[WARNING SPOILERS FROM THE FIRST HALF OF THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 2]
Fans of AMC's The Walking Dead were divided in their response to the first half of season 2, which saw Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his band of survivors stuck in place on Hershel's (Scott Wilson) farm while they searched for Carol's daughter Sophia, who went missing after a highway onslaught by a zombie herd.
During the final moments of the season 2 midpoint finale, we learned that Rick and Shane's (Jon Bernthal's) big morality debate was all for naught: Sophia was already dead, one of many walkers trapped inside Hershel's barn. Though that payoff was well worth the wait for some fans, others claimed that the majority of season 2 had still been wasted on milking this one storyline.
When The Walking Dead returns in February, it will be (in a lot of ways) a make-or-break moment for the series: the last of axed showrunner Frank Darabont's influence will have dried up, and the show will be trying to re-establish itself under the guidance of new architects. In that sense, there are lingering questions as to whether or not some of the fan complaints were taken into consideration, and the whether the show will try to change up its pacing or zombie quotient to meet the demands of certain fans.
Judging from The Walking Dead season 2.5 trailer below, it at least appears that we're in for more action, and less drama:
"Now with more chase scenes, carnage, and zombie attacks!" should probably be the tagline for that trailer. All in all, it looks like the fallout from 'the Sophia dilemma' is going to be heavy - that is, until the survivors are once again forced back onto the road, where many fans prefer them: on the run, scared, and getting slaughtered. But will an action/horror focus truly provide more payoff and development than deeper (read: slower) look into the psyches of these people caught in a hell-on-Earth situation?
We'll find out when The Walking Dead returns to the airwaves on Sunday February 12 @ 9/8c on AMC.