Comic book fans rejoice!
Sunday night's season finale of "The Walking Dead" on AMC was thrilling on its own, but those viewers who have read the source material — Robert Kirkman's comic book — might have needed an inhaler and an SPU (spare pair of underwear) to make it through this episode.
There was a trifecta of revelations, and if you don't want them to be spoiled for you, close your eyes ... now!
In order: Rick reveals Jenner's secret (we're all infected. Yes, even you.), Michonne makes her very brief and very stylish introduction in a scene that was very faithful to the comic book, and, in the final image of season two, the camera pans over a hill to reveal that the survivors — rapidly running out of fuel, ammo and food — have set up their makeshift camp a stone's throw away from a large prison, presumably stocked full of canned food, paperback books and free weights.
The episode begins with about 30 minutes of mayhem, as the survivors lay waste to 50 or more zombies, and marginal characters Jimmy and Patricia make their curtain calls.
When Jimmy died, I literally LOL'ed. I mean, how many speaking lines did Jimmy have during his entire run on the show? Five, six? I can't honestly remember one thing he said, ever. I remember T-Dog telling him not to hold his pistol like a gang-banger, and that was about it.
A few minutes later, Patricia is overtaken. She was ever-so-slightly more important than Jimmy, but not by much. Her claim to fame was acting sheepish, slinking around and seeming meek. In short, the producers couldn't have picked two less important human characters to buy it in this episode.
I bet when they were discussing this episode with the actors, the producers were like, "Yeah, so Jane (Patricia), sorry, you've been so great, we wish you the best of luck, that's a wrap on Jane. And James (Jimmy), you've got a bright future ahead of you son, let us know if you want us to write you a letter of recommendation. Please, help yourself to something from the craft services truck on the way out, and feel free to grab some merch from the promo closet."
And then T-Dog and Beth were swallowing nervously, staring at their shoes, waiting for some bad news of their own that mercifully never came ... yet!
I'm not complaining, especially after they killed off Dale and Shane recently. I just thought it was kind of funny.
After all the bloodshed and the triforce of reveals, the other major development in this episode is Rick flexing his leadership muscles and clenching his iron fist in front of the remaining survivors. As he puts it, "If you're staying, this isn't a democracy anymore."
This episode was a perfect cliffhanger for season three. It sets up so many storylines. Michonne's entrance was a great way to tease an important new character, we can all theorize now about how the infection news is going to play out (is Lori's baby going to be born as a savior for the human race, or as a zombie!?), and what new adventures does the prison hold within its walls?
On that note, see everyone in season three! It's been fun, thanks for reading.
What was up with that chopter at the beginning?
You almost forget about it (or at least I did) after all the wild stuff that happens, but at the beginning of the episode, right after we see those zombo's eating a d'ug, a helichopper flies over the city. WTF? Who was in it? Were they intentionally leading that crowd of walkers to the farm?
When Rick blows away that zombie that was about to take a big bite out of Hershel's neck like it was a hoagie, zombie blood sprays all over the back of Hershel's head and the nape of his neck. The funny thing is, he never once wipes it off, or shakes his head like a wet dog, or anything. He just leaves it there, drying and congealing. Something tells me that even before the zombie apocalypse, Hershel wasn't too concerned about personal hygeine.
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A bunch of zombies and a few meaningless people were just killed. All hope seemed to be lost. The group was scattered. Then, a small miracle: almost all of the farm survivors regrouped at the highway. Long faces and despair gave way to warm smiles and optimism. But it was all too cheery for cynical Daryl, who dismantled the syrupy good vibrations with a little racist comic relief:
"(I saw) a car that's ... zig-zagging all over the road. Figured it had to be an Asian (Glenn) driving like that."
Hey Daryl, Brian Wong became the first Asian-American to compete in Nascar last year. Update your material, you bigot. What is this, 1987? What next, a joke about leaving the turlet seat up? It's just sad...
Hey, that's my thing!
When Rick is telling everyone that if they think they're better off on their own, then why don't they get the heck out of here and see how far they get, he says "Send me a postcard! Go on there's the door!"
First of all, there is no door! They're in some demolished old "Blair Witch Project" stone ruins with no windows or doors or nothing. Second of all, Daryl gives him this little, hurt look, like "I'm the one who is all impatient and vitriolic and says things like 'Send me a postcard!' "
My new laptop wallpaper
Daryl is sitting there on his totally neat motorcycle, watching the barn burn to the ground. I want to loop Slayer playing in the background and make that scene an animated gif with the flames dancing.
Trading paint with zombies
I think the prop people might have recently received a note from the producers about that sporty little light green Hyundai. It used to look so clean, so impeccably clean, in every shot that it stuck out like the Batmobile against the barren landscape. Because in this episode it had all this blood and guts crusted all up on the bumper and around the wheel wells. It looked like that mini-SUV traded some serious paint with the walkers. Sorry, but I love the expression "trading paint."
Did you notice?
- When Rick finishes his big rant, he's breathing kind of heavy and throaty, kind of like a ... zombie? Could it be that the presumed latent infection affects the behavior of the living? Making them more aggressive, irrational and protective? (Umm, hello? Shane? Hi?)
- The food that was left for Sophia on the trunk of that yellow Mustang included a bottle of orange Gatorade and a can of garbanzo beans. It's no wonder she ran the other way and got eaten by zombies, right? Garbanzo beans!? Seriously, that's how repulsive garbanzo beans are. I'd rather die a painful death than eat that legume. It's like, broccoli and brussels sprouts, yuck! (Disclaimer: I actually like garbanzo beans. I'm trying to make a parody about close-minded adult food eaters that only like plain-cheese pizza and PB&J sandies with the crusts cut off.)
- Rick tells Carl that he loves him. Carl is just like: (-_-)
- The sign on the fence that all the zombies bust through like they're trying to get into a Menudo concert says "TRESPASS ITS (SIC) YOUR ASS"
- That one female zombie crowding up against the fence had crazy red and yellow alien eyes like the Hobgoblin from Spiderman.
- When all of the zombies bust through the fence, a female zombie with black hair has her sweater pulled back, revealing her smooth, healthy, milky-white arms? Betraying her very human-like behavior, the actress quickly shrugs the sweater back into place.
- That argyle sweater zombie that Daryl shoots on the highway can be seen earlier, when Carl and Rick first dash into the barn.
- When the barn burns it looks like a big face.
- The presumably deceased owner of the faded yellow Mustang, which served as a hopeless signpost for Sophia, was a member of the National Street Rod Association.
- Rick has his pistol in his hand, unholstered, while telling Lori the story about killing Shane.
Did you know? (Courtesy of Talking Dead)
- In the original TV story line, Randall was going to kill Hershel, and Jimmy was supposed to get killed in the field instead of that cow that Dale finds before getting killed himself. But the writers rolled with the punches and changed things up.
- Dale's RV was the same make and model as the one used in the 1987 Mel Brooks farce "Spaceballs".
- Danai Gurira, the actress portraying Michonne, has played characters on the television series "Law and Order" before.
Silly sound effects
If you listen closely when Daryl shot that funny pale zombie wearing the handsome-boy argyle sweater, it had that twangy, Looney Tunes, "Boy-yoy-yoy-yoing!" sound effect like when William Tell shot an apple off of some dude's head in the Civil War.
Typical female behavior. Am I right guys, or am I right?
First Lori basically tells Rick to kill Shane. Then when he does, she gets all upset, like "Don't you touch me right now. Don't even touch me! Are you kidding me right now with this trying to touch me! I can't even stand to look at you right now, you make me sick!"
You know, that's so typical of the way women behave as depicted in stand-up comedy routines and American sitcoms. Sheesh. Women, am I right?
Hershel was wearing a sport coat and what appeared to be highwaters. Hershel: your wife is dead, your daughter's loser boyfriend is dead, but that doesn't mean that it's OK to just let yourself go. At least be utilitarian. Find some Under Armour of Carhartts or a hoodie. What does a sportcoat do? People wore them to go on foxhunts and play tennis back in the days of the Ottoman Empire. Judges used to wear stupid Lucien and Fagan wigs with powdered sugar from a funnel cake thrown all over them, but do you see Judge Joe Brown wearing one now?
I think I'm so funny
But I'm not, I'm often told.
All right, I might be about to blow your mind...When Rick is telling Lori all about how he killed Shane, Lori doesn't really break down until he tells her that Carl put down zombie Shane. Could she have had such a strong reaction because she was overwhelmed by the news that CARL SHOT HIS OWN FATHER!!!??? So we've already seen in the flashbacks between Lori and Shane some knowing glances that hinted subtly at a prior relationship between them, even before the zombie thing. Is it so far fetched to think that Shane could have been Carl's biological father? Now I'm just being reckless...
A really cool video game to get you through the summer
This game, "Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler's Green," is about seven years old, and it got a lot of bad reviews when it first came out, but I'll personally vouch for it. Play it on a lonely night with the lights off and your headphones on and try not to get into it. So scary!
Rick, when implored by Carol to do something: "I am doing something! I'm keeping this group together, alive. I've been doing that all along, no matter what ... I didn't ask for this! I killed my best friend for you people for Chrissakes!"
Rick: "I killed him, I killed Shane. He came at me. Killed Randall to get me into the woods, he planned it. I had no choice. I gave him every chance and he kept leading me further out. He pushed me and I let him. After awhile I knew what he was doing, what he was up to, and I kept going. I didn't stop, I could have but I just wanted it over. Dogging me every step of the way, acting like I stole you and Carl, like I was in the way. I just wanted it over. I wanted him dead. I killed him..."
