‘The Walking Dead’ Finds Strength In Numbers

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Larry Gilliard Jr in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 13 The Walking Dead Finds Strength In Numbers

[This is a review for The Walking Dead season 4, episode 13. There will be SPOILERS.]

Since its return from hiatus, The Walking Dead has made several attempts to discuss what the idea of survival means for the core characters lucky (or unlucky, as the case may be) to have survived the Governor’s attack on the prison. There’s been consistent mention of characters trying to find a life that is more than eking out a mere continued existence, something more than getting by day-to-day, and finding a life that holds more meaning than simply not dying.

In that regard, the show has taken a welcome step back, moved away from pitting the survivors against the callous ideologies of sociopaths like the Governor, and begun to explore the possibility that maybe there is some purpose to The Walking Dead that goes beyond simply waiting to see which character is going to be the next one to die. While it hasn’t necessarily gotten there yet, it should be noted that the post-prison storyline has successfully worked in that direction, setting up a narrative in which hastily appointed groups – of largely odd couple pairings – have begun to explore that faint light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, for the time being, that light is called Terminus, and as ‘Alone’ demonstrates in its final moments, its light has shone bright enough to offer some small hope of reunion for nearly everyone who managed to escape the prison with their lives.

Last week, The Walking Dead took a surprisingly divisive detour to spend some time with Beth and Daryl. It was an admittedly facile, but still unexpectedly upbeat episode that saw the two tracking down Beth’s first taste of alcohol and coming away with an opportunity to start fresh. While ‘Still‘ peered into Daryl’s (and by extension, the entire series’) need for purpose beyond simply drifting or existing, ‘Alone’ similarly takes to examining the importance of strength in numbers beyond the purpose of fending off walkers, or worse. The episode opens with the relatively unexplored Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) wandering alone, simply surviving until he happens across Daryl and on a desolate stretch of road. After passing the infamous three questions test administered by Daryl, Bob tells them “it doesn’t really matter who you are,” because for Bob, solitude is the enemy, and having others beside him is the purpose he’s been searching for in the post-zombie world.

Emily Kinney in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 13 The Walking Dead Finds Strength In Numbers

Of course, the show doesn’t shy away from pointing out that it does matter who someone is, and even though the Governor is dead that doesn’t mean the survivors are only going to encounter good people. An unknown assailant with a penchant for slapping religious iconography on his or her car presumably snatches Beth from nearly reenacting all five seasons of Six Feet Under with Daryl, while the jam-scarfing Mr. Dixon winds up in the company of Joe (Jeff Kober), a scruffy-faced tough guy traveling with the same band of ruffians Rick ran afoul of earlier, who apparently go by the rather friendly motto of: “Why hurt yourself when you can hurt other people?”

Such a clear distinction between good and evil is again, a little easy, but it’s an easiness that is frankly welcome. The simple, straightforward depiction of people like Joe is far more in The Walking Dead‘s wheelhouse than, say, conflicted villains wondering where it all went wrong and supposedly resolute leaders talking to ghosts on disconnected prison phones. The show is already dealing with the end of the world; it doesn’t necessarily need to be splashing around in the moral gray areas and solemn tones of the apocalypse all of the time. There is room for more; and if the smiling faces of Bob Stookey and Abraham Ford are any indication, then sometimes –even in the face of unremitting danger and death – a little optimism can make the end of the world a little easier to swallow.


The Walking Dead continues next Sunday with ‘The Grove’ @9pm on AMC. Check out a sneak peek of the episode below:

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  1. Such a good ep. Loved Bob’s arc. Btw if anyone was wondering what the song at the start with Bob was its called Blackbird song by Lee DeWyze

  2. There is some good character stuff happening but I’m not particularly enjoying this story line.

    • There is no story line. It’s now a back into 90s stand-alone episode series … the stand-alone episodes are sometimes good, sometimes really bad written … but the overall main theme of the show got lost in these needless isolated epsiodes.

      • The overall main theme of the show is “survival in a zombie infested world”. If anything the show has finally found the way back to its core after all that prison stagnation. I absolutely love it right now. It’s the best the show has been since Season 1.

