SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED SUNDAY'S SEASON 2 FINALE OF "THE WALKING DEAD," PLEASE STOP READING NOW AND GO WATCH. (I'LL WAIT.)
One thing you can say for "The Walking Dead": Like its staggering bit players, it just keeps coming.
Heading into Sunday's Season 2 finale, I wasn't sure how much more could be accomplished in one season. After all, in the past couple of weeks alone, our ragtag group of survivors had already lost it conscience -- Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) -- and its least stable influence -- Shane (Jon Bernthal) -- and its leader, Rick (Andrew Lincoln), had killed the man he considered his best friend.
And Rick's son Carl (Chandler Riggs), a child who early in the season had been accidentally shot while standing too close to a deer, had shot the man who had been his surrogate father, in order to save his real one.
What more could the finale possibly do?
Well, it seemed, for one thing, that "Walking Dead" producers hadn't yet blown the makeup and special-effects budget. So: Barn fire! High-speed walker hunt! And, of course, even more zombies!
And an end to the dream of a snowed-in idyll at Hershel's (Scott Wilson) farm.
Oh, and Rick finally reveals the Big Secret of Season 1: "We're all infected." Which explains Shane's quickie, zombie-free resurrection.
Among other things.
Best line: "Christ promised a resurrection of the dead. I just thought he had something different in mind," Hershel, a man of God whose faith has been sorely tested, tells Rick.
Best AMC promo: "Zombies are back," followed by a few clips showing "Mad Men" characters looking less than fully alive.
Best visual: The scene in which Andrea (Laurie Holden) is rescued by a mysterious hooded figure who appears to have wandered in from the set of HBO's "Game of Thrones." (Yes, I know, I know. It's a character from the comic book. Which I haven't read. Which is why I get to be surprised.)
Best reason to have watched the live followup show "Talking Dead": the "In Memoriam" sequence with one walker after another going down.With less than respectful titling.
(Second best: "Saturday Night Live's" Fred Armisen called in to ask a question.)
So Rick may say "this isn't a democracy anymore," but that's never stopped TV fans from talking back. I loved it (though maybe not so as much as I loved last week's).
What did you think?