Note: This article contains full spoilers for the show. If you are a newcomer to the series, refrain from reading!
Put on your sheriff hats and load your crossbows, the brain-nibbling zombies are finally shuffling and moaning their way back to the television screen.
The ground-breaking AMC series “The Walking Dead” is set to return like a herd of roaming walkers this Sunday at 9 p.m., bringing the return of Rick Grimes and company. Rick, played by the outstanding Andrew Lincoln, continues his quest to preserve what little humanity remains in the zombie-infested world, with a variety of people at his side.
Fans of the series know by now that there is danger around every corner, with each season proving this more than the last. Characters are killed off in the blink of an eye, with the gang and the viewers slowly learning that those alive are more dangerous than the undead.
The show questions morality and survival of the fittest, depicting just how far people can go to selfishly put themselves out of danger. It is interesting to see how everyone copes differently with the situation — some perusing their own interest, while others work together for a just cause.
Without a doubt, the new season will be another roller coaster ride of emotions. Here are some of my predictions for season four, as well as some character analysis:
A New Rick
Last season, we saw the rise and fall of the “Ricktatorship” along with Rick’s slipping sanity. Rick has always done what he thinks has been best for his family and his group, but at the risk of shunning potential help in the long run. After losing his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) to childbirth, Rick’s mind has been slipping, often seeing things that aren’t there and talking to ghosts.
While I don’t think these demons have gone away (nor will they ever fully cease), Rick has made great strides toward a new mindset. This season, we are likely to see him start to cooperate with others, though most likely not after some bickering. He accepted an entire new group of people into his prison fortress, which is a step in itself for the man with trust issues.
Fleshing Out Tyreese
Introduced partway into season three, we know little about Tyreese (Chad Coleman) at this point. The mysterious leader of his small group, and skilled with his trusty hammer weapon, he appears to be a stand-up guy. Could this be too good to be true? I expect to see a lot more of Tyreese as his character further develops. Fans of the “Walking Dead” comic books (like myself) can already expect a bromance between Rick and Tyreese, though it is more than likely to be tested.
The Governor is still MIA
Season three ended with a whimper instead of the bang everyone was hoping for. The sadistic and twisted Governor of Woodbury (David Morrissey) is missing in action, after driving off into the sunset. There was zero closure with his character, so he is more than likely going to make a haunting return when we least expect it. Hopefully this time it is not with a sniper rifle to someone’s forehead (poor Axel).
At the end of season three, an entire new batch of people joined up with Rick and the gang. Their prison hideout is going to be more than a little cramped this season, so I wonder if an unexpected zombie attack will occur in order to thin the numbers. Some of these newcomers have the potential to step up as key players, which Rick and the gang could definitely use after losing a handful of their own last season.
A New Location?
Each season has had its own unique setting so far, with the gang migrating from one place to the next in order to stay on their feet. While the prison seems like a great place to hold out at face value, the Governor and his minions have proved otherwise. This coupled with a few clumsy newcomers, it wouldn’t take a lot of effort to put everyone in danger. I am very curious to see how long the prison lasts because it would take a lot to convince Rick to abandon their protective walls.
We saw a lot of growth in the characters last season, especially when it comes to Carl (Chandler Riggs). This young teenager has done a lot of growing up for someone his age (he was even forced to kill his own mother, poor kid). He is slowly realizing what it takes to survive in this kind of world, though at times I think he pushes the boundary of becoming a new Governor. While I prefer this new version of Carl compared to the old wimpy one, he needs to slow it down a notch. Rick needs to keep more of a watchful eye on his children before something awful happens to them.
Daryl (Norman Reedus) also grew as a character last season. Once a lone wolf, he now has grown to respect his group of survivors. He has proved his loyalty by coming to the group’s rescue on numerous occasions, and even putting them above his family. Often viewed as the fan favorite, I would love to see him finally hook up with Carol (Melissa McBride) – the sparks between the two have been relentless (sorry ladies). Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) have had their relationship tested and have proved time and time again that love can blossom even in the darkest circumstance. I am worried for these two, because a beacon of hope in this universe is often snuffed out as fast as it arrives. Fingers crossed for Maggie, she’s my personal favorite!