Entertaining Platt: The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale – “Beside the Dying Fire”
March 19, 2012 § 2 Comments
So long creepy farm, long may you burn.
Hello, sword-toting stranger with two armless pet zombies.
And, off in the distance, we see that Season 2’s budget actually went into a painting of Season 3’s destination: A maximum security prison!
When this finale ended, mostly I found myself thinking: Well, glad that’s over. Just for the record, I don’t think that’s the way a season finale should make me feel.
At the end of Season 1, I thought they had done a great job of introducing the characters, setting up the conflicts, and providing some mystique about the plague during the events leading up to the destruction of the CDC headquarters in Atlanta.
At the end of Season 2, I’m left wondering why we spent so much time on Herschel’s farm, why Rick let Shane play rogue for so long, why Lori couldn’t watch her one kid (let alone bring a second into the zombie-infected world), and why we haven’t happened upon the hooded stranger or the prison people before this.
Well. Maybe the prison was 19 miles out?
Anyway, this episode killed off two perfectly useless characters, so it really lacked the punch of the last one, in which Shane died, came back to life, and died again (for good this time).
The finale hinted that zombies, like cats and your average voter, are distracted by shiny things that flash past above them and can become obsessed with them faster than you can say “gay rights,” “al Qaeda,” or “stealin’ our jarbs.” So, that was a bit of news disposed of before the credits rolled.
I had great hope for the show’s future when it appeared that the zombie invasion had scattered the survivors in multiple directions. An opportunity to let the smaller groups develop characters and more interesting narratives? Woo! But no. That hope faded when they all got back together again at the Sophiamobile on the highway less than ten minutes later.
I’m having trouble grasping Lori’s horrified reaction to Rick’s story of killing Shane. Isn’t that what she wanted? Wasn’t that the point of her Lady Macbeth plotting and scheming, pitting Rick and Shane against each other? Did she really love Shane and expected HIM to prevail in a showdown against her husband? Or is she more disgusted by the fact that Carl, the kid SHE FAILED TO WATCH AGAIN, had to pull the trigger on Shane to put him down for good?
And Rick’s final monologue actually rang hollow for me, especially the bit where he frantically assured people that he killed his best friend for this bunch of losers in the group. He didn’t kill Shane for the group. He killed Shane to protect himself and to eliminate a threat to his family. He didn’t even give Shane the minimal due process that they’d given Randall.
It’s not that I wish Rick hadn’t killed Shane. I just think it’s becoming obvious that Rick probably wasn’t the best cop in rural Georgia before the apocalypse hit, and now he’s got some messianic delusions kicking in.
Of everything that happened in the finale, I was most pleased with Andrea’s adventure through the woods. Abandoned by Rick and friends, she single-handedly did away with quite a few walkers, including some she face-stabbed and another she slammed into the trunk of a tree. So much for her suicidal thoughts, huh?
For her, and for the mysterious zombie trainer, I’ll be back for Season 3. But right now I just don’t give much of a damn for Rick and his crew.