Once again many of the actors in this episode put on a really nuanced performance, Emily Kinney is fantastic every week in my opinion. This episode wasn’t the most dramatic for Abraham, he didn’t have a great amount of line seen as the majority of his time was spent in exactly the same position we left him in at the end of the previous episode. Half way through the episode I had already started to find the whole, “I’m just going to kneel on the floor and say nothing” shtick really tiresome.
Something I rarely talk about is the music, in season 4 The Walking Dead used a lot of songs that weren’t made specifically for the show, songs with lyrics by outside artists rather than just the score alone. Some of these songs were fantastic and used appropriately in many scenes. For example Oats In The Water is a excellent song that I discovered in an episode that focussed around Hershel as he laboured away at the prison, trying to help the sick people in quarantine. Another example is the song that plays at the end of the first half of season 4 when Carol has to leave the group, as Rick drives back to the prison along a leaf strewn road. Its called Wye Oak – Civilian in case anyone was wondering. In this season we have gotten more of an original soundtrack, there was a piece of music in this episode that was really nice and I would like to think was made specifically for the show’s score. It had inflections of country music, it felt very rustic but rose up in the final scenes as things started to look up for some of the characters.
The stunt work on this episode was exceptional; the scene with Noah and the cops was visceral and masterfully pulled off. The high speed driving with the little tail flick on the skid to knock Noah over without doing him any real damage was awesome. The ambush that ensued when it was revealed that Noah was there as bait to draw the enemy out was exciting, those moments always are. The ensuing action scene in which a car appeared to rescue the cops was fraught with tension as it sped towards the crew with Rick firing at it’s wind- shield.
The sort of orange-pink zombies that were obviously like that because they had been melted, were horrifying and odd. The fight Daryl had with a cop in the courtyard full of these things was intense. It led to a crazy moment that is definitely the winner of Zombie Kill Of The Week. The moment in question was when Daryl was getting choked on the ground by the cop and he poked out the eyes of one of the zombies, put his fingers into its eye sockets using them as leverage to pull the things head off and use it as a club against the bad guy. Essentially he used a ripped off zombie skull as a weapon.
I like the small group of Maggie, Glenn, Rosita, Tara and Abraham. Although Maggie and Glenn have always been two of the most beloved characters for a long time other such as Eugene, Rosita, Tara and Abraham have taken some getting used to. However, in this season they have certainly proved their worth and have become really likeable. I know I can’t be the only one who has began hoping these four stick around for a while longer.
Now, I will end on my one major problem with where the show is going with one of its characters. The character I have a problem with is Gabriel. I like that being a priest he is opposed to and offended by the violence because it makes sense that he would be. I fully believe that the character would react that way as he is a man of God. My problem is; why do the writers think these things mean he has to be a weak character? He can be a strong character in other ways, without taking part in the violence, he doesn’t have to be a coward just because he is a pacifist and is afraid of violence. They seem to think that because he doesn’t take part in the violent side of proceedings he cannot have any use whatsoever, so far he has done nothing to help the team. In fact he has made actively bad decisions, this episode is a perfect example; why did the writers make him run off into the woods alone with no food or water to get attacked and only narrowly escape after flapping around like an idiot for a bit. Gabriel doesn’t have to be an idiot or a coward, if you read the comics you will know that the writers at AMC have gone about this character all wrong. There are elements of weakness in the character in the comic, the instance in his past in which he refused to open the doors because he was afraid is present there as well. However, he doesn’t go on to be useless and stupid like he does in the show so far.