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The Walking Dead Season Four (Blu-ray) Review
Posted by Larry Csonka on 08.26.2014



WD In the spirit of full disclosure, the following set was provided to 411 by Anchor Bay for review purposes.

  • The set will be released on August 26th.

  • The set includes five Blu-ray discs, and the Digital HD Ultraviolet code for digital access to the season.

  • The total runtime is 696 minutes.

  • Season description: “In the fourth season, we see Rick and the group of survivors fostering a thriving community in the safe haven of the prison. This is short-lived as the group loses everything; their home, their family and their friends to the threat of walkers, outside threats and the hidden dangers behind the fences. The group of survivors are broken apart and sent on divergent paths, unsure of everyone else’s fate as they are exposed to new dangers, new enemies and heartbreaking choices. They will have their faith thoroughly tested – a faith that breaks some of them and redeems others.”


  • Just to be clear, this is a review of what is on the Blu-ray set. I do not read the comics and even if I did, they have nothing to do with what is being reviewed. I will comment on each episode, list the extras with some comments and then give the final thoughts and score. Thanks for reading and I hope that you enjoy.



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    THE EPISODES

  • (Episode 1) 30 Days Without An Accident: I felt that the season debut did a good job of picking up in the right place. We see Rick trying to create a normal life for his family in a far from normal world, get introduced to some new characters and I felt laid a solid foundation for the season. [Score: 7.0]

  • (Episode 2) Infected: Just when you thought things could not get worse in the zombie apocalypse, we get a new nasty ass airborne virus. We also had the beginning of the rats being discovered, which would lead to bigger things. This was an overall great pick up in pacing and excitement from episode one. [Score: 8.25]

  • (Episode 3) Isolation: While I am all for building the show’s story and characters, this was a talk heavy episode. In Star Trek terms, the “Away Team” provided the action, but we had the reveal that Carol is a very different person than we thought. It was good, but not quite the momentum carrying show I had hoped for. [Score: 7.0]

  • (Episode 4) Indifference: I felt that this was a big rebound episode, and Melissa McBride’s work as Carol was the real standout. Some of the show’s best acting was done by her in this episode, proving that while the favorites may be constantly praised, that the other characters, when presented properly, can be just as deep. [Score: 9.0]

  • (Episode 5) Internment: Another really good episode, it felt focused and Hershel delivers as the ultimate sympathetic character that has finally been broken by the new, shitty world he is stuck in. And of course, we get a quick glimpse of the Governor at the end, shit was about to get real. [Score: 8.5]

  • (Episode 6) Live Bait: The end of the previous episode showed that the Governor was back, and this was our “Tarantino” moment, where we went back in time to see what happened with the character between his going insane and killing off his people and where he is now. David Morrissey was simply fantastic in this episode, and actually made you care about a character you had no reason to care about. [Score: 8.5]

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  • (Episode 7) Dead Weight: The Governor is looking to try and live a normal life with his new adopted family, but old habits are hard to break, and after killing Martinez takes over the new camp. The Governor is a great character, they did a great job of making you love him, they gave you some conflicting times, and then you realize that he’s still an evil bastard even if he does have some good motives. In a way this felt like a look back at what the man was like before he took over Woodbury and then went crazy with power due to the grief of the loss of his family. [Score: 9.0]

  • (Episode 8) Too Far Gone: This was the midseason finale, and not only did it feel like a big show, it was presented that way and I felt this was awesome. The Governor storms the prison, shit goes crazy, tons of people die that mean nothing other than to fill the kill quota. Rick and the Governor have the big brawl, and at the end of the day, the Governor is dead, Herschel is dead and our beloved survivors are segmented as they run for their life, leaving doubt about the future and presenting a tremendous cliffhanger. [Score: 9.5]

  • (Episode 9) After: We come back from the chaos of the prison being stormed to kick off the second half of the season. I remember that there were a lot of people at the time that did not like the episode. They did not feel that they were brought back into the show well, and there was criticism of the scripting. I thought that overall it was good, as we got background on Michonne, and more with Carl. I feel Chandler Riggs has grown well into the role, and gone from a character I was ready to see die to one that has started to interest me. Rick is banged up and pretty much worthless, and Michonne finds them to give some happiness to the ending of the show. [Score: 7.5]

