Season 4 of the Walking Dead is officially over and all we can do is speculate about where it will go next. This season brought a welcome change of pace to the zombie drama. Gimple is now completely finished picking up the pieces from last year's uneven Mazzera season. Overall I really enjoyed this season especially this last episode entitled "A". This is a perfect example of when the Walking Dead is firing on all cylinders. The writing was excellent but that comes as no surprise because this was a Gimple written episode. If this is the type of quality TWD can maintain next season we're in for something really special.
Everything from the writing to the way this episode was shot screamed Darabont and really felt like a love letter to the first season and the source material. We see a scene lifted directly out of the comic books with the attack from Joe's group. This scene was pretty essential to the evolution of Rick Grimes, we are now thankfully done with a Rick that takes an episode (or two) to wrestle with the darkness he has pent up and now, after making short work of Joe's group we see him not only accepting his dark passenger, but embracing it and more importantly not forgetting what Hershel taught him. He has now found the balance between zen and brutality and that's what will keep him and his group alive.
I'm glad that in this episode we finally get to see Terminus and that it seems that Gimple and co have blended two of the comic book story lines together. It seems that Terminus isn't all its cracked up to be and from the looks of it these guys are preying on the living. Giving the actual zombies some competition. A lot of the themes in season 4B have been change, growth and a slow realization that as the world get's more brutal so do you making the philosophical point that, WE ARE THE WALKING DEAD! I'm still dying to see Rick shout that like he did in the graphic novels. Even though I found 4B to be a bit uneven at times overall I was really into what the writers were doing which was taking the last 8 episodes and dedicating them to the characters we have grown to love over the past few seasons and some new ones. Specifically Bob, Rick, Michonne and Daryl's story arcs were in my opinion pretty strong. I really wasn't a big fan of Glenn & Maggie in this half, they were OK but they're stories were kind of one note. Maggie desperately wanted to reunite with her husband, and also showed zero interest in reuniting with her little sister, that's kinda fucked up Maggs.
But now that it's all over I really liked season 4 as a whole, much better than I enjoyed the end half of season 3. Gimple seems to have a direction in mind for this show and he made the strong decision to give pretty much every character they're own story. Which is refreshing as opposed to season 3 when a lot of the B characters seemed to fade into the background. It almost seems as if season 4B was just the writers getting everything in order and setting the stage for season 5. This series now has a very clear direction for the next season which is, obviously to escape. I'd love to see a sort of "Escape from Alcatraz" meets "Day of the Dead" theme going on next season.
Needless to say this episode has me very excited for what’s in store next. I thought out of all of the season finales this is a very close second to the strong second season finale. The episode was filled with literary metaphors from the flashbacks to the days of the prison to even the rabbit trap, now Rick and co are the rabbits and it seems that the Terminus community are the hunters! All in all I'm giving episode 416 entitled "A" a 9 out of 10.
Written by Isaiah Mueller