Walking Dead Season 4 Trailer and EW Cover Story

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes on the cover of Entertainment Weekly

Good

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes on the cover of Entertainment Weekly

Better

 

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon on the cover of Entertainment Weekly

Best

My excitement about The Walking Dead Season 4 went from a 5 to an 11 last Friday. It was a great day to be a fan of the show because not only was The Walking Dead Season 4 trailer unveiled at the San Diego Comic-Con, but the issue of Entertainment Weekly that was released had a Walking Dead story and three different collectible covers. A cover features Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), another has Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), and the third, most badass one features my favorite character Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) on his motorcycle. Sadly I didn’t get the Daryl edition like I had hoped, although I was still pretty happy with Rick.

Based on The Walking Dead Season 4 trailer and EW’s article, the new season, which starts in October 2013, seems like it will be a great mixture of character driven episodes and tense action. Here are my thoughts on the trailer and the article. Be sure to watch the trailer below and let me know what you think about this teaser for Season 4.

When we pick up with the people at the prison, it seems like times are getting extremely tough. With more humans at the prison, resources are probably going much faster. There are multiple shots of Daryl and company risking their necks on dangerous supply runs like the one in the trailer’s opening at a Walmart-type store. It’s definitely unsettling to hear screams of pain without knowing the source. Plus, the conversation that Carol has with Daryl about the increasing number of walkers and the shots of zombies piling up against the prison only add to my anticipation about how the survivors will deal with the growing threat.

Speaking of Carol, I was glad to see her talking more with Daryl. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a total shipper hoping that those two get together. I also thought it was funny that she was teaching a class on knife safety. I’m intrigued to see how that particular portion fits into the coming episodes. Other things that made me curious: the new character played by Lawrence Gilliard Jr., all the emotional reaction shots, the talk about leaving the prison, the scene where everyone is fighting their way from a car through a swarm of zombies, and the final moments when they hear something on the radio.

Lawrence Gilliard Jr.’s character clearly has something dark going on beneath the surface, especially based on the shot where he’s looking in the mirror with his hand shaking. I wonder what potentially dastardly deeds he will perpetrate. Hopefully he isn’t linked to Hershel’s line about two of their own being killed in cold blood or to the shot of dead rats someone has been feeding the walkers on the fence. The emotional reaction shots could be to anything, although to me they signal a lot more character-rich episodes.

The scene where everyone is fighting near the car and Tyreese is battling a cluster of zombies by himself, reminds me of a part of the comic where he similarly fends off a ton of walkers. I cross my fingers that the fight goes in his favor since I like Tyreese. I’m going to guess that his busted eye in the trailer comes from a fight with Rick. I can’t wait to see how their relationship is built up in the show and what will eventually bring them to the same blows that they famously exchanged in the comic.

The Entertainment Weekly Article

The cast of The Walking Dead in Entertainment Weekly

Wicked creepy right? This isn’t a position I’d want to be in.

The main photo for EW’s Walking Dead Season 4 article is amazing. It’s cool toward the beginning of the issue that you see how the photographer was on his back to take the shot of everyone creepily standing over him.

Behind the scenes with the cast of The Walking Dead

Cool to see how it’s done huh?

I enjoyed the piece’s anecdotes about Chandler Riggs (Carl) finally getting to fire a real gun on set after celebrating his 14th birthday. Admittedly I was concerned too about the season would be with its new showrunner Scott Gimble, however the interviews with cast members and reminders of the superb episodes that he wrote in Seasons 2 and 3, assuaged my fears.

EW got me wondering how The Governor will crop up in Season 4 and hooked me with teases about an impending threat scarier than the walkers. It made me laugh though to hear viewers were confused about the Tyreese/Sasha relationship. Even if you didn’t read the comic, I thought it was fairly obvious that they were family. Like the EW writers, I’m speculating nervously on how many characters might get killed off this season.

I say if Daryl dies we riot. Anyone else agree?

Just kidding…or am I? Haha.

Walking Dead Season 4: First Look

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead Season 4

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead Season 4. Copyright TWD Productions LLC. All Rights reserved.

Production just started recently on The Walking Dead Season 4, so this week’s Dead Alert newsletter, is already tantalizing us with a first look photo. The image above features Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) sweaty, in the middle of the woods, with a walker awkwardly watching him in the background. It’s the kind of thing that definitely raises more questions than it answers about where the next season will go, but it’s welcome none the less. As someone who was disappointed with the conclusion of Season 3, I’m hoping for better things in Season 4.

What do you think of this photo? Have any predictions about the direction of the show in Season 4?

The Walking Dead Comic, Chapter One: Days Gone By

Walking Dead Comic Days Gone By

“The Walking Dead,” created by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Tony Moore

Warning: This Walking Dead comic post contains spoilers. Please wait until after reading Chapter One, before exploring further. 

Summary: After he’s shot in the line of duty, police officer Rick Grimes, wakes up to find the world overrun by flesh-eating zombies (aka walkers). A kind stranger named Morgan and his son Duane fill Rick in on what’s happening and help him get back on his feet. Then Rick sets out to find his wife and son in Atlanta, where he believes they’ve found safe haven. He nearly gets overwhelmed by zombies in the city, but Rick is saved by another Good Samaritan Glenn, who brings the weary traveler back to his camp of survivors. One he arrives, Rick finds that his best friend Shane is there and that he has taken care of Rick’s wife Lori and son Carl. The grateful Rick reunites with Lori and Carl, although he doesn’t realize that Shane isn’t willing to give up his new family so easily.

The first issue of The Walking Dead comic, Chapter One: Days Gone By, starts out briskly with only a single page of back story before it throws you into the fray. You see Rick get shot in the line of duty and then the next thing you know he’s jolted awake, alone in the hospital. Because you don’t learn much about Rick beforehand, there’s more fear and urgency to Rick’s situation. It’s very much like the opening to the Danny Boyle film “28 Days Later,” except Rick discovers the flesh eaters quicker.

Unlike a film, the comic doesn’t have sound or music to amplify the anxiety of Rick’s frightening discoveries. It also lacks color, something that would normally add to the disgusting characterization of the zombies you see. What’s amazing about the comic is that even without these embellishments, it’s remarkably successful at telling a grim, unsettling tale. That’s because the incredibly detailed dialogue, spelled out sounds (like “BLAM!”), and facial expressions of the characters compensate for the absence of more in-your-face methods. Lighting and shading are also used to bolster the atmosphere in this tale by establishing time of day and providing another layer of emotional depth to each individual scene.

Stylistically, the layout is a nice mixture of different types of art. There are pages comprised entirely of framed sketches, half-page scenes which have framed drawings woven around them, and in some instances, full-page art. I love artist Tony Moore doesn’t draw the frames straight and crisp. Instead they have a rougher, uneven look that fits in with the comic’s post apocalyptic setting. The most compelling work is obviously the full-page stuff, which can be incredibly gruesome, frightening, or beautiful in a disquieting way.

From a story perspective there are some really entertaining things going on, like when Rick and Glenn coat themselves in walker blood and body parts as a disguise. This wacky plan keeps the zombies from smelling them in Atlanta, and allows the pair to retrieve a cache of guns. It’s one of the better things that The Walking Dead television show lifts from the comic. The traumatizing zombie attacks and deaths of group members are tough to read, but they serve to mentally prepare you for future books in the series, which aren’t shy about killing characters off. The conflict between Rick and Shane is also really intense. When Lori tells Shane it’s over between them in the pouring rain you feel his pain and when Shane’s yelling at Rick you can sense his raw anger.

Probably the best moment in the first chapter of The Walking Dead comic, is the climactic showdown between Rick and Shane at the end. After Carl shoots Shane to protect his father, the issue closes on a disturbing piece of full-page art. Rick and his son share a scared embrace over Shane’s dead body.

