Alright what’s going on guys it’s Trev back again here to bring you another video. In this one I will be doing my monthly review for this months issue of the walking dead comic book series which is issue 131 called A new journey begins. Finally we get to see Carl and Sophia reunited! I thought this was a pretty touching issue and I am going to give it an 8 out of 10. It’s nice to see all of our characters happy and enjoying life for a change.
Oh man, zombiefans: This was some back half of a season, eh? As we followed our survivor friends from the destruction of the prison all the way down the railroad tracks to Terminus, we learned quite a bit about these characters, as well as the ongoing evolution of the post-Zombpocalypse world. We also discovered that new-ish showrunner Scott Gimple is not afraid to take this show to increasingly cringe-worthy levels of terror.
(Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD. Do not read this if you’ve yet to watch the episode!)
(Double warning: SERIOUSLY. This is the mother of all spoiler-alerts if you’re still catching up on episodes burning up space on your DVR).
1. The Walking Dead goes to some places even scarier than flesh-eating zombies.
When you find yourself with a psychotic child (Lizzie) who murders her own little sister (Mica) to prove that zombies are friends instead of foes, what do you do? Especially when said psycho-child was just about to kill Baby Judith? If you’re Carol, you realize that this young girl is not fit to be around other people, especially when you’re hoping to arrive at some sort of sanctuary with lots of other survivors. You take a deep breath, tell Lizzie to look at the flowers, and shoot her in the head (“The Grove”). And if you’re Rick and you’re set upon by the Claimers Gang who threaten to rape Michonne and your son Carl in front of your very eyes before murdering you, well then, you rip your enemy’s jugular out with your teeth. Just like a zombie. And then you tell Daryl he’s your brother. Welcome back, Daryl! (“A”).
2. Signs on railroad tracks promising that all who arrive will survive may not be completely true.
The back half of Season 4 tracked nearly all of the prison survivors as they all eventually discovered signs and maps pointing them to a mysterious place named “Terminus.” Glenn and Tara teamed up with Abraham, Rosita and Eugene to follow the tracks, where they followed Maggie’s blood-painted signs until they finally reunited with the Maggie/Bob/Sasha posse. They arrived at Terminus first, where Terminus Mary (aka Tasha Yar) welcomed them and offered to make them a plate. Later, when Rick’s gang arrived via the “backdoor,” they were greeted by Gareth and taken to the BBQ pit – only Rick noticed that Alex had Glenn’s watch, some dude was wearing Glenn/Eugene’s riot gear, and some random lady was wearing Maggie’s poncho. Alex claimed they got all that stuff legitimately. Hmmm. Something is rotten in the state of Terminus.
3. “Never again. Never trust. We first, always.”
When you’re scrambling for your lives through an unknown location, running past a pit of seemingly-human skeletons and then find yourselves in a candle-lit garage out of some sort of Crowleyan magick routine — you might really have second doubts that you’ve reached any sort of Sanctuary. As Rick (“the ringleader”), Michonne (“the samurai”), Daryl (“the archer”) and Carl (“the child”) sprint through Terminus, the snipers seem to have the worst aim in the entire world. Rounds and rounds of ammo go to waste until Rick realizes that the Terminans are not shooting to kill; they’re shooting to herd. After they’re forced to surrender their weapons, Rick and Co. are shepherded into Train Car A, where empty packages of evaporated milk lie crumbled on the ground outside. Is this a feeding car? Is this where the Terminans fatten up their prisoners before grilling them up to serve them to newcomers? Is the whole radio message advertising sanctuary for all who arrive just one big giant, horrible, terrifying scam? Never trust. Never.
4. Everyone has to be a monster, sometimes.
After Rick, Michonne and Carl reunite with Daryl to escape (and decimate) the Claimer Gang, they decide to wait and watch Terminus to see just what the hell is going on. (Nothing fishy is apparent from the outside, we assume). Carl is afraid to hang out with his dad – but it turns out it’s not that he’s scared of him, he’s scared of himself. Michonne reveals that when her boyfriend and his buddy got high instead of defending their refugee camp and let her son Andre die, she lost herself. Instead of killing them, she let her boyfriend and pal turn into zombies then removed their teeth and tied chains around their necks to drag them around. But she came back. So just because Rick lost his shit last night and stabbed the attempted child-rapist a billion times, he’s not a monster. Even though Carl once shot a kid in the face, and he might have really dark thoughts (like sort of appreciating how his dad was ripping Claimer Dan to shreds), he’ll come back, too. And surely Carol will come back from shooting Lizzie. You can go to the dark side and still return to the light. That’s the hope, anyway.
