Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Walking Dead Season 1, Episode 6: TS-19

This week on The Walking Dead:

We find out that Shane wasn't exactly lying when he told Lori he thought Rick was dead. The gang finds refuge inside the CDC. Dr. Jenner, the only person left inside the center, offers them food and shelter, but mysteriously clams up when they ask for information. Rick drinks too much wine and confesses to Dr. Jenner that he's a reluctant leader, afraid he's going to make a mistake that kills everyone. Shane tries to explain his actions to Lori, but comes close to raping her instead. Dr. Jenner's wife was Test Subject 19. The CDC refuge turns out to be a bad idea when the gang finds out that it's scheduled to be "sterilized," killing everyone and everything inside.

Well, that ending was a bit underwhelming, wasn't it? The CDC blows up real good, and then everyone high-tails it off screen before the camera runs out of film. At the time the series was filmed, the producers had no idea if it there would be a second season. What a terrible SERIES finale this would have made. Luckily for us we're getting a second season, so it ended up being a satisfactory SEASON finale.

Rats, my final episode prediction didn't come to pass. Honestly I didn't know where they were going with this CDC plotline, so I don't feel so bad about being off the mark. For the record, (SPOILER! Highlight at your own risk!) I predicted that, like in the comic, the characters would find out that dead bodies become zombies whether they were bitten or not, and they are all indeed "The Walking Dead".

As I've mentioned before, in the comic the cause of the zombie plague is never revealed. The characters are too busy simply trying to survive to worry about the hows and whys, which seems very realistic to me. I was desperately afraid that this CDC plotline was going to go into the cause of the plague and ruin everything. They danced around the issue to within a razor's edge, but thankfully didn't get into the actual origin, for which I am extremely grateful. We don't need to know why there are zombies, there just are.

For those of you who watched the episode live, what the hell is wrong with Quiznos? Have they ever actually watched one of their commercials? Hiring your five year old child as your head of marketing is not a good idea.

After all that buildup and importance they placed on Merle in the early episodes, isn't it odd that we never saw him again? This only reinforces my belief that he'll return next season as The Governor.

So Shane really did think that Rick was dead. Sort of. Maybe he's not quite as big a tool as he seems (apart from almost shooting his best friend and lusting after his wife). He gained a few points for this revelation, but then immediately lost them by trying to drunkenly rape Lori.

Rick is either very dense when it comes to his wife's relationship with Shane, or very good at denial. Shane appears at breakfast with scratches all over his face, and Rick accepts his answer that he "must have done it in his sleep." Maybe Rick was too hung over to think about it clearly.

I continue to be impressed with the way they handle Carl. He reacts exactly like a real child would and isn't some super-intelligent, wise-cracking Hollywood kid.

I was saddened to see Jacqui decide not to go on, but as she was a redshirt (not a character from the comic) I really didn't expect her to survive for long. I can even sort of understand her motivation. So now the only members of the group who weren't in the comic are T-Dog and Darryl.

So was Dr. Jenner just nuts, or did he honestly think he was helping what may be the last survivors of humanity to die a merciful death? Personally I think he's feeling guilty for lying to Truman Burbank all those years (too obscure?).

When Andrea announced she wasn't going to go on, I almost plotzed. For a minute or two I actually believed they might kill her off. But when Dale said he wasn't leaving without her, then I knew they were just playing with us. Andrea and Dale are major characters in the comic, so I knew they wouldn't kill them both off. Yet...

So what did Dr. Jenner whisper to Rick right before the end? Did he place his katra inside his head, and say, "Remember?" My guess: SPOILER ALERT! Highlight at your own risk! He told Rick that Lori's blood test revealed she's pregnant. That would be in line with events from the comic. But who's baby is it? Rick's or Shane's?

There seemed to be a definite LOST vibe in this episode, what with the survivors finding refuge inside a "hatch" and Dr. Jenner refusing to give straight answers to simple questions. You can find some other LOST parallels too, without looking very hard:  Rick = Jack, Lori = Kate, Glenn = Hurley/Charlie, Darryl = Sawyer, Dale = Locke, Andrea = Juliet, Shane = Michael.

So much for Season 1! It wasn't perfect, but all things considered, I thought it was pretty darned good. I never thought I'd see a no-holds barred zombie series on TV! I'll bet AMC regrets ordering just a six episode season! Bring on Season 2, stat!


  1. What I came away with after watching the last episode of the season are
    *Shane is a D&*#
    *Whew Dale and Andrea left the building

    I liked how they showed the brain die and become a zombie, except that it was the doc's wife. Before the group shows up to the CDC the doc signs off the video diary with "Tomorrow I'm gonna blow my brains out". Why would he say or do that when he knows the building is gonna blow up? I mean, seriously, he's hung in there this long, what's another couple of hours? He could go drink the wine and use up all the hot water!
    I can't believe it's over, I will miss my sleepless Sunday nights lol. Awesome show!

  2. I have a pretty good idea of what the Dr. whispered to Rick, but it's a spoiler.

    Good point about why the Dr. said he was going to blow his brains out. The only explanation I can offer is that maybe more time than we realized passed between when he said that and when the gang arrived?

  3. Regarding Quizno's...
    I didn't watch it live (DVR), but I have seen previous Quizno's commercials, so I think I know what you are talking about. I will point out is that you didn't mention any other company in this post and it is also the only advertisement from the night that you thought twice about. Kinda along the lines of, there is no bad publicity...

  4. Matt: Haw haw! True, the Quizno's ad DID stick in my head. It didn't make me want to eat there though.

    This one had cats & dogs and a seal battling in submarines. The "music" sounded like a toddler hitting a plinking toy piano with a hammer.


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