        • Although the writing is still not up to par it’s still much improved and now reminds me a lot of season 1. I liked that they refered to the radio scene and we got a little bit of an answer on that and it seems that the hunters storyline is starting to come together. So far it’s been very nicely done

  3. really liking this season but I have to agree with the biggest fan complaint so far that the pace and the entire episodes of single character story is getting old. Here we are 3 weeks left and the show has been crawling at a snails pace since the mid season finale. I wish they would get away from the trend of leaving all the action forced in the last episode. Cmon Kirkman, give us a more show or go to 20 episode seasons!!

    p.s the AMC commercial marathon between 9 and 10 on Sunday nights has been sponsored by the TV show The Walking Dead.

    • More and more I think not only AMC, but also Kirkman himself is the problem. He may know how to write amazing comic books, but he obviously don’t know how to write and run a good tv show.

  4. This is turning into a friggin weekly soap! Damn, I’ll just have to return to reading the comic to get my interest piqued up, if I have to keep watching this!

    • I couldn’t agree more!

  5. I want to care when a character dies on this show. I want to care when they’re in danger. If not for these deeper character exploration episodes, this show runs one episode into another with nothing but a bunch of walker killing in between.

    Last week’s episode was by far one of the best of the entire show’s run. I actually care about Beth whereas I couldn’t even remember her name at the beginning of the season. This show has finally gotten it right since the first 6 episodes. This second half of season 4 rivals the quality and heart that made this show popular to begin with.

    • I agree with everything you said. And for the people crying for action, I think thy need to rewatch these episodes. There is plenty of action. I am glad they are back to the zombies being the enemy … at least for a while.

  6. holy cow..!! this article made me think “is it RIP Lexis structure?”.. the whole article is scattered. I finished reading it without even having as slightest idea what the author is talking about. demn men..!!

    • True!
      I guess it is because the show is so going down and he hasn’t anything good to say … but since he (or Screenrant) seems on the payroll of AMC he has to write something … so he writes something conceptional, at least nothing critical.
      Poor Screenrant … how about a bit more criticism!

  7. Definetely an improvement over last week`s horrible episode. But i still can`t care enough for the drama and the action and the suspense as much as the show made me care for the first half of season 3. Like said above, it`s turning into a weekly soap.

  8. So are Beth and Darryl a couple? He can’t make up his mind between older or younger women.

    I find it silly that those 3 knowing how hard it is to go it alone would ever separate… strength in numbers, especially against Zeds.

    Terminus isn’t in the comics so I’m wondering if it will be similar to one of the locales currently in the book like Alexandria or Hilltop.

  9. I’m wondering if Joe and his crew are going to be The Hunters, or a lead in to the Saviors (I am having a tough time seeing anyone doing justice to Neegan on TV on AMC… We’ll need some F Bombs…. maybe they can work that Breaking Bad deal and get a few per season bleeped out). And also will Terminus be the Safe Zone or something completely new.

    • This stuff screams to go premium like “Games of Thrones” based on content alone. That way, they would be on a very short leash as far as BS-ing goes in the name of providing substance (character building, dragging the story..). The series on AMC is doing great injustice to the comics and its fans, in my opinion. Biggest letdown for me was “The Governor”. The Governor from the comic would still beat the sh#$t out of the the governor on the series, solely on looks! I so hope that HBO/Showtime/Starz drop a cash load on this milked out cow and transform it into a raging bull that it is supposed to be!

      • So true! That’s exactly what I hope for this show. Could be so great, but its just going down after a great start.
        Too bad it will not happen … :(

      • @Neil I actually liked the TV version of The Governor than the comic book. Though, he’s probably the only one I liked and prefer more than the comics.
        The funny thing, you mention HBO to “drop a cash load on this milked out cow and transform it into a raging bull that it is supposed to be”, HBO actually wanted The Walking Dead to be toned down from the violence and the gore. But that was long ago, so I think HBO regrets it (not so much).
        Though the question is, would HBO done a better job than AMC with The Walking Dead if Gale Anne Hurd agrees the deal with HBO?