5. Reunited, and it feels so good — except when it doesn’t.
During the seemingly never-ending flashbacks (Hershel turned Rick into a farmer, but now Warrior Rick is back! We get it! Really! Show us more Terminus), we remembered what life was like when things at the prison were pretty swell and everyone was all buddy-buddy. After spending this entire half-season tracking all of the Prison survivors, we finally got to see them all together again — except this reunion was anything but joyous. It’s a delight to see so many of our friends together again, but not when they’re locked in a train car and possibly about to turn into someone’s next meal. And where are Carol and Tyrese and Baby Judith? Can Rick the Warrior lead everyone to safety before the Carol crew gets to the end of the line? And who the hell kidnapped Beth? Is she still alive or was she the dish of the day? BBQ Beth? Say it ain’t so, Scott Gimple. Say it ain’t so.
AMC just shared a third 15-second teaser for the return of “The Walking Dead”, set to premiere Sunday, October 12 at 9 p.m., which closes in on Tyreese. In addition, EW shares new covers and reveals a new characters and potential arcs.
“By minute two or three of our season premiere, I think the vast majority of our questions have been answered,” says Kirkman, “and five or six more have been presented, so you’re very much going to be invested, well-informed, and ready for the ride that we’re going to take you on.”
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) and Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) were left handcuffed in the Terminus train car, echoing the survivors’ predicament in the Season 4 Finale cliffhanger.
“Following the devastating events of the mid-season finale, Rick and the group are still reeling from the loss of their home, family, and friends. With the destruction of the prison, we see the group of survivors broken apart and sent on divergent paths, unsure of everyone else’s fate. What was a challenging life behind fences and walls grows that much more perilous and precious as they are exposed to new dangers, new enemies, and heartbreaking choices. They will have their faith thoroughly tested — a faith that breaks some of them and redeems others.”
*This review will serve as a thematic overview of the season in question. The Walking Dead doesn’t hold back, and it’s best going into the fourth season knowing as little as possible. Consider this a mostly spoiler-free review. You can preorder it now for only 29.99 . Or visit our TWDU Superstore for the special editions and more!
The landscape of entertainment has been fascinating to watch. Most my life, the primary focus had been on film. That is, if you wanted to see big stars in large roles backed by high production values, you’d be compelled to visit your local movie house. Nowadays, major studios tend to hedge their bets. If you want to produce a massive CGI-fest based off an existing franchise, your chances of getting the mountainous budget you need go through the roof. If, however, you want to tell a story that strays from the cookie-cutter concepts we’ve seen a thousand times over, then you’re likely to get low balled… and if you want to make your film bad enough, you’ll have to make due. As a result, mainstream thespians struggle with longevity, and talented filmmakers have a difficult time making a name for themselves. Fortunately, television studios have stepped up to provide content that’s far more compelling than the snooze-worthy drivel leaking out of Hollywood like an aggressive disease. One such example is The Walking Dead, as it unquestionably defines the shift in dynamics I’m going on about.
There’s plenty of programs that have showcased a more cinematic approach, but I’m still in awe of the higher quality writing, direction and cinematography we’ve seen in recent years. So much so, that I consider myself lucky to have maintained my core entertainment ‘values’. That is to say, what I appreciate most of all is a tale spun by the art of ‘slow burn’. It allows me to get to know the characters and identify with their personal struggles, and that’s precisely what sucked me into the world of The Walking Dead in the first place.
Yet, in regards to the drama that’s so thick I can’t help but get sucked in… well, my attention has wavered over series’ run, and often found myself at the opposite end of the fan perception stick. A lot of people disliked the 2nd season for slowing things down and straying further away from the zombie action… but to me, it’s the best batch of episodes to date. While everyone loved the faster pace of season 3, I was disappointed to find much of the heavier content had been given little time to marinate. As a result, I questioned if The Walking Dead would continue to walk down the more accessible path, or if it would once again pull on the reigns and focus on struggles that were more than just ‘good guys against the bad guys’.
Fortunately, the 4th season of The Walking Dead brings us back to a more intimate look at the zombie apocalypse.
What were your favorite moments from Season 4 of The Walking Dead? The Lizzie saga and Carol’s heartbreaking choice of how to deal with it? The long-awaited introduction of Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita? Carl and the pudding? Daryl and Beth?
TWD executive producer, director, and special effects makeup whiz Greg Nicotero puts all of the above on his list of highlights from last season, and he talked to Yahoo TV about Season 4, working on the new TWD Blu-ray boxed set, and how viewers should expect the TV series to continue to mix up, yet honor The Walking Dead comics in “original, yet familiar ways” in Season 5.
Congratulations on Season 4. You left viewers with a cliffhanger that was really more of an expectation of some big things to come.
You know, it was a really fascinating journey, because going along the storyline with [showrunner] Scott Gimple and the writers, what I found personally the most gratifying was all these little seeds that were dropped through the course of the season and knowing that every single one of them germinated into some great story or antidote. Even as early as Episode 2, laying out the fact that somebody’s feeding rats to the walkers and attracting them to the fences, all the way up to finding out that it was Lizzie in Episode 14… every single character has a fascinating story arc. What Carol is willing to do to protect the group, what Rick is willing to do, everybody. So I really feel that we got a fantastic glimpse into each of these characters. And what’s exciting about moving into Season 5 is, we continue that exploration into who these people are, and it’s thrilling.
