The Walking Dead S4E1: 30 Days Without an Accident
Original Airdate: October 13, 2013
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
With all the buildup to the fourth season of The Walking Dead, tonight almost feels like the season finale. But not so…it’s the season premiere…and there are flowers.
Rick walks through the prison yard to his little makeshift farm. Farmer Rick. While the Walkers congregate outside the fence, Rick digs into the ground and finds a gun. He switches off his iPod and looks at the gun for a long moment before tossing it aside as if he’d never used a gun before. Looks like things have changed since we last visited the prison.
Carl finds Farmer Rick watching over a sick pig. He asks why his dad didn’t wake him earlier, but Papa Rick knows his boy was up late reading comics. Violet the Pig doesn’t seem too happy.
Daryl greets Carol as she makes breakfast. Daryl is like a hero to the refugees, having caught a deer the day before. It sounds like he has also found some people outside the prison and led them to safety. An eager young man approaches hoping to shake his hero’s hand. Daryl seems to take this all in stride. Carol pulls him away to show him the latest overnight developments. Several prison residents are taking turns killing Walkers who approach the fences. Apparently they have a new tactic: Instead of randomly picking spots to approach, the Walkers congregate together so that they have the ability to knock down fences. The Fence Pokers kill them as soon as they approach, but the bodies are piling up. Dare I say they might start climbing over each other like a little ladder of dead Walkers? As Daryl assesses the situation, looking grim, Carol smiles. “Sorry, Pookie,” she says. He gives her a smile and nudges her as she walks away. Aww, aren’t they cute?
Glen and Maggie wake up in a nice warm bed. I only mention this because the accommodations in the prison seem a lot better than they were pre-Woodbury. He tells Maggie he doesn’t want her going on, and eventually she agrees with him. His tone is interesting; he has definitely gotten a lot more confident since the second season.
At the fences, Tyreese greets his lady friend and tells her that he is going out because he doesn’t think it’s ethical to kill the Walkers from the fence. In the fields they’re like game, but poking them through the fence just doesn’t sit well with him. When she asks why he volunteered for the duty in the first place, he tells her it was to get to know her better.
Daryl loads up and Beth’s boyfriend sees her and tells her he’s going on a run and assures her that he’ll be safe. He must be a Woodbury guy, because Beth has been out there and knows what it’s like. She kisses him but refuses to say goodbye, choosing instead to walk away with a self-satisfied smirk on her face. The boy seems perplexed. “Damn romance novel,” Daryl smirks.
Sasha is loading up her car when one of Daryl’s wanderers asks to join the group. He’s a trained army medic, so Glen thinks it’s a good idea. Sasha warns him that he needs to be part of the group, but the new guy looks like he just wants to fit in.
Herschel tells Farmer Rick that his tomato plants won’t have fruit because they were in the shade. He gives Rick lots of advice about propagating plants. Then there’s a whistle, and they duo rushes to the gate to allow a horseback riding Michonne into the prison. She hit the jackpot—she found a bunch of comic for Carl. She seems to be genuinely happy to see Rick and Carl. The feeling is mutual. Daryl rides up on his motorcycle, leading the caravan. He’s happy to see her, and when rick decides he needs to stay and check his snares instead of going out, Michonne agrees to go with them, telling Carl that even though she just got there, she’ll be back.
Carl is taking care of the horse. Rick gives the horse a kiss and tells Carl that he should be in reading or studying with Patrick and the new kids. But Carl doesn’t count himself as one of the kids. Rick leaves Carl to his chores when Hershel walks up. Yes, Hershel is walking. Crazy. Hershel is quick to tell Rick that no one has any problem with the fact that Rick doesn’t want to stray far from the prison, but the Council is insisting that he carries a gun when he goes out. Daryl, Glen, Carol, Sasha, and Hershel make up the Council. They want Rick to know that Rick is safe, but Rick argues that he carries his knife and six bullets won’t help him anyway.
In the forest, Rick finds a deer in one of his snares, but it has already been devoured by Walkers. Then he finds a hog in distress. A Walker falls on her knees in front of it so he walks away, but then she stands up. “Please, help me,” she says. Holy shit. She isn’t really a Walker. She just looks like one. She begs him to help her take the pig to her husband because they are very hungry and haven’t eaten. He offers her some food and she takes it, thanking him. She asks if they can join Rick at their camp, and Rick in turn says that he needs to meet her husband and ask them three questions. He frisks her, and then he issues a stern warning not to try anything.
