|The following review contains plot details that may have major spoilers for those who have yet to watch Season 4. Caution is advised.|
Hey, everyone. Here's my review for Season 4 of AMC's The Walking Dead. Please bear in mind, I haven't said a lot on some episodes out of all sixteen, I'm just sharing some brief opinions, and discussing what I liked and disliked. More of the review regarding to the whole season will be at the bottom after all the episode and before the polls. Also, if there are any grammar errors or incomplete sentences, I apologize for making a mess of it, my spell checking isn't always that brilliant. Other than that, enjoy.
|"30 Days Without An Accident"||8/10|
This episode takes place six to seven months after the events of "Welcome to the Tombs". I don't usually like episodes that have huge time skips, I don't mind a few day or weeks, but seven months seemed too much for my liking. Despite that, the plot looked promising and seemed to set the season off to a fair start. It shows some definite changes since the end of Season 3. Rick and his group are getting along with the Woodbury residents and are having an easy life at the prison. But it does last very long as the season continues.
When Rick goes to check the snares, he encounters Clara, who was originally believed to be a walker when she was first seen on the episode's image. While Rick was chatting with the Irish widow, I was more interested in the parts showing Daryl and his group at the Big Spot, especially when the walkers and helicopter fell through the ceiling, it just looked epic. Zach seemed like an amusing character when talking with Daryl outside of the store. It was also funny when Michonne giggled at the moment. Zach's death was unfortunate, but it did have some similarities to Doug from the Video Game. Speaking of which, I was puzzling surprised when Michonne pointed at Macon on the map. It almost looked a crossover with the Video Game, but it turned out to be foreshadowing where Terminus is based, the next destination for the group in the second half of the season.
This episode is probably not the best of Season 4, but it can be considered as a very good one. This was later manifested when it was confirmed that it had received just over 16.1 million viewers in the U.S. alone. Becoming the most-watched drama series telecast in basic cable history.
I think this episode was a bit better. It had some more suspense than the previous episode. The survivors became aware in "Beside the Dying Fire" that everyone is infected by the undead virus, but the infection in this episode and onwards proves to be more deadly and suffering. My favourite part is when the group try to prevent all the walkers from taking down the fence. It was very tense when the fence is pulled halfway down and group try to hold it up before the walkers could breach it or climb over.
I'm not very soft, but Rick sacrificing the piglets to the walkers was very depressing. Hershel said they had to do something with them eventually because of the flu, which was an obvious foreshadow. It was shocking when Tyreese discovered the burnt bodies of Karen and David. It's the point in the season where you realise that not only that things are starting to go wrong at the prison, there's a mystery occurring. Somebody is feeding rats to the walkers drawing more to the fence, and two people are killed in the refuge. When I first saw this in the Comic-Con trailer back in July 2013, I wondered if it was either The Governor or one of the Woodbury residents still trying to attack the prison. It was a good episode, and I liked it better than the previous episode.
Finally, an episode we could all really enjoy. Written by The Walking Dead guru, Robert Kirkman, an expert who knows how a good Walking Dead story should be told. It had many notable adaptations from the Comic Series, such as Tyreese fighting Rick, Rick punching Tyreese similar to Thomas Richards and resulting a hand injury afterwards, and most importantly, the herd. It is the largest to appear in The Walking Dead universe.
Many people speculated that the tree walker in the forest was Jim, because he was last seen sitting against a tree, left to reanimate. It was later shown that the walker was not Jim. Even if it was, Carl surely would have instantly recognized him. I liked the part where Rick starts investigating to find out who is the killer. I always find it fascinating when people start searching clues, asking questions and solving problems. It may have been short, but I still enjoyed it.
When Tyreese was first seen fighting the walkers in the trailer, I somehow thought he was going to die, but it was astounding to see he made it out alive, and remarkably unscathed. It was a shock at the end when Carol admitted that she killed Karen and David. She didn't even seemed remorseful for it, she was unperturbed, in a slightly doltish sort of way than I figured. Overall, a well written episode by the one and only, Robert Kirkman.
This episode was okay, but I wasn't really that interested in most of it. I was still keen to know who was in the house Rick and Carol were searching. It obviously had to be a person, becuase walkers open doors, unless they were taught by an undead Osbourn Dorsey. The miscellaneous characters were revealed to be Ana and... rather coincidental for me, Sam.
