30 Days Without An Accident
Too Far Gone
The Walking Dead returns for its fourth season for, in many ways, a tale of two halves. The first half sees a conclusion to the prison story in shocking fashion with a massive fight for survival. The second half changes to a slow, lethargic slog as our characters travel toward a new refuge called Terminus. In many ways, it feels like the show runs out of steam at the midway point and despite a cliffhanger ending and a couple of stand out episodes, it doesn’t quite hit the same heights we’ve seen in previous years.
This season picks up where the last left off with our characters in the prison. As zombies mass in huge numbers outside the gates, the group grow increasingly concerned that the prison may not be as safe as they once thought whilst Rick struggles to keep the group in check. As the season progresses, several sub plots become entwined in the focus story that help to flesh it out but despite a strong start, the second half of the season sees the focus move away from the prison and its here that it falls a bit flat. There are a few stand out episodes, with “The Grove” a heartbreaking, incredibly written stand alone story with, of course, both the first half and second half season finales standing out too.
Most of the cast this year are returning faces and for large chunks of the season, we follow the characters as they take on their familiar roles we’ve seen before. Rick is still the leader and his focus on protecting the group takes centre stage and his loyal followers all play their roles but the only character who really feels like they’ve grown is Carol. Her tough demeanour is a far cry from what we saw back in the first season and her progression is fascinating to watch.
As I mentioned before, the first half of this season is great. The pace is quick, its action packed and really tense throughout. The second half though sees the group walking for vast majority of the episodes where not very much happens as they travel toward a place called Terminus that promises sanctuary. The finale is pretty good but compared to what we’ve seen for the vast majority of last season and the first half of this, the change in pace feels more akin to that of Season 2 which is a little worrying.
Overall though, Season 4 is still a decent one. The action packed drama shows just why its so highly regarded by many people, moving the show forward in a new direction. The characters are well fleshed out and despite a few niggling issues, its still one of the best zombie shows out there. With the promise of Season 5 increasing the danger the group find themselves in at the end of the shocking finale, The Walking Dead should return to its winning formula after another good, but slightly shaky, showing here.
Verdict - 7/10