What did you think of the first Walking Dead comic? If you watch the show, were you happy with the elements they brought over from this first issue into Season 1?

Liars, Liars Pants on Fire: Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 13 (Arrow on the Doorpost)

David Morrissey as The Governor on The Walking Dead

The Governor (David Morrissey) on The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 13 Copyright 2013 AMC TV

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further. Similarities and differences between the show and the comic are also discussed, but whenever possible, details of the comic are left ambiguous in case you decide to start it later on.

Summary: Andrea arranges for Rick and The Governor to meet on neutral turf so they can negotiate. While the two men try to hash things out, their companions unexpectedly find common ground. At the prison, Merle fights with the others about whether they should take the offensive against The Governor.

At first I had absolutely no idea where Rick, Hershel, and Daryl were at the start of The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 13 (Arrow on the Doorpost). It was pretty exciting to see them sweeping a giant complex on the lookout for trouble. Hershel looked slick leaning out the car window with his M-16 and his gun hidden near his stump. Although once I realized what they were doing I was surprised Rick brought Hershel along on such an important mission given his disability.

Based on the trailers for this half of Season 3, I knew Rick and The Governor would have a face-to-face talk at some point, however I wasn’t expecting it to happen in Episode 13. After the previous episodes, there was nothing to suggest either Rick or The Governor was truly interested in a sit-down. There were also no actual scenes prior to Episode 13, which showed Andrea discussing terms of a powwow with either person.

Once they actually meet, poor Andrea tries to talk sense by encouraging them to “Save the bullets for the real threat (walkers),” but she’s thrown out of the room, and instead of fighting to stay, she goes off to sulk. Apparently even during the zombie apocalypse men still treat leadership like a boys club.

I know I accused Season 3 Episode 11 (Ain’t No Judas) of being the talky-est episode to date in this season, but Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 13 easily takes the prize. It was extremely frustrating to me because I felt like Rick and The Governor talk without saying anything consequential; they just dance around in circles. The Governor reveals that he doesn’t want peace, only surrender, while Rick indicates he won’t kowtow to demands. They trade verbal jabs as The Governor tries to warn Rick about messing with Woodbury’s numbers, and Rick cautions The Governor over throwing it all away.

Outside the meeting there are amusing interactions between Rick’s men and The Governor’s. They almost come to blows, before Hershel assures them there will be plenty of time for that later. As Milton intelligently points out there’s no reason they can’t explore the issues in their own way. Daryl and Martinez engage in a hilarious game of one-upsmanship killing zombies and smoking cigs. And guess what? They’re not all that different. Neither are Milton and Hershel who discuss documenting their history (pretty smart) and the science of Hershel’s survival. Good call on not showing him your stump though Hershel. I’d make Milton buy me a drink too before revealing my leg.

At the prison Merle argues very strongly in favor of sneaking out to defend his brother and to kill The Governor while they have the element of surprise. Merle tries the hard way, which ends with him getting wrestled down by Glenn and Maggie, as well as the nice way where he tries to sweet-talk Michonne. Neither work and everyone stays put. At least Glenn and Maggie make up finally with a quickie. Plus Glenn drops the “L” word. Way to go buddy! However I wanted to slap them both for leaving their watch to get busy. I kept thinking it was a horror movie and something terrible would happen because they were having sex. Thank god everything was okay.

Finally the conversation between Rick and The Governor boils down to an ultimatum: Rick can make all his trouble go away if he turns over Michonne. Did anyone believe that lying bastard would keep to his word? Hell no. Rick doesn’t and neither do we. But none the less, Rick must consider the option if Philip isn’t bluffing. So both men go back to their respective camps while intense music builds up tension. We see both Rick and The Governor lying their asses off like Axel Foley might say in Beverly Hills Cop.

