ZPAA ratingAdults only
Offensive contentThe gore in this episode is quite extreme. They've definitely gone from TV-14 to TV-MA. I imagine the rest of the season will be this way. In addition to the zombie slaying on the prison fence, one big gory fight happens at the end of the episode, along with a sick person who is really, really sick (bloody vomit, etc.). A few characters kiss or are seen in bed together but they are clothed and don't do anything but talk.
Synopsis & ReviewThe show picks up seemingly months after the Governor's attack on the prison. Life seems a lot more normal--crops are growing in the fields inside the fence, a cantina area is serving food, lots of new people are there, Daryl is the celebrity of the compound, pre-teens have story time, the young adults (and not so young) are pairing up romantically, the front gate has a fancy new contraption to keep the walkers out when the regular people come and go.
Even so, life is not as comfortable as it could be. Crews are still going out on scrounging missions. The chain-link fences need constant maintenance in the form of killing masses of walkers who are pushing up against them. Michonne comes and goes at random times since she's hunting the Governor. Rick is learning farming from Hershel, though they don't seem to be doing much for a sick pig. And story time ends with practical lessons on knife-wielding for the pre-teens.
The big theme in this episode deals with retaining one's humanity in the face of what's gone on and what people have had to do. Beth doesn't say goodbye to her boyfriend when he goes out for a run, presumably to show how tough and aloof she is. It comes at a cost--he is pretty unhappy about it. While checking their animal traps in the woods, Rick has an encounter with a woman who is gathering food for her husband back at her camp. She was going on her honeymoon when the zombies rose and her husband has been taking good care of her. They head off to her camp where Rick finds out a lot more than he wants to know about what they've had to do to stay together. The woman asks if she can ever go back after what they've had to do. Rick says he is hopeful that they can. The show maintains a typically ambivalent tone on whether people can go back to the way they were before.
The show sets an interesting theme that I hope is explored more through the season. We'll see if they tone down or turn up the gore. For me, the gore isn't so interesting so I hope they can go back to the way they were before!