1. Carl goes even darker.
What happens to a kid who grows up around such horrific violence and callous disregard for life? It’s one of the most fascinating questions The Walking Dead comics raised, and it’s something the show seems poised to explore. It’s uncomfortable to think of Carl as a heartless killing machine, but can you really blame him for developing a little … off? This is a kid who was asked to shoot his own mother in the head after watching her die terribly.
2. Tyreese and Sasha get fleshed out.
While I’d hate for The Walking Dead to become a flashback-heavy series — cough, Revolution, cough — I am curious to know more about where these characters came from. But perhaps more to the point, I’m eager to see how they develop among Rick and company. This is a group that is wary of outsiders, and with good reason. Tyreese and Sasha proved themselves in the finale, but it’s unlikely everyone at the prison will welcome them with open arms.
3. Andrea’s death changes Michonne.
First of all: raise your hand if you think Andrea and Michonne were more than friends. I’m not sure they ever consummated that relationship, but there was more to it than survival. At the very least, Michonne loved Andrea deeply, and I’m sure the repercussions of her death will be felt throughout Season 4. Softening Michonne would be a mistake, but opening her up isn’t. While she could close herself off to other connections, she might just as easily bond with her fellow survivors.
4. More casualties.
As in the comics, The Walking Dead just keeps adding characters. The only way to remedy that? Kill a whole mess of them off. I was actually surprised by the limited casualties in the finale, and now the prison is even more packed with survivors. I get why that is, and I appreciate Rick’s redemption, but we’re going to need a massive walker attack to thin out the ranks. Or maybe a final raid by The Governor. Sorry ‘bout it.
5. The Governor dies. Horribly.
I mean, duh. Still, it’s hard to believe The Governor survived the Season 3 finale. (Kind of like when Joffrey survived Season 2 of Game of Thrones ARE YOU KIDDING ME.) But we’ll let bygones be bygones if The Governor meets a horrible end in Season 4. I’m not usually a sadistic person, but this is television and that means bloodlust is appropriate. As for who gets to kill him, let’s hope it’s someone in need of revenge, like Daryl. (Michonne already did some damage.)
6. Absolute power corrupts.
Absolutely. Remember when Rick gave that whole speech about becoming a dictator? The point is, you have to make uncomfortable choices when you’re a leader, especially when the stakes are this high. The key is not turning into a homicidal megalomaniac like The Governor. Rick has already gone dark enough, so maybe it’s another character’s turn to go mad with power, now that the prison is filled with new people. Could Daryl finally lose it?
7. The prison becomes uninhabitable.
Please? We need a change of pace. One of the reasons Season 3 worked better than Season 2 is that it felt less stagnant: instead of relegating us to the goddamn farm, Season 3 switched between the prison and Woodbury. If Season 4 wants to improve on that, it’s going to have to push the characters to a new location. Or keep them moving! We’ve seen the hardships of defending one’s land — maybe it’s time for these survivors to try their luck on the road again.