The Walking Dead S02E13 Review: "Beside the Dying Fire"
What a great finish to a roller coaster ride of a season. We were treated to some hardcore zombie action, we received answers to most of our questions, and we were even given a glimpse of what lies ahead in season three.
The first twenty minutes of the episode were full of action. The horde of walkers made their way onto the farm, which forced the group to split up. Rick and Carl locked themselves in the barn and eventually led a good number of walkers inside, while they climbed to the top. Once the barn was full, Carl dropped a lighter, igniting fuel that Rick had poured on the main level, which set the group of walkers below ablaze. Another awesome part of that opening scene was Hershel firing away at walkers with a rifle (with infinite ammo) until Rick pulled him away and they made their escape. Eventually the entire group -- well almost all of them -- made their way off the farm separately, with Rick, Carl, and Hershel in one truck, T-Dogg, Lori, and Beth in another, Glenn and Maggie in Shane’s SUV, and Daryl and Carol on the motorcycle.
While most of the group had taken off, Andrea was left to fend for herself against the army of walkers. The group also lost two members as Jimmy and Patricia were both attacked by walkers. Jimmy’s death was quite gruesome as he was trapped in the RV with Rick and Carl only able to look on as his blood was splattered on the windshield.
It was the most intense action sequence of the season and it was well worth the wait.
The split up group eventually finds each other on the highway where they were at the beginning of the season. While the group debated what their next move would be, the car that the group left food on with the words “Sophia wait here” written on the windshield was visible in the background and served a reminder to group how they had come full circle. The group ultimately decided to move on without Andrea, and so they did.
As the group makes their way down the road in search for a new home, Rick’s truck runs out of gas, so they all pull over. Rick quickly decides that group will stay where they are for the night and search for fuel in the morning. While some group members argue his decision, Daryl tells Rick that he and Glenn found Randall as a walker, despite the fact that he was never bit. Rick confesses to the group that they are all infected, a piece of information Dr. Jenner told him back at the CDC in season one.
We’ve been speculating on what Dr. Jenner told Rick all season long and now we finally have our answer. Theories have gone from Jenner telling Rick that Lori is pregnant to what was actually revealed. The idea that everyone is infected is something that is true to the comics, but Dr. Jenner was not a character in the comics, so the speculation was equal amongst everyone.
The group, especially Glenn, argues with Rick on how he could keep such a secret from them. Unable to tolerate their bickering, Rick storms off alone, but is soon accompanied by Lori. Rick proceeds to tell Lori how he killed Shane. He tells her that he had no choice, but deep inside he wanted him dead. Lori looks shattered, and then Rick tells her how Carl put down Shane's reanimated corpse, which leaves her devastated. Rick tries to comfort her, but she wants no part of him.
It was pretty evident from this scene that Lori still had feelings for Shane. While it seemed as though her anger was all directed at Rick, I couldn't help but think that she was angry with herself. After all, she was the reason this all happened. Not only did she cause the rift between the two former best friends, but she even paved the way for a confrontation between the two, first telling Rick that he had to do something about Shane, and then warming up to Shane and telling him that the baby might be his.
As this is going on, Andrea is still fighting her way through the horde of walkers back at the farm. She manages to make her way into the forest, but looks as though she will be overtaken by walkers at any moment. As she falls to the ground and a walker climbs over her, it seems as if we've seen the last of Andrea. Just as she is about to be bit, the walker's head is sliced off and as Andrea looks up, she sees a hooded woman holding a chain attached to two walkers with no arms.
While the character is not revealed, the woman's name is Michonne and will likely be a significant character moving forward. I was very impressed with how true to the comics they made her, with the armless walkers and all.
Related: Casting Details for Season 3
Finally, we get a last shot of our group camping with T-Dogg keeping watch. As they hear something in the forest, the group gets uneasy and they begin to question Rick's leadership. Rick puts his foot down and challenges any of the group members to go ahead and leave if they're not happy. No one leaves and then Rick informs them that if they stay, they should know that this will no longer be a democracy. It was a defining moment for Rick's character and should be an important part of next season. From now on, what Rick says, goes.
To top off the great episode, as the camera moves away from the group, we are able to see a prison in the distance, which will likely be the group's next destination.
It was a chilling and spectacular ending. Only about 7 months left to go until season three. Sigh.
All of our questions from last week were answered, so let's get to them.
What did Dr. Jenner whisper into Rick's ear at the end of the episode "TS-19" in season one? Rick almost reveals this over the radio to Morgan in the first episode of season two, but then chooses not to.
Rick reveals that Dr. Jenner told him that everyone is infected, meaning no matter how someone dies, they will reanimate into a zombie. Rick claims that he didn't tell anyone because Jenner was a little crazy. He admits that once he saw Shane reanimate that he knew for sure.
How did Shane and Randall transform into zombies despite never being bit?
Turns out that this is the same answer as the first question. As Rick told the group, everyone is already infected.
Will the group be forced to leave the farm given the horde of walkers making their way in the final scene of "Better Angels"?
With the farm overrun by walkers and the barn burned down, the group was forced to leave the farm and it looks to be for good.
How will the group react to Rick killing Shane?
The group had mixed feelings. Rick could see that some of them were upset, but then called them out on it, claiming that all of them wanted him gone and all he did was solve the problem.
What happened to Merle? We know he escaped the rooftop by cutting off his hand. Was he able to get past the zombies? If so, where will he turn up next? We were teased with his return in season two, episode five, but he turned out to be Daryl's imagination.
SEASON 3 SPOILERS
While this question has not been answered in the show, Robert Kirkman pretty much confirmed on "Talking Dead" that Merle will be returning in season 3.
Questions going into season 3
- Who was in the helicopter that led the walkers away from Atlanta? Rick saw the helicopter in the first episode of the series, but it was always assumed that he was hallucinating. Now that the walkers reacted to it, we know it was real.
- How will Michonne impact the show? How long until she and Andrea find the rest of the group?
- Where will Merle show up next?
- What awaits the group at the prison, seen in the background in the season finale of season 2?
- Where will we see Randall's group next?
I hope you all enjoyed season two as much as I did.
Here are some of the shows I'll be watching between now and the premiere of season 3:
Game of Thrones (season 2)
Mad Men (season 5)
Breaking Bad (season 5)
Homeland (season 2)
Thanks for reading,
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