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The Walking Dead Midseason Report Card: B+

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Sickness and disease have plagued Rick and company at the prison, walkers continue to roam the land and an action-packed battle with The Governor has divided the survivors yet again.

So how the first half of The Walking Dead Season 4? Let’s break it down in our latest TV Fanatic Report Card…

Walking Dead Midseason Finale Scene

Best Episode: There have been some pretty exciting and entertaining moments throughout this first half of the season, but I was thoroughly engrossed in what was going to happen to Carol in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4. It was a far smaller focus than the sickness storyline, but it illustrated the repercussions of one’s actions and just how far Carol has changed as a person. Not to mention Rick shockingly kicking her out.

Oh, and even Daryl and company getting medicine felt suspenseful and tense, despite the fact Bob can’t jump out windows very well. It definitely set the stage for even more fallout for when Rick would return to the prison with his news.

Worst Episode: The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 7 could have been one of the best, but unfortunately, the Governor returned to being the Governor we already knew making the time taken away from Rick and the prison feel unnecessary. Maybe if we got something like this earlier on mixed throughout the episodes, but it felt too little too late with a character that was more cartoon villain than the twisted, complex antagonist the series wanted him to be.

This wasn’t the payoff or new spin I was looking for, plus it involved a focus on characters we all knew would die in an episode or two anyway.

Best Character: Carol has been such an interesting addition to the show and one I never would have guessed would have ended up here. Not only did I enjoy watching her friendly relationship with Daryl and her humor, but her growth from battered wife to tough chick making tough decisions has been the most fascinating. It’s felt like a natural progression and seeing her on screen was never boring, as was learning she happened to have burned the bodies (even if it didn’t stop anything). She may have been booted from Rick’s club, but there’s no way she’s had her swan song yet.

Worst Character: It’s tough because I don’t think there’s been any characters this season I would say I’ve despised or couldn’t stand. So I guess I’ll pick Martinez for the fact that he never really became anything more than a Governor lackey and a plot device to push the Governor back to his “villainous” ways. And we were just learning he liked to play golf…

Best New Character: Did Lawrence Gilliard Jr. on The Wire help Bob’s chances at winning this award? Maybe, but I liked that Bob was a character we slowly got to know. I also liked that as a viewer, it was tough to tell if he had ulterior motives or he was just the new guy they picked up. Yeah, he’s clumsy and he’s got a drinking problem, but he’s not a throwaway. I’m interested to see what else there is to the army medic.

Best Walker Death: Walkers always die in a variety of ways that include guts and blood everywhere whether they're falling from the sky like in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1 or getting their heads ripped off by bare hands like in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 6.

But I'll give it to the car tires spinning on full throttle over the swarm of walkers in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3. It definitely was creative.

Hopes for the Rest of The Walking Dead Season 4: This is the exciting thing because after The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8, the prison has been destroyed, the survivors separated, and the Governor defeated. It’s a blank slate, fresh start and chance to switch gears and avoid monotony. I hope that we get a little bit of time to focus on each group before (and if) they ever converge back together. I’d love to see them on the move for a while, and I’m looking forward to new characters introduced that stick around longer than an episode. Hopefully, the series takes the opportunity with this new chapter and propels us forward (maybe even out of Georgia?). February can’t come soon enough!

Overall Grade: B+

Your turn, TV Fanatics! What would you give the first half of The Walking Dead Season 4?

 

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I'm so glad that someone else agrees with me that Carol was the best character. Melissa McBride is a brilliant actress and I'm so glad that the writers are seeing that and giving her something worthwhile to work with. I'm really looking forward to the second half of this season and having MM/Carol back!

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It's a C from me. Something formulaic and routine creeping in. The focus on the other more natural dangers faced by survivors was interesting and gave a new layer to the show, but using it as a catalyst to get rid of Carole was a little weak. I give it a C because I feel the show has lost a bit of focus. I'm slightly alarmed by the destruction of the prison and the survivors being back on the road. We've seen all that. Done all that. I can't help thinking that the show is going to be a little self limiting - on the road or holed up somewhere sheltering. There aren't really any other options if this is a worldwide plague.

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I absolutely loved the focus on Carol for the first few episodes...namely episode 4. Melissa McBride is a shining star in an otherwise (mostly) mediocre cast.

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Why doesn't anyone understand the brilliance of episodes 6 and 7? The point was not to bring the Governor back as a changed man, it was to show that no matter how hard he tried, he was "too far gone" and couldn't come back from the things he had done. He could only ever be the Governor, not Brian Heriot. I'm shocked that this theme (which was the main theme of the season) flew over the heads of the majority of viewers. I guess character development isn't as enthralling as a predictable bloody showdown to most, but I appreciated the episodes, AMC

Terrie
@ Cameron

I couldn't disagree more. The point exactly was that they attempted to make the viewers believe he had changed and most saw right through it. I didn't feel the need for 2 whole episodes dedicated to The Governor. You have to want to change and The Governor didn't and never would--Most viewers knew that .......... Sure in the zombie apocolypse it's all about survival.....but wouldn't you want everyone you could have on your side and standing with you instead of killing them for no other reason but to show dominance???

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@ Cameron

As you said, "it was to show that no matter how hard he tried, he was "too far gone" and couldn't come back from the things he had done". That's exactly the problem - everyone knew that already!!! I'm pretty sure no fan, except maybe the few viewers who liked those episodes, ever thought the Govenor could be redeemed.

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I give it a B - would have been an A without those two awful Governor episodes, which brought nothing new at all in terms of character or story.

Your-mediator

I gave the first part of the season a D, only because of the two completely horribly wasted episodes which focused on the Governor. My friends and I had never turned off an episode of TWD until those two stinkers. Outstanding mid-season finale though.

Chandra-jordan

Thank you thank you thank you for recognizing Daryl and Carol's friendship but not automatically succumbing to the need to pair them up romantically.