(Source: AMC)
(Source: AMC)

Heavy spoilers ahead. Please take evasive maneuvers.

AMC’s The Walking Dead premiered its fourth season last Sunday, October 13. The show is already on an uphill battle to live up to the expectations. While everyone was talking about a scary surprise, I think that got played up too much. It was for the most part stuff we’ve already seen.

Rick has taken a few steps away from the pit of despair. He still seems a little too close to breaking down, so naturally the others are keeping him at a distance which seems to be the complete opposite of what he needs. The community has grown in size, but hardly do any new characters seem to stand out yet. There is a council deciding things, who even has to tell to our wannabe-pacifist sheriff to carry some protection when he steps out to check traps. Even in this first episode Rick is already put through the ringer as he runs into a zombie-looking non-zombie woman that is completely deranged. This would’ve been obvious to the dimmest of lightbulbs, but Rick still wants to believe there’s good out there or he’s learned nothing on the previous three seasons.

Daryl and Michonne are still the terminators of the group. That is kind of worrying as there doesn’t seem to be anybody else battle-ready (except Carl, but I’ll get to that later). In fact, the rest of the prison residents seem to have gone soft. That includes Glenn, who’s overprotective of Maggie as she seems to be giving hints about being pregnant. Either that or they want a kid just to make things harder for everyone, we don’t know yet. Carol on the other hand is still working hidden angles as she’s secretly teaching the kids how to defend themselves. Whether that will turn the tide when things go sour or will just mess things up further we’ll have to wait and see.

The supply run ends as expected as a group of zombies wandering on the rooftop of a grocery store start dropping from the ceiling, along with a fallen chopper. Heads up for the gruesome shot of the week as one of the zombies hangs from his entrails.

“Billy the kid” Carl is acting very subdued, but only until the situation presents itself where he shows what’s bubbling under the surface. The other kids don’t seem to know him yet but I either expect he’ll become isolated or grow a fanclub that follows his every move. Chances are high on the first happening followed by the second. The new kids on the cell block are already priming themselves up to be annoying. Perhaps the strategy here is suddenly make Carl likeable. It’s going to take more than that.

So impressions so far, this was mostly a regular episode. The supply run has its victims and Daryl has to deliver some sad news to Hershel’s daughter Beth as her boyfriend gets devoured by zombies while saving someone else. With his cheery disposition, he might as well have been wearing a red shirt when he decided to join the supply run. Beth’s reaction is rather subdued as she sets the tone on how long relationships are expected to last in this world.

That will do for now.