At A Glance:
Title: The Walking Dead
Season Premiere: October 12, 2014
Production Companies: company(s) AMC Studios, Circle of Confusion, Darkwood Productions, Valhalla Motion Pictures
Showrunner: Scott M. Gimple
Executive Producers: Frank Darabont, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Robert Kirkman, Charles H. Eglee, Glen Mazzara, Scott M. Gimple, Greg Nicotero, Tom Luse
Writers: Charlie Adlard (52 episodes, 2010-2014), Nichole Beattie (5 episodes, 2012-2014), Ryan C. Coleman (1 episode, 2013), Frank Darabont (52 episodes, 2010-2014), Charles H. Eglee (1 episode, 2010), Adam Fierro (1 episode, 2010), Scott M. Gimple (9 episodes, 2011-2014), Curtis Gwinn (2 episodes, 2013-2014), Seth Hoffman (3 episodes, 2013-2014), David Johnson (2 episodes, 2011-2012), Angela Kang (7 episodes, 2011-2014), Sang Kyu Kim (1 episode, 2012), Robert Kirkman (52 episodes, 2010-2014), Jack LoGiudice (1 episode, 2010), Glen Mazzara (8 episodes, 2010-2013), Tony Moore (52 episodes, 2010-2014), Matthew Negrete (2 episodes, 2013-2014), Channing Powell (2 episodes, 2013-2014), Evan T. Reilly (6 episodes, 2011-2013), Frank Renzulli (1 episode, 2012)
Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney, Chad L. Coleman, Sonequa Martin-Green, Lawrence Gilliard, Jr., Alanna Masterson, Michael Cudlitz, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos
Much more than in any of the previous three seasons of AMC’s The Walking Dead, Season 4 left us with a real cliffhanger. In the interest of not spoiling anything for those three of you that still haven’t finished viewing all of Season 4, or have perhaps been saving it for the inevitable AMC marathon that has been happening over the last several nights, I won’t allude to any details in this opening paragraph. If you want to read my brief synopsis of where things stand, and my suggestions as to where things may be going, click through to read after the break. Most importantly – the wait is almost over!
<<SPOILER ALERT: This preview article will be discussing events from Season 4 of The Walking Dead, as well as reviewing promotional material AMC has made available during the hiatus, and suggestions as to where Rick and the gang might be heading. Click through if you dare!>>
“They’re screwing with the wrong people.” Understated, yet to the point. Rick has, at times, been a bit wishy-washy. In general, he can’t be accused of being decisive, although the group of survivors he’s with have looked to him for leadership for some time now. And the new Rick, the Rick that is willing to tear your jugular out with his bare teeth to save himself and his group, well – he’s definitely not someone you want to screw around with.
The end of Season 4 found the majority of the group stuck inside a boxcar in the train yard at Terminus. Carol and Tyreese are somewhere in the vicinity, looking after Judith, and Beth’s disappearance is still a mystery (although we do get to see a bit of her in the previews). What we do know is this: the situation is as dire as any we’ve seen the survivors in, and I don’t think they’re going to get out of this one unscathed. So who’s going to die? To get some clues, we need to turn to the preview videos; lucky for us, AMC has just released a video of the first four minutes of the episode, and let me tell you – they don’t waste any time ramping up the tension.
Promos and Teasers:
Here’s the opening four minutes:
This is how “bad guys” should be in television and movies, but so often are not. They don’t waste any time telling their victims what they’re doing, or why; no, they just get down to business, slaughtering the livestock. Based on the right-to-left order they seem to be starting, that would mean Glenn will be the first of the group to get his skull bashed in. Will it happen? Is Gimple willing to kill off on of the originals in the first five minutes of the new season? With Glen only being recently reunited with Maggie, it would be a perfect time, in true TWD fashion, to remind everyone just how precarious existence is – no one gets to be too happy.
The thing is, we have four members of the group in this last scene. From left to right: Bob, Rick, Daryl, and Glenn. Does anyone really believe, even given that we might see a major character death tonight, that Gimple would opt to take out three of the most popular characters (apologies to Bob) in one stroke? I don’t think there’d be a lot of tears shed in the fandom if Bob bites it, but take out Daryl? You’d see riots in front of AMC headquarters. And to be honest, this is such a low-key way to die – it isn’t as though they are in a pitched battle with anyone, nor is anyone sacrificing themselves to save the others – this would be a meaningless death, something that Gimple has been on record while on Talking Dead as being opposed to. When a big characters goes, he wants to honor their time on the show and their fans by giving them a death with meaning.
If you think back to the biggest deaths, they’ve almost always had a steady build-up and inevitably they’ve had meaning in the larger picture. Shane died after a series of increasingly dangerous confrontations with a Rick who only wanted to get his friend back; Laurie died in childbirth, and had to be put down by Carl; Dale had a poignant death scene, with his viscera laid out all around him as he gave last pieces of wisdom; and last season’s big deaths, Hershel and the Governor, were done in a graphic and public manner, making the mid-season finale one of the best episodes of the best season so far. Less flashy or meaningful deaths are usually reserved for characters out of the spotlight, such as Zach in the season opener last year (trapped under debris and eaten), or Sasha (whose death was entirely off-screen). Of the four characters we see in this scene, then, Bob is the only one that I would expect to possibly be offed in this manner. However, we get a further clue in the Comic Con preview clip released back in July:
The part at 2:21 of the video looks particularly bad for Glenn; the fact that we do see him at several other points in the video did not, when I first saw this clip, do anything to allay my concern for him. However, with the new release of the first four minutes earlier today, we now see that the scene with the trough and the baseball bat occurs right at the beginning of the episode. Therefore, I suspect that something is going to happen right at the moment the scene cuts, something that will prevent Glenn from getting his skull bashed in. I hope.
There’s a bunch of other very interesting things here, not the least of which is confirmation that Beth is still alive, and the suggestion that we’re going to be moving out of Georgia and heading toward DC.
Finally, here’s the thirty-second trailer for tonight’s episode:
It looks as though we’re going to see most of the group back together tonight, but I wonder who might not make it to the end of the episode? We’ll find out in just a few more hours.