Mar 2012 20

by Damon Martin

When we last saw our beloved Walking Dead characters, Sherriff Rick Grimes was standing over the body of his best friend Shane who he stabbed, only to watch him turn into one of the undead, and then gets shot by the youngest member of the group, Carl. As Rick and Carl both try to react to the horrifying situation they’ve both just lived through, in the distance we see a hoard of walkers lumbering towards them in the distance. Thus begins the end of The Walking Dead Season 2.

While some may believe that the show focuses on the dead coming back to life and taking over the world, Robert Kirkman’s comic book-turned-television-show is really about the characters and their struggle with living and surviving in an insane world.

As left off at the end of the last episode, the mob of zombies heads towards the farm hell bent on finding some living flesh, and unfortunately for a couple of the members of Herschel’s tribe, they won’t make it to Season 3.

Beth tries to pull Patricia towards the car to make their escape just as a walker leaps out and latches onto her, ripping her apart. Beth can only watch in horror as she finally loses her grasp on Patricia, and runs away to try and save her own life.

Meanwhile, Jimmy rolls Dale’s RV towards the back of the barn where Rick and Carl have set a fire to try and distract the attacking zombies. They leap on top of the mobile home, jumping off the back end to safety. Unfortunately, Jimmy stayed in the RV and the walkers smelled dinner, and busted through the door to have themselves a snack.

Andrea is able to save Carol with some of her signature sharp shooting, but gets cut off from escape. Carol rides off into the sunset on Darryl’s motorcycle, and Andrea is left to fend for herself. Making a run for it in a caravan of two cars and a motorcycle, the group somehow reconvenes and that’s where Rick finally unleashes his bombshell.

At the end of Season 1, the crazy quack Dr. Jenner whispered something into Rick’s ear before they all bolted out, running for their lives. What he revealed was that everybody, all humans, had the infection that caused them to come back to life after death. So whether you die by zombie bites or just die of natural causes, you’re getting back up.

The group rails on Rick for not making this confession earlier, but knowing how insane Jenner seemed, he had no idea if it was the truth or just more crazy lies. It became fact however after he stabbed his best friend Shane, and moments later he was back up, looking to take a bite out of his former comrade.

While zombies simply coming back to life is nothing new when talking about undead mythology, The Walking Dead interjecting a little science with the revelation that everyone is infected was a nice touch. Although quite a few people saw this coming, it was a well timed reveal that confirmed just how hopeless this already hopeless world really was.

Back in the woods, Andrea is still alive but only barely as she continues to run through the woods, firing off rounds from her gun as the hoard of the undead keep close. Just when it looks like we’ve seen the last of Andrea, a sword comes swiping down from above, lopping the zombie’s head off.

Pan up, and you see a katana wielding badass with a hood up over their face, and a chain in hand attached to two zombies currently lacking any arms. As it was revealed later by Walking Dead creator, that is none other than comic book favorite character Michonne, who will be played in Season 3 by former HBO Treme cast member Danai Gurira.

After nearly running out of gas, the group decides to stop for the night and set up camp, but at one point Carol begins to question Rick’s leadership, and the former Sherriff doesn’t take kindly to her remarks. As he lashes out and tells the story of how he had to kill his best friend Shane because it was the only thing he could do, Rick invites anyone in the group to set out on their own and see just how long they survive. No one stands up and in an authoritarian voice, Rick tells the group that if they are staying they have to know one thing: “This isn’t a democracy anymore.”

Ever since his arrival, Rick has been looked at as the de facto leader, despite back biting from Shane and others who question his decision making. In the final episode of Season 2, he let everybody know that if they are going to look towards him as a leader, then he is going to lead and they need to follow. It was a brilliant way to show the humanity of survival with a glimmer of Rick ripping a bit at the seams after such a trying and tragic few hours, during which he lost his best friend, killed his worst enemy (it just so happened to be the same person), and saw more members of his extended family lost forever.

Rick turns to walk away and as the camera pans up, we see a prison off in the distance. Is this the safe salvation the group of weary wanderers has been looking for or just another painful reminder that this world isn’t safe no matter where you hide?

Tune into Season 3 of The Walking Dead to find out…


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