The Walking Dead Episode 401
“30 Days Without an Accident”
Written By: Scott M. Gimple
Directed By: Greg Nicotero
Original Airdate: 13 October 2013
In This Episode...
Season four starts a few months after season three ended. Rick is in “violence rehab.” He refuses to carry a gun and his main job is farming and raising some pigs for food. Daryl is something of a celebrity amongst the newbies, especially Patrick, a teenager who has befriended Carl. Walkers are coming to the fences in larger numbers, and one of the “chores” around the prison is to stab them through the chain link. Rick abstains from this chore, but he is taken by the sight of a walker who seems to have cried blood tears. Glenn and Maggie have a pregnancy scare and while Glenn is relieved to find out she is not, Maggie admits she could want a baby. Tyreese and Karen are now an item. Beth is kinda-sorta dating a boy named Jack. Michonne still maintains some independence, but has truly become family to Rick and the others. A rudimentary and informal government council has been set up, consisting of Glenn, Daryl, Sasha, and Carol.
At the prison, Carol has become something of a teacher for the half-dozen or so kids now in the camp. Every day she offers a story time to the kids in the prison library. Rick wants Carl to go but it’s for “little kids.” Even so, Carl sneaks in to listen and discovers that after she tells a story (and when there are no parents around) Carol unveils a secret stash of weapons and teaches the kids how to defend themselves. Carol sees Carl watching, and insist he not tell Rick. Carl doesn’t think it is right she is teaching this to the kids (some as young as four or five) because clearly he wants these kids to have as much of a childhood as possible, but Carol wants them to live to see adulthood. Carl should be with Carol on this topic. Earlier in the episode, he caught a few of the kids at the fence taunting the walkers, giving them names, and talking to them. Carl was furious at them. “They are not people and they are not pets! Don’t name them!”
In the first episode, we are following two main stories. First up is Rick. He heads out to check the traps for fresh meat, traveling with a gun at Hershel’s insistence. Out in the woods he encounters a young Irish woman who begs for the meat, claiming she and her husband haven’t eaten in days. The woman is caked with dirt and looks almost feral. He offers her a pouch of supplies, for which she is grateful, but she begs to go back to camp with Rick. They have been doing badly on their own, and she is desperate for support. Rick agrees to meet her husband, and insists they answer three questions. They head back to her camp, but the husband is nowhere to be found. The woman comes at Rick with a knife. He subdues her easily, and she explains that she “needs to feed Eddie... he needs something alive.” Her husband was turned, but she couldn’t bear to be without him. Though we never see Eddie, I think he lives in a covered hole in the ground. Anyway, the woman gives up trying to attack Rick and instead turns the knife on herself. She begs Rick not to “end it” when she turns, so she can be with Eddie. Rick is distraught as she stabs herself in the gut and stays with her while she dies. Sheer curiosity drives her to ask what his questions three were. The first is: “How many walkers have you killed?” The Irish woman killed none - Eddie did all the killing. The second: “How many people have you killed?” “Just me.” The third: “Why?” The Irish woman: “You don’t get to come back from certain things....” Rick respects her wishes and does not re-kill her.
The other “A” story we follow is a supply run with Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, Glenn, and newbies Jack and Bob. The target today is a big box store that was once a military safe zone. They drew out the walkers a few days prior, so the plan is to do a sweep, grab what they can, secure the building, and return with more people to gather more supplies. There are just a couple of walkers hanging around - easily taken care of - and a pair of walker legs, detached from any body. This unsettles Bob. As the team heads into the store, the camera pans up to reveal a helicopter crashed on the roof of the store, a dozen walkers roaming about.
Inside, all is quiet. The team grabs what they can, but Bob has a different idea: liquor. Clearly he is an alcoholic who is battling his demons. He takes a bottle of wine off the shelf, considers it - then thinks again and puts it back. This causes the entire shelving unit to come down on him - which draws the walkers. Bob is trapped but alive. But then the ceiling gives way and it starts raining walkers. The team doesn’t waste a second, slicing and dicing as they go. Some of the walkers make it easy for them when their rotting carcasses explode on impact. The torso whose legs creeped Bob out starts crawling towards him, but Daryl steps in and saves him. He is like King Kong swatting away the army from the top of the Empire State Building. He manages to dig Bob out of the rubble but Jack is bit and they leave him. The helicopter is falling through the ceiling and the team has no choice but to evacuate. Back at the prison, Daryl takes it upon himself to tell Beth about Jack. She is all too accustomed to losing people.
That night, while Bob is recuperating in his bunk, he hears coughing. The coughing belongs to Patrick, who is obviously very ill. He is sweaty and weak, and stumbles into the bathroom to get a drink of water and rinse off. He is too weak and collapses. Blood starts to drip and his eyes glaze over. He is a walker now.
Dig It or Bury It?
Rick feels like a broken man. He is trying so hard to come back from the disaster he was in season three that he just seems shattered, and terrified that he could fall back down that rabbit hole in an instant. I suppose his encounter with the Irish woman was supposed to signify the more genteel side of Rick, even though that was well-accomplished with the gun in the garden.
Just as fascinating was Carl. He’s not quite a man, but no longer a boy. There is no place for him, and I think that haunts him more than anything.
So this Patrick thing... that’s a new wrinkle. Do you think that he had TB or some other disease, died, and turned instantly? Or is the undead virus now taking over the still living, still breathing humans?
Zombie o’ the Week
One of the walkers that falls through the ceiling, but he starts to fall apart. His torso and legs are separated, and held together by a length of intestines. As more walkers fall, one shakes intestine-zombie free and they both fall.
Honorable mention goes to one who must have either just eaten, or is a fresh zombie, because he explodes with blood on impact.
Kill o’ the Week
Goes to Michonne. As she is “shopping” she turns down an aisle and is startled by a hulking, angry monster - a life-sized standee promoting Halloween candy. She is not amused and takes her sword to its head.
Patrick is going to wreak havoc in that prison.