TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale – Beside the Dying Fire (SPOILERS)

Zombies in The Walking Dead - Beside the Dying Fire

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING REVIEW INCLUDES MASSIVE SPOILERS ABOUT THE SEASON 2 FINALE OF “THE WALKING DEAD”. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Holy shit. They destroyed the farm. Killed off Dale two episodes ago. Then killed off Shane one episode ago. Then they killed off Jimmy in the Season 2 finale.

Wait, who is Jimmy again? He’s one of Hershel’s kids. I think. Maybe not. Honestly, I don’t actually know who Jimmy is, but he’s always been around, we just never, you know, cared too much about him. So yeah, Jimmy’s gone. Got bit and splashed his blood all over the RV. Dale’s RV. The one Glenn and Andrea bonded over while fixing. I’m gonna miss that RV. Jimmy? Not so much.

And oh yeah, Hershel’s other daughter is gone, too. You know, her. The one whose name we don’t even know. No, not the one who tried to kill herself. The other one. No, not the one that shacked up with Glenn. The other one. Yeah, her. She’s dead, too. Oh well. Should have run faster, kid. Ironic, no, that it’s the daughter that didn’t want to die who gets it, while the one who wanted to die survives. I think in Screenwriting, they call this irony. Or something.

Zombies in The Walking Dead - Beside the Dying Fire

Taking place right after the events of the previous episode, the Season 2 finale brings back an old mystery from the first episode of Season 1 — that helicopter that Rick was sure he saw, and we know he saw it, because we saw it, too. Yup, it’s that helicopter, as it turns out, that leads the walking dead straight to Hershel’s farm. It just, you know, took them a while to get there. Hey, shuffling is slow work, you know.

Once at Hershel’s farm, the walking dead, as they are wont to do, quickly make a mess of things. Forced to abandon the farm under the suddenly overwhelming dead infestation, the group find themselves split up. Eventually, though, they reconnect on the same stretch of highway where Sophia had gone missing. Everyone made it — well, almost.

Laurie Holden in The Walking Dead - Beside the Dying Fire

Andrea has gotten lost from the group, running through the woods on her own, and Laurie Holden is incredibly sexy running for her life with a bag full of guns and blasting walking deads in the head with incredible aim. I’ve always liked Holden, and she is honestly my favorite character on the show next to Rick. I always wondered how better this show might have been if Rick never found Lori and shacked up with Andrea instead. Can you imagine the firepower these two could bring to bear on any enemies they run across, living or dead? Oh my.

Oh yeah, I’ve now learned one inescapable fact that exists in the world of “The Walking Dead”: as long as you’re alive, you can develop incredible shooting accuracy. In one long sequence of the survivors trying to thin out the dead that have invaded the farm, everyone goes around popping zombies in the head with weapons. While driving around in moving cars. Now that’s what I call survival skills! It’s all very ridiculous, of course, but then again, not any more so than the gang employing magic guns that never need to reload. I believe Hershel must have, at one point, fired off 20 rounds without once reloading that pump-action shotgun of his.

Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead - Beside the Dying Fire

It’s also finally revealed what Jenner, the mad scientist from the CDC who tried to blow the gang up at the end of Season 1, whispered to Rick. No, it wasn’t about Lori, or Shane, which were the guesses back then. Instead, Jenner told Rick that they were all already infected, and all it took was death to bring them back as zombies. Rick, in his infinite wisdom, decided to keep this from the group. Much consternation erupts after he reveals Jenner’s last words. I’m with you, Rick, you did the right thing. Screw that annoying, nagging Carol. By the way, is it just me, or do the guys in the group seem to accept Rick’s leadership, as frayed as it’s become, easier than the ladies?

Basically, “The Walking Dead” got rid of a lot of baggage, just in time for Season 3. Never let it be said that showrunners Glen Mazzara and Robert Kirkman don’t know how to keep fans on the edge of their seats as they wait with bated breath for the show’s eventual return. Which, at this point, seems like a long way off.

And finally, for all of you waiting for Michonne’s arrival, you needn’t have to wait much longer: she’s heeeeeeeere….

Michonne in The Walking Dead Comic Book

And the deadly little lady who will be playing her in Season 3 is actress Danai Gurira (of the TV show “Treme” and the horror flick “My Soul to Take”). Kirkman announced the casting on “Talking Dead”, the live chat show that takes place on AMC after every “Walking Dead” episode airing.

Danai Gurira in Treme TV Series

Also according to Kirkman, no, the Michonne you see slicing that zombie with amazing precision near the end of the Season 2 finale was not Gurira — she wasn’t cast yet at the time, and that was a stand-in. Not unusual in TV where characters are kept mysterious, but needs to be introduced first.

And so, with Hershel’s farm gone, the gang will have to find new residences. That prison nearby that the camera pans to at the end of the finale sure looks like a pretty suitable spot for a little R&R…

Prison in The Walking Dead Comic Book