Hi, TWD-ers, and welcome to your recap for the Season Two Finale! First, thank you for bombarding my inbox with all the comments on the minicap. That’s maybe the most I’ve ever gotten, and again, thank you.
But let’s get to the recap. All this week needs for a setup is this: an enormous horde of zombies is headed straight for the house. Shit’s about to get hairy.
But before we get to the climactic zombie battle, the show takes us to downtown Atlanta. We haven’t been here since the Season Two premier. Lots of time has passed since then and now the city is full under zombie control.
Weirdly, a helicopter flies overhead. I say “weirdly” because the last time we saw such a helicopter was in the series premier. Rick saw it as he entered the city for the first time since the zombiepocalypse–or thought he did. He only saw it for a second, and he’d just gotten out of a coma, so there’s a pretty good chance he was hallucinating. So what the hell is this? Are helicopters still flying around this long after Wildfire?
Ever more weirdly, the zombies seem really interested in the helicopter. As it flies past the city, the sound attracts their attention and they follow it. Eventually there are so many we have a full on horde.
This new horde makes its way out of town. Urban gives way to rural. Eventually they run into a wooden fence. More and more zombies arrive and press into the fence and finally it snaps. They keep going.
Later they’re In the woods somewhere, and they hear a gunshot. They turn in that direction. It’s the shot Carl killed Zombie Shane with.
And cut to, Rick and Carl walking back towards the house, unaware how fucked they are right now.
Lori, Andrea, and the others are waiting everyone to come back—this is when Rick, Shane, Glen, and Daryl went out to find Randall. Andrea is worried and wants to go out to look for them but Lori wants her to stay for their protection.
Lori proves that there can be gender equality after the apocalypse: you can passively depend on both sexes to defend your weak ass
Finally Daryl and Glen come through the door. They fill in the gang on what they know…they found Zombie Randall, but with no bite marks, which implies Wildfire is changing. More urgently, they found evidence Shane killed Randall first. (Shane’s footprints, and how Randall clearly died of a broken neck).
But everyone is still worried for Rick and Shane, so Lori sends Daryl and Glen back out to find them.
Rick and Carl are walking back to the house, still oblivious to the huge horde of zombies behind them.
Carl is confused about what transpired at the end of last week’s episode. All he knows for sure is that he shot Zombie Shane. He doesn’t know how Shane could have become a zombie because there weren’t any other zombies around. He senses Shane’s death was suspicious, and senses Rick might have had something to do with it.
But before Rick can come up with a story, they hear the moans. They book.
Back at the house, everyone else makes the same realization. Look at all those zombies. Shit.
Hershel tells Patricia to kill the lights. Andrea runs off to get the guns. Glen wonders if they should retreat inside and stay quiet in the hopes the zombies will pass by unaware, like the zombies on the highway did. Daryl doesn’t think that’ll work—there are so many zombies, they’d tear the house apart.
Rick and Carl can’t reach house because zombies have blocked the way. Their only hope is to run into the barn and hide. The zombies have long since noticed their presence, and they barely keep ahead of them, but do manage to get inside and close the doors.
And now, Lori’s just noticed Carl is gone. For her, that immediately takes priority over everything else. Carol takes her back inside to look one last time in case they missed him.
Andrea brings the guns onto the porch and everyone arms themselves. While there’s still time the group COULD try to make a run for the cars and escape, but Hershel won’t budge. He’s not leaving his farm and will die protecting it if he can. It’s a pretty hopeless cause, but the rest of Team Rick agrees to stick around and help.
Inside the barn, Rick has a much better plan in motion. He’s spreading gasoline around the floor of the barn. He sends Carl up into the loft and gives him a lighter. The plan is, Rick will lure a bunch of zombies into the barn and hurry up the ladder while Carl drops the lighter and sets the bunch on fire. Rick sends his son up the ladder first and tells him he loves him—he knows this could go awry at any time.
But once Carl is up top, Rick opens the barn door and manages to get up to the loft in time. Carl sets the zombies on fire and the two of them watch them burn.
The motorcycle, the RV, the sedan, and the blue pickup come single file up past the house and down the driveway toward the zombies: Daryl on the bike, T-Dog and Andrea in the truck, and Glen and Maggie in the sedan. They all start shooting as many zombies as they can before speeding off, hoping to lure the zombies away. Even though he’s hanging out the window of a moving friggin’ car, Glen seems to hit a zombie with every shot.
Yeah, there’s no way Glen would be able to hit anything from a moving vehicle. I know because it took me forever to beat that level in Half Life 2
Through the window, Beth notices the barn on fire and wonders if Rick and Shane might have set it.
Lori and Carol come downstairs. They haven’t found Carl and Lori is starting to freak out.
