‘The Walking Dead’ Puts the Prison Under Siege in More Ways Than One

Published 2 years ago by

Danai Gurira in The Walking Dead Infected The Walking Dead Puts the Prison Under Siege in More Ways Than One

[This is a review of 'The Walking Dead' Season 4, Episode 2. There will be SPOILERS.]


In his two episodes as head honcho, new series showrunner Scott M. Gimple has asserted himself by delivering the kind of scares and tension expected of a series like The Walking Dead, while still managing to throw in some compelling character drama and unique story elements that build progressively in a more logical fashion than we’ve seen before. Perhaps most importantly, Gimple seems to have a firm grasp on the idea that, while the survivors are having a rough go of it and may even be suffering to some extent, the audience needn’t necessarily be a part of every second of that suffering.

Now, we’ve only seen the first two episodes of season 4, so all of that could change, but as of Tyreese stumbling upon the sight of his ladylove’s charred remains, there is at least something intriguing outside the main plot of survival against the undead for the audience to chew on and become invested in. And considering the undead elements have been more thrilling this season, these new concerns serve as an addition to – rather than a distraction from – the show’s primary antagonist.

In that regard, Gimple and his fellow writers have managed to turn the prison storyline into something of a siege film, with the walkers’ relentless need to feed serving as the persistent invading force waiting outside the relatively secure walls the survivors now call home. The trouble is: No one knows exactly how long the undead can last, but it’s certainly a far cry longer than anyone inside.

This idea of successfully waiting their enemy out and slowly thinning the herd day by day in a methodical manner goes back to the vague idea hinted at in the season premiere that perhaps even the walking dead will eventually weaken, and either become easy pickings for those looking to rid the world of them, or just turn to dust and fade away. Aside from the metatexual implications of that notion, it does generate a rather hopeful waiting game that makes the idea of an incredibly aggressive virus working against the survivors all the more frightening.

Steven Yeun and Walker in The Walking Dead Infected The Walking Dead Puts the Prison Under Siege in More Ways Than One

But the fear of a collapsing fence, a virulent illness, and a murderer on the loose wouldn’t mean much if it weren’t built on the foundation of characters the audience want to see succeed. That’s been a point of contention for the series in the past, as most of its characters have succeeded in earning the viewers’ ire more than their interest or compassion.

And in a rather clever move, Gimple and the rest of the staff have managed to make Rick, Carl, Michonne, and even Beth all more worthy of the audience’s consideration by underlining how their collective experience has made them hesitant to become emotionally invested in anyone or anything; it’s forced them to cope by becoming distant, dispassionate and somewhat detached with regard to certain aspects of their new lives. In a weird way, this makes them all seem more human.

It’s safe to assume the writers want to convey how these are all human characters first and potential zombie victims second. So, by pitting them against a three-pronged siege of their humanity, their health and the tiny sanctuary they’ve managed to eek out in this incredibly hostile world, The Walking Dead may have found a convincing way of doing just that.


The Walking Dead continues next Sunday with ‘Isolation’ @9pm on AMC.

Photos: Gene Page/AMC

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  1. Why don’t they go on the other side of the fence and distract the zombies off the fence thats coming down ?

    • How would they do that with the growing number of walkers? Not to mention it wouldn’t do much good with the fence going down.

      • How would they do that?

        Go watch the episode.

    • …did you not watch the episode?

    • so you didn’t watch the show?

    • They did just that. You watched the show, didn’t you?

  2. Damn this was such a good ep. I teared up 3 times dam dam if this is what the rest of season 4 will look like then frikin awesome!!

  3. Great episode, except for one thing. I get The Walking Dead is a dark world and unpleasant things happen consistently, but it’s like they’re trying to shove it in our faces. The scene with the pigs felt unnecessary because I think there were other options to use against the Walkers. I’ve watched many gritty shows with unbearably horrible worlds, but this show force feeds the fact it’s lurid and audacious.

    • They needed to get rid of the pigs anyways. They explained that they were spreading the disease.

      • darn it you stole my thunder

    • but he needed to get rid of the pig because there was a chance they were caring the illness

      • My bad. Should have known that. But the show still revisits these themes of hopelessness that they’ve established before, and it’s getting a bit repetitive.

        • Well this season we see that they are getting used to the world as it is and the place in the prison, so they need those scenes that show that though they might be better off than some, that they are still getting attacked by zombies and still have to make sacrifices. On a side note, Scott Gimple is doing an amazing job with the season already and it’s only the second episode. Can’t wail till next week.

        • It was also an important scene showing Rick forced to give up his new job because of being thrust back into his old one due to the situation. You could see on Rick’s face that he didn’t want to be there but he knew he had to be.

          This show has so many complexities to the a rather simple idea. Both episodes have done wonders at showing the complexity of Rick’s character.

          • Yeah the Pig scene, while kinda sad because Rick spent so much time nurturing them and taking care of them, had a great shot of when he had blood all over his face, it was symbolic that despite his reluctance to use guns or any sort of violence unless he ABSOLUTELY needed to, he still wound up with blood all over his hands (his plan literally blew up in his face).

    • Will,
      Some people just don’t see what they actually see! If you know what I mean?
      You sometimes have to think while watching a show and SOOOO many people just cannot do both!

  4. Who do you guys think is feeding the Walkers and burnt bodies?

    • @ evan

      Im guessing one of the two girls. It would be hard for the Governor to get inside un-noticed by anyone or by walkers. Especially when whoever fed the rats from the inside. After watching Talking Dead, I bet Sasha was involved as it looks she might be another victim of the virus.

  5. Anyone notice the Judith “could” have been infected reference?

    • Was that what they said? I though Rick was saying Him and Carl, having tended to the pigs should stay way from her for awhile and that he knew it would be hard.

      • Just rematched it and you’re right. Thought they were setting something up there lol

        • Lol yay I listened for once hahaa ;P. THo to be fair that kids time is numbered unless they find a way to magically age her a few dozen years

          • It seems like Gimble is trying to keep to the comics with some changes here and there but I get the sense that Daryl is take on the “Andrea” role from the comics but who knows since he is a new character. I just can’t wait for Abraham LOL.

              • LOL, right….I think it could be the sharpshooter type of thing but then again who knows. Either way it’s not a bad start to season 4. So far it’s a huge improvement from the last 2 seasons IMO

  6. I can’t wait for next Sunday’s episode after seeing the preview for it. Never seen so many walkers the group has faced.

  7. How do they all have perfect teeth ?
    It’s post apacolyptic world but somehow they all have pearly whites

    • Cause they dont have sugary foods and drinks like chocolate and coke to destroy them

      • those types of foods are more likely available to them since they considered non-perishable…

  8. I must say so far Gimple has surpassed my expectations so far and is doing a great job . Not as good as season 1 but so far so good

  9. great and intense episode. i feel real bad for Tyreese that’s a crappy way to find out you’re girlfriend is dead. the promo has me worried for next week i think Hershal might be the next to go? one thing I’m confused about though, one would assume the first thing they would do while setting up the prison is reinforce the fencing that part with the fence giving way should of never happened, is see why they did it from a plot point perspective but still.

  10. I’m surprised nobody has considered that new-comer, the apparent alcoholic that drew the walkers’ attention at the supermarket when he broke the wine cabinet?? When talking about who burned those people, I never hear him being brought up. But I do find that they show him “losing it” every once in a while to make a subtle point… I don’t think he’s good news for the group…

    • It’s possible he could of been the one to burn up Karen’s body that Tyrese finds. I think Sasha comes down with the virus too after seeing the preview for next week’s episode.

      • @Wally

        I just find it weird that during the “Talking Dead” show after, and reading these comments, that NOBODY brings him up as a possibility…

    • I agree and think it’s Bob Stookey feeding the walkers & he’ll eventually be revealed to be a rat. He was a divisive character in the books & comics. He was a drunk who caused problems for Lilly and her group, then eventually became a buddy of Philip Blake and saved his life after Michonne took revenge on him. He’s going to be a major problem for the prison group.

      • @JCN

        No need to bring the comics and potential spoilers into the discussion man…

      • I have a feeling it might be Bob. I get the feeling the return of the Governor is coming soon with maybe another attempt at taking over the prison. Based on reports from people who have been close to the filming this years Governor is suppose to be more in line of the what the guy is actually suppose to be(cold, ruthless, killing machine) which, if true, is going to be a good season.

  11. gimple is doing a good job with the characterizations. he finds time to shed light on everyone from the regulars to lizzy and her family, and the doctor who was inspecting the sleep walker. then they shed some additional light on michonne with just enough hints and subtle body language. there was action to spare and little to nothing seemed forced at least in my view.

    repeating what I stated last week, see mazzara, you take small moments with each of your characters, add some wrinkle(s) to them, and eventually you have more than enough solid backstory for your cast. gimple is accomplishing this with a larger crew than that of season 2, where in thirteen episodes and a smaller cast, we learned little to nothing about one too many of the main core. and two of the folks who were at the receiving end of the larger focus of that season came out of it mostly reviled by the shows fans, the two being lori and andrea.

    • I like what he is doing this season. You can see that he was a Darabont student with this season’s work. He even places certain facial expressions that speaks volumes without saying anything.

  12. That pig squealing was harder to take than any human screams. Couldn’t they have sacrificed one of the older members of the group or something?

    I have a question though. When Rick, in particular, is puncturing brains through the fence, his mouth is wide open, surely some zombie blood got in there. Can one not be infected this way?

    • in most adaptions the virus can be spread in this way, although it would appear they did not take this into account? that could just be down to the actor,

    • @DMC

      I don’t work for PETA, so if it were up to me, sacrificing animals will definitely come before sacrificing people… If you think it’s more acceptable for him to sacrifice “older” people, there’s something wrong with you man, and I hope you don’t end up anywhere close to me if something like this were to really happen…

      Also, did you watch the entire show? They suspected the pigs might be getting the people sick, so they were going to get rid of them anyway… This just kills 2 birds with 1 stone.

      Lastly, again, did you watch the entire show? THEY ARE ALL INFECTED ALREADY!!!

  13. Next episode should be great. Kirkman wrote the next episode and you have some of the cast saying episode 3 was intense, crazy, and sets a lot in motion. I also have a feeling we may get the Tyrese that we have all been waiting for along with the scene we have all been waiting for

  14. Ok, after a really weak starter episode this second episode is better … but not really good. Too much show and soap effects just for the show and not for story telling and character building. Also action and suspense is created very cheap by very dumb and fitted situations (supermarket, Michonne hurting her leg acting like a helpless newbie, most of all: the flu … it’s just an story element to stretch the show, to keep the threat level high even within the prison and not go on to more interesting stories … which means ending the prison story arc!).

