The Walking Dead - S04-E01 - "30 Days Without an Accident"

The Walking Dead
Season Four, Episode One.
"30 Days Without an Accident"

“How many walkers have you killed?”
“How many people have you killed?”
“What…is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”


I know that our three readers(hi mom) have missed us but with the return of Walking Dead comes the return of an even more gruesome team...Blair and myself. So let's get to it.



I do appreciate how the show actually "uses" the passage of time between seasons better than any shows I have seen. Between seasons two and three we understand that they survived through the winter, through various pieces of dialogue. This break sees the expansion and stabilization of the prison group. That being said I found this season opener to be a bit slow. The 

With the threat of the Governor gone (for the time being maybe?) there has been ample time to rebuild, reset and re-establish a well maintained village. Communal kitchen, gardens, even livestock are present, and that's just outside, how has the inside of the prison transformed? It would seem that the group has been busy helping out more people than just the residents of the community formerly know as Woodbury. With Daryl being the main person behind this as he seems to be the only one who receives any accolades in the episode. Speaking of Daryl, he and Carol seem to be ever so slightly closer. I hope to see that develop a bit more, as we have been waiting to see some kind of relationship blossom from them.

The major thing that I could not stop focusing on throughout the entire episode were the special FX. To me, at times, the scenes went from bad B-movie prosthetics to over the top computer graphics. Nothing seem polished. The two main scenes that bothered me the most were; 
The perimeter fence clearing, some of those heads were brutal, they were either fake heads or computer generated, not both. 
The zombie roof sprinkler system, The walkers would fall slightly into the roof but the roof wasn't shown as giving way. 
Not the biggest deal breaker to everyone, but as an avid video gamer, graphics are one of the major components to keeping a player immersed in the game. If something doesn't look right it will take me right out of the action. And it did. Last years FX just seemed more polished, with a mix of props and computer aid.

There are rumors galore on what happened to ol' Harry Potter. He went from fine to bad to dead in a few hours. Was he just an isolated case of the flu? Was it food poisoning? If so why was no one else affected? Is his illness related to Violets? Was it the shaking of Daryl's grubby hands? Will this be an early major kill off or will he be disposed of quickly and quietly? Save the group from panic. Who will have the honors? Carl?

I love the idea of asking new comers the three questions. The first two are clearly moot at this point, it's obvious by now that if you have survived this long you most certainly have killed both walkers and survivors. The questions are more to find out WHY someone would kill another human. Safety? Survival? Selfishness?  Or some other reason?

Blair, thoughts?

I only have two consistent concerns when it comes to The Walking Dead…no, on second thought, let’s save that shit until the end. Let’s not start out the first write-up of the season with a bunch of complaining and snobbery. So, let me put in check my pretentious criticisms and ad nauseam Breaking Bad comparisons and talk about all the positive things in the season four premiere.


It is one of the moods that the show has had a firm grasp on from the beginning. It is an underrated and subtle antagonist for all the characters: the feeling that whatever lies ahead, the future itself, is probably not going to be very pleasant. The bottom line: it’s hard to be happy when you don’t really have much to look forward to. It’s there whenever anyone leaves the compound. It’s there in every relationship. In this apocalyptic world, it’s always there.

Another thing that is always top notch is any action involving zombies. The chaos at the store was no exception. Having zombies rain down on the group’s shopping trip made for an inspired setpiece. We also learned that newcomer Bob Stookey has some demons when it comes to alcohol. See what happens when you resist the temptation and put the bottle back on the shelf, Bob? Zombies fall from the sky and people die.

Yet perhaps my favourite part of the episode was Rick’s little parable with Clara and I think the main reason for this was Kerry Condon’s performance. What a great choice to have her be an Irish traveler caught in a foreign country during the chaos. It didn't take long for her to become one of the most interesting characters on the entire show. The dark hair draped over her blackened face, as well as the dark suit jacket over top of what looked like a light summer dress was a nice visualization of the darkness that had almost covered up everything she likely used to be.

Now for the nitpicking:

I only have two consistent concerns when it comes to The Walking Dead: character development and plot momentum. I’m not asking that the show have both working like gangbusters at all times (not many shows have this and one just ended a few weeks ago). Excellence in one category can often make up for a lack in the other (Mad Men comes to mind as an example of being character development heavy while 24 is the inverse. Homeland made a violent and concerning shift from the former to the latter as its second season progressed). Consistent mediocrity in both is what makes a show, well, mediocre. The Walking Dead has its fair share of lulls in both aspects but more often it struggles to develop its characters. Granted, a lot of the poorly rendered or inconsistent characters on the show are now dead (Andrea, Shane, Dale, T-Dog), and the writers have some fresh starts with the newer characters, (Tyreese, Sasha, Bob Stookey, Karen) but how long have we been waiting for some background on Michonne? Season Two was largely a disappointment because the show tried (and failed) to work on character development while the plot momentum stalled at Hershel’s farm. Season Three ramped up the plot with the Woodbury/Governor threat but sacrificed a lot of character work. What will the trajectory of season four be? The premiere didn't really tip its hand one way or the other in this regard, as it spent most of its time catching us up on where things stand at the prison. The table is set for the second episode to propel us into some kind of story arc for at least the first half of the season.

- It's interesting how Carl reacted to Carol's "story time". I would think out of anyone he would understand the importance of teaching the younger survivors about the importance of weapons.
- Isn't Hershel a vet? How could they let Violet just die like that with out even taking a look at her. She went from bad to dead in a matter of hours.
- Is there no night time patrols? Have they been "safe" for so long that they have given up on the 24 hour surveillance? This is still a zombie apocalypse!
- How has Michonne been passing her time? It would seem that she goes out on "hunts" often and for long stretches at a time. What is she looking for? Survivors? Supplies? The Governor?
-Another season, another new showrunner. Scott M. Gimple takes over for Glen Mazzara. Gimple wrote my favourite episode of last season (“Clear”) so here’s hoping he can elevate this season to something we haven’t seen before. Despite the showrunner musical chairs, I think Robert Kirkman (comic book creator and a producer on the show) is the unofficial showrunner.
-Enjoyed the flirting between Daryl and Carol.
-I liked Zack. Poor Zack. Really enjoyed him trying to guess Daryl’s former occupation.
-Where did Michonne find a horse?
-One of my first thoughts during the cold open was how sweet Rick’s beard was becoming. So, I had a strong reaction when Michonne showed up with a razor. Although, that was one of a few hints at a relationship between her and Rick.
-Poor Beth.
-Oh, right. That last scene. Poor kid with the glasses had one nasty fever. He died pretty fast. Is this some kind of new plague? Because that is going to be all kinds of ugly.

Steve’s Episode MVP: Carol
Blair’s Episode MVP: Clara
Steve’s Episode Grade: 1 thumb
Blair’s Episode Grade: B+
Steve’s Deadpool Pick: One of the auxiliary female characters will take an early morning shower.
Blair’s Deadpool Pick: Sasha (I really hope not because I like her. But I’m worried.)