October 25, 2013
Unlikely to bolster ratings are the continuing travails of Mr Molesley, a Pooter-esque sad sack who could talk the hind leg off any number of comedy lit windbags by whom his character was inspired. Though to the untrained eye, the only discernible difference between a butler and a footman is the application of snooker referee gloves, Molesley took Carson’s offer that he step into Alfred’s shoes as a great insult. Never mind, he’ll bounce back.
Speaking of bouncing back, series one’s Evelyn Napier has returned to the Abbey to have another crack of Mary’s whip after “the whole ghastly business” with that “splendid chap” she married. Mary’s fan club really is shameless; another week, another potential beau. Just make us all happy Mary, be a dear and take Branson to bed before he emigrates. This ship can't afford to lose any more of its rats.
The premiere episode of the fourth season of The Walking Dead was a very entertaining, solid piece of television. It wasn't perfect, and it wasn't as exciting as, say, the third season's debut episode, but it may have been one of the more competent episodes in the show's run. The relationship stuff worked better than usual, the special effects were as outstanding as ever, and there were some clever choices made in both the set-up and the execution of the It's Raining Men action sequence in the Big Spot store. It would be a pretty tough feat to top that episode so early in the season, and yet, the second episode of the fourth season does exactly that.
One of the better aspects of this week was the relationship between the characters. There were some good moments of contrast; early on the show emphasizes Tyreese and Karen's relationship, then in short time we see Glenn and Maggie together, and then finally we close that sequence with Rick, Carl, and Michonne (there's a very amusing family dynamic there that's probably a nod to the multitude of Rick and Michonne shipper-fuel moments over the past two seasons). The character relationships have been one of the show's weaknesses over time, but Angela Kang is one of the writers that does a better job of that sort of thing, and it really shines through in this week's episode. The quieter moments work very well between the characters, Tyreese and Karen feel like a real couple, and it's a credit to Kang that she's able to really bring those emotions to the forefront (while still working in some great action sequences and some clever ideas for Rick and the gang to execute).