    It’s totally ok the TV show is adapting the comic book stories, but the reason the comic book is still successful is, because the characters evolved and handled the walkers at a point. Then the story is to survive in this apocalyptic world against walkers and most of all as a group against others. It’s about identity and keeping freedom in a Darwinist world of survival of the fittest … or in this case: survival of the greatest bad ass … but still keeping up humanity!

    Here I really think the show lost its course … and that AMC tries to stretch the show.

    • Nail. Head. Hit.

    • I get the whole “pacing” issues. I also would like them to move forward a little faster but for right now I am okay with what they are doing. So far this season reminds me of season 1. It’s not as great as season 1 but they are getting back to the storytelling/zombies/other threats which made season 1 so great. They are also moving out of the whole prison thing this season so it’s coming. Like GOT/HBO, they want to make the series last at least 7-9 seasons and therefore like GOT/HBO has some seasons in which it does drag on for a bit but like GOT, the overall picture(at least for this season) is going to be great.

      • Agreed. Season 2 and 3 did a great job in slowly portraying the overall picture. Season 3 only failed overall, because the whole season was set up for a showdown with the Governor and an end to the prison story arc … and then they didn’t deliver! Because of this we have now a stretched prison story arc while you could introduce new characters way better on the road.

        I really think AMC is diluting the show by senseless show effects and fillers like the supermarket, the suicide woman scenes and the flu trick. The “Rick wants to be a farmer and realizes his illusion” story arc of the last two seasons is ok … but the first two episodes of season 4 put together to one episode would have been a good episode without the permanent feeling of dilution of a good story just to stretch it.

      • If you remember at the CDC, the doctor said there was no cure. He was trying to find one when his wife got infected but hasn’t been able to “stabilize” the infection. This is what lead to the whole whisper in Rick’s ear of everyone is infected with the strand. Now based on reports they do get a doctor who will be working on finding some kind of answer to the virus later on in the season. Last season they had Milton but he wasn’t really what is considered a genetics doctor.
        Also, my point to my comment was that, yes, the show is different from season 1. It evolves. The whole “look for a cure/answers thing doesn’t really pop up that much. It’s more about survival and how society react when in an apocalypse. The show although has some action is more drama than anything else. Some people will love it like the 80-90% I know and some will think it’s boring. So far, whatever they are doing is working because more people are interested in the show than ever(polls online show the popularity has increased by 30% from last year).

      • They have a goal,a purpose and it’s called survival. The lofty goals of season one are in the past because they know the things they believed then were not true(safe zones, people looking for a cure, etc.) and even if there was still a chance they were true, they would need to survive in order for that to matter.

          • I don’t agree. The writer’s have made wise choices portraying fallible human beings who don’t always act the way that you would want them to (which is consistent with real life where people constantly do dumb things and occasionally due the right thing)but always act in the way flawed people really do. In the zombie apocalypse, survivors are finding other survivors and trying to pick up the pieces and start over again. Your naive belief that all the average folks who have gone through the hell of this catastrophe would be out there searching for a cure is simply illogical. You say that you are close to giving up on the show. Too bad. It would be your loss. But if you dislike it so much you might as well stop watching. Me? I’m looking forward to watching it for a long time to come.

              • Didn’t realize you had done a head count. Woodbury would have been far more difficult to defend FAR MORE DIFFICULT. The intelligent, strategic move was to set up in the more contained environment of the prison. That’s just simple good common sense. Using your logic, why Woodbury? Why not just set up in any of the ghost towns they go to to pillage for supplies? Becaause strategically, with the limited manpower they have, a location of that nature would be FAR MORE DIFFICULT to defend.

                  • Not really but the fact is the gov had far more people to fortify the town with. The prison gang would be spread far too thin and quite frankly the prison itself offers far more natural fortification. Then there is the ol’gov himself still on the loose and a perceived threat especially if you make yourself vulnerable by hanging out on his home turf giving him the advantage. As I said, I won’t change your mind and you aren’t even close to changing mine so we should just agree to disagree and I will continue to watch and appreciate the show and you will continue to watch for some dubious reason and express your contempt for the show. That was an extremely long sentence wasn’t it?

    • Finally… Seems like everyone else is blindly gobbling up this slop! I like certain parts, and want to like iit as a whole, but it’s definitely more miss than hit. Hope it starts to suck less.

        • Couldn’t agree more! Michonne with baby issues … come on, AMC … too much soap opera. Not every cool badass character has to have his/her soft core revealed. Bad enough they killed Andrea … so another cool character of the comic book is missing. And Tyreese is far from being as cool as in the comic book. Rick seems to be in a permanent state of mental instability … so at least, let Michonne be the cool badass … sure, with some soft spots … but please, no baby issues! :)

          By the way: the way Michonne acted when she came back and hurt her leg … she usually has no problems with just 2 walkers. It’s just weak writing in my opinion … just cheap creating of a risky situation for suspense (similar to the supermarket scene: someone had to jam his leg to create a thrilling situation and then 3 guys need half an hour to lift a shelf … that I call weak writing and artificial suspense).

          Sorry, but I’m totally fastidious because of high quality shows like Game of Thrones, Justified, Vikings, Deadwood, … and others … which are based on strong characterisation and well written plots.

