Here it is guys, my recap of the Season 2 finale of The Walking Dead!  Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading!

Episode Summary

The episode starts exactly where the last one leaves off.  Rick and Carl are walking back to the farm when they realize a monstrous horde of zombies are approaching.  We actually get to see that a helicopter has more or less lead the zombie horde in the direction of the farm, but it was Carl's gunshot that drew them in.  Instead of leading them directly to the house, Rick diverts their attention to the barn.  After leading them in there, Rick burns the barn to the ground hoping to incinerate a lot of the walkers.  With Jimmy's help, Rick and Carl are able to escape the burning barn, but Jimmy bites the dust inside the RV.  While this is happening, Maggie/Glen and T-Dawg/Andrea have been in the vehicles driving and firing trying to draw the walkers’ attention away.  Lori is fear stricken because she cannot find Carl.  She and Carol start to run from the house with Patricia and Maggie's sister when a walker grabs Patricia and turns her into zombie fodder.  Carol is about to be dispatched when Andrea rushes in to save her life.  In the ensuing fight, it looks like Andrea is taken out by a walker.  Lori and Maggie's sister jump in the truck with T-Dawg and escape the farm.  Glen/Maggie also drive off the farm.  Hershel decides to make his last stand at the farm.  Before a walker can finish him off, Rick saves his life, and they escape with Carl.  Hershel looks back with regret and grief as he watches his barn burn to the ground.  Carol looks like she will finally do everyone a favor and be eaten, but Daryl saves her life, and they also flee the farm. 

T-Dawg proposes they head east to the coast thinking they can outrun the outbreak, but Lori convinces him to head back to the highway where they starting looking for Sophia.  Hershel tries to convince Rick that Carl needs to be his main priority now, that waiting on the others only puts them in more danger.  Just as it looks like Rick will heed his advice, everyone starts rolling into the highway.  They count their losses and begin on the road, severely lacking in ammo and supplies as the weather continues to get colder.  The group is forced to stop on the road as Rick's truck runs out of gas.  As they weigh their options, Rick begins to lay out the plan to camp out for the night and scavenge for supplies in the morning.  It is at this point he reveals that the recent dead actually turn into walkers, that Jenner had told him at the CDC (at the end of Season 1).  Everyone is in shock at the revelation but some are more in shock that Rick would keep that from them.  Rick almost loses his cool and shoots Carol in the face but walks off very frustrated.  Lori goes over to comfort him, and Rick tells her he killed Shane, tells her that Shane kept "dogging him", inciting him into the violent confrontation, that Shane lead him out the woods to kill him.  He tells her that Shane came back, and Carl had to put him down.  As Rick turns to hold her, she swats him away, looking fearful, disgusted, and angry.

Surprise!  Andrea did not die.  While Rick's group has been moving on, she has been running for dear life with a bag full of guns from the zombies.  After she has run as far as she can, she turns to fend off three zombies.  She manages to kill the first two, but the third takes her to the ground.  As it looks like it is about to kill her, the zombie is decapitated by a hooded woman wielding a katana.  The woman is also leading two zombies with severed arms and chains around their necks. 

The group camps out that night on the side of the road inside the shelter of some stone formation.  As they sit around the campfire, some begin to question Rick's authority and where he has gotten them.  As Daryl dismisses Carol's opinion and Hershel tells his daughter to have faith in Rick, they hear a sound nearby.  Some want to run, but Rick stops them.  As they openly question him, he finally breaks.  He yells at them about the choices he has made, killing his best friend, about how he did not want any of this, but he has lead them through hell, and they have made it together.  He gives them a brutal ultimatum, if they think they can do better, then go ahead and leave, and see how far they can make it.  "This is no longer a democracy."  The group looks on in stunned silence and Rick lays down the law.  The camera pans away from the group beside the camp fire to show in the distance, a gigantic prison on the moonlight, foreshadowing what is to come.

Episode Analysis

Wow!  While this was a terrific episode, I would like to start with my complaints first before I delve into all the goodness.

Complaint # 1:  Who the hell cared about Jimmy and Patricia?  On the Talking Dead last night, either Kirkman or Mazzara said they did not die because they were expendable, bit I disagree.  They were actually the most expendable characters.  They had no attachments or ties to anyone in the group.  While major characters are not safe, i.e. Shane but specifically Dale, the final episode did not have the audience grieving over anyone.