        • I’m sure HBO regrets it, especially with “Game of Thrones” having countable seasons left and Robert Kirkman promising to string out a zombie saga out of this one. Looking at the comics it surely does look like to be the right vehicle to hitch a ride on. This could have been THE series for the network. I agree that over the years the landscape of premium series has changed and they’ve continued to push the envelope and that’s what I want to see this series take advantage of. It could be well worth it. If not that, then at the least bring Darabont back, which I can see has an even lesser chance of happening.

          Moreover, in view of this show on AMC, its sad to read the other news that “Preacher” is picked up by AMC as well.

  10. I am a fan of the show, but this season could be considered even slower than the much maligned farmhouse season. I understand that they are trying to build the secondary characters that have been glossed over the past few seasons, but the pace might leave it open to to criticism of just being filler.

    The fact that they have introduced the always sketchy Jeff Kober and a quest to another potential haven or trap with an ominous name makes gives me a feeling of repetition at this point. The only thing that is going to keep this afloat is the charisma of some of the characters and how much interest they can generate. The theme and tone of the show has always been limited in a sense, but they need to show some new tricks soon or people might start to lose interest.

    • Completely agree! In fact a novel idea for character building could be using them as webisodes. That way people who care about what arc they followed in detail, can check out the webisodes. Atleast, that would not hamper the inertia that the show built up.

    • Totally agree!

    • yeppers…

  11. Guys help me out here, did I miss something?

    What was with the opening of this episode?? Nothing was tied up or explained by the end of the episode right, nothing linked back? it showed Daryl and Glenn together in the beginning, (was that a different Bob at the start that they stumbled across?? If not, then why did they ask him questions, they know who he is right??

    Did beth just drive off in a car? Why is that black girl so reluctant to go to the Sanctuary (it seems like the most logical and normal thing to do). 2 out of 3 of them decide to go, then brunette girl just goes by herself, the other 2 follow, stop and have a kiss, brunette girl then just decides to wait, and then they all head off together in the end.

    Seems like an entire waste of time, I like this show but this episodes are dragging along so slow and seem like fillers, its a bit of a struggle to be honest

    • The opening of the show was a flashback to when Bob first joined the group while they were still at the prison. I am not a big proponent of flashbacks because they can cause confusion at times. They were trying to establish a context for what he would say and do later in the episode.

      The car that pulled off looked like a hearse and my guess is whoever was still using that funeral home got her. Judging by the dressed cadavers in the basement this might be some kind of nut-job that Daryl or someone else will rescue her from.

      Sasha is probably reluctant to go to another town because of what happened at Woodbury and how that came back on them at the prison. The safety in numbers idea is relative to who those people happen to be. Some of the people they run across are worse then the Walkers so I guess some of them are cautious.

  12. I am loving these episodes since the break. The breaking down of the group, especially the way they’ve been paired, has been great. The much smaller groups actually has me caring about characters I didn’t give a crap about before. Beth, Bob, and Sasha among them.

    • Absolutely.

    • I agree. It just feels like you learned a lot more about their character. Is it perfectly done? No, but overall it’s not bad and still keeps me interested

  13. After the last episode I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t miss much doing more thrilling things than watching some character studies without any red plot line … so I read The Walking Dead TPB Vol. 20 … great stuff!!!

    Then I watched VIKINGS season 2 episode 2 … awesome!

    Didn’t watch another obviously lame episode of this once great show … maybe I come back later. When there’s a plot about Rick’s group visible again … or maybe not …

  14. Producers…. you are losing me! What would had I missed if I had not watched any episode this season? Absolutely nothing!!! It seems to me that the producers are more interested in extending the lifetime of this show, they seem to be cashing in on the previous season, but if they don’t fix it soon they are going to lose audience in a hurry. So far they have given us slow, poor scripts, poorly acted, isolated episodes that are not worth watching. Too bad, I really got into it, but I am very disapointed this season.

    • So am I. It’s for sure the worst season so far.

