So it’s been about a week since the season finale of The Walking Dead, and I’ve been avoiding talking about it out of deference for people who haven’t seen it yet. Spoilers are shitty, and I’ve been Keyser Soze’d so many times that I don’t even wanna talk about it – so quit reading here if you’re one of those people who hasn’t seen the episode yet.
Okay, everyone who hasn’t seen the ending yet is gone, right? Good: now what the fuck is wrong with Lori Grimes? Has she lost her god damned mind? She has the naked ambition to set Shane and Rick against each other and then she has the gall to act all “oh god I’m so disgusted” when Rick tells her he had to kill his own best friend? Fuck Lori, and fuck Shane, too, that bald-headed douchebag lunatic.
I’m glad Shane’s gone. It was an interesting decision to delay Shane’s death until now in the television adaptation, considering how Shane dies in the comic book much, much earlier, as it gave the character time to develop. His descent into Animalistic Survival Mode Shane was one of the best things about these first two seasons of the show, as it gave Jon Bernthal the kind of amazing story arc that most actors would kill for. He absolutely tore it up as a rogue lunatic ex-cop that wasn’t afraid to attempt to completely supplant his former best friend in order to steal his family and spot at the head of the group of survivors.
This second season was all about the conflict between doing what it takes to survive versus retaining your humanity in the face of a complete and utter breakdown of society. Shane and Rick were the main forces representing these diametrically opposed forces, and I think that it was very telling that while Rick won in the end, he had to resort to violence in order to do so – it was only through adopting Shane’s methods that he was able to survive. It was also interesting to see how Rick has continued to act much more Shane-like in regards to the group – I think they got it right on Talking Dead when Chris Hardwick said that it marked the beginning of the “Ricktatorship” portion of the series.
After all the shit Rick’s gone through – his wife giving him shit left and right, his boy getting shot by some big fat oaf, and then his best friend knocking up Lori (not that you can blame him, I mean who isn’t turned on by a scarecrow-thin screeching harridan who can’t make up her fucking mind) – he’s entitled to start throwing his god damned weight around. With Dale gone, Rick is the only one who’s got a head on his shoulders.
But the rest of the group is all pissed off about him keeping that secret from them all season about how they’re all infected. Like there was anything they could do about it? They’re just in shock and they’re lashing out at the one person that actually has their best interests at heart.
All in all, I’m quite pleased with how the season unfolded. There was definitely a lull in the middle, with the story arc involving looking for Sophia, as far as action is concerned, and Hershel was maddeningly obtuse up until Sophia’s rediscovery and the death of all the barn walkers, but it was kind of like getting on a roller coaster – that slow, slow trip up the first hill, where you can’t really see what’s coming but you know that when you get to the top, it’s going to be a hell of a ride, and the second half of the season was pretty much exactly like that.
I’m so fucking glad Shane got gutted, though. And I’m even more happy that Carl shot Zombie Shane right in the fucking head. Carl, the entire reason they were stuck getting dicked around by Hershel for three quarters of the season, directly responsible for the deaths of Otis and Dale, constantly running off, stealing guns, egging on executions with bloodthirst, mouthing off to Carol while she’s mourning the death of Sophia… that kid needs to be pistol-whipped.
Definitely takes after his mother.