I’m not alone. I’m one of 9 million people who tuned into AMC’s The Walking Dead for the season finale of what has proved to be an up and down season — that ended on a thrilling “up.” The show, based on the popular graphic novel/comic book, centers on the survivors of a zombie apocalypse that was started by some kind of virus that first killed the majority of humans on the planet, and then reanimated them into flesh eating zombies whose single-minded urge is to feast on live beings. On the face of it, The Walking Dead sounds like a standard boilerplate B-horror movie, but someone I know described it as “A action-packed, survivalist soap opera with zombies.” And that person was right. It is an action-packed show, it does focus on surviving in a world where you have to be on your guard at all times, it is a soap opera with relationship conflicts that make it delicious, and, yes, there are zombies who want to eat the characters’ brains.
So, if you haven’t bothered with this show, then you might as well stop reading because what I’m going to get into are some of the nitpicky things that bothered me after watching the finale and listening to the most excellent podcast, “The Walking Dead ‘Cast” with Jason and Karen.
Zombie Walk From Atlanta to The Farm
- It was cool to see the helicopter from the first episode (maybe it was the same one, but it’s tough to be sure), and it was the helicopter that started the zombie herd migrating from Atlanta to The Farm where Rick and his band of survivors are. If the noise from the helicopter was so attractive to the zeds, and made them follow the noise for days, then why didn’t those same zombies follow the sound of the helicopter when Rick rode into Atlanta on horseback in the first episode. Furthermore, if the zombies are easily lured in one direction or another by loud noises, then why haven’t the characters figured that out? More on this later.
Lori! Get Your Head on Straight, Girl.
- Lori is one manipulative woman who wants something, and then gets mad when she gets it! Case in point: the way in which she was getting Rick all worked up in a lather about Shane by basically saying: “Shane’s dangerous, and you better take him out before he does you in.” And when Rick did just that, she gets all pissed off with him because he killed Shane, and Rick’s son Carl killed zombie Shane. Did Lori not see the billboard in big, bold letters saying in no uncertain terms that it’s the zombie apocalypse? And because there are flesh eating zombies out there, it’s imperative that she needs to stop playing high school games with Shane and Rick’s affections. In other words, Lori better wise up to the fact that if she wants to survive (along with her unborn baby), she better not alienate the one person whose gonna have her back — and I’m not talking about Carl. If she keeps this up, she’s not long for this world.
- Our intrepid survivors of the zombie apocalypse have learned a few things in the months after human civilization ended and the state of nature returned. First off, in addition to wanting to gnaw on your flesh, zombies are instinctually attracted to noise. Second, zombies are generally slower than humans. Third, zombies are pretty stupid and will generally follow other zombies. Fourth, if you’re outnumbered by zombies, run like hell.
- Okay, so when the zombie herd overran Hershel’s farm, we saw that Rick and Carl were able to lure a bunch of the zombies into the barn and start fire to destroy some of them. They did this in order to give the survivors in the main house a chance to get away. Not a bad move. Create a big distraction and hope the zombies walk toward it so Rick’s wife and his friends could get away. Yes, Lori couldn’t find Carl (she didn’t know that he was with Rick in the burning barn), so she was frantically searching the house, but Jesus H. Christ, if you can’t find the kid in the house, then he’s not there and it’s time to go. Clearly, they forgot rule number four.
- With the barn burning, the group in the main house get in their cars and drive around the farm shooting zombies – which is wasting ammo on a herd that clearly outnumber the bullets they have. All that shooting, burning, and driving around was a tactical mistake because they forgot rule number one: zombies are attracted to loud noise. So, if you want the herd to go in a certain direction, create a loud noise in the direction you want them to go. But what did Rick and the others do? They created loud distractions coming from different directions — which scattered the herd toward the sources of those noises. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Hershel was probably the worst offender. His “magic shotgun” which had more rounds of ammo than any shotgun I’ve ever seen was cool to see in action, but stupidly impractical. All it did was attract more zombies and almost got him killed.
- Rick and others should have been more strategic in their thinking. For example, when they regrouped at the point in the highway where Sophia went missing, they could have fueled up, traveled back to the farm and planned a way to lure the zombies away from the farm so they scrape off into the sunset. Once they could get most of the zeds away from the farm, they could return, kill the remaining zombies with pitchforks and axes, and get the supplies they left in the house. If they wanted to get away from the farm and find another place to put down some roots, they would have at least had food, water, and perhaps more bullets to give them a fighting chance.
So, all in all, while I did like this season, I was miffed by the slowness of the first half of the season. The last few episodes were great fun, but clearly I have issues with the learning curve of the group. Still, I’m completely hooked on this show and am really looking forward to what’s going to happen in season three.