Will we see the same episode format in Season 5, where certain episodes focus on one or two characters? Or was that something unique to the fact that Rick’s group was separated after the prison attack in Season 4?
Well, by separating everybody in Episode 8, it gave us a really great opportunity to focus in. It’s challenging when you have a big ensemble cast. We ended Season 4 with 14 characters, and it’s challenging to be responsible to maintain that many different storylines. The exciting part about the second half of Season 4 was when everybody got separated, it really allowed you to get into the Daryl-Beth story a bit and the Rick, Carl, and Michonne story a bit [see exclusive Season 4 deleted scene below], and [we introduced] Abraham, Eugene and Rosita, and Glenn’s story, and Tara’s story, and Maggie’s.
Everybody had all these different emotions and different stories that were happening, and to use the device of Terminus and the train tracks, and just knowing that every one of our groups was following those train tracks toward a collision course, really allowed for some great drama and some great tension. [Planning that] allowed us to have this fantastic midseason climax with the destruction of the prison and the death of The Governor. And so for the first time in two seasons, it put our entire group in jeopardy on the road, and that hadn’t happened since they left Hershel’s farm at the end of Season 2.
Check out a deleted scene from Season 4:
The comic book and the show are current, so you have to mix them up to avoid spoiling things for viewers. Still, fans continue to look for clues and spoilers for the show based on the comics. How challenging is it to keep viewers surprised?
Well, the source material is fantastic, and you know, last season when The Governor attacked the prison… in the comic book, Laurie dies in the attack from The Governor, but she’s been dead for one season already on the show. And in the comics, The Governor decapitated Tyreese instead of Hershel. So it’s taking those iconic moments from the graphic novel and translating them. Sometimes we’re faithful to the comic and sometimes we take some liberties, you know? The Lizzie-Mika story was in the comic book but was laid out a little bit differently, with different characters.
But what we did in Episode 9 last year, that was almost shot for shot the comic book, when Rick is hurt, and Carl goes out and explores the neighborhood on his own and comes upon the walkers. That was probably the most faithful adaptation of one of the comic books that we’ve ever done. So we continue to mix it up a little bit so the people who do read the comic book feel like they’re still getting their cake and eating it, too, but we change it up enough that it’s still new and exciting and interesting. And I can definitely say that we continue to honor the graphic novel in original yet familiar ways in Season 5.
And fans can review Season 4 with this new Blu-ray boxed set. The “Tree Walker” packaging is especially cool for the limited edition — did you have a hand in the design?
They are supercool. What’s fun is every year I get a chance to sort of consult on the design of the DVD case. We had done a walker in Episode 3 last year that was so brilliantly written by Robert Kirkman. It’s a walker who was in the woods and a tree fell on it and pinned it underneath the tree, so it’s been sitting there for a year and a half just slowly decomposing, and all these vines and moss have grown over it. So when we started talking about the DVD case, that was the one that jumped out. We’re constantly trying to find those cool, fun, iconic walker moments when we get a chance to create a cool DVD and keepsake… like the fish tanks with the walker heads for the Season 3 set. McFarlane scanned all of the actual heads that we used on the set for that one.
As far as I’m concerned, I want the DVD case to be something that I would buy, because I’m a giant collector and a fan and a nerd all rolled up into one. I just happen to have a great job. [McFarlane] even took it one level further by having the walker arm push down so that the actual DVDs pop out. That was one I hadn’t even thought of.
We also got to work on the extras. I had pitched that they do a visit to KNB EFX, and we did a roundtable with myself and all of the makeup artists that work on the show. We talked about what some of our favorite walker moments from the show were, some of our proudest [designs], and we showed some of the behind-the-scenes moments creating those designs. There’s so much that goes into it that viewers don’t even get a chance to see.
How far along are you in production on Season 5?
We’re shooting Episode 8 right now, which is the midseason finale. So even though it feels like we just started, we’re halfway done.
And in between you all have gone to Comic-Con and other fan events. It’s safe to assume you’re living an all-Walking Dead life right now?
It’s pretty much a 24-hour-a-day job. Even when we wrap in mid-November, we still have to finish the episodes, doing all the editing and the visual effects, the sound mixing, and then the network notes and all that stuff. So we don’t really even wrap the season until mid-January. And traditionally, we start the writers’ room at the end of January. In the last two years, I think I’ve probably had four days off from The Walking Dead from when we wrap one season to when we start another one. But it’s kinda OK with me. I sort of love having a real job, because the real job just happens to be The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and a limited edition “Tree Hugger” Blu-ray set on Aug. 26 from Anchor Bay.
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. on AMC.