Jach Discusses: The Walking Dead Seasons 2 & 3

Posted: October 12, 2013 by Jachelle in General Media, Jach, Recaps, Television, The Walking Dead
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To anyone who actually paid attention to these things, we last left off back in July with season 2, episode 2. That was the point when my need to see the rest of the episodes finally began to outweigh my patience for writing individual reviews. Basically I really wanted to keep marathoning episodes without having to stop and write up recaps in between. Since then, I have blown through the rest of the series, bought the video game and the first two seasons on Blu-ray, and started reading the comics. I think it’s safe to say that at this point, I’ve become a fan.

And with season 4 premiering on Sunday, I decided to dive back into these reviews with the current episodes. So to play catch up, here is one giant review of seasons 2 and 3.

deadinside

I left off right at the beginning of season two when Sophia was still missing, the group was fighting to keep Carl alive, and I literally had no idea where the rest of the season was going to go. It was an intense season, to say the least. With a full run of episodes and an increasingly widespread fanbase, season two had the opportunity to go to a much darker place than season one. We watched Shane go from a little bit crazy to full on psychotic. Carl grew up and hardened a lot. Long gone is the adorable little kid from the first couple of episodes. I had some hard goodbyes to say to truly loved characters, like Sophia and Dale. But thankfully there was also hope to keep me going amid all that misery. The addition of the Greene family was wonderful. Maggie and Glenn’s relationship in particular is a favorite of mine. We also got to see the first real growth to Daryl’s character with his dedication to finding Sophia and the sweet way he tried to support Carol.

There were a lot of amazing moments, but the ones that stand out in particular to me are the barn reveal, Dale’s death, and Shane’s attempted murder on Rick. The barn scene wasn’t actually too big of a surprise for me. Despite my usual inability to see ANYTHING coming, I did actually manage to guess that Sophia was going to be in the barn. So it wasn’t a huge shock, so much as it was just a huge catalyst for the remainder of the season. I think that was the real turning point for a lot of the characters. It was was when Rick and Carl both started to harden. It was when Carol had to find a deeper inner strength to get her through everything. It led to Hershel having to accept that the Walkers really weren’t people anymore, it led to Daryl having to examine how he’d been changing and if he wanted to continue down that path or not. A lot of beautiful growth all from one moment.

daryl

The moment that hit me the hardest out of everything was Dale’s death. Aside from Glenn, Dale had become my favorite character. I was in no way, shape, or form prepared for him to die. It gutted me and left me ugly sobbing on my couch for a long time.

uglycrying

I literally couldn’t get over his death for weeks. I was bitter and angry and distraught. I also think that was the moment when my frustration for Carl really started. If he would just DO WHAT HE’S TOLD he never would have attracted the Walker that attacked Dale in the first place. I know he’s a kid, but being a dumbass kid in this world gets people killed. I absolutely hold him responsible for Dale’s death. And what really gets to me is that he still repeatedly does stupid shit that he shouldn’t ALL THE TIME. Maybe I could have found some peace in Dale’s death if Carl had actually learned something from everything, but he continually sneaks off and does whatever he pleases. It’s infuriating.

The other big moments of the season for me were the final two episodes. We watched as Shane finally snapped completely and created a disturbingly well thought out plan to murder Rick so he could be with Lori and Carl. That, of course, led into the reveal that EVERYONE turns into a Walker after their death, regardless of if they have been bitten or not. That one threw me for a bit of a loop, I’ll admit. Over the years I’ve become so entrenched in the idea that zombie plague is spread through biting, that this was a fun little twist for me. And just as I was processing THAT bit of news, came the attack on the farm and sweet merciful Zeus, was that an intense moment. I’m not sure if I took a breath at all during that. And in the final moments of the season, what was left of the group was forced to flee the farm as Andrea was left behind. Talk about an ending.

thegovorner

And with that, I was off to season three, where more ugly crying and drama awaited me. The third season gave us our first real villain who wasn’t a walker. Enter the Governor, leader of the fortified town of Woodbury. Desperate to find someplace safe for the very pregnant Lori to give birth to her child, the group took a risk and moved into an abandoned prison. They worked together to clear the walkers out, and actually made a safe haven for themselves.

