Our wayward band of rag-tag travelers have so far made it through the zombie apocalypse and its remaining malevolent human survivors, but how well will they stand up against their newest enemy, disease?

“The Walking Dead” season four premiered Sunday to 16.1 million viewers nationwide, and a rating of 8.2, according to Entertainment Weekly, 30 percent up from the previous season.

This season began jumping enough time into the future that the prison gang has been able to establish some sort of stable community, complete with farmer Rick’s new garden overlooked by an ominous hoard of fence-clinging zombies (literal plants vs. zombies?)

The Ricktatorship seems to have sailed, and now the group is governed by an ambiguous democratic council, which Daryl Dixon, played by the astoundingly attractive Norman Reedus, has some part in. Although he is yet to get with his long-time flirtation, Carol, she does refer to him as “pookie” at one point in the episode.

Daryl Dixon played by Norman Reedus - he's sexual.

Daryl Dixon played by Norman Reedus – he’s sexual.

Carl is still a little booger, but puberty does seem to be descending as evidenced by his significantly lower octave this season. Only time will tell how long it takes to shed the Bieber haircut once and for all!

His speculative future romantic interest upon his coming age, Beth, has a boyfriend for about five minutes before he dies in a rain of zombies falling from the ceiling. She didn’t cry but did hug Daryl for an uncomfortable amount of time (step off, girl).

Meanwhile, Rick wanders off into the forest and meets a girl who is honestly so filthy no zombie has even bothered to eat her yet. He goes back to her camp, and no surprise she is out of her mind and trying to feed him to the zombie skull of her former husband, Eddie. Obviously Rick does the right thing and kills her so she can turn into a zombie and be with Eddie forever.

We are immediately introduced to a bunch of new characters, all of whom we assume will die gruesomely.  And of course one did. Harry Potter seems to contract some horrible disease, which he coughs directly into the prisons water supply before promptly collapsing in the shower and bleeding from the eyeballs to death. Won’t that be a fun mess to clean up in the morning!

That is, if any of them make it to the morning locked in a giant cage with a disease ridden zombie.  Oh, next week will be fun indeed!

The episode ended with a mysterious hand feeding a white rat to the zombies outside the prison fence. No sign of the Governor yet, but perhaps he’s got a man working from the inside? And possibly could this all be connected to Harry Potter’s poisoning?

Sit tight for next week’s episode to find out!


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