Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Walking Dead: "Beside the Dying Fire" Season Finale

In “Beside the Dying Fire, the finale of Season 2 of The Walking Dead, a huge question is answered, bigger questions are raised, and survival is—as always—the name of the game.

Carl and Rick don’t have much time to discuss Shane’s death, his rise as a walker, and his second death before they realize a humongous mob of zombies is pouring out of the woods toward them. (If you puzzled over where they came from like I did, here’s what I deduced from the flashback: the helicopter attracted them, they started to follow it, and then, because they’re incapable of independent thought or reason, they just kept walking and walking and walking in that direction. Is that what you decided too?)

Rick and Carl run for the barn and Rick decides to try and attract as many of the walkers as he can, hoping they’ll follow him into the barn. It’s not a bad plan—there are just too many zombies for the fire that he and Carl set inside the barn to be of much benefit. Some of the walkers die, yes, but not enough of them. The farm is under siege.

It’s chaos as everyone tries to flee. My husband and I dubbed the very minor members of Hershel’s farm family—Patricia and Jimmy—as “red shirts,” and it was an appropriate moniker as they both died bloody deaths trying to escape the mob.

Lori is frantic because she doesn’t know where Carl is, but she jumps in a truck with T-Dogg and Beth and escapes. (I hate Lori, by the way. “Shane was always there for me. I love Rick. I needed Shane. I don’t know whose baby I’m carrying.” Gag.)

Hershel is determined to die trying to save his farm, but when Rick and Carl find him, Rick makes him leave with them. “It’s my farm!” hollers Hershel. Looking at the swarm of zombies, Rick tells him, “Not anymore it isn’t.”

Carol seems to be a goner until Daryl spies her and rescues her, the two of them escaping on his motorcycle. Glenn and Maggie make it out. That leaves only Andrea, and although I don’t really like her, I do admire her strength. So I was disgruntled—not quite sad, but definitely bothered—that she was left behind. What a fighter she is…and what will happen to her now that that dark-robed figure has found her. One of the big questions for next season.

Once the whole group is reunited, they turn to Rick for guidance but many seem unhappy with his decisions—especially the decision he made long ago to keep them in the dark about something the scientist told him at the CDC: all of them are infected with the virus. That’s why Randall and Shane turned after they died even though they hadn’t been bitten. And that, my friends, is the basis for the biggest questions for next season.

How will the infection affect them from here on out—both physically and mentally? Will the group continue to trust Rick, now that they know he kept this from them? (Should he have done so?) What does this mean for Lori’s baby? Will it be born in some weird, mutated form, infected from conception? And how will Lori and Carl relate to Rick now that they know he killed Shane?

It’s such a compelling show that always makes me wonder what I would do if faced with such terrible choices. I can’t wait to see what they do with Season 3 of The Walking Dead. Was that the prison in the distance?


  1. I really love watching, too! I'm with you on disliking Lori, and the whole Rick killed Shane thing seems like a no-brainer to me. Shane was going to kill Rick so I can't fault him for defending himself. Is it civilized, no, but it's survival of the fittest. It will be interesting to see how far the group strays from civility without Dale.

  2. As always a great blog. I agree about Lori