The Walking Dead: reflections on season four.

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One of the first things I’m feeling as I type this post is pure and utter shame!

Shame because I’ve watched The Walking Dead since it first aired in the UK on Channel 5, but I have not yet dedicated a blog post to it. I am most definitely unhappy about this!

However, pushing my own despair aside, we must look upon the much-anticipated finale of season four which is now looming over us. Now, I feel it’s the right time for me to express my thoughts on what can only be described as the best TV show ever. When I say this, I mean it has surpassed the legacy of Breaking Bad for me, which now looks completely bland in comparison to phenomena that is The Walking Dead.

Before I begin writing my post, allow me to reveal that I’ll be discussing my reflections on what season 4 has meant to me overall. It contains spoilers, so please don’t read on if the next episode you’ll be watching is not the finale of season 4. If you’re up-to-date then please, continue.

Let’s take a look at some of the characters who I feel I have really blossomed throughout season four:

1. Carl:

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The true transformation from boy to man has occured in Carl, who has progressed from the innocent, helpless child dependent on Rick to becoming the one Rick is now increasingly dependent on. This isn’t to say that a young boy using a gun is somehow heroic or something to be aspired to, but considering the context of the show, Carl has managed to quickly realise that things will never be the same again and that inevitably, he will have to become a leader and start taking care of things. His blossoming relationship with Michonne and the remarkable strength of his mind has continously been depicted through season four, and it was in episode 15, titled “Us”, that Carl appeared to have come into his own and blossomed. This was confirmed by the smile on Rick’s face as he watched Carl and Michonne playfully bond over a bar of chocolate, a moment that especially revealed the solo journey Carl has been on.

2. Carol:

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In my view, it is undoubtedly Carol who has made some of the toughest decisions – not only within season 4, but throughout the show overall. Since losing her daughter Sophia, Carol has transformed from a meek and somewhat passive woman into the female leader of the pack. I would even go as far saying that she is now a force to be reckoned with. The development of her inner strength – both mental and physical – has been an absolute joy to watch, especially when we’ve seen her teaching others to toughen up and face the reality of their existence. These moments have really portrayed her pilgrimage. However, the knowledge that Carol killed Karen and David whilst in the prison and more recently, seeing her having to make the painstakingly difficult decision of shooting Lizzie has offered us varying dimensons to someone who now appears as an extremely complex character. Regardless of whether you agree with the decisions she has made, Carol continous to remain a vital part of the team, and I for one continously root for a woman who has battled her personal demons in order to appear as she does now.

3. Daryl:

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If you ever got the feeling that Daryl never opened up or showed any emotion, then season four completely derails this. The Walking Dead producers cleverly hinted at a potential romance between Daryl and Carol very early on in the season. Although it was very slow and very, very subtle, it was simmering away beneath the surface.  Whether this is a romance that will take off later in the show is something we can all debate about and potentially, look forward to. Aside from this, we’ve also seen Daryl warm to baby Judith and consequently, many female (and maybe even male) fans of the show may have developed a little crush on the previously closed off and emotionally withdrawn figure. An ambigous background pervading his character, we finally achieved a break-through with Daryl upon his separation from the group and union with Beth. Of course, the most beautiful moment of the series came when Daryl finally broke down and cried. Shocking for many fans I’m sure, this moment reminded us that although the world in The Walking Dead may be teeming with ‘walkers’, Daryl represents mankind, who admist the disintegration has also emotionally disintegrated and forgotten how to feel anymore. Daryl and Beth’s hug is therefore the most important scene we have seen thus far in Daryl’s personal development throughout the show. Give me a few seconds while I go and shed a few tears.

4. Glenn and Maggie:

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Let’s all just take a minute to absorb how cute Glenn and Maggie are! Season four has cruelly separated the lovers but reunited them again in the penultimate episode. Although developing individually, I feel both characters have transformed far more when they separated than when they were together, and their reunion has offered a well-needed glimmer of hope in an otherwise bleak and gruelling season. Glenn’s journey to find Maggie has been the ultimate romantic pursuit and a different kind of struggle admist the chaos related to death and survival. I have my doubts about how long this reunion will last, because for all we know, it may be short-lived.

Overall, season four has quite simply been one centered around growth and providing us with some all-important and much-needed background knowledge on most of the characters. Although we were traumatised when the prison was destroyed, its destruction has essentially been the starting point for really seeing the true test of human nature in the face of a zombie apocalypse. We’ve experienced far too much since the prison crumbled and our favourite group of survivors separated from one another in one of the most heart-breaking and dismal seasons of The Walking Dead.

Brace yourselves for the finale tonight. Well, I say tonight. It’ll have to be tomorrow afternoon for me, being the unfortunate UK dweller that I am. I’m so excited, argh.


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