Monday, December 6, 2010

The Walking Dead: Season Review & Retrospect

WARNING: Spoilers are ahead, for both the first season of "The Walking Dead", as well as the comic from which it is based, as I attempt to predict what happens next.

The dead will rise...

...and boy how they have!

The first season of AMC's "The Walking Dead" has wrapped up, albeit it didn't take long considering that this season only consisted of six episodes. Nevertheless, for the course of this six-episode season, executive producer Frank Darabont and comic series creator Robert Kirkman have managed to craft a great adaptation of Kirkman's beloved comic series. After last night's finale however, just how faithful the show will be to the source material will remain to be seen...maybe.

Within the first six issues of the comic, Rick managed to re-unite with his family, and his old police partner Shane, along with other survivors like Andrea and Dale. While the show has retained these elements, the one thing that it hasn't done (at least not yet) is present the struggle and fatal blow-up between Rick and Shane. The first storyarc of the comic concluded with Rick's young son Carl killing Shane in defense of his father, who had gone a little looney over his affair with Rick's wife Lori coming to an abrupt end. While the show seems to be headed in that direction, I had almost figured that Shane would be wormfood by the finale, but he managed to escape the CDC with Rick and company before it erupted in flames.

On that subject, the fact that the crew went to the CDC is something that was NEVER in the comic. Kirkman himself stated that he had no idea the CDC was even based in Atlanta, even though a majority of the series takes place in Georgia and surrounding areas. Still, it was an interesting twist on the series thus far, which leads me to my next question to ponder: just what did Jenner whisper to Rick before everyone made a run for it?

My thoughts on what Jenner whispered to Rick is plain and simple, and will bring up the first major plot point of the show thus far: Lori is pregnant. In the comic, Lori revealed her pregnancy not long after Shane died, but the question abounded as to whether or not the baby was Rick's or Shane's. Considering that Jenner took blood tests from everyone upon entering the CDC, and his somewhat strage reply to Rick when he asked Jenner about the results, he more than likely told her that she's expecting. Another theory may be that Jenner saw Shane's drunken attempted assault on Lori. The building was wired and monitored, and maybe Jenner saw and/or heard the discussion between the two. Either way, I'll be wracking my head about it until next season.

Another plot point that I'm dying to see resolved is just what happened to Merle? We know he lopped off his own hand and made a run out of Atlanta, but after that is anyone's guess. There has been a lot of internet chatter that Merle is going to become the Governor. Anyone who has read the comic knows the kind of impact that the Governor had on Rick and company, and considering he's missing a hand, maybe his revenge on Rick will be lopping off his hand too, especially considering that Rick does horribly lose his hand in the comic.

The Governor, as well as the crew's time living in the shelter of the prison they discover, are two absolutely major story elements that really made the comic so incredible and unlike any other zombie/horror comic to hit the market before or since. Some of the other differences between the comic and the show include new characters like Merle and his brother Darrel, Andrea not being anywhere near as strong-willed on the show as she was in the comic (in the comic she killed her sister Amy before she ever came close to turning), and Shane comes off as way more sympathetic here than he ever did in the comic either. I know that Frank Darabont wants to make things more dramatic for the sake of TV, but if the prison AND Governor points are never touched upon, my interest in the show will seriously wane.

All that aside, this first season of "The Walking Dead" has been surprisingly impressive, and here's hoping that the best is yet to come...

...otherwise I'm going to be fucking pissed.

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