The Walking Dead: Season 2 (2011) Review

Plot: This season introduces the notable comic book characters Hershel Greene and Maggie Greene, and is mainly set at the Greenes’ farm. The season continues the story of Rick Grimes and his group of survivors as they continue to survive in a world filled with zombies. The group then encounter the farm of veterinarian Hershel Greene, where tensions arise among members of the group and the mysterious inhabitants of the farm.

Review: Before watching Season 2, several people had mentioned that it was quite slow in parts… were we watching the same show? The Walking Dead: Season 2 is not only better than Season 1, it is one of the best Seasons of any TV show… ever!

The story gets more complex and each character goes through their own torment but the one who goes off the rails the most is definitely Shane. He starts off as Rick’s best friend but by the end of this Season all Hell has literally broken loose. I won’t spoil it by going into too much detail, but when their friendship  REALLY goes south, there is no coming back.

Rick Grimes is still in charge but Shane questions him at every turn, undermining him because of his feelings for Laurie. Andrew Lincoln once again gives a powerhouse performance and no point can you tell that he is British; his accent is spot on and I love how he isn’t the know-all leader. He questions his role, he questions God, but he never loses hope that somewhere there HAS to be a safe haven.

Shane’s (Jon Bernthal) descent into madness is perfectly done because a lot of the time we can totally understand where he is coming from. Zombies in the barn? Damn right they need to be destroyed!

My favourite character remains Daryl (Norman Reedus) because despite his gruff exterior, he’s a complete hero. When Sophia disappears, he NEVER stops looking for her. One of the most touching moments of the entire show is when he gives Sophia’s mother Carol a flower called “Cherokee Rose” and he proceeds to tell the story about how it got its name. It shows a very human side to Daryl where he isn’t just a crossbow wielding badass and its filled with very real emotion.

New characters include farm owner Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) who reluctantly lets the gang stay on his farm and they build a small community, at least for a while. He’s a man of faith but by the end of this season, to say he will be tested is an understatement. He’s genuinely decent, although a little misguided and is one of the most likable characters.

His daughter Maggie begins a kind of relationship with Glen (Steven Yeun) and she helps him to realize the potential in him; he is always risking his life for others and really is a true hero.

The conscience of the group is Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) and I have to admit that I was sorry to see him go; his constant trials of trying to convince the group to be civilized regularly falls on deaf ears, especially Shane who just finds him a pain in the ass. His finest hour is when they have a debate in the farm house about whether to kill a stranger called Randall who shot at them in town. It raises some great moral questions with surprising consequences. At various points you sit back and think “What would I do in this situation?”

Like I said, there were no slow points for me but there were two things which bugged me: Laurie and Carl. Laurie is manipulative and unlikable making her really difficult to root for and Carl keeps getting into so many scrapes that I hope he gets eaten.

There are several “Oh my God!” moments and there are some fabulously shocking twists and turns to the story too.

On the plus side, there is plenty of gore with people being torn apart and some exploding heads thrown in for good measure. Shane and Rick have a great dust up at one point too so there is no shortage of action.

There is a constant feeling of dread and a fabulously creepy atmosphere where you just know in this world, there is no such thing as safe.

The season ends with Rick declaring “this is no longer a democracy” as he is tired of being second guessed by everyone. The camera pans up to show what I imagine is the prison for Season 3 where we finally meet The Governor…

Overall, The Walking Dead: Season 2 is utterly essential and the show has lived up to the hype and praise heaped upon it. If you haven’t seen it yet, give it a shot as you’ll be in for something special.