RECAP: The Walking Dead – S01E06 – TS-19

Tonight's adventure: "TS-19"

OR 

"The Fiery Death of Ms. Pacman" 

 

Earlier, Shane attempts to rescue a comatose Rick from the hospital. Faceless soldiers swarm the corridors, ushering nurses and patients to safety. Shane watches as they execute walkers and civilians they presume to be infected. He ducks into Rick's room and pleads for his friend to wake up. He appraises the beeping, blipping machines Rick's hooked up to and realizes he's entirely out of his depth. He decides not to move him, heading out into the hallway. He drops a few walkers, then barricades the door to Rick's room with a gurney. He rushes out, formulating a plot. How quickly can he round third base with Lori? 

Back to the present. An eery light as the doors roll up at the CDC. The survivors make their way inside and find Dr. Jenner in his pajamas. He asks if anyone's infected. They're allowed inside if they submit to a blood test. 

Jenner leads them down into the lower levels, takes them to the control room to meet Vi. Vi is his computer friend. Jenner explains that he's the only one left at the CDC, which is disappointing to everyone because he's boring and his weird hair. 

    

Down in the mess hall, everyone boozes it up on CDC wine. But Shane is a party pooper and wants answers about the situation at this facility. Jenner explains that many of his colleagues committed suicide when faced with the realities of this outbreak, whatever it is. 

Jenner asks that they all refrain from using electricity and too much hot water, but they're invited to shower. The survivors proceed to get Zest fully clean. Rick joins Lori for a smooch. Shane gulps down some more vino under the jets. Andrea broods, knees tight to her chest. This is all much funnier when you realize they're not separated into stalls, but all lined up against a single wall of shower heads. Lori and Rick are embarrassing Carl again. 

Afterwards, Dale overhears Andrea retching over a toilet. He goes to hold her hair. She sits back against the wall and reminds Dale that a lot of people are dead. "There's nothing left." Dale will not be getting any action this evening. 

Rick approaches Jenner in the control room to offer a drunken thanks. "You don't know what it's like out there. You may think that you do, but you don't." Jenner promises that it will all be okay. 

Lori wanders into the totally awesome wood-panelled rumpus room, totally bypassing the pinball machines and Ms. Pacman cabinet to browse through a shelf of books, likely the kind you're encouraged to swap in the vestibule of a train station or grocery store. The kids duck out so she can browse, but Shane lurks in the doorway. He takes a long look at her in her nightshirt and socks and oozes on over. He wants to talk and she's not interested. Things get heated and he defends his decision to tell her that Rick was dead. Things escalate and Shane is drunkenly professing his love. She wants no part of it, but he's backing her up against what might be an air hockey table (!!!). He reaches down below the belt, but she swats his hand away. She scratches at his face as he makes to kiss her. He backs off, three deep scratches across his neck. Lori sits there, sobbing, frightened. 

Rick staggers back into his family's little suite. Carl sleeps on a couch. Rick slumps down next to Lori on the floor. "We don't have to be afraid anymore," he promises. "We're safe here." Lori doesn't look so sure. 

Goodness grapefruits, Tron: Legacy can not come to the multiplex soon enough. And yeah, Wilde totally looks like a Jamie McKelvie character. Isn't that weird? 

Not a fan of the Quiznos seals. 

Glenn slumps over his powdered eggs. He's been zombified by a hangover. Everyone wants to know why Shane has scratches on his neck, but they don't like him enough to prod him about it too much. 

Pressed for information, Jenner brings everyone into the control room to show them a Power Point presentation about zombie science. He equates synaptic activity to life. To the human soul. He reveals that this virtual camera is showing a playback of an infected subject's death. They watch as the lights go out in this digital person's attic. Jenner explains that the 'second event', the transition from total brain death to zombification, can take place after a few minutes or several hours. They watch the lights flicker back on, red this time. Just the brain stem. The "you" is gone, Jenner explains. The digital brain is then bisected in a blaze of light. Andrea correctly suggests that the patient was killed. 

Jenner has no explanation for the start of the outbreak. Whether it was a virus or fungus. Whether it was an act of God. 

As the survivors begin to pace the room, heads in their hands, Dale politely inquires about the ominous countdown clock on the wall. Just the the digital readout reaches the hour mark, Jenner calmly explains that the countdown relates to the basement fuel reserve. Once it reaches zero, they'll be out of power. And then? Rick presses Vi. System-wide decontamination. If you'll recall the previous episode, decontamination means the air turns into fire. 

Rick, Shane, Glenn and T-Dog head down to the basement where they find several spent fuel canisters. Blackout The emergency lights are activated. 

Up in their suite, Lori feels the air vents. Nothing. She tells Carl it's just the air conditioner turning off. Nice save. "How does Santa deliver presents when we don't have a chimney in the RV?" "We'll uh..check the glove compartments." 

Jenner stares at a photo of his dead wife. 

He dons a lab coat and leads them all back to the control room. "You're probably why I've gathered you all here tonight. Well. I'm a crazy person and I'm going to take all of you with me because I'm sad about my wife."

France was the last strand of civilization to hang on, so far as Jenner knows. "The world is run on fossil fuels. How stupid is that?" He pulls An Inconvenient Truth out of a moldering Netflix sheath. "We don't have time to watch all of this before we burn alive, but I want to play this documentary." Unfortunately Netflix sent him A Goofy Movie instead. "I wonder if it's on streaming.." Jenner fumes, turning to his computer. 

Jenner seals the doors and fires up his vlog. Daryl attempts to bash in his skull with a wine bottle, but they restrain him. Rick rages at Jenner to open the doors. Jenner begins shouting about all of the hazardous materials housed in the CDC building. That HIT's will be released to destroy such materials in the event of an attack. He asks Vi to define HIT. Vi patiently describes the method of their imminent doom. The survivors panic. Shane has no idea what any of this means. But Jenner explains. An instant, painless death. The air turns to fire. They have less than 30 minutes to get their affairs in order. 

The men takes axes to the doors. Jenner tries to convince them that this is better than the alternative, better to die in instant fire than to wander the streets waiting to me eaten or infected. Shane is ready to blow the man's head off. Instead he fires into the walls and computer terminals. Even if they get past the control room, the walls upstairs will keep them from escaping. The place is heavily fortified. Rick pleads with Jenner, who finally reveals that subject 19 was his wife. She was the great mind, and he was merely an employee. Rick and Lori try to convince Jenner than there is still hope left, that there is room for salvation. Jenner reluctantly opens the control rooms doors, reminding them he has no power over the doors upstairs. Glenn shouts that only 4 minutes remain. Jacqui and Andrea wish to remain behind with Jenner, to die. 

                        

Rick thanks Jenner for giving them this chance, but Jenner replies that the time will come when Rick is no longer so grateful. He whispers something in Rick's ear: that Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson do get together after Lost in Translation. 

Dale stays behind to try and convince the women to leave with him, but Andrea crumples against a wall. "This isn't what Amy would want for you," he says. But Andrea is firm. "Amy is dead."

Upstairs they try to break through the doors, to no avail. Then Carol reaches into her bag. "I found this when I was cleaning your uniform that first day in camp." 

The grenade. 

Rick pulls the pin, deposits the thing by the heavy window. They brace themselves. 

They have an exit. 

Downstairs Dale tells Andrea he refuses to leave her, that she doesn't have the right to come into someone's life and make them care, then check out. 

                                

The survivors rush out of the building, firing at walkers. They huddle in the RV as Dale and Andrea hurry out through the break in the wall. Inside, Jacqui takes Jenner's hand, ready for immolation.

Rick hammers at the horn, warning Dale and Andrea to take cover. The pair ducks behing a sandbag pile as the CDC erupts in flame. The explosion devours tanks. Dale helps Andrea into the RV, and as the sky burns, the Caravan heads out. 

See you next Halloween. 

Comments

  1. I was pretty disappointed.  Between this and the anti-climactic Boardwalk Empire, I probably should’ve just watched the Steelers/Ravens game.

    I just didn’t see the point of this, it probably would’ve worked better as an episode 6 of a 13 episode series.  I expect a lot more out of a finale

  2. I liked the finale more than I thought. Though I’m grateful that they’re keeping it fresh for the readers, they could have saved a ton of money by going with the ending of the first trade.

    One thing though, I feel like Rick isn’t the drunk gettting type. Also, whats up with Merle?, Did Darryle just forget?

  3. Dale continues to be my favorite character in this whole thing. Loved his scenes with Andrea.

    When the whsiper between jenner and rick happened i said “Oh man the internet is going to go nuts tomorrow.”

  4. I reckon the whisper relates to something from the comic that I don’t want to spoil for people who haven’t read it.

    But for those who have read it – it relates to Lori, if you know what I mean.

    Discussing spoilers that may not be spoilers while not spoiling them is difficult. 

