Well another season of The Walking Dead has concluded, and it did so in grand fashion: the show's highest ratings ever, another few ratings records broken, and (most importantly) the show's biggest zombie siege sequence yet, with a few deaths (no one important, however), tons of bullets to the head, and even a large scale immolation. And while I've never had the amount of issues with the show as some others, it seems those folks have either been impressed with this latest (post-Darabont) stretch of the show, or finally figured out that they could watch something else; apart from spoilers, my Twitter feed has been refreshingly free of Walking Dead related bickering and sarcasm.
But the show is far from perfect, and as it goes on some things have started to really bug me. These aren't complaints - these are questions I have, and I welcome any intelligent answers you can provide.
Obviously, there are SPOILERS for the show thus far, so if you're not caught up I would advise waiting.
1. Why can't these people pick up some walkie talkies? Has there been some throwaway excuse for this? I considered maybe there was an EMP of some sort but Rick used a radio in the S2 opener, and cars still work, so it seems like these common devices would still be operational. And they'd be pretty damn useful too, considering that EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of this back half of season two involved a character whose whereabouts were unknown. Lori's accident could have been prevented and there would be less of a panic at the end of the finale when everyone split - all if someone had at any point decided to waltz into a Radio Shack and pick up a few pairs of these very small (and thus easy to "lug around") devices.
2. Does IronE Singleton have dirt on the writers? Seriously, why is T-Dog still alive? I've seen characters of equal importance (that is, none) killed off on shows in which their lives WEREN'T constantly in danger, so it baffles me that he has yet to be dispatched, especially considering that he has yet to display any definable character traits, other than the fact that he's apparently mute. If I had to guess, I'd say that they're only keeping him around in order to manufacture some easy drama for when Michael Rooker returns (since he was the one who dropped the key that Rooker's character needed to escape). However, this excuse goes against the show's (and comic's) approach of not settling for the easy, predictable thing to do when it comes to the character's fates. Please, either give him an actual personality, or just kill him off already.
3. Why did the season end on the group reuniting? I was legitimately excited at the possibility of an episode or two at the top of the third season in which our characters were split up. Yes, the zombie action is quite awesome more often than not (save for the increasingly awful digital blood), and many idiots tune into the show just for that and consider character moments to be "boring," but I and other intelligent viewers are different. The best thing that the show can offer that no zombie movie ever really can (even the all-time classics) is a chance for real depth and relationships among the characters, which can only really be formed by those scenes with two or three people split off from the rest. Plus, by now, I think folks are hooked - it's not like the show is going to sink to the bottom of the ratings if they opt to spend a little time on the characters when they're not running or shooting. Separating the group is a perfect way to bring some of that stuff to a head - when everyone is together, it usually just means Rick (or Shane, until two episodes ago) on a soap box, while everyone else looks on or turns away in anger. They even had a great chance to build up T-Dog, who was with Lori and one of Hershel's interchangeable children. This would have provided an opportunity to humanize Lori a bit, as she might feel free to be honest around these folks instead of... well, whatever it is that Lori's doing when she's around Rick or Shane (seriously, was she trying to convince Shane to kill her husband?).
4. Why is everyone pissed at Rick re: Jenner's message? 13 episodes later, we finally discover what Jenner said to Rick at the end of S1 finale: that everyone is infected and will return as a zombie regardless of whether or not they were bit. As Devin pointed out, I'm not sure why this is a big reveal, as that is pretty much a standard "rule" in zombie movies (if rarely seen since most folks die via bite, or get shot in the head by a human enemy). But even more puzzling was why everyone was furious with Rick for not telling them. Who cares? If they were all GOING TO DIE because they were all "infected," then I could see their anger, but as far as we know, it doesn't have any real effect on your lifespan.
5. Was Dale killed off because of the actor playing him? Jeffrey DeMunn is probably the closest physical match to his comic counterpart (or at least tied with Steven "Glenn" Yeun), which was a wonderful bit of serendipity because as this was a Frank Darabont production at its start, DeMunn was bound to appear, as he has in every single Darabont film. But it wasn't long after Darabont's last episode that Dale bit the dust, in a very abrupt and rather stupid manner to boot. His character survived a lot longer in the comic, and while that doesn't mean much on this show (Sophia is still alive in the comic, Shane died much earlier, etc), it still felt more like a behind the scenes decision than a genuine narrative one. Wonder if he will he get his own "last episode" bonus feature on the DVD, like Jon Bernthal will?
6. Do Carl and Hershel actually possess superpowers of some sort? For a guy who couldn't bring himself to take out random dangerous zombies a while back, Hershel sure as hell has no problem with it now. In fact he's a bit TOO good at dispatching "walkers" - did he miss once during the rampage in the finale? And Carl apparently has teleportation abilities, seeing as he always manages to show up far outside of his mother's watchful eye, and in the thick of danger. He's also built up an amazing sense of confidence when surrounded - check out the scene where he climbs down the ladder next to the Winnebago; he doesn't even flinch as he is grabbed at by numerous zombies. For a show that strives for realism, they sure as hell botch it in spectacular fashion sometimes.
What about you guys? If you're an actual fan of the show, are there other things that continue to bug you as it goes forward?