“The Walking Dead” Second Season Finale a Climactic Masterpiece

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tylercreighton

After a stretch of several months without being able to vicariously live the zombie apocalypse through one of the best shows on TV, “The Walking Dead” finally returned after a two month break for the NFL playoffs.  At its return, it jumped right back into the action, just seconds after the close of the previous episode – a dramatic moment that put an end to the “missing Sophie” storyline.  With Shane clearly plunging off the deep end and Rick doing all he can to prevent himself and the rest of the group from doing so, the tension only built until it became evident that someone had to die – and someone did.  Actually, a lot more than someone did.  The death count for season two ended at seven, five of them coming in the last three episodes.

With the death of Dale tipping things off, the twists and surprises quickly escalated from there on.  An episode later, the biggest stunner of the season, which soon became inevitable, came to fruition in the death of Shane by his best friend’s hand.  And with no time for explanations or recuperation, the group is confronted with what is probably the biggest herd of zombies they’ve had to take on yet.  Clearly the writers felt the need to make up for the slightly dissapointing lack of zombie appearances since the start of the season, and did so in an exceeding way.  And now, with the farm overrun and their latest place of refuge lost, a new shelter and setting for the third season must be found.  But thanks to some obvious foreshadowing used in the last shot of the finale, it became evident where that place will be – an abandoned prison just a few hundred yards away from their temporary camp.

Also hinting on the events to come in the next season is the appearance of a dark, hooded figure with two “walkers” chained to her back as she wields a sword.  Her character (fans of the graphic novel know her as Michonne) promises plenty of action and some diversity to the story.  But with only a quick glance at the mysterious figure, her similarites to the character in the comics can only be speculated on.

Season 2 of “The Walking Dead” occasionally stagnated at times, but the viewer was reminded at some point in every episode of the true dangers of this nightmarish world.  At times the rural setting made everything seem a little less horrible, but other times it just intensified the eeriness.  Either way, it succeeded in eliciting fear and suspense at every turn – a key element to all zombie entertainment.  A genius idea, the first of its kind on television, “The Walking Dead” puts legitimate thought into what a post apocalyptic world overrun by the dead would consist of, and the execution thus far has been near perfect.  Any close follower of the show will find themselves lost, and without a satisfying way to close out a Sunday the way “The Walking Dead” has done since October.