Season four of AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead may be in the books, but when has that ever stopped people from talking about the massively popular series? The end of a season is as good a time as any to think about the future, and comic book creator, and executive producer on the show, Robert Kirkman recently talked about what lies ahead for both the series and comics. He hints about Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) future, the impending spin-off, and when fans can expect to see one notorious villain make the jump from page to screen. And if you’re like many of us, and the comics don’t come nearly fast enough, there’s also news about additions to the ever-growing series of Walking Dead novels.
Now that AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead has shuffled off for another end-of-the-year hiatus full of casting updates and random fan speculation, we have some space to take a step back and examine the season that was. Going into season four, I was hopeful, despite the fact that, since nearly day one, I’ve had a troubled, at best, relationship with this show. Season three saw one of the best episodes of the series (“Clear”), and some of the absolute worst (“Arrow on the Doorpost,” among others). Plagued since the beginning by a lack of overall consistency, season three raised fluctuations in quality to a damn art form.
Here’s why, armed with a new showrunner, the third in the show’s short life, I still had hope. See, the new head, taking over after Glen Mazzara was unceremoniously—and publicly—ousted, is Scott M. Gimple, who, as a writer, is responsible for the best and most memorable episodes of the entire run. And low and behold, my persistence paid off, and season four is indeed the most consistent in Walking Dead history. The season is definitely a tale of two halves, bisected as it was by their annual mid-season break, but even approaching it in this manner, there was almost nothing but forward progress.
Warning: spoilers if you’re not up to date with AMC’s zombie series!
After splitting Rick and the survivors apart, The Walking Dead spent the back half of the season gradually steered them all toward one place, the aptly named “Terminus.” And as most savvy viewers expected, it isn’t the utopian safe haven the survivors hoped it might be. The full extent of what’s going on hasn’t been revealed yet, but the finale made it pretty clear that, whatever it is, it ain’t good. It was more of a cliffhanger ending than the show has typically done, and the dire situation Rick and the others were left in is reflected perfectly by the first teaser poster for the next season, which you can see above. It’s all about survival.
We can debate the merits or failings of Gravity all the live-long day, but there’s no question that it was an unexpected and massive hit, riding the IMAX pony all the way to $715 million in worldwide box office. And honestly, on an enormous IMAX screen is by far the best way to see it, because Alfonso Cuaron’s orbital epic is all about the spectacle, not so much about the story. Still, I’ve got no doubt that quite a few folks are going to add Gravity to their home video collection, and if you count yourself part of that group, you can pick it up today from Amazon for only seventeen bucks.
If you haven’t seen last night’s season finale of The Walking Dead, know that there are some spoilers ahead, but it’s mostly only about when [redacted] shows up to [redacted] in the [redacted].
While The Walking Dead often draws a small gasp out of me with its shocker moments, it’s hard to argue against this being one of the more predictable shows on TV, which helps to make those shocks all the more rewarding in the long run. In any case, it’s no shock that with last night’s season four finale the AMC show broke its own ratings record with 15.7 million total viewers (10.2 million in the key demographic), up from last season’s 12.4 million finale viewers. The producers are also predictably securing the cast for next year before the blood-red paint dries from last night’s conclusion. They’re officially promoting Alanna Masterson, Christian Serratos, and Andrew J. West to “series regulars” going into Season 5.