DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ Returns Without a Vengeance
October 13, 2013  | By David Bianculli
 

AMC’s The Walking Dead returns for its new season without a deadly warlord to oppose – but with plenty of drama just in existing, day to day, after the zombie apocalypse…

Season 4 begins at 9 p.m. ET, with Rick (Andrew Lincoln, top), as usual, having a tough row to hoe. But this time it’s literal, because he’s put down his gun and rifle, as well as the leadership role of his ragtag band of scrappy survivors, and picked up gardening tools instead.

Under the tutelage of patient, one-legged Hershel (Scott Wilson), Rick is learning the tricks of nurturing, transplanting and harvesting crops. He’s feeding his fellow “inmates” housed behind the prison fences, taking a much-needed break from all the pressure, death and sadness, and focusing on the miracle of life – coaxing food from the ground, from seeds and seedlings to fruits and vegetables – rather than the war with the undead.

But the undead are out there, in ever-increasing, ever-clustering numbers. One of the early scenes in the Season 4 pilot has people assigned to a daily duty that’s both ghastly and oppressive: spearing the walkers through the straining chain-link fences, reducing their numbers by stabbing them in the brains in a brutal, but necessarily, equivalent of weeding. If their numbers get too concentrated, their sheer weight can break through a fence. Or a roof.

Which, before the opening hour is up, it does.

We’re introduced to some new characters in Sunday’s season opener – and we’d better be, at the rate the show’s familiar and beloved regulars were killed off, one by one, last season. It’s the ruthlessness of The Walking Dead that makes it such a scary show. Established characters have died so frequently, and so unexpectedly, that each scene putting a character in mortal danger has an enhanced level of intensity. Even Rick, the central character of The Walking Dead, the one through whose out-of-a-coma eyes we first saw this scary new zombie-filled world, conceivably could be ripped from us at any time – no matter what has, or hasn’t, happened in the graphic novels by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard that inspired this TV series.

And indeed, the first two Season 4 episodes – the only ones provided for critics – place many of the characters, old and new, in situations from which they indeed may well not survive.  Suffice it to say they’re scenes which had me leaning forward while watching them – and, when they were over, hungry for more. Not hungry as in zombies-wanting-brains hungry – but close.

 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
 Website (optional)
 
UIDTQ
Type in the verification word shown on the image.