It’s now less than two weeks to the season 6 premiere of The Walking Dead! As previously mentioned, I suffer from kinemortophobia – the fear of zombies – but I am a big fan of Michael Cudlitz (Abraham Ford). Over the last couple of weeks, I have been attempting to desensitise myself to the undead in order to attend Walker Stalker Con in London next year and hopefully meet him. After managing to get through season 1 unscathed and without trauma, I was rather looking forward to season 2.
Warning: Contains spoilers.
I was a bit disappointed with the ending of season 1 as I felt it wasn’t much of a cliffhanger but I was eager to get started on season 2 to see what happened next. I had been left wondering what Dr Jenner had whispered to Rick before the CDC building blew up and what was going to happen to the group next.
Season 2 begins with the group going south from Atlanta towards Fort Benning where they think they’ll find more survivors but they soon hit a traffic jam on the motorway. While they’re fixing their vehicles and looting the abandoned ones they are swarmed by a horde of walkers. I didn’t like this part very much and had to mute for a few minutes until they’d all gone.
When Sophia went missing I guessed that she wouldn’t come back pretty early on but I was keen to find out how she’d be discovered. It did drag on for quite a while with various people going into the woods to look for her and not finding anything. This series had a few open-mouthed reactions for me where there was an unexpected event – Carl getting shot, Shane vs Otis, Dale getting eaten, Daryl getting shot and the discovery of the contents in the barn. I liked that I was kept guessing and was pretty impressed with myself that I knew hardly any of the storyline considering it’s now coming up to the 6th series!
The Shane vs Rick story went in a direction I totally wasn’t expecting. I thought perhaps Shane would be banished from the farm only to reappear somewhere down the line and get revenge or come good but I didn’t expect Rick to kill him (and then Carl to kill him again). Shane’s character would have been an interesting bad guy if they had let him live, maybe having joined forces with The Governor.
I was disappointed by ‘the reveal’ of what Dr Jenner told Rick at the CDC and felt that it was brushed over quite a bit. I guess it did make dying more interesting because anyone would now turn regardless of what they died of. Also, the relationship between Glenn and Maggie developed too quickly and I don’t believe they’re actually in love. I don’t feel anything for the characters which is a shame.
The last episode of season 2 was a lot better than season 1 and it was definitely a cliffhanger. I hadn’t decided at this point whether I actually liked Andrea or not so I liked that she got left behind while the others escaped and the emergence of the hooded figure we would later know as Michonne. I liked that Daryl came back for Carol and they were now becoming my favourite characters. It was good that, now Carol was on her own, she was getting stronger and more feisty. And I liked that Rick was now taking no BS from anyone and finally accepted – and then announced – that he was in charge from now on. And, finally, I liked the reveal of the prison as the camera pulled back in the last shot.
I have read other reviews which mention that the first half of the season was painfully slow and the walkers were almost over-looked for boring scenes of people going into the forest and then coming back from the forest again. However, the second half of the season picked up pace and became more intense and interesting.
This is what I’m a little concerned with going into season 6 – I’m concerned that I only stuck with the series because I was binge watching and if I have to wait from week to week for the next episode then I’m going to get bored. It has happened before with other series (Lost, Heroes) where I just gave up because the pace of the episodes was so slow that my attention wandered elsewhere. As 6 will be the first season I’ve watched in this way I guess only time will tell.
So, while I was impressed by the open-mouth effect that a few events had on me, I agree that it was slow for the first half but it did pick up in the second half. I’m still not loving the characters and I’m not invested in them much but it’s getting better with a few of them. I’m interested to see what will happen next with the baby on the way, with Andreas ‘missing’ and with the new characters from the farm as well as how the prison is going to play a part in the storyline. It wasn’t quite as good as season 1 but I’m definitely sticking with it. Zombies? What zombies?
The Walking Dead: Season 2 – A slow burner but finished with a burst. 6/10