The return of AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead is still a few weeks away, but that isn’t going to stop the network from hyping the midseason premiere for their highest rated show. The other day we got the official synopsis for the next episode, “Don’t Look Back,” and today brings us a short, grim teaser trailer to accompany that description.
Given the way the midseason finale, “Too Far Gone,” ended, the somber tone and general chaos you witness in this short trailer is appropriate, as is the slow, bluesy version of “Bad Moon Rising” that plays over the action. It is certainly an ominous soundtrack choice.
After the Governor (David Morrissey) runs a tank through the protective fence of the prison that Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his fellow survivors have been calling home, and the undead swarm over the place, the group is in shambles. Battered, bloody, in shock, emotionally wrecked from the loss of close friends and family members, they’re as close to breaking as they’ve ever been. You see how fragile and close to giving up everyone is in this new footage. Even Michonne (Danai Gurira), painted as the ultimate stoic badass thus far, is overcome with grief and pain. That’s a good sign, I hope it means they’ll continue to develop her as the season goes on.
Here’s the official synopsis, which doesn’t tell you much you don’t already know if you’ve been watching:
Following the devastating events of the [mid] season finale, Rick and the group are still reeling from the loss of their home, family, and friends. With the destruction of the prison, we see the group of survivors broken apart and sent on divergent paths, unsure of everyone else’s fate.
With their safe haven gone, the various splinters are forced back onto the road, in the way of all the hazards that such a life entails. Life is definitely more precarious without walls, living out in the open, and there are zombies, other survivors, and many other dangers to contend with.
Since day one, The Walking Dead has been plagued by wild fluctuations in quality. Season one started strong, but ended crappy; season two wasted half of the episodes looking for a lost child; and season three saw some of the best episodes of the series up against the absolute worst. So far season four has been the most consistent. New showrunner Scott Gimple has smoothed over some of the roughest spots. There’s only really been one episode that felt like filler, and that was still better than most of the previous year. Each week has been, not great, but solid, and even when things are heavy on the dialogue and interaction—some among us have compared it to a soap opera—the story is still progressing.
Moving into the second half of season four, the potential has never been higher. We still have to see if the show can capitalize on this or not, but the possibilities are there. The narrative is moving into some fantastic storylines from Robert Kirkman’s comics—we’ve been told that at least a few episodes follow the source material as close as any that have come before—and a handful of fan favorite characters, as well as few a mysterious parties, are scheduled to join the fray.
Hopefully this all adds up to something. That’s one of the biggest knocks against the show, even when it’s good, it’s never been as good as we know it could be. The way the situation is set up now, there will be plenty of places to dig into the damaged psyches of the characters and to put them through the ringer a few more times. I’m curious to meet Abraham, played by Michael Cudlitz, and maybe have an encounter with the Hunters. What do you hoping to see when The Walking Dead returns on Sunday, February 9?