The Walking Dead Season Two Retrospective

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So, the week after the season five finale, I started watching The Walking Dead again from episode one. Of course, season one being only seven episodes in length, I made short work of it. And then, as fans of the show might surmise, a bit of apprehension set in. After all, many fans consider the second season to be the worst. I have to admit, I did too.

But, I’ve never binge-watched season two. There are a couple of things that haven’t gotten better with age, like the well-walker and how few lines T-Dog got (he didn’t fare too poorly in season one, all things considered, but even Patricia got better screen time than him–remember the scene where she breaks the chicken’s legs before feeding the walkers in the barn?), but overall, I think watching it straight through is a big improvement in the pacing and story development.

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— The character growth was great, especially for characters that were written in season one with no way of knowing whether there’d be another season. Shane’s growing madness and Andrea, getting over her suicidal feelings from season one and anger at Dale over his intervention to become a “tough love” example to Beth are standout examples of this, as is “Don’t Kill the Living” Rick’s understandable change of heart while plucking Hershel out of an abandoned tavern.

— It was great to see the genesis of such current show staples as the relationship between Glenn and Maggie and that between Carol and Daryl (I wish to Bob those two would just “do it,” already!). I remember how boring and drawn-out the second season seemed, with the group staying on Hershel’s farm for the entire duration–and the first half was a bit slow, but like I said before, binging it is better, and I think watching a few seasons of what comes after can give one a better appreciation for season two.

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— The first full season, of course, begins the tradition of splitting each season into two parts. Episode seven’s barn shootout, with the killer reveal at the end, had me shitting bricks the first time it aired–then I had to wait two goddamn months until episode eight aired!

— The “Mazzara Era” (see what I did there?) seems to be a good transition between the Darabont-helmed first season and the Scott Gimple-ran show we have now. That’s not to say I wouldn’t mind a trip to an alternate Earth to watch five seasons of Darabont’s Walking Dead, mind you, but I enjoy the show as it is now, and Frank’s would be different.

I’m already a few episodes into my re-watch of season three at the time of this writing–holidays and all. Aw, hell, I should just dispense with the excuses–as much as I enjoyed my return to Hershel’s Farm as a long-time fan, I just couldn’t wait to get back to the prison–that’s where the fecal matter really starts impacting the ventilation unit!

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