Rick: "You saw what he was like, how he pushed me, how he compromised us, how he threatened us. He staged the whole Randall thing, led me out to put a bullet in my back. He gave me no choice, he was my friend but he came after me. My hands are clean..." (So sick! If those were lyrics to a song and it came on TheCoolTV I'd be thrilled.)
Daryl: "Stay off the main roads. The bigger the road, the more walkers. The more assholes like this one. I got him."
Rick: "We're all infected...whatever it is, we all carry it."
Carol, to Daryl re: Rick: "Why do you need him? He's just going to pull you down ... you're his henchman, and I'm a burden. We deserve better."
Daryl: "What do you want?" Carol: "A man of honor." Daryl: "Rick has honor."
Hershel, offering Rick fatherly advice: "You've only got one concern now, just one: keeping (Carl) alive. Nature might be throwing us a curve ball, but that law is still true."
Hershel: "I can't profess to understand God's plan, but Christ promised a ressurrection of the dead. I just thought he had something a little different in mind."
Rick, to Hershel: "You're a man of God. Have some faith!"
Maggie: "We can't just sit here with our asses hangin' out." Hershel: "Watch your mouth."
Glenn: "Rick, look around. There's walkers everywhere, they're migrating or something."
Rick: "Theres got to be a place, not just where we hole up but where we fortify. Hunker down, pull ourselves together, build a life for each other! I know it's out there, we just have to find it!"
Rick: "Maybe you people are better off without me ... I say there's place for us but maybe it's just another pipe dream. Maybe I'm fooling myself again. Why don't you go off and find out yourself? Send me a postcard! Go on, there's the door. If you can do better, lets see how far you get. No takers? Fine, but get one thing straight: if you're staying, this isn't a democracy anymore."
Winner: Rick, by a mile.
What everyone is up to
Rick: Isn't messing around anymore. Declaring his dictatorship. Confessing an exciting murder and other delicious secrets.
Lori: Getting a little weirded out by new Power Rick. Recoiling from his touch.
Carl: Reverting back into a needy child, acting all colicky when Rick starts spitting truth.
Andrea: Getting stranded at the farm, hiking through the woods, getting saved by a samurai-sword-wielding, hooded woman with two pet armless walkers chained to her.
Glenn: Finally manning up and professing his love and devotion to Maggie.
Daryl: Aligning himself with Rick. Defending himself against Carol's barbs. Driving his hog through fog and zombies with Carol as his arm-candy.
Carol: Identifying herself as a burden. Trying to become the Yoko Ono between Rick's Paul McCartney and Daryl's John Lennon.
T-Dog: Surviving. Driving the blue truck. Keeping watch over the camp. Trying to kidnap Lori and Beth and drive to the beach. Wearing cool black pleather fingerless driving, shooting, kidnapping gloves.
Hershel: Brandishing his hunter's rifle. Silently approving of Rick's actions. Reprimanding Maggie for using crass language.
Maggie: Fretting over her family. Saying ass.
Beth: Somehow, not getting killed.
The one with a balding pate who was wearing some weird striped shirt. It looked like he puked all over himself. His punishment for that party foul is that Andrea kicks his head to death.
Best zombie kill
Katana blade through the side of the head! Second place: Andrea bashes the living daylights out of some zombies' skull with the butt of a pistol and jabs the heck out of another ones visage with a little pocket knife/pliers tool that was probably made by Gerber. Honorable mention: Hershel is about to get feasted on and Rick blows this lady away with his Dirty Harry revolver; T-Dog runs over one in his baby blue Museum of Industry pick-up truck.
Zombies: So hard to tell with the burning barn, and all the bullets being sprayed around. In honor of tax season, let's go for a standard deduction of 60, and then we'll round up by three to end the season with a nice, round 150.
Humans: Two (Jimmy and Patricia), for 10 on the season.
150-10. Pretty good job, humans! Update: I went back and painstakingly watched the episode looking just for zombie kills. I didn't count it if a character just pulled the trigger, or if Hershel cold-cocked some fool with the butt of his rifle. I only counted confirmed, on-screen kills (headshot, massive traumatic damage, etc.) I came up with 50: 42 on the farm, one on the highway, seven in the woods. Assuming that at least ten of the firebombed zombies died, plus a few others here and there, I'm happy with the 150 figure, and I won't lose any sleep over it. I will, however, lose sleep over my massive, crippling debt, and the bleak state of the economy.
What has become of Merle Dixon and the father-son team of Morgan and Duane Jones? Who was in that copter flying over Hot-lanta?
A look ahead to the next season
The band of survivors finds a prison; we meet Michonne (Danai Gurira), the katana-wielding femme fatale; Big Bad Merle Dixon makes his triumphant return, and a villainous character named The Governor terrorizes our group.