If you went over to The Mary Sue today expecting a recap of last night’s Walking Dead, then you probably didn’t see one — they’ve turned the duty over to us. We’ll admit that we’re not as well-versed in the comics as the amazing Jill Pantozzi, but we’re going to try our best to live up to their level of awesomeness starting with season 4’s first episode, “30 Days Without An Accident.”
We open with Rick Grimes walking around the prison complex in broad daylight and stopping to wash his face in a barrel of water, because that’s what the hero always does in action-horror franchises. Luckily it’s only three seconds into the episode, so there’s no mirror or walker behind him to do the obligatory jump scare. He just really wants to splash water on himself.
After the water he opens the gate and walks down the road to go — farm some stuff? There’s even a adorable country music song playing in the background (coming out of his earbuds, presumably) and it’s al very idyllic, save for the walkers on the other side of the gate who’ve gathered in a small horde. But forget about them. Rick’s got a potato!
Oh no, wait. It’s a gun.
Rick holds the gun in his hand and looks up at the walkers. Shaken, he takes the clip out of the gun and tosses them both in the wheelbarrow, then continues digging. And that’s the cold open.
After Rick comes back to the complex, Carl shows up. Man, how old is this kid now? He wants to know why Rick didn’t wake him up and Rick says it’s because he knew Carl was up all night reading comic books. Carl then asks about a sick pig nearby, and much to Rick’s displeasure calls it by a name (Violet, I think). He tells him to stop calling them by name because “they’re not piglets anymore, they’re food.” But then he calls her Violet as he’s explaining that he doesn’t know what’s wrong, so I guess nobody has any problem being playful with each other right now.
Meanwhile, Daryl is walking through what looks like the breakfast area at the complex and talks to Carol, who’s working at the grill. She wants to show Daryl something, but not before Patrick stops him to thank him for bringing a deer back yesterday. He even wants to shake Daryl’s hand, so of course Daryl licks all the meat off his fingers before obliging, because he’s Daryl.
Now we cut to a team of survivors at the wall stabbing walkers in the eye. You know, like you do.
Daryl and Carol walks up to inspect them, and Carol mentions that they probably won’t be able to spare as many people for the run because “they had a pretty big build-up overnight.” She’s worried that it’s getting as bad as it was last month, and that the walkers tend not to spread out as much anymore. Daryl suggest that it’s because of the fence cleaners that they don’t spread out, but Carol says they need the fence cleaners to get ahead of the walkers. She also calls him “Pookie.” Uhhh what now? Are they officially a thing?
Speaking of official things, next up is Glenn gettin’ all snuggly with Maggie in bed. Except he doesn’t actually seem all that happy about it. He sits up and tells her, “I don’t think you should go today” — to the run, presumably. Maggie tries to calm him down, and it’s a really good reversal of gender roles here, because normally you’d get the female character telling the male character not to go out and do something dangerous, not the other way around.
Back at the wall, Tyreese comes up to one of the fence cleaners whose name I totally forgot but who the Internet tells me is named Karen. He wants to go on the supply run because he doesn’t like killing the walkers on the fence. Karen seems disappointed that he won’t be with her and they flirt for a bit, which ends in an adorable kiss. One of these two is going to die before the end of the season, aren’t they?
Daryl and Beth’s boyfriend Zach are loading up the car when she comes and finds them. More kissing happens. God, this is three kissing couples in a row and I don’t like any of their chances. Zach’s explaining that the’s going on the run too and he really wanted to tell Beth about it just in case, but she’s not worried and won’t even say goodbye. Welp, guess it’s him that’s gonna bite it. Sorry, Zach.
Meanwhile, some guy named Bob wants to come on the run too. Sasha tells him it’s “only been a week” since they found him on their own, but he wants to earn his keep. He was also a medic in the army, somebody else says. Yeah, new guy’s probably gettin’ eaten too.
Back to Rick, who’s getting farming lessons from Hershel. Carl whistles to him and they go running off somewhere, and there’s a cut to a bunch of walkers outside as Michonne gallops by on a horse. Rick and Michonne open the gate for her as a bunch of walkers get impaled on spikes trying to follow. She’s found more comics for Carl and a razor for Rick, whose bearded “face is losing the war.” She didn’t find him, however, she tells Daryl —
Merle, I’m assuming probably more likely the Governor given that I totally forgot Merle died for real last season — and she wants to go over near Macon. First, however, she agrees to help Daryl out with the supply run.
In the meantime, Rick’s going to go check empty the snares and tells Carl to stay put. Hershel says that the rest of the council — Daryl, Glenn, Sasha, Carol — want him to take a gun with him when he goes, but Rick refuses. They want him to be safe.
Next shot — Rick has the gun. Welp. He also finds that the deer they’ve trapped has already been ripped apart by walkers. He thinks he sees another walker descending on a second deer and starts to walk away, but then it speaks! It’s an actual lady! She’s covered in rags and she’s begging Rick to help her get the deer to her husband, because they haven’t eaten in days. She’s also Irish or Scottish for some reason.
