Season 4 Episode 1 “30 Days Without an Accident”
There is a lot going on this premier episode. We’re getting caught up on what our friends have been up to during the hiatus. Plus, there’s several new characters to talk about. Third, the setup for our next storyline. Let’s dive in!
First to catch up on is Rick. He’s turned himself into a farmer and doesn’t like carrying a gun anymore to the displeasure of “The Council”. More to come on The Council later. Rick also won’t let Carl have a gun either and is trying to help him stay somewhat of a kid. This is not my favorite version of Rick, but a necessary step. Most of the characters we come in contact with who lose it are constantly on an upward projection of intensity and mental instability until they finally crash and burn. But Rick always comes close to going over the edge and then he either pulls himself back or people help him pull back. He gets time to breathe and reevaluate his path. This ebb and flow he gets is what keeps him alive all this time.
He gets a dose of this to his face when he meets a very soiled woman in the woods. He thinks she’s a walker but then she speaks to him and asks for help. Rick helps her and goes back to meet her husband with her so they can possibly join the prison. But when they get back to her camp he finds that the husband she lovingly spoke about is really just a walker head and the woman tries to kill him. She ends up killing herself and asking Rick to let her turn so she can be with her husband’s head. Rick reflects that this could have been him and it scares him. So I’ll leave Farmer Rick alone for now.
The rest of the group has been carrying on and taking on leadership roles for their growing prison group. A council has been created but we don’t exactly know who is on it yet. Safe to say it’s our more seasoned characters. Daryl has a fan base of people he’s rescued. Which I think is a subtle teasing by the show to how us fans were feeling about Daryl in real life at this point. Carol is keeping things orderly and secretly teaching children how to defend themselves under the guise of “story time”. Carol and children is one of my favorite arcs of the series. It is so firmly rooted in her love for her daughter and repeatedly is so beautiful and tragic every time it comes up. Michonne has been searching for The Governor and has some trouble staying still. She returns from a search just to turn around and leave again with Daryl for the run.
And then there is our new cast members and some minor players who appear to be getting bumped up. Tyrese and Sasha are still around and appear to be taking on more prominent roles. Tyrese plays a big softie this episode. First, he says he doesn’t want to kill walkers on the fence and then returns from the run and says he doesn’t like it out there either. Come on Tyrese! You can’t just hide in the prison all day! On the opposite end, Sasha appears to have gone full badass. She’s all geared up for a fight and playing it tough. Beth has a new boyfriend, Zack. Don’t get used to Zack though. There’s also Bob. Bob, we learn was a combat medic and Daryl picked him up on the road all alone. Bob seems like a good guy but clearly has some PTSD and a drinking problem when he sees dead bodies at the store the run team goes to and when he heads to the liquor aisle for supplies. There are some new kids as well. Patrick, an older boy but sort of childish. Lizzie and Mika, sisters who appear to have some confusing attitudes about walkers.
As far as what to expect from the story for the season we don’t really know yet. The Governor could pop up again, that’s been given a setup. But there’s also a subtler setup that happened. I never even noticed it the first time I watched. The first hint is the walkers on the fence with the bloody faces. We see walkers all the time in various states of decay and mess so why is this different? The way the blood looks like it’s dripping down from the eyes is why. We see Patrick die in the bathroom at the end of the episode and the blood from his face has the same pattern. And then there’s the dying animals. One of Farmer Rick’s pigs dies this episode and Rick also encounters a sick looking wild pig out in the woods. Something is causing these animals to get sick and die. You don’t really connect these dots completely this episode but it all makes sense later.
Season Four is kind of a crazy season. The show takes some big risks with characters and stories that I love. It’s a very shocking season and emotionally taxing, at least it was for me. And I’ll just say it now…. Rick’s closing line in the season finale is my all-time favorite. Feel free to wait for it or go watch it now!
Best of the Episode
As many times as I’ve watched all the episodes, which is uncountable at this point, this is the first time I’ve noticed Karen’s fence cleaning tool and it really tickled me so I have to mention it. She is literally using a walking cane with a sharpened end to kill walkers. A walking cane, the kind you can buy at any CVS or Walgreen’s. It’s sort of genius. You’ve got a rubber grip to prevent slipping and for comfort and it’s long enough to kill the walker without it getting super close. And the end is small enough to fit through most holes in a fence or through a partially opened door or a window. I’m totally getting one when the zombie apocalypse happens.
Rick and the dirty woman. This was a great way for us and Rick to see what he could have become. It happened with Morgan too last season. These people have lost so much and they didn’t have anyone around to keep them sane. When she tries to kill Rick for the purposes of feeding her husband’s head it’s a real stunner. Then as she lays dying and Rick asks her the three questions, I honestly feel bad for her and what happened.
The failed run. This run goes from average to fucked in a matter of seconds. First Bob breaks a shelf and it collapses on him, then walkers start falling through the ceiling and going after everyone, and then a helicopter on the roof brings down the whole building! We lose Zack. It’s just not a successful trip after they were so cocky and casual going in. My favorite is the first walker to come through the ceiling. His intestines get stuck on some of the structure and he’s just hanging midair by his guts. It’s epic. Second best walker is the one that goes after Bob when he’s stuck. Bob tries to keep it away and ends up peeling back the skin from the skull. Yeah, that happened.