          • I’ll give you Vikings but GOT is just okay for me. Like TWD, season 1 was it’s best season and since then it seems like they are just stretching the story out. I hope like TWD, this coming season will bring improvements because aside from the wedding, GOT was pretty boring

            • Agreed. GoT is sometimes a bit boring, as season2 of TWD was. But if you are into it, you stay …. because it’s not bad, just many story lines. Contrary to TWD this isn’t stretching, but the opposite: they try to pack so much plot lines into one episode and season.

              TWD season 3 and everything we see now till the end of the prison is stretching. Too bad it’s not really well stretched. I guess they do it, because the Hunters story would be to short for a whole season. But still imo the Governor / prison arc should have been finnisches with S3.

      • See, I feel the same way about GOT to a point where it’s 50% hit or miss but yet it’s the number 1 show on peoples list. It’s all a matter of taste

        • I love GOT but I can see how some people can find it boring…it took me 5 times to get through first episode but once your in your in

          • It’s sort of the same way with this show. There was a fan club of the comic book that dedicated a site to ripping the show apart. So far in season 4, they had nothing but great things to say about the show. They even have gone as far as saying AMC should lock Gimple in with a multi-year contract to keep him around to continue doing what he’s doing. The thing about the show is once you let go the comparisons of the show to the comics then you really start to enjoy it for what it is. I’ve learned to like GOT doing this as well in which once you let go that they sometimes place some filter episodes then you start to enjoy it as well.

  15. In the sneak peek for the next episode, it shows Daryl restraining Rick while he yells “GET OFF ME!”. Does anyone else get the feeling his son Carl starts showing signs of the Virus & has to be detained on death row?

    • I have a feeling it could be an issue with him and someone else, LOL.

  16. It’s actually nice that the Zs are a threat again.

    I always wondered why there aren’t protocols in place just in case there is an outbreak inside, like every door locked, a night shift for guards etc etc.

    Interesting side story with the body burner. Don’t know if that’s the same person as the rat feeder as both events are opposite of each other. If you wanted a threat from walkers, you would leave the possibly flu-infected alive, or kill them but don’t burn them.

  17. Was very critical of this show last Season, especially the second part and everything leading up to the weak finale.

    But have to say, these first 2 episodes have been great, just when I had given up hope on this show this Gimple showrunner guy seems to know what he’s doing, more of the same please

  18. One thing has been bugging me more than anything; they keep burying the bodies of the infected, no coffins, no plastic bags ( well i dont think so). Why wouldn’t they burn the bodies?

    I thought while rick burned his shirt he would realize the pigs may have gotten sick from contaminated food being grown in that soil. They even highlighted Rick getting the worms out the dirt to give to the pigs, am I the only one that thinks that’s pretty disgusting lol maybe it’s just me. It made me chuckle at the end of the episode since I was thinking they should be burning everything.

    • The flu is not just a trick by AMC to stretch the TV show and the prison story arc (there is no flu in the comic book), but over all it’s really a bad idea … if you’re thinking through, they can’t eat anything, they would get infected everytime they kill or fight with a walker … they usually bath in their blood and body fluids.

      I know it’s kinda unrealistic, but the premise of the zombie apocalypse in The Walking Dead is:
      - we all are infected already and when you die, you’re going to come back,
      - just a bite by a walker leads to the deadly flu (you can handle it, if you’re quick).

      So no infection by breathing, by touch, not by saliva, nor by other body fluids. Most of all: Animals are totally resistent against the zombie virus (contrary to e.g. Resident Evil).

      Just if the virus gets in the human blood stream when bitten, the flus starts to kill you! Or if a ordinary illness kills you. Or if somebody kills you.

      If you now animals can get infected and carry the virus … it’s totally unrealistic to say, you don’t get infected when you’re bathing in walkers body fluids or (like in season 1) daub yourself in smashed walkers for camouflage.

      • I agree now there is a pointless virus…only good I see can come of it maybe they leave the boring prison before mid season…lets be real if u can’t eat or drink they should be dead

      • This is not the comic books. Quite frankly, it’s better.

        • True! It’s not the comic book and they made some really great adaptations. It’s a great TV adaptatio. I started reading the comic book during season 2. I really appreciate they didn’t take Rick’s hand, the TV Hershel, the different take on some characters …

          … but after season 3 and for the moment, overall the comic book is better in characterisation and plot development (especially for you: in my totally subjektive opinion).

          • Appreciate that!

  19. Would have no problem seeing them two annoying girls being eaten by the Walker they call Nick

  20. What happens to the bodies outside of the fence once there killed does anyone know?

  21. Um wow. So far season 4 has been pretty awesome. The episode opened up with tons of gore and violence, bringing us back to the fact that this show is about a zombie apocalypse and not living on a farm or fighting one another. I do find it a bit unrealistic that no one heard any noise as zombie Patrick ate someone (as a side note how long can someone be being eaten without becoming a zombie, like could the man not reanimate until Patrick got bored of eating him?). I’m really curious as to who is feeding the zombies because that’s one of the main sources for why there are so many zombies out. My theory is the little girl Lizzie is feeding them. I’m curious as to what Michonne’s emotional state is all about. Either she had a child that died or she wants a child but doesn’t want to have one in this dystopian world or she doesn’t want to get attached to people because they’ll only end up dying. I liked what Daryl said to Rick that when it matters Rick ends up stepping up. Out of all the character’s Rick and Michonne are definitely giving the most emotional depth. I could really feel Rick’s struggle with killing again. Since both Lori and Andrea died we needed another annoying woman and apparently Carol is going to fill that role. She was very harsh to Lizzie and I understand it’s a harsh world but she kind of is going about everything the not right way. She should really tell the kids parents and the fact that they keep mentioning it means something bad will happen eventually. The end of this episode with both Karen and David burnt to death in an isolate area makes me think that the Governor may be closer than we think (another reason why Michonne hasn’t found him yet).