Back at the prison, a group of children wave at “Nick” the Walker. Carl and his older friend show up and ask what they’re doing. One of the more outspoken girls says that one of the Walkers had a nametag, so they started giving out names because people have names, and Walkers are people but are “different.” Such a great way to see it. Carl disagrees. Walkers kill people. “People kill people,” she counters. Carl does not want them giving names to the Walkers. They children leave to go read. Carl’s friend admits that he attends story time with them but insists that Carl “wouldn’t dig it” because it’s juvenile. The older kid leaves, calling Carl “Young Sir.” Poor Carl. He’s trapped between two worlds.
Outside the prison, Daryl explains to Medic guy that they found this Army refugee camp but it was full of Walkers. So the prison group drew them out with a boom box in order to gain access. The camp is full of bodies. Daryl, Beth’s Boyfriend, and Michonne are scouting a nearby store. The Boytoy has a game that he plays with Daryl, trying to figure out what Daryl did before the Turn. Today he guesses he was a homicide cop. Daryl pretends he’s right, then a Walker appears and they go in. Elsewhere, Sasha tells her team the rules of engagement when they scout the store. Medic guy sees a pair of legs on the ground. He finds it suspicious…and with good reason. There is a crashed helicopter on the roof and a horde of Walkers pacing around.
Rick and his new friend walk through the woods. The woman tells him that she and her husband were on their honeymoon in Puerto Rico when the airports shut down. She attributes everything to her husband, who helped her through the tough times.
Michonne, Glen and Medic Guy go shopping. Medic Guy sees something dripping from the ceiling as he peruses the wine and beer. The shelf collapses, sending it down on top of him. Daryl rushes to his aid, but the Walkers hear him as well. They start moving toward the noise below them, and then they start crashing through the roof. One Walker dangles like a Cirque du Soleil acrobat, but with his innards hanging out as well.
Rick talks to his new friend about the sculptures at the airport. It’s a fond memory for him as well. She’s hoping that they can pass his three questions test so that she and her husband can be safe.
The supermarket is a warzone. Cleanup on every aisle, please. The Shoppers manage to fend the Walkers off when Daryl notices the helicopter that’s about to fall through the ceiling. Glen clears a path for him to jump away while Medic Guy peels the skull away from a crawling Walker to keep from being bitten. It looks like everyone is going to be safe until a hidden Walker pops out and bites Beth’s boyfriend. The gang stops and watches in horror as he’s devoured, and then the ceiling collapses to boot. That was not a good shopping experience.
Rick’s new friend leads him to a field where a tent has been pitched. It’s all very idyllic. That is, until he realizes that she’s talking to an empty crate. She rushes at Rick and tries to attack him. Apparently she couldn’t part with her husband so she kept him, and when her attempt to use Rick as food fails, she stabs herself and begs Rick not to stop her from turning. As she lay dying, she wants to know what his three questions are. They are: How many Walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed? Why?
Rick is shaken. She dies, but the bag is still moving. Rick walks away.
Carol is in the prison library reading to the kids. Carl walks in and hides. She reads for a while, and then one of the kids volunteers to keep watch when reading time converts to knife training. Carl’s friend leaves because he’s too squeamish, but Carl decides to show himself. Carol asks Carl not to tell his father.
Rick returns to the prison and finds that poor Violet the Pig has died.
Tyreese tells his Lady Friend that he doesn’t like going outside of the prison either. Glen tells Maggie that Daryl is about to tell Beth about her boyfriend, Zack. She plans to go tell see her sister, but she pauses to tell Glen that she’s not pregnant. But she doesn’t want to live in fear anymore. She wants to live, and getting pregnant would just be part of life. She is willing to take the risk.
Daryl walks up to Beth’s “room” and she looks up at him. She already knows why he’s there. She confirms that he’s dead, and then she gets up and walks to her desk. He watches her closely, given that she isn’t reacting. “I don’t cry anymore,” she says. It’s a stunning statement, really. She’s seen so much in her young life. She’s just happy that she got to know him when she did, and she’s glad she didn’t say goodbye. Beth asks if he’s okay, and Daryl tells her that he’s sick of losing people. She gives him a much-needed hug.
Hershel listens to Rick tell his story while Rick cradles a much bigger Judith. Hershel reminds Rick that he came back, as did Carl. He doesn’t need to be afraid.
Meanwhile, later that night poor Patrick (Carl’s friend) is a little sick. Well, he’s a bit more than a little sick. He stumbles into the bathroom and turns on the shower. Then he collapses. Shortly thereafter, he awakens as a Walker. Yikes. A Walker in a cell block full of sleeping people.
Well, friends, that is episode one of the fourth season. What did you think? Farmer Rick…how do we feel about that? Rick’s Crazy Lady Friend and her ordeal have rattled him. Daryl is at the head of the Council, which seems to be a logical progression given the presumed safety of the prison. Carol and Daryl? Maybe? And Patrick. Poor Patrick.
Tune in next week as the season four drama continues.