  5. Hooray for the Grenade! I seriously cheered when they showed it at the end. Took a long time to get that plot device but I’m glad I was proven wrong after so many weeks. (Also, you were wrong on twitter Paul)

    This was a good finale, but not great. Some of the acting and writing in this was really painful. Glenn in particular was a mess (not just cause he was drunk) but his acting seems to get worse every week. The overall plot was fine, but I think they could’ve tighten the script a bit more so we could’ve maybe had something at the end of this episode. Cause I’m sorry, just ending the season with them driving off isn’t enough for me. Yes there is the whisper in Rick’s ear, but maybe expand on that to make people even more curious about what it was. Just driving away and ending it like ‘just another episode’ and not a season finale was a pretty bad decision.

    Another thing that bothered me was the various (whether obvious or subtle) hints that Shane was gonna get killed in this episode. Right off the bat with the flashback I thought ‘Oh they’re showing this because it’s gonna be brought up in a heated discussion’. Which it ended up being true, but not with what I was think of. Dr. Jenner made a joking reference about Carl being ‘dangerous’ and the whole ‘intending to rape’ Lori scene made me think it was gonna go somewhere. But in the end it didn’t, and Shane goes back to being his grumpy self with no comeuppance for his actions. I’m not saying that I want a full. 100% translation of Shane getting killed like in the comic. The show is clearly showing that won’t be the case. But with the past couple of episodes and this one clearly hinting the audience in all directions: I just think that this would’ve been the best time to kill off Shane and ‘shock’ the audience. Cause the 10-15mins of Dr. Jenner going over and over again why killing everyone is a better option got old and fast.

    The Dale and Andrea relationship is still hitting the right notes too and I look forward to when we finally see them together as a couple. Although again, they could’ve cut this whole notion of ‘Will they, won’t they?’ at the end to maybe do something to have a better ending.

    Overall this finale sums up the season in a nutshell. It’s great to see this being adapted into a pretty good series. But there are a lot of low points that goes along with the high points in each episode. I hope next season, especially with it being longer, we get a tighter scripts, better acting, and better story decisions. That and hopefully we see Thomas Jane in some capacity next season…

    C+ 

  6. I really enjoyed this episode, even going into it with a big dollop of skepticism. How great is Dale? I find Andrea growing on me a lot, too; I didn’t “get” that actress at first, but I am coming around.

    The scene between Shane and Lori may have been the most unnerving one of the series so far, with nary a zombie in sight.

    I do think the big-screen 3D CDC Dristan commercial in the middle of the episode was perhaps the least essential five minutes of television ever broadcast outside a rerun of the Farm Report. Jenner could have just said, “It restarts the brain stem, we don’t know why” instead of taking up valuable screen time showing me a Powerpoint to explicitly remind me that zombie science is ridiculous. It put scrutiny right where you don’t want it in this story.

  7. @Jimski: For once, we agree.

    The stuff about the virus didn’t bother me, but the screen time it had of Jenner explaining the virus was too much. That and, again, him going on and on why dying in an explosion is better took to much time too. 

  8. This was an excellent finale. These six episodes were better than I could have ever expected.

  9. I’m glad it’s over and remained a big commercial success throughout the six weeks. Now hopefully Darabont and the producers will be able to take their newfound security, budget and longer season two and get a new team of writers together to make Season 2 everything I hoped Season 1 would be. 

  10. I’m pretty happy with the way this entire season went.  It had its share of highs and lows, but overall I think it has been enjoyable.  I like Jenner.  He presented the group with an interesting dilemma.  I have no problem with the decision he made.  He decided it was what he wanted, so he waited patiently for it to happen.  I would’ve liked to see him let Rick know the situation as soon as they walked in the door, but I think he genuinely felt instant death was better for them (he had convinced himself it was the best option).

    I liked the CDC addition.  I’m glad there was no cure and I’m glad nothing unrealistic happened there.  

    Shane is actually my favorite character.  He seems genuinely conflicted and sincerely unlikable. Did he do what was best for Lori and Carl?  How would I feel about a man who saved my family, but had to tell them I was dead to do it?  Did Shane actually believe Rick was dead?  I want to believe he did.

    I enjoyed the season and am looking forward to the the next one.

    @Cooper – You’re probably right.  Good call.
     

  11. I had a thought that most likely has already been hashed out, but does anybody think that Merle could possibly become ‘the Governor’? Simple yes or no will suffice. We can’t be spoiling the fun for others.