    I rate this episode 8.5 out of 10.

  22. what I love so far is that the season looks to be building to something. then there are the number of threats which helps with the lengthy season, as compared to last season where the communal war between the prison and woodbury was the central theme and threat, and led to that odd finale where the build up wasn’t fully realized.

    i’m not as bothered with the pacing of the season. my viewing habits don’t match with say a nfl type schedule approach, where every episode has to be full out, maximum impact, the governor, negan, the hunters, walkers, joffrey, white walkers, insurgents, chitauri, all rolled into one. I like the build up and long form storytelling.

    plus, I’ve had some issues before with the character work, and gimple has been dishing it out much more. the regulars and background crew aren’t getting ” t-dogged ” and it has added some impact to the proceedings. hopefully gimple keeps it churning. that, plus the harsher walker advance, some exploration, I’d look hypocritical to keep getting myself so worked up after two episodes.

    • But isn’t it a bit boring to dilute a small core team (one of the main reasons of success for the comic book … since it’s sort of a team book … with fast changing roster and some core members) and the only thing they’re building is a lame traitor story and the second attack of the Governor … and the flu as a stretching element to create a high threat level even within the prison. A traitor story … meh …

      How cool it could be, if the Governor just overrun them in the S3 final and the team would be on the road again. New members ahead. New adventures, much more thrilling than “baby issues of Michonne” and “farmer issues of Rick” … even Tyreese would have much more possibilities to get portrayed. And … of course … the Hunters!

      Well, it is like it is … and I really hope the Governor (I really wonder, why nobody brings in the Governor … when it comes to the traitor) will attack soon and they will be on the road before midseason!

      • From all reports it sounds like Gimple really wants them out of the prison by the end of the season. I think you might see the Governor back by episode 4/5 with the attack on episode 5/6 and the downfall of the prison at the midseason point. What I like about Gimple is that he places clues in each episode of things that are going to come later on like the Macon on the map. I had my doubts but seeing that he was a student of Darabont I now see their styles coming out this season

        • I really hope so!

  23. Kevin’s review states the case for why season four has regained the intense momentum and early promise of this series. I maintain that the show has been consistently one of the best on television but the 1st two episodes of this season have lifted it up to another level entirely. What some posters refer to as soap opera or attempts to stretch things out are in fact the human drama that makes the whole enterprise so engaging and make us care about the people who inhabit this canvas of zombie apocalypse. And as long as this human drama stays true to the characters involved in it, it will remain a compelling show that one looks forward to tuning in each week.

    • Definitely not! As I said before I’m fastidious thanks to tv shows that really are the best on television – in terms of writing, characterisation and plot (like Justified, Deadwood, GoT, Breaking Bad, Vikings, Newsroom, Homeland … ). So I recognize quality when I see it. The Walking Dead has potential to be one of the best shows and for sure was with season 1 & 2. Season 3 had amazing and well written episodes, some of the best of the show, but failed overall.

      These two episodes of season 4 in my opinion lack the quality to count TWD as one of the best shows … it shows a downside trend. Hopefully this will change again and is just a short-time low.

      Of course in terms of TV rate it definitely is one of the best shows on television.

          • You need to watch closer. Carl killed a boy who was surrendering. Rick felt they were losing their humanity and wanted them to try to regain it, even under the circumstances surrounding a zombie apocalypse. Michonne fell off her panicky horse (which can happen no matter how badass you might be) and the result of the fall left her momentarily disoriented as well as causing a physical injury (and I’m sure a modicum of pain) that inhibited her ability to defend herself as well as she usually does. You have a habit of deleting many of the details when you recount the events that you have issues with. Also they got the information regarding the lack of any cure at the Center for Disease Control. A 2nd opinion hardly seems necessary.

              • Fact is, yes you do omit details, those that don’t align with your interpretation of what actually occurs. Also by your logic, why not just kill all the Woodbury survivors after all why take the chance. Lastly you missed the whole point of the show and what I was trying to convey about Rick trying to recapture his (and Carl’s) humanity. After all, what good is survival if you have sacrificed what made you human in the first place. Listen, I know I’m not going to change your mind. If you find the show so poorly written why not concentrate your efforts on watching something else? I know that if I watch a show that I totally find insults my intelligence, I stop watching it.

                • As much as I dislike Carl’s character, I do not have a problem with him blowing away the “kid” who did not drop the weapon after being told to do so 3 times. Life or death situation, follow my instructions immediately or I shoot. Kid or not.

                  I like Season 4 so far and I was pessimistic coming in. I did not care for season 3 at all however enjoyed season 1&2 a lot, with the exception of the last episode of season 2.

                  There have been a few “oh brother” scenes this season but not too bad so far…

        • I didn’t forgot to mention, that it’s my opinion … because it’s crystal-clear (even explicit mentioned it in second section).

