Last year’s villain on The Walking Dead was The Governor, a crazy man with an eyepatch and a strange collection of heads in jars. As we enter season four, the old bastard is still out there but vanished into hiding, so his gig as head baddie is taken over by… a flu virus!
Well, the invisible germs don’t have quite the charisma of David Morrissey, but The Virus seems to be a more effective threat than Governor so far. Let’s find out how many nobodies the floating snot bubbles can wipe out in their second week as Big Bad! Spoilers ahoy.
DEATH TO THE BACKGROUND LOSERS
Last week, I praised The Walking Dead for bringing in new characters to make the old guard less like desperate survivalists with nothing to live for. Well, at the current rate, all the new additions will be dead by episode seven. The writers, over-excited at the prospect of having redshirts to slaughter at last, are cutting them down like grass.
But they’ve also cleverly left it vague just how many prison inhabitants there are, so fresh cannon fodder keeps reappearing from nowhere. This week, a zombie makes it inside thanks to a kid dropping dead of flu, and soon massacres a chunk of the randoms thanks to slack security.
Producers have said in interviews about season four that the zombies have become too easily managed and should become a real threat again, ergo the harsh lessons about complacency learnt this week. Between the quarantine needed to contain the virus and the apparent inside job murders at the end, I guess we’ll be seeing a lot more distrust and misery among the characters in the future. Depressing Walking Dead business as usual, then.
LOVE IS PAIN DO NOT ALLOW LOVE
Speaking of those murders – for the second week running, two characters make the mistake of considering having a relationship and one of them later dies. I’m aware The Walking Dead is only happy when torturing its people, but the writers may want to try and mix things up a bit. Horror loses its teeth when it becomes predictable.
Rick’s storyline was also a tad on the obvious side, but did at least wring him out properly for emotional moments, not to mention we’re just more invested in that grumpy sod. There were times during this episode when I genuinely thought they might kill him, and that’s the excitement I want from this show.
There’s a lot of cool survival drama stuff – the flu storyline works, as do the hints about the zombies at the gate becoming dangerous. What we need now, I think, is something new or external to come in and bring the lingering problems in the prison to a boiling point. A third week of the same few storylines slowly building up would be a bit much. Hopefully we’ll see that in the next episode.