    This was a fantastic season and regardless of the differences, they were integrated well into the story and made it flow well.  It’s good to see changes that are just as good as the original story. It’s sad that we have to wait so long for the next season:(

  12. Why would he do a blood test on everyone if he knew they would all die in a day anyway? If it was purely for the whisper moment to Rick that is some weak sauce because they didn’t even reveal it. I’m glad they’re getting new writers because it’s been up and down and relying way too much on plot and less on characters for me. I did like the flashback scene but the other stuff not so much. Still can’t wait for next season though:)

  13. @s1lentslayer  He didn’t want to get eaten by a zombie.

  14. @conor: I thought he was doing blood tests to get samples again…..at least that’s what I thought after his work got torched.

  15. The lab scene with Jenner in the last episode looked like a virus to me, not sure why Jenner wasn’t sure what it was in this episode.  Fungi definitely doesn’t look like what it did under the microscope in the last episode.  Would’ve been great if Jenner had a neurological explanation of why they have a hunger for human flesh, which to me is since their brainstems are activated, the hypothalamus, which is pretty much right above the brainstem, and particularly the lateral hypothalamus may be preferentially activated, that is why they just wanna eat, but why human flesh is probably science-fiction.

  16. @TheNextChampion  Nah, he knew he wouldn’t have time to do anything with the samples other than test to make sure they were all clean.

  17. i REALLY enjoyed the opening scene showing us a bit of what happened at the hospital. It really answered questions from the pilot for me…especially the execution of the patients and being overrun with the zombies as well as the gurney blocking Rick’s door. 

    I don’t know if the grenade could have been used in a better way. Sure i was critical and the whole “i found this while i was cleaning your uniform” thing had me saying YEAH RIGHT, and it was purely convenient plot device…but was still pretty satisfying.

    Really surprised we haven’t seen Merle anymore this season… 

  18. I enjoyed the Finale, but considering how amazing the rest of the show has been, it was my least favorite.

  19. I thought this was a great episode. Some good character development, interesting seeds for future conflict, and some great action and tension.

  20. It was a good episode. My wife, non comic reader, loved this show. Her only complaint was ” Next Halloween?” She said that people may loose intrest.

  21. This episode is definitely on the bottom half of quality for this short season, but overall the show has been great. Looking forward to some of the dangling plot-threads to be touched on next year.

    Does anyone feel that this much interaction with governmental info this early on in the TV series places the survivors in a much bleaker position than they presently are in the comics?

  22. Need more epsidoes NOW, cannot wait whole year for more!

  23. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @supertrackmonkey I am opting to delete that spoiler because it’s hard to avoid. I think others have alluded to it throughout the thread a little more subtly. Sorry to delete the comment, but I want to be extra cautious with that particular subplot. 

  24. I love 90% of this show, but I wish they had risen above the boring, cliched ticking time bomb gimmick. What is this, Die Hard?

  25. I think Jenner told Rick A LOT more than something as simple as what others have implied. Rick look horrified. Perhaps Jenner knows of another, larger fail safe plan? Nukes etc? I dunno…just making it up as i go…lol. One thing i do know…darabont isn’t afraid to go away from the comic, so i’ll look forward to that. 

  26. I was pretty dissapointed with this first season. I loved the first episode, but each one since lost my interest more and more. I don’t think the characterization did it too me, and for such a small season, i really debated choices like the nursing home, and while the CDC was promising it really felt flat to me, no sense of urgency and the lets get drunk scene didn’t seem natural and only seemed to be there for Shane to get drunk and corner lori.

    there were some nice touches to this series, the ideas of a private life being gone, as evidenced by the wife beater; hard to do that in public and get away with it, to this notion of living with a monster that they seemed to be going with Shane. these types of scenarios was what i was looking for, and while some where there, there wasn’t many, and of the ones there weren’t expanded on too greatly.

    And i agree with @Jimski, the whole synapsis presntation, while neat, didn’t seem to really fit there. This is the type of group that i don’t think really needs to understand this part of the walkers.

  27. @wally – The thing I think Cooper is referring to (this is a funny little game we’re playing, isn’t it) would shock and possibly terrify Rick (think of the implications).  I know that is the effect it would have on me.

  28. the one thing i meant to add was the nice little nod to Jenner’s name. He is Dr. Edwin Jenner and the man who cured small pox is dr Edward Jenner. i recognized the name, but my girlfriend pointed out the connection.

  29. Am I the only one who thinks that locking down a building with no means to override the controls and blowing up a building when a generator runs out of gas is a bad idea/solution?  Whoever the janitor is who made sure that tank was topped off should get a raise.

  30. @stuclach  –yes it is a fun game! Speculating on stuff thats not going to happen is the whole point! lol

    Well i just think he said A lot more to Rick that that. yes i suppose those implications would be horrifying, but what if its worse like “i think its an airborne virus…you’re all F#cked”, or “there is a nuclear fail safe coming”, Also Jenner was making those recordings thinking that there was someone on the outside watching…so there is that. Maybe thats too Resident Evil..i dunno. 

