The Walking Dead

Season 2 Episode 13

Beside the Dying Fire

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 18, 2012 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (19)

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out of 10
482 votes
  • Nonsense? Fiction really - spoilers below

    I thought this was a great finale and really embodies what a zombie show is about. I know that some of the events in the episode seemed a little stupid, but we all need to remember that this is a show based on a comic book series. In a zombie apocalypse, there will obviously be some bad decisions and senseless killing, but not like we all make the best decisions in real life, and I guess when you are on a farm, being surrounded by mindless hungry zombies, driving around shooting them may seem like a pretty good idea at the time. Well, until you realize it's not, and then get out of there. In addition, it was your home, you would really like to protect it no?

    Ultimately, when you live in zombie-land there will be a good amount of running, fighting killing. And then there obviously needs to be a focus on survival and emotional struggle. The show has done a good job creating it's own personality, while still staying close enough to the comic book series to keep all the fans entertained and somewhat happy. I think that the new direction of the show has been a great refresh and I will keep me coming back for more.

    This episode really moved Rick closer to the Rick in the comics. It introduced another key character from the comics, and moved along from the farm to the prison (presumably). It also revealed what we came to realize in the previous episode. Everyone is infected. These are all elements that come straight from the comic book. I also know that the zombies seemed pretty slow and ineffective, but this is also the way the comics described them. I mean, when you are a zombie there is very little strategic thinking really. You move from point a to point b and eat. Walking dead zombies just do it slowly. I think this really works, otherwise everyone would be dead already.

    I can't wait for the next season to see how they keep developing the characters, deal with their ordeals and kill some more zombies. Good way to spend a Sunday night!
  • Nice season finale

    Personally I love their flashback scene and showing how the Walker horde began was very cool. It worked well with "zombie physics". Like a rolling snowball, they just start small and build up till they are huge. I had to laugh though at the moment they heard the gunshot. They stopped everything and started moving that direction. Odd that it took the shot Carl delivered to attract them.

    *Will Smith's voice* JIMMY NO!! Ok, that Independence Day reference might have been wasted there. Anyway, considering how devastating a zombie horde at night..CRAP...I need to copyright that. "Zombie Horde at Night" could be a great band name. Anyway, they didn't lose as many people as one might have thought.

    My biggest complaints lie with Carol and Lori. Maybe nagging housewives just shouldn't be in zombie apocalypses. Let's keep the single women like Andrea and Maggie about. My secondary complaint is the lack of Walker Jim. Even if it was just a passing would have rocked to have seen him in the group.

    Overall...great episode. Yes..a bit cheesy with certain things but come on...this isn't World War Z.
  • Figure out the Formula

    This is a show that just cannot determine the right formula for a successful episode. When we want action they just give us talking, and now today, when we want the aftermath of Rick killing Shane we get 30 minutes of nonsensical killing to start things off. I was intrigued, I was on the edge of my seat, but it wasn't like this action was that good, and it's not like I didn't want to see the characters that did know, die.

    And then the ending was a little bit disappointing. Ominous, but still disappointing.
  • Hope for Season 3

    First of all I never seen so many head shots im my life, looks like all the bullets were saved to the finale. This season was a bit of a let down until the middle but I have hope that season 3 will be more enjoyable with the new caracter, but its a shame that shane was killed, and now rick is the "Boss". This may be cruel but please make Lori lose the baby, i dont want to watch a full season about children. :)
  • A dissappointing show

    This episode should have been the best considering it had the only good thing Season2 ever offered--Zombie Slaughter..But once again they screw it up..

    What would a normal person do when faced with hundreds of zombies & all you have is limited ammo & a couple of getaway vehicles? Run off....This piece of common sense occurs to the group only after they almost run out of ammo...

    Carl & Lori being the 2 most irritating characters have their own respective scenes of utter insanity..

