Post Mortem: Walking Dead Boss Dissects Killer Finale, Talks [Spoiler]'s Arrival, 'Spoils' Season 3

The Walking Dead Season 2 FinaleWARNING: If you have yet to watch The Walking Dead‘s Season 2 finale tonight, run don’t walk to the nearest exit. We’re serious, folks. The following Q&A with exec producer Robert Kirkman contains massive spoilers. Trust us on this one. Everyone else, you may proceed…

The Walking Dead closed out its second season Sunday night with a pair of deaths (R.I.P. Patricia and Jimmy), a game-changing revelation (Jenner did whisper to Rick that everyone is infected), one major character introduction (Michonne!) and a confirmation of Season 3’s setting (prison!). Oh, and Rick finally started channeling his inner badass! Below, executive producer Robert Kirkman deconstructs the spectacular episode’s most memorable moments and teases a Season 3 he promises will blow Season 2 “out of the water!”

TVLINE | So, Patricia and Jimmy got the hook. Was it just that they were the most expendable at this point?
We never treat a character as expendable, nor do we treat a character’s death as being something that is of varying importance. This was very much about these characters who had lived on this farm pretty much all of their lives. Hershel was very connected to the farm, and losing the farm and losing these people at the same time is going to mean a lot for him — as well as Maggie and Beth — in Season 3. It’s unfortunate to lose Jimmy and Patricia, but every character death is going to have ramifications for all of the other characters that continue on and each one of them is important in their own right.

TVLINE | Which surviving character made it off the farm by the skin of their teeth. In other words, did you come close to killing anyone else only to change your mind at the 11th hour?
This is going to sound coy, and I apologize for that, but almost all of them. One of the things that’s always been important to me with the Walking Dead comic book series is that you always be willing to get rid of every character at any moment if it serves the story. I’ve always tried not to grow any kind of attachment to any character. And also, there have been times where I’ve had big arcs plotted out for [someone] but at the moment it seemed like the right thing to do to completely get rid of the character. And now that we’re getting further and further into the show, and we’re able to tell the stories [with] high stakes, pretty much everything is on the table when we sit there in the writers room. There’s some pretty terrifying, crazy things discussed. And every character, at some point, we’ve talked about, “Now? Later? When are we going to do this?” It’s a dangerous show.

TVLINE | Some fans were grumbling about how there were long stretches this season without any major Walker sequences. Were you just saving your zombie budget for the finale?
It really comes down to storytelling. If you listen to music at maximum volume at all times, it eventually becomes quiet to you; you get used to it. We do stories where there aren’t a lot of zombies so that when there are a lot of zombies it’s that much more jarring and terrifying. If we had five zombies in every episode that did five cool things, it would eventually become white noise. So we have to bring it out, show it to you, get you terrified and then pull it away and watch the characters react to what they’ve just gone through… Lull the audience into a false sense of security. There’s obviously a budget — I mean, it’s TV. But the season is structured in a way that we know what’s coming and we know when to show our cards and when to hold our cards. It’s all part of an overall plan.

The Walking Dead‘s Other Dead Guy Speaks: “I Didn’t Want to Leave”

TVLINE | Let’s talk about Rick. As I was watching his big speech to the group I couldn’t decide if this was a man in the throes of a psychotic break or someone who was finally, for lack of a better turn of phrase, growing a pair. Which one was it for you?
I like to think at [all] times it could be 50/50. This world definitely takes a toll on you. Rick just murdered his best friend, his wife appears to be disgusted with him and, instead of going, “I’m really upset; let me figure out how I deal with it,” he turns around and he’s got nine people going, “We’re scared — what do we do?” He’s forced into this leadership role and, at the end of the episode, we see that he is taking this on and it is affecting him. And he’s growing darker. And he is saying, “Hey, you want me to be the leader? That’s fine. I’m going to be the leader. You don’t like it? Fend for yourself. Let’s see how you do.” He’s growing harsher in this world. And the series is always going to be about whether or not he can retain his humanity, or whether or not he is going to become some kind of hardened monster that really exists only to provide survival for him and his family.

