By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. —
The two-hour finale of “Alcatraz” aired last Monday, of which I watched no hours. I missed a few episodes, caught a few more, then found out that Fox pulled a “Firefly” and played the episodes out of order (Welcome to Fox, J.J. Abrams), so I figured that watching the finale wouldn’t really let me appreciate everything going on.
Besides, I had to mow the lawn in between monsoons.
I’m also behind on “The River,” but it’s easier to catch those back episodes on ABC’s Web site (Fox has a weird system of preferred cable networks; Cable One is, not-so-surprisingly, not one of them). The season finale of that has also aired; I completely missed it.
But neither of those shows have latched onto me like “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead” or “Lost.” And, even though I haven’t seen either finale yet, I’m betting they won’t come close to the finale of “Walking Dead.”
I’m behind by a couple of weeks writing about the finale, but that’s OK, because it was that awesome. But I felt like I missed something, like I wasn’t able to appreciate it as much as those who also read the comic books upon which the TV series was based.
SPOILER ALERTS: After the beginning of the “Ricktatorship,” the confession about Shane’s murder and the revelation of Jenner’s final words to the end of the group, not to mention the burning of the farm and the joyous highway rendezvous, the finale ended with two notable images:
I haven’t read the comic books, but I had already heard about the prison. So I was OK with that. But the hooded figure was a WTF moment for me and, I imagine, most of the people who haven’t read the comic books.
I’ll be honest -- having a hooded Ezio Auditore wannabe with two “only a flesh wound” walkers on leashes almost took me right out of the story. But comic book readers assured me that her storyline is pretty cool, so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
But that’s what bugged me the most about the finale: The last five minutes seemed to be for the benefit of comic readers at the expense of TV-only viewers. Sure, great for them, but should a story this dramatic end with shout-outs and teases to fanboys?
Yet, I have to remember that it wasn’t an “end,” per se. It was to set up the next season, as if I couldn’t already be excited about it. So I’m trusting the writers, who have stuck to the books in some places and deviated from them in others, and have a high batting average for getting it right.
In the meantime, I’ll be looking forward to a couple of new shows: