Monday, March 19, 2012

“The Walking Dead” Season 2, Episode 13: Great Balls of Fire

Finally off the farm!

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Cheers all around: We’ve finally left the freaking farm.

Of course, it took an entire horde of walkers to make it happen. Apparently one gunshot attracted all of them, or the herd followed them from Atlanta, but either way, a giant wave of walkers overran the farm, taking a few characters with them. That one guy who nobody cared about died, Jimmy (James McCune). Pretty unceremoniously too, as he could have just drove the RV a little faster. I’m not sure why we were wasting ammo when we had perfectly good cars to drive over the walkers with, and thank you T-Dog(IronE Singleton) for actually starting to use those wheels. And getting a few lines, finally.

click to enlarge episode-13-carol-daryl.jpg

Oh, and then Patricia (Jane McNeill ) died too. Is it bad that I didn’t care? Her death was gruesomely awesome, but honestly, I wasn’t even sure who she was until I checked, as Hershel’s family has very much been in the background and rarely important. The show has had too many characters from the get go, so it's been time for some house cleaning anyways.

It was fitting that it was Rick (Andrew Lincoln) who ultimately had to pull Hershel (Scott Wilson) off the farm, and as much as I was happy for them to finally leave it, seeing it overrun and up in flames was a tad touching. Hershel’s last look back at his home was bittersweet, and it was sad to see the whole place, once a safe zone, literally go up in smoke.

Daryl (Norman Reedue) saved Carol (Melissa McBride), which was also equally fitting, given their whole connection over Sophia(Madison Lintz). Glen (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) escaped together, and the reality of the world started to re-sink in: with no phones nobody knew who made it out and who didn’t. The show didn’t milk that notion for long, or nearly as long as I felt it could have, but I’m shocked they never had an officially agreed upon rendezvous point. Bad planning guys, bad planning.

The group, minus Andrea (Laurie Holden) and the deceased, luckily managed to convene where they started the season before they hightailed it out of there. After running out of gas and demanding that they stop to set up camp, Rick finally revealed the big secret from the CDC: Everybody is infected. Getting bit is no longer an issue, but I was a little let down with how the big reveal was treated. Everybody got mad at Rick for keeping it a secret, but doesn’t this spell game over for life in general? Even people who die of old age will become walkers now, right? That, to say the least, kind of sucks.

Rick then privately admitted to Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) that he killed Shane (Jon Bernthal), and is, in Rick fashion, placing a lot of the blame on himself. I don’t quite see it that way, but I do see how Rick, honesty prone as he is, felt that he needed to tell Lori that he wanted Shane dead. Lori was none too happy, and it was a great scene with her moving further away and retreating from Rick in the background as he confessed everything. Though Lori, it really is your fault for playing them against each other.

After he talked to Lori, Rick then let the cat out of the bag to the whole group. His reveal here, unlike the CDC news, was the best scene in the whole episode, and perhaps the whole season. Rick hasn't been scoring points with me lately, but it redefined who Rick was. He is starting to fall apart, especially given that he had to kill who was his best friend, and he isn't taking shit anymore. He gave the bickering group the option of leaving or staying: but if they stay that they are agreeing to do so under his new, non-democratic, rule. It was nice to see Rick finally grow a pair, even if it he seemed to be cracking.

On Andrea's end, she was, and awesomely so, saved by a hooded figure with two walker prisoners following him/her, which is apparently Michonne (Danai Gurira), setting up season three and the prison, which was the final shot of the episode.

The show did ramp up the buckets of blood for the finale, but it just didn’t have the punch I was hoping for, even with all the reveals and deaths. Everything seems to be heading in a much more exciting, and entertaining direction though, and at least the good moments were spread out through the episode instead of buried at the end. But, it did what a good season finale should do: Leave me anticipating the next season to come.

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