TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD – 2014 (S4 Episodes 9 & 10)
Season 4 of THE WALKING DEAD returned to TV last week Sunday after the devasting events that lead to the destruction of the Prison where our crew were hiding out. This followed a mass exodus of all the key players separated from each other. Here is my Review of Episodes 9 & 10 of Season 4…
The explosive chaos that followed Episode 8 left us all in awe. So it was more than expected when Episode 9 focuses on more of a subdued, somber and more reflective tone than the usual. The episode opens with Carl & Rick as we last saw them fleeing the prison, picking up exactly where we left them. Rick is destroyed, and can barely walk, while Carl is shown having to take care of him. We’re treated to the typical search & scavenge scenes as the father-son duo try to find food and shelter, but there’s a lot of tension & animosity from Carl. After finding a safe place to crash for the night, Carl awakens the next day, only to find his father in a deep slumber, or more likely dead. (Obviously not.)
This episode was pretty slow, but when you throw in the suspense of whether Rick is dead or not, there’s your edge of the seat entertainer. The suspension of disbelief was heavily challenged here. On the one hand, they can’t kill the lead of the damn show. On the other hand… he wouldn’t freakin’ wake up! From that point on we were in an ‘all Carl show’. On his own for the first time, saving his dad, scavenging for food and taking on Walkers by himself, allows Carl to come to grips with recent events. It’s a great chance for the kid of the show, who grew up to be a troubled badass, to take a moment and just, reflect on his traumatic and abruptly ended childhood. Actor Chandler Riggs owns every single solo scene and destroys the monologue he has near the end, yelling at Rick about his failed attempts to save his mother and his infant sister. It’s gut wrenching to finally watch this kid implode. Throughout the last Season, it was creepy and kind of cool to see this li’l pre-teen boy become such a good killer. This episode really gave us a chance to deal with his maturity.
This episode also gives us something we’ve desperately been wanting for a while now: Michonne’s origins! Kinda. We finally see her back story and why she is the way she is. Michonne had a baby. The revelation comes to us in a weird dream sequence flashback where everything is intertwined and we have to interpret things ourselves. It’s also implied that her lover may have killed their baby in a fit of desperation regarding their fate during the Zombie apocalypse. Which is just so fucked up. This episode sees Michonne in a totally different light, broken, despondent and completely destroyed. However, redemption comes in the end as she is able to meet up with Rick & Carl. It’s an emotionally charged episode with, almost, a happy ending for a WALKING DEAD Episode. Which just means more fucked up things are on their way later on.
Episode 10 is more of a ‘where are they now’ situation, where we are able to see all the other survivors are after the Prison debacle. Darryl & Beth are on their own, trying to find survivors. Through their search, we see the other survivors and their journey, but in a non-linear format. Maggie is with two others, desperately trying to find Glen. They come across the bus that transported survivors from the Prison, only to find them all Zombified, and thankfully, no sign of Glen.
Tyreese and the little girls are together on the run. It was very eery as we see these two innocent girls trying to survive in the Zombie apocalypse with a big and touch guy who seems completely out of his element with these kids. The redeeming moment of this episode: Judith is alive! Rick’s daughter, the little girl who we assumed dead, after seein an emptied bloody car seat, has been saved! Judith’s supposed death was a lot crueler and gut wrenching than any of the other child deaths in the show because, well… she’s mad cute. More so, because of how her death would impact our lead characters and their emotional state of mind. I’m tearing up at the thought of her reunited with her family.
Another reunion happens when Carol returns. If anyone remembers, she was left to fend for herself when Rick find out that she was responsible for killing two members of the group, in cold blood, earlier in the Season. One of those people happened to be the girl Tyresse loved, which will give way to some intense conflict, as she hooks up with the girls and Tyreese himself. They make their way to some place where Sanctuary is promised, something I’ll sure will play a big role this half of the Season. Glen himself finds a will to survive, after being left behind in the Prison. He riot gears up and hooks up with the cute Lesbian chick whose sister fell in love with The Governor, and the both of them make it out, where Glen passes out after dealing with a group of Zombies. Remember: he was still getting over the sick-ness from earlier in the Season. This is where the episode ends, where a group of Militia types arrive in the nick of time, but are they friends or foes, is the cliffhanger ending.
These first two episodes of the later half of Season 4 are slowly establishing the situation after the Prison. Our character nog longer have a safe haven and the show is thrust back into its beginnings: A group of survivors having to find themselves, and make their way through the open, zombie infested world, while trying to… well survive. It’s a great set up and after everything we–they have been through, it’ll be interesting to see how hey all react to going back to square one.