TVLINELori’s disgust over Rick killing Shane confused me a little. Didn’t she just a few episodes ago all but order Rick to whack him?
A lot of that anger [she’s expressing] could be directed at herself. I think she feels partially responsible for sending these two men on a path. That’s the moment where she found out that Shane was dead. And not only did she find out that Shane was dead, but her husband totally killed the guy! This was a family friend. This was a guy that used to come over on weekends and watch football in the house and things like that. It was a really emotional moment that is going to drive her a little batty. Having to handle those emotions and looking at the guy that kind of caused the situation, she’s not going to be considering, “Oh, yeah. I did this. I should calm down.” She has these emotions and she doesn’t know what to do with them.

TVLINE | What does having Andrea cut off from the group do for your from a storytelling standpoint moving into next season — and we’ll get to her run-in with Michonne in a second.
Andrea had a really interesting arc in the second season. We start off with her somewhat suicidal and upset that Dale wouldn’t allow her to remain in the CDC and die. And over the course of the season, we’ve shown her find a purpose for living, and also find the means to survive at all costs. And at the end of the season, we really put her to the test. She is out on her own. She is for all intents and purposes in the most danger out of anyone in the group by the end of the episode. And we’re going to be exploring that a little bit more in the third season. But really just putting her in the pressure-cooker situation and seeing how she fares and how she’s going to do and how she’s going to survive is going to be interesting thing to follow in the third season. We have some really cool stuff planned for Andrea.

Walking Dead Burning Q: Will “Zombie Otis” Be a Threat in Season 3?

TVLINE | The introduction of Michonne was an incredible moment, but I’m curious: Why did you decide not to show her face? Was that just an issue of the role not having been cast yet?
We thought that it would be a little bit more mysterious. And, also, in the interest of keeping these things secret, the casting would’ve been announced right away. And because it is such a short scene, we didn’t cast an actress; we used a stand-in. And as far as her relationship with Andrea goes, she cut the head off of a zombie. She could easily stab Andrea next in the first minutes of Season 3, so who knows what that relationship will be like?

TVLINE | Have you cast the role?
There will be announcements forthcoming… [THIS JUST IN: Find Out Who’s Playing Michonne!]

TVLINEHow will the TV version of Michonne be similar/different from her comic book counterpart?
She will be very similar to her comic-book counterpart. Most of the characters as they’ve been translated into TV are pretty much exactly the same character. Andrea is Andrea, Rick is Rick and Michonne is going to be Michonne. Now, the stories that we’re going to tell with her are going to be somewhat different at times. The show has always followed the comic book to a large extent, it just has different divergences from time-to-time and we’re definitely going to continue that in the third season. But the fans have expectations for Michonne, and I can say with full knowledge that their expectations are going to be met. They need not worry.

TVLINE | Did you always know the season would end with her introduction? Did you ever consider, perhaps, teasing the Governor’s arrival instead?
There was a lot of stuff thrown around. It wasn’t really planned early on to have Michonne show up at the end of the season. I have to give credit to [executive producer] Glen Mazzara. He came into the writers room one day and was like, “We’ve got to add this scene. It’ll have so much punch. We have to build to this. It’ll be great. Let’s go ahead and introduce her now.” The original plan was to hold her for Season 3 and introduce her then.

TVLINE | The episode ended with the confirmation that Season 3 would be set in the prison. Not a big surprise but a cool reveal nonetheless.
What I really like about the transition from Season 2 to Season 3 as opposed to Season 1 to Season 2 transition is that when we were moving into Season 2 there were so many unknowns. All of the questions were, “Are we going to see the farm? Are they going to follow the comic?” And now that we’re moving into Season 3, we’ve seen Michonne. We’ve seen the prison. We know that that the Governor has been cast. So the fans really have a clear indication of what kind of things to expect in the third season and where we’re going and some of the stories that we may be telling if they’re familiar with the comic book series. Our third season is definitely going to be our best season yet. I’m really excited to get into it. It’s actually hard for me to do interviews about Season 2 because I’m like, “Oh my God, Season 3 blows this stuff out of the water. You just wait.” We’ve been working on Season 3 for a few months now. We’re wrapping up the first half and we’ve got everything nailed down. I can’t wait for people to see it.

