With the return of The Walking Dead, television has gotten a lot better over the past month. We are now four episodes into the world after the fall of the gang's potential prison paradise and the shocking half-season conclusion. I have to admit, I was a little miffed by the first episode last month which followed Rick and Carl as they left the ruins of the prison. Though I enjoyed the depth and care their changing relationship was given, I couldn't help thinking it didn't need to be an entire episode. Then we were given episodes which followed other characters, and the scope of this new chapter began to take shape for me.
While the last two half-seasons have been focused on advancing the bigger plot leading to a major climax, we're now building again on something new. And though the larger storyline hasn't been advanced much in these last four episodes, there have been hints of something important to come. In the meantime, we've been getting wonderful episodes showing how the characters have grown and changed. We see Carl becoming stubborn and independent, Rick adjusting to failure, and we've seen Michonne's venerable side. Most recently we got to see the most in depth portrait of Daryl yet to be seen, something that was sorely needed after being a badly neglected character in the first half of this season.
The show's ability to explore many different ways of storytelling has always been one the aspects that make it one of the best shows on television. It's a show that is not afraid to take chances, and because of that, avoids the formulaic dullness that plagues so much of the airwaves. Once again, I can't wait to see what happens next.