The Walking Dead season four premiered on AMC on Sunday, 13 October, night and with this return there was an eerie calm over the people, as a sense of togetherness has developed over the period between the end of season three and here. As the title suggests, walkers have been scarce in numbers and devious characters have been keeping to themselves, but as detailed in our season four preview, there will be a whole new threat to the characters this season, one that is only just about to rear it's ugly head. The rest of this article contains spoilers.

Walking Dead
What could be i store for the characters this season?

The Woodbury people are still hemmed in at the prison and we see Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in the yard tending to his crops, zombies clawing at him from the other side of the gate. Finding a gun in the ground during his work, he tosses it aside like yesterday's newspaper. Still the same old Grimes. When Carl (Chandler Riggs) comes out to see his dad, who is this time tending to the prison yard pigs farm, Rick warns him not to name the pigs (Carl notices that "Violet" looks sick) as they are food.

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) partols the corridors of the prison, being greeted by the host of newbies who managed to make their way to the prison in between seasons. One of them, a young boy with glasses named Patrick, thanks Daryl for bringing them deer to eat the night before. Whether he planned to or wanted to at all, Daryl looks as though he had changed, and all for the better. This, probably, won't last though. And you know what else won't last, especially if Daryl has anything to do with it; Carol's flirting.

“Sorry, Pookie,” she say to him after they cross paths in the kitchen, after Carol (Melissa McBride) warns him about the growth of walkers outside and how hunting will be near impossible for now.

Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) my need to re-ignite some of the spark into their relationship, as both look fed up as the camera pans into their cell. Maybe it has something to do with Glenn telling Maggie that she shouldn't go out on the supplies run. She doesn't take kindly to the suggestion, but begrudgingly agrees to stay at the prison.

These two may be having problems in their love life, but outside of the prison walls, Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) looks to have hers in check, with a new boyfriend named Zach (Kyle Gallner) in tow. We don't know a great deal about Zach yet, all that we do know is that he and a group of his fellow college students arrived during the season 3 and 4 interval.

"What? No goodbye?" he asks Beth before he heads to Big Spot with the rest of the supply group. “No,” she tells him.

Andrew Lincoln
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) being an everyman badass

Zach isn't the only newcomer to the group, as Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) is also eager to join up with the supplies group. A bit of a loner that looks as though he has a dark past to hide, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) seems reluctant to have him as part of the team, but Glenn vouches for the newcomer, noting that he used to serve as an army medic.

Sasha's brother, Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) make up the rest of the supplies party, with Michonne making her debut into the season atop a horse, brandishing a stack of comics and a razor for Rick. The two greet each other and she quips to the bearded Grimes, “your face is losing the war,” before heading out with the rest of the supplies group. On her horse ridden travels, we find out Michonne hasn't just been getting some air in to her lungs, telling the group that she still hasn't found "him." We don't know who "he" is, but we can only assume that this mystery man is The Governor (David Morrissey).

As the supplies group head out, Farmer Rick goes out to check the animal traps, which is when we learn of another development; there's a council now! That's right, a little bit of democracy has been injected to the prison, with Daryl, Carol, Sasha, Glenn and co. telling Rick that when he heads out he needs to take a gun with him, insisting they only want him to be safe. With his firearm in check, Rick heads out, and we get one of our first real surprises of the season; a mud-caked Irish woman standing in the woods. She asks Rick whether he can help her bring back a dead boar to her husband, but he turns her down, offering her a sandwich instead. She then asks to join up with the prison community, along with her husband, which Rick agrees to, but only if she can answer three questions.

Back inside the prison gates, Carl is being a downer as he tells a group of girls around his age to stop teasing and naming the walkers trying to breach the perimeters. Rick may have taught his son a lot since the zombie apocalypse broke out, but he clearly never told him how to talk to girls. The trio of girls, Patrick and the rest of the kids leave Carl behind.

Meanwhile, with the supplies party, and Zach is prying into Daryl's past life, trying to figure out what he was before the zombies attacks broke out. He guesses cop, and carries on guessing after that. “I’ll just keep asking,” he tells an uncaring Daryl.

Back with Rick, and we learn that the mysterious Irish woman was caught up on a layover to Puerto Vallarta when things took a turn for the worse, saying that her husband, Eddie, has kept her safe for most of the time since the breakout. Later on in the episode, as the two are walking back to her camp in the woods, they talk about bringing the undead back to life, and when we arrive back at the camp, the conversation becomes clearer still. Eddie, her husband, is undead, and Rick was supposed to be his lunch. Dodging her attack, the Irish woman turns her knife on herself and with her dying breaths, asks him what the questions were.

"How many walkers have you killed?” was the first. “How many people have you killed?” was the second. “Just me,” she tells Rick. “Why?” Rick asks. “You don’t get to come back from this,” she says before dying. Rick walks away, sandwiches in tow.

Norman Reedus Danai Gurira
Daryl (Norman Reedus) and
Michonne (Danai Gurira) go hunting for zombies

At the supermarket, a few other instances become clear. Glenn doesn't want Maggie on the trip because he thinks she's pregnant, and Bob's dark past might just be the product of alcoholism. As he slams a bottle of liquor on the shelf again, the whole display comes down, prompting the zombies that lie in wait on top of the roof to their whereabouts and trapping Bob underneath. Unable to take the toll of their weight, the roof caves and it starts raining walkers. As the group fend off the attack with their guns, Zach saves Bob from the display, only to be turned into zombie chow for his effort. Beth should have said goodbye after all.

We were told about "story time" earlier in the episode, where Carol reads to the group of children who have made their way in to the commune. In between stories though there is an extra curricular activity; survival tactics. Ever the pacifist, Rick would not be pleased if he learnt what was going on, and when Carl walks by she pleads with him not to tell his dad. Looks like he may keep his pomise too.

At this point, everyone is returning back form their eventful trips. Maggie tells Glenn that she isn't actually pregnant, stating that she doesn't think now is the right time to have a child. Beth learns about Zach's death form Daryl's facial features alone, and silently changes the 'The Workplace Has Gone 30 Days Without An Accident' sign to a zero. Rick, upon noticing that Violet has died, and Hershel discuss what happened with the Irish lady in the woods and Michonne surveys a map to Macon. Looks like she's going after the Governor.

The episode ends with Patrick, who has been nursing a cough and complaining about being ill all episode. He makes his way to the shower, collapsing once there. His eyes open. He's now a walker.

The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.

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The season continues next Sunday