Recap/Review: ‘The Walking Dead’: Season 4 Episode 1: “30 Days Without An Accident”

The long wait for season 4 of the AMC hit show, ‘The Walking Dead‘, was finally ended last night with the premier of episode one, “30 Days Without An Accident“.  When we left our favorite group of walker killing survivors at the end of season 3, The Governor went even crazier and is now MIA, a few key members were killed, Daryl was getting over the loss of his brother and the prison group was welcoming the citizens from Woodbury which left a lot of questions for season 4.  Will Daryl finally get some?  Will The Governor finally get what’s coming to him?  Will the merger of the prison group and the citizens of Woodbury work out?  Will the group finally find a little peace and some time to catch their breath?

iRecap:

Season four of ‘The Walking Dead‘ picks up about 6-7 months after the showdown with The Governor, and the prison seems to be a peaceful sanctuary from the nightmares outside of the walls and fences.  The prison has been transformed into a community complete with a small farm with animals and crops that Rick and Hershel tend to to help feed their growing group.

At the end of season three, Carl shot a boy in the woods after the showdown at the prison.  Because of this, Rick has become somewhat anti-gun and stepping up to more of a father role as apposed to his role in previous seasons as the hero and leader of the entire group.  His focus is more on Carl and giving him the most “normal” childhood he possibly can given the circumstances.

The walkers have been a problem for them even inside the prison walls.  This has not changed, but now they are threatening the fences that keep the prison safe from them.  The walkers have begun to gather and push at the fences.

Daryl is again kind of the white knight of the group.  He is finding new people to bring in to their new little “community” and he still goes out hunting to help provide food for the surviving group.  Carol still seems to have it pretty bad for the badass with a heart of gold.  Their relationship has become even more playful and flirty than it has been in the past.  Carol even gives Daryl an adorable little nickname that he so shyly reacts to.  Their interactions in last night’s show will definitely make the “Caryl” fans very happy and it certainly makes the possibility of a hookup look more promising.

Let’s not forget about the prisons most loved couple, besides Daryl and his crossbow, Glenn and Maggie.  When we left them last season, they had gotten engaged and seemed incredibly happy.  When we see them in last night’s premier, they are just waking up and talking about a run that the group has planned.  We all know Maggie is one badass chick that is quite capable of taking care of herself, but Glenn has a problem with his bride-to-be going out on the run with the others and he talks her into staying.

With the merger of the two groups as well as newcomers that Daryl and Rick bring in, there is bound to be some new love connections.  Not even the big man Tyreese is safe from cupid’s arrow.  He now has a bit of a relationship going with one of the ladies from Woodbury.  Adorable little Beth even has herself a boyfriend, but with the whole zombie apocalypse thing going on, can things really end up happily ever after?

Michonne come riding up on a horse and she has been away for a little bit.  She has been going out on runs of her own trying to track down The Governor.

Our favorite one legged farmer, Hershel, has a surprise.  Like Lt. Dan, Hershel has a new leg!  There is no explanation given in the episode for how Hershel acquired his new appendage, so let the minds wander.  Hershel has a couple of discussions with Rick, one of them is pretty funny.  Hershel also brings up another aspect from the graphic novels, The Council.

Rick goes out to check the snares that have been placed in the woods to help bring in more food, and this is definitely a very bizarre trip for him.  While out, he comes across a wild hog and just as he goes to approach it, a woman that appears to be a walker approaches it first.  As Rick goes to walk away,  the woman speaks to him, she is not a walker, but a woman down on her luck living in the woods with her husband.  She and Rick have a talk about them joining the prison group, but Rick wants to meet her husband first, so they set off towards her camp.

Carl has had some issues and has become fairly hard to say the least.  In the beginning of the episode, it looked as though Carl wasn’t going to be such a little jerk, but that is short lived when he comes across a group of the other kids from the prison hanging out by the fence naming the walkers.  He has a very “Carl moment” with a very sassy little girl who kind of stuns him a bit.

