Although zombies don’t need rest – that might be the one upside to being undead – we’ve become accustomed to The Walking Dead taking a mid-season snooze every year.
Sneak Peek Episode 409 The Walking Dead: After http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtqe8BDIIy4
But it’s time for this corpse to start stirring again, as The Walking Dead returns Sunday on AMC for the second half of its (so far) very solid fourth season.
Things looked pretty bad when we left off last December, with Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl (Norman Reedus) and the rest of the survivors driven out of the prison that had been their sanctuary for a season and a half, after an attack by the Governor (David Morrissey) and his forces.
Where things might go from here is anybody's guess, but here are five things we’d like to see happen over the remainder of this season. (It should go without saying that if you’re not caught up on your Walking Dead viewing, there are spoilers aplenty ahead.)
Give us a bad guy to love
Having the Governor return for the first part of this season initially felt like a creative cop-out, but seeing glimpses of his humanity made him a more interesting and believable villain. Now that he’s gone for good, there are some awfully large shoes left to fill. The Walking Dead is at its best when the survivors have a common enemy to fear and fight, but we might not meet the next big heavy until the end of the season in March, setting up the core conflict for Season 5.
Give us a good guy to hate
Lori is a distant memory, Merle has met his end and now Andrea is no more. Part of the appeal of The Walking Dead is having a member of the survivor crew to loathe. Who’s going to step up and be the quote-unquote good guy character who makes our teeth itch and fists bunch? Even Carl is becoming tolerable now!
Bring Carol back
Nobody in The Walking Dead universe is truly gone until we see their corpse (and even then, they can stick around a while as a shambling monstrosity.) So we’re hopeful Carol (Melissa McBride) will pop up again down the road, because her exile is too juicy a plot point to leave hanging forever. Will she ultimately join a group that bands against Rick?
Drop hints about the bigger picture
After three and a half seasons of the zombie apocalypse, there’s still been no real attempt to address what’s going on in the rest of the country. The Walking Dead is about personal stories, struggles and conflicts, sure, but it would be nice to catch a quick look at the rest of the canvas.
Don’t repeat the pattern
As dramatic as last year’s assault on the prison was, it was very reminiscent of the fall of the farm in Season 2. Instead of getting stuck in the same loop, we’d like to see the group stay mobile for a while, exploring new areas, meeting new allies (and enemies) and remaining in constant danger of zombie attack. If the characters put down roots for too long, things will get dull again. And boredom is one monster we want to remain dead.