    The climax had 2 twists...Both arent much of spoilers,so here it goes..Rick says the whole group is infected and they would turn into zombies when they are killed..Incase you havnt got the twist here, You dont need to be bitten by a zombie to be a zombie (as seen in the case of Shane)...(or im mistaken here,Rick just says one line on it)

    If Season 2 was people stuck at a barn ,Season 3 will be that of the survivors stuck at a prison..Sigh..

    Out of all the chaotic scenes,Andrea's fate was nicely depicted..Too bad it was too short...

    Overall S2 was a BIG BIG disappointment considering it followed the brilliant S1...S2 wasted time showing over the top melodrama + irritating characters (Carl & Lori) + tons of stupid decisions...

    I hope S3 is cancelled if it plans to follow in the footsteps of S2..
  • Awesome

    Shane's murder leaves a bittersweet aftertaste, for Rick's son presses for answers his father is too shocked to give. A herd of walkers cuts them short leaving a trail of chaos and mayhem behind. The farm overran, Lori has no choice but to leave husband & child behind as hastily as Rick leaves Andrea to her luck, taking only Hershel on the car with him.

    Mesmerized by the flaming barn, Daryl only reacts to the sound of Carol's voice, thus he rides with her to the same spot they left things for Sophia, following a zigzagging car that could only belong to Glenn. This is where surrogate brother is appalled to find out the fate of Andrea, Hershel sisters Beth and Maggie share the joy to reunite with their father and Rick comes clean about Shane. No matter how strong the reaction of the group may be, it's Carl's and Lori's what hurts Rick the most, for the ultimate joke is on him as it's obvious Shane actually stole them from him.

    Long behind them, Andrea is up to her last gun, suicidal urges behind she would've made Dale so proud by figthing to her last ...until a mysterious hooded figure gives her the chance to see the group one more time.
  • Back to roots

    so Everyone complains that the show slows down. Ok I can kinda of agree but this isnt night of the living dead. Read the graphic novel this is a different take on the zombie myths. It's about the people. this ep was great it set up for season 3. It Started to follow the graphic novel to a tee. it really showed ricks leadership and showed how scary that attack was. As for as the suppiles come on people! almost 2 seasons of course there running low. I think this show is far more realistic. I mean look at true blood and others there storys run amuck. This story gets tighter. This was what tv is about acting this show is not about the zombies it's about the people. The zombies are the secoundtry charcters. All in all lot better then the season 1 final
  • Quality TV

    I'm a little suprised with some of the comments on this forum. I'd recommend that people who are watching the show read the comics because they provide a bit more context to the show than what you see on the screen.

    If you read the comics you realise that The Walking Dead is not really about zombies, rather it's about people and what they will do to survive in a hopeless situation. What would you do if there were no police around to keep you in line / protect you and there was danger both from without and within? I think that you'd do what you had to do to survive and that is what the comics and to some extent the show are trying to make us contemplate. Like I said above, the story is not really about the zombies. In some ways I am actually hoping that we see a whole episode without a zombie in it because the richness of the characters and the drama is enough to keep me interested. However I might be alone in that though looking at some of the other comments on this forum.

    Latterly in this season the Randall situation is one that nearly came to a head and I am sure that in future episodes difficult choices will be made that will actually lead to executions and further horrors being perpetrated by the principal characters. At least I hope so, in my opinion the best television makes you think and The Walking Dead comic book is adept and putting you in the characters shoes and making you think through impossible decisions. What would you do in x situation? NO. What would you REALLY do?

    Another complaint people here seem to have is that the pace of season 2 was slower than season 1, especially in the first half. Yes the pace was slower, however there were only 6 episodes in season 1 and they had a lot of story to pack in. Also it is character development that makes you care what actually happens to people and this can't be rushed too much IMO. Dale was a fantastic character and Jeffery de Munn a great actor, and that's why (Spoiler) I was very sad to see him go. However his death wouldn't have had the same impact if it was someone you didn't care about like say (Spoiler) Hershel's wife and son from this episode.

