The second season of The Walking Dead closed out with the remaining characters looking especially grumpy, and rightfully so. We don’t see a lot of good days on this show, but Season 2 ended, not with a huge cliffhanger (though we did get a clue about what may be ahead for Season 3), but with a regrouping of characters and a less than motivational speech.
At the end of last week’s episode, we saw Rick and Carl in the field at night, not far from the onslaught of walkers making their way through the woods. Tonight’s episode stepped back a little bit to show us the walkers coming from the city and making their way toward the country in a herd-like group. Carl and Shane’s gunshots drew their attention, which resulted in them changing course and coming toward the farm. After that, the whole scene was a mess of running, driving, shooting, staggering, and in a couple cases, dying.
Shane, Dale and Sophia were the big deaths of the season. Tonight’s episode shed some of the extra characters from the group, with Patricia and Jimmy becoming dinner for the walkers who made their way onto the farm. As they weren’t part of the core group, it’s kind of hard to feel their loss, but it does eliminate the possibility that they might be Season 3’s Paulo and Nikki (Lost reference).
Everyone else was separated in various cars. Some great moments during the farm exodus included seeing Hershel offing walker after walker with his shotgun - a stark contrast from the man who once fed chickens to them in his barn. Speaking of which, the barn was fittingly burned to the ground - the best thing Carl’s done all season. Daryl finding Carol in the dark and rescuing her on his bike was also very macho.
Everyone except for Andrea made their way to the highway and regrouped. Rick spoke of finding a place they could fortify. He’s still of the mindset that there has to be a way to actually live in this walker-filled world. It can’t all be running and walker-killing right? Maybe not. But we know Rick’s head is in a place that has an established community of living people, where life can be somewhat normal (until someone dies and has to be killed a second time).
Rick explained to Lori what happened with Shane. He didn’t merely tell her that Shane tried to kill him so he defended himself and killed Shane first. That confession alone showed us once again how different Rick and Shane were. With everything that went on, Rick could have simply lied and said Shane got bitten by a walker. Even Carl might have bought it. It was dark in that field. But Rick went on to admit that he actually wanted Shane dead. He was angry, and grieving and he needed Lori to understand what happened. He needed her to know that he wanted it to be over. Shane’s been a problem for long enough and a threat too. I can't say that I believe Rick would have ever done what Shane was trying to do to him. I think the point of what he was saying is that a part of him is relieved Shane's dead.
As though to make me like her even less, Lori reacted to Rick’s confession by pushing him away, as though he’d just admitted he murdered Shane in cold blood (as Shane had planned to do to Rick). It was self defense, Lori! Shane was going to kill him. Is Rick a bad person for wanting him dead? Given that Shane was going to kill him, I’m thinking not. But Lori’s reaction in pushing him away, and not considering the pain Rick was in over having to kill his best friend (who was about to murder him) seemed offbase. I think instead of listening to him, all Lori heard was Rick saying he killed Shane. Context and cause don’t matter (apparently).
Rick went on to admit what happened to the rest of the group in an angry speech that closed out the episode. He basically told them that his hands are clean over what happened to Shane, and if people have an issue with it or him they can go their own way. This is no longer a democracy. Was it ever? No one left, but then again, who’d wander away from a fire in the middle of the night in walker-country? We’ll have to see how and if the group is fractured in Season 3.
The episode closed out with a dark shot of the prison. I’m sure comic-readers will be excited about that.
Other notable moments include Andrea toughing it out on her own on the woods. She killed a number of walkers on her own and was nearly taken down by one when a hooded figure with two armless, leashed walkers slashed the attacking walker’s head off and saved her. Who is this person? (Wait for Season 3 or find out here!)
Glen finally manned up and told Maggie he loved her. Too sweet!
And Rick revealed to the group that they're all carrying the walker germ or whatever it is, which explains how Randall was walkerfied but not bitten. The reaction to that from the group was annoyance over not being told sooner, though I'm not 100% sure why they were so upset, or really why Rick kept his mouth shut about it in the first place.
And that about covers it! The detour that was Hershel’s farm is over. I can’t say I loved it, so I’m relieved to know that when Season 3 picks up, the farm will be in the past.