Sunday The Walking Dead
wrapped what could be considered its most polarizing season. Thanks to its new showrunner Scott Gimple, the series went through a creative overhaul. Yet the transition from Gimple's predecessor Glen Mazzara has been bumpy at best. Season 4 has suffered from uneven stories, bad pacing and weak character development.
The finale episode
, "A," was underwhelming but so was the season as a whole. The first half seemed like an attempt to right some of Mazzara's wrongs from season 3. The group was still at the prison, and had to rumble with The Governor one last time. Instead of slowly reintroducing the villain, there was an abrupt break in story.
The prison plot was completely ignored for two episodes, while viewers were forced to watch The Governor "find himself" again. This deviation hurt the season's momentum and left the A story in limbo. But The Governor's shoehorned return can't shoulder all of the blame. He was just one of many bad plot points that took center stage.
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The survivors encountered a plague, then The Governor, followed by individual road stories and eventually Terminus. It felt like the writers couldn't find just one or even two things to focus on. This made the season very incohesive. At this point, The Walking Dead
shouldn't still be struggling with its story structure.
The second half of the season felt completely disconnected from the first. It was a reboot that could have worked well with stronger characters. The unexpected separation was meant to give insight into each person. It worked for some, like Bob and Michonne, but exposed the lack of development in others, like Glenn and Maggie.
Glenn and Maggie aren't much without each other. While they were apart, every other word out of their mouths was the other's name. What if one of them had died? What would their purpose be? There's nothing wrong with being in love, but that can't be all they have to offer. As longstanding characters they should be more fleshed out.
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's biggest flaw comes in the form of Rick Grimes. As the series' protagonist, he doesn't bring much to the table. In the finale, they once again beat the dead horse that is Rick's psyche. Almost every season finale has featured him coming to terms with either being a leader, a killer or a father. How many times can Rick rehash the same problem? The Walking Dead
's a plot driven drama, that tries to pass itself off as character driven. Season 4 was all over the place. It felt like the writers were grasping at straws to keep our attention. You can't produce empty monologues and musical montages and call that a story. Sooner or later people will look beyond the smoke and mirrors. I know I have.
Did you enjoy The Walking Dead
season 4? Sound off in the comments. (Image courtesy of AMC)