I will start by apologizing to the guy for my article spoiling the episode for him.
But seriously, whats a man to do. It's not like I blasted a pre air spoiler all over the internet. I wrote about it two days after it was on TV. And I even attempted to protect from spoiling any thing by using a season one picture as the header so as not to have the new pic appear in the blog rolls. But alas, I guess my article in it's entirety showed up in some sort of google reader he used.
So having said that, I warn you, read at your own risk if you and a tribe of Brazilian rain forest natives are the only people left in the world who have not seen The Walking Dead season finale.
Well as Rhino had said, I had my blood bath.
The episode delivered all that was promised, and hoped for. The end of the farm. The death of useless characters, and some extreme character twists. Rick was pushed to the brink, Lori revealed her twisted bitch nature, and every one else was shown the back door.
First let me discuss the episode as a whole. Outstanding. The chaos of the scene was delicious, and the burning of the barn was spectacular. In The Talking Dead they discuss their good fortune with how it worked out, but I wanted to say that damn it was great. It was such an amazing collapse and scene, with the horde of zombies back lit by the flaming building, that even the zombie extras had to turn in awe. (You could see some of them turn their heads in surprise.) I want to congratulate AMC and the creators of the show for an absolute outstanding series. And thank them.
In all of this mess, we saw one prevailing theme. Perceived order falling to chaos. The farm was safe. The survivors were building a home where they could live. They had sustainable food, and a protected perimeter. But then the swamp dried up. Uhoh...
As things collapsed, by the way the collapse was not when the helicopter started a zombie herd... it started when Shane freaked out and opened the barn, then Rick went to town after Hershel. Bringing home the prisoner started a series of choices that would tear the group apart. The zombies just facilitated things.
So Rick went over the deep end. The one who thrived on order the most was most impacted when it disappeared. The actor playing Rick has been fantastic, but the final scene, where he admits to killing Shane to Lori, then to the group was amazing and does television proud. Where has this dude been hiding? I was utterly convinced about the anguish in Rick's world as he first told Lori about Shane, then looked her in the eye as she recoiled away, confirming her true feelings. Then even more so when he addressed the group. The man had had enough.
As I said last week, Rick stuck shane because it was indeed personal. He flat admitted it this week. Rick knew Shane had to die or go away. Every one did. But what the rest of them did not have knowledge of was Shane's confrontation and Rick saving him. Carol, of all people, was questioning Rick's honor. It was funny how Daryl defended him. Daryl, a man who probably his whole life was seen as having no value to society, and was now deemed as needed, was defending a man who would probably have put him in jail had they met six months earlier.
And who the hell does Carol think she is? She is completely useless to the group and in fact hinders their safety. Without them, she is meat. Who is she to accuse Rick of having no honor? When no one else ran after her daughter, he chased her down, trying to save her. I guess her role next season has now been defined, the instigator. In season two she was the object of a lot of the drama, now she will be the source and creator.
So yah, Rick steps off the deep end. He makes it clear in no uncertain terms, that HE is the boss, and it is being done his way. Frankly, it probably was not what they wanted hear, and it was definitely not the way they wanted to hear it, but I think every one of them knew, it was something they had to have. It is interesting to me how Rick has pretty much become Shane in his leadership tactics. Earn their hearts and minds, but that only goes so far. In the end, the only way to absolutely lead a group, is through an iron fist. Committee just leads to bull shit. Shane understood that. The post apocalyptic world demands it.
I liked that as the last couple of episodes wore on, Rick started becoming more regimented. Barking orders instead of seeking opinion. That is how I see a survivor group as needing to be run. Doing it Dale's way only leads to discontent. Ever one of them is going to be forced to face problems with their own morals. The fact that Rick, the guy with the strongest, has pushed his own so far, or completely abandoned them, is great television.
What about Lori?
The way she recoiled from Rick made me want to punch her in the face.
She put the both of them in motion. She created the situation that would force Rick to kill Shane. You could see it on Rick's face before the mid season break when he stared straight at the camera. You could see his realization that he had been manipulated by her again here. You could see his heart break. And most importantly, during his rant at the end, you could almost see laserbeams shoot right at her when he told her to hit the road.
With Shane and Dale gone, the show's dynamic is going to change big time. And the conflict between Lori and Rick is going to be at the top. We can probably expect to see her manipulate Carol, and in a round about way, Daryl. It is going to be juicy indeed.
Well there is the door honey! I loved how Rick pretty much looked them each in the eye and said get out. And each of them stayed. As the camera panned, you could read their roles. Hershel supports Rick. His world is gone. The only thing he has now is his family, and the bond created between himself and Rick at the bar. His blonde daughter... heh whatever.