          When it comes to quality of writing …there are some parameters for setting standards. That’s not just opinion. Of course we’re talking on a very high level. Those writers are great writers and a show isn’t just made only by writing. But – not in terms of taste and opinion, but in terms of consequent plot and character development – with these two episodes of season 4 the show isn’t on top!
          But still better than most of the tv shows … just look at “Under the dome” and “Revolution”… these shows could be great apocalyptic shows, but without zombies. But they fail, because of their shallow writing of characters and plots.

          Example for stretching: the supermarket scene … of course, if one likes CGI action scenes it’s a awesome scene with all these walkers raining through the roof. Impressive. But the action just masks that this scene is totally artificial fitted. Suspense or thrill is just created because a guy has to jam his leg under a shelf and then 3 guys need half an hour to lift the shelf and just walk out of the supermarket. Then of course the young guy dies (it’s so clear … the only creativity here is: not the leg jammer dies … but it was pretty obvious … a little bit of fall-back in the 90s Star Trek era: new guy on mission dies).

          It’s a filler, because it doesn’t really support the plot or the characterisation. Just some action. I love action, but not so cheap … to show that nobody died for 30 days and then someone dies on a mission would have been much more impressive (emotional, not action impressive), if they had control over the situation and then someone dies … e.g. because of a lurker … unexpected. No need to create thrill by jamming a leg, loosing the car keys , … or all the stuff we consider silly in old horror movies.

          Of course I know that this is really lament on a high level … but the show doesn’t need such fillers!

          • It still comes down to the fact that it is all subjective. They are your parameters, your belief of what constitutes fillers and what is emotional, impressive, etc. Taste is subjective. I’m sure many share your subjective opinion and many share mine. I respect what you have to say whether I share your opinion or not because you state it with with intelligence and with lots of thought behind it. Even if my take on things differ from yours, it doesn’t make it any less valid.

            • If you like the show or not, if you consider it emotional or not, exciting or not … if you recognize a filler as a filler or just enjoy what you see … that’s all up to you … and I do also respect all this subjective statements and opinions.

              But what I’ve tried to say is: When it comes to the mentioned parameters … that’s not subjective. Writing and story telling is a profession … there are standards and methods: Older and newer ones (they change over time, some things doesn’t work anymore, and they differ from medium to medium), but these standards and methods are factual, comparable, measurable, validable.
              So that aren’t just “my parameters” …

              I also expressed the suspicion that the very professional writers of AMC are doing this not by chance (or because they are bad writers), but on purpose … because AMC wants to stretch the show. And THIS is truly a subjective opinion (though based on some impressions).

              • No, they aren’t just your parameters, they are the parameters you have accepted as the ones you look for and there are many who agree. They aren’t the only parameters that exist and what one embraces depends on their own personal taste. In the case of judging cinematic art it is all subjective. Ebert loves the film, Siskel hates it. Both are experts in their field. Both have considerable knowledge of cinematic art. Both have studied their craft extensively. Whose parameters are correct? One would usually say it’s the one whose review you agree with. But then the next review they do, you agree with the opposite reviewer. It’s personal taste, man, it’s all subjective. Totally disagree about the stretching things out though. Scenes are meant to convey the types of events that occur on a day to day basis in this world we are evesdropping on. Not everything that occurs in the environment of people’s lives advance the plot of their existence.

                • All in all, this series is a personal taste sort of thing like in all series on TV. I know tons of people who thought Breaking Bad was the most overrated show of all time but that doesn’t make them right about the show. Same with GOT. A lot of people love the show and a lot of people think the show doesn’t do justice to the novels. All shows are based on personal taste. TWD happens to appeal to a lot more people to love the show rather than hate. Is the show the best written show on TV? No, not at all, but is it doing well enough to succeed? Yes

                  • “Is the show the best written show on TV? No, not at all, but is it doing well enough to succeed?”

                    Exactly! Fully agree here.

  24. as I said, I like that they seem to be building to something. with this show, it’s as if any moment story and characterization is introduced, the show is slammed for trying to be high art. you cannot run a successful show if it devolves into an hour of pure straight ahead walker destruction.

    because it’s a zombie show does not mean they should stray from world building. then who the hell would care for what awaits the survivors the moment the prison falls? with the story and character work, how would we differentiate between the prison outfit and destructive assholes like dave, tony, and merle, who we wouldn’t care for once the hit the road?

    jesus man, people bitched that michonne was a one note, anti-social, man eater at the start of season three. where’s her flashback? what’s led her to put up her shell? who was she? heard this s*** constantly. now it’s alluded to that she may have lost family, perhaps a child, we get a window into her make up, and it’s dismissed as just some issue? an issue viewers supposedly don’t have a moment for?

    might as well have kept daryl as the same reactionary blowhard redneck we met in season one, and had abandoned the work that’s was put into him, where he’s become a pop culture fan favorite. what’s character evolution when we just need two hundred forty minutes of relentless, hard hitting, walker mayhem in a sixty minute show?

    • victorsmith: Game of Thrones!

