The Walking Dead
We’ve almost reached the halfway mark of The Walking Dead’s fourth season, and this week’s episode offers a somewhat bleak hint of what is to come.
This week’s story is essentially a well-disguised filler episode, offering a break from the intensity of the on-going prison drama to present us with a compelling character study of one of the series’ most fascinating villains.
There are several moments in this fifth episode of the season when the events being depicted on-screen are torturously tense. From the gruesome, tone-setting teaser through to the surprise conclusion, this episode stands up as one of the finest episodes of The Walking Dead so far
In this week’s episode, the Grim Reaper takes a back seat to allow the conflicts between our band of not-so-merry survivors to take centre stage.
Let it be said that no one could accuse AMC’s zombie series of being a programme that plays it safe.
I never thought I would say these words, but it feels good to be back in prison. The series opener of The Walking Dead’s fourth year is undoubtedly slow, but like the groaning corpses that litter its landscapes, it catches up to you and leaves you terrified before the end.
This season reaches its conclusion not with a handshake and a peace treaty, but with grief, regret and a high mortality rate.
As one of the series’ most controversial characters, Merle was initially introduced as a trademark villain so lacking in redeeming features he made the zombies look somewhat charming. Having returned for the series’ third season and once again played by the excellent Michael Rooker, he has recently undergone a compelling metamorphosis. His morality or the seeming lack of it, is the puzzle to be solved by the end of the episode.
With an impressive degree of character development, numerous unexpected plot twists and a truly compelling central villain, the third season of AMC’s ambitious zombie saga could be its most gratifying to date.
This week’s instalment could easily be subtitled the ‘Cold War’ episode, so much of it is preoccupied with the revelations, dilemmas and politics that emerge in the build-up to an inevitable battle.
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