The Walking Dead – Season 2 Finale – Before The Dying Fire

The Walking Dead - Season 2 Finale - Before The Dying Fire

So that’s where they came from! I was having some trouble believing that nobody would hear thousands of walkers stumbling around in a forest – turns out they just arrived! Following the helicopter Rick saw in the beginning, it leads them right down the highway to the farm.

To all the people who have sent me their thoughts (and rants) on the thinning of the group, in terms of losing Patricia and Jimmy (and what appeared to be Andrea): no, it didn’t make me mad. I had to remind myself who Jimmy and Patricia were, they were seen so rarely – so it seems a natural progression to kill them off. That’s the nature of horror/sci-fi writing, there has to be a continuously increasing sense of desperation and impending doom, and a good way to do that is to start pegging off people. Mind you, they can’t be central characters, because then we as viewers would be demanding explanations.

And THAT is why, even though it annoys me to no end, Lori is still alive. I’m having a little trouble with the fact that she got into the car without Carl. I was a parent, once – I would never have done that in a million years. But who does? Thoughtful, caring, and sensitive Lori.

It broke my heart to see the farm overrun. As a farm girl at heart, a place like that is my dream, my retirement plan. Alas, referring to my last comments about moving a story forward, it wouldn’t have been much of a zombie apocalypse if they lived in serenity on my dream farm forever, would it? But I really and truly felt Herschel in these scenes, and why he wanted to stand and defend his home. I can’t say that I would have been so easily convinced to leave, zombies be damned. And a burning barn is never fun to watch….except maybe one full of zombies, that was kind of cool, no?

Some of my favourite parts of action movies involve guns and cars (cars that are significantly more badass than a Hyundai Tucson, mind you), so I really loved the scenes of them driving around the fields shooting at walkers. I highly doubt that would work in a real zombie apocalypse – if you’ve ever shot a gun, you know it’s tough to hit a target standing still, never mind if you are both moving! Anyhow…when Maggie stopped the car, and they were surrounded by walkers, I couldn’t believe she didn’t just jam on the gas and drive over them all. A driver’s dream, right?!?

Andrea! Hooray! I mean….oh no. Andrea got left behind, that’s so terrible. That is all.

When they all came together again, at the road where they lost Sophia, I had tears in my eyes. As much of a homecoming as one can expect in a zombie apocalypse, I guess, and I am a sucker for reunions. Not going to lie, though – I was less than impressed with Rick’s willingness to bugger off with Carl so quickly, I expected him to be more adamant. Speaking of that, both Rick and Lori had a quick willingness to bail in this episode: Lori on Carl, and Rick on Lori. Foreshadowing, maybe?

I digress. Back to the reunion. When they all come back together, they are genuinely happy to see each other and it’s palpable – the way Rick clasps hands with Daryl, Glenn taking Daryl’s teasing of his driving (that was how he found them), the happy hugs between all of them, and the tears from Maggie, Beth and Hershel. In a series that can only allow for so many genuinely happy spots, they conveyed this one brilliantly.

Until they begin accounting for the missing. Lori, of course, only cares about Shane, and seems to be trying hard to hide how disappointed she is when Rick, who clearly is not ready to admit Shane is dead, simply shakes his head. Rick seems uncharacteristically vehement about not going back for Andrea, which of course is fine with me; and of course I understand him not wanting to go back, that would just be stupid.

Rick’s truck runs out of gas, and if I am not mistaken he appears to be on the verge of mental collapse. Not surprising, all things considered, but this breakdown smells a lot like Shane’s psychotic break. Is Rick buying his own press now? He is taking a very firm hand here, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. As a scene in a season finale, it will inevitably be working at drama and tension, and will be intending to leave us with some sense of foreboding, but….Rick? I don’t know about this one. It makes me uneasy.

And there it is. We finally learn what Jenner told Rick at the CDC. When Daryl tells the group that Randall was infected but not bitten, and Beth questions the possibility of that – Rick is forced to admit that they are all infected. Yes, brother dear, you were right. The virus comes alive when the body dies. What were we saying earlier about foreboding?

Lori goes after Rick as he walks away, and he finally confesses to her that he killed Shane. I am positive I am not the only one watching who spent this whole scene watching her eyes dart about as the wheels turned in her mind on how to spin this and make it all better for Rick. And when does it begin to bug her? When she find out Carl shot Shane after her turned. Never mind that her beloved Shane was shot, it’s that her beloved Carl, whom she was ready to leave behind, shot him. I just deleted a sentence in which I wished her imminent demise; maybe Rick will need her ‘brains’ more than ever, if he’s losing his. When she walks away from him, even he seems confused as to why she would. Is this just the final push in her manipulation game?

And while I worry about the thought of Rick losing his mind, at least it shows the humanity Dale so badly wanted the group to hang on to – it shows that he is affected enough by everything that is going on that it is driving him mad with guilt, fury, fear, and heartbreak. Maybe it’s everyone else I should worry about.

Let’s talk about one dude we have pretty much left alone, but I think is going to be coming into play a lot more: Daryl Dixon. Despite his initial redneck racial tendencies, Daryl has fleshed out nicely, and I think he is going to be the new Shane to Rick’s…well, Rick. He has stepped up to the plate for the group in a huge way, all the way along, without much recognition. In the last few episodes it’s been Daryl who has figured out what’s going on and informed the group. He knew Shane was up to no good from the start, and never trusted him, even when everyone else did. When he is tracking Shane and Randall through the woods and discovers two sets of tracks in tandem, that is the first thing he tells the group when he returns. I needed to pay homage to Daryl and what I think he is becoming – which is Rick’s right hand, if not leading the group outright. Carol questions Rick’s authority to Daryl, who quickly tells her that he believes Rick has done alright by him. If Rick really is heading for a mental holiday, Daryl is more than capable of taking over.

Oh, and I heart Daryl and Carol. She needs a gruff man of few words; he needs someone he can count on. They can clearly count on each other.

Michonne. If you have read the graphic novels, you know who she is. I haven’t, and I have steadfastly avoided learning. I like surprises.

The prison. Genius.

A few parting shots, two of my faves:

“Christ promised a resurrection of the dead. I just thought he had somethin’ a little different in mind.” – Hershel

“Let’s get one thing straight: if you’re stayin’, this isn’t a democracy anymore.” – Rick

Season 2 Premiere will air on October 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm on AMC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *