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.