WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! If you're not caught up, don't read this post.
Among my many friends, family members and coworkers who are fans of AMC's "The Walking Dead," the consensus seems to be that Season 4 has been the best since Season 1 and I must say that I whole-heartedly agree.
Season 2 was a slow (albeit necessary) build to an astonishing finale, establishing plenty of relationships between the many characters and culminating in a rather distressing end, sending it's survivors back into the wilderness and giving us the first glimpse of the comics' fan-fave character, Michonne. Season 3 was spent exploring the haunted-house horrors of the prison; the seeming banal horrors of Woodbury and introducing the Governor, who (as evil and twisted as he was) is probably one of the lessor villains in the comics.
Season 4 started out with a glimpse into what the Governor went through after Woodbury was lost; how Rick and Carl redeemed their humanity and the battle against a viral infection that both decimated the prison population and resulted in Carol being expelled by Rick. The mid-season finale was nothing less than devastating. Hershel was killed by the Governor/Phillip/Brian and the prison overrun with Walkers. Rick's group was separated and scattered and it was anyone's guess as to when and if they might reunite. Then came the amazing 'Back 8,' in which our heroes and heroines spent time trying to find one-another, resulting in some amazing character and relationship developments. Rick first encounters the 'Claimers;' Carl and Michonne bond; Daryl and Beth bond; Carol and Tyreese bond and Glenn meets Abraham and Eugene. As events played out, Carol discovers that young Lizzie has lost her mind (ending in a rather devastating episode); Beth is kidnapped by an unknown assailant (who I am guessing is The Reverend - a character from the comics we have yet to meet); and all of the survivors are drawn to Terminus, a place found only in the video game.
Personally, I can't imagine a more satisfying season. Back-stories told; conflicts resolved (while new ones arose) and the creepiest place we've seen since Rick first awoke in the hospital all led up to the best season of "The Walking Dead" yet. There were some of the series' best performances by the exceptionally talented cast, combined with some awesome special effects; intense Walker kills (Michonne and the Walker on the post); lots back-stories the fans needed to see and several of the show's best cliff-hangers yet. Trapped in a railroad boxcar in the VERY creepy Terminus (Mary!), Rick has once again found the warrior within ("They screwed with the wrong people!"). And don't even get me started on the neck-biting and attempted child-rape in the finale.
Waiting six months to find out what happens next is anguishing, but understandable. Shooting on Season 5 is scheduled to start later this month. October seems so far away. At least the summer promises the return of "Falling Skies" and the final season of "Warehouse 13" for genre addicts like Uncle P...
***1/2 (Three and a Half Stars Out of Four).
If you're half the fan of this show as Uncle P and his sister, you are chomping at the bit for Season 5!