Phew. The second season of The Walking Dead is almost over, after a final few episodes that seemed to stem from the writers waking up and thinking: “Wait, have we killed anyone all year? Except when we knocked off that little girl off-screen? No? Better get on that!”
And so they have. Which… means this season finale could be pretty traumatic. And yes, spoilers, obviously.
The Big Game
This episode divides pretty neatly into two sections, which works out well because so do these reviews. First up, we had the farm attack, in which our season two backdrop gets duly annihilated by a herd of walkers. Was the opening helicopter sequence of this episode meant to imply that someone led them there on purpose?
Anyway, after Dale and Shane, the show can’t really slaughter more major cast, which means the only fatalities this week are non-speaking, barely noticeable members of Hershel’s family. We barely care, and neither do the characters.
But the sequence itself is well done, the chaos and horror is well conveyed, as is the scale. I thought they were going to take out Hershel a couple of times, would’ve been a good symbolic kill for the end of the farm era, but he pulled through.
And then they escape the farm and the squabbling resumes. Carol is angry, Lori is stunned, I was totally right about what Jenner whispered, and Rick is… psychotic, it seems. The pressure of leadership has ripped him apart. I did enjoy his final speech though, even if a lot of the other characters’ debates were the same tiresome moaning as ever.
And then we get a few teasers for season three, with the debut of a popular character from the comics and a final shot that hints strongly at the use of the prison setting next year. Just out of interest, did that closing image make sense to people who haven’t read the comics? Or, since we’re on quite a geeky website, did you all know that was coming anyway?
Regardless, a decent ending to an uneven series, good sense of action, plot and direction, the feeling that the cast are actually in danger and anything could happen is back in place after a few traumatic weeks, which is something The Walking Dead really needed to recover. Hopefully they’ll carry it through into season three.