‘The Walking Dead’ and what we want to see

Last night’s second season finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” was pretty good — and viewers must have thought so too. They turned out in huge numbers: The finale scored a series record of 9 million viewers.

The finale did a good job resolving some storylines and hinting at others, including the prison (glimpsed at the end) that will figure into next season’s plot and the debut of sword-wielding good gal Michonne.

But we’re greedy. Here’s what we want to see when the show returns for its third season:

The return of Merle. Everybody’s favorite one-handed racist, Merle, is set to return in the third season of “The Walking Dead,” according to recent comments from actor Michael Rooker. Except for a hallucination visitation to brother Daryl, Merle has been absent for a long time. Can you imagine the tension between him and Daryl when they’re reunited? How will Merle react to Daryl’s new life as a good guy?

The return of Lennie James and Adrian Turner as father and son Morgan and Duane Jones. Rick encountered them early in the first season but left them behind in his hunt for wife Lori. James is a cool actor who brightens up every TV show he’s in. Wouldn’t it be great to see what Morgan and Duane have been doing in the weeks since the fall of Atlanta and the end of the world?

More for T-Dog. Robert “IronE” Singleton looked like he could be a very strong character in the early days of the show. But T-Dog has faded into the background in the past year or more. A character is only as good as his antagonists, and T-Dog was never better than when he had Michael Rooker’s racist Merle to play against, however briefly. Here’s hoping T-Dog will get some screen time next season.

More Hershel. Yeah, I know. I hardly thought I would be saying that. But as written and played in last night’s season finale, Scott Wilson’s Hershel was a hard-edged, kick-ass character. He’s sure to experience remorse from the loss of family members and his beloved farm. That loss could turn him into TV’s first brooding senior citizen zombie killer.

The secret of the helicopter. At the start of last night’s season finale, a helicopter flies over Atlanta. Besides drawing the attention of the walkers, the chopper implies somebody is still doing more than dodging zombies and hunting with bow and arrow (no offense, Daryl). Who was in the copter? The Governor? (Not the governor of Georgia, but the bad guy who’s set to show up in the third season.) The military? The president? Which leads us to the final thing we want to see next season …

The big picture. Not since the characters left Atlanta have we had any feel for what’s going on in the wide, wide world of zombies. Maybe when they get to the prison someone on the inside will have the rundown on how the plague of zombies is affecting the rest of the U.S. or even the globe. They’ve got working lights. Maybe they’ve got cable!

There’s a lot to anticipate for next season on “The Walking Dead.” I’m looking forward to seeing what the producers do with the show.




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