She asks if Rick have a camp nearby and if they can come back with him, as they’ve been doing “badly on their own.” He says he’d have to meet the husband so he can ask them both some questions, and searches her for a gun. Then, after telling her not to try anything, he gives her back her knife so she can totally try something later. Rick. You dumbass.
Cut back to a bunch of kids on the prison complex waving at walkers beyond the gate. Carl and Patrick are surprised to learn that they’ve named some of the walkers. “They already had names. They’re dead now,” Carl says, to which one of the girls replies that they’re “not dead, they’re just different.” Carl tries to explain that this is the stupidest thing he’s ever heard and the kids leave. Carl? You name pigs. Maybe get off your high horse there.
Back to the supply run — they’re in front of a Big Spot! supermarket. There was a camp outside of it that the military constructed to keep people safe, but clearly it did not work.
While they wait outside the supermarket to draw out some of the walkers. Zach tries to guess what Daryl did before the turn and goes with “homicide cop,” which makes Michonne laugh. Daryl, of course, goes along with it, which makes Zach believe he’s probably guessed wrong. They get into formation and start the sweep, but of course Bob’s already shaken up by a leg he found on the ground. Come on, Bob! You were an army medic! Keep it together!
Oh and also, there’s a whole bunch of walkers on the roof that they missed, because of course there are.
After a break we come back to Rick and his new buddy. She explains that they were going somewhere on the honeymoon but the airports were shut down and they couldn’t get on their connecting flight.If her husband wasn’t still with him, she’d be dead too, she explains.
At the supermarket, Michonne finds a Frankenstein cutout in the supermarket and hacks it up with one fell blade. Glenn’s looking at ads for baby pictures. Bob has a cart, for god’s sake, and he’s slowly going straight for the wine. His hands are shaking, and he goes to put the wine back but then the whole display collapses on top of him, alerting the walkers on the roof. Way to go, Bob!
As the others try to get Bob out from under the display, the walkers creep over a soft part of the roof and fall through the ceiling. One’s entrails get caught and he dangles above everyone, and then about a half dozen more jump through. Everybody starts running, and Bob shouts for them to come back for them when a walker lands right on top of him. Yep, totally called it. Creepy new guy always gets killed first.
Rick and his new friend are still talking about the horrible stuff they had to do to survive. “Do you think you get to come back from them?” She asks, and he says he hopes so. Is it just me or is anyone else thinking they’re going to try to eat him Sawney Beane style?
Even more walkers are crawling over the supermarket now. A few of them pin down Glenn but he shoots them off because he’s the best. Sasha and Michonne both have swords and they’re making quick work of the ones near them, which is even more the best. Bob is also still alive, apparently –that walked jumping from above was just a commercial break trick — but Daryl rescues him. Meanwhile, Zach is getting eaten, so I was half right. They make it out of the supermarket just as the helicopter on top of the roof falls through. Everyone except Zach, of course.
Rick and the lady finally make it to her camp and she drops down to tend to her husband, who is… in a box. Rick looks over at the two beds in he tent and totally misses that the lady’s pulled her knife on him, because he’s a dumb ass. She was planning on feeding Rick to the head of her walker husband, but clearly that’s not going to work, so she stabs herself in the stomach with her knife so they can be walkers together. While she’s bleeding out, she wants to know the three questions, so he tells her: “How many walker have you killed, how many people have you killed, and why?” She says that the only person she’s ever killed was herself, and that she did it because “you don’t get to come back.” Rick is left alone, and heads back to the camp.
Back at the prison complex, Carol is reading to the kids as part of storytime. Carl sneaks up to watch, because he’s been making fun of storytime the whole episode so of course he wants to go see it now. Except once the coast is clear, Carol stops reading and starts teaching the kids how to use weapons. Bless you, Carol. Patrick has to excuse himself because he’s nauseous. Aw, and here I thought you were letting people think you were a storytime-watching-wussy so you could learn about weapons, and you actually are a wuss. Poor Patrick. Carl reveals himself, and Carol tells him not to tell Rick.
Rick is on his way back to the camp — the walker that shook him up during the cold open is still there. Violet the pig is also dead. Tyreese returns and tells Karen he doesn’t want to be on the supply run anymore either, basically. Glenn tells Maggie about Zach, and she tells him that she’s not pregnant. Oh, that’s why he didn’t want her on the supply run. He’s relieved, but she says that they really could make a life here if they wanted. She says she doesn’t want to be afraid of being alive anymore.
Daryl goes to tell Beth the bad news. She takes it… okay? And she tells Daryl that she doesn’t cry for the dead anymore, and they hug. Hershel and Rick are talking about the woman in the woods while he holds his baby. And Patrick is very, very sick. Like, infected sick. And he dies. Sorry for thinking you were a wuss, Patrick.
All in all, a solid first season opener. There’s a nice equilibrium here that is totally going to get ruined soon, so that’s something to look forward to.
- Have you signed up for the free online UC Irvine course about The Walking Dead?
- Check out The Walking Dead: 400 Days launch trailer
- There are Walking Dead monopolgy and risk games because of course there are