POSTING BY BIG ANGRY
It has been a couple of months since we’ve last met, dear reader, to discuss this phenomenon that has become The Walking Dead. Some agreed with my analysis of the first half of the second season. Some totally disagreed, including Mrs Big Angry, and one even called me a charlatan (which to this day I don’t fully comprehend). After my initial disappointment of season two, I put this series to bed. I was beginning to dislike what had become my favorite television series and I didn’t want that to happen. So I waited, let my disappointment at the slower pace fade, and then fired up season two on my DVR this past week.
What I rediscovered was that the first four episodes were amazing. Episode five wasn’t bad but the Sophia thing was beginning to seriously drag. Episode six, “Secrets,” was complete garbage, too preachy, and had more filler than a McDonald’s hamburger with extra pink slime. I think it was my frustration with episode 6 that ruined my enjoyment of the midseason finale. Upon watching it again, I have to say it was actually better the second time around. Not perfect or epic, but still really good. John Bernthal’s performance is what made the midseason finale so good. Sophia being in the barn was obvious from a mile away, but Shane’s mounting frustration at Rick’s questionable decision making, combined with his further decline into insanity, was written and executed well. Anyone seeing Rick assisting Herschel herd walkers should have instantly responded with the exact same outrage as Shane did. However, that’s a story for another time.
So I guess what I’m trying to say with all of this rambling is that I’ve once again found my love for The Walking Dead. I can sit down and enjoy this premier without hang ups and just enjoy it for what it is. So, what is it?
Well, let me tell you.
Like the season two premier, the midseason premier held my attention well. I’m encouraged that the show is returning to good drama. The funeral scene was brief, but in that brevity, I think the audience was able to gain more than 20 minutes of trite dialogue like we had been privy to towards the end of the first half of this season. There are several things that I’ve noticed in this first episode, and it is foreshadowing what I hope will be some interesting things to come. We are seeing the consequences of when the hard choices are executed. Whether you agree with Shane’s actions or not, it did get things done, answered questions, and provided closure for Sophia. It was also nice to see Rick and Herschel admit to their weaknesses. Yet, frustrating to see Rick not learn from his mistakes.
Now that the first episode is over, I’m left with a good feeling. A feeling that The Walking Dead may not perish under the weight of the simplistic plot points that the first half began stumbling towards. They have gone back to what made the first season great. Get to the point and wrap it up without a lot of fluff while maintaining the strong connection with the audience. Whether this was a planned venture or some clever last minute editing after a backlash against the slow moving first half, I don’t care. This first episode, despite lacking in zombies, was good classic Walking Dead.
Yet, one thing that The Walking Dead needs to do this season is tie up loose ends. Yes, I want to know what happened to Merle. No, not Daryl’s fever dream Merle, but the real one. Damn, and you can’t forget about Morgan and his son. Morgan was a likable character that I’ve heard a lot of people say the need to know what ever became of him. Merle, on the other hand (all pun intended), was an asshole whom I think was directly responsible for the walker attack at the camp. Which, when you get to the heart of it, is completely Rick’s fault for going back and providing Merle with a nice moving van to ship a bunch of walkers to the camp. Don’t yell at me if that’s a spoiler. I’ve still not read the comics nor looked online to see what happens in the comics. It’s just pure speculation on my part. Anyway, beware Walking Dead, don’t leave plot points open. Otherwise, you run the risk of becoming the show Heroes.
Overall, despite my screen name, Big Angry is very happy with this first episode of season 2.5. It’s renewed my vigor with this series and I am looking forward to the remaining five episodes. I can only hope The Walking Dead moves forward from here from it’s prior stagnation. So far, so good.
This is Big Angry and I’ve been re-animated on The Walking Dead.