Maggie and Glenn begrudgingly follow. Maggie because her father does, and Glenn, well, what else is he supposed to do. But you could definitely see him having a heart break of his own. He had set up Rick as a sort of hero. Bigger than life and above human. But Rick's rant showed Glenn that they are all human. You could see that he was unsure of what to think.
Tdogg stood there as a man with no better choices. You could tell he had something to say, but kept his mouth shut like a smart man should. He showed his true colors when he tried to run with Lori and lil blonde. Heh, why wouldn't he? He had a vehicle, open road, and a couple of hoochies. He set himself up as a possible back stabber in season three.
Carol played her cards.
Daryl also played his.
I love this pic. Note Tdog's back to rick but gun ready. Lori protecting Carl (from Rick?) who is looking at rick confused. Maggie caring for lil blonde and the space between her and Glenn. Daryl, body facing and open to Rick, ready to follow, and Carol arms folded staring across the group at the man she blames for her current situation.
My question about the ending is why would they be so upset about Rick keeping his secret. Cannot they see any logic? First of all, how would knowing that fact make a difference in their lives? And can't they see that it only made sense for Rick not to tell them until he had seen it for himself? And now because he kept the secret he was dishonorable, despite what he has done for them? I like that he put them in their place, the ungrateful lot. I look forward to more of this Rick.
So what else?
The chick in the robe.
Here is a case where comic simply does not translate into television. I think the two walkers on chains with no arms were ridiculous. It probably worked in the comic, and I'm sure had a great explanation, but in OUR zombie survival world, it is silly. I love the idea of her though. I like the comicy character, the hooded loner with a katana. And yes these sort of people would certainly exist and thrive in a ZA world. We all know a few of the sort. Store clerks. IT dudes. Whatever. Smart guys who go about their daily lives in unassuming ways. But at home, there is a trove of weapons and swords. These are the guys I want to know in the event of a ZA. More than any one else, these are the guys who have rehearsed how to decapitate a zombie with that sword, and can teach me to do the same.
I think she, whatever her name is, Mignone? will send the television show down a whole new avenue. I look forward to scenes between her and Rick, where he is learning how to lead and she is letting him.
I pause to ask, did modern "fast mover" zombies suddenly appear? How did Andrea not lose those zombies in the woods? From sun up to sun down she was running from them. She had a decent amount of ammo. With some bursts of speed, in a thickly wooded area, she could lose some, cap the rest, rinse and repeat. The echos of the gunshots in the trees would fool the undead and she should be able to get away. But instead they were right on her ass the whole time. I did love the scenes though. The sheer mayhem of the zombies in the woods, or on the farm in general. Every one running in every direction, zombies every where... God it was good.
So any way, I know enough about the comic to know that they hold up in a prison, as the end scene would hint at. I am looking forward to Hershel going "Oh there is a prison right over the ridge maybe we can hold up there." when they are having the "what do we do now" discussion in season three. He has to know it exists, what home owner would not know about a maximum security prison mere miles from their farm. You would have thought that in this episode, instead of him looking all bewildered with no direction to go, he could have said, "Hey guys, I have an idea..." Then off they go. I look forward to them actually setting up the zombie survival stronghold Dawn of the Dead style.
What else is there to say? A perfect end to my favorite show since Battlestar Galactica. This week marks the start of a LONG count down to October. I wish I could just go to sleep for six months. I look forward to seeing how Hood chick changes the dynamic of the group. A lot is going to change, as they go from passive, to reactive, to proactive in their survival. The prison is going to add a cool factor to the show. There should be ammo a plenty, and armored cars, riot gear, you name it. They should be able to gear up and kick serious ass. The rift between Lori and Rick will widen and rebellion will be rampant.
I do raise a question, how did those two security guards die a few episodes ago? They were not bitten... there was no sign of death. Since they are all supposedly infected, could it be that the transformation is a ticking time bomb, that wont necessarily wait for death? Could those two guys have been at ground zero? There will be lots of questions and answers to come.
Oh and one last thing, I forgot to mention this gripe. The food on the hood of the car... They spent what must have been two months on the farm. That food had been sitting on the hood of that car the entire time, exposed to the elements. The other day I left a bottle of coke on the hood of my car while I brought in the groceries, and the wind blew it off. How the hell did that collection of stuff manage to last on the hood of that car the entire time they were on the farm? I mean, seriously, since the time that the food was put there, Carl was shot in the gutt and fully recovered. The jar of peanut butter and bottle of gatorade can stand the test of time. At least there was something there so they could have a snack!
Well that's it! No more Walking Dead until October.
Now back to my regularly scheduled 40k stuff. Come on 6th Ed.