‘The Walking Dead’: Season 4 (2013-14) Review


After the mid-season finale of Season 4 of The Walking Dead, I was furious not only with the way that they handled the Governor and his attack on the prison, but also with the direction that the show seemed to be taking.  Scott M. Gimple is the third show-runner for The Walking Dead, a show that is only in it’s fourth season, and that is usually always a sign of bad things to come.

I was also a huge fan of the Governor, and after giving him two whole episodes devoted completely to him, it seemed like they rushed his attack on the prison, which quickly turned the Governor from a sympathetic character to a comic book villain.  That seems to be one of the problems with the show… for all the times that this show seems to be aiming towards gritty realism, there are times when it veers off towards comic book mentalities.  Pick a direction and just go for it.

The three episodes that followed the mid-season finale (‟After‟, ‟Inmates‟ and ‟Claimed‟) didn’t do much for me, almost making me want to give up watching The Walking Dead altogether.  Everything that I once loved about this show which included great acting, excellent pacing and its unpredictability, seemed to be thrown away.  A big problem with the show now is the terrible acting by the actor portraying Carl.  I guess this isn’t really the shows fault, given that Carl didn’t really have many lines for the first three seasons, but he is definitely not doing the show any favors in the acting department.

I thought that the scenes between Carl and his father in the empty house were very stupid.  It was especially terrible when Rick looked like he had died and turned into a Walker, because the audience obviously knew that this wasn’t true due to how predictable the show was becoming.  Carl further helped to ruin the show with his relationship with Michonne, which seemed very forced and unrealistic.  And don’t even get me started about how stupid of a character he has become.  He has proven in earlier seasons that he can hold his own when it comes to killing Walkers, yet there are times when he makes very stupid decisions that almost bring about his death.  For someone that is supposed to be smart and resourceful, lately he has been coming across as an idiot.


I am glad that I decided to stick with the show, however, because episode 12 (‟Still‟) changed my whole perception on the direction that they were going.  Daryl and Beth’s relationship really blossomed and, unlike the previous three episodes which seemed like mostly wasted time, there was a lot that was revealed about both characters.  The acting was also superb here.  If you make me care more about the characters in the show and you get me invested in what happens to them, quiet episodes in which not a lot happens can still be as great as the more action packed episodes.

Then we get to episode 14 (‟The Grove‟) which proved that The Walking Dead could still be shocking and catch you by surprise.  The show proved that it still was going to retain its edge and anybody, even young children, could be the next to die.  At first I thought that it was stupid that the entire group ended up heading towards the same location, Terminus, but then it made sense that a railroad would be something that everybody would eventually find themselves at.

This brings us to the Season 4 Finale, which saw Rick finally hitting his breaking point and taking back his leadership role.  The problem is that Rick meets back up with the group in a seemingly impossible situation to survive, being captured and kept in storage by cannibals, but he still tries to give the group some inspiration in the darkest of times.  With Hershel dead, it is Rick’s responsibility to not only be the leader of the group, but also the person that gives everybody hope in a hopeless world.

Season 4 of The Walking Dead had many ups and downs during its 16 episode-run.  There were times when the show seemed to be one of the best on TV and times when I almost gave up completely on the show itself, but when looking at the show as a whole it still holds up as being one of the most entertaining shows on TV.  It just isn’t perfect.  This season was definitely the worst season of the show, but it seems to have gained some traction towards the end of the season and I am looking forward to seeing how the story will continue from here.  Maybe Scott M. Gimple isn’t as incompetent as I originally thought.