Welcome to Round Two of The Walking Dead on Comic Booked. If you missed our full reviews of each episode from Season One, it’s not too late. We are ready to start into the wild ride that is Season Two of The Walking Dead.
Our list of survivors has dwindled since Season One, and you can see more of that with The Official Comic Booked Scorecard for The Walking Dead Season One. We still have Rick, Shane, Lori, Carl, Dale, Glenn, T-Dog, Daryl, Andrea, Carol, and Sophia. We also have some unknowns like Merle, Morgan, and others who the survivors have crossed paths with. All we can do is plunge into The Walking Dead Season Two and see who survives.
Season Two: Episode One – What Lies Ahead
Back in Episode One of Season One, Rick was saved by Morgan and his son Duane. When they parted ways, Rick gave him a walkie talkie and told him that every morning at dawn he would try to contact him and let him know what was going on. As Season two begins, Rick is on a rooftop telling Morgan their plans. Then, the group “saddles up” and heads off on the 125-mile trip to Fort Benning.
As often happens on road trips, people talk and reminisce. Rick and Lori talk about a trip they took to the Grand Canyon when Carl was a baby. They never made it there because Carl got sick. Carl says he wants to go and Sophia says she does too. Rick promises that they would never go with Sophia and her mom, Carol. In the RV, Shane and Andrea talk guns and Andrea tells him that her gun was a gift from her father. Shane is interrupted in explaining how to clean the weapon as Dale sees the mess that the highway has become.
After the groups encounter with the Vatos last season, my first though upon seeing the overturned tractor trailer and the narrow corridor of vehicles was that this would be the perfect place for an ambush. As they push forward, we see that this is much more of a graveyard than an ambush. Their trip comes to an abrupt halt as the radiator hose on the RV blows out. Of course, in this “graveyard”, they should be able to scavenge a lot of useful things, even a radiator hose.
An important thing happens as the survivors begin their scrounging. Now that Dale doesn’t have Jim to help with the repairs, having had to leave him by the side of the road last season, he begins to take Glenn under his wing. “Here, learn something.” Dale acts the part of the father for this team, teaching them important skills and offering wisdom and patience that is sometimes really lacking.
Everyone spreads out and starts scavenging, gas, food, clothes, even jugs of water. Things seem like they might be okay for just a moment until Dale spies the first walker. As Rick sights it in on his rifle, another shambles into view. Then a whole herd rounds the corner. Everyone has to hide, under cars or in the RV.
T-Dog slips and slices his arm open on a car door. The blood attracts the nearest walker. Daryl shows up in time to take care of that one and cover them both with dead bodies to mask them from the walkers. Meanwhile, Andrea fights off a walker in the RV. Otherwise, the herd passes… or so it seems.
Sophia, Carol’s daughter, starts out from under the car where she is hiding and is chased by two walkers. Rick takes off after here down into the woods. After catching up with Sophia, Rick has her hide under a fallen tree and tells her to stay there and he would draw off the walkers. She was to wait for about an hour, if he did not return, she should head back to the road, “keeping the sun on your left shoulder”.
Rick draws off the walkers and kills them both, but upon returning to the stump, Sophia is gone. Daryl, Glenn, Shane, and Rick follow the trail that she left, but do not find her. Daryl is the tracker, but even he is having a hard time understanding what happened.
Back at the highway, the survivors are moving cars, collecting supplies, and arguing with each other… at least Lori and Shane are having things out. This is the first time we hear Shane threaten to leave the group. With all the tension between Lori, Shane, and Rick, this might end up being for the best.
Back in the woods, Rick and Daryl enjoy a wonderful walker autopsy. Nothing like digging around in rotten guts to find out whether a walker ate Sophia. Turns out, after the slimy grossness, that “this gross bastard had himself a woodchuck for lunch”. Yeah, “at least we know”.
In this episode, so many of the conflicts between the survivors are exacerbated by the closeness and the tension of losing Sophia and the constant threat of death or worse. Shane and Lori, Andrea and Dale, and the issues between Shane and Carl as Shane tries to distance himself from the family that he thought he might have. Close calls and death are all the group finds as they continue their search for Sophia. Until… churchbells!
At the Southern Baptist Church of Holy Light, the group finds three walkers all seated in their pews as if waiting for something. Rick, Shane, and Daryl make short work of them and then find that the bells are electronic and ring on a timer. Outside, Andrea hears about Shane’s plan and she wants to go.
Carol’s heartfelt prayer shows there is still some faith left in the world, whether well-founded or not. Is He taking requests, as Daryl asked or has God forsaken this world? In the end, the group splits up as Daryl leads most of them back to the highway but Rick, Shane, and Carl make one last pass along the creek. Before they leave, Rick takes his turn at the altar. Asking for a sign, wondering what he is meant to do, questioning everything but still asking, Rick, Shane, and Carl head out.
As the larger group heads back, Lori stops and they have their own little “come to Jesus” meeting. She tells them to stop whining and work together. Everyone is trying their best, but no one is perfect.
Rick stops his group at the sound of a branch and they see a beautiful buck. Shane is about to shoot it, but Carl walks toward this animal, a sign of life in a world that seems to be headed towards death. As Carl moves closer and closer, we can see the wonder in his face at being this close to something so amazing. Then the shot rings out. Piercing the deers chest, the bullet continues and knocks Carl to the ground. The last thing we see is Rick running towards his fallen son screaming “NO!”.
This is a great start to the second season with so many new conflicts arising. Will Shane leave the group? What will happen with Carl? Will they find Sophia? Who shot the deer? All this, and more, will be addressed as we continue our full episode reviews of The Walking Dead Season Two on Comic Booked.