The Walking Dead Review: "Wildfire"

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When it comes to killing zombies, there are a couple basic rules: Act quickly and aim for the head.

Unfortunately, things became far more complicated for the group of survivors in “Wildfire," as everyone was forced to deal with the painful repercussions of previous week’s zombie attack.

Shane and Rick

First, Andrea refused to leave Amy’s side. It was great watching Amy “wake up” as a zombie and struggle to get at Andrea. I kept waiting for Amy to take a bite from her sister, but it was the gunshot to the head that surprised me. I was glad that Andrea was the one to finish off her sibling, but did she really have to be that close? It was a very risky move on her part, despite her need for closure.

Ed’s wife had to deal with the death of her husband, and she went to town on his head. The viewer discretion advised warning was definitely necessary here, as the repeated hits splattered parts of Ed everywhere. I wonder if she blames herself for his death or was simply taking out her anger over the abuse that she had received from him.

Finally, the group discovered that Jim had been bitten. We got a chance to view how a small zombie bite affected someone. Feverish delusions and zombie nightmares don’t seem like fun. I wish Jim had been around a little longer instead of playing crazy gravedigger one moment, and sick zombie victim the next.

As for Rick and Shane, the two were at odds over how to deal with the group. Rick wanted to lead the survivors to a Center for Disease Control, and Shane simply wanted to keep the survivors out of harm's way. Sometimes a little difference of opinion is a good thing, but not when it causes Shane to contemplate shooting Rick. Is he still hung up on Lori?

Overall, aside from the dramatic tension that seeped into the character driven moments, the story progressed along. The group of survivors finally moved from their camp and headed to the CDC.

Using the Walkie

The introduction of the CDC scientist added for some short background information on the zombie outbreak. I liked the video journal logs, but for some reason I kept thinking of the film, I Am Legend. I guess it’s hard not to make comparisons with other zombie/apocalypse movies.

Once again, the ending of these episodes had me glued to my seat. The looming darkness, lack of shelter and food, and the threat of more zombies added to the tension of the group. As the survivors panicked and Rick began to break down, I expected zombies to come around the corner. Instead, the haunting image of a flooding light encasing the group closed out the minutes. What a great cliffhanger.

Will there be answers and assistance inside? We’ll have to step into the light to find out on next week’s season finale.


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (42 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


As for Jeffrey DeMunn...I've been a fan of the guy since he showed up as the sherriff in "The Hitcher" The guy never disappoints. He is the consummate character actor...He's gonna be getting some Terry O'Quinn glory coming up pretty quick is my guess. He tears his every scene up without being flashy.


I bought the season in advance from iTunes, it streams as each episode is released. It's a decision I'm slowly regretting; the dialogue is dry as it is monotonous. I understand not every episode can be wrought with zombie encounters, but the sentimentality and pace of each episode is cutting my teeth. It might be just a change in venue I'm not used to, but one more scene that occupies 10min of a group discussion or goodbye, I'll lose it.


addict, I gotta say I disagree with you. Though they did basically steal the set up from the "I Am Legend" movie, it seemed to work well. Our Heroes were going to the CDC...Cut to the CDC....Seems like a lock. It really was nice to see more of who Jacqui is. Another forgotten note...Last week, the handcuff line was inserted in after the show was shot. Daryl's lips don't move when he talks about the cuff chain. In this episode, TDog's lips don't move when he says he going to go with Shane. You can see they're tweaking as they go here. I wonder if they run back to get Jim. He's right on the cusp. That would be the tissue Truman Show Boy would be after. Mid Change tissue. I could have done without the Close Encounters White Light Door Opens Extravaganza, however, truth be told.

Saad khan

I think The Walking Dead has proved that its the best show on T.v right now... every episode is like a complete movie, emotions, drama, tension, excitement and in the end The Cliff Hanger.
Wow, To be honest I was literally holding my breath the whole time bx you didn't knew what will Amy do? or Will Shane Shoot Rick? Will they leave for CDC? or will they leave Jim b3ehine or take them along? Or in the end will CDC scientist will let them enter? Wow
so, many moments in One Episode... I think to say that its the most tense show on T.V right now is won't be Wrong. :-)


this episode had some really great moments, but overall wasn't one of my favorites. I didn't like the way the new character was introduced and thought it was too random. The last scene was really just too much. I really liked how all the secondary characters were in this episode, we got see really nice glimpses into who they were/are


I forgot to mention Daryl's great depth of character. There are facets to the guy. The quiet shock and discuss at the wife smashing the head of her husband. The actual voice of reason in noting that they vowed to burn those they killed. I hope he stays on this show and isn't just a fleeting character. My favourite after Glenn, Rick actually comes in third here.


another great episode...


I thought it was a really good episode in many ways. I think Andrea staying so close to the zombie Amy was so you could do just what I did while watching. Squirm in your seat with gritted teeth waiting for the wrong move. I know how it was going to play out, but it was still tense. Jim was given far more to do here than in the comic, and though he ended the way the comic ended him, I felt a lot more remorse about it in this incarnation. Dale continues to be a far more interesting character than the curmudgeon from the comic and the actor holds the scree whenever he comes on. His face when he sees Shane ALMOST shoot Rick was excellent. I guess this means, though, that Carl will not be the strong character that he is in the book. THe kid is leaning more toward open weeping than a grim set visage and a .45
So, they killed all the Red Shirts did they? If there was something that bugs me about the show so far, it's last week's "hey, there's all kinds of people here! I guess they must be worm food soon" tv convention. I don't want to see faceless extras show up, telegraphing that there's gonna be a zombie attack shortly. It's cheesy.
Nice set up at the CDC. But, listen, they have all kinds of guns, don't you think they could give everybody one to protect themselves?
The cube van remains a mystery. That note on the sportscar is enough for Merle to find his way as well as Morgan.

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The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Do not enter the city. It belongs to the dead now.


I know how the safety works.