The Walking Dead: Season 2
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When the world is ravaged by a zombie apocalypse, police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and a small group of others struggle to stay alive as 'the dead' stalk them at every turn. Can Rick and the others hold onto their humanity as they fight to live in this terrifying new world? And, amidst dire conditions and personal rivalries, will they ultimately survive one another?
Based on Robert Kirkman's hugely successful and popular comic book series, AMC's original series "The Walking Dead" is an epic, edge-of-your-seat drama where personal struggles are magnified against a backdrop of moment-to-moment crisis. A survivalist story at its core, the series explores how the living are changed by the overwhelming realization that those who survive can be far more dangerous than the mindless walkers roaming the earth. They themselves have become the walking dead.
• Deleted Scenes
• Over 10 Never-Before-Seen Featurettes!
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But I think from the distance of two more additional seasons, the second act of THE WALKING DEAD looks much better in retrospect, if for no other reason than to enjoy the company of some major characters who are no longer around. And to watch for themes that would take root and flower in later seasons.
This second season truly belongs to Jon Bernthal's Shane Walsh, whose character arc from the first episode to the penultimate one is both tragic and horrifying. Shane is a man being torn apart both emotionally and mentally; first for his love and devotion to Lori and Carl, the wife and son of his best friend, both of whom he saved and protected during the outbreak of the Zombie virus. He is also torn over his life long friendship and love for Rick Grimes, Shane's fellow lawman and husband and father of Lori and Carl. But worst of all, it is Shane who has come to realize just what it takes to survive in this terrible new world-something he learns the hard way in Save the Last One-but it is a truth he can't seem to make the others understand.
That this is a world where there is no room for mercy or compassion is ultimately what drives Shane off the deep end, with tragic results for everyone, but in the seasons that have come after, it is clear that Shane was right and Rick was wrong in their debate over to proceed in the wake of the Zombie Apocalypse, starting with the fate of the scavenging Randall. This is now a world where those who cling to the old values, like Dale and Hershel, are in for a very rude awakening, that is if they survive long enough.
The slower pace of the second season did allow for some genuine character development as we get to know Glenn, Darryl, Andrea, Carol, Hershel Greene, his daughter Maggie, and Carl Grimes much better and in ways that would grow further in later seasons. Too bad the same can't be said of Sophia and Otis. We also learn a lot about Sarah Wayne Callies's Lori Grimes, and most of it makes clear why she became one of the series most disliked characters. Just look at her body language and facial expressions in By the Dying Fire when Rick confesses to her what happened to Shane or her babbling to Hershel after Carl is shot, to understand what I'm talking about. Is she the only character to ever go out and wreck a car on an empty road?
And for those who complained there wasn't enough Walker action, take a another look at the encounter with the herd on the highway in the season opener, What Lies Ahead; not to mention Shane and Otis's desperate fight with the Walker mob at the high school in Save the Last One; the shootout in Triggerfinger where Rick, Glenn and Hershel are trapped in the bar by the scavengers and the gunfire makes the Walkers come a running or the finale, By the Dying Fire, when the Walker onslaught over runs the Greene farm and there is a free for all for survival.
There are the by now requisite big character deaths, but I've come to feel like they are a big cheat after we have come to care for and root for characters as they narrowly escape certain death. Looking back, I think it would have been a better idea for Shane and Andrea to have left the farm like they discussed at one point and their characters would have been free to encounter Michonne and end up with the Governor at Woodbury, thus opening up a lot of interesting story possibilities.
The acting is terrific all round, with a special nod to Andrew Linoln's Rick, whose character is changed by the end of the season in ways he did not anticipate, and old pro Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene, a man who thinks life will just find a way to go on in the face of a horrific new reality. And Sarah Wayne Callies does a very good job with a very negative female character, which seems to be a staple on cable dramas-just ask Anna Gunn, who played Skylar White on BREAKING BAD.
The DVD set, with its deleted scenes and episode commentary are well worth the price; and in a series with so many twists and turns, not to mention genuine loss, it's great having the set and being able to go back and savor what has come before.
In closing then, yes you will get more zombies later on but in the meantime, do have some patience to learn more about the characters; the wait will be worth it when real (I mean really real) crisis hit them on episode 12.