When “The Walking Dead” returns tonight for the final eight episodes of season four, your guess is as good as mine as far as what we’ll see.
But I know a few things that we want to see.
Rick and Carl together and strong. The father and son left together, after the devastating loss (?) of Baby Judith, aka “Little Asskicker,” during the Governor’s raid on the prison in the first half of the season. The Grimes boys will probably take a leading role in tonight’s episode and the next couple of episodes. But despite their loss, I want Rick and Carl to pull themselves out of their misery and start making a new life for themselves as quickly as possible. We don’t want Rick, wandering, hallucinating and mumbling to himself, times two for the rest of the season.
Reunions. Daryl is that-a-way and Tyreese is that-a-way and Michonne … well, the only thing we know about Michonne, apparently, is that she ends up – based on a publicity photo – with a couple of zombies on leashes again. We want the core cast reassembled as quickly as possible and moving on to the next big confluence of plot and setting. I’m not sure we’ll get that, however.
Carol. Just when Carol became tough and complex and controversial, Rick cast her out. We want her back, on her own terms.
Some plot points resolved. Who was feeding rats to the walkers at the prison fence?
A good villain. The Governor (David Morrisey) was a great psychopath. We need his equal, someone charming and dangerous.
The big picture. When AMC announced that it was planning a “Walking Dead” spinoff series, I wondered if it would be one set in another part of the world, or if it would be in a remaining center of power. It’s been a long time since the survivors got a few answers at the CDC. It would be great to get some again. What’s the rest of the world like? Who’s working on the problem? What’s happened somewhere besides this little corner of Georgia?
One thing we don’t have to wish for, apparently, is surprises. Cast members speaking cryptically in advance of tonight’s return say the upcoming episodes are dark and eventful, with plot points that will blow our minds.