Looking back on The Walking Dead Season 4, the divide between the first and last eight episodes really made it feel like two seasons.
Where the front half redid/ended the Governor storyline while the survivors fought a deadly cold, the back half focused on the characters, dealing with the fallout of the prison and the trek to Terminus.
With Scott M. Gimple's first crack at showrunner (who will return for The Walking Dead Season 5), there were plenty of highs, lows and walkers, along with the demise of two characters that wound up on TV Fanatic's list of 9 shocking deaths on The Walking Dead.
So how did the fourth season fare? Read on for our latest TV Fanatic Report Card...
Best Episode: At times, The Walking Dead Season 4 felt a bit all over the place, but it certainly tried various things even if it didn't always succeed. That said, The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 16 was the hour that was the end of the line for the train track walking and the arrival at Terminus. It was intense, action packed, had some character moments and an ending that made you excited to see what is coming next. And I'm just glad to see everyone mostly reunited again. Those Terminus people don't know who they are messing with!
Worst Episode: There were certainly more candidates from the second half of the season, but I still have to give it to The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 7. "Dead Weight" felt like dead weight as the show not only paused the main story to back track, but the Governor's turn from possible redemption went right back into the exact same Governor we already knew.
It was as if nothing really changed and his "struggle" was too little too late to find interesting. And as much as I enjoy the series taking time to flesh out the characters, you could have skipped his mini backstory and not really missed anything.
Best Character: While her initial appearance to Andrea was cool, I was less than thrilled with moody Michonne as her story began in The Walking Dead Season 3. But Michonne has grown as a character and one not only worthy to be on the show but a welcome one. She's a badass samurai who gained a real personality and purpose. Cracking jokes and smiles, and revealing more of herself as a person earns this top spot of best character.
Worst Character: I can't say I've had a character I really disliked this season. But if I had to pick one, I'd say Sasha, mostly for the fact that she's pretty much just been there with not much to do. Sure, she dealt with the sickness in the beginning, and she had a mini story arc in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 13 that ultimately served the story of the episode. I just want to see more for her character and hope that next season can change that.
Most WTF moment: While Hershel, Lizzie and Mika's deaths were shockers, and Beth getting stolen seemed to come out of nowhere, Rick's Jaws move in The Walking Dead Season 4 finale was a real surprise. His graphic chomp-down on the biker gang leader's neck was a major WTF that allowed him to help stop the crew from killing them and showing Carl some Deliverance.
Hopes for Season 5: Hopefully, keeping the same showrunner for more than one season of The Walking Dead will help with consistency and a vision that maintains a certain path. As much as I'm hoping Terminus provides some great moments and memorable bad guys you want to love to hate, I'm eager to give the characters some focus and goal to achieve such as the journey to Washington D.C. Whether or not Eugene knows the truth doesn't matter, but getting out of Georgia and exploring that big open world could be fantastic.
And I'm looking forward to seeing more growth and backstory for the characters, especially some of the new ones. There seem like so many possibilities that for The Walking Dead Season 5 to take. Let's hope it delivers that excitement, tension and gritty horror-tale of survival and zombies that fans love when it returns next fall.
Overall Grade: B-
Your turn TV Fanatics! What would you grade The Walking Dead Season 4?
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.Tags: The Walking Dead, TV Fanatic Report Cards