Brina Palencia portraying Ana was quite a genius idea, because Brina voiced as Mia Park and Elizabeth from the The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, which is based off the TV Series. Elsewhere, Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob scavenging the college I liked more than Rick and Carol picking apples. Carol's banishment by Rick was certain to happen at some point after she confessed of killing Karen and David. I liked how they used the same song from the Comic-Con trailer for the end of the episode, "Serpents" by Sharon Van Etten, but an alternate version.
How could you not like this episode? I thought it was brilliant! One of the best episodes, not only of Season 4, but perhaps the whole series. It certainly delivered some moments full of action, emotion, and determination. It was impressive to see Hershel having a lead role in the episode. My favourite part is when Rick and Carl both eliminate the herd of walkers with assault rifles after breaching the prison fence. The background music was very dramatic and worked well during the sequence. I like that part so much I watch over again and again. Although, they made a bit of a goof when filming. It's daytime when Rick tells Maggie to help in the cell block after the first gunshot, but then becomes night time four minutes later. Still, that titchy detail wasn't enough to put me off the episode.
At the end, it was like the start of Season 4 again. It was similar to the beginning of "30 Days Without An Accident", except that a familar face returns - The Governor. I like it everytime that occurs in a episode, the "everything-seems-okay-when-it-is-not" cliché. Overall, an excellent episode, one of my favourites in both Season 4 and the TV Series, and deserved a perfect score by being that impressive.
I'm not usually a fan of episodes that do not feature the main protagonist of the show in any of the duration, but it was intriguing to see The Governor's backstory, similar to Issue 43 of the Comic Series. Originally, this episode was going to be titled "Rise", as a supposedly reference to Rise of the Governor. Which becomes obvious with the Chambler's, which are based off the Chalmers family in the novel.
I get used to strong violence and horror, but the part at the end when The Governor rips the walkers jaw was somehow a bit extreme for me, inexplicably. It sometimes reminds me of the dinosaur wrestle from the 2005 movie, King Kong. Besides than that, I thought this episode seemed okay, it told an interesting about The Governor, and it was good to have some adaptations from the Novel Series for once on the show, although I don't see what was the point of the Chambler family.
To be honest, I don't have a lot to say regarding this episode, because I wasn't entirely interested in it, or even keen to watch it. Which is not surprising in some ways, due to this being the least viewed episode of Season 4. The episode did feature some similarities with Season 3, such as The Governor playing golf, an undead Pete being underwater like The Governor's tank full of walker heads, and of course, his obsession to have revenge on the prison. Seeing the tank at the camp makes you increasingly ponder if that is the tank going to be used for the assault, and it is. This episode was fair, but I was not really in to it, and it could have better in some ways, as well as "Live Bait".
|"Too Far Gone"||10/10|
This episode, without a question or shadow of doubt, has got to be one of the most supreme in the series, because it had adapted one of the most iconic and prominent events to ever occur in the Comic Series - The Governor's final assault on the prison. As far as the Comic Series goes, despite Rick's negotiation in order to save Hershel and Michonne, the assault was inevitable. In some ways, I thought the assault was a little better in the show, because it seemed more explosive, the Militia actually fired the tank unlike in the Comic Series, and a face-to-face wrestle between Rick and The Governor. Most people prefer the Comic Series better, because the originals are always the best, and I would concur.
Hershel definitely had a tragic death, a moment that made literally most of us wail and shed tears. Perhaps the very best part of the episode was when The Governor said his infamous line from the Comic Series, "Kill them all!". The assault would have not been the same as the one in the Comic Series if the writers decided to scratch that. Although, the assault could have been a little bit better if it had a longer duration, but atleast it was way better than the last assault in "Welcome to the Tombs", which was a catastrophic failure. Thanks, Mazzara(!)
This episode starts straight after the prison assault ended, and is based on the ninth volume of the Comic Series, "Here We Remain". I liked the opening scene when the camera moves down through the smoke above the burning tank in the prison, it was very similar to the opening in "Guts". While most of the survivors are separated, this episode is focused on Rick and Carl. Carl in particular has a similar demeanour with his dad from "Welcome to the Tombs". Acting more like an adult and attempting to do all by himself. Perhaps he can, but he does vomit when walkers are shot up close and spill guts.
