Season Two of the Walking Dead was dreadful. Half of it wasted looking for a dead little girl. The other half with fans wishing death on Lori, Andrea, Shane and Carl. Well, the fans got half of what they wished for and we got a fantastic ending to the season which is something we did not get last season. The season one ending was anticlimactic and just left fans feeling like “that’s it?” The season one finale did one very important thing for the series however: it established that there is no permanently safe place for the survivors. This is a fact that will become very evident in season three if the hints are any indication.
Y’ALL CAN’T HANDLE MAH NUTS! Rick Grimes is an exhausted man. He is exhausted from having to take care of a large group of Carl Grimes. What I mean by that is that he basically has to hold the hands of a bunch of children that are never satisfied, never do what he tells them, yet always are asking him what to do next. Whenever something goes wrong, “Rick, what should we do?” Now that a true catastrophe strikes and he steps up to the challenge, they want to act like he is unfit to lead. And essentially, his response was “LOOK! Look at my gigantic nuts!” “I have killed men and monsters alike for you ungrateful little shits and I am sick of it!” “So if any of you bastards feel up to the job, try carryin’ mah nuts, but I warn you, they heavy as hell!” And yes, the misspelling was intentional. After Lori reacted the way she did to the truth about Shane’s death, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Rick has snapped, but he still has the well being of the group firmly in mind. And he is correct, they will not make it alone; the group must stay together to survive.
THE HERD’S A’COMIN Applause is in order for the sheer effort that went into this last episode of the season. I will admit that I am slightly upset because that herd is still far from the size seen in the comics and I can only hope that one day a scene of that magnitude happens. Still, the farm was basically swallowed by walkers people either got out or got eaten. Nothing seemed to stop them. Talking Dead recounted every kill as they do each week and dozens of walkers went down or burned but it was no where near enough. This is the sheer horror of a herd. If you have anything less than napalm, the odds are you will not escape them alive. Friends were lost and families were torn apart (literally) and all of that happened within the first 20 minutes of the show! I looked at the clock completely by accident at [9:22]Pm and I was in shock. “The show isn’t over?” It wasn’t half over and this herd had made for more action than your average two episodes. I know there cannot be a herd every episode, but the writers need to take a long look at this finale. In Season three, especially with the allusion to the prison, there will be ways to make every episode exciting.
MICHONNE! I have been begging and pleading for the appearance of Michonne. It was rumored that her appearance would be brief and it was; but it was very powerful. Andrea gets props for basically running a full night and day through the woods and somehow not getting killed. The problem with the undead is that they don’t get tired, but you do, especially if you are carrying a large sack of weapons. After running forever, Andrea falls and is about to be lunch when the walker’s head gets cut off. Flash to an all to familiar image for comic fans: A hooded black woman wielding a katana. She has in chains two walkers, whose arms and mandibles she has removed. This is Michonne, and she is the epitome of survivor. How you first see her is how she has lived for over a year. No car, no shelter to hold up in. She just has kept moving. The walkers are her boyfriend and his friend and their stink has helped keep her alive as it throws off walkers from noticing her. I suspect the season three opener will have her and Andrea finding Rick’s group and then shit gets real. The announcement of Danai Gurira as the actress who will portray Michonne next season is promising. I am going to have to check out her other work, but word is that she is a qualified actress and that hopefully will strengthen a cast of already strong women. Her features make her perfect for the part though: she has strong African American features which makes sense considering she was born here but her parents are from Zimbabwe and she has a frame that looks strong to begin with but I am sure a few months in the gym can have her fit the role exactly.
THE BIG HOUSE As last night’s finale ended we were left with the sight of a prison off in the distance. While the sight of Michonne was exciting and awesome, this glimpse of a penitentiary is extremely significant to story progression. A well made prison is designed to keep its denizens within its walls, away from society. In t the case of our survivors however, it will accomplish the opposite. Incarceration equals freedom for them. In the comic, the prison was the safest place the group ever occupied. If not for a certain string of events, they might still be there. Individual cells were like hotel suites for them and the yard provided land for growing vegetables. The gates kept the walkers out and made for a way to safely dispatch them leisurely. Recall the scene from the “18 Miles Out” episode where Rick stabs a walker through the fence. That was taken directly from the prison story arc of the comic. The only thing to remember while watching season three is that no where is truly safe.
I have been hard as hell on this show. The truth is that I want this show to continue to succeed. I want it to remain on air for as long as possible. That will not happen if episodes are wasted on futile quests and if there is not a constant, visible threat to the survivors. One might think, “if they get in the prison, won’t it get boring for us?” Not if the stories are executed properly. For one, they have to get inside the prison. The herd is still out there and Michonne and Andrea are going to meet up with the group at some point, That herd could be on their heels as they enter the prison. And you see the picture, you see how huge that prison is. Do you think for a moment it is empty? Even if there are no walkers in there, what about inmates or guards? Nothing is as easy as it seems in this world they live in. While it makes sense, do not immediately expect the group to get inside during the first episode unless it is two hours long.