Well if nothing else, you can say that The Walking Dead has not made the season 4 prison camp stay as much of a drag-on affair as the season 2 farm stay. After a touch of disease, a few fits of madness and an all-assault by The Governor, Rick Grimes and his survivor clan are scattered and back on the move, trying to survive in Zombieland.
The latest promo makes the theme of the season 4.5 story-arc abundantly clear: “Don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” The teaser showcases the sheer looks of exhaustion, desperation or pain on the faces of the survivors we know and (sort of) love, who have been sectioned off into small groups or solo acts (poor Michonne), no longer secure in the notion of having friends to watch their back.
This angle begs the question of episode format, as one would presume these new chapters will be comprised of different subplots distributed across the respective groups of survivors. In a way it’ll be a nice way to avoid the screen time stretch that occurs when the group is gathered, but it also opens the show up wider than ever to the crosshairs of “love ‘em or hate ‘em” character sniping. In other words: if the Glenn/Maggie storyline drags, and the characters stop being interesting, how easy it for the mob to then come calling for their heads on pikes? (By the way, that could actually happen on this show…)
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On the other hand, this move potentially opens some much-needed breathing room for each of the characters to evolve and grown. Glenn may have to get a little more Rickish; Carl may have to get a little more Darylish; Michonne may learn the value of being more Carolish – you get the idea. By the time the survivors ultimately reunite (whichever ones are left, that is…) we could see a much different mix of personalities to propel us forward into season 5. And if time has proven anything, it’s that TWD is usually at its best when doing more focused stories about smaller groups of characters.
On a lighter note, here is a funny video of Walking Dead star Norman Reedus being pranked by Zombie impersonator/prankster extraordinaire, Nick Santonastasso:
I feel like Reedus was scared there for a second, but then those Daryl instincts just kicked in and it was all he could do NOT to drive his cell phone through poor Santaonastasso’s brain. They certainly took a risk pranking that guy!
The Walking Dead returns on February 9th, 2014 at 9pm on AMC.