On a magical October evening, Rick Grimes, Daryl Dixon, and their motley band of survivors reunited on our television screens in “30 Days Without An Accident.” The prison and its tenants are thriving, in as much as a group of people can thrive during zombie apocalypse. The first scene features pots and window boxes overflowing with flowers, with life. Quite poetic, don’t you think?
Next, we see Rick doing a bit of light gardening, which ultimately leads him to digging up a buried gun. Before we figure out why Rick is burying his guns instead of wielding them to shoot walkers, the camera pans to the ever-present fence herd; zooming in on a walker that appears to have hemorrhaged through his eyes before making the transformation. Robert Kirkland does
love his foreshadowing, doesn’t he?
Next we see Rick and Carl bonding over some pigs. Yeah, you read that right. Along with flowers and crops, the group has scored some livestock. A fact that Carl appears to have forgotten, as he refers to the sickly piglet as “Violet.” Rick finds it prudent to remind Carl that it may be in his best interest not to get too attached to the little piggy as, eventually, “Violet” shall be bacon upon Carl’s breakfast plate. The pig being sick could also be...you guessed it! More foreshadowing.
We pan on over to what appears to be a zombie apocalypse version of a mess hall. The Woodbury orphans are all intermingled with the original prison crew, and everything is very social and precious. And all the newbies sure are big fans of Daryl. They practically fawn over him before Carol whisks him away to make him aware of a growing contingent of walkers piling up along the fence line. Something she states is manageable, until it isn’t. Also, I’m pretty sure Carol and Daryl are just about the cutest non-couple around. I mean, come on. She calls him Pookey and their names even rhyme. It’s been pre-destined.
Oh, so Maggie thinks she’s pregnant. More on that later.
We see some new couples emerging. Tyrese and Beth have started something with a couple of Woodbury survivors. And when Beth’s new beau tells her he’s going on the run, she turns into a bit of a robot, refusing to say goodbye and acting like she couldn’t possibly care less. Beth, the one who went into shock after seeing her walker mother and brother shot through the head, the one who everyone thought would be left behind; she has hardened her heart and turned off her emotions. This world has taken its toll on her, as well.
Michonne gallops up on horseback, and we discover that she has not been with the group for this lost off-season time. She stops by and tells Daryl she hasn’t found “him” yet; and one could probably assume that “he” is The Governor. Michonne offers to accompany Daryl and company on the run. Carl’s not happy, I suppose he and Michonne have bonded over a mutual love of comic books. And instead of heading out with Rick to check the snares, Carl is ordered to stick around the prison and groom the horses. Carl is not happy with this and says that “it’s for kids.” Rick confirms this and goes on his way. It appears that he is trying to instill some semblance of normalcy into his traumatized, trigger-happy son.
Before Rick goes about his business, Hershel corners him and tells him that “the counsel” met and have stated that they want Rick to take a gun with him. We also learn that Daryl, Hershel, Sasha, Carol and Glenn are at least a portion of this counsel. Rick gives in and packs his heat.
While in the woods, Rick stumbles upon an incredibly creepy woman. Seriously, creepier than any walker I’ve seen to date. Probably because she kind of looks like a walker, but can talk (complete with creepy accent) and think. Not to mention, her stringy black hair makes me think of Samara from The Ring.
I’m just waiting for her to crawl out of my television.
Photo courtesy of stuffpoint.com
Rick, who really just can’t seem to help himself, stops and listens to this terrifying woman’s pleas for help. This new zen attitude of his is already starting to piss me off. I understand he wants to help people, but when is the dude going to learn?! Now he’s following her off into the woods, and she’s explaining about all the terrible things she and her husband have had to do in order to survive.
Oh, did I mention that Rick is following her back to her camp where her husband is having a hard time of it? No? Okay, well, there it is. He tells her that before he can allow them to come back to the camp, he would have to ask just three questions. Questions he will ask them when her husband is there to answer them. Let’s just skip all the middle stuff and get to what we all already know is going to happen. Her husband is a walker, and she’s trying to lure Rick back to camp to feed him. She says he’s starving and needs something live. I guess fresh meat has been hard to come by. Rick obviously is not down with this plan and throws the chick to the ground. She then proceeds to stab herself in the gut and beg Rick not to kill her when she turns so that she and her husband can be a sweet little zombie couple. Yeah. Shit got weird. Before she dies, however, she asks Rick to tell her what the three questions are. To which he replies: “How many walkers have you killed?” She answers that her husband killed them all. Then he asks “How many people have you killed?” And she says “just me.” Then he finishes it off with, “Why?” To which she replies, “You don’t get to come back from this,” before taking her final breath.