  • (Episode 10) Inmates: I found this episode just “good,” as in that there was nothing horribly wrong and we had stuff happen. But it felt rushed as we bounced around a lot. I would have liked some more focus is the point. Judith is alive, Lizzie is a scary crazy little chick and new characters were introduced. It wasn’t bad, but certainly not a must see episode. [Score: 7.0]

  • (Episode 11) Claimed: I felt that this episode was a good rebound from last week’s unfocused episode. We see Michonne and Carl bonding more, we’re officially introduced to Abraham and his group, and Rick has a run in with some bad asses. He didn’t kill everyone, which I’m sure won’t come back to haunt him… Glen continues to obsess over finding Maggie, Michonne is becoming very comfortable with Rick and Carl and we see the sign for “Terminus”. [Score: 8.5]

  • (Episode 12) Still: This was a Beth episode in a good way. Beth has been a fine character, but I’ve always wanted to know more, to get more into her motivations, and I felt that this episode featuring her and Daryl did that. Talking episodes that are all talking are tedious, but this was focused on her character development. Sometimes you need episodes like this, and I felt it accomplished its goal. [Score: 8.0]

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  • (Episode 13) Alone: I felt that this show was a fine follow up from the previous week’s effort. They continued on with the Beth and Daryl dynamic, and in one part Daryl seems to actually act as if there is hope, which was a change of pace from his previous attitude. Just as things seem to go well for the two, the shit hits the fan and Beth gets abducted. The episode in many was felt “fine” but not special, but the abduction of Beth is a new wrinkle and adds to the fragmentation of the group even further and the continued tease of Terminus. [Score: 7.5]

  • (Episode 14) The Grove: This was the show of the season for me, some may argue that it changes nothing, but I will disagree. The entire dynamic with crazy Lizzie and her obsession with the walkers I felt had been well done. The fact is that this work will mind fuck anyone, including a child; there is no normal no matter how many teases there are because the world is still going to hell. Lizzie killing her sister and the scene where Carol guns her down was a spectacularly powerful piece of TV and one of the show’s most memorable moments. [Score: 10.0]

  • (Episode 15) Us: The quiet before the storm as the show does the classic “feel good moment” as Glen and Maggie are finally reunited. It’s an episode that makes you feel optimistic that things are going to be ok, but it’s the Walking Dead, so we know that is the case. The interaction with Daryl and Joe’s group, where Joe fully believes that the world is actually moving in a right way, and that the way he runs things is the new way to go. It’s another great look at how one may act in this kind of situation, what kind of person that you are and what kind of person you could become. [Score: 8.0]

  • (Episode 16) A: Our survivors end up, mostly, reunited as the episode ends; captured at the hands of the people of Terminus. In the episode we learn what kind of man Rick is, he is a man that will do what ever he needs to do depending on the right occasion. Watching Rick go from compassionate to willing to bend to dropping his moral code at times, to trying to be a farmer, to firing back up and eventually into “giving no fucks” territory in order to survive and protect his family has been a fun evolution to watch. Seriously, when you’re willing to bite out a man’s jugular, you give ZERO FUCKS. Overall the final episode was a strong overall episode, with an ending that was a bit weak and took away a bit. We have arrived at Terminus, some of the survivors are trapped; Beth is still MIA while Tyreese, Carol and Judith are out in the world somewhere. As a cliffhanger it was good because we have a lot to think about and look forward too, but again a bit of a weak ending to a strong episode, and not just because they didn’t drop the F BOMB with Rick. [Score: 8.5]

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    BONUS FEATURES

  • “30 Days Without An Accident” on Disc 1 (Audio Commentary): Participants include - Executive Producer Scott M. Gimple, Executive Producer/Unit Production Manager Tom Luse and Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Artist/Director Greg Nicotero.

  • “Internment” on Disc 2 (Audio Commentary): Participants include - Executive Producer Scott M. Gimple and Actor Scott Wilson.

  • “Too Far Gone” on Disc 2 (Audio Commentary): Participants include - Director Ernest Dickerson and Writer Seth Hoffman.

  • “After” {Extended Edition} on Disc 3 (Audio Commentary): Participants include - Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Artist/Director Greg Nicotero, Co-Executive Producer Denise Huth and Actor Danai Gurira.

  • “Still” on Disc 3 (Audio Commentary): Participants include – (Track One) Director Julis Ramsay and Actor Emily Kinney, (Track Two) Writer/Producer Angela King and Actor Norman Reedus.

