Last night was the season 2 finale of The Walking Dead, and I'd say it was a gratifyingly epic conclusion to what started out as a ho-hum season. The body count rose impressively during the last few episodes, adding a much-needed sense that anyone could go at any time. (I can't be the only one who was absolutely convinced a zombie was going to bust in the car and cock-block Glenn while he was declaring his love for Maggie, right?)
It was high time our ragtag bunch of survivors encountered some real danger, because life at Hershel's farm was starting to feel way too complacent. ("Welcome to Club Dead, sir. Beverage? Hot shower? Fully-gassed car? Mysteriously-charged MP3 player?") Now that the group has finally moved on, and we've had the teaser of a new character and location, what do you suppose season 3 has in store for us?
Naturally, I've got some ideas. If you want to avoid any and all potential spoilers for the next season, click away now! Otherwise, let's get to speculatin':
The prison. It's difficult to compare the show to the comic series because the producers have always been up front about the fact that they're not necessarily staying 100% faithful to the original storyline. At this point, that's a big old no duh to anyone who's read the comics, but I'd say it's a safe bet that just like in the original story, the survivors' next move will be to hole up at the prison we got a peek at last night. It's got that nice tall zombie-repelling fence, after all. The question is, who's inside? Walkers, we can assume, but will there also be a handful of living inmates? Will one of them turn out to be a rather nasty serial killer who's fond of decapitation? Hmmmmmm.
Michonne. Ah, Michonne, our sword-wielding badass. In the comics, those shackled walkers are her onetime boyfriend and his best friend—she's dragging their zombified selves around to keep other walkers at bay. (As I remember, she's also removed their lower jaws and arms so they can't attack her.) Michonne will likely fill the Shane-shaped hole in our hearts, because she can kick ass, take names, and best of all, she's not infatuated with Lori. The TV series is missing the character who played Carol's lover in the comics, so we'll either sidestep the entire Michonne/Carol's lover business, or … maybe Carol and Daryl will get together, then Michonne will seduce Daryl, triggering Carol's mental collapse? Although, speaking of Daryl:
Daryl's brother Merle. He'll be baaaaaack, although whether we see him for real or as another Daryl-created fever dream isn't totally clear. I'm betting on the former, though: actor Michael Rooker, who plays Merle, recently confirmed he will be returning in season three—and although he couldn't provide any more details, he did let it slip that he had to lose twenty pounds for the role.
The helicopter. Who was in the copter? Hard to say, but my guess is that the helicopter will ultimately introduce Rick's gang to another infamous character we know will eventually making an appearance. The original story had Rick, Glenn, and Michonne investigating a helicopter crash, which led them to the town of Woodbury, which is ruled by a sadistic freak known as The Governor.
The Governor. AMC has announced that The Governor will be played by British actor David Morrisey, and that he'll be part of the season 3 cast. He's pretty much the most diabolical villain imaginable, so it will certainly be interesting to see how his storyline translates to television. If things play out like they did in the comics, Rick and Michonne are going to endure a lot of suffering at the hands of this bad guy.
Finally, a couple things I'm hoping for out of season 3:
Fewer monologues. I'm not saying every episode has to be a bloodbath or even include any zombie action at all—this is a story about the survivors, after all. But the wheel-spinning ham-handed monologues from the start of this season cannot return. I'm still cringing from Rick's walkie-talkie speech during the season premiere.
Better acting from Carl. I'm sorry to say this about a kid, but with so many amazing child actors it's a shame they didn't get someone more talented to play Carl. Unless they have no intentions of giving Carl Grimes the character depth he had in the books, the kid playing him really needs to step up his game.
Give us something to like about Lori, for god's sake. She was a complicated, prickly character in the comics, but I didn't actively root for her to die. We need something to like about Lori soon, because otherwise we'll never care if her life is in peril.
Overall, I can't wait for October (OCTOBER! ARGH!). According to Robert Kirkman, the comics writer himself, the best of The Walking Dead is yet to come:
I can say that we are at the very beginning of this show. We haven't quite gotten to a lot of the big things we've been building to just yet. If you're a big fan of 'The Walking Dead' and you enjoyed season one and season two, then you haven't seen anything yet.
Okay, zombie fans—what say you? What do you think is going to happen in Season 3, or what would you like to see happen?
Image via AMC