"30 Days Without An Accident" is the first episode of the fourth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the thirty-sixth episode of the series overall. It premiered on October 13, 2013. It was written by Scott Gimple and directed by Greg Nicotero.
Rick walks outside to the scene of a sunny, calm day. He splashes water on his face, and the shot pans out to a vegetable garden towards which he is headed. Lining the gates of the garden lie a dozen walkers that have accumulated overnight, among which include a bloody-eyed walker. While listening to music and digging in the garden, Rick finds an M1911 handgun, fully loaded, which he examines for a moment and then tosses into his wheelbarrow.
Carl walks towards Rick, complaining that his father had not awakened him. Rick says he had not done so due to the knowledge that Carl was up late reading comic books, and the two share a chuckle. Carl speaks of a pig that he calls Violet, laying in the corner of a pen, mentioning it looks ill; Rick tells Carl he should not name the pigs as they are food, yet answers that he does not know the reason of the pig's illness.
In the outdoor confines of the prison, Carol cooks breakfast for the residents. Daryl joins her, while numerous survivors thank him for his hunting including a young man named Patrick. Carol makes a point that she liked him first and asks for a word with Daryl, transferring her cooking duties to Patrick. Patrick asks for a handshake from Daryl before he leaves to thank him for the venison he had hunted the day before. As they reach a secluded spot, Carol mentions the need for people at the gates. She says that others are speaking of a supply run, and notes that the walkers aren't spreading out across the fence like before. Before Daryl walks off, Carol calls him "Pookie" as he gives her a playful shove.
Glenn wakes up and talks with Maggie, telling her she should not accompany him on his supply run later in the day - there is no need. Maggie protests, saying everything will go smoothly, and Glenn agrees, yet persists that she should remain at the prison. Ultimately, Maggie agrees to this and Glenn takes her place.
A group of survivors (including Karen) are clearing walkers that have built up along the gate perimeter. Tyreese approaches Karen (whom he calls "Beautiful"), telling her of his discomfort with killing walkers along the gate due to the face-to-face contact. Karen questions why he volunteers to help at the gates, to which he responds that he wanted to get to know her better. Tyreese tells her he's going on the supply run. Karen gives him a good luck kiss, and tells him to be careful.
Carl and Patrick come upon Lizzie and the other children, naming walkers as they stand at the prison fence. Carl angrily tells them that they shouldn't name walkers, and asks Lizzie if she had even seen someone become one. Lizzie angrily responds that she has, and walks off with the other children.
Meanwhile, Hershel is telling Rick about planting more crops when Michonne arrives on horseback from a scouting run. Dismounting Flame, she hands Carl comics she found and talks briefly with Rick about her "unsuccessful" run. She volunteers to check the traps for any animals before the walkers get them, but Rick decides to go himself. As he leaves, Hershel tells Rick that their council (himself, Glenn, Carol, Daryl and Sasha) prefer that Rick take his gun along when he goes outside the gates for protection.
Carl expresses interest in going on the supply run, but Rick tells him to stay and do his chores. He also suggests that Carl stay with Patrick, and attend story time with the other children.
As the supply group gets ready to leave, Zach meets up with Beth, and the pair kiss each other goodbye. Bob volunteers to go along to earn his keep; after some hesitation and convincing from the others, Sasha allows him to come.
Rick goes outside the perimeter to check the traps, when he encounters Clara. Initially mistaking her for a walker, he is startled when she calls out to him, pleading for help. She asks if he is with a group, and begs him to take her and her husband Eddie with him. Rick tells her that if they answer three questions to his satisfaction, he will. Clara leads Rick in the direction their camp, so he can meet Eddie and ask his questions.