TVLINE | Any other major characters aside from The Governor and Michonne that will be introduced in Season 3?
There are still some surprises around the corner. We wouldn’t be revealing so much in our final episode of Season 2 if we didn’t have so much more to reveal in the marketing [campaign] for Season 3 and also in the episodes when the season begins. There are a lot of surprises around the corner.

TVLINE | Will Season 3’s 16 episodes be broke up into two parts?
I don’t know if this is 100 percent confirmed, but the idea is we will do eight-and-eight. Getting eight-and-eight will almost be like doing two seasons a year, which is cool.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Phillip says:

    Shane and Randall weren’t the only ones. Remember the 2 dead cops that Rick and Shane saw that were Walkers but hadn’t been bit? If I remember correctly, there was an early reference that was similar to the unbitten cops.

  2. Krayt Lives says:

    Sounds like your friends are idiots. I thought this season was FANTASIC beginning to end. JUST before the last 2 episodes was slightly slow, but that was calm before the storm imo. Maybe it’s so good for me because I don’t look at it as a “zombie show”. I’m not even a zombie genre fan really. I look at it as a “people surviving the apocalypse” show. It’s about the human story for me, not the zombies.

    I’m sorry I never read the comics. But I can’t go read them now because I don’t want to spoil the show. When this show ever ends, I’m going to buy all the collections afterwards.

    • Alison says:

      they are not idiots, they are men with short attention spans. they want all the action of seasons 1 aand 2. zombies and dying and explosions. not who stole some condoms and whos sleeping with who and babies and depressed whiney people.

      • JJ says:

        There are a lot of women with short attention spans on Twitter saying the same thing wanting zombies being killed non-stop in the show, so don’t just say it’s men.

      • dirtyD says:

        you and your friends all sound like idiots they are trying to make people feel connected to a character maybe even multiple ones if this really happened you and your friends wouldn’t go on massacres each person has their own personality but maybe youand your friends are too uneducated to see past “zombie head go boom!”

      • mona says:

        its about surviving an apocalypse not about zombies and killing all day long. geez i bet you wouldnt survive one day in there shoes.

  3. kerri says:

    Mothers and their unborn babies don’t actually share blood (this is why, for examole, it is possible for an HIV positive mother to have a baby without HIV) so I would think that if it is airborne, the baby will contract the walker virus as soon as it is born.

  4. antonia says:

    Or kill Lori from the inside out! Or if it’s like the comic then she will be killed off before we can even find out..

  5. Sean says:

    the helicopter is searching for survivors and the govenor is in there or at the prison/shelter. The hooded lady is a character that’s just there and badass with a sword. The infection is ofcourse airborne and I think that the infection can over power the human brain in season 3. It gets worse and worse. last but not least, if we lost members in the group there will ofcourse be new ones who will be in the group. That’s my prediction!

  6. Steve in Harrisburg, PA says:

    Did any of you ever see the actor who plays Merle in a horror movie called “Henry: A Portrait of a Serial Killer” and in the movie “Mississippi Burning”? He was GREAT in both!

  7. Avery says:

    I was totally convinced, that the secret told to rick from the CDC scientist, was that lori was prego. a blood test can tell u alot. but how carl “put down” shane was epic. and his mom is being rediculous, and its driving rick deeper into his dark side. normally shes standing by him, and his choices, but her becoming skiddish, and withdrawn is going to affect his confidence.
    the 2 chained walkers were a nice touch for the visual effects, and suspence. definately another way that the show will have many people more than ready to get back into the next season.
    i have followed every episode so far, but unfortunately havent gotten to see any of the comic issues as of yet, but most likely going to pick some up in the down time.
    hope everyone enjoyed it, and the epic close to the season, and another weekend.

  8. Frank says:

    It’s her boyfriend and brother and while they with her other zombies seem to not attack

  9. jackington says:

    What was the point of giving Daryl a brother if he just fads away after the first few episodes of season 1, I mean other then Daryl’s hallucination, we’ve not seen hide or hare of Merle. I really hope he’s part of the governors group or something, would of been awesome if they twisted the story and made him the governor. A showdown between him & Daryl has to happen at some point or I will be sad. Morgan & Duane are also still absent. Also i’m happy Hershel survived, he’s an interesting character and I really wanted to see more of him and i’m glad he hasn’t died yet.

  10. kerri says:

    LOVED the finale and so sad to have to take a break!! I’m just hoping they don’t turn this into something completely ridiculous like the writers did with American Horror Story… great show at first that got extremely stupid towards the end.

  11. Selena says:

    Can’t wait for season 3, wish we didn’t have too wait soo long in between seasons, I’m glad Rick killed Shane bout time!!

  12. Jen says:

    I think it’s hard to say if the baby has it or not as some viruses can be passed in utero. So depends on how this virus is. Either way, the baby will be infected if it hasn’t been already or it might carry immunity.

  13. wh0060 says:

    What about the guys Shane killed at the bar?

  14. Antoinette says:

    I really wish I got to see season 1 but I just started watching this season from the first one. That was an awesome end to see that chick michonne with the 2 zombies with no arms chained to her like pets. Can’t wait til next season starts! I think it was a great finale. I was anxious to c what was gonna happen next the whole time. Very cool ! I see why this show is so HUGELY popular. ! I didnt like loris reaction to Rick at all I kinda wanna slap her

    • Sue says:

      If you have Netflix, you can watch The Walking Dead season 1. I watch it whenever my husband’s out of the house or asleep. He hates any ‘horror’ movie/show, but I LOVE THEM!! XD

  15. Xsongoku21x says:

    Carl is alive still in the comics where are your minds don’t relay on the internet go out buy the comics and read

  16. Kai says:

    The whole michonne thing was awesome!!! I was like… Woah. Wait… She has walkers and they aren’t trying to kill her?? Weird.. I mean I think they would still be trying to eat her no matter what…Even if they don’t have arms or jaws… They are still walkers, and all walkers do is try to kill and eat.. Right?

    • Cody says:

      I think them walkers are basically trained to an extent. I mean, think about it, they have no arms or jaws, so whenever they even attempt to kill Michonne, she can just kick them away or something. Its basically like they’ve given up hope on eating her.

  17. Quinn says:

    Lori gets mad at rick for carl shooting shane but its her fault she doesnt keep an eye on that little bastard….thats literally her only job

  18. Jessica says:

    I’m wondering if Merle will be back. I mean he has to… He was in Daryl’s hallucination so that shows some sort of significance. Also it was said that there’s a 33% chance that we will see him or the two. If he does come back in season 3 then he’s gonna be one furious jerk lol

    Also… I would love to read the comics… Where can I find them if possible??

    • Auebon says:

      No, what was said is, “There’s a 100% chance that you’ll see 33% of the characters.” In other words, we’re definitely going to see Merle, Duane or Morgan in season three. Also, you can Google “comic book stores” in your area, or I bet you could even find them at Barnes and Noble.

  19. Alison says:

    for anyone on central time, its back on and right around the time michonne appears for anyone that wants another look!

  20. joyce says:

    This last show for season 2 was off the hook ,fantastic,, had me on the edge of my seat. glad Hershel and his 2 daughters are still alive and now with the group. Lorie,s reaction to Rick killing Shane was a surprise, did she still have the hots for Shane ,and was hoping Shane would kill Rick,, or was she just upset because Carl was the one to put Shane down?

    • Alison says:

      Shes angry because rick says he couldve stopped the confrontation with shane from happening but he killed him because he just wanted it over.

  21. Chuck Queen says:

    At the beginning of the finale, were the walkers eating Rick’s horse from episode 1? Just trying to check the timeline on how long the herd was walking towards the farm.

  22. Dylan says:

    Does anybody suspect that Mearl Dixon is the leader of the gang that was close to the farm?

  23. Jaybay says:

    Great season!! I guess… I wanna kno about Dwayne,Morgan and Merle.. If I read the comic will that spoil it for season 3?

    • Amber says:

      It will spoil mostly everything to do with the prison, and if you read far enough (and the show follows the comic more) you’ll find out about Dwayne & Morgan, but Merle/Daryl were never in the comic, so it won’t spoil their fates.

  24. Jaybay says:

    I did think that too. I thought he might be the guy driving the white pick up that left Randall..

  25. Kev says:

    The only thing that bothered me about the final episode is this Michonne shows up with her two “pets” in tow. She presumably cut off their arms and jaws so they can’t attack her. I think that’s just silly. Zombies are supposed to be mindless. You can cut off part of them and they keep on coming. Legs gone? Keep on coming. Cut in half? Keep on coming. They’re dead, they don’t know what futility is. They can’t be trained. I don’t care if they don’t have arms or teeth, they would still keep at her, trying to gum her to death. I never read the comic, so I hope there’s a better explanation for their docility. OK, I said my peace, other than that a great episode.

    • TWDfan88 says:

      Yeah. It does look awesome that she had these ‘pets’. But I thought exactly the same thing as you. I wonder if she smears walker blood on herself or her clothes so that they ignore her? I dunno. I hope they have a good explanation too.
      I think they’d slow her down too and maybe get in the way of her sword. But… like I said – they look cool.

  26. Stacy says:

    What about the couple in the farmhouse in Season 1? The husband shot his wife before shooting himself, but when Rick stumbled upon them in the house, they did not reanimate. I can understand that the husband might not have because his brain was completely destroyed, but what about his wife? Did the “airborne virus” possibly not reach them at that point yet?

  27. jackkngton says:

    Remember that zombie in s1 ep1, she was only chest, arms, and a head and she was still trying to get Rick and moved across that field still trying to find Rick when he came back to shoot her. Why Michonne’s zombies seemingly gave up I dunno, but I thought they lacked the thought capacity for such an act. But i’m with you, they should be all over her, even if they can’t actually hurt her.

  28. yo says:

    I love how alot of people are saying Hershall didnt know “his” territory when it can to the prison did anyone not pay attention to when he almost told Rick or a “safe” place he knew. how do you know he wasn’t talking about the prison? and please dont say why didnt he leave the farm cuz that answer should be obvious to you and this show has a ton of foreshaddowing in it wouldnt suprise me if the father and son from season 1 or the 30 people are infact re ocurring

    • TWDfan88 says:

      I thought exactly the same thing! He DID say he knew a safe place and I thought – well, that might have been the prison. But even if that isn’t the case, Hershel may know about the prison but may not consider it ‘safe’.

    • JJ says:

      Also realize Hershel said that on the highway there. Then they drove, for what Rick said for an hour while gas was low, so maybe they drove between 30-40 miles per hour, so say they are 30 miles from where they started on the highway. The prison was not near the farm then.

      But yes I too caught Hershel’s comment about knowing a safe place but he didn’t elaborate on it.

  29. grimm says:

    Some of you who read the comics might need to go back and check some facts about Lori the baby and Carl. Also to the people asking where to get the comics or graphic novels… go to comic book stores…eBay…Amazon….anywhere with books or comics.

  30. aliciah says:

    This is the best show on Tv. My husband and I love it! Cant wait for season 3.litterally! We cant wait.!!!!!

  31. Daddyoh says:

    Pam Anderson as Michonne! Gotta be ;)

  32. Frankie says:

    Ironic that the one thing Shawn always said he coud better than Rick was keep Carl and Lori safe. In the end, he put them at great risk because he tried to kill Rick and went zombie. Carl put him down and it was that gun shot that drew the dead to the farm.
    Smoooth move Shawn.

  33. obsidiangirl says:

    Shane shot the guys at the bar in the head, because he knew they would reanimate as walkers they are really truly dead

  34. Mako says:

    The season finale was pretty kickass imo. Yeah a lot of loopholes for who was left out or left behind but I think that the remnants of what’s to come will shock even the comic book readers. Lots to ponder on and lots to look forward to….eagerly awaiting next season :)

  35. RoWzT says:

    Totally agree here! It would be completely normal to wonder about folks from the past and never see them again

  36. anthony cutler says:

    Great show

  37. Jenn says:

    Rick shot the two guys in the bar, not Shane.

  38. dgog says:

    Dudes and ladies shane was asking for it. This season he did nothing but cause problems ……he was awsome in season 1 but couldnot leave lori alone. Sucks about the farm and this michonne character freakin a.w.s.o.m.e:) can’t wait till october!

  39. Bob says:

    Next thing u know we r going to be seeing tanks,smokers,and hunters in season 3

  40. dgog says:

    Say what happened to the black guy and his son…. ? The man that couldn’t shoot his dead wife from the window?

    • MichelleR says:

      Up in the air at the moment. On Talking Dead it was indicated that there are no plans to bring them back, at least not yet. Enough people are asking that I think they might get around to it eventually.

  41. Mako says:

    Yeah shane more than deserved what he got in the end. I think lorie wanted shane to do what he planned after how she reacted to him at the windmill. The obvious happened and shane thought he had it in the bag. But on another note what a display from daryl eh? Norman Reedus ftw that’s the best character in the show imo. Dude really shined in the finale even saved Carol but kinda saw that coming after andrea saved her the first time. Really curious what plans they got for him in the third season and his comment on how ricks not done wrong by him….who’s to say that won’t change with ricks new attitude toward the grp thanks to his wife imo. Ideas anyone? :P

  42. Corey says:

    Hey what really happens to Andrea. I heard that she got left on the farm filled with a herd of walkers, then was saved by a hooded figure with a sword. What happens next.

  43. carol says:

    If you had alzheimers when you died would you turn? Weren’t there a bunch of seniors holed up in nursing home in Atlanta with the grandson and male nurse and others? Or is that a different zombie movie?

    • Cody says:

      yeah thats the right show, i really don’t know about the nurseying home though. My guess is that when one of the elder people died, they turned and caused an epidemic in the nurseying home.

  44. bob says:

    Was T-Dog in the comics, or is he an original character to the series? Any chance is is Tyreese?

  45. Mel says:

    Couldn’t have said it better. What mother would take her eyes off her child like Lori does all the flippin time in a zombie apocalypse??!?

  46. Jeremiah Hurst says:

    I think when they said 33% chance they were saying that it’s either going to b Morgan or his son or Merle. I think/hope it’s Merle.

  47. Mike says:

    Where can I watch the finale online?

  48. mona says:

    i read somewhere that Danny Trejo is playing the part as the governor. is that true?

  49. TWDfan88 says:

    Loved this episode. Can’t wait for series 3!
    This show is the best!
    I can accept most perceived ‘holes’ in the story – but it bugs me so much that Lori doesn’t watch Carl.
    Was almost shouting at my computer while I watched the last episode. Andrea was running through the forest and then the video stopped to ‘load’ up. I was on the edge of my seat, hoping she’d make it through. I didn’t like her much to begin with, but I think her character is cool now.
    Going to watch the whole show again from the beginning later. Really LOVE TWD.

  50. Mike says:

    Where can I find the walking dead season 2 finale online? I want to watch it w/o having to deal with all these damn popups and surveys. Thanks everyone for the help.

    • JJ says:

      You can’t, it’s not online. Buy it from iTunes. All those popups and surveys people fill out are scams and probably put viruses on your computer.

    • Gilby21 says:

      Actually, try or The putlocker links tend to be the best – when you click on play an ad will pop up but just close it and it won’t keep popping up like they do on some sites…