After a ten week break to catch its breath, The Walking Dead has returned to FX to address the cliffhanger that the producers are apparently calling “Barnageddon”. Because it involved a lot of death and a barn, do you see? Do you?
Well, the characters certainly do. And now they’re going to talk about it at length. Entertainingly? Maybe.
The first half of this season had good moments, but suffered from stretching them over about twice as many episodes as needed. The finale, in particular, was great, but by then a lot of the viewers were bored. Whether this was an OTT attempt to built tension or a trick to avoid spending budget on zombies, who can say?
Regardless, we’re back now, and anyone who was hoping the show would start moving like a speedboat is going to be disappointed. Something very traumatic just happened, so it’s time for extensive reaction shots and sadness as the gang reflect upon the horrors of Barnageddon.
Having said all that, there is a sense of our heroes doing and achieving something, rather than just hanging around on a farm looking sad, and that by itself is a small victory. All the characters get a moment and, with one exception, no-one acts like a moron to further the plot. (The exception is Lori, who freaks out and drives off, for no reason other than because the writers want her to crash.)
After The End Of Hays
By far the biggest winner here, though, is Rick. Despite being our nominal hero, friendly old Andrew Lincoln spent much of the first half standing around, whilst Shane got all the interesting storylines.
But, after stepping to the fore during Stablepocalypse, Rick has some interesting moments here, positioning himself as the guy determined to remain a rock of heroism to his troops, even if he has to slaughter everyone he meets to do it. Which, you may recall, is similar to what I said about Shane during an earlier review.
So the final conflict between them, when it eventually comes, should be interesting. Indeed, Nebraska is actually a strong episode, but I’d been hoping it would set up a more solid direction for the rest of the season, and no sign of one yet. Damn. Maybe it will just be a long wait until the next Barnageddon.