The Governor says he’ll play nice, but reveals to Milton that he intends to slaughter Rick’s people and Rick avoids telling everyone about the offer on the table to trade Michonne.  Instead he lets everyone know they’re going to war while the episode ends on a creepy crane shot as Rick and Hershel discuss whether they actually should dump Michonne. Hey at least next episode should be a lot more exciting!

Click here to take this week’s poll: If you were Michonne would you team up with Merle to attack The Governor?

Were you also worried something bad might happen while Glenn and Maggie were “distracted?” Would you surrender Michonne if there was a possibility for peace? Weigh in with your thoughts on Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 13.

Michonne’s Redemption: Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 12 (Clear)

Rick, Carl, and Michonne in The Walking Dead

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), and Michonne (Danai Gurira) The Walking Dead Copyright 2013 AMC TV

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further. Similarities and differences between the show and the comic are also discussed, but whenever possible, details of the comic are left ambiguous in case you decide to start it later on.

Summary: Rick, Carl, and Michonne go on a supply run together which takes the father and son back to their home town. After they arrive, the trio encounters an old friend of Rick’s who has fallen on hard times. While Rick tries to talk some sense into his pal, Carl and Michonne go off on their own adventure, bonding with each other in the process.

The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 12 (Clear) is very different from the other episodes in Season 3 due to its exclusive focus on a single group. I’ve been spoiled by the constant shifting between Woodbury and the prison, so I didn’t care for the change in format. Since the writers whipped me into a frenzy with all the preparations for war in Episode 11 (I Ain’t a Judas), the fact that they left that behind for an entire episode felt like someone pulled the rug out from underneath me.

At the beginning of Episode 12, as they’re trying to get their car out of the mud, Carl questions his dad for bringing Michonne along. That’s when Rick reveals that he’s trying to keep an eye on her and merely sees Michonne as a temporary ally. During this conversation you witness a beautifully awkward moment where the camera cuts to Michonne, who can hear everything. This exchange clearly impacts her since she starts to soften herself to both Rick and Carl over the course of the episode.

In the empty police station armory, Rick recommends searching local businesses for extra guns, something Michonne finds foolish. So of course Rick tries to provoke her by saying “Do you have a problem with that approach?” Cool as a cucumber she responds “No Rick, I don’t have a problem.” There are many similar moments where Michonne continually takes the high road, like when Carl tries to brush her off. She responds “I can’t stop you, but you can’t stop me from helping you.”

An effective alternate title for The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 12 would be “Michonne’s Redemption.” That’s because she not only shows her worth as a valuable, reliable teammate to Rick and Carl, but she also proves herself to be a complex, interesting character for the audience. This is the point where I finally feel like I’m seeing the Michonne I love from the comics. She’s level-headed, funny, dependable, and open. I’m of the opinion that the writers wouldn’t have had to burn an entire episode endearing Michonne to us if they had started to develop her character’s positive traits earlier on.

My favorite Michonne moments from the episode were her comment about the Welcome Mat (“Mat said Welcome.”) and with the rainbow colored cat (“I was gonna go back in there anyway, couldn’t leave this behind. It’s too gorgeous.”). Also I loved her badass moment where she saved Carl from the zombie’s grip TGIM (Thank God It’s Michonne). Carl sums up his feelings and mine nicely when he says “I think she might be one of us.”

The other main thing going on in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 12, is Rick’s encounter with Morgan. I was initially confused by his crazy hideout with booby traps and zany messages scrawled everywhere, but as soon as I saw the sniper on the roof, I knew immediately it was Morgan. I’m surprised that they reintroduced him this quickly in the show considering he doesn’t resurface until much later chronologically in the comics. It’s terrible to see how downtrodden Morgan has become since losing his son. And although I’m slightly surprised Rick doesn’t manage to convince Morgan to join up with them, I can’t blame Morgan for smartly staying out of the fight. He wants only to continue his work amassing supplies and disposing of zombies. I am curious though, how the heck did he get such a massive arsenal?

