We’re shuffling towards the October 13 premiere of the fourth season of AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead. As that date approaches, we’re gradually seeing more and more promotional material hit the metaphorical airwaves. It’s just a trickle right now, an occasional drop here and there, but you better believe that by the time the show actually airs you’ll be so inundated with Robert Kirkman’s creations that you may be so sick of it you won’t want to watch. The latest sneak peek, unveiled last night, is a quick new clip.
You’re not going to glean all that much content from this clip, short and out of context as it is, though two primary points spring to mind while watching. First is that we get a brief look at some of the modifications Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his merry band of zombie apocalypse survivors have made to their prison stronghold. There are some obstacles outside of the fence to confound the walkers, slow their approach some, and keep them off the fences. Those are the big, pointy sticks. It also appears that they’ve customized the prison gate some. You’ll remember that it was torn off its hinges so to speak at the end of season three when the Governor (David Morrissey) and his cronies stopped by for a short gun battle. Whatever they’ve done looks handy, as young Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) can now open the gate all by his lonesome.
The second notable element in this clip is that we finally see Michonne (Danai Gurira) on horseback. This isn’t a huge revelation or anything, since we already knew she was going to adapt a new mode of transportation, but we haven’t seen her ride much. Considering Gurira’s self-describe issues learning how to ride a horse, she looks comfortable enough in the saddle. Though it’s a little disappointing the amount of trouble she has with those two walkers. Even though Carl and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) grab their firearms, you have to assume that Michonne is going to whip out her katana and take care of both of those undead bastards at once.
Season four picks up some time after the close of season three. Considering the name of the first episode is called “30 Days Without an Accident,” it sounds like the lapse is roughly a month. That’s enough time get the new recruits from Woodbury settled, make some improvements, set up some farming, and get a little too comfortable in their new surroundings. When you get to that point, where you’re not on guard all the time, things get lax, mistakes happen, and people get hurt. You get the distinct impression that the band of survivors isn’t going to make it much past the 30-day mark without something traumatic befalling their crew.
When The Walking Dead returns, we’re going to see so new faces, and they’re going to face a mysterious new threat that is purportedly neither human nor zombie. More than anything specific story wise, many fans are looking for a little more in the way of consistency this go round. Last season had some of the best episodes in the series, right up against some of the most trying. With a couple of big moves at the end of last season—introducing new blood, killing off some old—my hope is that the show will find blaze a new trail and become its own entity under the guidance of new showrunner Scott M. Gimple.