Daryl leads a group out on a run to the local “Big Spot” store for supplies.  In the first scene of the run, Daryl shows a more care-free, funny side while he jokes around outside the store with Beth’s boyfriend Zach.  He has definitely come a very long way from the bitter, hard redneck we met in season one.

The remainder of the show flips back and forth between Rick and the crazy lady from the woods and the group on the run.  Back to Rick and crazy lady, Rick is walking with her back to her camp and she becomes even weirder the closer they come to her camp.  The run that Daryl and the others are on seems to be peaceful with minimal walker interruption, but we just can’t have that now can we?  The walkers were not in the store, but chilling at a crashed helicopter on the roof.  The roof is leaking a bit of water which can only mean bad things.  As the walkers hear the movement and banging around inside the store below, they begin to walk across the roof, then all hell breaks loose.  For the first time in ‘TWD‘ history, walkers begin to fall through the ceiling, it was literally raining walkers.

Back to crazy lady and formally crazy Rick, their conversation has become quite heavy.  They talk about what each of them has had to do to stay alive in the new crazy world.  On the run, Daryl and crew are forced to fight a horde of walkers falling from the ceiling and to make matters worse, remember that crashed helicopter on the roof?  Well it is tired of being up there and decides it wants to slowly begin to crash through the ceiling along with the walkers and it’s coming in down just above Daryl who is trying to fight off a group of walkers.  In badass Daryl fashion, with the help of Glenn and Zach, he gets out of the way just as the helicopter comes crashing in.

Now at camp crazy, the woman bends down to a burlap sack and begins talking to it, that’s when Rick realizes that the woman’s husband had turned and she kept his head in a bag.  desperate to feed her walker head husband, the woman attempts a sneak attack on Rick.  Rick counters and the woman falls to the ground.  Upon standing up, she gives Rick a sob story and says “we cannot come back from the things we’ve done” and she tells Rick she wants to be with her husband and she tells him not to end it when she’s done.  After saying that, she stabs herself.

Back at the prison, Carol is in the library reading to the kids.  When she is finished with the story, she pulls out a small case of knives.  like any good teacher in a zombie apocalypse, she teaches the kids “knife fighting 101”.  Glenn and Maggie have a discussion in the privacy of their own room about starting a family.  Glenn of course against it because of what happened to Lori and all the other craziness going on around them, Maggie tells him “I don’t want to be afraid of being in love“.  Cliff hanger with them and their discussion.

Daryl finds Beth in her cell and delivers the bad new that her boyfriend had been bitten by a walker on the run.  Beth, normally very emotional, seems to have a very cold, detached reaction to the news saying “okay” to Daryl after he tells her.  Daryl seems a bit shocked at the change in her.  She walks over to a desk and on the desk is a work accident counter.  It says “30 days without an accident“, hence the episode title, on it and Beth removes the 3 resetting it to zero.  She walks over to Daryl and says “I don’t cry anymore Daryl” and embraces him.  The embrace and the look in Beth’s eyes seemed to give room to a possible hookup between the two of them in the future.

Rick, haunted by the woman in the woods and the things that she said to him, has a a pretty serious discussion with Hershel.  Hershel reassures Rick that you can come back from the things you’ve done and that people really can change.

At the end of “30 Days Without An Accident“, the peace in the prison looks to be in jeopardy and a real problem is about to rise inside the prison.

Review:

Last night’s premier was quite different from the premiers of past seasons.  It was kind of nice to see a season start off on a peaceful note.

The shift in the dynamic of the prison is very refreshing and the character evolution is incredible.  Seeing sweet little Beth becoming the hard one and hard ass Daryl become the sweetheart is quite a change, but those changes are making for a more interesting show.  The way that Norman Reedus portrays Daryl is nothing short of amazing.  His talent and experience allows him to take Daryl through these changes and make them believable.

I know it may seem mean that the writers are giving the group hope only to yank the rug out from under them after all they have already been through, but they are in a zombie apocalypse.  Not everything can be sunshine and rainbows or the show would fall flat in just a couple of episodes.  I commend the writers on the bold decisions they have made thus far.

Season four could perhaps be the best one yet.  I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds.

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