Who knew that surviving an apocalypse would be a never-ending nightmare? When Sheriff Rick Grimes first awoke to find out that the world he knew was gone and just about everyone along with it, he was intent on only finding his family. The first season saw Rick reunited with his wife and son, and they have been on the run and fighting for their lives ever since.
Joined in their struggle to survive and hunted by the infected “walkers,” are a disjointed crew of fellow survivors: Shane, Dale, Andrea, Glenn, T-Dog, Daryl, and Carol. Up until the mid-season finale last November, it was also believed that Carol’s daughter Sophia still lived and they had led a desperate search to locate her before it was too late.
Horrifyingly, when we last saw THE WALKING DEAD survivors, they were blazing away taking out the walkers from Hershel’s barn only to find their long-lost Sophia stepping out. Her shuffling appearance stopped the rain of bullets in an instant as everyone frozen in horror and shock. Knowing it was too late and that it had to be done, Rick Grimes stepped forward and put a bullet straight through Sophia’s head. The Sophia they had known and loved was long-gone. The creature that stepped out of the barn was but a shell of her former self, a mindless being intent only on feeding on human flesh. It only took one bite and she could infect anyone, so Rick’s action was decisive and unhesitating. No one was going to cheer, but no one was going to condemn him for it either. Walkers are no longer human beings. They are dead-things that walk and which condemn the living to a life of mindless hell.
The second season had also introduced the survivors to Hershel Greene and his family, Maggie, Beth, Patricia and Jimmy. It was had been Hershel’s fervent hope and prayer that the walkers were still people and just infected until a cure could be found. He thought by storing them away in the barn, that it was safe enough. But the survivors knew that walkers were entirely too dangerous to keep around and that there was never going to be a cure. By slaughtering Hershel’s wife and the rest of their friends and family that had been penned up, the survivors have undoubtedly outstayed their welcome at Hershel’s farm. But with Laurie pregnant and a baby on the way, Rick and Shane are determined that Laurie should not be separated from the only medical care they have found in this increasingly inhospitable and dangerous world where walkers lurk in the shadows and around every corner.
So as the second-half of the 2nd season plays out, it remains to be seen if the survivors can keep residence on the Hershel farm or if they will be forced to move on and find a new sanctuary. In addition, the budding romance between Glenn and Maggie may complicate matters as each will have to decide whether to stay behind or venture out with the survivors into the unknown.
In addition, in the upcoming February 12th episode entitled “Nebraska,” the survivors and Hershel’s family discover that there are still others roaming the countryside and whether those unknown parties have the intent to aid or to harm, will have to be ascertained. With so much danger and so much to fear hovering around them, it would be nice to have others join in the fight to survive. But with dwindling resources available, not everyone is willing to share what they have and it becomes a matter of whether you can protect what you have and the people you care about.
Also adding fuel to the boiling fire just beneath the surface is the developing factions and interests within their own little group. Rick, Laurie and Carl are a family and they will stand by each other. Shane wants to continue protecting Laurie and Carl — particularly as he now suspects that Laurie’s baby is his child. But Dale fears that Shane has embraced the dark-side and intentionally killed Otis (one of Hershel’s friends) to save his own skin earlier this season; so Dale wants to be as far away from Shane as possible.
Which leaves Andrea, Daryl, T-Dog, Glenn and Carol to choose sides and establish their alliances and priorities. Glenn may want to throw his hat in with Maggie as love is a hard thing to find in a world where there are so few humans left. Carol is in mourning for the daughter she lost and is uncertain what she has left to live for. T-Dog’s instincts propel him to just survive and follow the group as it provides his best chance at survival. And Daryl, he’s a wild-card. Daryl is only interested in his own survival and losing Sophia hurt more than he cares to admit. The young girl had touched his hardened heart and her death has returned him to a state of numbness amidst this crazy world.
Hershel and his kin can still hole up at the farm and try to find a way to survive on their own. But without the aid of Rick’s group and their guns, protecting a self-sufficient farm with resources could be beyond their abilities.
The world had gone to hell, literally. How does one decided whether it is right to stay put and survive or if there might be something better on the horizon that is worth looking for? The unknown has never been as terrifying and daunting as it is now. But dare they stay put and be picked off if unfriendly humans were to find them?
THE WALKING DEAD continues its gripping second season on Sunday, February 12th at 9:00 p.m. on AMC. It’s going to rip your heart out, one way or another.
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