Rick and Carl back out of the loft and onto the roof of the barn, which is now engulfed.
Jimmy is driving the RV and leaning out the window to pick off zombies. Daryl sees Rick and Carl on the roof and tells Jimmy to drive up next to the barn so they can jump onto the RV’s roof and escape.
Jimmy does, and Rick and Carl easily hop onto the RV…but the RV is quickly surrounded and Jimmy apparently forgot to lock the side door because three zombies burst in and tear him apart.
Happy trails, Jimmy. We hardly knew ye. Because, um, the writers only gave you two lines this entire series.
So Rick and Carl won’t be riding to safety. Rick climbs off the RV and shoots the zombies in front of him and leads Carl off.
T-Dog and Maggie keep driving their vehicles and Andrea and Glen keep shooting zombies, but they realize they can’t corral the zombies and need a new game plan. They’re going to run out of ammo soon.
Meanwhile Hershel stands on his front lawn with a shotgun and takes down zombie after zombie.
I like your odds, Hershel!
Rick and Carl manage to get ahead of the zombies, and Rick leads Carl into the woods to lose them.
Lori thinks Carl must have gone off to search for Rick. She’s Lori at her wits end and wants to run off in the direction she thinks Carl might have gone, but Carol wisely keeps her from doing that. Feeling helpless, Lori takes out the .38 and shoots a couple zombies just so she can do SOMETHING.
Hershel continues shooting. Lori, Carol, Patricia, and Beth all decide to make a run for it, but they can’t convince Hershel to come with them. He just stays on his lawn shooting, oblivious. He’s most likely a dead man at this point.
So the women run off without him. But the moment they leave the porch, a zombie has Patricia.
T-Dog and Andrea pull up and rescue Lori and Beth, but Carol gets separated from them and a couple zombies corner her against the shed. She picks up a piece of wood to defend herself but it doesn’t look good.
Andrea runs out of the truck and shoots the two zombies. Carol is safe. But a third zombie is on top of Andrea. She shoots it down, and it collapses on top of her.
Zombies are swarming the pickup. T-Dog has no choice but to tear out of there.
When Andrea gets the zombie off her, she realizes with horror that she’s been abandoned.
(Also, Carol just kinda disappeared. Hope she’s OK).
Glen and Maggie see the pickup departing and decide to follow, but when Maggie slows down to turn the zombies surround them. Glen tells her to hit the gas and drive away from the farm for good. She can’t even fathom the suggestion. Zombies surround them. She finally guns it.
Hershel has killed 10,000 zombies by now and finally has to reload. While he’s loading, a single zombie sneaks up behind him. He doesn’t notice, and it’s on top of him.
But Rick comes up from behind and shoots it! Hershel is safe for now. Rick wants to know where Lori is but Hershel has no idea so the three of them head off to find her. Rick has to tear Hershel away from his beloved farm, but does get Hershel into another pickup and they’re off.
Andrea runs after them and tries to get their attention, but they don’t see her. Now she’s surrounded. Luckily she spots the bag of guns. At least she’ll be protected a while longer.
And finally, Daryl sits on his bike a ways off, watching the barn burn with a contemplative look on his face. He hears Carol screaming, and yes, she’s managed to outrun the zombies, but not by much. He races over and collects her onto the back of his bike and they take off.
Without wearing helmets.
Rick drives the red pickup off the farm. They have no idea what happened to Lori, and Rick tries to comfort his son. In the back seat, Hershel looks back in agony at his home, maybe for the last time.
So that’s that. Just about everyone escaped. Jimmy and Patricia didn’t make it, and Andrea’s status is unknown.
Daryl and Carol continue on down a back road in the woods. It’s foggy and dark so they can’t go too fast, and when they come to a bend in the road full of zombies they barely slip through.
On another road, Glen and Maggie head away from the farm. Glen wants Maggie to drive towards the highway, at the spot where they left supplies for Sophia, but they’ve been separated from the group and don’t know if anyone else made it. Maggie is starting to lose it. Glen has her stop the car and they switch places.
Now that they’ve stopped, Maggie goes into hysterics. Glen can’t really comfort her about her family members, so he does the only thing that’ll help: tells her he loves her.
You can only play that card once, my friend. I hope it was worth it.
I guess the group planned for a disaster better than I thought. Rick’s red pickup arrives at the spot where they left the supplies. Was this a designated meeting place? If so, nice work!
Carl is really pissed at Rick for choosing to flee the farm to safety, and he doesn’t understand why they don’t go back and find Lori. He starts to raise his voice and Rick has to shush him, but Rick doesn’t have much of an answer. He’s in a really tough position: he had to protect his kid and escape, but he DID kinda abandon Lori. And Carl’s a kid and therefore stupid and thus can’t understand why Rick made the decision he did.
