What Lies Ahead
Save The Last One
Pretty Much Dead Already
18 Miles Out
Judge, Jury, Executioner
Beside the Dying Fires
The horror franchise returns for its second Season with a change of pace, more episodes and less zombies. The character driven narrative takes centre stage here and after a decent start, the show falls into a lull. Slow paced episodes and meaningless subplots cloud the narrative but a heart-stopping finale almost makes up for the shortcomings of the season.
With the CDC destroyed, we catch up with leader Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the group as they struggle to find refuge. They wind up on a highway and from here one of the girls in the group, Sophia, goes missing. What follows is a season where Rick and the others try to find her and whilst doing so, they stumble upon a safe place to stay – a farm nearby owned by an old man and his children. Of course, things aren’t always what they seem and as events unfold, tensions rise between the characters before an explosive finale leaves it wide open for a third Season.
The characters this year are definitely a mixed bag. Some of the group have great subplots and their characters are explored in more detail, especially Daryl who’s journey this season is really interesting as he comes to grips with the situation he’s faced with whilst being haunted by ghosts in his past. Contrasting this though is Andrea, who’s plot with father figure Dale is neither interesting or concluded in a satisfying fashion. Through all the average to good subplots going on is Shane, who’s character is by far the stand out and his performance really shines above the other characters as he takes centre stage for large periods of this season.
The pacing this year feels all over the place too. It moves along at a snail’s pace with a lack of action throughout the season only further accentuating these issues. Its strange because the opening and closing of the season move along at a decent pace and feels more akin to the first season, rife with zombie survival, gore and action. Whilst I appreciate you don’t want to show this all the time, at times this season it almost feels too safe and it shows. The tension disappears for far too long and with the characters taking centre stage – their flaws and weaknesses are more obvious this time around. The finale almost makes up for the issues the season has too; its shocking, incredibly tense and the action depicted throughout is really well choreographed. Its just such a shame that the rest of the season feels so slow paced and forgettable.
Season 2 of The Walking Dead is both good and bad in many ways. There’s some good character progression with Shane and Daryl really standing out but other than that, the rest of the cast just feel flat and average for large chunks of this season. The lack of action, its slow pace and plenty of filler episodes only deepen the issues this season is plagued with and in many ways, it feels like its stretched thin for large patches this year. Its not all bad though and after the excellent finale and with the promise of Season 3 steering closer to one of the comic book’s memorable story lines, hopefully it can bring the show back from a slow shuffle its devolved into this year.
Verdict - 5.5/10