      I just beared the first half because I knew the prison will fall for midseason final and really, really hoped after the Governor/ prison story arc all the stretching and fillers are over. So naive of me. I really thought, the show runners realized their epic fail (not ending the Governor/prison story arc with season 3 final) and now needed to keep up till midseason.

      But now it’s even worse! Now we are really into stand-alone episodes and totally irrelevant and isolated character studies. The show is now some sort of writing training for soap scenes. Soundtracks have to cover the poor writing and the totally lost plot line … there’s no direction.

      And I’m afraid these writers and show runners don’t get it … the show is done.

  15. Great episode, I just wish this half of the season would move a little bit faster. But this was definitely an improvement over last weeks. This is by far my favorite season of TWD, but I still have the same problem I had with season’s 2 and 3: there just isn’t enough content for this many episodes.I don’t think there’s an episode that could have been eliminated entirely, but they could have edited some stuff here and there and put more content together. As with season 3, the pace would have been PERFECT if it was 15 episodes long instead. Same with season 2, that should have been a 12 episode season instead of 13.

    • agree with the pacing. they could speed it up some. beyond that, I’ve enjoyed this season. as for the characterization, especially with last night’s episode, this is what I’ve been looking for some time, and was the point of my issue with t-dog’s time on the show. minor characters don’t have to be made into world movers, but scratch the surface a bit with the personnel. that was a point of contention I had with season two, where seemingly the entire group was engulfed into the love triangle or the lull of the farm, and the group itself lacked a sort of personality, one that it had in the first season.

      now, should bob get killed off, we know he can handle getting blown off by women pretty easily, and the dude likes his sizzurp.

    • Not enough content?!
      Sorry, but you have no idea what you’re talking about!

      Let’s just compare Trade Paperbacks of the comic books with TV seasons … it’s not perfectly synchron, but almost:

      Season 1 = Vol. 1 TBP

      Season 2 = Vol. 2 TBP

      Season 3 + 4.1 (first half, till fall of the prison) = Vol. 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 !!!!

      NO CONTENT! The Governor / prison story arc had 6 times more content, but in the comic book the character development stays connected with the group and not isolated.

      The show runners of the first two seasons did a great job adapting the comic source to TV … they changed some things, even created new characters, but did a really great job bringing the soul of the book on TV.

      The show runners of season 3 and 4 had much MORE content to work with, but prefered to focus on isolated character soap operas and stand-alone episodes … too stretch the show much easier than adapting it well. Of course adapting it well would also mean to compress and shorten those 6 TPB of comic books … they are just not as creative as the seasons before.

      The pace of the TV show is so annoyingly slow because the main plot and the main them -always centered on Rick and the group – totally got out of kilter and out of focus.

      • By the way:
        Season 1 told Vol.1 (6 comic books) in 6 epsiodes!

        Season 2 told Vol. 2 (6 comic books) in 13 episodes … maybe one reason it seemed so slow, but in this case it was really well characters development WITHIN THE GROUP … the characters always were connected to the group and never in their own universe of an stand-alone episode. Nothing I know about any group member is relevant, if it isn’t in a way connected to the interaction of the group!

        Season 3 and first half of season 4 told (or not told) Vol. 3 – 8 (6×6 comic books = 36 books) in 24 episodes!

        ANY QUESTIONS about “not enough content”?


  16. That is five episodes of season four without Rick. Judging by next weeks previews, it will be six.

    People can argue all day over what constitutes character development, pacing, etc. If the producers want to start saving money via removing the main character of the show for 33% of the season, it will hurt your show and it has. Really bad decisions being made behind the scenes.

  17. I really like this season, personally I think that the tone has really shifted the character development is really intriguing, with Beth becoming almost a Clementine-like character, and showing Michonne isn’t the only bad-ass heroin (Who knew a street sign could be so deadly). Also, the premise for this season is so different, it feels like it’s just foreshadowing something major and I honestly think we will see the largest amount of character deaths yet. One down fall is that I would have liked to have seen at least one reunion, just to compress the amount of stories… but Oh how sweet it will be when they all finally meet.