When Carl locked the walker in the house bedroom, I was slightly dumbfounded when I saw the name "Sam" written on the door's nameplate. I've seen and heard multiple Sam's in nearly every medium of The Walking Dead, I'm almost finding it hysterically ridiculous. There was a bonus for us U.K. viewers, from now on, Fox broadcasts the show one day after the U.S., instead of five days.
This episode revealed possibly the biggest deviation to the Comic Series - Judith survived the prison assault. Some of us were very glad, and some of us were very disappointed. I sometimes have no idea. Carol's reappearance was quite heroic, arrived in time to save Lizzie and Mika, AND prevent Lizzie from suffocating Judith. Again, same as Judith, some were happy and some weren't, because of her past.
Elsewhere, even though Maggie had lost her dad, it was good to see that she still had determination to find Glenn. I can never understand what Glenn was doing on the prison's footbridge and how he got into that position. He was probably there when the tank blew it up and knocked him out, or he passed out by his sickness after the bright collapsed, or (ludicrously) decided to take a nap after a long days work in the assault. Either way, none of it seemed realistic.
It was very clever in the very last scene with Abraham, Eugene and Rosita posing in the exact same composition as they were featured on the cover for Issue 53 of the Comic Series. (More of this continues below)
We learn more about Abraham, Eugene and Rosita in the episode. I like Abraham, Michael Cudlitz portrays his character very well, more better than I expected. Eugene could have been better if he had white hair like in the Comic Series, instead of black. Rosita in the TV Series sort of reminds me of Lara Croft from the game, Tomb Raider. It was funny when Eugene was firing the assault rifle unintelligently and wasting bullets. A smart guy, but obviously not with gun.
Same as Maggie in "Inmates", Glenn had courage to find Maggie no matter what, even Abraham's persuading, impressively. Michonne in her new outfit from behind, makes her look kind of like Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. Rick, as of this episode, has a noticeable resemblance to his Comic Series counterpart, as he wears the fur collar brown jacket.
The Claimers, who are based off the Marauders, make their first appearance in this episode. At first, I thought they were supposedly the Hunters, but I somehow forget that in the Comic Series, the Marauders appear before the Hunters.
This episode featured only two characters, Daryl and Beth, both of which are considered as favourite characters among TWD enthusiasts. So, many probably reckoned this episode would be great, but you would be second guessing your thoughts when you watch it. I personally became utterly bored. It was good to see Daryl and Beth having lead roles, but it ended up in tatters.
Kinney's acting was taken just a tad too far, making Beth peevish and slightly out of character. Some of you were probably amused by Daryl's behavior towards Beth, but I found it quite petulant, in a similar way he did with Carol in Season 2, as if he never really cares about anything. I didn't even like it when Beth flipped the bird at Daryl, and when they both did it to the burning house at the end. It's not normally my sort of style.
This episode was such a disappointment that it's not really worth it to watch it a second time. It's not the worst episode in the entire series, it seemed quite average, but to me, it was awful on almost every level. It needed some serious adjustments and tweaking in the writing.
Compared with "Still", this episode came out more better. The relationship developing between Daryl and Beth has been approved. Daryl is teaching Beth how to use a crossbow and hunt properly instead of acting like a taciturn pillock. They've regained their caring for each other, but Daryl still has a irksome way of how he eats food out of a jar.
Similar to The Governor in "Live Bait", it was interesting to finally see Bob's backstory at the beginning in the episode. I was a bit uncomfortable when Daryl joined the Claimers at the end. I began to think he might become a antagonist. Some people have said numerous times that Daryl might play as Dwight from the Comic Series, but I wasn't convinced that would happen. Anyway, I enjoyed this episode, better than "Still".
This episode revealed another secret from the beginning of the season. Many early predictions claiming that Lizzie was the one feeding rats to the walkers, rang true. Regardless being told again and again that walkers are dead people, Lizzie still believed that they "alive" and continues to care about them.
About a third of a quarter through the episode, it finally becomes clear that Lizzie has apocalyptically lost her marbles. She murdered her own sister just show that walkers are alive, which they are not. I was absolutely flabbergasted in shock. The moment certainly had a resemblance to Ben and Billy from the Comic Series.
