I think a lot of Walking Dead fans would agree with me when I say that the second season is probably not the best season of the show so far. In fact, a few episodes into the second season is when I gave up on the show the first time when it originally aired.
But…the second season of The Walking Dead holds the greatest scene in the entire series so far.
That scene is known by many as The Barn Scene.
Now obviously this post is gonna have some spoilers…so if you are really that far behind on the show then be forewarned, I will be giving away some surprises here. Scroll down at your own risk.
Here is why the Barn Scene is the greatest scene in The Walking Dead…
Any scene that gives the viewer a bang must have a good set-up. The better the action building-up to the scene, the more suspense and sometimes the bigger the surprise. Alfred Hitchcock said there is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation in it.
While most scenes have a build-up that is effective, it is usually pretty quick. A few scenes leading up to it, or the episode building to a cliffhanger, or something along those lines. But this scene had a huge set-up.
And I mean HUGE.
The Barn Scene does not take place until episode 7, but the build-up starts right in episode 1.
Carol’s daughter, Sophia, gets lost in the woods when walkers attack the group on the road. Everyone spends days looking for Sophia. The group ends up on a farm, thanks to Carl getting shot, and that farm ends up becoming their base of operations while they look for Sophia.
Over the next few episodes we begin to learn that Hershel, the owner of the farm, believes that the walkers are still humans and that they are just sick. He has hope that they can be saved.
Of course with all the drama and various threads through the show there is a lot of tension building. Daryl is spending all of his spare time looking for Sophia, while some of the others are saying that it is hopeless.
Come to find out, Hershel is keeping walkers rounded up in the barn. Whenever he finds one walking around the property or stuck in the woods he shoves it in the barn and locks it up.
Obviously this does not sit well when the others find out. Especially Shane.
The Tension Reaches Its Peak.
Now we reach the point where Shane, of course it’s Shane, gets everyone all riled up about the whole walkers in the barn thing and says that they need to do something about it right now. Rick and Hershel are bringing two walkers, leashed to poles, to the barn. This pisses Shane off even more. He goes to the extreme to prove to Hershel that these things are dead and they are dangerous.
Tension is high in the scene. Shane is shooting the walker on the leash and with each gunshot the tension gets higher and higher. Finally Shane pretty much says “fuck this” and breaks open the barn door.
Walkers start pouring out.
The tension reaches a head and all hell breaks loose. Rick’s crew starts taking out the zombies as they pour from the barn. One after the other. Gun shots are echoing through the farm. Hershel’s family is screaming. It is pure chaos.
The walkers stop coming, the guns stop firing, and everything seems to be over. We are given a few seconds to come down from the high and relax a little bit.
But is that really it?
A noise is coming from the barn.
There is a straggler, and it is slowly coming out.
Everyone watches…we feel the suspense building in our gut, and the slow quiet pace of the scene is a stark contrast to what we have just watched.
And here she comes…
There are so many emotions going through the characters at this very moment, and those emotions jump from the screen and penetrate the viewers in real time.
Carol is devastated. Daryl, who has been doing nothing but try to track Sophia through the woods, holds Carol back.
The emotions that we are feeling now are extended through the scene as Sophia slowly walks to the group. The anticipation of what is about to happen, the only option when it comes to walkers, is building as we watch Rick step to the front of the group.
Rick did not fire a shot at any of the walkers as they spilled from the barn. But he fired the only shot that mattered.
Seven episodes of looking for this little girl. We all thought she might be dead, but there was always a speck of hope in the back of our minds.
What if she is still alive?
And with an explosion of gunfire and the slow steps of a child walking from a barn we are given one of the biggest surprises that has yet to be shown on The Walking Dead.