AMC’s zombie hit The Walking Dead is shuffling towards us. After a months-long mid-season hiatus, the ratings juggernaut returns with new episodes on Sunday, February 9. While the fourth season has, overall, been the most consistent outing so far in the franchise, it’s been far from perfect. There has been progress in a number of areas, but moving into the second half of the season, there are a few things we’d like to see, or not see as the case may be, to ensure that the show maintains this upward trajectory.
Avoid asides like the flu
Nothing in the first eight episodes was quite as tedious and drawn out as the flu storyline. One of The Walking Dead’s biggest issues throughout the series has been the show’s steadfast refusal to move on when a storyline has run its course. Seasons two and three were mired in this problem, containing multiple episodes that were little more than filler. So far season four has so far avoided falling completely into that trap—melodramatic as they’ve been, most episodes at the very least advance the story—but this aside teetered dangerously on that lip, and felt like a way to kill time and take up space.
There are enough threats moving forward that, hopefully, the show won’t need to fall back time-wasting tricks like this. With the survivors broken up into smaller factions, each with their own trials and hardships to face, there is plenty of story and character to explore. Depending on how many splinters there are, and how long it takes them to get back together, they may even have too much ground to cover. Either way, between the zombies, hazards of living out in the open on the road, and other humans, there is plenty to worry about without resorting to manufacturing artificial dangers.