Shedding Tears “Beside the Dying Fire”
What in the world are we going to do now that The Walking Dead is over?
I have to admit that I think the finale was somewhat spoiled for me: I have knowledge of the plot in the comics, and I’ve talked so much about what could happen with other fans that when all that stuff actually did happen it wasn’t as much of a surprise for me as it probably was for others who had no idea what to expect. Anyway – it was still BANANAS and a great way to end the season: some questions answered, some new ones raised, a new character to ponder over for the summer, and everyone important made it out alive (minus Dale and Shane who we lost over the last 2 weeks, no shockers there, but a big “Sorry!” to all TWD fans that were hoping to see Lori or Carol not make it out – both are alive, to throw disapproving glares at us for at least another episode).
Last night opened with a look at what that black helicopter Rick saw in Season 1 has been up to, and in a “let’s kill two confusing birds with one stone” angle”, said helicopter can be blamed for the crazy horde of Walkers that descended on the farm this week. As some of my readers have guessed, the Zombies are sound driven with a herd mentality –the helicopter sparked interest in a few of them and they started walking toward it, others mindlessly followed. This snowballed into an even bigger mass of the undead as more and more zombies took notice and joined in. There was a really cool scene when the horde comes upon the perimeter fence of Hershel’s farm (loved the “TRESPASS ITS YOUR ASS” sign at the door) and just by sheer numbers breaks the fence down.
Daryl and Glenn get back to the farm before Rick and Shane, unaware that Shane is dead and Carl is missing from the house. (Anyone actually surprised that -gasp- Lori can’t keep an eye on her son??). Daryl explains to those waiting at the farm that they found Walker-Randall without a bite or a scratch, hinting at other ways a person can become a Walker. Lori asked Daryl if he would mind going out and looking for Rick and Shane – and it looks like “Caring Daryl” is back because without hesitation he starts to leave to go find them before they all get out on the porch and realize that the shit is seriously about to hit the fan.
Carl and Rick are walking back to the farm after they took Shane down together – as they’re approaching the farm they pause to take a minute and collect themselves, and that’s when they see the oncoming horde. They make a break for the barn but the Walkers give chase and start trying to break through the doors.
They come up with a plan to douse the barn in gasoline and draw as many Walkers as they can inside before torching it, hoping that this will distract the zombies long enough for their friends and family to make a getaway.
The survivors on the farm see the horde coming just as Lori realizes she can’t find Carl. They see the barn go up in flames, and know that someone is over there on their side – they just don’t know if its Rick, Shane or both of them, and they don’t know whether or not Carl is with them.
They decide to kill as many Walkers as possible before getting in their vehicles and meeting up on the highway – if it had been me, I would’ve said “EF THIS!” gotten everyone into cars while the horde was still far enough away, swung by the barn to grab whoever was in there that started that fire, and gotten the hell out of Dodge, or Hershel Farm, whatever, you get me. I saw that Hershel was all “This is MY farm!” and okay, sure, but hey buddy – this is also YOUR family – so really, what’s more important? Screw the farm; get your kids out alive!
But logical decisions make for boring Walking Dead TV – so instead they fight it out.
Patricia gets attacked while running with Beth, Carol and Lori for safety. Lori gets hung up trying to pry Beth’s hand from Patricia’s death-grip as both women have to watch this poor girl just totally get ripped to shreds. Carol, not realizing that the others aren’t behind her, tries to make a break for it and almost gets killed before T-Dog and Andrea show up to save her. Andrea jumps out and just goes total badass on the Walkers, Carol runs off and gets picked up by Daryl later, Lori and Beth make it to T-Dogs truck, and they see what they think is Andrea getting taken down by a Walker. So they hightail it out of there… and leave poor Andrea behind! I was so pissed!! Totally freaked out thinking she was doomed to be Walker-Bait, but instead we got the awesome treat of her just completely defining Female Badassery – more on that later. Maggie and Glenn end up in the little Hyundai, they get stuck with nowhere to go but away from the farm and away from the fight. Glenn convinces Maggie it’s their only choice, so they gun it out of there and save themselves.
