of this, but we know. Then, in a very unconvincing scene, Rick wakes up groaning and moaning, making Carl think Rick is a zombie. It was a little forced, but it gave us the revelation that Carl can't kill his Dad. The next morning, Rick seems to be a little better, at least speaking and functioning properly, when Michonne finds them at the house and knocks on the door. Rick sees her and laughs. He tells Carl it's for him. Fade to black.

You couldn't even give us the image of Michonne holding the shoe? We just have to guesstimate that one? Eh, that's just a nitpick. It was a cute moment in an otherwise draggy and metaphorical episode. Most of the episode was Carl and Michonne giving long looks and giving us metaphorical moments where we figure out what emotion or revelation their faces are giving us this time. It was like a game. Step 1, observe face. Step 2, assess what emotion they feel. Step 3, figure out what it means to their evolving character. Step 4, realize how little is really going on. There are plenty of Walking Dead episodes where it is just everybody walking around and we have to figure out what they are feeling now as they reflect. They are human, it is a part of human nature to ponder and reflect about things when something like the Governor happens. That doesn't always make it riveting TV. And while this does deepen these characters we have grown addicted to watching, after 4 and a half seasons, I wish a little more was going on. But after the Governor war arc, we will be getting a lot of moping and doping and reflection.
Speaking of which, Carl Grimes. Like I said, yes, I realize he is a teenage boy growing up in the zombie apocalypse. So his swaying emotions and random outbursts are part of growing up, and I fully get that. It makes sense, but mother of God that doesn't excuse a less than stellar episode. There are plenty of worse episodes, but all of these Carl moments didn't help much. Think about it, we had to go through several drawn out Carl vs zombies scenes for the realization that he needs his Dad. He needed to realize that, but the show couldn't wrap that up a little quicker? I give credit to the actors in these scenes, because they are doing fantastic jobs, but I wish the script would pick up the pace a tiny bit. By the way, when Carl gave his big Rick dying line, I friggin groaned in disbelief, quickly followed with a "really?" But like I said, he is a teenage boy, it makes sense. While the actors playing these 3 gave stellar performances like always, and it makes sense they have to reflect on what has happened, the episode still dragged and had moments of face palms.

Speaking of which, 2 things. First off, why isn't the Governor a zombie? It has obviously been awhile, and Hershel's head is a zombie, so Phillip should've been walking around amongst the undead. The argument has been made it is because he was shot in the head. Do we have confirmation that if you die by blow to the head in this world you do not come back as a zombie? No? Then what the heck?
Also, I get Michonne's strategy with the zombie pets. But, look how close she walked with the other zombies, they didn't even smell in her direction until she went to kill one. Are you kidding me? It was more blatant than her introduction in season 3. She was walking right next to them and didn't get a reaction out of them. Think back to season 1 when Rick and Glenn covered themselves in zombie guts and walked amongst the zombies. They reacted more than the zombies in this episode. That's a pretty big continuity flaw.

Overall, we still got a decent episode of this. Lincoln, Riggs and Gurira all gave fantastic performances, and the acting has always been this show's strongest part. Regardless of frustrating character moments or draggy/ boring moments. This episode was a reflection after huge events and loss, but we can be honest that it was still too slow paced. And, we still need to dedicate several other episodes to see how everybody else is recovering. Will the quality keep up when this same, boring formula is given to other characters not as big as Rick or Michonne? (except Daryl). Hopefully the results will be good. Fingers crossed.

 

I give The Walking Dead season 4 midseason premiere 3 pudding snacks out of 5.

 

Also, that scene of Carl eating the pudding was not a big deal.

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