My least favorite Monday in terms of entertainment news is the day after the Oscars, because blah blah blah gowns blah blah blah GOWNS. My absolute favorite Monday? The one after Comic-Con weekend. What started as a relatively obscure geekfest has exploded into a high-profile pop culture phenomenon, jam-packed with reveals and teasers from our favorite movies and TV shows. Like, for instance, The Walking Dead.
A wonderfully juicy season 4 trailer debuted at Comic-Con during Friday's Walking Dead panel, along with an announcement of the season premiere date (Sunday, October 13 at 9 p.m). We also got confirmation that once again the season would be split, with the season half returning in February -- and the cast and crew dropped PLENTY of hints that this may be the most intense season yet. As showrunner Scott Gimple said, events in season 4 will “get insane very quickly.”
Of the season as a whole, creator Robert Kirkman said,
Things are going to be way crazier; it's an escalation.
Scott Gimple said the first episode "blew (his) mind," and added that fans should gear up for bigger threats from the dead AND the living:
They might get a little comfortable but then things might get a little dangerous.
Kirkman said the evil Governor will definitely come back in the fourth season, but how and when he returns "will be a mystery." It sounds like the Governor's motivations in season 4 will be largely influenced by the relatively new experience of having negative repercussions for his behavior (i.e., he doesn't get what he wants so he goes even more batshit crazy?). Actor David Morrisey, who plays the cutthroat character, said,
He’s thwarted in his desires ... and a switch goes off in his head. (...) You've just gotta be on my side. If you're not on my side, you've gotta go. That's the deal with the Governor.
An overarching theme of season 4 will center around Rick's relationship with Carl -- and how that affects Rick's role as a leader. Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick, said,
The relationship with Carl is integral to the beginning of the season from Rick. [Carl] turning into a sociopath at the end of the season woke him up to his parenting duties. You find Rick in a completely different place this season. (...) The death of Andrea, combined with what happened with Carl was the catalyst to bring him to that point. The brutality of pushing people away in season three wasn't working for him and was cataclysmic for his family. When we meet them all in season four, there is a whole new community in the prison and friction between certain characters. It makes for incredible character-driven scenes.
(Rick narrows) his focus much more on his son, who is obviously in a very, very disturbed state toward the end of last season. And I think he has to take responsibility for that. (...) I do think that the struggle within him is still there, which is whether or not he should be a leader at the expense of being a father figure.
If you've read the comics, it's interesting to see how the show is generally going in the same direction as the original storyline, despite all the different routes they're taking to get there. I'm very curious about the catastrophic event inside the prison that's teased in the trailer, when Tyreese gasps in horror at SOMETHING -- then later, he apathetically fights off a horde of zombies with what seems to be no regard for his own life. That echoes a scene in the comics when -- spoiler alert! -- his daughter commits suicide. My theory is that in the trailer, Tyreese is reacting to the sight of his dead sister Sasha. But instead of suicide, will she be the victim of what appears to be an inside job attack at the prison that leaves 12 people dead, 2 murdered in "cold blood" and the other 10 presumably by walkers?
We'll just have to wait to find out, but it's sounding like Rick's struggle with leadership and Tyreese's personal trauma will come together in a major way. As Kirkman teased earlier this year,
There’s some really, really cool and big stuff that people have been expecting, or that people have been anticipating from the comics, that will work into season 4. To give a hint, I will say that we do have Tyreese and Rick, who are now united, which is a big moment for the comic book fans. There’s a lot of story that comes from those two guys being on the same side.
Finally, if you haven't seen the season 4 trailer yet, here it is in all its four-and-a-half minutes of glory:
What do you think about the potential of season 4 so far? Do you suspect the story will include Sasha's death?
Image via AMC