You could say that The Walking Dead’s first season went out with a bang, and while the episode may not have been the most amazing one if the run so far; you have to hand it to them for not slapping us with a cliffhanger that wouldn’t be resolved for a year. Still, the final episode of season one wraps things up nicely and opens up a path of the unknown to the survivors.
The episode actually opens up with a pretty awesome flashback that shows how and why Shane left Rick in the hospital and explains a lot of the things that Rick saw when he woke up. For example, the bullet holes in the walls weren’t just for the walkers as the military seemed to be in a hammer down mode and were wiping out anyone who could possibly be infected. I loved this flashback. Too often in zombie apocalypse movies you don’t actually see the beginning of the apocalypse. That’s one of the things I liked about Zack Snyder’s remake of Dawn of the Dead. Hopefully with Season 2’s thirteen episodes it’ll give Darabont some more time to include additional flashbacks for the other survivors.
Thankfully some of my worries from the previous episode were put to rest. There was no overall evil government responsible for the apocalypse, yet. In fact, the government didn’t even know what was causing it. I’ve seen complaints from people saying that the comics didn’t feature any sort of clue as to the cause of the disease, but this episode didn’t either. It just showed that the CDC was clueless as to the cause.
Unfortunately, for those who’ve read the comics, the Shane situation is case for concern. In the comics, Shane doesn’t last as long as he is in the series. Now, from his behavior in this episode they may be setting him up for an epic fall next year; but it’s also possible that he will be one major change from the comics and survive for a long time if only to create conflict with Rick.
In the end, the survivors lose two more (although I think Jim will still pop up again sometime in the future) and they’re on the road with the unknown in front of them. I seriously doubt they’re going to try to go to France, so hopefully they’ll get on to the Prison era pretty quickly.
The second season of The Walking Dead, thirteen episodes strong, starts in October 2011.