The Walking Dead: Blowing Away Your Sister is a Form of Mercy

JC here with thoughts on the second-to-last episode of The Walking Dead.

THE WALKING DEAD: 1.5 “Wildfire”

Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead was another great one. Based on where the episode left off, it seems to me like we’ll be in store for a pretty exciting finale. The episode begins with Rick trying to hail Morgan on the radio. Meanwhile, the rest of the camp members struggle to deal with the aftermath of the zombie attack. Daryl wanders around putting a pick-axe through the heads of any dead walkers, Glenn begs that the group bury rather than burn any of their dead comrades, and Andrea waits by Amy’s body until she begins to reanimate as a zombie and after a heartfelt apology for letting this happen to her, she blows her little sister’s brains out with a revolver. Rick attempts to convince everyone that traveling to the Center for Disease Control in the city is the safest option left; despite some heavy opposition from Shane, he eventually convinces almost everyone to make the journey. Along the way, they leave ditch-digging Jim, from the last episode, by the side of the road at his request; he was bitten by a zombie and insists on being left behind before the fever transforms him into a mindless flesh-eater. When the group arrives at the CDC they think it’s abandoned, but right before a huge mob of walkers shambles up to eat them all alive, the doors to the complex open, and they escape to safety. A couple thoughts:

  • Are we going to see Merle again this season? Seems unlikely to me that he would head to the CDC as well. Even if he made it to the camp, and saw Rick’s note, could he really make it over to the CDC alive? That being said, I don’t think he’s dead. We’ll see him again, whether it’s next episode, or next season.
  • I saw a number of people on Twitter and in comments of other posts talking about how similar the scenes of the lone CDC scientist in the lab were to Desmond’s solitary activities in the Hatch in season 2 of Lost. I was struck immediately by the similarity as well. I really enjoyed the insight into this new character’s seemingly hopeless task of analyzing and solving the cause of the epidemic. Now that he’s let the survivors into his safehouse, I hope he’ll share some more relevant details about what happened.
  • I always like it when shows spend the beginning part of an episode examining the consequences and human reactions to a really tragic occurrence that took place in the finale of the previous episode. The episode “Pick a Number” from the HBO series Carnivale is a classic example of this; in the first half of the episode, the characters deal with the grief that came from the death of one of their own in the prior episode. Dealing with this at the beginning of an episode, rather than cramming it all in at the end of one, gives the characters and their emotions more room to breathe and grow. I’m glad TWD used this approach.
  • I am really looking forward to next week’s finale. In the previews, I saw what looked like soldiers in fatigues and gas masks rushing around, so I wonder if the government (if it still exists) will raid the CDC location and toss everyone in quarantine? I hope we get some answers, however small, about the cause and spread of the epidemic.
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