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Mar 19, 2012

TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD: Season 2, Episode 13: Beside the Dying Fire

Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, The Walking Dead, Beside the Dying Fire

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 13 Beside the Dying Fire Review. The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 13: Beside the Dying Fire was the destruction of the safety the group had briefly come to enjoy on Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson)’s farm in dramatic, zombie apocalypse fashion.

The season finale begins

with the migration of the horde from Atlanta (also confirming that the helicopter Rick saw in the first episode of the series was not a mirage). I’m going to look past the odd story that these walkers are just migrating together aimlessly across the country side because they saw a helicopter for a few seconds, because getting angry about it is pointless. The decision was made, the zombies made the journey of miles and miles, and they are at the farm now. I mean, after Carl shoots down Shane at the end of “Better Angels” it looks like these zombies were just standing around in the woods, but during the beginning scene of the finale they are all on the move.

I found this a little strange as well. The zombies were (or seemed to be) standing still at the end of The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 12: Better Angels when the shot rang out. Also, why would Walkers travel such a great distance over a sound that has long since faded? Very strange but who knows how the Walker mind works. It would have made more since if it was the Walker herd seen at the beginning of the season. Maybe it was. Maybe it was both. Again though: what motivates the herd to move in one direction or the other when no stimuli is present?

The viewer probably never expected the group members on horse back shooting, excuse me, I meant in cars and assorted vehicles shooting Walkers in randomly would work as an offensive tactic but it sure was cool to watch.

Many questions were answered in Beside the Dying Fire: who would die, who would evolve, and what the state of the virus truly was. All three were answered but the last two answers were the most compelling.

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) should not have had to justify what happened between Shane and himself but felt a need to anyway. He wanted to be honest with his wife and the group. Here is the problem with what Rick did: he let it happen. He let Shane lead him on, knowing it was a trap. He wanted to be left with no choice but to kill Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal). He reversed the trap on Shane. Like he said, he wanted it over. Laurie Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies) knows Rick could have done something else, could have chosen to turn back and not be led into Shane’s trap, could have told Shane he knew what he was doing, could have simply turned around and ran back to the farm (Shane’s back was to Rick), et cetera. Rick choose to do none of these things.

By killing Shane, Rick has become worse than him. Most of what Shane did he believed was for the good of the group. Killing Rick he believed would be the best for Lori and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) because he believed Rick couldn’t protect them. Rick was just tired of Shane’s scheming and shenanigans. It was an amazing transformation at the end of the episode when Rick tells the group it is no longer a democracy, that they do what they tells them. He certainly is no longer a police officer.

What I was not expecting was the appearance of the masked person at the end of the episode with the two chained, armless Walkers in tow. That was the most brillant moment in the episode hands down. Here is what that moment introduced into the show: 1.) Walkers can be used for a purpose (they are not biting the hooded person. 2.) Walkers can be controlled. The answer to these questions will have to wait until next season though or if the viewer decides to read the comic book. Personally, I am going for the comic. I am not waiting a year for these answers or to see what happens next.

The season finale begins with the migration of the horde from Atlanta (also confirming that the helicopter Rick saw in the first episode of the series was not a mirage). I’m going to look past the odd story that these walkers are just migrating together aimlessly across the country side because they saw a helicopter for a few seconds, because getting angry about it is pointless. The decision was made, the zombies made the journey of miles and miles, and they are at the farm now. I mean, after Carl shoots down Shane at the end of “Better Angels” it looks like these zombies were just standing around in the woods, but during the beginning scene of the finale they are all on the move.

If the viewer watched Talking Dead right after the season finale, they learned that the structure shown in a sky view at the end of the episode is a prison. That brings about so many destructive, twisted possibilities for the show. No one would think to evacuate prisoners during a crisis of the magnitude the Walker world was facing. Many if not all of the prisoners were probably left there to die in their cells. If they were let out by guards that giant concrete wall and gate have kept them safe and will continue to do so.

When Rick and company see that structure, they will be cautious yet think sanctuary, the fortified place Rick spoke of wanting where they can build a life. Then it will turn into a nightmare. That is just a guess. What’s yours?

For more The Walking Dead review, videos, photos, and information, visit our The Walking Dead page. Watch this episode of The Walking Dead now here: The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 13: Better Angels.

[Custodianfilmcritic]

  • http://www.28dayslateranalysis.com/ Michael R. Allen

    What do you mean by “Here is what that moment introduced into the show: 1.) Walkers can be used for a purpose?” I don’t think they serve any purpose at all outside of creating drama.

  • http://film-book.com/ Film-Book.com

    I was on Google + and found out (unfortunately) why that character has chained Walkers.

  • http://www.28dayslateranalysis.com/ Michael R. Allen

    Oh, that is too bad. A lot of sites host spoiler-ish material. It takes all my power not to read those types of articles. Nice review.

  • http://film-book.com/ Film-Book.com

    Thanks.

    Wish I had not read it.

  • S.J. Jolly

    Who’s the hooded individual with the two Walker accessories? Check the April 2012 Playboy, p69-p75.

    The Hershel family didn’t know about the prison? In a small town farming area, it would be a major employer and purchaser of foods.
    Big question about the prison is, was it full of prisoners — which certainly would have all become Walkers — or was it new and thus empty? If new, ready to receive prisoners, it likely would be stocked with food, fuel, medicine, emergency generators, etc.

  • http://film-book.com/ Film-Book.com

    I know who the hooded person is. I just didn’t want to ruin it for anyone not familiar with the comic book.

    The Hershel family not knowing their was a prison near by was a little weird, especially one of that size. I agree about the distance as well.

    I am going to read the comic this summer to find out about the prison.