One of the criticisms that some critics and fans have had of The Walking Dead is that it doesn’t mirror the graphic novels written by Robert Kirkman.
Because Robert Kirkman is so heavily involved with the TV show some people assumed that the show would essentially retell the story as it happened in the comics. But the show is a totally separate entity from the graphic novels.
Or it has been, until now. As the show enters the second half of its fourth season the TV show and the graphic novels are starting to line up. In the mid-season premiere episode, “After”, some of the scenes were taken practically pane for panel from the graphic novels.
While some of the characters have not followed the story arcs in the books and are alive or dead when their counterparts in the novels are the opposite thing will change from here on out.
The writers and producers of the show have already warned audiences that one of the main cast members won’t survive the last half of Season 4. Speculation is already running rampant about who will be cut from the show. Predictions are that leader Rick, Carl, and resident badass Daryl Dixon are all safe but the showrunners have repeatedly said that no one is safe. The death that is coming is supposedly going to shock audiences even more than the death of fan favorite Hershel Greene. Speculation is that either Glenn or Maggie will be killed and won’t go on the next leg of the journey with the survivors from the prison. But there are other threats looming for the prison survivors so no one can really say who won’t make it out of Season 4.
Several new characters have joined the cast now that are featured prominently in the graphic novels. In The Walking Dead comics one of the newcomers becomes very close to Rick, almost taking on the role that Shane played in Rick’s life that is currently being filled by Daryl. At the end of episode 10, “Inmates”, the audience is introduced to Abraham, Rosita and Eugene in a tableau taken directly from the graphic novels. In interviews the cast and crew of the show said that they worked hard to get the costumes and staging exactly like the panel in the graphic novels when Abraham, Eugene and Rosita are introduced to tie the novels to the show. The trio comes across Glenn, who had just made it out of the prison, and Tara. Glenn saved Tara as he was leaving the prison and found her by herself. She was in shock after the battle and the deaths of her girlfriend, her sister and her niece. She and Glenn fled the prison together but encountered a group of walkers on the road. The new trio came up on the scene as Glenn and Tara dispatched the walkers.
Abraham is not a type of character that has been seen on the show yet. The Walking Dead universe has so far been lacking a lot of authority figures, except for Dr. Jenner at the CDC building in Atlanta. It’s always been assumed that there is no government or military left standing, but that may not be the case. Abraham is Sgt. Abraham Ford, an Army sergeant who is providing security for Eugene. He and his girlfriend, Rosita, are committed to getting Eugene to Washington, D.C. Whatever is left of the government and the CDC will be in Washington. Eugene is a scientist who thinks he may have information on how to stop the virus that causes people to turn into zombies. In the graphic novels Eugene, Abraham and Rosita meet up with the prison survivors at Hershel’s farm after the fall of the prison. But even though the location is different the group will ultimately be faced with the decision to strike out for Washington and a safe zone with the three newcomers or try to scratch out a living in the woods of Georgia a little longer.
The prison group isn’t back together yet though, so that decision won’t come until the end of the season most likely. Even though The Governor is now really dead there is a bigger threat that the prison band will face. At the end of Season 4 another group from the graphic novels will be introduced The Hunters.
Throughout Season 3 and Season 4 the prison survivors have heard radio transmissions and seen signs indicating that there were other survivors who had some type of sanctuary. Over and over the message, “Those who arrive survive”, has been heard and seen. In Episode 10 Carol, who meets up with Tyreese, Judith, Lizzy and Mika after seeing the prison burning, leads the group toward the sanctuary after seeing a sign on the railroad tracks for a place called Terminus. But Terminus isn’t going to be the sanctuary that they are looking for. Terminus is populated by The Hunters, a group of cannibals.
Details for the season finale of Season 4 are being kept under wraps but it is known that the episode is called “Meet The Hunters”. Already audiences have seen shadowy figures and occasional people following the survivors. The Hunters have probably been watching the group for awhile. It remains to be seen how many of the group head for Terminus, if they meet up with Rick, Carl and Michonne, and exactly how big of a threat The Hunters are.
If Rick’s group, whoever survives the Hunters, decides to go with Abraham, Rosita and Eugene to Washington that will be game changing for the series. Opening up more of the post-zombie apocalypse universe will provide audiences with the chance to see more of the world as it stands after the apocalypse. It also gives the writers and producers the chance to set the stage for the spin off of The Walking Dead that should be premiering in 2015. Whatever is next for the prison survivors the only thing audiences can count on is that no one is safe.