The only difference between my life before The Walking Dead and now is that now I can share in my predilection and secret survival techniques for the zombie apocalypse with my wife. Before that zombies just were not that mainstream. You had to go to George Romero or Lucio Fulci for your undead nightmare fix. Now zombies are on TV. Darryl is a sex symbol.
Despite the mainstreaming of what was once the hallowed terra firma of gore horror buffs, the stark bleakness of the blighted land you expect to see has started to take form, and we find out that those who survived the walkers have become something else as well. Sort of like politicians, specifically governors.
The 3rd season ended Sunday night to series-record ratings with humanity showing its various extremes, Carl especially looks like he would make a good politician one day with his inauguration into the future governors of America. This of course affects Rick, as Carl is usually his barometer, whether it is bad or good. Carl was the one who gave the final word on the fate of Michone after all. The show runners did promise major death, and they delivered, though I must say with no evidence to back me whatsoever that I totally saw much of it coming. That said, it would come to me mid-episode, and I usually think of what I would LIKE to happen. So I was not disappointed at all with the results.
For much of this season it was the back and forth between the group in the prison and the denizens of Woodbury and their Governor. The walkers were always around, but they were definitely secondary to game-of-thronesque negotiating between the sides that blurred the lines between black and white to a zombie skin gray. Then things happened, and finally we see the worst out of the worst kind and the best out of the best kind. I especially like how the storyline for Tyreese and his little group played out, seeing things from their perspective both at the prison and Woodbury. Their reactions to me were the most human. Familiar territory for anyone who has ever seen any movie ever but this was very different from what this show had done before. Clear cut good guys and clear-cut bad guys. Perhaps a bit simplistic in such a harsh world but how else does society start over when you no longer have religion to scare them? Where does a fundamental trust that you are not going to kill and rob me come in that cutthroat world?
Although there are still some giant loose ends to tie up, I am interested to see the direction the group will take in season four given recent events. Along with losing a few characters, the show also lost Glen Mazzara to creative differences just as it did with original showrunner Frank Darabont. Now it is up to Scott Gimple to deal with the new morality and to create new directions for the show to take. I for one am very curious how Carl continues to grow up in this world and how that affects Rick bringing up the baby. I hope they continue to avoid clichés like the love triangle (to The Office, I hope you are listening); they went surprising simple once and now that zombies are the new Beatles I hope they don’t get lazy and suddenly it’s Grey’s Anatomy with zombies…although Darryl would look good in scrubs.