Movie Content Plus Video The WALKING DEAD: The One Scene That Saved The Entire Series

The WALKING DEAD: The One Scene That Saved The Entire Series




The Walking Dead is in its final season, but there was a time when it looked like the show was going nowhere. Way back in season 2, a contentious battle with the showrunner and budget cuts threatened to kill the show. We think there was one episode–one scene–that saved the walking Dead. The scene that got the show back on track and laid the foundation for all the great TV that followed.

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Written and Hosted by Ryan Arey (http://twitter.com/ryanarey)
Edited by Randolf Nombrado

#WalkingDead #VideoEssay

0:00 Walking Dead Season 2 Recap
3:18 Problems with Season 2
6:28 How Season 2 Made the Show Better
8:09 Season 2 Laid the Groundwork for The Series
11:47 Crucial Scene Breakdown

The walking Dead is in its final season, after 11 years. Think about that. Eleven years. When you go back and watch season 1, the show is unrecognizable for what it is today. And I think that this is all thanks to the show’s most crucial season, the most important season in the Walking Dead franchise: and that is season 2.

Yes, that is the season with the farm…that everyone says is really slow and really bad–and I’ll talk about that season’s flaws in a second. But this season transitioned the group–and the show into a new era. It made mistakes, but it learned from them–this is the show where the Walking Dead became the show it is today.

The season also contains–what I think–is the best scene in the entire show.

But more on that scene later. First let’s provide a little context for this season. Season 1 was very much about a group pf regular people trying to get their bearings in a zombie apocalypse story. This was groundbreaking, because most zombie movies didn’t have the time to explore what comes after the zombie attack. They focus on the survivors escaping from a herd [herd, sounds about right] and then…we don’t get to see what happens to civilization.

Walking Dead answers that zombie apocalypse question: what comes next? The driving question of the series isn;’, will they escape form zombies? It’s, will they be able to rebuild civilization? Where does all this end? What’s the point? And season 2 is when they started to answer those questions.

Season 1 and 2 are very much about the group looking for structure, civilization. They find the CDC, get hot showers, and think their nightmare is over. It was their ultimate hope, the place they could rebuild from–and it was destroyed. This is a recurring pattern in the Walking Dead.

So, it does make sense that when the group finds a nice farm that’s unmolested by walkers, they want to stay, raise babies, and rebuild civilization. The problem with the season stem from the infamous disputes between showrunner Frank Darabont and the network, AMC. Now Frank Darabont was the showrunner for Walking Dead season 1, and he’s also the guy who wrote and directed this.

There’s a lot of he said/she said, but the gist seems to be that Darabont wanted tighter control of the series, and was shocked when AMC slashed his budget for season 2. “Do more with less.” Darabont left the show, won a 200 million dollar lawsuit, and proud we are of all of him.

Glen Mazzarra took over the show and had to find a way to save money. The solution was to stick to one main location–the farm–and to pad the episodes with lots and lots of dialogue.

When you rewatch the season, you notice something important . Episodes 1-3 are sharp, kinetic. There’s a sense of danger pressing down upon the group, while character developments are always playing out in the background

This is when the walking dead is at its best–when internal conflicts–like Shane’s heel turn–are driven by external threats–like when he kills Otis.

After episode 3, the characters reach the farm, and the external threats stop dead in their tracks. There are far fewer zombies, and no humans to threaten the farm. Instead, the show becomes driven by two questions: will they find Sophia and will carl live? Episode 4 does a nice job of slowing down and letting the characters worry about these kids. It even has this touching scene where Daryl gives Carol a Cherokee rose

Two children living or dying can make for great TV–but season 2 was forced to stretch these plot out for way too long. Characters remain static for most of the season. Or, like Andrea–they change, but then have nothing to do for several episodes. Liek T Dog. They have all this time to fill, and T Dog’s arc is that he gets a cut on his arm.

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