Complaint # 2:  How in the world is everyone so accurate?  Everyone may have turned into walkers, but the surviving members have become world class marksmen.  Glenn was firing a shotgun out a moving vehicle at zombies at least 20 yards away and hitting them in the head.  Hershel was a zombie killing machine, and his gun seemed to have unlimited ammo.

Complaint # 3:  Somebody kill Carol!

On to the good things:

Finally, the farm arc is over.  While I am happy to see the farm go, I liked that there was downtime to more fully flesh out the characters and watch them change over time, especially Rick.  It was refreshing to see that T-Dawg not only had lines in this episode, but he actually has ideas in regards to the outbreak.  And while he has one foot on the ground, I suspect he will have a confrontation with Merle next season that will lead to his demise.  This also provides a segue into the next bit of news, Michael Rooker, who plays Merle, confirmed he will be back in Season 3.  This will ensure crazy group dynamics because Merle and Daryl are brothers, but Daryl is nothing like Merle and has been loyal to Rick and the group for awhile now.  And I can almost guarantee that Merle has not forgiven Rick or T-Dawg for leaving him for dead.

Rick confirms to everyone that the outbreak changes all recently dead into walkers.  I love that the Season 2 finale hearkens back to the Season 1 finale.  He had multiple reasons for keeping that information from the group: 1) Do not dishearten everyone and take away hope from the group 2) How did Rick know Jenner was telling the truth?  The guy seemed barely sane, and there was no evidence to support his claim.  I got mad that no one could see how much Rick has had to bear in order to keep everyone going.  It reminds me of Men In Black of Tommy Lee Jones tells Will Smith that there is always looming death, but the only way people go about their lives is that they do not know about it.  While I understand people might be upset with Rick withholding information, he was fully justified in doing so.

Rick tells Lori he murdered Shane.  Man, my favorite part of the episode.  We start seeing Rick begin to crack from all the external pressure.  With Shane gone, someone needs to step in and fill the place of the antihero/villain.  Here we see Rick angry and broken and blaming Shane for what he has done.  His argument is disjointed and comes across as callous.  Personally, he probably should have started off that he acted in self defense as opposed to whining about Shane dogging him.  I was initially pissed that Lori acted disgusted with Rick, but we later learn that Lori is more angry and disgusted with herself.  Inadvertently, she was the one who set Rick and Shane down this path.  She incited Rick to have a "conversation" with Shane, and she gave Shane "hope" that there could have been something between them.  Rick does not take her cold shoulder well, and it only hardens him against his group.

We see this well when he has it out with the group at the end of the episode.  It begs the question, how long can anyone maintain their humanity when placed among monster.  We saw what it did to Shane, what it almost did to Daryl when he had those ears around his neck, and we see what it is doing to Rick.  While I prefer Rick being an antihero and being the leader he was born to be, he will have to make more difficult decisions when going against the Governor in Season 3.  I hope the writers will let Rick retain some of his good, wholesome nature because the show would make little sense with two unconscionable people.

The helicopter makes another appearance.  This confirms that Rick was not hallucinating when he saw it in Season 1.  What part it plays and who is flying it remains to be seen.

The introduction of the prison.  Having not read the books (yet), I do not know what the Prison is about, but the internet is abuzz so I can assume it is a major setting.  I love how foreboding it was at the end of the episode.  Rick wants a place they can fortify, and now they will find it.  While it will keep the walkers out, it will also keep the survivors in, acting as a double edged sword.

Speaking of swords, the hooded woman who saved Andrea is called Michonne.  While I can barely pronounce her name, she seems to be every nerd's dream.  I know about 95% of the population who think about world ending zombie scenarios have considered finding a razor sharp katana to fight off the undead.  Now I do not know anything about her, but she could be a nutcase.  I am not sure who else leads zombies around on chains after severing their arms.

I do want to talk everyone who reads these blogs.  It pleases me to be able to write about a non-video game related topic every once in awhile, especially since the blog section becomes saturated with the same repetitive stuff.  It is unfortunate that I have to wait for the Walking Dead in the fall, but Game of Thrones starts back on April 1st!  At that time, I will start blogging about that show.  Once again, thanks for reading and feel free to leave me comments below.  I would love to hear from you.