This is the start to a season of The Walking Dead that we have needed to see for so long. Nothing too big, nothing to expect, but it set things up for the rest of the season to come while helping us understand what has happened during these thirty days before everything falls apart.
As every season starts out, we have a time skip in which the characters are a bit different from when we last saw them. Daryl is basically the most liked guy in the jail, Carol is a lot more motherly to an extent while teaching young kids how to defend themselves, Michonne is more friendly though hasn’t quite let go of finding the Governor, Rick is stable yet scared to use a gun because things have been so peaceful, Tyreese doesn’t like fighting zombies, and Sasha has toughened up a lot since we last saw her. Every character has had some change and what we like to see more than them fighting zombies is fighting themselves and how they handle themselves in this kind of world. Off the bat we are given the message that they really will be taking character development seriously and hopefully will act upon these new roles they have taken. The new cast is interesting so far as well. Despite two being short-lived, were given a little room to be people you cared for. Bob being somewhat still a mystery besides his apparent alcoholism which we could expect to see play into his actions later on.
The tone set forth is one that remains welcome. We are all put into a position where we wait in suspense, as if you would think that everything is fine before they do something which would shock you. The climax of this premiere being zombies dropping from the roof! The writers asked themselves how they could approach zombies differently this time that we would not see coming, and that is what they did here. This along with taking what would be predictable moments and turning them into something more appealing. From the dramatic effect added to the crazy lady with the severed head, to knowing Zach would be the one to bite the dust given the situation they found themselves in.
The only thing that got me in this episode was the very end. It seemed very sudden that Patrick fell sick and died afterwards, even then we aren’t certain if he was sick either. Aside from this there is that slight fear that they may only be introducing these side characters just to kill off and I’d rather attention just be kept on the main group unless that character is so vital that focus can be turned to them before they’re cut off.
Again a great start and we know that from here things are only going to get worse for the group. As fans of the series we don’t care to see them safe, which is why it’s a good thing that there was that time skip of their calm period. What we take from this is a reminder that no one is safe and that we shouldn’t attach ourselves to anyone who could be killed off at any moment, and we must also remember that this isn’t the books. The only thing that needs to be explained again is Patrick’s sudden death.