Carl goes off to mope and Hershel offers to let Rick take Carl to safety while he waits for everyone else to reach the meeting spot. But Rick won’t let him. They stick together and that’s that.
ANOTHER BACK ROAD
T-Dog is driving the blue pickup away from the farm. Lori wants him to head towards the highway, but he’s convinced this is their only shot to survive. He wants to continue driving east until they reach the coast. Lori threatens to jump out of the truck if he doesn’t turn around, and that’s enough to get him to give in. Talk about a near miss.
Rick just can’t catch a break today. A lone zombie approaches. He, Carl, and Hershel hide behind the truck so it can pass. They can’t shoot it and risk attracting a horde to this spot.
They now that this spot isn’t the safest. Hershel again urges Rick to take Carl and run for it. He thinks Rick’s one imperative should be to keep Carl safe. Staying here on the off chance Lori and the others are alive is too risky.
Carl doesn’t want to leave, but Hershel’s words have swayed Rick, and he kneels in front of Carl to begin the unenviable task of convincing his son to abandon his mother.
But wouldn’t you know it, just this once, Rick DOES get that break. Off in the distance they hear a motorcycle. They look up and see Daryl and Carol, followed by Glen and Maggie, and then by T-Dog, Beth, and Lori. (I guess all the vehicles magically found each other before getting here, then).
Everyone enjoys the reunion. It’s short-lived, though, as they all realize they’re missing some people. Patricia, Jimmy, and Shane didn’t make it—and Rick doesn’t fill anyone in on the particulars of Shane’s demise just yet.
T-Dog can’t be sure that Andrea is dead, though, so Daryl wants to go back to the farm to find her. But the rest of the group objects. Too risky. It’s decided they’ll head east.
Before they leave, a zombie approaches and Daryl shoots it with his crossbow. Then they all get in their cars and leave. The camera lingers on the windshield of the car where they left Sophia’s supplies and the message telling her to wait until they found her.
She runs through the woods, with zombies in the distance. She’s alone.
She stops and checks her ammo. She has three shots left. A single zombie find her and she manages to bash its head against a tree to put it down.
She keeps running. She shoots three zombies down and that’s it. Now she’s running for her life.
On the road, Rick’s pickup starts to sputter. Car trouble. Oh no.
He’s running out of gas and honks for the other cars to stop. What to do?
Rick decides they’ll camp here, in the middle of nowhere, and in the morning they’ll make a run for some gas. The group doesn’t like the idea of staying here exposed and likely to be found, and Maggie offers to make a run for gas right now, but Rick has just been through an ordeal of uncertainty and doesn’t want to split the group up again. He promises them they’ll find safety, which turns into a fervent promise that they’ll find a permanent place—the place they’ve been looking for all along.
With that decided, they have a moment to catch their breaths. Daryl updates them on Randall, how Randall’s neck was broken and was turned into a zombie without a bite, and he tells everyone his suspicions that Shane killed Randall. Rick says nothing.
So they wonder how Randall could have turned into a zombie sans bite, and finally Rick comes clean: Everyone is already infected!!!!
Sorry. Even if I put it in bold and add exclamation points, it’s really not that shocking. More after the recap…
Anyway, that’s the secret Jenner told him at the CDC. Everyone has Wildfire now. The group is pissed he didn’t say anything, but Rick sticks to his guns. He didn’t think they needed to know…it doesn’t really change anything, and it might have just made everyone despondent.
Rick walks off to be by himself, but Lori follows. With his back to her, he confesses how he killed Shane. The biggest thing here is, Rick thinks things could have gone differently. He thinks he could have stopped the showdown from happening, (which is debatable), but didn’t because he just wanted the conflict to be over. But even more than that, Rick just hated the tension caused by Shane’s resentment that he came back to life. He finally just had enough.
Lori is horrified.
So…when Rick does something questionable, like risking everyone’s lives to find Sophia, you back him up. But here when Rick was in the right you fall apart on him? Your wife grade is: C-
Even more so when she learns that Carl shot Zombie Shane.
Rick moves to comfort her, but she won’t let him.
Poor, poor Andrea.
The sun is going down. She’s been fighting and running for, what, 24 hours now? Awake for even longer? Gotta be exhausted.
Zombies are still dogging her. She beats down the closest one with the butt of her pistol, bringing it down on its head over and over. The head is squishy like a melon:
This is your last gratuitous gore of the season, friends. Savor it.
She staggers onward, takes out her pocket knife. Two more zombies on her tail. She stabs one in the face with it, but the exertion is so much that she goes down.
