The Walking Dead - Episode 6: “TS-19” TV Episode Review
Directed by Guy Ferland
Written by Adam Fierro
2010, 45 minutes, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on December 5th, 2010
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Jon Bernthal as Shane
Sarah Wayne Collins as Lori Grimes
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale
Steven Yeun as Glenn
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
Noah Emmerich as Jenner
The first season of AMC’s The Walking Dead came to a close last week with “TS-19”. The finale drew a ratings high for the series and left viewers with a lot to think about in the coming year. The band of survivors had a night of rest in the CDC with Jenner, the last scientist alive in the building — but that was cut tragically short as the power ran out. Since the CDC houses some of the most dangerous diseases known to man, a self destruct sequence was initiated to wipe the building off the map. Jenner’s research had proven unsuccessful so he didn’t see any big loss in it. The man had given up.
Spez: The entire CDC plot line was something that wasn’t in the comics at all, so it was a big deviation from what they’d followed pretty closely for the first four episodes. I want to reiterate that I don’t have a problem with this but I felt that the CDC aspect was akin to slamming on the brakes when a car is going full speed. This episode had its excitement but I still think the season peaked with episode four.
Alien Redrum: Yeah, this first season was at its finest in the fourth episode, without a doubt. It’s almost a shame that such a stellar episode wasn’t saved for the last in the season. It would have made for one hell of a cliffhanger, instead of just the blah one we are left with now. Yay. They are driving off into the sunset. However will I make it until the next season?
Yet, even with the mediocre finale, I still contend that a visit to the CDC is more than acceptable. It’s the natural place people in the position of the survivors would go. I’m actually surprised they didn’t go earlier in the season, all things considered. That said, I still don’t buy just the one guy running the joint. It just seems so damn convenient that there’s one person left at the Center of Disease Control. It really should have been all or nothing.
Spez: The research that Jenner did was interesting but unnecessary. The best part of zombie movies is that you don’t know why this is happening. The dead are walking the streets and mankind is wondering what kind of sin they committed to deserve this. When Jenner started explaining how the brain worked it was like being in science class. The scene felt like a justification to the characters and the viewers that it’s OK to kill the zombies because they’re dead. Here’s the scientific proof of it.
AR: Right! The whole Zombie Studies 101 was incredibly lame. I knew what Jenner was talking about, but I just didn’t care. I don’t think they were using the scene to justify the killing of the walking dead, but rather a meager attempt to pull at the heartstrings considering who the zombie was in life. Yawn. The writing here feels so cheap compared to the rest of the series, and is damn disappointing.
Spez: As a matter of fact, there really wasn’t anything all that gripping in the episode with two exceptions: the mystery of what Jenner whispered in Rick’s ear at the end and what really happened between Shane and Rick at the hospital in the beginning. Other than that, this was a let down for an otherwise stellar season. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved it because I have a crush on the show, but it certainly didn’t love up to my expectations for a finale.
Speaking of that whisper, what do you think it was? I’ve seen a few things tossed out there but the one that made the most sense to me was actually brought up on the HorrorTalk forum. Jenner told Rick that Lori is pregnant. It works because Jenner gave everyone a blood test and we know that Lori has been sleeping around. This also follows the comics and it brings up the big question of who the father is.
AR: It’s a toss up between that and maybe Jenner saw Shane’s almost-rape of Lori in the game room. But I edge toward the pregnancy also. Even if Jenner had seen what went down during Shane’s outburst, he doesn’t seem like the type to bring it up to Rick. The pregnancy angle, however, is more plausible. Holy hell will that add to the drama next year when The Walking Dead shambles back to TV.
Spez: Let’s talk about Shane for a minute. I am completely torn about his character. On the one hand I hate him because he moved in on Lori so quickly and, you know, tried to rape her at the CDC. Plus, he is a total dick in the comic. On the other hand, he’s done what he thought was right the whole time. He was trying to get Rick out of the hospital. He protected his wife and son against the zombies. He helped protect the survivors. Now his world is just crumbling since Rick has returned. I’m not saying that I’m forgiving him for what he’s done, but I am definitely not as harsh on him about it as I could have been. I’d also like to point out that this is a huge improvement over the comic. You get very little information on Shane in the book so this is rounding out his character a lot more.
AR: If you had told me after the first episode how much I would like Shane by the last, I wouldn’t have believed you. I love this character. Okay, yeah, he tried to rape Lori. I’m not condoning that, by any stretch. Him being drunk is not an excuse. I don’t want to sound like I’m ripping off a Chris Rock skit, but I can understand — especially after the opening of this episode. Shane is not only under a tremendous amount of pressure and stress with everything he’s dealing with, he also has to deal with Lori’s stupid ass judging him for the wrong reasons. Knowing he’s already escaped his comic book fate, I want to see Shane in it for the long haul. Bad attempts to get laid aside, I think he just may be better as a leader for the group than wishy washy Rick at this point.
Spez: I apologize for going back to the comic a lot, but I see these first six episodes as the first story arc in the comic. I understand that they had to make changes to the story to get it to the small screen but I’m actually a little disappointed that they didn’t follow through with the ending. I can see why they did it though. SPOILER ALERT for the comic. Jon Bernthal is in the credits. His character wasn’t going to get killed off this season. The same can be said of Dale and Andrea.
AR: At this point, I’m really glad I had forgotten most of what I had read in the comics because it would be pretty tough not to compare and contrast. Speaking of Dale and Andrea, I’m very curious if their situation from the comics will be broached in the same way in the show. I will say that the decision the two almost made in “TS-19” had me on the edge of my seat.
Spez: With the first season in the bag I am eager to see what Darabont and crew have in store for the second season. Yes, they’ve changed things from the comic but they’ve put together an impressive and gripping story. If the ratings hold up, The Walking Dead can be the zombie story that doesn’t end as it is in comics. I just hope that the TV folks have the balls to do half the things that Robert Kirkman has done on the funny book side of things.
Video, Audio and Special features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a TV episode.
Click on a cover to read more episode reviews of The Walking Dead.
Want to comment on this review? You can leave one below or head over to the HorrorTalk Review Forum.