  18. This show’s stuck on a hamster wheel, going round and round and round.

    Everybody loves character arc but a good drama has the character grow and reveal backstory through a well told, interesting, and developing plot. TWD just beats character arc and backstory into your head with the subtlety of a zombie kill. Watch Michonne open up! Next, watch Beth open up, and Daryl, too, again. Next, watch this group open up! Then we have only a few more episodes left until we reach the next settlement for 6 more episodes and then the group dynamic will break down! Again!

    Stop shooting the Georgia woods from different angles and find an original thinking character that maybe, I don’t know, after all this time actually enjoys how easy it is to kill walkers or can make a freaking joke, or maybe wants to head to the coast, find a boat, and fish or something. Something!

  19. The latter half of this season has been so polarizing for me. I feel like I love it and don’t for the same reasons. All of this character building and focused storylines really are great, but on the other hand it makes it not as entertaining in some regards and having a little too slow of a pace at times. It’s weird when you think how the first season was 6 episodes, so they were forced to make it feel as packed as possible to make the most of its limited time. Now that we have 16 episodes, they’re granted more luxuries to spend more time focusing on individual characters, which was not possible with a short run like season 1, yet at the same time it’s suffering from being dragged out. I don’t know, I’m conflicted on it.

    I do at least hope they don’t wait until the season finale for the characters to start joining back up. I’d like to start seeing some of these reunions happen next episode. We’ve gotten a lot of great development the last five episodes, but not much moving forward with the plot. I’d like to start seeing that next episode. Although just going off the previews it doesn’t look like we’ll get that, since it seems all next week will be is another one focused completely on another group (Tyreese’s). I’m just worried they’re going to try to cram a lot of “big” stuff in the last episode or two, when we could start doing it next week.

  20. @dk05 I too feel a large number of characters might get offed, but I’m having trouble as to who, meaning beyond the role players and the usual suspects. it has to go beyond just say, beth, who is an easy kill off at this point, or a guy like bob, who has just begun settling in after last night. and it too, as someone else said, has to go beyond the trend of women and children.

    the way the mood has been set, I’d think daryl might be getting set up to go. the scavengers overhead, the coffin death symbolism, the fork in the road and this ” association ” with joe and his civic bunch, the predictable ” last man standing ” line that may or may not telegraph beth’s demise. the addition of added muscle like Abraham, a duplicate of sorts. daryl is just one of many I could focus on, but the creators seem to be uneasy even entertaining his death. he’s been made out as a norse god this season, and they spoiled his escape from woodbury almost immediately with the season three second half trailers.

    with the sense that they have been looking to build to something huge to close out the season, and with the pacing issues many have pointed to, they have to have a payout worthy of the time we’ve invested, not just the deaths of len, beth, Maggie, and that fat guy rolling with joe and them.

    sorry if this is a duplicate posting.

  21. I don’t totally agree with all the criticism.

    I understand it but I don’t have as lofty the expectations as others might. Yes, I do read the comics, but I don’t expect the TV show to be like them, it can’t be, it’s a different medium and I like that it’s different as it keeps me surprised.

    I hated the Atlanta CDC storyline from Season 1 (no such thing in the comics) but I understood why they did it. And it was hokey with the whole “self-destruct” sequence but you have to suspend your expectations every now and then so that it doesn’t ruin it for you.

    I can see why people think these last few episodes are slow but I do like the character building they are doing. Sure, some things don’t make any sense, but hey… it’s zombies… what does?

    I don’t mind the criticizing opinions, but when people scale that up and say the writers/producers/creators are stupid and don’t know what they are doing, they have to understand there is a balance they need to maintain. If TWD went all action and zombie battles all the time, there would be people complaining that there is not enough character development or that the show moves too fast. If it stuck very close to the comics, people would say it was boring because they already know what’s going to happen.

    I actually like this season quite a bit… but I guess I’m the only one.

    • It’s not complaining about more zombie action and it’s not complaining about a closer following of the comic.

