“The Walking Dead” just wrapped its second season, leaving us with some food for thought as we wait for the third season.
The season finale had two big reveals in the final minutes: one was a mysterious hooded figure who came to the rescue of a character, and the other was the foreshadowing of where the characters will next try to find solace in a world gone mad.
Now, was the second season as good as the first? It’s hard to say. The second season had twice as many episodes as the first, but the best thing about season one was we were introduced to this world. We really didn’t have an idea of how big the zombie problem was until the last couple of episodes, when it was shown the entire world is likely impacted by the outbreak. And, it was also then that Dr. Edwin Jenner whispered something to Rick, which left audiences guessing at what was said.
But now we know: Every surviving human is likely a carrier of this zombie virus. Based on what we saw last episode, and what Rick revealed to the group in tonight’s finale, we’ve learned a great deal about the virus. It’s all quite thrilling, too, because who knows what else the virus is capable of in terms of how it can adapt to its environment.
Tonight’s episode was quite the finale, and it no doubt is leaving fans of “The Walking Dead” comic book salivating for what’s likely going to come in the third season.
The final shot of the episode shows a prison in the distance, which is where the current roster of survivors will end up next season. We also know that the villain called The Governor has also been cast, and will be played by David Morrissey. And if you’ve read the prison story arc in the comic, then you know season three has the potential to be some of the most violent and thrilling drama the television world has ever seen. It is possible, of course, that some things will change, because the show is truly unpredictable. I’ve been a reader of the comic for years but still can’t tell you what for sure is going to happen in the television show. The show is different enough to keep me guessing, which I like.
I about squealed when Michonne made her appearance, saving Andrea from some walkers in the woods. She’s one of my favorites from the comic book and her style and badass nature will complement Daryl’s very well. Michonne is one reason why I’m highly anticipating next season, but am also highly curious at what the writers will be allowed to do with her character. In a story arc involving The Governor, Michonne gets some serious revenge after living through a horrible ordeal. It’s violent and was hard to read in the comic, so I can’t imagine how it’ll play out in the show, if it’s played out at all.
I liked that the second season made kind of a full circle. The characters meet back up after the farm is lost to the horde of zombies, at the place where they split earlier in the season, when Sophia became separated from the group. Now, instead of looking for a single character, the group is looking for another new beginning.
The tension between the group and Rick, and between even Lori and Rick, should serve as a catalyst for the next season. It’d be a strong though predictable jumping off point for any in-group drama we see, especially since Rick told the group “this isn’t a democracy anymore.” But, we have to remember Lori is also pregnant, and if she gives birth to her child next season, that might dilute the tension a bit while simultaneously creating a new problem: having a baby in the group.
Plus, harking back to the idea of an adaptive/mutating virus, what if Lori’s baby has some kind of super stream of the virus? What if the baby is born a zombie, like what happens in the pretty awful 2004 version of “Dawn of the Dead“? I don’t think the show will get to that level of cheesiness, but it’s a thought worth thinking about.
I am relieved to see Hershel survived the season. He’s become one of my favorites, and I think he’s a shoo-in to be the new Dale-like character. Sadly, knowing what could be coming next season, I don’t see him lasting long. Scott Wilson has done a fantastic job this season, and it’d be great to see much more of him in the future.
Maggie and Glenn have the potential to be a fantastic on-screen couple: They’re both strong but levelheaded, and they’re great characters by themselves. However, acting from both Lauren Cohan and Steven Yeun was a bit stale in the season finale, “Beside the Dying Fire.” They can do better than they did tonight, and I’m looking forward to seeing their A-game next season.
Daryl survived, too. Which isn’t a surprise, because he’s a fan favorite who brings a good number of viewers to the show. I have a strong feeling his brother, Merle, will return in the third season, and will be a member of The Governor’s group. If that’s the case, where will Daryl stand when he’s reunited with his brother? I hope we get to see Daryl go through this kind of personal struggle.
Speaking of Andrew: Man, has she become awesome! She kind of started as a timid girl, and now she’s more put together and doesn’t play the victim anymore. She definitely kicked ass and took (zombie) names in the finale, especially when she lunged at one of the oncoming zombies with a knife to the face.
“The Walking Dead” continues to surprise me, and I can only hope for a season three that’s every bit as good as seasons one and two. Season two was a slow burn for a while, but the second half picked up and made up for it.
Bring on season three.