Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Walking Dead: Mid Season Finale Review

I'm a bit late on this review, but I plan to catch up with The Walking Dead by the time tonight's episode, episode 9, airs. Pretty Much Dead Already left us with a lot to contemplate while we all waited until February when season two returned from it's mid season break. The episode originally aired at the end of last November. For some this episode was a rejuvenation of the series and a promise that the second half of the season will be faster paced, but for others it was too little to late. The Walking Dead airs on AMC every Sunday at 9/8c. Let's delve into the episode at hand. *Spoilers Ahead* 

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

By this point in the show many people were wondering when the hell the show was going to leave the farm and move onto anything else, this episode provided solutions to that problem. The previous episode we saw Glen struggling with keeping the walker filled barn a secret and we start this episode with all of his secrets pouring out. Everyone learns of the barn and they immediately get very nervous and agitated about it's close proximity to them and about it being kept a secret. Shane get's very aggressive about the situation and continually tries to get everyone to agree to kill all the walkers, Rick on teh other hand tries to be open minded about it and respect Hershel. So while Rick heads off to help Hershel bring in a new walker that roamed upon their lands, Shane riles up the mob and starts handing out guns. I should note that Dale strongly opposed this and went so far as to put his life on the line to hide the guns from Shane, but Shane proves that he is too intelligent for such games and finds Dale hiding them. While that is going on Rick is doing his best to accept Hershel's seemingly crazy ideas about keeping Walkers alive and takes an active role in helping Hershel.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

All that summarizing aside there are some interesting relationships they set up here. First is the trust and understanding between Hershel and Rick. This will likely play an integral part in the upcoming episodes as Rick and Hershel will have to work through everything together, it also showcases Rick's ability to compromise. Glen and Maggie's relationship continues to grow throughout this episode and up until the end it looks to be very solid and promising. There is also Dale and Shane, they are clearly adverse to each other and Dale will likely be strongly with Rick in all future decisions, especially as Shane becomes more and more impulsive. Shane used to think of the group before himself, but now almost everything seems to be personal for him and he tries to manipulate others into siding with him. Which brings me to the end of the episode and so far the climax of the season: the barn.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

While Rick is out helping Hershel Shane is doing a mighty fine job of basically inciting everyone else into a mob like state. Shane arms everyone and heads for the barn with Rick arriving right when they are about to open it up. This is one of the few times when we see Rick powerless to sway the opinions of others. They open the barn and put down every single Walker that comes shambling out the now opened barn doors. Every single member of the group takes part in this slaughter, except for Dale and Lori. Even Rick feels a need to help out once he realizes he is powerless to stop it. It is a powerful scene and one that shows the anger of many, while simultaneously showing the despair in Hershel, Lori, Dale, Maggie and Beth. The strongest and most confounding part of this scene is when Sophie walks out of the barn. Rick takes it upon himself to put her down, once again showing his strength and qualities of a good leader. The episode leaves us with this, making us wonder for two months about the reasons for her being in the barn, why Hershel didn't say anything about her being in the barn, what recuperation's will come from this and most importantly, will they finally leave the farm?

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode PhotosWith all those questions there is also plenty of problems that may come to your mind. My biggest problem with the episode is plausibility, specifically referring how easily Shane got everyone riled up, especially characters who are normally fairly group orientated, like Daryl. Why was everyone of them, except for Dale and Lori, so eager to mow down a bunch of walkers without even considering their position on the farm, what Rick would want or why Hershel has them there. There is also a big deal about how much everyone feels like they are in danger now that they know that the barn is full of walkers, why? They have been at the farm for quite some time and never once has anyone even bothered with the barn, why should they suddenly have this massive fear that the walkers are going to break out of the barn? All of that strikes me as inconsistencies in the character of many of the group members. Despite all that this was probably one of the better episodes of the season so far and I hope they keep up this pace throughout the second half of season two. Check back later for a review of episode 8. Thanks for reading.

Violent Score: 8 (out of 10) 

-Written by Sean Cargle


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