      It’s just complaining of stay focused on the overall theme of the show (Rick and his group) and keep character development within the group plot and within the group interaction … nobody would have a problem with one stand-alone episode now and then … but season 4 is mainly a 90s stand-alone episodes TV show with just connected with a loose plot line. The overall theme and main plot isn’t visible anymore, the direction of the show is lost. And this season bored me nearly to death … I just watched it so far, because I always hope its getting better. But now even this hope vanishes …

      … there are better shows. I really wonder what HBO would have made of this opportunity … AMC clearly screwed it.

      • @Frobin:

        I thought the overall theme is about surviving in a Zombie apocalypse?

        I know the comic follows Rick closely but I like that the show is taking time to develop the other characters.

        This season steps away from the whole group dynamic and asks the question: “If these people got separated, will they be able to survive as smaller groups?”. I rather like this direction because you get to find out:

        – Can they stay alive without numbers, without a base, without a leader?
        – Who steps up when all they previously had to do was fetch water or cook?
        – Can they fight other humans and like Rick, decide when to kill a person for their own safety?
        – Do they give up even if they think their loved one (Judith, Maggie, Glenn, Beth, Tyrese, Sasha) are dead? You see Darryl struggle with thinking that Rick and the others might be dead.

        And really, there are some unifying and interesting subplots:
        – Can all these groups make it to Terminus?
        – What is at Terminus?
        – How are Abraham’s group going to figure in? We know from the comics… spoiler… that Eugene is not exactly who he says he is, but maybe for the show, he is.
        – Who is this new group with Joe?

        I don’t expect this to be a Rick & Company show, maybe that’s why it’s fine for me.

        • The overall theme is HOW Rick handles the challenge of being human, being a father and becoming a leader (despite he doesn’t really want) and re-building human communities under given conditions.

          All the subplots you’re mentioned are totally without purpose and direction when not connected with the main group plot. This is just a collection of single episodes now.

          And the good ratings, I’m pretty sure about it, just feed from what the first two seasons created.

          • @Frobin:

            That may have been what the focus of the comic was and maybe the first 2 seasons, but the show is called “The Walking Dead”, not “How Does Rick Handle The Walking Dead”.

            I like that Rick is not the focus these last few episodes. I prefer an ensemble show where no one part overshadows the rest of the group. I think the current writers might understand that and that’s why there may be a spin-off show. How do you think Darryl became so popular? People like to see other characters developed.

            I think last week, someone brought up the Lost comparison and how it wouldn’t have been so good if Jack was killed off in the Pilot as originally planned. I think it would have been just as good because the show’s strength was the variety of characters.

            And for a show where anyone could die, maybe it’s good if they don’t have one central character that the audience expects to live throughout the series. Take the comic, some major characters (spoiler) got killed off and as shocking as it was, you understand why it was done.

            How are those subplots not related to the main group plot? Eventually, they will all end up in Terminus and all these subplots will have to tie together.

            Again, just my opinion against yours, but I think if you lower your expectation of a Rick & Co story, you’ll find TWD more enjoyable.

            • Well, if you are used to lower your expectations … as you wish!

              For me those stand-alone epidodes mostly were just flat, repeating and irrelevant pseudo-character developments. Bad written and boring. My boredome had not much to do with Rick.

              But losing interest in the show overall has much to do with the lack of a consistent plot and a clear direction.

              I don’t have to lower my expectations in good written and good produced TV shows … since there are others. Yes, the competition is hard.
              I’m just annoyed, sad and a bit angry about the missed opportunities here … nothing new: same as with the cancelation of Sarah Connor Chronicles, Better Off Ted or the going down of Lost and Heroes … sad … but why lower expectations … there are still amazing shows!

              • @Frobin:

                I don’t consider it lowering my expectations, it’s just a different expectation.

                For me to like a show, I don’t *need* it to have a single main protagonist. A theme would work. Like sports, I can enjoy a good basketball game even if my favorite players aren’t playing.

                Like Agents of SHIELD, people who don’t like it are expecting superheroes to be in every episode. I don’t, I treat it like a covert agency series and it works for me.

                But we do agree one one thing… I also am angry about Sarah Connor Chronicles being cancelled.

