The Walking Dead Recap: Beside The Dying Fire

By Steve West | Published

Major spoilers follow! You have been warned.

Season two of The Walking Dead ends with an explosion, but that’s mostly from fans of the graphic novel who likely lost their minds when we finally got a glimpse of the prison, or maybe it was the hooded figure that gave you chills. We knew it was coming, and now we’re ready to see what happens when The Governor makes his entrance onto the show. But that’s for next season, right now we have to deal with an episode that was chock full of surprising and incredible moments.

The biggest thing that can be taken away from this finale is that there isn’t a whole lot of plot going on, and any events happening transpire quickly. This episode was all setup for what happens next on the show. The first large chunk of the episode is spent on the farm as a herd of zombies storm and take over. In the process of the full on walker attack we lose a few members of the Greene family, and Andrea is separated from the group.

Yeah, so Andrea I think has established herself as the best badass female on the show with this episode. The woman fights, scratches, bludgeons, and everything else she needs to in order to survive. Watching her running and beating back zombies all alone was one of the best sequences in the finale. And of course it could be argued that the introduction of Michonne in this fashion, saving Andrea with a katana blade that Hattori Hanzo would be proud of, was an even bigger “oh shit!” moment than the final shot of the prison. I’m also quite excited that the show is at a point now where I’ve no longer read, with a character I have no familiarity with; although I’m certain to be far ahead by the time season 3 rolls around.

I honestly think that it’s time for fans of the graphic novel to let that story go and if you’re going to be a fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead, get behind the new version of the tale being told. This is becoming more than a simple adaption where the writers have to figure out how to translate a book to television, but is instead a new story that utilizes the characters in a fantastic new way.

The other major plotline of this episode involved Rick’s placement in the group. He reveals to everyone as they’re on the road running that he was told that it was an infection, but he wasn’t sure that it was real. It’s not like his source was all that sane. But everyone questions whether Rick should be the leader, and then there’s Lori.

When Rick reveals to her that he killed Shane, and why, she gets pissed. Swatting him away, and getting all angry. I hope she gets angry enough to run off and get killed because I’ve had enough of her character. Rick doesn’t need her, and in fact would be a better leader of the group if he weren’t beholden to a manipulative and annoying woman.

Speaking of leading the group, the season 2 finale didn’t forget that this show may have cool moments but it’s about the people. And people change. After what happened on and off the farm throughout the season Rick has had enough. He gives a big speech to the group basically saying that he’s now calling the shots, and anyone who questions his authority can leave. Is this a bit of the Shane worldview being transposed onto Rick, or is Rick just worn down? We’ll have to wait for season 3 to find out for sure.

It was a near perfect end to a tumultuous season that had a few major missteps. Although the writers have proven time and again that even when they’re bogged down with what appears to be a trifling storyline (Searching for Sophia) there’s something bigger going on. The farm was a bit of a sidetrack, and possibly one the show needed to frame the story better. When we return to the show I have a feeling there will be a good deal of time spent with the Woodbury survivors, and there may be an epic battle between Rick and The Governor. One that will likely change the people we’ve come to know in fundamental ways. But enough speculation, now we wait ever so impatiently.