Written by: John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
The Walking Dead is back on the air at last and I don't think I could be any happier. I mean, after all, it is my favorite show and clearly it's one of America's darlings as well seeing as how 16 million people tuned in Sunday night to watch the Season Four Premiere; "30 Days Without an Accident".
But while there was plenty of what we love; creepy zombies, guts and gore and for the first time ever...a corpse hanging from the ceiling from its entrails, the show is clearly evolving in many ways and quite frankly for the better.
You see there was something else about Sunday's episode that I wasn't expecting...the addition of depth and meaning to the series.
It's something that in zombie lore has really been reserved for George Romero's work. Underlying subtext about who we are as a society and of course the epic social commentary. The Walking Dead has done little of this and with good reason, there hasn't been time. Since "Days Gone Bye" it's been about survival as we witness the end of the world and the beginning of the new one and quite frankly that's not a bad thing. But we are now two years into the end times and with humanity in tatters the show has decided to perhaps forgo any major social commentary and instead present us with thematic concepts that we all question in our day to day lives.
In fact I found that the two major concepts in this week's episode were escaping the past and...the inescapability of death. Granted the escaping the past part was pretty prominent during the show with Crazy Clara and her darling skull/husband Eddie since her words clearly reached into Rick's soul and smacked it around it a bit.
But the escaping death part was a tad more subtle. Because let's be honest, this episode started off on a very cozy note. They had food, they had numbers, they had safety. This was life after the end in the way we would all hope it would be. Safe, secure and moving on. Everything seems as it was, no cares in the world, minus some pain in the ass walkers. Not so. Death was waiting everywhere. Between Eddie's severed head starving painfully, the Walker Storm and poor Patrick's resurrection, I love the false sense of security that the survivors fell into because let's be honest, the need SOMETHING to hold on to.
They want to hide from death, they want it to go away, but there is no escape. It is a surprising theme to see since well, it's relevant for all of us. We have all questioned our mortality at one point or another and I was stunned to see the show add such depth, in the right kind of way because it was done so well.
Either way, I'm glad to see The Walking Dead growing up in this fashion and adding such depth and dynamic to an already awesome show. It truly shows a new dawn is at hand for the show under Scott Gimple's watchful eye and I have a feeling it's only going to continue to get better.