Written By: John
There will be no play by play, just the highlights of a jam-packed season that certainly left me ready for more. As always, be ready for spoilers and if you haven’t sat down to watch Season Two of The Walking Dead, get to it! But if you’re as ready as I am, let’s begin.
What We Learned
First and foremost we learned that NO ONE IS SAFE. This is a season that saw little Sophia, Dale and Shane all meet their demise. In a world rife with this kind of danger we can fully expect to see more characters die next year. This is new for a post apocalyptic television show, even the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, a show well known for its edge stayed away from killing off major characters.
Another lesson from this season was that any one who dies, regardless of cause and as long as the brain is intact will turn into a walker. It’s a revelation that may have greater implications as the show goes on, especially since this whole plague appears to be caused by a virus, and we now know that everyone is a carrier.
Most importantly, we learned about the kind of people we were traveling with on this journey. We learned Rick is a reluctant leader who is finally growing into his own. We found out that Shane was merely a shell of his strength, instead tortured by his own inner demons. This is quickly becoming a character study, a rarity in horror.
What Worked Well
The storytelling this year was flat out fantastic. The first half of the season, despite being called “too slow” was merely the build up to a second half rollercoaster ride.
The character growth for some was outstanding. As I mentioned before, we were finally able to connect with much of the characters and it made Dale and Shane’s deaths all that more powerful.
Lastly paying respect to those who have come before you is always wonderful when you do it with class, and The Walking Dead did just that. There were countless homages to George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead during their time at Hershel’s farm, but the best tribute was perhaps the showdown between Rick and Shane, a moment eerily reminiscent of the final shot in Survival of the Dead.
What Needed Help
While there was character growth for some, sadly T-Dog, Carol and pretty much everyone on the farm not named Hershel and Maggie were given little to work with. While I understand this is an ensemble show, I’ve always been of the opinion that you either give all your characters some kind of purpose, or you get them out of the way. Here’s to hoping Season 3 will do something more with the supporting cast.
What Lies Ahead
Our first big reveal was of course the introduction of resident badass and zombie killer extraordinaire Michonne in the season finale, but we also caught a glimpse of the survivors’ next destination, the prison.
What does that mean from a story perspective? Well for one the show continues to stay faithful to the comics but it also entails a season just as brutal and visceral as this one, as stated by Executive Producer Robert Kirkman on the season finale of Talking Dead.
But to me, the best story arc of the year, and the one I’m most excited about, will come to fruition when Rick discovers the little town of Woodbury. It is there that we will be introduced to one Philip Blake, the Governor. If Robert is true to his word about the show keeping this pace, we can fully expect some jaw dropping moments when it comes to this particular villain.
All in all, this was a satisfying season, one that was unrelenting, and one that showed that the show is finally finding its legs and heading toward its stride.