    That's why, like others I am disappointed that T-Dog is given so little to do in each episode this season. He's probably the only major-ish character who hasn't had an arc in season 2 and in some episodes he's barely had a line. They need to do something with him in season 3, otherwise what is he doing there? I am wondering whether they are going to amalgamate his character with someone from the comic books who carries a hammer? We shall see.

    It was also great to see a debut for Michonne (the mysterious samurai lady) in this episode as she is a key character from the comics and came in around a similar time in that medium. What is to come at the prison - if they stick to the comics - will top season 1 and 2 IMHO, season 3 could be the best yet, as long as they realise that it's character and not gore that keeps people interested long term - unless you are 15!

    And it's also that people who are out of control, insane, or struggling to adapt to a changed world are far more scary than zombies.
  • A New Direction

    Zombies goes on a rampage and tears up the farm the others try to get out of there for their survival. Shane getting killed was a plus for me he was holding the others back and practically the show in my opinion, what started out to be funny became quite annoying when Shane will nick pick at everything. Now I was looking forward for this season finale to show some direction unfortunately were back to the same thing between the group. Now everyone is mad at Rick and heres their reason because he killed damn Shane! and before that it was because he told that everyone was infected. Rick was right not wanting them to know, hell I wouldn't want to know its common sense its like someone telling you when your going to die. Shane becomes Rick it seems what the writers are creating and I give it a high rating now because of the action that built up to it the rush I felt. Their story still lacks direction and there is only so much popping zombies heads that one can take before anyone will start to yawn. In season 3 this whole thing the group not trusting each other and always wars form within the more people we will see them lose because always not working as a group. I'm very surprise they survived this long with all this group battle and still they keep asking question like this when this show should have been focusing on in season 2 or half way through it. "How is it possible to turn into a walker without getting a bit". Good question, can we start heading in that direction? can we find out why everyone turning into freaking zombie?

    p.s. can we stop fighting among the group its pretty old every episode is to much.

  • For a finale, lacklustre

    I waited a week before writing this review for good reason. By now, I hope the hype has died down.

    For a while now, I've said how the show kept missing the mark in terms of consistency. It just kept saying one thing, doing the opposite, then back to original, then something else.

    If anyone noticed, for a finale, this episode contained an amazing load of inconsistencies.

    It can't just be me here. Think about this:

    1) When the noise of the cars had left the barn, the zombies stopped following. Yet all it takes is 30 seconds of a helicopter to get zombies of migrate down south?

    2) How does something as noisy as that harley davidson not get jumped on by that nest? Its as if they couldnt hear it coming enough to miss it go by!

    3) A simple point another reviewer said: if you lack bullets against the zombies, isnt it just better to up and leave?

    4) How is it zombies in the city can avoid gates yet those migrating walked straight into it?

    5) One minute zombies can run, the next minute they can only walk?

    At this point, when you remove the inconsistent parts from the show, you have to ask how much are you left with? Not much really.

    It feels like this whole season was very simply one overstretched episode just so Rick could say "Jenner said we're infected!". Everything else was just filling in the space.

    By now, the characthers are in too deep to make changes to fit the comic book. While the Carl charather isn't going to be missed, it would be a mistake to kill Lori. Keeping Carl would irritate a whole lot of viewers, making this not very good tv.

    Like I said, for a finale, it was lacklustre. This whole season didn't have that tight writing S1 did. Still, Andrew Lincoln shined as an actor again.

    Lets hope the next season is better.
  • Lets stay tuned...

    I tend to agree with Dicko101... it is "about the people" and not really about the Zombies tho like DeepSecret, perhaps a bit more consistency would be great vis-a-vis "the foe" i.e. Zombies and what they can and can't do (maybe this could be a subplt? - do rebooted-humans i.e. Zombies "learn" as they experience?).

    ...I'm figuring that Zombies that have just eaten can run faster than malnourished Zombies ;-)

    (Please, pedants rest your weary heads!)

    But seriously, the show is to be enjoyed for what it aspires to be - clever action/drama set in a post apocalypse situation. Let's keep that up and hope that the prison as an enclave doesn't turn into a "General Hospital" drama with Zombies at the door - or "The Survivors" (the British post viral holocaust series) where a lot happens but nothing really gets resolved... or "Prison Break" where the premise overwhelms the plot...