Carol killed Karen and David because she wanted want was best for the group, but what Lizzie did was way over the line. It was very sad when Carol eventually had to put her down. Lizzie was just a kid, but she was never going to learn and understand what she horrifyingly did.
Like "Dead Weight", I don't have much to discuss about this episode. It was funny seeing Carl and Michonne playing a bet on the train rails at the start, but it was a pity that both characters as well as Rick only spent less than two minutes onscreen. Len from Joe's group was being such a colossal jackass towards Daryl over a rabbit. I was like "good riddance" when seeing his corpse near the end.
At the end, the group reach Terminus, and encounter a woman named Mary. I didn't notice at first, but Mary looked like the woman on the bloody portrait Michonne found in "Claimed". Possibly hinting that the Terminus residents are likely cannibals. It has been seen many times before, no matter how nice the people act, they can never be trusted. The episode was alright and enjoyable.
At first, I thought this episode was going to be awful, because it had possibly the shortest title in television history. Every episode title in the series has a meaning and reference, but neither of us understood what "A" was suppose to mean. Some people thought it was an initial for Alexandria Safe-Zone, but I highly doubted it, because it seemed premature for it to appear in the show at this stage.
However, once you actually watch the episode instead of pondering on that, it becomes obvious. Throughout Terminus, the letter "A" is painted on every doorway Rick, Daryl, Carl and Michonne run through, as well as on the train car where all the survivors are reunited and held up in at the end. I was kind of anticipating Turminus to be a sort of adaptation and alteration of the Hunters in the Comic Series - cannibals. (More of this continues below)
The fight between Rick and the Claimers was very brutal and drastic. One of the most volient I had ever seen. It was great see all the prison survivors (expect Tyreese, Carol and Judith) get back together at this point in the season. The episode may have ended as a cliffhanger, but as you now, that is an ongoing theme in the The Walking Dead franchise. But the best way of ending it, was delivering yet another well-known line from the Comic Series, In Rick's case, he says "They're screwing with the wrong people". The only deviation is that he says "f*cking" in the Comic Series instead of "screwing". Due to AMC, once again, not allowing much profanity. However, it does tell us that whatever happens in Season 5, they are going to get serious and they have a score to settle.
Overall, this season was great and very exciting. It is certainly much better than Season 3. Many of you, well... possibly all of you, would say that's because Glen Mazzara "ruined" Season 3, and I kinda agree. There were some parts that seemed good, but most of the season just sucked. Season 4 gained a lot more exhilarating and riveting moments, and featured way more zombies than ever before.
One of the downsides is that both the mid-season premiere and season finale did not surpass the season premiere with more U.S. viewers. It may seem unfortunate, but still on the plus side, the series continues to being the most-watched drama series in basic cable to this day.
I liked how the second part ("After" to "A") of the season played out. The narrative was kind of similar to the "400 Days" DLC for Telltale Games' The Walking Dead. Each episode is focused on different characters in different locations at different times, and they get together at the end.
Like many of you, I was quite excited to see Morgan Jones reappear in this season, but then they let the whole thing down when they eventually announced that Morgan's appearance had been postponed for Season 5 or later. It's a real shame, the series has had 51 episode, and Morgan has only been featured in two. It would be more interesting if they made him appear in episodes slightly more consecutively.
There was one thing I was perplexed about. In one of the early sneak peeks before Season 4 aired, it showed Rick and some members of the group looking disconsolate and standing around a pile of burning mutilated bodies at night. At first, it looked like an adapted scene from Volume 11: Fear The Hunters.
This scene was never shown once in the season. It's either because it was a pre-production practice, or removed due to possible changes in the writing and season story, or just to show how thrilling and dark the season is.
In the episode, "A", bloody bones and skeletons are seen in Terminus when Rick, Daryl, Carl and Michonne are being chased. So it almost became clear that the residents are cannibals. However, not long after the season ended, Scott Gimple said that just because there are bones, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are cannibals. So, what does this mean? Are the people at Terminus not anthropophagists after all? We'll have to see what happens in the following season.
And that is my review for Season 4. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.
TheSamBuckley's Top 5 episodes of Season 4