Jimmy, Hershel’s son, jumps in the RV and heads to the barn to save whoever’s in there – Rick and Carl are able to jump from the barn to the roof of the RV, but then the RV gets taken over and he’s ripped apart – Rick and Carl make a run for the house and show up just in time to save Hershel, who’s standing on his porch trying to kill as many Walkers as possible to buy the rest of his family more time to escape. He wants to die there on his porch, but Rick convinces him to go with him – together with Carl they jump in another truck and get out of there.
Maggie and Glenn drive until morning until she has a mini-breakdown, as any of us would do if you think about it – you could’ve tried to double back and make sure your family got out alive, but instead chose to move forward and leave the whole mess behind – that would seriously fuck with me. Glenn takes this moment to tell Maggie he loves her, and that he should’ve said it a long time ago – which makes me think 2 things – 1. Totally convenient of him to say it NOW, when he needs the girl to pull herself together, but also, 2. Why do guys always think that a simple “I love you” when we’re upset is going to suddenly turn the world sunshine and rainbows again?
So – all of that’s easy to follow right? No. Sorry. In the end, it broke down like this: Jimmy and Patricia were the only two that technically didn’t make it. Andrea only appeared to die because she fired on a Walker as it was running at her and it landed on her – making the others believe it bit her, when in fact it hadn’t – so they dipped out, and stranded poor Andrea to fend for herself. Daryl and Carol are on Daryl’s motorcycle heading to the meet point. T-Dog has Lori and Beth in one truck and Rick, Hershel and Carl are in the other truck, Maggie and Glenn are together in the compact car.
Rick, Hershel, and Carl are the first to arrive at the rendezvous point – the traffic jam at the highway that started this whole farm-mess in the first place, so very fitting – they go back and forth on if they should wait for the others or keep going. Carl didn’t want to go until he knew Lori was okay, Hershel wanted Rick to take Carl to safety while he waited for the others – part of me was looking at this with TV-time in mind, so I have no idea how long they were actually there debating staying or going, but it seemed like all of five minutes and you want to be like, “Jeez guys, how about a little faith and patience?” Luckily, since this is TV, just when they’re deciding to stay or go, all of the other survivors show up, conveniently all at the same time.
They regroup and count their losses – Lori and Beth are able to verify that Patricia is most definitely Walker-Food. Rick and Carl confirm that Jimmy was definitely eaten as well – but no one can say for sure that Andrea was actually killed. Daryl, bless his heart, is about to mount up on his bike and go back for her – but Rick stops him and says it doesn’t matter – IF Andrea was left behind (she was) then she’s dead by now (she’s not) or she’s left the farm (she has). So they actually decide to leave her behind. Whenever they do run back into Andrea, I hope she kicks all their asses. Just saying.
The caravan gets moving again, I didn’t catch where they’d decided to head – anyone? But along the way Rick’s truck runs out of gas. He flags the others down and decides they should camp where they are then go on a gas hunt in the morning. The others think this is unwise, because they’re almost out of ammo and it would be hard to defend themselves if more Walkers show up – here is where Rick tries to give everyone a pep talk and boost morale, not to much luck. He steps away from the group, and Lori joins him – where he admits that he was the one who killed Shane. He explains exactly what happened, and that even though he had a feeling Shane was setting him up, he let Shane lead him away from the others so they could just be done with this rivalry and get it over with. Cue where I continue to dislike Lori – because the death glare she gives him after he tells her what he did made me want to slap her. For one, the man just killed his best friend to protect you, and for twosies – Lori was literally JUST telling Rick the other day (well okay, a few episodes back) that Shane needed to be “dealt with” which had everyone thinking of Lady Macbeth, so why the hell is she now acting like she’s angry that Shane’s dead?
