COLUMN: On watching the 'Dead'

SPOILER ALERT: This column includes some slight spoilers for the fourth season of "The Walking Dead."

Let's be honest: You either watch "The Walking Dead," have seen it, or know someone who watches and possibly obsesses over it.

I readily admit to fitting firmly in the first category, with maybe just the slightest bit of obsession mixed in. Much like the influx of the rotting-flesh set that has ravaged the show's world, "The Walking Dead" is practically unavoidable at this point.

Whether you've come to love and be interested in the southern fried cast of characters or are strictly here for the gore, we got you. We've all felt those highs and lows of the show.

That moment when somebody smashes, shoots, stabs or crossbows a zombie and corn syrup and red die flies all over creation like it's the wall paper for TWD's world. These moments can be set in separate categories.

That moment when that one annoying character you hate keeps making stupid decision after decision, practically insisting that we hate them. I'm looking at you, Andrea.

That moment when that one annoying character you hate finally dies because they're so stupid and annoying and "Oh my God, how could anybody be that stupid?"

That moment when Daryl Dixon does...pretty much anything, really.

Let's talk a bit about the season so far, shall we?

Slow start or not, seeing the main cast of characters interact with some of the new members of the Prison Bunch has built up the characters quite a bit, even without a lot of the lengthy moral debates the show has a reputation for. Rick would prefer gardening gloves to a pistol, former social pariah Daryl is now a well-liked and respected member of the community, and Carol has gone from passive victim to teaching children how to use knives.

It just made it that much better when the various bodily fluids started to hit the fan.

Without giving the spoiler-phobic too many heart attacks, the new crisis has already forced the characters into some interesting territory amid zombies falling into supermarkets. I point to Michonne's surprising reaction to certain events last week, for example. Hell hath no fury like a sword-wielding badass scorned.

Could we finally be reaching the season where emotion and blood 'n' guts strike a balance, showing both moral dilemmas and carnage without having one outweigh the other?

While I'm interested and not bored yet, I hope the answers shamble toward us sooner rather than later.


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