WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO SEASONS OF THE TV SERIES AND THE GRAPHIC NOVEL, THE WALKING DEAD AND POSSIBLE SEASON 3 SPOILERS.
With Season 2 of “The Walking Dead” has come to an end with a blaze of glory in its finale. There have been some highs and lows with the widely popular AMC TV series from the very start. With a very strong pilot to the questionable direction of season 1 (a nursing home episode?) to a very long winded first half of season 2 (the long search for Sophia) to a very strong season 2 finale. The group has finally left the farm after having to re-group after the lost of two main characters (Dale and Shane) and an army of “walkers” knocking at their door. I think overall, with two lukewarm seasons wrapped up and a very strong ending to season 2, “The Walking Dead” may finally live up to the potential of the promise of the pilot episode to uncertain TV greatness. So everybody wants to know, what’s going to happen in season 3?
“The Walking Dead” has answered some questions asked in season 1 and left its audience in an unfamiliar location and possibly introducing a new mysterious character. If the graphic novel by Robert Kirkman, upon which the series is based, is any sort of road map to season 3 of “The Walking Dead” then here are a few things to expect this fall.
A new setting. Now that the group is out of the farm and the last shot of the season 2 finale, teased the new setting of season 3, an abandoned prison. The prison, at first, seems like a bad place for the group to settle. It’s still home to a few criminals, murderers and rapists. But after that first glance, an abandoned prison is the ideal place to set up a home in a zombie apocalypse. It’s isolated, well fortified and usually runs on its own power from a generator. So the group will have a few of the luxuries they were immersed with before the zombie apocalypse and the security of knowing they’ll be safe from “walkers.” But again, you’ll have to deal with a few criminals, murderers and rapists to live in this post-zombie apocalypse utopia.
The mysterious figure at the end of the season 2 finale is the legendary Michonne. She is a survivor the group teams up with in the graphic novel before stepping foot into the prison. She’s armed with a samurai sword and is “escorted” by two armless, jawless “walkers” (her turned boyfriend and best friend) she has shackled and sports around as a sort of a trophy. She is, by far, one of the most badass characters in the comic book. She also serves as a wedge in the group. Now that Shane is dead, Michonne will sure to add more drama and conflict to the TV series.
The Governor! The Governor is the perfect example of how far humanity has sunk after the social order collapsed. He is the leader of a group of survivors who have isolated themselves from other survivors. This group pins people against “walkers” for sport, rape and pillage for their own survival and serves as the complete opposite of Rick Grimes’ group. Wherein as Rick’s group tries to keep their humanity and tries to live by a set of morals they had before the zombie apocalypse, the Governor’s group has taken full advantage of the break down of humanity and society. Look for his appearance in the middle of season 3, most likely at the mid-season finale point. It gets interesting when Michonne and the Governor meet.
Lori has her baby. Also look for this event to happen in the middle of season 3. Whether or not, Rick or Shane were the father of the baby isn’t important anymore. Rick raises and loves the baby as if it were his own. The birth of Judith “Judy” Grimes will give a new dynamic to the Grimes family. This will give Rick the strength to want to keep the group safe, which leads to why they eventually end up at the prison.
Sadly, season 3 will have less “walkers.” Once the group gets into the prison, it will make them secure from the threat of zombies. The real drama comes from the group’s interactions with the prisoners, but again, since most of the characters are written so thin, maybe this will be the real problem for the TV series. To be fair, the character’s in the graphic novel are equally as thin but it works in a comic book, wherein as it doesn’t work on a TV series. One of the reasons why “The Walking Dead” the TV series is so compelling is the zombie element more so than the character element. In the second half of season 3, the drama will come from the conflict between Rick and the Governor, and again, less “walkers.”
Also don’t forget the mysterious helicopter at the beginning of the season 2 finale. Where did this helicopter come from? Who was flying it? Where is it going? These are questions that will lead the group out of the prison and to the doorstep of the Governor. The group will risk their security for the small hope that this plague will end and ultimately things will go back to normal. But how could it go back to normal after everything they’ve seen, witnessed and have done. This is the most important element of why “The Walking Dead” is an interesting character study of the depths of humanity.
My hope is now that “The Walking Dead” has a new showrunner in Glen Mazzara, there will be some consistency in plotting, pacing, writing and character development. There is enough drama and conflict in the graphic novel that can translate to your TV screen. “The Walking Dead” is an above average TV series with the potential to be a great one and join the ranks of “Lost,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Firefly.” That maybe with the new cast additions of David Morrissey (the Governor) and Danai Gurira (Michonne), this will inject new life into “The Walking Dead.”