They can’t switch to more logical weapons because it’s based on a comic book. In the comics – like many (most? all?) comics – characters have a uniform. Michonne has a sword, Rick has his pistol, and as a nod to that, in the TV show Daryl has his crossbow. It’s stupid, but whaddya gonna do, right?
For anyone who stopped watching and is just barely curious, let me tell you an example of what you’re missing from the first episode this season:
7 main characters and a redshirt we never met before go out to find a wagon, as they’re embracing the wisdom of earlier eras. Their wagon gets stuck in the mud so the horses can’t pull them. At this point a dozen or so walkers are shown on the road behind them, so our large group of heroes (Rick, Michonne, Daryl, Carol, that King dude, Maggie, Aaron, etc…) all panic and run, abandoning the wagon and horses. I know, that doesn’t make any sense at all, but just go with it.
The redshirt loves horses, so he runs back to help the abandoned horse. Our heroes don’t go to help or defend him, but instead yell “Hey don’t do that, come back!” He gets bitten, of course. Even though it’s in the arm, they don’t cut it off like Herschel’s leg, they just lay him down to die.
So since this redshirt needs to have a dramatic death for plot reasons, while he’s laying down on the ground, HALF of our heroes – not all of them, just half – go back and easily kill every single walker. Now the redshirt can die in Maggie’s arms in a very tearful way.
So, uh, yeah. Why did our large group of heroes panic and run from a small group of zombies? HALF the heroes dispatched them so easily that it wasn’t even shown on screen when they did it. Who the fuck is writing this garbage?
Just in case you were thinking about coming back, that’s the quality writing we’re subjected to these days.
That was episode 1 this season. Episode 2 sets up a longterm conflict between the settlements, and the conflict is incredibly stupid.