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2012 Most Memorable Episodes: The Walking Dead “Beside the Dying Fire” 

Photo Credit:AMC
Photo Credit:AMC

When I had to pick an Episode of the Year for 2012, I immediately decided it was going to be an episode from The Walking Dead.  The only question remained was which one.  I finally narrowed it down to two – “Beside the Dying Fire” (Season 2 finale) and “Killer Within” from Season 3.  Both were fantastic episodes, but ultimately “Beside the Dying Fire” won, and honestly, I would be surprised if there ever is a Walking Dead episode that could top this one.

For those who have read my past articles on The Walking Dead, you know that I’m a relatively new follower.  I’m not a zombie fan, and I hadn’t watched a single episode until the weekend before San Diego Comic-Con this past July.  In preparation for SDCC, I watched the marathon on AMC, and to my utter amazement, I really liked the show.  But, honestly, the episode that made me go from saying The Walking Dead is a good show to that of a great show was that Season 2 finale.  Here are just a few things that blew me away about this episode:

  •  The action in the episode was amazing.  This was the first time the group had faced a herd of that magnitude, and they were completely unprepared for it.  Their big plan was to drive around in their cars killing as many walkers as possible, and then, leading the rest off the farm by driving away.  Well, I guess if you see a few hundred walkers heading your way that may be the best plan you can come up with if you have only a few moments to think about it.  As I watched the episode, I knew their efforts were ultimately going to be futile, but the heart-racing scenes as you watch them try just stunned me.
Photo Credit:AMC
Photo Credit:AMC
  • This episode was a game-changer.  As Hershel (Scott Wilson) said himself, they had fooled themselves into believing that being out in the middle of nowhere on a farm insulated them and made them safe.  The farm being overrun was a hard lesson that that is not the case.  The only solution is to hunker down somewhere and build a fortress that can’t be penetrated by walkers.  And, by sheer luck alone, the survivors ended up stranded near a prison, which would be a perfect environment to shield themselves from walkers and actually build a life.


Photo Credit:AMC
Photo Credit:AMC
  • Rick (Andrew Lincoln) finally admits to the rest of the group that everyone is infected.  For those who are familiar with the comics, this was no surprise, but for those who solely watch the TV series, this was a big shocker.  It was also a brilliant move on the writers’ part because it was a good tieback to season one when Rick initially found out at the CDC.


Photo Credit:AMC
Photo Credit:AMC
  • We have the introduction of the major character, Michonne (Danai Gurira), from the comic book series, which would ultimately lead to the Woodbury story line in season 3.  I don’t think any Walking Dead fan will forget the scene when you think Andrea (Laurie Holden) was going down, and then, out of the blue, a mysterious sword-wielding stranger chained to two zombies saves her life.
Photo Credit:AMC
Photo Credit:AMC

After watching this episode, I was hooked.  I couldn’t wait to go to SDCC to cover The Walking Dead panel, even if it meant standing in line for almost 8 hours.  Robert Kirkman and Glen Mazzara wrote this episode – all I can say is that I applaud you. What an amazing job you did.  You created one of the best season finales I have seen in a very long time.

The episode was also full of some great quotes.  Here are some of the most memorable ones:

  •  Hershel: This is my farm.  I’ll die here.
     Daryl: Alright, it’s as good a night as any.
  •  Glenn: Get off of the farm now! It’s lost.
     Maggie: The others, we can’t just leave them.
     Glenn: Get off the farm NOW!
  •  Rick: We have to go now.
     Hershel: It’s my farm!
     Rick: Not anymore.
  •  Glenn: I love you. Maggie, I love you. I should have said it a long time ago, and it’s been true for a long time.
  •  Rick: I didn’t ask for this! I killed my best friend for you people for Christ’s sake!
  •  Rick: You’re a man of God.  Have some faith.
     Hershel: Christ promised a resurrection of the dead.  I just thought he had something a little different in mind.
  • Rick: Get one thing straight.  If you’re staying, this isn’t a democracy anymore.

I think this last quote was the most important one.  Rick declared himself the leader of the group, and the one who would ultimately make the decisions going forward.  Rick is a good leader and has a good conscious even by Hershel’s own admission, but some of his decisions, as we all know, backfired in season 3.

The Walking Dead returns for the second half of season 3 on February 10, 2013.

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