O.K. So, here’s the deal. Dusty and I are going to be doing joint reviews of The Walking Dead over the course of season 4. This will be fun because we do not see eye to eye on this show. Dusty has read the graphic novels, whereas, I have only read the first four volumes:and I’m o.k. with that. I really enjoy what the writers on the show are doing and that may be because I don’t read the graphic novels, but that is what will make these “dueling reviews” tons of fun.
Warning: we will both be including spoilers in our individual reviews. So, PLEASE, do not read any future articles until you have watched the most recent episode. Thank you.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been mourning a Mr. Walter White a.k.a Heisenberg and the only thing that is going to console me is the return of The Walking Dead. Daryl Dixon, deliver me from mediocre television! As we approach the start of the fourth season on October 13, let’s chat a bit about where we are and why I love the show.
Season 1 was, mostly, awesome and we were invested in the characters and their survival by the end of it. Season 2 was a bit cumbersome at times and this is when people lost their enthusiasm for the show. I know, I know, there was A LOT of talking and not so much action, but I really liked this because it allowed us to really get to know the characters and their specific traits and qualities. There may not have been a ton of zombie battle, but the emotional battles that played out amongst the characters were pretty darn interesting to me. Lori coerced Rick into killing Shane and then got mad at him for it. Glenn and Maggie came together and have turned into the couple everyone roots for. We got rid of Dale always ruining everyone’s fun with his moral preaching. Come on dude! It’s the Zombie Apocalypse:it’s kill or be killed. Shippers rejoiced at the creation of Caryl (love story between Daryl and Carol?). Best of all, Daryl Dixon went from Neo-Nazi biker to tough guy with a very, very well hidden heart of gold. In the episode titled “The Fall Of Daryl Dixon”, while searching for Sophia, AS USUAL, Daryl falls, hits his head, has some really interesting hallucinations and wakes up to a zombie eating at his shoe. What does Daryl do? Takes an arrow OUT OF HIMSELF, loads it into his crossbow and SHOOTS THE ZOMBIE with it!! EPIC! As if that weren’t bad-ass enough, he then proceeds to eat raw vermin and make a zombie ear necklace.
It’s these kind of moments that make all of the talking worthwhile to me. Any time a character becomes legitimately unhinged on TWD, that’s when truly interesting developments take place. Season 3 saw the mental unraveling of Rick and his battle for power with The Governor. The Governor is a fascinating, evil, complicated character. You’re never really sure how low he’s willing to go. Every time you think he can’t be more despicable, he proves you wrong. I find that fascinating. Yes, quite a few characters were given the brush off, if you will, but no one seems to complain when Stephen King pulls this nonsense. (Here’s a character, please invest in them and at the exact moment that you really love them, I’m just going to kill them for no reason.) Watching Merle Dixon battle his own inner demons in season 3 was engaging and emotionally satisfying at it’s inevetable end.
What I really tune in for every week is to see how the characters choose to adapt to their new reality. Watching Carl grow up in a morally ambiguous world is, at times heartbreaking, but also very real and fascinating. It’s an interesting idea to wonder how you and your own personal value system would make it if the zombie apocalypse came. Would you be a Dale, a Rick, a Shane? How long would you try to hold on to your humanity and at what point would you start taking phone calls from your dead wife? These are the things that keep me coming back week after week and forgive them for their pacing problems.
I cannot wait to see what’s in store for the new group at the prison and I can’t even begin to imagine what fresh hell The Governor is going to unleash on them.