Is it possible to survive when the world comes to a standstill and still keep your wits in check? That’s the premise of the second season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, which followed a group of survivors on a scary but familiar journey.
The Walking Dead followed Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) a former Sheriff trying to keep his group safe while keeping his emotions in check. He had his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) there for support. He was unaware that Lori was once involved with his best friend Shane (Jon Bernthal) when they believed that Rick was dead. Rick’s leadership has come into question when Carol’s (Melissa McBride) daughter Sophia (Madison Lintz) goes missing after some zombies chased her into the woods with Rick not too far behind. Carl gets injured in the search and could be in jeopardy as well. What Rick doesn’t know is that Shane is planning to leave the group as soon as possible and Andrea (Laurie Holden) is willing to follow after her fallout with Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) over her sister Amy’s death. The group is anchored by former delivery boy Glenn (Steven Yeun), expert hunter/tracker Daryl (Norman Reedus) and T-Dog (Irone Singleton) who work together to balance the rest of the group out. Can the group make it to Texas to get to the Army camp in one piece or will they die trying?
In terms of thrills, The Walking Dead had enough to keep horror movie fans going for the whole season. It’s the human interest stories that need some improvement. Most of the supporting cast hasn’t been fully fleshed out very much (Daryl, Dale and Andrea to name a few.) Future episodes should hopefully fix that. The love triangle brewing between Rick, Shane and Lori bordered on soap opera cliches but the fallout should be epic once Rick finds out the truth about how faithfully they truly were. A war is brewing between best friends Shane and Rick who both got a taste of what being a leader was like. Sometimes the gore bordered on too much, like the zombie autopsy that Rick and Daryl conducted during their search for Sophia. That scene could’ve been dialed back a notch or two to be just as effective.
Ultimately, the show’s major breakout star was Lincoln’s tacturn Sheriff/Group Leader. He gave Rick a wide ranging emotion of conflicting emotions as he led his group out of Atlanta. One scene had him full of strength and resolve as they worked to gain supplies for the journey. Another had him running impulsively into the woods as he chased after the zombies chasing Sophia. Rick’s wreckless resolve led even him to doubt what his true intentions were. Witness the scene in the church where he’s praying to God for a sign that he’s not leading everyone into a trap. That scene also had Lincoln demonstrate Rick’s humanity and vulnerability as he feared that his plan is for nothing. In the end, Rick is just a man striving for the last shread of normalcy, such as talking to dead air on his radio and expecting someone to respond. Overall, the show is off to a fantastic start even though the gore sometimes outweighed the human interest stories.
The Walking Dead premiered on October 16th and airs Sundays at 9:00 pm on AMC.
Verdict: Fantastic special effects and some potential drama make for a decent second season.
TV Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)