The Walking Dead ended with a couple big surprises this evening, both of which are well known to fans of the comic book from which the hit AMC show is based. I’m throwing out a spoiler warning from this point forward. If you haven’t seen The Walking Dead: Season 2 finale yet, get out of here now.
The first surprise came in the form of a hooded figure in the woods that saved Andrea from a sure zombie bite. With a chained zombie “pet” on either arm, both of which have had their arms and jaws removed, the figure decapitates the zombie on top of Andrea with one swift stroke of her sword.
Fans of the comic series immediately recognize this character as heroine Michonne, a key figure from this point forward in The Walking Dead story. As showrunner Glen Mazzara and creator Robert Kirkman explained during The Talking Dead post-episode live talk show, Michonne is the first character to appear in the television series that has figured out how to live in a zombie-infested world instead of struggling to survive in it.
Earlier this week, Mazzara made a promise on Twitter that there would be a big The Walking Dead: Season 3 announcement made during The Talking Dead. That announcement is the casting of actress Danai Gurira in the role of Michonne for next Season and hopefully beyond. The Treme actress is in for one heck of a rollercoaster ride from this point forward. Her phone will be ringing off the hook tomorrow.
The second revelation occurred in the closing shot as the camera panned up from the new “Ricktatorship” (Glen Mazzara’s fun name for Rick’s new “no Democracy” stance on leadership) group and revealed a large compound roughly a mile away. That compound, as fans of the comic know, is actually a prison; seemingly the perfect place to try and start a new life in a place designed to keep people in and everyone else out.
Kirkman also noted during The Talking Dead that he, Mazzara and the writing team have been hard at work on The Walking Dead: Season 3 since January. Though the Season 3 premiere isn’t until this upcoming October, we can already get excited knowing that the season will include 16 episodes, Merle will be returning in some capacity, the Governor is cast, Michonne is cast, and the prison is now most definitely in play.