Barn Full Of Walkers, Blog Full Of Spoilers
This is intended for those of you who have watched season one and two of AMC’s The Walking Dead. If you have not done so, please vacate my page because I’m either about to confuse you or ruin an awesome show for you. I’d prefer not to do either of those things.
Based on the comic book series The Walking Dead by Tony Moore, Robert Kirkman, and Charlie Adlard, this television series follows Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) who wakes in a deserted hospital after being in a coma and sets out to find his family, only to find a world overrun with walkers. He begins a journey to Atlanta, GA, following a rumor that the CDC has set up a safe zone. He eventually locates his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son, who have been hiding out with Rick’s best friend and colleague Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal).
The group finally finds the CDC but is shocked to see it’s manned by an army of one and isn’t the safe zone they had hoped. The group then begins travel towards Fort Benning where they lose track of Sophia, a young member of the group, but find Hershel who has created a safe area for his family on his farm. As Lori discovers she is pregnant, a baby that could either be Rick’s or Shane’s, tensions mount between the two friends and the group begins to fracture. Eventually, it becomes too much for Rick and in a final brawl with Shane, he kills his best friend. To his surprise, Shane immediately rises as a walker and young Carl is forced to shoot him down.
The season finale opens with a large group of walkers approaching the farm, having been alarmed by Carl’s gunshot. This episode contained more walkers than I’ve seen all season, hordes attacking the farm, taking down two members of Hershel’s family and stranding Andrea (Laurie Holden), a headstrong female, without a vehicle but thankfully with a bag of weapons. The group comes back together on the highway where they lost Sophia and attempts to travel to safety. After running low on gas, they make camp and Rick begins to crumble. He tells the group that back at the CDC, the lone survivor told him that they are all infected; death equals transformation to a walker, not just a bite or scratch. He also confesses to killing Shane and tells the group that this is no longer a democracy; no more nice and patient Rick. Meanwhile, Andrea, after running out of ammunition, is saved by a mysterious hooded figure leading two armless walkers on chains. The finale closes with a shot of a prison or a camp near Rick’s group.
I love zombies so naturally I was interested in this show from the get go. Nearly every episode has been a winner but I do have to admit, I was let down with season 2’s finale. Perhaps I was expecting more, perhaps I missed their message, but I wasn’t as wowed as I expected. The episode before the finale closed with Shane and Rick’s fight, Shane’s murder, and Carl delivering a headshot that put Shane down for good. We were then shown a massive group of walkers approaching the farm. In the finale, we see the large group in some sort of migration who are distracted from their route by the shot and begin breaking down fences and other barriers on their way to the survivors. It was amazing, as was the fight and the journey to the place they eventually made camp.
I began to get lost a little when Lori and Rick left the group for a moment to talk. Rick confessed to Lori that he had killed Shane. I understand that Lori probably had some residual feelings for Shane, having had a sexual relationship with him prior to Rick’s return, but her reaction was unreasonable. It was obvious to everyone that Shane was a risk to the group; his behavior and attitude put people in danger and he was deep into the habits of acting before he thought things through. While I did notice that Lori had been acting as though she enjoyed the love triangle she had created, she should have been sticking to her husband and supporting him, not fighting and attacking him. I was as upset as anyone that Shane was killed, but her reaction was unreasonable.
I was definitely wowed at the revelation that all survivors are infected, regardless of bite or scratch. I also fully support Rick’s decision to keep it a secret from the group for so long. Rick needed to be sure and he wasn’t sure of the information until Shane was murdered and rose almost immediately. The survivor at the CDC wasn’t exactly the most stable person, nearly killing the group in his own suicide plan, so it was natural to want to verify this information before worrying the group. In addition, the fact that everyone is infected is a hell of a bomb to drop. This is information that should be handled delicately and delivered at the right time and in the proper manner. Rick wasn’t able to do so, but he made the effort and it went unnoticed in the group.
The finale lost me again with Andrea’s savior. I didn’t quite understand the hooded figure and while I get that this is based on a comic and that zombies aren’t exactly the most realistic thing on Earth, this hooded figure came off a bit campy to me. He or she didn’t fit with anything else we’ve seen thus far, as if they had wandered in from another television show’s set and gotten a bit lost. I haven’t read the comic series, so I’m sure this character has their place and it makes perfect sense, but it just didn’t mesh for me in the finale. The armless walkers were also a bit odd. I understand that removing their arms takes away a bit of the danger they possess to their handler, but how is he or she preventing them from biting her and how does he or she keep them so docile? What is the point of them; the walkers don’t exactly eat each other, so are they for protection against other survivors? If so, why save Andrea? I was more annoyed by this new character than I was intrigued.
Finally, the reveal of the prison or camp that was near Rick’s group brought the finale to a close. Now, I’m anxious to see what this thing is about and I’m quite curious, but not overly so and not to the point where I think this was a strong enough point to end the season on. Two episodes earlier, we end on a beloved member of the group get gutted. Last episode we end on Shane murdered by his best friend only to rise again and be killed by a child. And for the finale, we end with a prison? It feels as though they chose a weak point for their finale rather than a jaw dropper and it didn’t impress me as I thought it would.
That all being said, please don’t mistake this for me saying this show sucks, blows, is awful, I hate it, or anything else along those lines. I love The Walking Dead and I’m excited for season 3. I only wish that they had chosen to end on a stronger note, especially given how many gut-punching moments we were given this season. Since I haven’t read the series, I can’t really comment on how it should have been done, but I would have enjoyed the drama and excitement from the beginning to also have had a place at the end. We’ll see what next season brings…