Nov 28 2011

The Walking Dead’s Finest Hour

Published by at 11:00 am under Reviews,Television

I don’t review The Walking Dead on a weekly basis, unless you count my Sunday night Tweet marathon while I watch it, but I keep bringing it up for discussion almost every week anyway.

I’ve been back and forth on whether despite its awesome concept, the show is actually “good,” and regardless of how I may have felt before, last night’s episode proved there can be truly awe inspiring moments in an otherwise average show.

This season has been something of a slow build, with almost all of it taking place in a central location (the woods/farm) with a central goal in mind (finding a lost girl). It seemed like it was dragging, but finally things came to a head and exploded.

All of this was made possible by Shane, my new favorite character as he actually makes things HAPPEN on the show. Once he learned that their caretaker Hershel was keeping Walkers in his barn because he believed they could be “cured,” he lost it completely. Tired of Rick’s bending over backward to keep the peace, he got the guns, hacked the locks off the barn, and told everyone it was time to do what it took to survive in this changed world.

So many parts of this scene were amazing. Shane shooting the captured Walker in the chest five times to show that it was not in fact alive, Hershel’s face as the Walkers were lit up as they emerged from the barn, the group coming together and releasing all their hate and anger on the dead streaming out of the barn.

And then…it went one step further. After all were dead, one more zombie emerged from the darkness. Sophia, the girl they’ve been trying to find all season had been turned and was under their noses the entire time. Perhaps some expected this, but I in no way saw it coming, and my jaw hit the floor as she stumbled out. Rick was finally the one who stepped up and did what had to be done, pointing his Magnum at her head and pulling the trigger, thus ending the best episode in the series’ history.

At first I began nitpicking about how Hershel knew that they were looking for this girl, and didn’t think to say that they’d captured a kid of the same age before they all showed up, but I suppose he was trying to keep the entire barn a secret, so that does make sense. Everyone just found out last night about the barn, and so it stands to reason it might not have come up yet, and I can buy the plot twist as a well-thought out one and more than just a cheap trick.

I’m told that now the show is off until February, and I have no idea why the hell they keep doling it out in such small doses. Would it kill them to have  a regular 12-episode season all in a row for once?

Anyway, glad to see the show finally find its legs after all this time, and hopefully it can keep up this sort of intensity in the future.





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15 responses so far

  • batttmaan

    i have to agree – the last 10 min was great

  • Ty

    Having read all of the comics and knowing what happens with Sophia in them, I was heart-broken when she stumbled out. I really wanted her to be alive, regardless of how contrived or cheesy it may have been.

    I will say though that I really appreciate that whether you read the comic or watch the TV series, it doesn’t spoil the other. Sure, they have the same characters and basic story line, but they are their own beasts and can both be appreciate independently of one another.

    Poor Sophia…

  • ben

    I’m a huge fan of the comic and I have been watching the show and enjoying. The last 10 minutes last night blew my mind. I did not suspect that Sophia was zombified and in the barn. I have friends who have complained about how Darryl is the most compelling character in the show and has nothing to do with the comics, but that just makes sense to me. If you are caught up in the comics you’ve know Rick, Carl, Dale, and Andrea for 14 volumes and they’ve become like an old pair of shoes. Darryl is like a shiny new pair that is awesome because they are new, not better just new.

  • Pip

    I thought it was a great twist, but it didn’t require the five episodes sturm and drang leading up to it. The biggest difference between the comics and the tv show is the pacing. In the comics its like any character can die in any issue. In the show its like—here’s 5 episodes where everyone has hissy fits.

  • Frankincense

    The reason that Hershel never said that Sophia was in the barn is actually pretty simple : he didn’t know.

    When he and Rick were pulling the zombies from the swamp, he told Rick that Otis was the one that put them into the barn.

    Otis, the guy that Shane killed before he even found out that they were looking for a little girl.

    It’s likely that Otis was out hunting, found Sophia and put her in the barn, then went back out hunting and shot Carl. In all the chaos he would never have thought to tell Hershel that he caught the li’lest zombie.

  • Kevin

    My thought was maybe Sophie went to hide in the barn, like she had hidden in the other house. Maybe she thought it was only full of animals, and a safe place…

  • Cheryl

    I would LOVE for them to do a mini webisode or something showing what happened to Sophia from the time she took off to when she got bit…I think it would be really interesting…

  • fred

    its a shame that the show is stoping right when it got interesting again.
    i dont think the show usually is very good, but last episode can turn it around.
    i agree with u paul, shane is probably the best character in the show right now, it reminds me of “do what it has to be done” rick from the comics

  • Aaron

    I thought it was brilliant to drag it out like the did. The comic fans thought for sure they would find her alive. We were doubting that they would kill the little girl. Most people wanted her to be dead anyway. Then they threw it in your face. Dragging it out got you discussing the situation, how long you would look for someone else’s kid? When I heard the shuffling of one last zombie in the barn I assumed it was Hershal’s wife, when it turned out to be Sophia it struck a chord. Brilliant!

  • Frank

    I remember when shows ran ~24 episodes per season… 12 episodes shouldn’t be standard.

  • kash

    three month wait again? after the previous 10 month wait??? jeez. the show has been built upon a very strong foundation, its becoming something of a TV phenomenon, much like Game of Thrones…its a cash cow, and they are gonna milk it dry for as long as they can…hence the dumb episode distribution

  • Tyler

    It was a pretty cool climax, but I didn’t like the way Shane’s rampage was directed. Once he picked up that mattock and began trying the lock, everybody just stood there looking on. I think that Rick would have stopped him whether or not he was holding the noose around the zombie; just puch that sucker on his back and then keep Shane from opening the barn.
    It just seemed weird that everybody stood there gawking when this imminent threat to their safety could have been stopped.

  • lazywheelman

    i HATE THE IDEA OF A 3 MONTH BREAK. But kash has it right they want money and by putting a long break in the middle instead of 2 to 3 weeks they will be able to sell the season like this vol 1 and vol 2 separate oh and then 2 months after the second one comes out they will sell a comlete set ahhhh. And for some crazy reason i will still give them the money ahhhhh.

  • CriticalBill

    Oddly enough, I felt the writing, acting, and directing of this season has been superior then that of this seasons Dexter which was my current favorite TV show.

  • Natalie

    This is the best show ever! Love the Zlango app that has The Walking Dead https://market.android.com/details?id=com.zlango.zms&feature

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