Review: The Walking Dead – Season 2 Episode 1: “What Lies Ahead”

Written by Chris Beaulieu October 21, 2011

By Christopher Beaulieu

The season two premiere for The Walking Dead starts off only a short time after the season one finale. Back from the CDC and preparing to head out into the Georgia countryside, Rick starts off the episode by once again trying to contact Morgan and his son, while simultaneously (and conveniently) summarizing the previous season for the new viewers the series has undoubtedly picked up.

Hoping to find safety elsewhere, the gang is on the move on the abandoned highways. Before long, as always happens in The Walking Dead, walkers show up in large numbers. After all that effort to in the first season to conceal their “living smell” by lathering themselves with zombie guts, it bothered me a little to see that Rick and the others could simply hide under cars. I also can’t help but wonder if, after laying under a freshly-cut walker corpse to hide, any walker blood got into T-Dog’s massive arm wound, and if that is something that will be brought up in episodes to come.

The series does a particularly good job of picking up where it left of by bringing up the relationship between Andrea and Dale. It was surprising to see the moment from last season when Angela and Dale left the CDC together turned on its head. Angela reveals that it was not some glorious act of salvation on Dale’s part that persuaded Angela to live, but rather his emotional blackmail that he would die if she did. Angela increasingly sets herself up as a character with less and less to live for, and it will be something to follow closely as she teams up with Shane.

There is also an interesting development of Rick’s character in the episode as he dehumanizes the walkers through his animosity towards them. Rick started the series with pity and sympathy for the humans that the walkers once were. However, when Rick battles the two walkers chasing Sofia, there is only a primal instinct to survive in Rick’s eyes and actions as he aggressively bashes their skulls with a large rock. I certainly hope that this return to primal instincts will be a recurring theme that continues throughout the series as the group questions why it is that they must stay alive.

At the end of the episode we’re immediately left wondering if Sophia will be found, if Carl will survive, and what exactly shot him. In the long-term, there’s still questions like what Dr. Jenner whispered into Rick’s ear, and when (or if) Morgan and his son will appear again. It’s definitely enough to keep me interested for the next episode, and to see how this season will play out as a whole.

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About Chris Beaulieu

When Chris isn't studying film, reading English literature, fencing, or watching re-runs of Frasier on TV, it's because he's writing awesome reviews for We Eat Films.

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