        • For about ten min he would have been better of lettingthe walkers follow the truck..i watch abdand criticize cause if more people would maybe the writers wouldn’t right such crap…I watch in hopes it will get back to form

          • Wow, you seem to suffer from a delusional belief that your ideas are better quality ideas than the show’s creators ideas. Trust me, they are not. Rick’s plan to get the walkers off the fence worked and demonstrated the skill he has for thinking fast and coming up with a solution. Your 20/20 suggestion certainly doesn’t improve on what actually happened in any way shape or form. Speaking of form, the show doesn’t have to return to form because it never seriously diverted from it and so far this season has been at the top of it’s game. (IMO)! So, watch and b**** about it. I’ll watch and as long as it stays on it’s current trajectory, fully enjoy.

      • Rick is not really a super smart badass, never was … even in the comic book he had various mental downs. That’s what makes him a realistic character. But other than in the TV show in the comic book this is not in the center of a whole episode, more a subplot. And Rick of the comic book always pulls himself together (mostly for Carl) and takes the leading role. He never was a smart badass and the moment he believed it himself, he got kicked in the ass by Negan.

        In the TV show they handle Rick’s mental crises different, not along the way, but more centered. Hence it sometimes seems that Rick’s in a constant status of mental instability.

        Again the two episodes of season 4 are a good example: Compress the two episodes – delete the supermarket scene, which was just the action starter for season 4, cut the suicide woman, who was for nothing (?) – and you have the core story: Rick dreaming of a quiet life behind the fence, being farmer and no more fighting. He even becomes pacifist (don’t want the children to be teached using knifes, don’t wears a gun belt). In season 1 & 2 and some really great episodes of season 3 these two epsiodes of Rick realizing his illusion would have been one episode, but much more compact, more dense …

        Because of Rick’s mental instabilities are so widely portrayed and he (contrary to the comic book Rick and the TV Rick before the death of Lori in season 3) much more shows it to the outside world, he seems to be a dumbass now. But he is not … and in another way always was (but better masked it).

        • Suicide woman was not for nothing but was a segment to reinforce Rick’s struggle with trusting once again, trying to reinforce a return to his humanity and was very effective in presenting his battle with it. He wavered between “one false move and your history” and emphatic sympathy as they hiked into the woods then between disgust and hopelessness at the revelation at their destination. His decision not to put down the woman before she changed was not the safe one and was the one he needed to make in order to maintain his regained humanity. Very well done, character defining scene.

          • The scene showed a lot of things. It showed Rick going through his demons. I thought it was good. There is a website devoted to the return of Season 1 of TWD format and they actually praised Gimple/writers for how they handled the scene along with how the show has improved. This site even had a poll about whether or not the show was heading in the right direction this season compared to last. They noted that last season the optimism for the show was at only 19% and now the poll for this season is showing at 79%. Say what you want about the show but it seems like more people are approving the shows direction as to people opposing it.

            • Indeed. Nobody denies the success of the show in terms of popularity.

                • Don’t need to remember his name. Names don’t strengthen or weaken my emotional connection to a well done heartfelt moment and I was moved to tears by that scene with the father and his little girls. Very superficial if you need to know every little detail to be emotionally connected. I find it funny that your complaint is too much zombie action when everyone’s big beef last season was too much boring stuff with the characters and not enough zombie kills! You just can’t satisfy everybody. As long as they satisfy me, that’s all I really care about. And they do 2xs over.

                    • Again, not true. Didn’t like the way they developed Andrea’s character after she arrived at Woodbury and how they shortchanged the Michonne and Andrea story (what did they go through after Michonne saved Andrea at end of season 2)as well as I believe there would have been a great deal of emotional fodder to develop had they not killed Lori off when they did. But all in all, yes I am pleased with this show (not easy to please, it’s just an exceptional show). I find you to be delusional because you honestly believe that your ideas on how the story should go are improvements over what the writers have done and they most assuredly are not and quite frankly would make the show seem like amateur hour instead of the quality showcase that it is. By the way, it’s not just me that finds the show excelling this season. The majority of comments and the professional critical reaction has been overwelmingly positive.

                    • Fully agree … with all your points! ;)

          • True. This is a possible interpretation of this scene.
            But the whole two episodes of season 4 focus on the inner journey of Rick – the realisation of his illusion that the prison is a safe haven, that behind the fence he can lay down his gun belt and become a pacifist (a bit overdone) … in my opinion the two episodes put together into one episode would have made one great and much more compact episode … without the feeling of fillers and stretching. Of course then some scenes need to be deleted.

            First option for delete without replacement: The senseless CGI action supermarket scene just to welcome the audience back and say: Hey, we totally screwed up the season 3 final … but hey … now we start with fancy action! At least the scene could be placed in a later episode.

            Next delete: The say 10 Minutes till in the morning anybody recognized that walkers are inside. Totally artificial suspense. Just to keep the audience a few minutes on tenterhooks … but annoyingly … I mean Rick was already awake and outside. Others would be too … and it wasn’t a shocking surprise. We just waited a little bit longer for everybody to be alarmed. This I call “stretching” and “artificial creation of suspense”.

            • Can’t agree with your assessment. That is how any master of the genre builds suspense. Nothing artificial about it. That’s like saying that the 1st 20 minutes of Alien which was filled with inconsequential dialogue and mundane scenes of the crew’s boring existence on their ship was nothing but unnecessary filler to create false suspense. Just not true. And the problem was in a different cell block making it very plausible that those who had already started their day would be unaware. Although I personally really liked the walker attack at the supermarket and believe it served a purpose, I can see where it’s deletion would not seriously effect the episodes quality although it did give us 2 things: suspicion regarding the newbie whose leg go trapped under the collapsing shelf and Beth’s recently evolved callous side.

