Season two of The Walking Dead picks up right where last season left off and has the survivors leaving the CDC and heading toward Fort Worth. In the first act of the 90-minute premiere, the big scene involves the group stopping on a stretch of highway to repair the Winnebago, only to encounter a herd of zombies shambling through. There are some really tense moments here, as the group is separated from one another, and it culminates when 12-year old Sophia gets discovered by the zombies and runs off into the woods. Rick heads in after her, but as he leads the zombies away from her, he loses Sophia in the forest, setting the stage for the rest of the episode. It’s a great first 30 minutes of television. Sadly, it’s also the remaining 60 minutes are pretty much downhill from there.
The search for Sophia is the backdrop for the rest of the episode, which is spent mostly catching up with each survivor and their current state of mind. The events at the CDC have changed the dynamics of the group. and as this season begins, things are starting to fall apart already.
It’s no secret that The Walking Dead is not primarily about zombies. Like the comic, it focuses on the people that are left, how they treat each other, and how they survive. Unfortunately for the TV show, that has often translated into really slow stretches that are just long conversations between characters with nothing much else going on. Such is the case with this episode, which would have played a lot better had it been cut to an hour. At 90 minutes, it feels bloated and slow. After the first act, things pretty much grind to a halt until the last 30 seconds of the episode, which ratchets things up for next week.
All in all, I was a little disappointed by the season premiere. There were some great moments, but the pacing is uneven and it’s 30 minutes too long.
3 out of 5 Zombies Shamble Faster Than The Pace Of This Show