  31. @BettyWhite – If, for example, weaponized Smallpox began to leak due to the failure of the generators we would all wish they had a sterilization failsafe. 

    I used to live in Richmond, Kentucky near a biological weapons depot (mostly very old mustard gas cylinders).  They literally mailed us duct tape and plastic bags to use to seal our doors and windows in case of a leak.  I’d prefer they incinerate the facility (and the people who work there) than let the toxin leak and infect humanity. 

    P.S. You were rather entertaining on SNL earlier this year (though I doubt you remember it). 

  32. @wallythegreenmonster – Those are certainly possibilities.  My point was just that his response doesn’t eliminate @Cooper’s suggestion (if I’m reading it correctly) as a possibility.

    I can’t believe I’m speculating as to the contents of that whisper.  I’m playing their game.

  33. @Paul:
    Why is Kirkmans work always kept in a bubble? (wasn’t there a recent article on this?)

  34. While I have enjoyed the series very much, and can say with certainty that it has been better than I ever expected it to be, there has been one issue that I have had since it started.  MY GOD are our survivors bad at scavenging!  Seriously, people, just pick up and take anything that will have future use and does not weigh too much.  I am not saying to try to take the .50 cals that were laying around, but they could have at least taken the ammo, or the canned food at the CDC.

    But then again maybe in the reality that the show takes place in disaster movies, role playing games, and zombie movies do not exist.  🙂

  35. @supertrackmonkey  Because spoilers are important to the story. We don’t allow them.

  36. @MisterJ  How much scavenging could they be expected to do in the mere minutes they had to escape once they found out that the CDC was about to explode?

  37. So like I suspected, no real answers to the mystery and the CDC was just a detour.  All you silly people freaking out last week 🙂

  38. Having read this comic book I would give the series a C-. If I was one of the people having not read the comic, I would probably give it a C+ …maybe. 
     
    I did like and see the point of the CDC plot addition and get why they offer a little explanation about what the zombies are without going into where it came from. 

     I am conflicted about how I feel about the changes for Shane. I think what happens in the comic is crucial as a tonal setting piece for the book. And think it should be as such in the TV series. Killing off half the camp does not have the same effect as what happened in the book. That being said, I  really like Shane. I feel that he is one of the richer characters on the show. Multi faceted.
    I don’t know if its because of the actors playing them or just how they come off on the screen. But I can’t really stand Rick or Lori and wish they had died. The only people I really feel vested in are Glen, Shane the black guy left back at the house, and maybe Dale and Andrea. The Shane/Lori scene was very unnerving. But Shane has this side to him like he really started out trying to do what was right by his friend. And then stuff happens. and he went down the path of falling for Lori. Now he has to shut those feelings off. But can’t as he struggles between what he wants and what he should do.  it also does a great job of setting up the theme that you have more to be afraid of the people that survived than the zombies.

    I bet the wispering in the ear was either due to Andrea being pregnant…think about her puking like she was, which didnt really seem like an “I drank too much” kind of deal.  And it could also feed into the bleakness of her situation and not wanting to bring a kid into this world so that is why she wanted to stay. Or it would be  the spoiler Cooper was referring to. If I’m right on the first guess, it could be a way to keep get out of having what happened to Shane happen the same way in TV land.

    I will say if Merle becomes the governor.. I’m out.

    Nitpick point: That was the longest three minutes ever. No way they had that conversationa dn got out in three minutes. Zombies I’ll buy, but not that use of flash like speed.

  39. After teetering on the edge of going off the rails the last two episodes, this gets things back on track. I’m excited about next season, although not about the year wait.

  40. @Conor-Not referring at all to the mere minutes prior to escape.  My post expressly states that the comment is referring to the series and not just this episode.  In a post-apocalypse scenario, I would treat every habitat as merely temporary and would always 1) ready defenses as soon as I got in and then 2) prepare for a hasty exit scenario.  So the preparations would have happened before I was even aware of the countdown. 

    Furhter points along the same line include;  The RV was clearly going to be a better long term choice than the U-Haul van, so why not switch the hose right away?  When they were entering the CDC there were plenty of army bodies that they could have taken assault rifles from.  Same can be said (to a lesser extent obviously) in Atlanta.