Daryl, Zach, Sasha, Bob, and Tyreese reach an abandoned army encampment around a shopping mall. Daryl asks them to listen to the music booming in the distance, and notes that he had been part of a group that hooked it up to car batteries to draw the walkers away. The group approaches the front of the store, and Zach starts a conversation with Daryl. He tries to guess what Daryl's pre-apocalypse employment was. It is mentioned that this had been going on daily, for the past six weeks. Zach guesses a homicide cop, and Daryl affirms the guess. An incredulous Zach apparently doesn't believe it, and states he will keep on trying to guess. The group enters the mall, and Bob (the last to enter), notices a pair of legs on the ground. As he follows the others in, the rest of the walker's body is revealed to be on the roof, along with a crashed helicopter and several dozen walkers.
As Rick and Clara walk through the forest, Clara tells him that she and her husband Eddie were about to go on their honeymoon when the apocalypse began. They were at the airport, preparing for a flight to Puerto Vallarta when the walkers attacked. She claims that the two of them were the only survivors, and credits her husband with saving her life on many occasions. She also mentions having to do certain things to stay alive, and seems hesitant to elaborate. Rick presses her, and she says they had to eat animal carcasses and rotten fruit. Additionally, they had to "leave people behind."
In the store, Bob approaches a wine/beer aisle and tries to resist taking a bottle. He eventually gives in, but after thinking about it, decides to put it back. This causes the entire shelf to tip over, falling on top of him and pinning his legs. The walkers on the roof hear the noise, and begin walking toward it. The decaying roof sheathing can't support their weight, and several fall through.
Meanwhile, Rick and Clara continue walking and make small talk. Clara interrupts to ask Rick if he and his group had to "do the things Eddie and I had to do." When Rick doesn't answer, she follows up with another question: "Do you think you get to come back from them?" Rick says he hopes so. Clara then says that she hopes she and Eddie answer the three questions satisfactorily.
Back at the mall, walkers continue to fall through the ceiling. With Bob still trapped beneath the shelf, the others are able to fight them off. Daryl and Zach succeed in freeing Bob, but Zach is bitten soon after. As everyone else escapes, the wrecked helicopter falls through the roof, killing Zach and the remaining walkers in the process.
As Rick and Clara finally approach the campsite, she says, "It is just ahead." She crouches over a small, suspicious-looking bundle, then suddenly attacks Rick with her knife. He manages to sidestep her, and Clara frantically explains that she intended to feed him to Eddie, who has turned. She then stabs herself in the abdomen, and collapses. As she lay dying, Clara tells Rick that she could not stand living without Eddie, so she took her own life to be with him. In a state of delirium, she pleads with Rick not to kill her after she turns. Her plan is to reanimate, and be with her husband in a zombified state. As Clara nears death, she asks Rick what the three questions were. He tells her, "How many walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed? Why?" She says that Eddie killed all the walkers for her until he died, and lists only herself as a human she has killed. To the last question, she responds "You don't get to come back." Eddie's body is not shown, nor are the contents of the bundle. But as Rick walks away, the bundle is shown to be grunting and moving about. It is about the size of a human head.
Carol is reading a story to the kids in the prison library. Carl is seen sneaking in, and appears to be eavesdropping. He notices one of the adults leaving, after which Carol stops reading and begins teaching the children how to use knives. She asks him not to tell his father, and Carl leaves in disgust.
After returning to the prison yard, Rick looks over at the fences and focuses on a bloody-eyed walker. He then goes to the pig pen, and realizes that Violet has died.
The supply group returns, and Glenn tells Maggie that Daryl intends to deliver the bad news to Beth. Maggie gets up to console her, but stops to tell Glenn that she is not pregnant. Glenn is relieved, but Maggie says they shouldn't be afraid of having a child, even in the world as it is. Glenn suggests that being afraid is what has kept them alive. Maggie disagrees, saying, "No, it's how we kept breathing."
Daryl tells Beth what happened to Zach. She is surprisingly nonchalant, and resets the tally she was keeping of days without an accident. She tells Daryl that she doesn't cry anymore, and is glad she got to know Zach. She asks Daryl if he's okay, and he says he is tired of losing people. Beth walks up and hugs him.
