Here we go zombie fans- Season 2 of The Walking Dead is rapidly approaching. I have high hopes for the upcoming full season of zombie mayhem and am hoping for a little more chaos this time around- not that I was supremely let down by Season 1, but honestly the season was lots of set up with small bits of payoff. Now that the world has had a brief six episodes to get started I’m hoping Season 2 starts with a bang.
If I had to extract the biggest successes of Season 1 the main would have to be horror fans can rejoice that a full scale zombie epic on TV for a full hour each week rather than individual movies. The second being that the production value for the season was great and the scope of the world was even better. To get you stoked and prepared for Season 2 I thought it was a good time to relive some of the key points from Season 1 in preparation of the Season 2 premiere.
Cast Of Characters
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln)
Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies)
Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal)
Andrea (Laurie Holden)
Dale Horvath (Jeffrey DeMunn)
Glenn (Steven Yeun)
Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs)
T-Dog (IronE Singleton)
Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus)
Carol Peletier (Melissa Suzanne McBride)
Amy (Emma Bell)
Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker)
The Walking Dead begins after sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes is hospitalized after an incident involving a high speed car chase. Rick wakes up in an abandoned hospital where a terrible tragedy has obviously occurred. Soon Rick realizes that what has happened is A zombie outbreak and when he arrives home is wife and son are nowhere to be found so he sets off in search for them. Unknown to him at the time his wife Lori and son Carl are hiding out in a remote wooded location with a handful of other survivors. Rick’s best friend/partner Shane has taken the leader role of the group and has become romantically involved with Lori after Shane told her that Rick was dead.
Rick runs into some of the survivors from the group when he rides horseback into Atlanta in search of his family and other survivors and is forced to leave one of them, Merle Dixon, behind for the better of the group. When the survivors bring Rick back to their camp he is reunited with his wife and son and Lori quickly turns furious towards Shane for lying to her.
Back at camp Merle’s brother Daryl is none too pleased with the group leaving Merle handcuffed on top of a building in Atlanta with no way of defending himself. The Dixon brothers are also quite obviously hot headed and very discriminatory, but Rick goes ahead and devised a plan to go back into the city and recover Merle. Rick also plans to go back for a bag of guns that he left behind. Of the survivors that returned one was Andrea who is reunited with her sister at camp, Amy but other survivors include T-Dog and Glenn. T-Dog was instrumental in the decision to leave Merle behind and Glenn stole a car and lured the zombies away from the rest of the group in order for them to escape Atlanta the first time.
When Rick, T-Dog, Glenn and Daryl return to rescue Merle they find a bloody set of handcuffs with a hacksaw resting in the area. The group is confronted by more survivors in Atlanta also in need of the bag of guns but no blood is shed in the confrontation. Back at the survivor camp a bit of unrest and paranoia have set in especially after Amy is bitten by a walker that snuck into the camp and Andrea mourns as Amy dies. When Amy returns as a zombie Andrea proceeds to shoot her as she cries hysterically.
The survivor’s numbers dwindle after the walkers attacked the camp including one survivor who was bitten but hasn’t died. Rick assures the group that the CDC can offer help and go in search of the building. Along the way car troubles prompt the bitten victim to have the group leave him and they do. They arrive at the CDC that is being maintained by one man along Dr. Jenner who is extremely depressed about the lack of progress and no movement on a cure and is on the verge of suicide when the group arrives seeking shelter.
The finale finds the group holding out inside the CDC building learning about the fate that befell the scientists inside the building that either abandoned or killed themselves where Jenner stayed hoping to do some good. It is also shown via flashback from Shane what lead to the events that brought Shane to believing Rick was dead. Shane later attempts to explain himself and his decision to Lori but in a drunken state tries to force himself on her and she lashes out scratching him.
Dr. Jenner shows the group a series of test that recorded the process of the brain as it dies and is reanimated by the virus that turns people into zombies. At this point the survivors recognize a timer counting down and Jenner indicates it is the amount of time that the generators running the facility run out of fuel and when confronted he locks the survivors in the room with him. Jenner explains that when the fuel runs out the building will self destruct as decontamination process to prevent the spread of contagious diseases and there is no point in resisting or escaping. Jenner talks about his wife who was the test subject (TS-19) in the video they watched and winds up letting anyone who wanted to try and escape go but some stay behind including Dale and Andrea. Andrea pleads with Dale to leave but he refuses to leave if she stays. Meanwhile, the group pile into an RV and Dale emerges with Andrea who decides she wants to live and the group escapes as the facility explodes.
End of Season 1
Heading into Season 2 there are some things I would like to see happen- such as the conclusion to what happened with Merle. I would also like to see more on the group that Rick, Daryl, Glenn and T-Dog encountered in search for the guns. Outside of those two storylines I would definitely like to see more zombie integration into each episode. I enjoy the drama within the threat of the zombie apocalypse but to me the real horror in the story was only hinted at within the series. Drama seemed to be much more present in the first season, which did work for me, but if the series is going to continue to win over genre fans then the folks involved should really embrace more of the horror elements. It was evident more in episodes like “Guts” when Rick and Glenn covered themselves in zombie entrails and walked amongst the zombies- that sort of idea really hooked me to the show. The soap opera between Shane, Lori and Rick worked to some extent but I feel it will get much more interesting once Rick finds about the whole thing.
I am not one to slight a good sense of human drama that would realistically come if something like this were to happen and I feel like Season 1 got its chance to put some of that to work. I believe there will be chances to work some in with many more episodes to work with, but I definitely want more of the knuckle biting moments and up close and personal zombie fights to get me coming back for more every week.
Season 2 gets under way October 16th. What did you guys think of Season 1 and what are you looking forward to with the second season? What sort of things would you like to see the series do? Be sure to checkout the six Walking Dead Season 2 webisodes that tell a part of the story from season 1 we did not see.