The Walking Dead Episode 213
"Beside the Dying Fire"
Written By: Robert Kirkman & Glen Mazzara
Directed By: Ernest Dickerson
Original Airdate: 18 March 2012
In This Episode...
We open with zombies. Lots and lots and lots of zombies. We start with the zombies in the ciy, feasting on some meat (I think this may be referencing the pilot episode, where the zombies eat Rick's horse). The zombies' attention is drawn to a helicopter overhead and they begin to follow. they trek tirelessly across the land, and are finally drawn in the direction of shots coming from Hershel's farm. And this is where we pick up from last week: Carl asking Rick about Shane, and the zombies moving in on them.
The next 25 minutes are non-stop zombie action. The warriors at the farm grab some firearms, hop in cars, and drive around shooting walkers. Hershel defends his house with a gun, while the girls grab what they can and prepare to move out. There are literally hundreds of zombies, and the group barely makes a dent. Carl and Rick can't make it to the house, so they barricade themselves in the barn. Rick lures the zombies in, while Carl lights some spilled gasoline from above, setting the walkers alight. Jimmy pulls up in the RV, allowing them to climb safely onto the roof from the second story of the barn. Carol gets cornered by some walkers, so Andrea jumps out of the vehicle she shared with T-Dog and saves her. Lori and Beth join T-Dog, and miss Andrea waving her arms. Daryl responds to Carol's cries and picks her up on his motorcycle. The farm is now completely overrun with walkers and is a complete loss.
With no plan in place, and the survivors split up into a half-dozen disparate groups, everyone chooses what they believe is the logical meeting place: the place on the highway where they left supplies for Sophia. When all is said and done, Rick, Hershel, and Carl arrive first, followed by Glenn & Maggie, Daryl & Carol, and Lori, Beth, & T-Dog in their own vehicles. Patricia and Jimmy were zombie snacks. Andrea is not out yet - I will get to her in a minute.
Rick divulges what Dr. Jenner told him at the CDC at the end of season one: "We are all infected. Whatever it is, we all carry it." That is why Randall and Shane came back without benefit of bites. The group is pretty mad that he kept this a secret (thought I agree with Rick: it really wouldn't make much difference, although then maybe they would have burned their dead instead of just burying them). In a quiet moment alone, Rick admits to Lori that he killed Shane, that the whole Randall situation was a set-up, and Shane was planning on killing Rick. Lori is horrified by this news and won't speak to Rick (which seems highly hypocritical given that just a couple episodes ago, she was hinting that Rick needed to kill Shane). The caravan resumes, and the group decides to head to the coast. Rick's car runs out of gas, so the caravan stops. Rick decides that they should set camp for the night, get fuel at daybreak and then continue on. Tensions are especially high, and several cliques begin to wonder if they couldn't do better on their own. A normal outdoor noise makes many in the group want to roll out, even in the dark, even on foot. Rick goes ballistic, insisting that the group remain together. He tells everyone that he killed Shane, and was justified in doing it (I don't disagree), and he is just trying to keep everyone together and alive - if they don't like it, they are free to leave. No one decides to strike out on their own, and Rick makes his final proclamation of the season: "This is no longer a democracy."
Oh right, Andrea. Andrea is doing her best to keep moving and fight off the zombies nipping at her heels. But after hours of running, she is losing steam. One zombie finally gets the best of her, and they fall. Before he can take a chomp out of her, he is beheaded. Standing over Andrea, an enormous sword in his hand, is a hooded figure, with a pair of armless zombies chained to him. Having never read the comics, I am assuming this is the Governor.
Dig It or Bury It?
It was wall-to-wall zombies tonight. What is not to love? There was so much zombie killing. So much. Tonight's episode was a big set-piece, which is something The Walking Dead has been short on. You cannot sustain a show that has this pacing every episode (I think American Horror Story proved that) but you need these episodes sporadically, to remind the audience that there is a real threat lurking out there. And I have to say that in an episode of set-pieces, the burning barn was pretty eye-catching. The barn itself looked like a flaming, skeletal head as it burned and eventually collapsed.
I am glad that they didn't leave the season on a major cliffhanger. Rick's asshole proclamation is enough to make you exited to see how much crazier he goes next season, without leaving and questions unanswered.
Zombie of the Week
There were just so many zombies this week that I can't even pick one that stands out. Let's just give a round of applause to the hundreds of zombie extras that dominated this season finale. But I do want to give special notice to the dozens and dozens of walkers that burned in the barn.
Wisdom of the Walking Dead
Hershel: "Christ promised the resurrection of the dead. I just thought he had something a little different in mind." Which, as far as I'm concerned, enforces my long-held belief that Jesus was literature's first zombie.
From Daryl's delightfully racist mouth: "I saw Glenn's taillights zig-zagging through the woods. I figured the driver had to be Asian."
We will dissect this season's The Walking Dead later in the week. Look for season three (which I believe has been expanded to 16 episodes) mid-October.