If there ever was an ominous title for an episode, “30 Days Without An Accident” would definitely be it. Just from the title alone, you know there are going to be some major human casualties. As it turns out, that is an understatement because not only did we lose some characters, we got a glimpse into this new “threat” that has been hyped since San Diego Comic-Con this past summer.
Very much like the season 3 premiere, most of the episode is somewhat subdued. While this was done in season three to set up the cliffhanger of the discovery of the prison survivors, the purpose here was the development of the characters, both past as well as newcomers. One of the biggest changes we see is in Rick (Andrew Lincoln). If I could sum up season 3 in one sentence it would be the season there the major characters went coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs, with Rick being in the center of it all. As you may recall, Rick became very cold and unsteady in season 3, refusing to help anyone even if it meant that person would die. Farm life must have had an impact on Rick, because if anything, the guy has done a complete 180. If the old Rick had encountered a stranger in the forest, the last thing he would have done is offer to help her, let alone follow her back to her camp. And, he certainly would not have allowed the woman’s walker husband to live. The old Rick would have put a bullet in the guy’s brain without blinking. While I’m glad to see that Rick has finally come back down to Earth, his new-found trustfulness does have me worried. You just don’t invite strangers into your group without getting to know them first, and dear Rick, you don’t go out in the fields unarmed. I know you are just trying to provide a good example to your son and the rest of the group, but there’s a fine line between being a good role model and just being stupid.
Another character that has completely turned over a new leaf is Carl (Chandler Riggs). At the end of season three, I had labeled Carl as the “mini-Governor” especially after he killed the unarmed teenager from Woodbury. Carl is no longer walking around trigger-happy, and he is even upset after discovering that Carol (Melissa McBride) is teaching the children how to use knives. The old Carl would not have had a problem with that, and in fact, he probably would be teaching the class. While I do like the new Carl more, just like Rick he does have me worried. With the new-found peacefulness that they have found while living in the prison, I think it has caused Rick, Carl, and perhaps the rest of the group to let their guard down. And, that’s the one thing you should never do in a zombie apocalypse.
Aside from Rick and Carl, the one character that has me worried the most is Michonne (Danai Gurira). We know that Michonne wanted to kill the Governor from the moment she laid eyes on him. It’s been months since the showdown with the Governor and his followers from Woodbury, and you would think that after all of this time, she would have buried the hatchet. But, nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, she appears to be spending almost every waking moment searching for the Governor, even if that means leaving the prison group with one man down. Obsess much, Michonne? Perhaps you should make a trip to the prison library and read the book “Moby Dick”. Either way, I think this obsession over the Governor is going to end up back-firing in a very bad way.
Now, for the highlight of the episode – the new found “threat” that everyone has been buzzing about. Poor nerdy Patrick. We barely knew you, but I did kind of like the guy. We see Patrick initially getting sick in the story-telling group, and by that night, he was bleeding from the nose and eyes and had died. We can also assume that the pig, Violet, had died from the same illness. So, what disease could cause these symptoms and kill so quickly? My guess is either anthrax or Ebola. And, since Ebola there has never been a case of Ebola in the United States, I’m leaning towards anthrax. Either way, Rick’s group is screwed unless they figure out something quickly. With Patrick turning after his death, they now have a walker in the cell block, and to top it off, Patrick infected the group’s shared water supply before he keeled over.
This now leads me to newcomer, Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.). If you are a fan of the comic book series, you will know that Bob was originally a member of the Governor’s team and had defected at the end. Because of that, I think some people believe that he’s not what he seems and may actually be working for the Governor. But, I don’t think so, and in fact, I think he might be key in getting the group past this new illness especially if it’s anthrax. As we know, Bob is a former Army medic, and so, having someone with formal medical training will certainly come in handy (sorry, Hershel, I know you’re a veterinarian, but it’s not quite the same!). Plus, most people in the military are vaccinated for things like anthrax, and so, Bob could potentially know how to get vaccines or antibiotics to treat the disease. It’s certainly not something that you can pick up at the neighborhood Wal-marts the group has been raiding.
Either way, I think it’s setting the stage for a fantastic season. We’ve got some interesting new characters with several more on the horizon, a new threat that makes the zombie disease look like child’s play, and of course, plenty of gore. And, let’s not forget we have the return of the Governor to look forward to. With this wicked combination, we may be seeing the best season of The Walking Dead yet.
The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.
Random thoughts and questions
- They said that the store the group raided had walkers inside the fence a few days prior, almost like they were “patrolling” the area. But, they were nowhere to be found now. So, where did they go? And, how did all of those walkers end up on the roof? Could that have been a set-up?
- Not sure how I feel about Tyreese and Karen as a couple. But, at least they didn’t pair Tyreese with Carol. In the comics, Tyreese hooks up with Carol, and then, later on with Michonne. In my opinion, either one of these would have been wrong on so many levels.
- I love the fact that Hershel now has a prosthetic leg. At least now he has a fighting chance.
- I laughed out loud at the banter between Daryl and Zach. Daryl Dixon, the homicide cop? Too funny!