I know it has been a while since the release of the fourth season of The Walking Dead, and they are already a few episodes into the fifth season. Such is the life of a Netflix-er. Always behind a little bit.
To be honest, I have been put off by The Walking Dead over the past couple of seasons. There is no denying the brutal honestly in the storytelling of the first season, but after that, there was a definite fade. Once the gang holed up in the prison, it really felt as thought the story got really repetitive, and at points, it simply ground to a halt.
Which made me leery about even starting the fourth season. Was it going to be worth it? Was something going to finally happen?
After a slow start to the fourth season, things finally did start to happen. Without providing too many spoilers, the season really took off once we saw that The Governor was still around. After that moment, of seeing him lurking in the bushes, we knew that things were finally going to go down.
And they did.
After this moment, the season took off, and became, in my opinion, the best season of the show yet. Because a different kind of storytelling was employed. Traditionally the strength of the show is the group, but this has prevented us from really knowing any of the characters, and being forced to only really care about the main people, while basically forgetting any of the secondary characters.
In season four, the groups are split up, and we are able to see complete episodes that involve the different people in the group. We got more small-scale story telling, not having to worry about the group all of the time. A couple of the best episodes involved Darryl Dixon traveling with Beth, after they managed to escape the prison. This allowed us to see a little bit more about the character that many claim to be their favorite (Darryl), and one that never got the screen time she really deserved (Beth) because she was being over shadowed by the large group.
This kind of depth allowed the story to move forward, and there were plenty of exciting things that were taking place. There is the introduction of many new characters, in new groups, that provide enticing opportunities for the story moving forward. We get the chance to start to like some of these characters that we have spent a couple of years with already. Like Michonne. Nice to hear that she has a little bit of backstory, and for seemingly the first time, she smiles in Season 4. It makes her that much more real, and easier to cheer for. The constant brooding got a little tiresome, for all of the characters, so it is good to know a little bit about why they are the way they are.
The main premise of the season, once the stragglers leave the prison, is that they are looking for a place called Terminus, where all the train lines meet. This gives everybody a goal, and gives hope for those who have been separated to get back together.
The Walking Dead, season four, is the best, because there is always something going on. There are more zombie attacks, there are plenty of zombie (as well as human) deaths, there is the usual loss of a long time character or two, and for the first time in a couple of years, there is action.
I know that I am in the minority saying that the past couple of seasons bored me, but this one picks up where it perhaps should have been all along: with adventure and action.
Now, I am excited to see the fifth season once again.