  41. My biggest problem with this show is that it introduces characters that we learn nothing about and then has them killed or leave. That random lady who was like I WANT TO STAY didn’t bother me because I couldn’t even remember her name. That family that left didn’t bother me because I didn’t know their names either. Why introduce these characters if they’re not going to be developed in the slightest to even include learning their names? It’s like the complete opposite of the book in that regard.

    This episode was boring and sort of a let down.

  42. also, am I the only one who thinks jenner was sort of an a-hole.  How hard is it to explain the situation to the group before he locks the door when they first get in the cdc.  He’s whispering and sharing secrets which is a little rude.  He locks the group in the control room, says he can’t do anything and then 10 minutes later opens the doors.  Thanks for giving them those extra ten minutes to grab their things buddy.  He tells the kids not to plug in the video games but runs simulations and videos on the giant control room screen.  And worst of all, he tells them not to waste the hot water knowing they got less than 24 hours to live.  what a douche.

  43. @conor  If he didn’t want to get eaten, why even let them in then? 😉 It just stuck out to me because it was for the sole reason of the whisper moment which didn’t even need to happen.

  44. I was worried last episode at the end that they would be in the CDC for a bit. I ended up really liking this episode, this anchored the reality of the situation, there is no government, there are no world renown scientist to cure this, there will be no solutions, this is the world….survive until you die.

    @Conor: I think the Doc took samples for a different reason, to confirm his hypothesis about the nature of the zombie infection. My guess everyone has the infection, the zombies bites cause fever that kills and then the infection can take over a body that is no longer resisting it and he imparted that knowledge to Rick or it could be the recipe for good enchiladas or something else he whispered.

  45. they really need to ditch half those vehicles in the convoy. Talk about gas guzzlers in a time when gas is a premium…can’t they boost a Prius? lol

    loved the DIG about how the whole CDC backup system runs on fossil fuels. funny

  46. I just didn’t think it was exciting and it didn’t do much to push the story forward.  So much of it just seemed like filler; an odd choice for a season finale

  47. I wasn’t a fan of this episode — too many lapses into speechy melodrama, this series’s primary weakness. The one thing I wish they had explored more of was (in spite of @Jimski’s qualms) zombie science. One of my favorite zombie movies is Romero’s “Day…” because it attempted to explain the biology behind the monsters. Having some autopsy/necrosection around to provide information doesn’t diminish the scare quotient to me, it actually ratchets it up.

  48. One more note — did anyone else get a “MacGruber”-like vibe from the end of this episode, where the four minutes until explosion stretched into 15?

  49. @MisterJ  “…but they could have at least taken … the canned food at the CDC.”

  50. I really loved that they crushed all hope for a cure or that the fed were going to be the answer. Now it’s just about survival which is perfect.

  51. I’ll try and keep this spoiler free, but I found that a certain character who was offed within the first 6 issues of the books, has probably become one of the most interesting parts of the show, and I am kinda glad they’re keeping them around and to see what they can do with it in season 2.

  52. Was Jacqui T-dog’s mother? That’s the feeling I got. 

    I’m guessing that the whisper was something along the lines of They don’t have to get bitten to turn.

  53. I hope they hire Paul Montgomery to write for the second season because this synopsis was better thought out and paced than any episode from season one.

  54. I’m going to come right out and say it.  Noah Emmerich (Jenner)’s hands are huge and terrifying.  

    I mean, I’m a big guy.  6’2” and proportioned like a mountain gorilla (I’m not strong, I just have bizarrely long arms).  In the touching seen at the end when he held Jacqui’s hands I shrieked at the size of his meat hooks. 

  55. why was Shane holding a rag over his face in the hospital? Was there Tear Gas or was he just assuming there was a chemical attack?

    @SirCox  –i really don’t have a problem with characters being introduced and then taken away. I really don’t need an episode devoted to some insignificant character’s backstory and feelings. As we are seeing this story is about a journey of a “pack” of survivors and along the way some stay longer than others. It makes it more realistic to me in that sense.  
      

  56. I think Doc might have seen the Lori/Shane conflict from some super CDC surveillance system, and that’s what he told Rick about.

  57. @wallythegreenmonster
    I think the rag was because some of those walkers were probably pretty ripe.

  58. Also I think that after seeing these six episodes you should probably be able to determine if this show is for you or not.

  59. @Unoob  —OOOH! good call. eye in the sky

  60. Seriously after reading this thread he could have whispered anything to rick. It’s probably the spoilery thing some people have spoken in hushed voices about but man it could be any one of the options above. Goddamn this show is awesome

  61. If it is a virus as it seems to be in the fifth episode, then everyone on the planet must be infected with it, because that is the only thing that could explain how a person can become a zombie by just dying and not having been bitten. Have they shown anyone on this show become a zombie without first bring bitten though?

  62. @IroncladMerc
    In the popular mythology, once you die, regardless of the circumstance, you come back. Getting bit just becomes another way of dying.

  63. Providing of course that your brain is still intact.

  64. @Unoob–excellent point—-since this isn’t about the “how” i doubt we’ll ever find out about Patient Zero, but the first people to get The Fever that was talked about in Ep 1 obviously weren’t bitten. It must be something that everyone has that is dormant until you die. 

  65. @conor  If you choose statements without context, you certainly can find logical problems. 

    The two steps I mentioned for post apocalyptic survival always apply.  As such, the cache of supplies to make a hasty retreat would have been done as soon as they were sure that the place was secure.

    If I got ahead of myself piling on the lack of preparation by our noble troop, well, whoops.  It does nothing to change the validity of the premise.

  66. @MisterJ  What do you mean without context? You explicitly asked why they didn’t loot the CDC.

  67. No offense guys, but the nickpicks on this episode are mindboggling when the comment section for the “Vatos” episode was Christ-like forgiving for easily the silliest and lamest moment in the series.

    With the exception of the vatos storyline, I thought this was really good as a season.

    I still think it is better than the first trade of the comic but it has a long way to go to be as good as the comic gets.

  68. @MisterJ –they planned on staying for a while. It was a secure location (in their eyes) It was implied in the dialogue and their actions.

    You can’t expect regular people thrown into an unfathomable crisis to have a military like priority lists of how to secure a base camp, and dig in. Average People aren’t wired that way. Every day is a traumatic event and by their own admission they were exhausted and hovering on starvation. Look at how many smart and intelligent people are completely unprepared for natural disasters like earthquakes and floods. You can’t prepare for a zombie-pocalypse.

  69. I give this season a B overall.  The strongest episodes for me were the pilot and the Vatos episode.  Those two episodes nailed what I want The Walking Dead to feel like.  The finale was a bit below those.  Something was missing for me.  I’m not sure what it is.  I think I’m not connecting with some of the characters.  I really like Rick, Shane, Dale, Carl and Glenn, but I don’t really care about the rest of the characters.  Or maybe it was the whole ticking time bomb thing that turned me off.  There’s a show called “Survivors” that is done by BBC.  This show feels like what I want The Walking Dead to be.  It’s about a group of people trying to survive a world in which 95% of the world’s population was wiped out by a virus.  By the way, the first two seasons (or series) are available on Netflix Instant.

  70. First episode I didn’t care for. The effects had a SyFy Original sheen to them and the story didn’t work for me either. The only part I actually liked was the Shane/Lori confrontation – and it had problems too.

    Brilliant pilot, two great episodes, two okay episodes (although each had moments of greatness), and one clunker. It’s a fine average for the season. See you next year.

  71. I hate those Quizno commercials.

  72. Oh yeah, the cold open was very good. Right up there with the other best moments of the series so far. Credit where it’s due.

    But the countdown, the powerpoint presentation, the cruddy CGI, the convenient rediscovery of the grenade, and a host of nit-picky things … boy, I don’t know.

  73. Well, I just finished the finale, and I liked it quite a bit. I thought the whole CDC detour was a smart new scenario. A running theme in the comic book has always been that the surviving humans can be far worse than the zombies, so this held true to that. I like that they created a nice tense scenario, and then let the characters work through it. It cemented Rick’s leadership (he takes down Shane, and everyone is looking to him because something more than violence is needed). It moves the Dale/Andrea relationship forward. It also shows you the stakes — there are different ways people can respond to the end of the world. Sometimes it’s hard to maintain hope. But sometimes you have to do it not just for yourself, but for others. And I thought the whole CDC scenario really managed to bring that out nicely.

    Also: I really liked them showing Shane’s flashback. His character, in six episodes, has so much more meat on the bone than Kirkman’s version. And it plays well off of the disturbing scene with Lori in the rec room.

    I think they’ve set a nice precedent here, and I look forward to season two.

  74. I liked this episode, and I like the direction they are going in with the show. I have also come to realized a few things here. 1. This series is going to be much different than the books. i am okay with this. 2. The CDC side plot exists because it now shows the characters that the zombies are truly dead and no resemblance of humanity resides within them. This will allow any characters questioning the ethics of killing the zombies to be a moot point. Jenner whispering to Rick is something about Lori…. wont ruin that one for those who have not read the books. 3.That there is little to no hope of a cure, and the characters are left with only each other and their survival, and that in essence is what the books are about anyway.

