A Look at The Walking Dead Season Finale
Let’s just say that our Sunday nights will be hollow without our zombie dose for a while. The Walking Dead departed this season with many unexpected elements and departures and rewarded the long-waited suspense this half season started without.
For the comic book fans of the series, some of the pivotal plot lines weren’t as out of the blue as for newcomers, however, the series proved it could take a similar story arc and maintaining its full strength. The last four episodes of this season were for sure the strongest of the series after it returned from the hiatus.
The unexpected element of surprise was Dale’s death and Carl’s presumable involvement. Carl’s character was starting to finally be alienated by Shane’s implications in his family and by the moral dilemma his father opposed to Shane’s idolization. With the characters a little more fleshed out in the final story arc, it was evident to see that their moral judgement wasn’t as simple as black or white anymore.
Dale’s death was an emotional moment. After this, they all realized the division that group was suffering from, and with that, leaving a spot open for the “wise guy”, which Glenn seems to be taking if we notice the marking scene where Andrea gives him the keys to the RV after fixing it and mourning him.
Shane’s death was inevitable, and comic book readers knew that from the start. His character was all in good intentions at first, but glazing over the gray areas a lot more often (Otis’ death was the first example). Lori was the first one who opened Rick’s eyes about Shane and manipulated him to caution him about the baby and their relationship.
We all obviously thought they were going to make peace, until they took in that kid and Shane went completely insane , in which he revealed to be completely unstable and egomaniac. After tricking Rick out in the woods, Rick finally took possession of the situation by , in his turn, deceiving his best friend to defend himself. This plot point diverged from the comics and portraits a much stronger Rick from the starting point; now able to make tough decisions on his own without questioning his judgment and relying on other people’s support.
After Shane’s death, he comes back as a Walker, which confirms what Rick was told last year at the CDC: the virus is airborne and everyone is infected.
Lori’s reaction when she found out how Shane died was, to say the least, interesting. She reacted with such disgust and anger, that made us think that she still had feelings for Shane, especially that Shane and her had that little insightful and friendly chat about their past, makes wonder why she tried to turn Rick against him in the first place. Because of Rick’s actions, now the group doesn’t perceive him in the same way and just got promoted to badass.
Rick’s perception not only changed, but fortified his disbelief in the group’s democracy. With the lack of support from his wife and the death of his belated best friend, Rick completely altered and will show less compassion to the group’s incertitude of his command.
In the meanwhile, Andrea was stranded in the forest trying to outrun the Walkers without any ammunition. At the second, she gets saved by a hooded vigilante with two arm-less (literally) Walkers in steel leashes. That was probably the coolest “What-the-Frak” moment the series had so far. Without any revelations to who this masked hero (ine) is, comic book readers are already ahead of us with this information. AMC also stated that this character is Michonne and her role is highly involved in season 3 (although in the comics, Michonne saves Otis…but we all know how his story ended).
Also, the last scene we see after Rick’s speech shows a penitentiary far out in the fields. So far, next to the comics, the story lines are paralleling and keeping a right track of things. Of course, swapping key moments and character are essential at this point, otherwise being pointless for any type of element of surprise.
Hopefully, season 3 will move at a much faster pace that this one did, since there were too many static moments and poor character development at the beginning of the season. The important thing, I believe, will be to not make an entire story arc last half a season. The writing for season 3 will start this May, so we’ll just have to wait and see what the comics will have to offer us for our zombie-fix.