The week after the season five finale, I soothed my soul by rewatching the show from episode one. After the short first season, I discovered the better way to watch Season Two. As much as I feel Season Two improved on the show’s initial effort, watching Season Three all over again did nothing to change my opinion that it’s where the show really found its legs and turned into what we love today. Season four is, in many ways, a continuation of Season Three, which might be a big part of why I feel Season Three was the show’s launchpad into its current state of glory.
— I enjoyed the initial sickness threat that plagued (pun intended) the survivors at the start of the season. It was part of the logical progression of things, as anyone who’s been around an elementary school daycare or soldiers’ barracks can tell you, and it was something they hadn’t faced before–an enemy they couldn’t fight with their hands and weapons.
— Nothing really compared to the continuing threat of the Governor, though. As groan-inducing as the prior season finale was when it didn’t end with his death, as a storyteller myself and as a fan of the show and comic, I was glad they didn’t dispose of such a great character so readily. His two-episode solo arc kicked ass, leading into an outstanding (well, not for Hershel, I suppose) mid-season ending.
— Carol’s arc this season was a complete departure from the comic storyline, and I loved it. From the season premiere she was presented as having inherited Comic Andrea’s badass crown–something the television version never had, and she’s been delivering on that promise ever since. Given the demise of her character far earlier in the comic version of the story, she’s as much of a wild card now as Daryl, a character created specifically for the show.
— Remember how I said Season Two was much better when binge-watched? The back end of Season Four is like that, too. I heard/read a good amount of complaining about the character-specific episodes after the group was scattered in the aftermath of the Governor’s attack on the prison, and it’s not nearly as vexing when you know you can watch the next episode right away. We wouldn’t have had “The Grove” (while we’re on the subject of Badass Carol) or the development of Beth into a character we cared so much about without this type of writing.
— Abraham, Eugene and Rosita’s introduction. Perfection. ‘Nuff said.