    The "light" of the opportunity to be able to set things up, send out scouts, (find some new and interesting plot lines?), and find some sort of progressive options should provide a lot of script material for S3. Ideally these options should come from the original material (the comic source) but that's not to say that ideally the program needs to challenge and entertain us.

    Lets give it a few more episodes...

    Just re-read a past review (from about 4 programs ago) where I predicted that everyone was a carrier and that the virus could "kick in" once you died (and weren't already a Zombie)... boo hoo 5 people gave me a thumbs down!!! Wasn't writing a spoiler guys as i have never read the comic source material - ironic thing is that I am a scientist with a background in micobiology and it just seemed like a good idea!
  • How to mix terrible writing with captivating characters: a TV conundrum

    I don't even know where to begin with this series. I watched the complete first and seconds seasons back to back over the course of a few days... and while I'm strangely addicted, and the character interactions are certainly interesting, this has to be the worst show I've ever seen in terms of effort and consistency. The creative team clearly do not pay attention to their own body of work; they structure convoluted scenarios which hinge upon a very specific, very detailed problem and that problem has so many holes in its foundation, it might as well be a tissue-thin slice of Swiss cheese. From their protagonists successfully hiding under cars (even though we've already established that zombies can smell living flesh in an entire episode devoted to this discovery) to deciding that the humane way to handle their infected colleague is not to kill him but to respect his request to be left on the side of the road (which, incidentally, means he will "change" and kill countless innocent people, thus continuing the spread of the illness and contribute to the end of all life on earth) simply because they don't want to kill an innocent man (but have no problem being accomplices to the slaughter of billions)... the biggest guffaw of all was the second season finale, in which the red truck carrying but a few or the survivors runs out of gas, so they all camp out in the street because they "can't all fit in one car" and must walk for gas in the morning. Well, of the two remaining (working) vehicles, one is an SUV; a Hyundai Tuscon. Yeah. A Tuscon. Not a Mini. If you're really so desperate to escape zombie hell, and you were just attacked by hundreds of them a few miles away -- do the math. Pile in. Two up front, three in back, with child on mother's lap, and the two smallest women in the trunk, which is designed for a bit of cargo. The remaining two survivors take the motorcycle, which we've already seen carrying two passengers quite frequently. So, you'll be a little cramped until you reach the next town and find another abandoned car to steal, of which we just saw thousands five minutes earlier, strewn about the highway. Suck it up. Better to squish for an hour than become a zombie buffet. Given the stakes, I'd be happy to ride on the roof. Oh, but that doesn't make for an interesting story conflict, does it? Try harder! These writers seem to be hoping for an audience that doesn't ask questions; that we don't have more brain capacity that the zombies they have schlepping around the forest. They play it off as if their critics are nit-pickers... but hey, when the entire concept of your series hinges on surviving the end of the human race, these strange pauses to eulogize a random zombie and read his donor card while a herd of brain-eating monsters are literally breaking through the already-cracking vestibule of the department store you're trapped in... yeah... guess what? A little tough to swallow. Maybe eulogize a different zombie when you can afford to take a dramatic beat. How about the police officer who decides that it's a good idea to let a band of survivors camp at the very edge of a forest, without any kind of lookout or warning like cans on a string? Really? The edge of a forest? A dark tree line seemed like a safe haven for children in tents when you might be the last handful of survivors and the rest of the world is coming to eat you? Who's that stupid? How are you surprised that they snuck up on you? Keep a proper series bible and keep track of your story. Establishing that zombies can smell human flesh in the beginning of the series, only to have your main characters hide behind a tree two feet away, is akin to saying that vampires will die if exposed to sunlight and then having them tan on a beach in Cabo two episodes later. These are the worst kind of writers, who write themselves into a corner and then hope to God we don't remember the last 45 minutes we saw last week. Or in my case, as long as it took to play the next episode. Food for thought. Pun intended.
  • Good job to the writers on making such a disappointing Season 2 finale (applause and whistle)

