And that’s a wrap. Season 1 is now in the books people. Dare I say spoilers are ahead? Last episode, Rick and company had found what they thought to be salvation. Dr. Jenner opened the doors last-minute, offering safety to the travelers. But is this paradise everything it appears to be?
Episode 6 starts out in a flashback sequence, showing Shane’s attempt to break Rick out of the hospital. The army is there “cleansing” the hospital, so Shane has to move cautiously. Shane gets in the room, but realizes Rick is on life support and can’t be moved without dying. As he’s in the room, the power goes out and Rick is left to die, or so it seems to Shane. From this deduction, he bolts from the hospital and accepts the worst.
Flash back to present day, where Jenner introduces the survivors to their new humble abode. Jenner makes them comply with a blood test to make sure none are infected, but besides that offers them complete hospitality. Complete with air conditioning, hot water, real meals, and electricity; this place is their little heaven. Spirits are finally lifting for most of the group, but some still struggle. Shane is suspicious to why Jenner is the only scientist left, and abruptly ends what was a joyful dinner with his prodding. Andrea is also showing signs of giving up, both physically and emotionally. Even in safety, some have a hard time shaking the reality that everything life used to be will never be the same.
Later that night, after everyone had their share of wine and whisky, Shane corners Lori and confronts her about his feelings. He bares all and basically says that he’s still owed love from Lori because he saved her and Carl’s lives. He starts getting physical and Lori has to fight him off, leaving a visible hand print on his neck. Something Shane probably doesn’t want to explain to Rick.
After the first good night of sleep any of the group has had since the incident, Dale brings up the topic of the disease again, and Dr. Jenner brings everyone into the main room to show them footage of the disease in action. Jenner reveals that nothing is still known except it reanimates only the brain stem, reverting the dead from a primal state. The “human” part of the brain never gets reanimated, creating the creatures that are lurking around every corner. Dale also points out that a clock in the room is counting down, to which Jenner informs them that when it gets to 0, the building will initiate a building wide “decontamination” after the power runs out, aka the entire building will be destroyed. When the group first got to the CDC, Jenner told them “once these doors close, they don’t open again.” Apparently he meant that literally, because the entire top-level is on lock down, as well as the main room Dr. Jenner locked on his own. Jenner convinced himself he’s doing them all a favor by offering them a quick and painless death, but the others disagree. The group panics and starts pounding on the door with anything they can find. With no luck, Rick has to keep Shane and Daryl from killing Jenner, while using logic to reason with Jenner to open the door. After careful convincing, Jenner finally lets them out of the main room, but there still stands the problem of getting out of the top floor which is still in lock down. All leave except for Background Character #2, I mean Jacqui, and Andrea, who elect to stay behind and take the easy way out. Just as Rick is about to leave though, Jenner pulls him close and whispers something in his ear. Rick then leaves, but Dale won’t let Andrea stay, and proves how much he cares for her in order to convince her to escape with him. Getting back to finding a way out, luckily Carol is still holding onto the grenade she found in Ricks clothes, and Rick uses it to blow a window out. Everyone gets out alright except for Jacqui and Jenner obviously, and the season ends with Rick and the rest setting back out on the road yet again.
So how do you feel? What was your opinion of the finale? Comment away, but first you’ve got to listen to me because this is my blog. Suck it! I, personally, loved it. The ending redeemed “The Walking Dead” from any complaints I had previous by putting the more cut down group on the road, for their next big adventure. Season 2 is a second chance to get more focused on the comic book story line. I didn’t hate the CDC story line by any means. It worked in the sense that it introduced the viewer to the types of insane people Rick will run into. Dr. Jenner had the perfect opportunity to escape with the people he rescued, but in his own twisted mind his time was up. There was no life outside of the walls of the CDC. He had to kill his own wife, who was Test Subject 19, the subject he used to show everyone the disease on the big screen. The future was bleak to him, and he wanted nothing but a quick release from what was inevitably to come. But that’s not even the insane part. It gets bad because he was fully ready to make that same decision for other people he didn’t even know that well. In his twisted mind he was doing them a favor, which he almost didn’t understand. Letting them eventually go means Jenner showed some rationality. Too bad Rick and the others won’t be so lucky as time goes on.
But why do I have such a hard on for the comics and why do I keep commenting on how the show is deviating from the comic? Because when you have such spectacular source material, why deviate from it? Hey, that may be the reason they cleaned house on all the writers, who knows. There’s a reason this CDC bit wasn’t in the comic itself. Honestly, it was a bit of a weak concept and a bit predictable. Obviously everything couldn’t be as magnificent as it seems, and something had to go wrong. In the source material, every instance has that false hope, but doesn’t try to make the situation look too good to be true. The ending of Volume 1 is what hooked me on the series. Get us to that point in the show and I’ll finally be able to put this whole source material vs. TV show to death.
Again, please don’t confuse those feelings for dislike for the show. For where the show went, the ending was perfect. It introduced the characters extremely well, set up all the drama between the characters, and served as a perfect introduction to get people engulfed in the post apocalyptic world. As far as the cast goes, no other word comes to mind but stellar. Andrew Lincoln embodies Rick. He has the persona down perfectly, and successfully turned him into a true leader. Jeffrey DeMunn also plays a spectacular Dale, really bringing out the emotion and compassion Dale possesses in the comic. The rest of the cast is just as impressive, everyone down to Norman Reedus, who I’m impressed made it through the first season. Secretly, I love his character though and am happy he lives to return in Season 2. He is the voice of the simple man, acting only on primal instinct. Basically what Rick shouldn’t do.
What am I looking forward to? Well, here are a few things. First, I’m looking forward to seeing Carl come into his own. In the comic he’s much more of an important character instead of just a background presence. Watch for Carl to surprise us all. I’m also waiting to see what the show does with Dale and Andrea’s relationship. In the last episode, Dale reveals how much he cares for Andrea, almost in a father figure type of way. Let’s see where it goes from there. Third, I want to see the resolution that comes from when Rick inevitably finds out about Lori and Shane. Will Shane lose it eventually? Can bygones be bygones? I know how the comic resolves it, but I’m interested to see where the show takes it. Anything can certainly happen, but the interest for me comes from seeing if they at least stick to that plot point.
There’s tons more to look forward too, like a confirmed cameo from Charlie Sheen as a zombie (not a joke, story just broke today), but we’ve got a whole year to speculate. Like where did Merle go? Are we going to see him pop up again next season, super pissed? New stories, new writers, new episodes; bring it on Season 2…all 13 episodes instead of this 6 episode tease we got for Season 1. If any show can get better with time though, I’m confident from what “The Walking Dead” has shown this is a huge contender. Congratulations on being one of the best, if not the best, shows of the year. See you next Halloween “The Walking Dead,” till we meet again… : (