The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1 "30 Days Without An Accident" Recap

TWD 401 Rick Grimes

In The Walking Dead Season 4 premiere titled “30 Days Without An Accident”, it’s raining zombies and a new infection emerges!

After watching, continue reading for a spoiler filled discussion and review of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1. Let’s dissect the episode! 

Day Thirty

The previous season of The Walking Dead is the strongest of the first three although Andrea’s story arc was mishandled and the finale left fans wanting more. Some of the inconsistency, particularly in the latter half of season 3, can be attributed to the drama behind the scenes most notably the firing of writer and executive producer Glen Mazzara.

The good news is that Season 4’s new show runner Scott Gimple, wrote the strongest character-centric episodes last season: “Clear” and “This Sorrowful Life”. Gimple’s task at hand is finding the right balance between the post-apocalyptic zombie carnage fans come to expect and compelling character development. Both of which the show wants to prove it can sustain over the length of a complete season. 

Don’t Name Them

It’s been several months since Rick took in a bus load of Woodbury residents at the end of Season 3. Since then the prison has become a structured, peaceful community working together to build a sanctuary. Because of their secure living conditions, they can plant vegetable gardens, raise pigs, and provide school-time for the children.

A safer and sustainable community has noticeably impacted the survivors. In some ways it’s like giving familiar characters a fresh new coat of paint from when we last saw them.

A more talkative Michonne smiles with ease, though she is still determined to hunt down the Governor who is possibly hiding out in Macon. Riding in on horseback, she brings comics for Carl whom she has a special connection with because he was the first person to accept her into the group.

Carl is a kid who had to grow up way too fast. It’s nice to see he’s interacting with children his age though he doesn’t think like them.  In the time jump from the end of last season, the writers have course corrected Carl’s dark path into something more palatable.

Unlike the season 3 finale, Carl is respectful to his father and learning to be a kid again as difficult as that may be. Naming the pig is a subtle way to imply that Carl can still become emotionally attached to living things. After all the trauma young Carl has endured, he is capable of turning back on the humanity switch … at least for now.

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Everybody Loves Daryl

Similar to how Daryl is a beloved character on the show, within the group of survivors he’s also attained a certain level of renown which he is surprisingly comfortable with.

It’s more than his all-round badassery and deadly efficiency with the crossbow that makes him a fan favorite. There is an air of mystery and mystique about Daryl. While Daryl is not an undercover detective like he jokes, it’s not knowing all the specifics of his back story which adds to his intrigue.

My kill of the week is Daryl’s nasty head stomp inside the supermarket. The runner-up is the death of new character Zack whose neck got gnawed on.

Daryl has come a long way from the tough, outsider of the group. He took it upon himself to tell Beth about her dead boyfriend which he could have left it to Maggie or Hershel to do. Daryl was prepared to give consoling words to Beth which demonstrated he’s not as emotionally damaged as he once was.

Everybody Else

As the season progresses, we’ll have a better understanding of how “30 Days Without An Accident” establishes the baseline for each character’s arc.

The relationship drama between Glenn and Maggie is forced at times but I’m hopeful it can be addressed by the new show runner. For the moment, I am interested in the dilemma of Maggie not wanting to be afraid to live her life while Glenn believes it’s too risky to bring a newborn into this world.

New character Bob hasn’t made an impression on me, either good or bad. From what I can glean, he’s possibly a recovering alcoholic by the way he’s conflicted in taking the bottle of alcohol.

Tyreese is upfront with his feelings for the new girl. He’s a morally grounded, compassionate ladies man but feeling sympathy for killing walkers against the fence is a direction I’ll have to see more of before I pass judgement. For now, it’s a strange way of thinking.

You Get To Come Back

Because this episode is meant to re-establish where we left off with Rick I didn’t mind that the story beats are vaguely similar to “Clear” which handled the crazy person story line more effectively. While “Clear” was an expedition to find guns, Rick doesn’t believe he needs them any more. Also, he’s not in the same state of mind as when he left behind the lone hitch-hiker.

Crazy Clara represents what Rick could have become if he didn’t have a community to support him during his mental breakdown. He no longer closes himself off to new people until their properly vetted though he should know better than to trust Crazy Clara.  If Rick stopped Clara from stabbing herself and brought her back to the prison could she have been rehabilitated or was she too far down crazy town? With many new characters to be introduced this season it will be interesting how effective the ‘three questions’ to assess a newcomer will be.

TWD 401 Clara and Rick Grimes

Prey For The Dead

Season Three’s tagline “Fight the dead, fear the living” lived up to it’s word with the Governor superseding the undead as the overarching threat.

At this point, fighting walkers is an every day way of life for the survivors. It takes a serious situation for the survivors to be genuinely afraid for their lives. The children naming walkers on the other side of the fence like harmless pets makes a point of their false sense of security.

This season promises to focus on survival horror which was not prominent in the Woodbury storyline. A standard supply run at a supermarket turns into a fight for their lives when it’s starts raining zombies. It’s cool how the helicopter came crashing down from the roof but compared to the prison infiltration scenes from Season 3’s première it’s not as exhilarating.

Down With The Sickness

The nature of fear is an interesting aspect for a survival horror show to further explore. A new threat is introduced this episode which taps into an innate fear of a danger that cannot be fenced off, outsmarted or stabbed in the head.

So what are the theories on this new threat? It appears to be a communicable virulent disease that leaves a person undead with bloodshot eyes. Patrick (aka Harry Potter wannabe) shook hands after Daryl licked his fingers. Could Daryl have a natural immunity to the infection like how one pig got sick while the others pigs didn’t? Is this what killed the deer? The emphasis on the shower head and basin might hint that it’s also transmittable through water contamination.

Before Rick saw the dead pig, the camera focussed on a walker outside the fence that had similar bloodshot eyes to Patrick’s. Are these walkers different from the regular walkers? Right now, we have more questions than answers which is a good way to tantalize fans until the next episode.

What did you like and didn’t like about the season premiere? What are your theories on the new infection? 

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