Sunday, March 18, 2012

Did ‘The Walking Dead’ deliver in the season finale?

(Note: There WILL be spoilers – you have been warned)

Welcome to the Ricktatorship.

AMC’s Sunday finale of the popular ‘The Walking Dead’ delivered death, a change in leadership, a change in scenery and a ton of gore. You couldn’t ask for much more.

All season long some fans (read: disgruntled comic book readers) have decried the quiet opening to the show’s sophomore season and their solitary lifestyle on the Greene farm.

Guess what? The farm is no more.

In the opening minutes of Sunday’s episode, the farm is over run by zombies and the survivors are scattered to the wind. There are a few deaths, including two fodder characters on the farm, but there are no big deaths of the core group. Yes, T-Dog still survives. I can only think they’re holding on to him until they’re reunited with Merle next season.

Despite the 20 minutes of nonstop action that accounts for the destruction of the farm – including a cinematic scene of zombies walking out of the burning barn and taking over the once peaceful farm – there were a lot of intense scenes that stemmed from the quieter moments that followed.

Quite frankly, that’s what ‘The Walking Dead’ really excels at.

The first scene of note is Hershel urging Rick to take his young son and run – without knowing the fate of Rick’s pregnant wife Lori. Rick refuses to split up from Hershel, though, proving that he’s still holding on to a semblance of the life he used to have.

After reuniting with the group, Rick admits that he was told at the CDC last season that everyone is infected. That moment probably lost some of the heft it might have had if there hadn’t been conjecture of that very thing all season.

The third scene, and probably most important, is the scene where Rick admits he killed Shane. The powerful part of the scene is when Rick admits he knew that Shane was leading him out to die. The annoying part of the scene was when Lori – who set these events in motion – turned on Rick after he admitted what he’d done.

Really Lori? You Lady MacBethed him. Would you rather that he had died instead of Shane? Because that’s what it looked like.
Also interesting to note was Carol trying to manipulate Daryl into taking her away from the group and abandoning Rick. I like Carol and Daryl as a couple, but Rick has done nothing but support Carol and he was the one that refused to abandon Sophia. Shane wanted to leave her for dead that first night. She owes him some loyalty.

Rick’s meltdown following Carol’s derision and the rest of the group questioning his decision to camp for the night was epic. Rick (finally) laid down the law and voiced what a lot of viewers have been saying since the beginning of the season – the rest of them should just shut up and let him lead. The only two characters who have earned the right to question Rick’s leadership are Daryl and Glenn – and Daryl is standing pat behind Rick. He knows what a danger Shane was.

I would be remiss not to mention Andrea’s fun meet with comic book legend Michonne. We only got a brief glimpse of her – and her leashed armless zombie pets – but I think I speak for everyone when I say I can’t way to get to know this badass character.

The final shot of the season is a glimpse over where the group is camping to a prison. This is an arc that comic book fans have been clamoring for – and we know the Governor has been cast.

That being said, you’re never going to make everyone happy, so I hope the show runners continue down the track they’ve been on all season. This show works best when you have action mixed with emotional quiet moments.

You don’t have to have one or the other. You can have both.

What did you think? Did ‘The Walking Dead’ season finale deliver?


Blogger galveston said...

Yes, it did. So did Andrew Lincoln. He put to rest any question whether or not he has the acting chops. He does. God bless Daryl. Bring on the bromance. I just wish the writers would give up the ghost and let the narrative treat Lori like the horrible person she is. Just admit it. Write her that way. Don't pretend she's good. I'll cut Carol some slack since she's still grieving for Sophia, but Lady McGrimes has used up her last ounce of sympathy from me. Lori is a horrible person.

March 18, 2012 at 10:03 PM 

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