  • “The Grove” on Disc 4 (Audio Commentary): Participants include - Executive Producer Scott M. Gimple, Co-Executive Producer Denise Huth, and Actor Andrew Lincoln.

  • Inside the Walking Dead (Featurettes): This section looks at the story, characters and themes inside the 16 season episodes. I always like features like this, as I love learning the basis of what they are looking to accomplish with the character work. It breaks down as follows: Inside Episode 1 (5:27), Inside Episode 2 (5:46), Inside Episode 3 (5:40), Inside Episode 4 (5:29), Inside Episode 5 (4:38), Inside Episode 6 (4:17), Inside Episode 7 (5:03), Inside Episode 8 (5:56), Inside Episode 9 (6:04), Inside Episode 10 (5:45), Inside Episode 11 (4:28), Inside Episode 12 (5:55), Inside Episode 13 (4:56), Inside Episode 14 (5:06), Inside Episode 15 (5:57), and Inside Episode 16 (5:24).

  • The Making of The Walking Dead (Featurettes): This section looks at the behind the scenes aspects of each episode. As much as I love the character work, learning the work that goes into the making of the show is also interesting. My wife, the artist, especially loved this part. It breaks down as follows: Inside Episode 1 (5:13), Inside Episode 2 (5:26), Inside Episode 3 (5:40), Inside Episode 4 (4:18), Inside Episode 5 (3:26), Inside Episode 6 (3:42), Inside Episode 7 (4:42), Inside Episode 8 (5:58), Inside Episode 9 (3:49), Inside Episode 10 (4:28), Inside Episode 11 (5:24), Inside Episode 12 (4:10), Inside Episode 13 (4:44), Inside Episode 14 (5:36), Inside Episode 15 (4:38), and Inside Episode 16 (3:29).

  • Drawing Inspiration (6:00): This looks at the connection between the comic and the show, how they are the same, how they differ and the themes that they use.

  • Hershel (7:30): The cast discusses the importance of the character Hershel (portrayed by Scott Wilson). Leave the memories alone.

  • The Governor is Back (8:45): This is a look at the return of the Governor (portrayed by David Morrissey) and the changes and progression of that character. I miss that evil bastard.

  • Society, Science & Survival (5:30): The feature includes discussion of online courses that use the show into various fields of study.

  • Inside KNB Studios (18:10): This feature is a deep look into the show’s visual effects.

  • A Journey Back to Brutality (8:15): A feature on the character arc of Rick Grimes during the season.

  • Deleted Scenes (9:10): Extra scenes from 30 Days Without an Accident, Live Bait, Dead Weight, Too Far Gone, Still, The Grove, Us," and A. I love extra scenes and gag reels, and really enjoyed this.


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    VIDEO & AUDIO

  • Video: The video presented looks great on Blu-ray, but they don’t overly clean it to where it takes away from the gritty presentation of the show. With that being said, the transfer to Blu-ray and upgrades are very noticeable when you’ve already watched through the series. All of the little things like textures on the wall and the clothing really come through well, plus the walkers look even better. No complaints at all here.

  • Audio: The set is presented in Dolby TrueHD 7.1. Watching with the upgraded sound, much like the video I discussed above, makes the set a new experience. The sound is just excellent and clean, but once you enter into surround sound, that is where the money is. Everything is new again; you hear so much more (background noises, gunshots and background voices you likely did not hear the first time) especially the background walker noises. This is a tremendous upgrade, and makes it feel special and new to someone like myself who has already watched the season.


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    The 411: As a season, I enjoyed the show overall, but it certainly was uneven. I love the highs and lows of the show, giving you hope and giving you “all the feels” before taking it away from you. It is something that they do very well. While I certainly understand why some people fell out of love with the show during this season (a personal preference thing) I enjoyed the season. Despite some uneven writing and storytelling, which I do agree with, I still found myself demanding that the next week get here sooner because I was still that into the series. Over my years, season four has been a point where I have “opted out” because the show loses steam for me. The Walking Dead Still has the juice and keeps me interested.

    Overall I would rate the season as a whole at around an 8.0, and with the extras added in, I will go 9.0 for this Blu-ray set. If you have a good sound system, it is a joy watching the episodes over again with the enhanced sound the set provides. In some ways, it almost feels like a new experience, and I mean that in a good way. This gets a big recommendation from me.

    411 Elite Award
    Final Score:  9.0   [  Amazing ]  legend





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