I'm getting nervous that those of you that read these consistently positive recaps may start to think that my ability to objectively criticize, but I really do think that the season is coming together in a great way. For those that think that arriving at Hershel's farm, Carl healing from his gunshot wound and the search for Sophia aren't enough for a first half of a season arc, well, you're wrong. It's plenty. There's enough going on with the characters that there shouldn't be a herd coming through every episode. It would lose all of its tension if it did.
But here we go quickly through the episode, titled "Cherokee Rose". After Otis' funeral, where Shane was forced into discussing a man he basically murdered and left for the zombies to destroy in the previous episode, the group separates into smaller groups. Daryl (Norman Reedus) heads off on his own to find Sophia and comes across a recently-abandoned adandoned house, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) stay with Carl (Chandler Riggs), Shane (Jon Bernthal) and the rest of the gang try to safely bring a zombie out of a well, and Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) head into town to get supplies from the drug store and get intimate with each other. Literally. I mean they have sex.
The well zombie looked great, and kept the gore level up from zero to something, which I think is representative of the episode's great balance. The audience should be reminded of what surrounds the character in this world, but they don't have to be everywhere all the time or there's no show.
A note on adapting things: this is why I'm still nervous about the departure of Frank Darabont. He's very good at adaptations. Shawshank Redemption, obviously, is his greatest, but even The Mist was a decent adaptation (until the end, in my opinion - I'm bored with that kind of ending, I think it's a cop out). What Darabont does well is take what he needs and builds more around it.While there are many, many adaptations out there, if everyone was good at it, every book or comic or magazine article would become a movie (I know, it feels that way already). Darabont is a good adapter, and the show only adds more proof.
Case in point: as an avid reader of the Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comic book, I'm not sure I want to ever go without Daryl Dixon as a character. He's great. Introduced as a one-dimensional hillbilly, Daryl's integration into the group, and the way he's been searching for Sophia, has turned him into a fully fleshed out character. Once the show catches back up with his brother Merle (Michael Rooker), I think things will change with Daryl, and that depresses me. He's a complete badass on the level of Michonne from the comic book but a total creation of the show.
As for the next episode, the ending tease spoils the return of Merle, something that I find exciting and, again, depressing. So far, I have been completely pleased with each episode so far, and hope the show can keep it up.
Now, on to some videos, starting with the sneak peek into Episode 5, "Chupacabra", then going into the making of the well zombie (worth watching) and a deeper look into the fourth episode.