The only trouble was that the Governor wasn’t too keen on having neighbors close by to his little town. As the season progressed, we watched as the Governor went from vaguely shady to full on nuts. This was helped along by the death of his young daughter. She’d previously been infected, but he’d been keeping her locked up and hidden away within the city. When newcomer Michonne killed her in front of him and gouged out one of his eyes, he went off the deep end and cared about nothing except for revenge. He attacked the prison and in the end, even his own people, before he took off to God knows where. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him.

Michonne in The Walking Dead

Michonne is definitely a fan favorite, and one of my favorites as well. She was Andrea’s savior after she’d been left behind at the Greene farm. Instead of the guns and knives that most survivors tend to favor, Michonne wields a full on sword. She’s capable, intelligent, resourceful, and a complete badass. She and Andrea formed a friendship when they traveled together, but it unfortunately became fractured when after being brought to Woodbury, Andrea refused to heed Michonne’s warnings about the Governor. Andrea chose to stay in Woodbury, while Michonne left and ended up joining with the rest of the group at the prison.

andrea

And while we’re on the subject, can I discuss Andrea for a second? I have the uncanny ability to end up loving the character that the rest of fandom seems to hate. Everywhere I turn on the internet, there seems to be a hell of a lot of Andrea-bashing going on. And while I can understand why she can be a frustrating character to enjoy, it still makes me sad. (Note that I am talking strictly about Andrea in the television series, as Andrea in the comics is a completely different character.) She has truly terrible judgement and probably has the worst taste in men ever, but I love her in spite of all of that. Andrea spent the majority of season three in Woodbury alongside the Governor, not realizing how bad he was until it was too late. Most fans seem annoyed that Andrea didn’t see what was coming and didn’t kill the Governor when she had the chance. But here’s the thing about her…Andrea has been through hell and back, but somehow she still retains hope. We’ve watched all the other characters in the series grow increasingly harder and more closed off. But Andrea still believed that things could be good, and that there was a better way for everything to end. She wanted to believe in a much better world than she was living in, and I find that commendable, even if it did lead to her death. Yes, she made some very poor judgement calls, but her heart was in the right place. I was truly saddened by her death in the finale, and I will definitely miss her. Even if it feels like I’m the only one.

rick

And speaking of character deaths, season three brought us some more gut wrenching ones. Lori died during childbirth and had to be shot by Carl. T-Dog sacrificed himself to save Carol, who nearly died herself. Former prison inmates Oscar and and Axel were both killed. As well as the slightly redeemed Merle Dixon, who has the death that most broke my heart. When Daryl found him as a Walker and was forced to kill him, I was right back to the ugly crying. There was also the Governor’s advisor, Milton, and Andrea. If the body count continues to climb each season, I have no idea how I’m going to make it through season four, I really don’t.

While season two showed the darker side of our main characters, I think season three began to show the darkness that has overtaken the world in general. The distrust, anger, and violence has overtaken everything and the survivors have to battle that just as often as they do the walkers. While I might have had one or two minor nitpicks about the seasons, as a whole, I thought they were completely captivating. They break my heart, give me hope, and then break my heart all over again. The character development and acting remain outstanding, and I absolutely can’t wait to see where things go next.

season4

Season four looks to up the intensity with not only the added stress of the new group members rescued from Woodbury, but also the drama of someone from inside their group working against them. Clearly the darker themes of distrust and suspicion are going to continue. And the group is really going to have to step up and start working with its new members if they want to stay strong. I honestly can’t guess at what’s going to happen, but I do know I’m both excited and terrified to get there. Bring it on!

andrewyay

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