Just to give you fair warning, there’s a big statement coming up ahead: The sneak peek below from “The Walking Dead’s” season 4 premiere may be one of the finest things that AMC has ever produced for the show. It helps to answer the question as to how Rick reacts to the actions of Carl in the season 3 finale, and it also greatly informs us about a new direction to the character without saying a word.
This is no longer Leader Rick; this is Farmer Rick, a man who seems content to listen to his headphones and quietly enjoy something else that he has come to find the beauty in which is farming. He’s got his music, the sunshine, and peace now that the immediate pain of his wife’s death has passed. With that in mind, he’s happy as someone can be in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, who has found his way to swim out of the blood that he was temporarily drowning in.
One of the beautiful things that this scene does so right is producing this sort of peace and tranquility at first around something as deadly as the walkers. You see them at first, but Rick still has his music on and they are nothing more than spectators to his event. Then, you see him pull a gun out of the dirt, and briefly remove one of the earbuds. When you can actually hear the zombie moans and groans, the tone and feeling of the entire scene in some ways changes for us. You no longer get the feeling that this is a place that has figured everything out. They’ve just got a band-aid on a problem that is never really going to go away.
If the rest of season 4 has this same sort of craft and sensory stimulation involved in it, we’re going to be pretty thrilled. This at least helps to alleviate some fears that the show was going to suffer with yet another new showrunner at the helm. For whatever reason, we just continue to see high-quality TV, and over ten million viewers can’t be wrong.
Things are going to change eventually for Rick; as Andrew Lincoln teased recently, there is a major event coming later this season that will devastate his world and all that he knows.