          • The ratings are good, 12.5 million or something like that last week. 7th place I think. But if I were to use that logic, I suppose I would really enjoy the Academy Awards show, think they got 100 million viewers. Not going to happen.

            People like you and I will give it up but the overall audience will probably grow.

            ummm…one question. Are we to believe that Darryl did not hear the “herd” on the porch before he popped open the door to let the little doggie in? Did they bring some of that moonshine with them?

            Dang those walkers were spry to, up and down stairs lickety split. Are they becoming more nimble? Wouldn’t you think they would become less agile given the fact their digestive systems don’t function and therefore don’t process food and nutrients. :) JK!

            Sorely disappointed once again. Couple of interesting developments at the end I think, but I might have dozed off and been dreaming… Beth being taken and the group that found Darryl. Beth would be violated before she even got back to wherever they were taking her, however I am sure she will remain chaste for Darryl to find her later. Hollywood and all…

        • @Bignerd

          That’s where I disagree, I feel the show is Rick and company. I mean we woke up to the apocalypse with Rick in episode one, we are on this journey with him. Having 33% of the episodes without him is inexcusable in my opinion. Not to mention the show doesn’t have the depth of actors to even attempt what they are doing right now.

          I do like the questions you posed, but so far there are no answers to any of them and we have 3 episodes left. Only 3, and in my opinion none of the questions you posed are worthy of dragging out 16 episodes to find out the answer.

          If they want to do this then maybe they should go to Netflix. Breaking Bad had exciting character development that made must see tv. This is not must see tv, it’s boring/useless character development that doesn’t move the plot along. I do respect your opinon though, bignerd.

          • @MovieB:

            And I think that’s the crux. If you expect Rick to be in every episode, the current run of TWD is not going to be to your liking.

            If like me, you’re just expecting a Zombopalypse movie, these current episodes are fine.

            What you talk about is a Catch-22. If you don’t develop the backstory of the other characters, no one will are about them like Rick. So when they die, it’s meaningless, and you don’t care about them if they are in danger. But if you give multiple characters a connection to the audience, the investment leads to a better twist or future shock if one dies.

            Let’s use your Breaking Bad example. If we were to apply your Rick & Co formula, we would only see Walter and Jesse in every ep. But because they developed the other characters, it made the whole show interesting. The eps with Gustavo and the Cartel were intriguing, Saul and Mike got their own fans.

            I think you need to expand what TWD is about, if it was just Rick & Co, there would be people complaining that it’s just Rick, what about the other characters. That’s why the Governor arc was interesting, because it was like an alternate Rick story and how one can go a whole other path.

            • Well it was one episode spent on Gus away from Walter, not six. I also point to the quality of actors, there is no Gus on TWD, for me anyways.

              I would also argue that for actual character development of Darryl, Beth, Maggie, Sasha and Bob could have been done in one episode. To your point of Saul and Mike, who is that on this show, that has come from these episodes? I say that because Darryl was always popular and I don’t care anymore about any of these characters. That’s a problem after all of this time spent. There are no layers to any of these people and that is TRUE character development.

            • The show is about Rick and his group or the show is not.

              Just that simple. That’s because the comic book is a success, that’s because the TV show made it … EVERY STORY needs a hero, a main protagonist, a perspective … or it will fail …

              TWD will fail, if it goes this direction. Just plain simple … some, like you, will stay … some always stay … but the show will lose direction and then audience.

              • @Frobin:

                What’s to say that the main protagonist isn’t Rick but the group?

                Who was the main protagonist of The Avengers? X-Men? Friends? Big Bang Theory?

                CSI has shown you can change the main guy, it’s about the team.

                But I understand your point, however I don’t agree that it will fail if they don’t focus on Rick every single episode.


                Quality of actors? C’mon… TWD isn’t exactly the best vehicle to hone Oscar skills. I’m actually more curious about what Darryl did before because he’s not in the comics, he doesn’t seem to share the same bigotries as his brother. They’ve done these character studies in the past, remember the episode where Darryl was imagining his brother Merle?

