“The Walking Dead’s” season four finale drew a record number of viewers. According to Variety, the finale drew 15.7 million viewers, garnering a 26% increase from the season three finale. What is it that draws so many viewers to AMC’s juggernaut?
The finale’s conclusion focused on identity and unity. Throughout season 4, all members of Rick’s group proved their extraordinary strength and exceptional survival instincts apart from their core group. Despite their independent strengths, they need each other.
The group gives each of its member a reason to survive. There would be little point in continuing through this often heinous post-apocalyptic journey without the trust, love, and hope that they provide one another.
Without it, they would be one of the walking dead, a sentiment made clear earlier this season as Michonne (Danai Gurira) wandered alone among walkers. One reunited with Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln), she was whole again. She also shares with Carl that her relationship with Andrea (Laurie Holden) brought her back to life after she lost her son.
During the season 4 finale, Rick taps into his animal instincts to protect his family. Afterwards,Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Rick reassure each other. Rick acknowledges Daryl as his brother and it becomes abundantly clear that this group built more than most survivors despite constant displacement, separation, and struggle.
In case viewers missed that point, flashbacks featuring Hershel(Scott Wilson) highlighted calmer times that helped the group forge their unbreakable bond. Hershel tells Rick, “It can always be like this,” and viewers know it will be. There may not always be serenity and the location may change, but they are each other’s home. Rick’s group shows humanity at it’s best.
It is this human appeal that drew 15.7 million viewers to AMC’s “The Walking Dead” season 4 finale. We want to believe in people. We want to connect. Rick and his group suffer constant heartache, yet they remain in tact thanks to their family bond. Adversity drew them together, but trust, kindness, and love keeps them together, and this dynamic lures viewers to share in “The Walking Dead” experience.
For more on “The Walking Dead” season 4 finale, read Recap “The Walking Dead” Season 4 Final, ‘A’: Evolution of Rick and the Power of Acceptance
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