Episode 401: “30 Days Without an Accident”

After an entire season of setup, I really could have done without another setup episode. You did it to me again, Walking Dead. I was disappointed last season, but in my heart, I believed that you would redeem yourself in the season premiere. I can’t believe I fell for it again. Much like Rick trusting in Clara, I really should have known better.

First off, I cannot stand new characters. Woodbury was a big enough adjustment, but now we have all of Woodbury plus a plethora of Daryl groupies. There is a council, a farm, piggies and horses, even knife-tutorial storytime. Hmmm…this is starting to feel like the operation of a certain one-eyed goon from the all-too-recent past.

Perhaps the most terrifying development is in Michonne’s character. She wasn’t around too much in this episode, but as my husband so eloquently put it, “What, Michonne is going to have a personality now? Pfft.” She was smiling. She brought an electric razor for Rick so he could tidy up, suggesting that those imminent hookup rumors might have some truth behind them. Ughh.

There is a glimmer of hope, and her name is Violet. It seems that the zombie virus is finally finally mutating. Violet appeared to suffer from the same type of illness that previous characters did when afflicted with zombieitis. Plus, it’s clearly no coincidence that Patrick’s affliction directly followed that of Violet the pig. I don’t know where they’re going with this, but it at least offers the possibility of intrigue, which I haven’t been able to say about this show since season 2.

Where did Hershel get that handy-dandy prosthetic? And why did Rick fall for Clara’s painfully obvious ploy. I knew from that lady’s moldy face that she was no good, Rick surely had to at least suspect that shadiness was afoot. But no. He didn’t. His ability to lead came under some harsh scrutiny last season due to his visions of ghost Lori and his general craziness. Judging from this episode, I really don’t see that much improvement.

I had to watch Talking Dead to get some vital information about this episode. For instance, I had no idea what the heck was in Clara’s burlap sack. Apparently it was Eddie’s head. I had no idea Clara had a name. I had no idea where this season was picking up – 6-7 months after we last saw our survivors. I love Talking Dead, but I do not want to have to watch it so that plot points can be translated for me. This is a bad sign.

Talking Dead’s guest Scott Gimple promised that this type of episode was necessary so that the rest can escalate at a rapid pace. I am very skeptical. I have been let down too many times. I will keep watching, but I can’t say how much longer I can handle this type of emotional turmoil.

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