Review: The Walking Dead - "30 Days Without An Accident"

By: Heather Seebach

**Warning: The following contains spoilers. Do not read unless you have watched episode 4.1**

The Walking Dead returned last night with season 4 premiere, "30 Days Without An Accident." Director/FX god Greg Nicotero and writer/showrunner Scott M. Gimple teamed up again for this episode, but unfortunately it lacked the excitement and emotional power of their last collaboration on season 3's "This Sorrowful Life" (review).

The premiere takes place months after we last saw the survivors. There are a lot of changes we are just expected to swallow and move on - farmer Rick is suddenly gun-shy; Daryl is the new unofficial leader; and love is in the air (along with some kind of virus). Anyway, so Rick goes into the woods and finds a crazy lady - another reflection on his own lapse of sanity. Meanwhile Daryl, Michonne and co. make a store-run, thus fulfilling the show's zombie quota. 

 Most of the episode is pretty damn boring. It is catching up, so that's forgivable - for now. By far, the highlight of the episode was the walkers dropping through the ceiling of the Big Spot! store:

It's raining zombies! Hallelujah!

This scene delivered on the gore. I especially dug the dude hanging from his guts, and the split-face walker who gets his scalp peeled off and ultimately boot-stomped. Though it's pretty laughable the way many of the walkers instantly exploded like blood pinatas upon hitting the ground. I think the floor killed more walkers than our heroes did.

This episode sees the introduction of Bob Stookey, the army medic who was also in the comic books (though he looked quite different). Both were from Woodbury, and both seem to have an problem with alcohol. I wonder if tonight's liquor shelf mishap was the extent of that trait, or if it'll come back and bite somebody in the ass later. I still have a sneaking suspicion this character is tied to another shocking storyline from the comics involving Tyreese. Remember kids: alcohol kills - just ask Zach.

The other big occurrence this episode was Rick meeting creepy Clara in the woods. While I found this all to be intriguing as it played out, it was ultimately anti-climactic to me. Clearly, Clara was put in here to represent what Rick could have become. But that was already done WAY better in Scott Gimple's own "Clear." Morgan was the perfect representation of Rick's future had he taken a different path and ultimately gave in to the madness around him.

I did like Rick's "three questions" though, that was a nice little touch. They were the same questions "Jim" asked him on the phone when he was crazypants.In the end, Rick leaves the zombie lovers be - was it because he can't bring himself to fire a gun anymore, or because he felt sympathy? Who knows. Maybe we'll see them again someday...

In other news, Beth gives no fucks and Carol teaches the kiddies to use knives. Frankly, I don't understand why she has to hide this from Rick - or why Carl looked upset. I see that Rick is anti-guns now, but what would he have against the kids learning to defend themselves with knives? I think they should incorporate it into the curriculum along with reading, writing, and arithmetic - like the P.E. class of the zombie apocalypse. 

There was not a lot of Rick-Michonne screentime this episode, but I've been hearing talk about those two so I want to say right now - I hate the idea of them being pushed together romantically. This show does not need love stories, and it especially does not need the two biggest badasses being matched up. They're both too awesome and too emotionally calloused for that shit, so it better not go there. Also, Rick, don't listen to her - don't you dare shave that beard!
So finally the episode concludes with Patrick, the young nerd who has been complaining of being ill, coughing himself to death in the showers. He then comes back; however, he looks a little different from your average walker:

How about those eyes, huh? I wonder if it's related to the zombie Rick keeps staring at outside the fence with the rotted-out eyes and bleeding face. Perhaps this new virus - the same one that likely killed Violet the pig - is creating a new strain of walkers? Was it the flu? Cholera? Ricin?

Kidding, of course. Some will say swine flu, but let's not forget that very obvious scene where Patrick thanks Daryl for bagging a deer for them to eat. So it's probably a more generalized virus than that. It's also worth noting: Daryl shakes Patrick's hand and then continues licking his fingers. Get your riot gear ready, Reedus fangirls!!!

Seriously though, if you watch the season 4 trailer, there is at least one other zombie with those new glossy, bloody eyes:

I want to mention a connection I noticed. If you watch Talking Dead, you saw how much they were promoting the fuck out of Dead Rising 3. In addition to how much the lead is clearly inspired by Daryl Dixon....

...I also noticed the guy has a name tag that says Nick. Sound familiar?

If that IS a Dead Rising reference hidden in the episode, I'm going to puke. Ugh.

According to The Talking Dead, next week's episode is "rough" and only gets more intense from there on. I hope so. In the meantime, here are some lingering questions:

1) Seriously, why the fuck is Rick anti-gun now? What changed?

2) What is wrong with Clara's face? I know she lives in the woods but that does not explain why your face is green and you look like Samara from The Ring

3) Where the hell did they find all these farm animals??

4) Oh hey, you have a sick pig? Gee, if only we had a veterinarian here. Oh wait... 

Alright, enough of my bitching. A few parts were interesting, but I found it to be a dull episode overall. I'm actually less excited than I was before the season started - and I was pretty uninterested then, too. So what did YOU think of the episode? If you can answer any of my lingering questions above, feel free in the comments below!

If you hate reading and would rather listen to me TALK about this episode, then check out DEAD ALREADY, an unofficial Walking Dead podcast that I co-host! Here is the link for this episode:

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