Now we flash to the group getting ready to raid a big box store of types. They’ve drawn the walkers away from the store by setting up a boombox in the distance a few days ago. Pretty ingenious, if you ask me. Now Beth’s little boyfriend is trying to guess what Daryl did before the world turned. He guesses, based on his attitude, ability to track, and his instinctive leadership skills that Daryl was a Homicide Detective; which Michonne finds very amusing. They move on, start killing walkers, and life continues as per normal. We all know shit goes wrong when they go on runs. The only questions are when, and how many walkers will there be?
They’re shopping along in the dark, Glenn looking longingly at baby announcements, Michonne murdering cardboard cut outs, New Guy losing an internal battle over whether to pilfer booze or not. You know, the normal stuff. That is until New Guy emphatically slams said booze back onto the shelf in a moment of silent victory, only to find that the integrity of the shelving has been compromised. Thus causing an entire wall-sized unit to crumble down upon him. Which, of course, piques the ears and interest of the walkers on the roof; because, duh. OF COURSE there are walkers on the roof!
But instead of the roof walkers finding their way into the main part of the store, the roof starts to give way and just drops them down into the groups’ laps. New Guy’s foot is caught, but he’s otherwise okay. They’re trying to get him out then the first walker falls from the sky, and then proceeds to hang from the rafters by his guts. Yum. No good can come from this.
The group is literally covered in walkers. They are coming at them from all angles, the tension is palpable. Of course we all assume that new dude stuck under the shelving is going to be the first to bite it. That is, until we see him pull back the skin on the walker’s head and attempt to short out his walker brain. Daryl gets to him first and does the job and pulls New Guy out from the shelving. Unfortunately, Beth’s new boyfriend is not so lucky. He gets devoured before a helicopter on the roof falls into the store. Thankfully, Beth’s new boyfriend is the only one to go. It’s a man-eat-man world out there folks, and I’d rather a person whose name I never even learned die than Daryl or Glenn.
Carl has infiltrated “story time” and finds that it is also where Carol teaches the children how to use weapons. It’s a defense class. When she spots Carl, the first thing she says is, “Please, don’t tell your father.” Carl makes a run for it. But not before one of the kids asks to be dismissed from class because he “doesn’t want to yack on anyone.” Well, we all appreciate that, kid.
Rick has left the scary chick and her husband to their happily zombie after and has arrived back at the prison, where, he too notices the walker with the bloody eyes. Hmmm, what’s Kirkland setting us up for, exactly?
Oh, Maggie’s not pregnant, by the way. Crisis averted! Maggie tells Glenn that she “Didn’t want to, but we could have. We can have lives here.” Glenn, who has become quite the jaded fella, asks her how she could say that. “Because I don’t want to be afraid of being alive,” she responds. Glenn is not still convinced, stating that, “Being afraid is what’s kept us alive.” Maggie, who has somehow managed to keep her inner positivity, retorts with, “No. It’s how we’ve kept breathing.” I adore those two.
Photo courtesy of www.ibtimes.com
Daryl breaks the bad news to Beth. She continues to act like a robot. It’s kind a weird, and it’s making me feel strange. After Zach’s death, the accident-free countdown must reset, and Beth worries herself with that mundane task rather than feeling anything.
Hershel is trying to assuage Rick’s guilt that he bears for not being able to help the zombie couple. Hershel’s words of wisdom are an ever-welcome balm on Rick’s constantly guilty conscience.
Oh, here we go. The kid that bailed out of defense class early is stumbling aimlessly through a dark prison into the showers. He pumps up some water from the drum (and I am internally 100% certain that he is going to turn zombie right at the moment and spew zombie fluid into the communal water), but instead he collapses under the flow of water. When the camera pans to his face, we see that he has hemorrhaged through his eyes, and is leaking blood from his sockets. Right before he turns into a walker, of course. Looks like the foreshadowing was that the walker disease is now an airborne pathogen that can infect and kill you, and then turn you into a man-eating version of yourself. Well played, Kirkland. Well played.
I mean. Wow. What an absolutely grotesque, action-packed, heart-string-pulling, mind-bending fourth season premier. I am far from satiated, and I imagine you Deadheads will agree. More. We. Need. More!
Stick with me, Deadheads, as I continue to recap The Walking Dead
throughout the season!