The Walking DeadMarch 18, 2012
To quote Chris Hardwick on Talking Dead, holy crapballs! Let’s get right to it…
The season finale opens with a scene from the season premiere. as Atlanta walkers chow down on a canine survivor, a helicopter passes overhead. The walkers shuffle off in its direction, forming a herd as they head out of the city. down country roads and across fields they go, until they hit a fence with a sign that reads, “Trespass. It’s Your Ass.” The herd pushes against it, like fans at a rock show up against a stage, until the combined force takes the fence down. as they make their way through a wooded area, a gunshot grabs their attention. The herd changes direction, and we see Rick and Carl in the distance, making their way back to the farmhouse.
At the farmhouse, Andrea wants to go after Rick and Shane. Lori says no, that if Randall returns, they will need her. (Lori, weren’t you just telling Andrea that she should help around the house more and leave killing walkers to the menfolk?) Daryl and Glenn return and let the group know about Randall, sharing their suspicions about what went down between Randall and Shane. Lori wants to send Daryl back out.
Carl and Rick continue to head toward the farmhouse, oblivious to the walkers behind them. Carl wants to know what happened to Shane, and when Rick stops for a talk, he finally notices the herd. The two make a beeline for the barn and lock themselves inside.
Back at the farmhouse, the group has moved to the porch and sees the herd approaching. as they make plans, Lori finally notices Carl’s absence and refuses to go anywhere without her son. Carol, understandably, goes to help Lori search the house again. Maggie starts handing out shotguns, and when she puts one in Glenn’s hand, he seems surprised. “You grow up country, you pick up a thing or two,” she says. (Glenn, why does this surprise you? Just because Hershel didn’t want everyone armed, that doesn’t mean he didn’t teach the girls to shoot.) The plan unfolds: Shoot as many walkers as possible from the cars, then lead them away from the farm.
In the barn, Rick also has a plan: Douse the hay with gasoline, enjoy a little Walker Flambé and somehow get out of the barn and to the farmhouse.
The carnage has begun outside, with Daryl on his motorcycle, Glenn and Maggie in Shane’s car, Jimmy in the Winnie, and T-Dog and Andrea in a truck. Daryl, Glenn and Andrea take out walkers from their moving vehicles, barely making a dent in the herd, while Jimmy parks and shoots. Daryl catches up to Jimmy and sends him around the back of the barn to see if Rick or Shane started the fire and need a lift. Jimmy spies Rick and Carl and puts the Winnie where they can jump onto it. The RV soon becomes overrun with walkers, and Jimmy dies in a hail of zombie bites. Rick and Carl, on the other hand, get away and into the woods. (Readers, as awesome as the action was during all of this, was anyone else feeling like the show had turned into a first-person shooter game?)
Back at the farmhouse, Carol convinces Lori to leave by telling her that if Carl survives he will need his mom alive. Carol and Lori make a run for it, with Beth and Patricia following behind. At this point, a second member of Hershel’s family becomes walker food, Patricia. Lori pulls Beth away, and they pile into the truck with T-Dog as Andrea goes to grab Carol, now trapped by two walkers. as Andrea takes out the walkers, Carol yells, “Look out!” Andrea spins and shoots a walker in the head, but it knocks her down. From the truck, T-Dog, Beth and Lori see Andrea go down and can’t see Carol. They drive off as Andrea pushes the dead, er, deader zombie off.
In Shane’s car, Glenn and Maggie argue about whether or not to leave, only to be forced to drive away from the farm or be overrun by walkers.
Hershel, still on foot, continues to pick off walkers. as he stops to reload, one shuffles up behind him. Just when we think he’s done for, Rick arrives on the scene and shoots the walker, splattering zombie all over the back of Hershel’s head. Rick, Carl and Hershel take off in the family Suburban, just as Andrea arrives too late. she spies a bag of weapons, grabs it and takes off.
Across the farm, Daryl sits on his motorcycle and watches the barn burn. he hears Carol in distress and heads her way, arriving just in time to save her. “Come on. I ain’t got all day,” he yells as she jumps on back. as they escape, the barn falls in flames, walkers milling around it, signifying the end of life as the survivors knew it.
