It's been two days after the season finale of The Walking Dead, and Sunday night's episode left me with a rather deflated huh feeling that has plauged me ever since. I know, this past season has been a letdown. It's been boring. I hear that. I can't argue with that. What's been eating me since Sunday, though, is a feeling that maybe I was right all along when AMC fired series creator, Frank Darabont, almost two years ago.
Season 3 of AMC's blockbuster cable drama started off exciting as the "Rick-tatorship" sets up shop at an abandoned prison, and we're introduced to fan-favorite villian, The Governor. I say drama, because the first eight episodes were chock-full of it: Rick (literally) chops down opposition; Lori gives birth, then dies, then gets put down by Carl; T-Dog bites it; Andrea and new pal Michonne meet The Governor, the leader of Woodbury who collects heads and keeps his zombie daughter around; Merle is alive and aligned with The Governor... There was more, lots more, and it kept building and building until the all-out war that was the mid-season cliffhanger.
And then came the remaining eight episodes. From that point on, it felt like being a zombie watching this show lumber on with what seemed to be no sense of... well, anything! Every character in the second half of Season 3 seemed like they were spinning their wheels, which obviously means the writers were doing the same. While there were some highlights, such as Rick's reunion with Morgan and Merle's last stand, everything that made the first eight episodes consistently involving was nowhere to be found. Eventually, there was a point to all this, but the season dragged on until it was too late for me to really care. Yes, Season 2 was also a slow burner, but at least it was actually moving towards something. That something is called a pay-off, which is what the creators forget to give us time around.
This past year confirms that firing show runner Frank Darabont after the initial season was a bone-headed move on the part of AMC. For that reason, I almost stopped watching The Walking Dead after those first six episodes, but due to the enormous popularity, I decided to at least give the rest of the show a chance. I'm starting to regret that decision after enduring these last eight frustrating and exhausting weeks. Now there's a new show runner to replace the guy who replaced Frank Darabont- I could give you the names, but do you really care? Things could still turn around. Yet, I can't shake the feeling that it's still too late to care anymore. Nothing has been the same for The Walking Dead the same way the Superman films were never the same after the Salkinds fired director Richard Donner. If I do decide to go back to The Walking Dead in October, I hope I don't regret that decision, either.
Christ, I making this sound like going back to an bad ex or something.