The last zombie stands above her. She’s defenseless and her strength is sapped. It lowers in for the kill…
And its head gets fucking sliced off by a fucking katana sword. This person is holding it:
Sword. Slave-zombies. Hood. Keep Georgia weird…
(Fans of the graphic novel will know who this is, but I’ll keep it a secret since the TV show fans don’t find out at this point).
Andrea’s pretty weirded out, too.
Now it’s full on night. Everyone sits by the camp fire. Now that they’ve had some time to reflect on Rick’s lie of omission to them, an uprising is starting to brew.
Carol tries to sway Daryl. She thinks he can do better than to be Rick’s henchman. He tries to defend Rick, but he can’t defend the Wildfire lie.
Maggie is still miffed that they’re staying put right now, sitting ducks for zombies, and she wants to take their chances on the move.
Rick hears all this with clenched teeth.
They hear a rustling off in the woods. Could it be a zombie?
Maggie wants to run off in the darkness to check but Rick doesn’t want anyone to move. When the group starts to protest, finally, he snaps. Two seasons of the burdens of leadership come pouring out of him. He confesses to them that he killed Shane for the sake of the group and they’re stunned, but he maintains his justification.
He keeps raging. He’s sick of everyone questioning him even though he’s kept most of them alive for a good long time. He offers to let anyone leave if they want to. And when there are no takers, he makes the situation clear: they can stay, but this isn’t a democracy. Even Lori and Carl can’t believe there’s a new Rick in town.
The camera pulls away from the group. Off in the distance, a building is visible. It’s a prison.
Readers of the graphic novel will also know what this is. I won’t spoil it.
-I’m so happy Andrea made it. I had a crush on her when she was on The X-Files and it has stayed strong since.
-On the whole helicopter thing…some of y’all have been posting in the comments about how they might be part of the government’s response to the zombiepocalypse, since they seem like a good tool for zombie herding.
Personally, I think they’re more of a deus ex-ey literary device than anything else. They functioned the same way back in the series premier–when Rick saw/hallucinated the helicopter, he followed it straight into Atlanta and had his first zombie encounter. That directly led to him linking up with Glen and the other survivors. But it all started with the helicopter luring him. And now, the same helicopter lured the horde to the farm to kick off the final battle and force everyone to the next destination.
It’s also shown up in the comments this season that the world of The Walking Dead might be metaphysical and not actually real. I’m inclined to go with that now that we’ve got “mysterious airships” moving everything around.
-Some serendipity: there was a great article in this week’s Straight Dope about whether the military has a manual on how to properly hang people, and in the course of the article, they explored how you actually should hang someone if the need arises. Reading it, I really, really wished Team Rick would have decided to hang Randall when they had the chance. There are so many crazy possibilities!
The thing about hanging is, apparently it’s extremely difficult to do it right. Imagine if TWD did this scene…say Rick fucks up and makes the rope too short and it takes an hour for Randall to suffocate. Or he makes the rope too long and Randall’s head pops off. We think it’s over, AND IT COMES BACK TO LIFE AS A ZOMBIE HEAD!!!!!
Damn them for depriving us of this.
-I will now pat myself on the back for pointing out how stupid it was to imply that Rick would know just how to hang somebody because it’s so easy. I bet nobody in the world has that kind of knowledge any more.
-So, Wildfire. I wrote in the comments last week how I thought Randall and Shane’s reincarnations meant that now everyone had a dormant version of Wildfire and was just waiting to become a zombie, and I guess that turned out to be the case. I’m not even gonna take credit for it since I’m pretty sure that showed up somewhere in the comments at some point over the past two seasons of my recaps.
My question is…is it really that much of a “shocking reveal”? I don’t really see how everyone’s lives are all that different. They were already pretty much screwed anyway–most likely no virus labs around the world are left, so there’s almost no chance Wildfire would ever be cured anyway. Most of the world’s population is probably zombie by now, so there’s no way life was ever gonna go back to normal without a cure.
It’d be like having a terminal leukemia diagnosis and suddenly finding out you also have AIDS. I mean yeah, AIDS is horrific, but you were already a goner. Maybe I’m missing something, though. Thoughts?
(But still, if a TV show had done THAT–let’s say while Scully was fighting cancer they also found out she has, I dunno, smallpox, and they tried to pass that off as an audience-shocker, that’d be pretty much the funniest thing ever).
-On the other hand, I completely shanked it with my prediction that Hershel would die this week. I guess her pregnancy will be 100% complication free. I think people were wondering what would happen with the baby now that she knows she’s a zombie-in-waiting. My prediction: abortion city. Hershel’s fall from grace continues.
That’s all for me this week. Thanks for reading my recaps this season, and for sharing your comments! That’s one of my favorite parts of doing these, seeing everyone’s different takes on the show. I’m most likely going on a TVgasm sabbatical for a little while, but I will be back soon!
Very Truly Brains,