    The last shot from the previous episode alerts a nearby zombie horde to the survivors. In the ensuing chaos, the group is fractured and loyalties questioned. It's the Season 2 finale of "The Walking Dead" but was it awesome... oh heck no, it was NOT very good and will disappoint you in every possible way. I consider to be one of the worst season finales for a television show ever. I know some reviewers that his is about the people but why would the creators make a show called "The Walking Dead" if it's not having a lot of zombies? Come on, you gotta agree with me when I say that the purpose of this show was to have zombies. I mean look at Season 1 and look at how awesome and well written that season became. First of all, The first half of the episode was AWESOME... I was so blown away by all of the action throughout the first half and that time, I thought that this Season 2 finale was going to be one of the greatest season finales for a show ever then AFTER the first half of the episode is done, all of the awesome and suspenseful action is over and it goes back to being very weak and boring. The most disappointing of the season finale is BY FAR the ending. Like wow!!! that was just disappointing and horrible. After seeing how weak and horrendously done this season has been, I don't think I'll watch Season 3. Listen writers, if you really want me to be a Walking Dead fan again and want me to be an extremely satisfied viewer then add more zombies, more action, more suspense, and FOR PETE'S SAKES better writing techniques and know how to make the characters more exciting or get to the point where I actually care about the characters. Overall, the first half was awesome... after that, it was just boring for the rest of the season finale... Season 3 better be a good season, that's all I'm saying. 5.5/10
  • Beside the Dying Fire

    Beside the Dying Fire was a perfect, haunting and very entertaining episode of The Walking Dead. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of action, zombies, and panic among the survivors. I liked that the zombie herd was quietly following Rick and Carl. It was sad to see Andrea stranded as it appeared she went down but I was glad to see her run for it. Andrea meets a mysterious character in the end. I liked how every thing played out because there was a good balance of loss and confusion along with survival and hope. I look forward to watching the next season!!!!!!!!!
  • 2x13 - Beside the Dying Fire

    Now this is the kind of episode that I like! Plenty of action, the entire group being fractured but then also reforming, Andrea's badass survival skills (I'd have died way before she got so tired) and seeing the glimpse of a new character sure got my attention.

    I do wonder though, from the last scene with the group, if Rick is beginning to lose it. I think killing Shane had broken something inside him. I hope to see that show up in the next season.
  • YES!!


    Also RIP Dale's RV.
  • Not a Democracy

    Small losses, considering the size of that herd. And I've had just about enough of Lori. Telling Rick that Shane was dangerous and then getting all righteous when Rick eliminated the threat. Figure out what it is you want - a little consistency is all I ask. I rather enjoy that Hershal has joined the roaming group; he's probably just replacing Dale as the token old person, but I really want to see him out of his farm element. As for Andrea... much rather would have preferred she die, but then we'd have to give someone else up to meet the other group. Decent finale.
  • Gah, more stupidity.

    1. We're supposed to believe that Glenn, or in fact any of them, can now shoot at a small moving target, at night, whilst hanging out of a moving car?

    2. Rather than have the RV pause for 1 second and no more to pick up Rick and son onto the roof, it STAYS put for no reason, the driver gets OUT of his seat, and allows walkers to break in?

    3. Why are they wasting ammo when they can drive around in circles running them over?

    4. How come they never, ever miss a shot, no matter the distance?

    5. Rather than driving with gauge in the red, how about siphoning some fuel from the dozens of cars surrounding them?

    6. How come all the gunshots before now haven't attracted all those walkers?

    One redeeming thing: Andrea in the forest? Tough as nails. And her mysterious saviour? Love it.

  • last reviewer is so right

    you just have given the episode too high rating.

    I mean this is so full of cliches its laughable, but it matches the "oh the walking dead is so intelligent" fans IQ. This show has become a repetition of itsself, and they have no belief in the show or guts to kill of main characters.