              • 1. In Alien the specific threat was unknown even to the user first, then it was hiding and then it attacked pretty quick.
                2. Alien was over 30 years back. Some things like jamming the leg worked well back then (e.g. Halloween).
                3. The Beth developement was too obviously placed and would have worked much better with the death of her friend a few episodes later – showing more of her rufusal to let him get closer. So it came pretty set up and predictable.

                • Agree on point #3, it would have been more effective if it took a little longer to actually occur. Yes, I’m sure there were many viewers who went “he’s doomed” the second Beth didn’t say goodbye. But predictability isn’t a bad thing unto itself and often results in viewer gratification because lo and behold they have that “I knew it” moment when what they saw coming actually happens. Nothing wrong with that. I prefer the “I didn’t see that coming” for my own level of satisfaction but don’t discount the value of the former. As I mentioned in my other post I can see that the supermarket scene wasn’t essential but for me was still fully engaging for reasons already expressed. Your 1st point regarding Alien is a valid one. 2nd point less so as just because it worked 30 years ago doesn’t mean it doesn’t still work. There are the tried and true that worked 100 years ago, 60 years ago, 30 years ago, 2 years ago, still work today and will work for infinity (IMO).

                  • Agreed. There are some things that work forever and others that don’t.

                    What I call “artificial suspense” is the kind of suspense which only occurs when totally unrealistic or dumb things happen (too often). The supermarket scene as well as the dying boy-friend (most of all combined) is a good example: The leg jam and 3 men needing so long to free him and just leave is just the tip of the iceberg. There are too many coincidence leading into this situation, but then this situation even doesn’t work without the leg jam.

                    Some things are seen way too often. So they just don’t work or always leave a bitter feeling … it’s like the the run away of a girl in a horror movie: stumbling five times and then dropping the car keys three times … in Halloween (30 years ago) it worked pretty well, now it wouldn’t (just in a satire like Scream). Maybe you can use this once, but if you build the suspense of a whole scene on this, I’m pretty sure the modern audience wouldn’t consider it very well written.

                    • To be honest, in my life experience when things go wrong they usually happen in 3s. No coincidence involved just one bad thing compounding another, not so unrealistic based on what I’ve been through. But to your point, the supermarket scene was not vital to the stories progression but in my opinion (and it hasn’t changed despite your valiant efforts to do so), it was a well made, intense and totally enjoyable scene. Here is hoping you will find more to like in tonight’s episode.

  25. What is GOT?

    • @victor Game of Thrones

  26. I sort of wonder how we would have viewed season one had it been longer? episodes such as the pilot, the third, wildfire, and ts-19 didn’t feature loads of action and dipped heavily into the love triangle story. I wonder if the trashing this current season is taking and the propping up of the first has to do with nostalgia, upon first discovering the series and the series extension.

    by chance, if you watch sons of anarchy, doesn’t the irish gun dealer connor look like colts owner jim irsay?

  27. I agree with stretched and unimaginative and out-of-character events being used as filler. Isnt entirely bad through and through but the progression is stagnating.

    The weakest part is introducing new characters which soon will be obvious zombie snacks. That’s filler if I ever seen it.

      • criticism is fine. there’s definitely a place for it. I just think some folks have gotten into hate watching this show, which by that point one should simply check out. I have my issues with parts of the show also.

        • Estevan: I agree with you totally. No show is perfect and no show is going to be everybody’s cup of tea but there seems to be an element out there who watch the show just so they can come on and rip into it each week. And the worse part of it is they simply name call or advance amateurish alternatives to the story line as opposed to expressing any legitimate concerns.

            • I acknowledged a sample of flaws I felt the show had in my last post (you shouldn’t ignore what is right there in black and white)blowing that theory of yours right out of the water. Your reading perception is quite flawed. Didn’t equate your liking other seasons more than this one as amateurish. Indicated that your story concepts that you tout as being superior to the writers’ as amateurish which they are. This last post of yours is also difficult to decipher as I guess you had some difficulty expressing your thoughts. I’m going to leave it here. As I said before, your views are right for you and my views are right for me and that is really all that matters.

            • By the way, you owe me a million bucks.

                • Out of the blue? Really? I won’t bother listing the progression of events that have brought about Carol’s evolving change of character(often referred to as character development) because any self respecting regular viewer would already be aware of them and understand how Carol went from timid victim to empowered defender and have no problem with it because it is a logical progression. I don’t think I used the word “childish” and if I did I am truly sorry. I believe what I said was amateurish which is not the same thing and totally accurate (IMO). Again I have expressed things I found problematic with the show and there are others but they are outshined by what makes the show one of TVs best so I won’t dignify your childish (it applies here) innuendos that I’m on TWDs payroll. Suffice to say (and I repeat myself) that I will continue to support the show as long as it maintains it’s current trajectory of top notch quality and toy will continue to vilify it because you are of a different mind regarding it’s quality. Different strokes for different folks, it is after all what makes life so interesting.

                  • substitute the word you where I typed toy. The hour is late and I am fading fast.

  28. Never sleep with your jail celldoor open, defeats the purpose in any context . . . curtains can still flap just not so insecurely.

  29. What’s up Screen Rant? All other sights have their review of last night’s episode posted but nothing from you yet. Once Upon a Time review up but no Walking Dead?