In the beginning of the episode, they pass a random guy on foot with a backpack, who they speed by without helping. At the end he seems to be dead, torn up by the side of the road, so Rick, Carl, and Michonne scoop up his gear on the way by.

What do you think the point was of including this guy? Was he a red herring, or simply a means of showing how callous and distrustful everyone has become?

Also, make sure you click here to take this week’s poll: If you were Morgan would you leave with Rick?

Dial ‘R’ for Rick: Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 6 (Hounded)

Steve Yeun as Glenn in Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 6

Steve Yeun as Glenn in The Walking Dead Copyright 2012 AMC TV

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further. Similarities and differences between the show and the comic are also discussed, but whenever possible, details of the comic are left ambiguous in case you decide to start it later on.

Summary: Merle and Michonne have a bloody face off in the wilderness, while Rick talks more to his mystery caller, and Andrea hopelessly swoons over The Governor. Also, members from Rick’s prison crew and citizens of Woodbury finally cross paths under unfortunate circumstances.

Did anyone actually think The Governor would let Michonne leave Woodbury without trying to kill her once she was out on her own? I know I wasn’t surprised to see Merle out in the wilderness with a couple of men stalking her in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 6 (Hounded). I got a chuckle out of her “Bitergram” as Merle put it, but mostly I was relieved that Michonne finally showed some creativity and personality in her arrangement of zombie body parts in the form of “Go Back.” At least she tried to warn them before unleashing the fury with her katana.

It was bloody and beautiful to see her slicing and dicing The Governor’s men just like she does in the comics. What caught me off guard was Merle’s attempts to help the younger guy keep it together. Although he threatened to kick the dude’s teeth in, Merle seemed to be genuinely trying to mentor to the up-and-coming henchman. I liked how Merle kept asking the kid about how to pronounce his last name. There was something comically tragic about Merle trying to say the youth’s name before putting a bullet in him. I get the distinct impression that Merle’s lies to The Governor about killing Michonne will come back to bite him as bad a hungry walker.

Back at the prison Rick talks more on the phone to the woman who contacted him at the end of episode 5. He even goes as far as to tell Hershel about the calls, which is pretty brave considering he turns out to be imagining them. This is just like the comics, where Rick loses his mind after Lori’s death, and invents the calls in his head. I was fairly certain the show would do the same thing, however I wasn’t expecting them to reveal that Rick was crazy so soon. In the comics, Rick talks on the phone for a while, maybe months before he even reveals his conversations to anyone. I’m glad that talking to Lori on the phone helped Rick get his head out of his ass, so that he would remember Carl and the baby.

Every time I think that I can’t love Daryl any more as a character, he does something new to score additional points like the conversation he has with Carl. As they’re clearing out a hall in the prison, I love how Daryl opens up about his own mother’s death and offers to condolences to Carl for his loss. At this point Daryl is a better parent than both Rick and Lori. They better not kill him off. If they do I will be pissed.

I should be annoyed with Andrea for falling for The Governor’s charms and sleeping with him, but she continues to prove that her judgement is terrible so I can’t be too upset with her. You know who got me really agitated though? Michonne! I couldn’t believe that she just sat idle while Merle kidnapped Glenn and Maggie. I understand that she was nervous, but it was obvious that Glenn and Maggie were kind people considering that they were shopping for a baby. Her appearance at the prison gates with baby items in hand was a fantastic way to end the episode and a great way for Rick to meet her however.

Did Michonne make you angry for hiding instead of helping? Take my poll and let me know your thoughts.

Were you surprised to see Carol alive at the end of the episode? Are you excited to see the impending showdown between Rick’s team and The Governor? Will Glenn crack under the pressure of torture? What do you think will happen in episode 7?

 

Rick’s Tough Choices in Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 2

Rick had to make some difficult ethical decisions in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 2 (Sick) for the safety of his group. I understood why he did what he did, but I didn’t agree with all of it. Do you think he was in the right?