                But that’s okay, we can all disagree, I just wanted to present the other side of the audience who actually likes this current direction and non-focus on Rick.

  22. I’m absolutely loving the second half of the season. The day to day survial and exploration of new places, scavenging for food, weapons, ammo etc. is what intrigues me the most about the zombie genre, and the smaller scope of the episodes with only a handful of characters is much more helpful for their development.

    Before Beth was just some girl running around in the background, but now she has become a real character that I actually care for. The same goes for the others. Even Carl grew a lot on me, even though he was behaving very reckless. His zombie encounters in that house were very tense, and so was Rick’s encounter with that human group. Absolutely amazing and exciting stuff. That’s why I’m glad that the long prison stay is finally over and people are on the move again.

    “Worst season” some of you say? I beg to differ. With the last few episodes since the break it has become the best season since season 1. I’m loving it.

  23. @Bignerd
    Do you realize what you are saying? That people must lower their expectations to watch TWD?!! By saying that you are admitting that this season has been crap. By the same logic you must love infomercials…

    • @manahoo:

      Everyone is taking my sentence out of context. What I said is “lower your expectation for a Rick story”, which means changing your expectation of what TWD is about. That’s not lowering your overall expectations… just expecting something else so that you can enjoy the show for a what it is, survival in a Z-apoc.

      The Internet is so nitpicky.

      • don’t know why you’d think you’re the only one that likes this season. this one has been the best to me. as wide as the net is, these boards become fishbowls for what we enjoy or dislike. I certainly credit the writers with scratching the surface on more than just a handful from the group, and I enjoy the scope the members find themselves under now that they are so exposed.

        as popular as the show is, criticism comes with the territory.

        • I agree. I remember David Benioff and D. B. Weiss once saying that when a show becomes popular, it’s subjected to even more criticism than most other shows. I think he said this sometime last year after some heavy criticism over last season of GOT. Every show I’ve seen thus far has it’s issues, even the great GOT. For me, it’s whether the show keeps me interested for me to keep coming back. Breaking Bad, Hannibal, Arrow, Game of Thrones, and TWD all do that for me as these are my “everyday” shows I watch

  24. Only decided to look at reviews for this season now. Before this I didn’t think it was so divisive. I haven’t ever enjoyed TWD so much, I had thought this was the best its been no argument. I haven’t ever read the comics so I don’t know the potential of characters beyond what is on the screen, but I don’t really get why every episode without Rick is counted. I get he could be called the main character but he is in no way the most interesting. Season one it was Shane and Daryl that made me keep coming back. Season two it was just Shane. Season three it was Herschel, Andrea, Merle and Michonne. Rick is cool but never been the biggest draw IMO. But now I can’t make a list of who I am watching this show for, I want to see them all, barring Glen and Carol but that’s just me. I can’t see how this has been a step down.

    The story hasn’t changed much since the prison fell, but isn’t that the point? Every where they’ve settled has been over run, half the people they meet try to kill them, I have no problem with any reluctance about Terminus. Whatever is lined up next I’m looking forward to it. The one downfall is I know that whatever is lined up won’t get much, if any development in this season. So yes it has slowed down, but rollercoasters don’t move speed up the incline, makes the fall more satisfying, you know, hopefully.

  25. I actually really like this episode. I like it when these drama/action packed shows take a step back to take a breath. It makes me realize that these characters are HUMAN and just like all humans they sometimes need a break to just digest their situation, even in a zombie apocalypse. The Beth/Daryl scenes were my fav. I like how this unlikely pair find solace in one another. Here’s to hoping Beth doesn’t get traumatized or messed up by whoever kidnapped her.

  26. Yet another character (in my eyes) finds redemption in this episode: Bob. Is someone who I never really gave much thought to or had interest in, the fact that he was about to shoot Darryl over alchol, really lowered my opinion of him more. But here in season 4 episode 13. I found myself really starting to like the guy :) I hope Beth is alright, I had forgotten how good a singer she is. I had no idea she had such vocal range. She should get signed to a record label or at least do some covers of songs on Youtube.