With many of the new characters that run into the main cast of survivors on The Walking Dead, there’s always that gloomy possibility that we really shouldn’t get to know them because they probably won’t last long.
And they usually don’t.
But the advent of Sgt. Abraham Ford and his compadres, Eugene (a Kenny Powers fan, obviously) and Rosita (is she trying to be Lara Croft?) look to hopefully break that mold, if only for a little while.
Frankly, it’s just nice to have something fresh going on and the exciting possibility of heading somewhere new (even if by the end of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 11, the characters decided to go back on a quick detour to help Glenn).
The show has been pretty focused on the general day-to-day survival of learning to live in a zombie apocalypse, but the revelation that scientist Eugene might hold the classified key to saving the world is a cool one.
That’s a compelling concept, especially because it involves the prospect of branching out from Georgia and heading to Washington D.C. That’s right, there’s a whole world out there dealing with the crisis.
It’s not the possibility that Eugene could save the world or even that he does have the information to fix everything that is engaging; it’s the implication that there is a new direction, a goal and a horizon that could change everything for the stories and the characters.
And hopefully we get a chance along the way to learn a little more about Eugene (and not just that he’s super smart and horrible with guns) or even Rosita, who spent a good majority of their time just standing behind their fearless leader.
But thank goodness that leader is played by actor Michael Cudlitz, breathing life into not only his character, Abraham, but those around him. He immediately has screen presence and I like his determination in something other than just living. What’s more, he’s interested in recruiting people. Numbers are important. Surviving with people is important.
Certainly, he’s set on his mission, but I’m curious to see his dynamic and interaction with Glenn and Tara (who has so far also been a good addition). It’s the melding of the old with the new.
And, really, that’s where the hour shined with this new batch of characters. Yes, they fought off some walkers and wasted tons of ammo (but no overly stupid moves besides shooting the vehicle they need), but it was those characters I wanted to know more about and was intrigued to see how they would fit into this universe and the story.
But it was also good to see that despite everything, Glenn still wanted to find Maggie. He’d be willing to do it on his own if he had to, but hopefully Abraham and friends can help scoop up Maggie, Bob and Sasha and get headed out to D.C.
The episode also focused on the Rick, Carl and Michonne team giving the latter two time to bond, make jokes and stare at paintings.
Michonne continues to impress and her personality keeps coming out with each scene she’s in. Did I need a game of twenty questions to get the name of her son or whatever else Carl was asking? No, and although it did fill in some blanks, it was seeing her try and interact with Carl even when he was moping that showed how much she too has grown.
It’s easy to see how some easy cheese and a new shirt can do wonders for your mood.
Rick, on the other hand, couldn’t get his chance to just read and relax. He had to play hide and seek with some unknown travelers who coincidentally picked the one house in the suburbs the former sheriff was hanging out at.
There were some tense scenes of will they/won’t they catch Rick under the bed, and I liked watching him try and run from room to room, but the aspect of the home invasion felt like a way to give Rick something to do while everyone else was doing something. Although, it was simple enough and he wasn’t setting Home Alone traps.
At least by the end, the trio regrouped and continued towards possible sanctuary.
The hour was definitely slow to get things going, but the show is definitely pushing forward and looking to expand. And bringing in new characters that look to stick around is another great ingredient to spice things up for The Walking Dead Season 4.
Do you believe Eugene knows what caused the zombie apocalypse?
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.