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Walking Dead Episode 213 Season Finale

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The second season of The Walking Dead did not stagger to the end. No, it went out with a big shotgun blast full of awesome aimed directly at your head.

Apparently most of the season’s FX budget was saved up for the first 20 minutes of this episode. Total zombie overload, plus that huge barn fire. There were spectacular sights to be seen, with Daryl on his bike, Glenn literally riding shotgun with Maggie, zombies bursting through fences, random characters we barely knew getting chewed to bits…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The episode starts out with one of those flashbacks, this one going back a few days. Now we know why the zombies usually straggle, but sometimes herd. Movement and noises can send some of them heading off in one direction, and as the group picks up more and more zombies, it becomes a massive herd moving with seeming purpose, but really just plowing along in a single direction. In this case, a passing helicopter sends them on the move.
Wait, a helicopter? That’s interesting.

Then we cut to Carl and Rick standing on a hillside playing the, “I’m only going to look in one direction,” game. If you lived in zombieworld, wouldn’t your head be spinning constantly while outdoors? Just perpetual lack of eye contract with your fellow survivors, because you’re always scanning to the sides, behind you, back to the front, then repeat. Not these dudes. So a really large group of not especially stealthy zombies gets the drop on them.

Rick and Carl head for the barn, everyone else mounts up and regulates. Andrea and Glenn display uncanny accuracy, hitting every headshot from speeding, bouncing cars. Lori proves once again that she’s the world’s worst parent, noticing that Carl is missing a bit too late in the game. Since this leads to some of the group staying at the house to look for him, Lori pretty much directly causes at least one person to die (that blonde girl who was never really very important). Luckily, Hershel was on duty with his Magic Shotgun of Infinite Ammunition +3.

Jimmy botches the motor home rescue of Carl and Rick, so he dies. He also loses the motor home, the last vestige of Dale. Why not lock the door to the RV? Why not tell Rick and Carl to lay down on the roof and hang on, then drive away? Why not fend off zombies in some way other than offering up your leg as a snack?

The best part of the whole thing (aside from that damn impressive barn fire, so symbolic of Hershel losing his farm) is that we have Good Daryl back. No more moping and skinning squirrels – he’s a badass once more, punctuating his rescue of Carol with, “Ain’t got all day.” Welcome back, Daryl.

Everyone scatters and Andrea ends up alone without a car because a zombie fell on her. Rambo Andrea tearing through the woods was excellent, but out of ammo, out of breath, with just a pocket knife to defend herself against all those walkers, well, it looked pretty grim. I was certain she’d be saved by one of the other survivors with the desperately overused, “bad guy gets shot in the head by someone off camera at the last possible second,” gag (seriously TV shows, stop that already). I most certainly did not predict that she’d be saved by a machete swipe from a mysterious hooded stranger with two armless zombies on leashes (I stopped reading this far ahead in the comic, partly because the show had diverged so much, partly to prevent the odd spoiler).

After some debate, the rest of the gang make their ways back to the highway where they left supplies for lost Sophia. T-Dog speaks! Everyone reunites! Some people didn’t make it! Where’s Shane?! Uh, about that…

They head off down the road (tell me you didn’t feel a little twinge of sadness at that lingering shot of the message left for Sophia) until Rick runs out of a gas because siphoning some extra gas out of the hundreds of cars on the highway would have made too much sense. He finally explains the Shane situation to Crazy Lori, who clinches this year’s Walking Dead Worst Human Ever award by acting crazy in new and exciting ways. Mostly looking hostile and walking fast.

That wasn’t the big reveal though. Rick’s real bombshell explains why Randall and Shane zombified sans bites. The infection is airborne, but it doesn’t turn you into a zombie when you’re alive. It just stays there, dormant, until you die, when it kicks in and turns you into a walker (to her credit, my wife totally predicted that last week). And that, a full season ago, is what Jenner whispered to Rick at the CDC.

But that wasn’t even the last reveal, because after Rick gives his big, “My way or the highway” speech at Fort Hey-Look-There’s-a-Fort-Here, the camera pulls back to show a large complex that appeared to be surrounded by massive walls topped with barbed wire. What was Rick just saying about finding a safe place, a place to make a home, a place they can defend? How about a prison, Rick?

With that, season two comes to a close. The farm has been left behind. Andrea is separated from the group. Their direction is uncertain. Some friends have died. It feels a little bit like the breaking of the Fellowship (Rick as Aragorn? Shane as Boromir? Dale is obviously Gandalf. Is Carl Frodo?). What will the knowledge of the contagion mean? Will they reach the prison? How do you domesticate zombies? It’s going to be a long wait.

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Posted by on Sunday, March 18th, 2012. Filed under Dark TV, Headline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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