As the sun begins to rise, Daryl and Carol dodge walkers while Maggie and Glenn debate where to go. Maggie wonders who made it. Glenn tells her it will be all right and that he loves her. Rick, Carl and Hershel arrive at the highway where they left supplies for Sophia. (Readers, did the survivors set this as an emergency meeting place in an earlier episode? Or it is just the one place they all naturally think to go?) Carl wants to know where Lori is and why Rick seemingly has given up on her. he begs Rick to go back for her, saying “It’s mom.” before Rick can get a word in, Carl takes off. Hershel tells Rick he must get Carl to safety, that he will wait for his daughters here. If a walker gets him, so be it.
Rick wants them to stay together. “You’re a man of God. have some faith,” he says. Hershel replies, offering the best line of the episode with complete seriousness, “I can’t profess to understand God’s plan. Christ promised resurrection of the dead. I just thought he had something a little different in mind.”
In the truck with T-Dog, Lori and Beth, Lori and T-Dog also argue about what to do. Lori wants to go back to the highway, but T-Dog thinks they should cut their losses and head east. only Lori threatening to walk back on foot convinces T-Dog to turn around.
Back at the highway, an argyle-wearing walker shuffles around while Hershel, Rick and Carl continue to debate whether to stay or go. as Rick leans down to talk with Carl, they hear the sound of the other vehicles approaching. (Readers, what do you think Rick was going to stay to Carl here and in the earlier scene on the highway? he seemed uncharacteristically ready to give up on Lori.) as everyone hugs hello, and Daryl makes an offensive remark about Asian drivers to Glenn, they begin to count the dead: Shane, Andrea (they did see her go down), Patricia and Jimmy. When Carol asks if Lori and T-Dog actually saw Andrea die, they can’t say they did. Daryl wants to go back for her, but Rick says no. The group hits the road. (Readers, did anyone else find it interesting that despite plenty of room in the other vehicles, Carol stayed on the back of Daryl’s motorcycle, and Daryl let her?)
Cut to Andrea running, walkers in pursuit. she stops to reload with what little ammo she has and continues shooting her way through the woods.
When the Suburban runs out of gas, Rick decides they should spend the night there and go for gas in the morning. not everyone agrees, but Hershel backs him up. The conversation turns to long-term plans. Rick wants to find a place where they can hunker down, pull themselves together and build a life. They just have to find it. Daryl tells Rick about Randall turning without being bitten, and we see the gears in Rick’s head turning.
“We’re all infected,” he says. “At the CDC, Jenner told me. whatever it is. We all carry it.” that Rick kept this from the group causes further dissension.
Rick walks away, and Lori follows him to offer support. he blurts out, “I killed him. I killed Shane.” as Rick begins to tell the story, Lori pulls away from him, stepping away, shock on her face. he admits to knowing early on what Shane’s plan was, but that he just wanted it over. “I wanted him dead. I killed him.” When Shane turned, Rick says he knew Jenner was right. he tells Lori that Carl “put him down.” Lori doubles over, and when Rick reaches for her, she pulls away and leaves. (Readers, on Talking Dead, executive producer Glen Mazzara said Lori was “pissed at herself” in that scene. thoughts? not that she wouldn’t have cause to blame herself, but she seemed more upset with Rick than anything else, in my opinion.)
Back in the woods, a walker takes down an exhausted Andrea. before he can bite, a sword removes his head and we see its wielder: a woman in a hooded cape, complete with two leashed and armless walkers as accessories. (Another tidbit from Talking Dead: The woman is Michonne, a character from the comics.)
At the survivor camp, quiet conversations continue about what to do. Carol tries to get Daryl to break from Rick, and Maggie wants to hit the road now and take their chances. Rick once again stresses the importance of staying together, but finally loses his patience with the group. “I killed my best friend for you people,” he says, finally telling everyone what happened to Shane. he then switches tactics, or just gives up in complete frustration, and says, “Maybe you people are better off without me… Let’s see how far you get.” When no one makes a move to leave, he says, “Let’s get one thing straight: If you’re staying, this isn’t a democracy anymore.”
As the episode and season wrap, the camera pans up and away from the camp, and we see off in the not-so-far distance what looks like a prison, the setting for season three.
Apologies for the longer-than-usual recap, but this episode certainly proved the most action packed of the season, and we have much to discuss. I bolded some talking points/questions above and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. also, share your favorite moments of the episode and guesses as to what will happen when The Walking Dead returns in the fall. and scoop about Michonne would be much appreciated, but please use spoiler alerts for those who don’t want to skip ahead.