The Walking Dead Review: “30 Days Without an Accident”


With relatively little fanfare (or maybe I just don’t watch commercials) the Walking Dead returned last night for the beginning of its fourth season, which will probably be split between fall and late winter, knowing how the show tends to work. Though if AMC has its way, between it and its coming spin-off, we’ll have The Walking Dead on for 52 weeks a year.

We ended last season with Andrea anti-climatically dead, the Governor in full crazy mode and fleeing, and the prison taking on the remaining townsfolk of Woodbury in what seemed like a dubious decision at best.

But turns out the skeptics were wrong, and the prison society has evolved over what I’m guessing is a period of a few months into a neat little community. They have horses! And plants! And pigs! Well, dead pigs, but at least they’re trying.


“Goddamnit Hershel, are you growing weed again?”

All these new faces means fresh meat for the grinder, and I predict a coming scene of mass chaos where extras are slaughtered by the dozens. Two new faces already died this week alone. Luckily for Carl, they were both teenage boys, dramatically upping his chances with little miss blondie, Beth.

Rick is now fully in control of his faculties, though he’s shaken from going off the deep end last year in the wake of Lori’s death. He even refuses to take his gun out beyond the fence, which even with his past condition, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

His storyline featured a surprisingly great performance from a one-off character, a crazy lady roaming the woods who looks about halfway between dead and a walker already. There was obviously something very wrong with her whole situation from the beginning, and sure enough, she’s been trying to keep the severed head of her husband alive for a while now, and was planning to feed Rick to him.


Don’t feed crazy or she’ll follow you home.

I thought the ensuing “three questions” scene as she lay dying was rather well done in a show not particularly know for its nuance. Though I disagree with Rick’s decision to just leave her there. You don’t leave zombies alive (well, so to speak). Did he learn nothing from Carl karmically killing Dale with the zombie he let live in season two?

Anyway, the bulk of the group including Glen, Michonne, Tyreese, Tyreese’s sister, local celebrity Dale and two new guys went to a nearby grocery store for supplies. What followed was a torrential downpour of zombies with a 100% chance of a new character dying. The coin flip decided that it was Beaver from Veronica Mars, rather than new black guy who appears to be an alcoholic going through withdrawal. As much free booze is around after the apocalypse, I do wonder how you would manage to survive for so long while probably drunk most of the time. I hope we hear more of this guy’s story.

Another well-done scene was when Daryl comes to give Beth the bad news about Beaver, but she doesn’t even bat an eyelash. “I don’t cry anymore,” she says. Probably could have been acted out with a bit more conviction, but it’s pretty powerful moment to see someone so young so numb to tragedy. I did think the “30 Days Without an Accident” sign was a bit cheesy, however.

The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

“Dear Diary, another boyfriend got eaten today. Is it something I’m doing wrong? Why can’t I pick a competent survivalist?”

It was obviously only a matter of time before things went bad inside the prison, so it should be no surprise that glasses kid dropped dead and became a walker in the show’s closing moments. Did I miss something where he would have gotten infected? Is this just a rapid onset disease that doesn’t have to do with a bite or contamination? Is it what the pig had?

I’m still sort of miffed that the show let the Governor live at the end of last season, as I think though he was a reasonably good villain, his time had come. I’m wondering how they’ll bring him back, and what state the prison will be in when they do.

I also miss forward momentum on this show. They used to be going places, rather than simply trying to not die, and I miss having a goal other than “survival” like heading to an army base or the CDC. That said, I did like this premiere and with Andrea AND Lori gone now, there will probably be 80% less overtly stupid decisions made by characters onscreen, so that’s something.

I feel like this show could last forever, but I just hope they use the fantastic potential of the world and stop being stuck in the same place so often. Season two was just farm, and are seasons three and four really going to be the prison? I’m hoping zombie nerd is the catalyst for big changes on the show from here on out.

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  1. Unfortunately, staying in the prison appears to be a budgetary concern. It costs a lot of money to jam pack every episode with zombie death and gore, so adding brand new locations every week becomes cost exclusive. Shooting 75% of each show on the existing prison set helps keep costs down. Also, despite the fact that it is the highest rated show on T.V. AMC still views it like their bastard child and famously cut the budget in season 2 in order to pay the show runners of Mad Men their extraordinary salary (never mind that Mad Men’s ratings are nowhere near The Walking Dead). I am well acquainted with a former cast regular on the show, who told me all kinds of stories about AMC’s shenanigans. They wanted more kids, they wanted to add a dog, they are the reason the governor didn’t die, etc… (more kids now confirmed, lol). The point is, don’t get your hopes up, AMC wants this show to stay “Little House on the Prairie with Zombies”, and they will get their way.

  2. I definitely think whatever the kid had that caused him to die in the shower is related tot he Violet the Pig’s death. Also, that boar that rick met the crazy-feed-anyone-to-my-undead-husband’s-head lady looked like it just dropped as well. Must be a disease going around or something. Yet another obstacle to survival. I think the new ex-medic may play into that storyline. And I believe that we may hit the road fairly soon, if recent casting rumors are true.

  3. My theory, without spoiling anything, is that the tv show is combining what happens in the prison with what happens after the prison in the comics. The casting news seems to support this. While this might seem boring right now, it’ll play out as much more exciting than it has in the comics.

  4. At the end of season two Rick tells the group what the assistent to the scientists at the lab told him, which was that everyone was infected and would turn when they died no matter the cause. I think the kid with glasses just got sick, which happens but he made the mistake of not telling anyone.

  5. Im a 7 year fan from the comice (yeah, start crying out loud how fans make things that they have been supporting years before they went mainstream, worst) and the series so far have been a huge dissapointment. That is not the real Rick, real Rick would shoot that woman right the moment she first pop up.

    The episode was bored, and kind stupid, Im tired of seeing powerful characters on comics like Andrea and Gleen act like stupids on the tv show…

    Beside the zombies, Its not the powerful story in wich I connect so deep with the characters, that every number I just sit silently thinking what jus I read, and what is about to happened with this guy just got into that situation.

    Also the tv show fail into have that atsmosphere where you cant tell who is going to die, because everyone can die at any moment.

  6. With how much they focused on the pig in the episode and it’s ultimate death, I have a feeling that the disease has spread to the animals and can infect people through ingestion.

    In the beginning of the episode, glasses dude thanked Darryl for a deer he brought back and said it was delicious. Cut to the pig laying on its side in the pen and the other animal that Rick came across just before crazy lady burst from the bushes.

    I don’t think that glasses guy is the only walker. The chaos with all the walkers at the prison in the previews may be the new blood that got infected by the deer.

    Just my two cents.

  7. The new alcoholic guy is D’Angelo Barksdale from “The Wire” like Tyreese (Cutty). He was a vital piece then and I liked his acting so I hope he lives for at least a while. lol. It was a great premiere for me. Better than the last two pilots, like S01 Pilot < S02 Pilot < S03 Pilot.

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