The Walking Dead is back for its fourth season, with more action, more gore, more inventive zombie kills (and if this episode is anything to go by, more flirting) than ever.

Warning: Spoilers

The premiere episode of the latest season of AMC’s highest rated TV show aired in the UK on FOX last Friday, and Rick and the gang are back with a storm. Season three left us with the death of one of the (few remaining) original characters and with The Governor’s crazed attack on his own men leaving the remaining Woodbury members seeking sanctuary with Rick and co. at their base in the Prison.

A lot has changed since then, with a considerable time jump forward, so a lot of the episode is spent catching us up with the current set-up of the Prison and its inhabitants – but by no means did this mean the episode was slow. If anything, you were left feeling slightly overloaded with information, as you were introduced to a boatload of new characters on top of the shifting situations of the old ones.

Rick and Walkers

Rick left season three stepping down from his role as the leader of the group and started season four as… a farmer, apparently. Whether this is a permanent change for our favourite cowboy or if the ‘Rick-tator’ will make an appearance again will have to be seen, but it does leave room for some other characters to show off their leadership skills, including Tyreese’s feisty sister Sasha, and fan-favourite Daryl Dixon. The redneck has come far since season one; from outsider to respected and revered leader (as pointed out by Carol ‘I liked you first’ Peletier).

Daryl and Carol

Could this be the season Daryl and Carol’s relationship moves beyond platonic? Who knows. But on that note, romance seems to be blooming all over the Prison. For a show with a focus on action over romance (Glenn and Maggie are, after all, the only current established couple) there was an awful lot of flirting going on. Tyreese and Beth were both cosying up to ex-Woodbury members (although as we are constantly reminded, this is The Walking Dead, and it wouldn’t do to get too attached to any of the newbies – or oldies, for that matter).

Although the episode was mostly introductory, that doesn’t mean it was lacking in action; with a routine scavenging trip turning deadly in an epic way, and highlighting some important themes which could be important later.

If there’s one thing The Walking Dead does well it’s creating tension, and this episode was packed full of it.

If there’s one thing The Walking Dead does well it’s creating tension, and this episode was packed full of it; from the mysterious stranger Rick stumbles across outside of the Prison, to new character Bob’s potentially dark past, to the tantalising final scene – talk about a cliff-hanger! For an episode meant to set up the season, it’s certainly done its job, and those wanting more action will undoubtedly get their wish in episodes to come, for this is shaping up to be one hell of a season.

The Walking Dead is back, and I  can’t wait to see what’s to come.

Lucy Irvine

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