Rick’s leadership abilities are starting to be put into question and not just by all of us, but by the group too. This gets worse when Rick admits what we all guessed over the past two weeks: Jenner from the CDC did in fact tell Rick during Season 1’s finale that everyone is infected, which means you don’t have to be bitten or scratched to become a Walker when you die. It’s all about your immune system, and how strong it is dictates how long it will take you to turn into a zombie. This of course means that I’m completely screwed, as I get so much as 10 feet from a sick person and like clockwork I’ll feel like death in a matter of days. I guess it’s good to know that in the Zombie Apocalypse – once I go, my Happy Walker Fun Times will soon be upon me.
They camp for the night, and stupidly light a bunch of fires – nothing attacks them, just saying that if I knew there were still more Walkers back at the farm I just ran from – lighting a campfire might be a bad idea. Rick tells everyone that this is no longer a democracy; he’s calling all the shots from here on out, and if they don’t like it, then leave the group. No one leaves, but they all give him “shady-face” so we’ll see what happens with them later. I have a feeling that if they find a comfortable place a few of them will break away from the Grimes and strike out on their own.
Speaking of striking out on their own – closing this piece with a special shout out to one of my newer-favorite characters, and my always favorite character. Andrea has been annoying in the past, but has grown up in front of us and shown us she’s a force to be reckoned with. Much like Daryl in 2.1’s “Chupacabra” episode, Andrea is left to fend for herself in the woods. And damn, girl! She’s brutal! She manages to take out any Walker that comes her way, and when she starts to run out of ammo she just starts stabbing them. It was off the chain! She’s running like crazy, hasn’t slept at all, the Walker’s have her scent so they’re not letting up – and she falls and hits the ground. She turns around to fend off an oncoming Walker – who’s suddenly decapitated by an unknown hooded figure who has two armless and jawless Walkers on chains behind her. BAD. ASS.
That’s right everyone, Michonne has finally entered the building. Bow down to your new favorite character ever. Fans of the comics can rejoice with me – because her appearance has been long awaited – in the comics she’s on Hershel’s farm and remains a main character throughout. Perhaps for dramatic effect they decided to save her for later, but now that she’s arrived I’m thrilled – we didn’t get to see her face, but she’s being played by Danai Gurira, best known for her role as Jill on the TV series Treme. And just one more quick note – to settle something for those that haven’t read the comics – my friends noticed that the two Walkers Michonne is dragging around in chains were African American, and thought it was in poor taste. If I hadn’t read the comics, I might agree, so before non-comic-readers get their collective panties bunched – Michonne herself is African American, and the two zombies she keeps on leashes are actually her boyfriend and the bf’s bestie – two people she just can’t part with – so she removed their arms and their jaws, and keeps them as pets. So don’t get upset – that tidbit probably gets revealed next season when Michonne gets more coverage, but until then – let’s just get that part cleared up.
One other thing I have to mention – I normally don’t stick around and wait up for Talking Dead, the Chris Hardwick hosted talk show that airs after TWD – but I did catch part of it this time, long enough to hear Hardwick proclaim to Laurie Holden (Andrea on the show) that he loved her “badassery” – Holden asked him if that’s a word, and Hardwick replied that it is now, implying that he thinks he just made that up. So totally personal and non-show related – I have to call bullshit on that – since I’ve been using the term “badassery” for months now, did I come up with it on my own? Yes, but I’m not trying to say in any way that I made it up either – to me, it was the most logical adjective to use in order to say that someone was a Bad Ass – but trying to take credit for making that word up is like trying to say I came up with the term “OMG” or something – it’s bullshit, Hardwick, and I’m calling you on it. Okay now I’m done. Oh shit! That’s right – I really am done. What the hell am I going to do with myself now that TWD is off until Season 3?? Interact with others? Why on earth would I want to do that? Obviously I prefer the undead to the living. Maybe I’ll go volunteer at the morgue and do makeup or something. Then again I’m allergic to the word “volunteer”. I’ll figure something out.