  75. @daccampo – Well said.

  76. @wallythegreenmonster  that is an interesting idea as to the origin of the zombie outbreak, that it was a dormant virus which somehow became reactivated, just as Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 lies dormant in our geniculate ganglion until it is reactivated to become cold sores in some, but not all people, or as Varicella Zoster is reactivated after chicken pox to cause shingles years later in some, but not all, cus been wondering why were some spared, and how did the outbreak start, what was it in the environment, based on your theory, that caused the reactivation?  Was it man-made or some mutation of a latent virus, or some completely new novel organism, just like we just discovered a new arsenic-based life form, and don’t forget prions that cause Mad Cow’s disease is a wholly different organism than viruses or bacteria, is this some yet unidentified organism that somehow spread to humans.

  77. @Franktiger  –maybe its the CDC’s fault? I liked how Jenner said “this is our extinction event”. Pretty powerful. Made me think its bigger that all of it. At any rate it sounds like we’ll never know or find out about Patient Zero which is kinda ok by me. I don’t want it getting too Resident Evil. Keep it about the survival. 

  78. Yea, liked that part as well, this whole series has been chalk-full of powerful, human driven moments, but the one that stands out, out of many, is the guy taking aim at his Walker wife trying to shoot and agonizing over it, and then Merle’s anguish from his isolation.  Can’t wait for next season.

  79. Is it possible the thing Jenner whispered is that Rick is infected?  Maybe he did die in the hospital and came back, just higher functioning than the others. They seemed to go out of their way mentioning how Shane thought he died by checking his pulse.

  80. If rick turns out to be a smart zombie…I’m out.  I’ll just back away slowly and wash my hands of this whole situation.

  81. It isn’t that. 

  82. Lol. That sure would be a different way to go. It’s almost one of those ideas that would be so crazy and controversial that I would love to see it happen just because of the chaos it would cause. The Internet might actually SHATTER!

  83. @PaulMontgomery  —well you really don’t know that for sure. I mean people *think* they know what it is based on reading the books, but Kirkman and Darabont have proved they are going off book for this series. They could change some things up. 

    A smart zombie….like he has some sort of Turbo Amune system…yeah that would be a bit much. 

  84. It isn’t that. 

  85. Shane: “No Carl. I am your father.”

  86. I was rather disappointed with this episode. It just didn’t feel like a season finale to me. So many plot threads and characters remain incomplete (Morgan and Merle’s stories specifically). Yes, these stories will almost certainly be picked up again in season 2 but that’s not coming for nearly a year. It just seemed odd to not make any reference to either character in this final episode.

    Oh well. Solid season overall, but I think it can be even better in the future.

  87. Oh! I have something else that I wished they’d discussed in this final episode. That helicopter that Rick saw in the pilot, was mentioned very briefly in the second episode and then was never brought up again. I guess it didn’t tie into the CDC at all, eh? Why was it never even mentioned again?

    I know, I know. I’m sure it’ll be answered in the second season. But man, they didn’t even tie up the Shane/Rick/Lori dynamic either. It just ended so abruptly! So many loose ends!

  88. @JeffR  It was a season finale, not a series finale.

    I’m pretty sure the helicopter was Rick’s hallucination.

  89. @conor  Sure. I get that intellectually, but on a gut level it’s disappointing we have so long to wait for answers. I hope that casual viewers, like my wife, remember and care about these loose ends when they come back again. But hey, maybe I’m worrying for nothing. Wouldn’t be the first time, I suppose 🙂

    I suppose I took the helicopter at face value. We’ll find out next season if it ever gets mentioned again.

  90. @wallythegreenmonster  Absolutely a potential diversion and I made allowances for that in the initial post.  Maybe they do not have movies, games, other media that deals with zombies to have some sort of advance notice.  But I do not believe that any society that advanced has not had fiction about bodies returning from the dead.  Further, they obviously had knowledge about contagions. 

    That much having been said, I still have a difficult time believing that the group did not spend any time in the 3+ months discussing how they should best work to continue the existence of the species.

  91. @conor  The context is that it is a recurring planning problem that I have had with the characters for the entire series.  Three months is enough time to have discussed, and arrived at, basic conclusions and strategies for survival.

  92. @MisterJ  You will make an excellent leader in the zombie apocalypse.

  93. @conor  Oh hell, no!  I am gonna off myself first chance I get if there is a zombie apocalypse.  My love of zombie horror has first and foremost taught me that there is no escape and there is no happy ending.  (Thank whatever powers there are that it is just silly fiction)