I make no bones about the fact that the third season of The Walking Dead pissed me off. Watching two guys make stupid decisions because of their egos is not my idea of a good time. But while the aftermath of their idiocy continues for a while in The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season — which Anchor Bay are releasing on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a special limited edition Blu-ray — the second half goes in such a different direction that it’s renewed my hope for this show.
When The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD begins [SPOILER ALERT], the war with the Governor’s people is over, and things are starting to return to normal (relatively speaking). But then people get sick, real sick. And then, when you-know-who returns, with a different — and, of course, duped — group in tow, a second battle ensues, with quite a few causalities. Which essentially means that half the episodes in The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD are really The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season, Part 2.
Things on The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD start to get better in the aftermath of that battle, when the prison people are split up and spread out over the land. But while this recalls this show’s first season episodes, it doesn’t feel like a rehash, it feels like a renewal, since these people are smarter and hardened by survival. Though it also helps that it’s such a different crew than from The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season, and that this is obviously leading to something interesting next season.
But where The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season really gets good is towards the very end, when something they’ve been hinting at for a while pays off, and in a truly unique way. I won’t spoil it, but suffice it to say you’ll be glad that someone came up with the idea. Or you’ll hate their guts.
Though you’ll also be glad you watched them on The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD. Not only do they look better than they do on TV, you also don’t have to put up with those stupid reminders to watch other AMC shows…during which you’ll be bombarded with reminders to watch The Walking Dead when season five starts on Sunday, October 12th at 9:00 ET/PT. Gah! Now they’ve got me doing it.
Along with this season’s sixteen episodes, The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD both contain a wealth of extras. But while they’re all informative and entertaining, it’s how they’re presented that kind of annoys me.
For starters, The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD have commentaries on four episodes: the season premiere, “30 Days Without An Accident,” features executive producer/show runner Scott M. Gimple, executive producer/unit production manager Tom Luse, and executive producer/special effects make-up supervisor/director Greg Nicotero; episode 5, “Internment,” features Gimple and actor Scott Wilson, who plays Hershel; episode 12, “Still,” has one with director Julius Ramsay and actor Emily Kinney, who plays Beth, and a second with writer/producer Angela Kang and actor Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl; while the fourteenth, “The Grove,” has Gimple, Huth, and actor Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick. And it’s a good thing all these people are involved, and doing the commentaries together, since that always makes them more entertaining and less film school-ish.
Along with the commentaries, The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD also has some informative featurettes. For a quick overview of this season’s story, there’s the eight minute long “A Journey Back To Brutality”; “Hershel” spends seven minutes talking to the cast and crew about that character and his role in this show; while “The Governor Is Back” explores what that fool went through this season.
The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD even takes you inside the special effects studio with “Inside KNB EFX,” for a look at how the cool zombie bits were done this season, while “Drawing Inspiration” explores how episodes this season were based on the original Walking Dead comic.
But while all of the above are informative and entertaining, the most interesting featurette on The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD is “Society, Science, & Survival,” which goes into how the show was used by an online college class to explore issues in math, physics, and other topics. Which may sound silly, but then you haven’t heard the professions explain how it worked, and worked well.
One of the nice things about the aforementioned featurettes is that they’re all placed on the last disc. Which makes sense, since you wouldn’t want to watch them until after you’ve seen all the episodes. The thing is, The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD also has extras that are on that last disc as well, even though they should’ve been on the discs alongside the episodes they’re connected to.
For starters, The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD has nine minutes of deleted scenes from eight different episodes. Which obviously means that none of them add anything substantial to the story, though there are a couple that are rather interesting. Still, it would’ve been nice if they were placed alongside the episodes they were cut from, so you could watch them right after you finish that episode.
Similarly, The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD also has “Inside The Walking Dead” featurettes, which overview every episode with comments from the cast and crew. Similarly, “The Making Of The Walking Dead” featurettes do the same for how each episode was made. Again, while these have spoilers, and thus should only be watched after you’ve seen their respective episodes, they are worth watching right after you do, so having them on the same discs as those episodes would’ve made things easier.
While both The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD are pretty jam-packed, the Blu-ray actually has even more fun stuff not included on the DVD. For starters, it has a fifth commentary, with Huth and actor Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne, talking about the ninth episode, “After.” It also has extended versions of that episode and “The Grove” that aren’t included on the DVD. But the problem with the Blu-ray of The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season having these extended episodes is that they replace the original versions, you don’t get the original versions as well. Though considering they only add four or five minutes each, it’s not like they’re all that different.
Sadly, what’s not included in The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD, but should’ve been, are the episodes of The Talking Dead, the talk show that airs on AMC after each new episode of The Walking Dead. In them, members of the cast, crew, and even some famous fans talk about what happened in the episode. Sure, that would’ve doubled the size of these collections, so maybe it should’ve been left for the just the special limited edition version, but at the very least fans should’ve had the option.
Even without The Talking Dead, or the episode-centric features being on the same discs as their respective episodes, The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season is full of good stuff whether you get the Blu-ray or the DVD. Not only does it bring a sad chapter in this show to an end, but it kicks off a new one in grand style.