'The Walking Dead' recap: Season finale, 'Beside The Dying Fire'

Blood on the Hyundai ...

  • Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) doesn't want a pickle...
Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) doesn't want a pickle... (Gene Page/AMC )
March 18, 2012|By Andrew Conrad, aconrad@tribune.com

Comic book fans rejoice!

Sunday night's season finale of "The Walking Dead" on AMC was thrilling on its own, but those viewers who have read the source material — Robert Kirkman's comic book — might have needed an inhaler and an SPU (spare pair of underwear) to make it through this episode.

There was a trifecta of revelations, and if you don't want them to be spoiled for you, close your eyes ... now!

In order: Rick reveals Jenner's secret (we're all infected. Yes, even you.), Michonne makes her very brief and very stylish introduction in a scene that was very faithful to the comic book, and, in the final image of season two, the camera pans over a hill to reveal that the survivors — rapidly running out of fuel, ammo and food — have set up their makeshift camp a stone's throw away from a large prison, presumably stocked full of canned food, paperback books and free weights.

The episode begins with about 30 minutes of mayhem, as the survivors lay waste to 50 or more zombies, and marginal characters Jimmy and Patricia make their curtain calls.

When Jimmy died, I literally LOL'ed. I mean, how many speaking lines did Jimmy have during his entire run on the show? Five, six? I can't honestly remember one thing he said, ever. I remember T-Dog telling him not to hold his pistol like a gang-banger, and that was about it.

A few minutes later, Patricia is overtaken. She was ever-so-slightly more important than Jimmy, but not by much. Her claim to fame was acting sheepish, slinking around and seeming meek. In short, the producers couldn't have picked two less important human characters to buy it in this episode.

I bet when they were discussing this episode with the actors, the producers were like, "Yeah, so Jane (Patricia), sorry, you've been so great, we wish you the best of luck, that's a wrap on Jane. And James (Jimmy), you've got a bright future ahead of you son, let us know if you want us to write you a letter of recommendation. Please, help yourself to something from the craft services truck on the way out, and feel free to grab some merch from the promo closet."

And then T-Dog and Beth were swallowing nervously, staring at their shoes, waiting for some bad news of their own that mercifully never came ... yet!

I'm not complaining, especially after they killed off Dale and Shane recently. I just thought it was kind of funny.

After all the bloodshed and the triforce of reveals, the other major development in this episode is Rick flexing his leadership muscles and clenching his iron fist in front of the remaining survivors. As he puts it, "If you're staying, this isn't a democracy anymore."

This episode was a perfect cliffhanger for season three. It sets up so many storylines. Michonne's entrance was a great way to tease an important new character, we can all theorize now about how the infection news is going to play out (is Lori's baby going to be born as a savior for the human race, or as a zombie!?), and what new adventures does the prison hold within its walls?

On that note, see everyone in season three! It's been fun, thanks for reading.

What was up with that chopter at the beginning?
You almost forget about it (or at least I did) after all the wild stuff that happens, but at the beginning of the episode, right after we see those zombo's eating a d'ug, a helichopper flies over the city. WTF? Who was in it? Were they intentionally leading that crowd of walkers to the farm?

Anyone got any Vidal Sassoon I can borrow?
When Rick blows away that zombie that was about to take a big bite out of Hershel's neck like it was a hoagie, zombie blood sprays all over the back of Hershel's head and the nape of his neck. The funny thing is, he never once wipes it off, or shakes his head like a wet dog, or anything. He just leaves it there, drying and congealing. Something tells me that even before the zombie apocalypse, Hershel wasn't too concerned about personal hygeine.

Racism, LOL
A bunch of zombies and a few meaningless people were just killed. All hope seemed to be lost. The group was scattered. Then, a small miracle: almost all of the farm survivors regrouped at the highway. Long faces and despair gave way to warm smiles and optimism. But it was all too cheery for cynical Daryl, who dismantled the syrupy good vibrations with a little racist comic relief:

"(I saw) a car that's ... zig-zagging all over the road. Figured it had to be an Asian (Glenn) driving like that."

Hey Daryl, Brian Wong became the first Asian-American to compete in Nascar last year. Update your material, you bigot. What is this, 1987? What next, a joke about leaving the turlet seat up? It's just sad...

Hey, that's my thing!
When Rick is telling everyone that if they think they're better off on their own, then why don't they get the heck out of here and see how far they get, he says "Send me a postcard! Go on there's the door!"

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