Michonne looks at a map, apparently making plans to search for the Governor.
Hershel tries to comfort Rick regarding what happened to Clara. Rick says that he could easily have become was she was. Hershel disagrees, and says that people get to come back from what they do. However, Rick isn't convinced.
Later that night, Bob lies in his bunk, reflecting on the day's events as Patrick stumbles toward the bathroom. He is obviously sick, and coughing violently. Without undressing, he walk into the showers and turns the water on. A few seconds later, he collapses on the floor with blood running from his mouth. He reanimates shortly after, with blood flowing from his eyes like the walkers Rick had seen previously.
- First appearance of Bob Stookey.
- First appearance of Caleb Subramanian.
- First appearance of Ryan Samuels.
- First appearance of Lizzie Samuels.
- First appearance of Mika Samuels.
- First appearance of David.
- First appearance of Luke.
- First appearance of Molly.
- First appearance of Henry.
- First appearance of Chloe.
- First appearance of Greg.
- First appearance of Flame.
- First appearance of Nick. (Zombified)
- First (and last) appearance of Zach. (Alive)
- First (and last) appearance of Patrick. (Alive)
- First (and last) appearance of Clara. (Alive)
- First (and last) appearance of Eryn.
- First (and last) appearance of Violet.
- First (and last) appearance of Eddie. (Zombified)
- As of this episode, Melissa McBride (Carol) and Scott Wilson (Hershel) have been added to the opening credits.
- David Morrissey (The Governor) is removed from the opening credits until his reappearance in "Internment".
- This is the first episode featuring Emily Kinney (Beth), Chad Coleman (Tyreese), Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha) and Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (Bob) as series regulars. They are all listed under "Also Starring".
- As revealed on Talking Dead for this episode, six weeks prior to filming this episode, plants, fruits, and vegetables were planted to turn the prison into a farmyard. However, it was nearly ruined when a herd of deer got in.
- For the scene in which Hershel is on a knee tending to the garden, the metal bottom of his new prosthetic leg can be seen poking out out of his pants. This scene required Scott Wilson, who has both legs in real life, to bury his leg up to his knee in dirt.
- The title of the episode, "30 Days Without An Accident", refers to the chart that Beth has. The group had gone 30 days without an accident, and Beth removes the 3 in 30 to make 0 Days without an accident due to Zach's death.
- The song Rick listens in this episode is called "Precious Memories" by The Stanley Brothers.
- In the first scene, Rick digs up a pistol that is revealed to have been left behind by one of the Woodbury soldiers from the prison assault in Season 3.
- The scene where Rick tells Hershel about Clara is a foreshadowing of "Too Far Gone" as Hershel mentions that some people are too far gone to come back, as Clara killed herself.
- This episode marks Scott Wilson and Emily Kinney's 25th episode on The Walking Dead.
- A reference to the Video Game made by Telltale was added in the episode as an easter egg. When Michonne is looking for a place for her to hunt down the Governor, the camera focused on Macon, a major location in the first season of the Video Game. Upon asked about this, Kirkman said that it was indeed an easter egg for the Video Game, and he also said that there are possibilities for the Video Game characters to be brought into the TV Series, and that particular easter egg was a message for the fans that the writers are aware of how big the The Walking Dead universe is.
- Significant events happening between the last episode ("Welcome to the Tombs") and this one will eventually be revealed in the flashback parts of the season's last episode, "A".
- Rick and Hershel talking about the garden is adapted from Issue 42.
- The group scavenging mission at the Big Spot is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 39, where they go to a Wallmart instead.
- During the scene where Karen and a group of survivors are killing walkers that have built up along the gate perimeter, Karen kills a walker through the fence (around 5:05), but she actually misses the head of the walker she's killing. The CGI effects are still applied as if she pierced the walker through the top of its head despite the fact that she missed it.
- Zach holds his shotgun differently between shots while talking with Daryl and Michonne at the Big Spot.