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The Walking Dead Season Finale Review: "TS-19"

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The Walking Dead did not go out with the bang I had been hoping for on "TS-19."

The episode started out strong, by showing viewers a flashback of the frenetic moments during the initial onslaught of Walkers at the hospital. Moreover, Shane was telling the truth. He really did believe that Rick had died and there was nothing he could do.

Finale Scene

This gave his character a little bit of redemption because he didn’t simply leave his friend behind. However, after the attempted rape scene, my view on Shane was altered.

I also liked that because of the protection of the CDC, the group was allowed a chance to relax. However, that also meant everyone had time to think about more than survival and killing zombies. There was time to ponder over their fates, their loved ones and the unfortunate transformation of the world. It gave viewers a chance to see the group’s inner emotions and thoughts.

The best example was Rick’s drunken confession to Jenner. As much as he puts on a brave face as the group’s fearless leader, he is just as scared as the rest.

I’d like to add that Andrew Lincoln does a great job with delivery. The writing sometimes comes across as clunky, but Lincoln never really overacts his dialogue. He says his lines with believability.

Noah Emmerich as Dr. Jenner also brought a great performance in an otherwise very short-lived role. Unfortunately, as a character, Jenner was underused and a bit clichéd as the emotionally unstable scientist.

So began my problems with this episode.

First, the CDC could have been a very interesting place to explore, but the group literally entered and exited in one fell swoop. I felt rushed through an experience that didn’t really give me any informational payoff.

Running For Safety

It was also unnecessary to spend a good chunk of time explaining that humans turn into zombies when they’re bitten, when we already knew that. I’d be more interested in learning about what caused the outbreak. Alas, that is simply unknown. So much time seemed to be spent weaseling information out of Dr. Jenner when he really didn’t have anything new to offer.

As much as Jenner became the enemy the group least expected, he didn’t come across as a real threat. Instead, in a frantic moment of everyone shouting to open the door, he simply did so. Even the revelation of his wife as TS-19, which led to his emotional and suicidal breakdown, came a little too late to save this character.

When it came time to escape, why did Jacqui choose to stay? The show hadn’t really divulged anything about her character, but apparently there was a relationship with T-Dog? It’s this lack of background that made me, unfortunately, not really care during her final moments.

But why was it that no one from the group seemed to really care that Jacqui stayed? They at least knew more about her than viewers, but instead it’s Dale that went out of his way to save only Andrea. When did he become so emotionally attached to her that he’d be willing to play a game of “leave or don’t leave” chicken?

I can, of course, forgive the cheesy explosions because of a TV budget, but the final moments seemed too obvious to leave me feeling satisfied. I never really felt the tension and danger that was prevalent during scenes with the zombies of previous episodes. In fact, there weren’t really zombies at all during the hour, although Daryl did have the nicely placed beheading near the end.

As a freshmen show, The Walking Dead certainly had its ups and downs. With plenty of plot possibilities, I hope season two focuses on a more specific story arc and strengthening of the character development. After all, if this show wants to survive, the audience needs to care about its characters.

I’ll leave you with some thoughts that are sure to come up when season two arrives:

What did Jenner whisper in Rick’s ear? Will Rick ever learn of Shane’s relations with Lori? Will Morgan find the group? What is the relationship of Dale and Andrea? Where is the group headed? What will happen when Merle reappears?

We'll find out in 2011. What did everyone else think of the finale?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (113 Votes)

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

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SBB. Daryl's crossbow is an important piece of armament for the group. It's quiet and quick. That's why he's carrying it. I'd be carrying one too if I was in the situation. You don't want to brng down every dead person with all the noise. When they had the camp site battle, Daryl was using a shotgun for the entirety of it. They're not keeping guns from him.
As for the other characters not carrying guns....that bugs me too. The first thing Rick did in the books when he arrived with the group was get everyone trained up on weapons so that they all could protect themselves and each other. It's a failure here, I agree. As for the shortage of fuel in a place that is protecting such deadly diseases. I gotta agree with that too. I think they tried to address it with Jenner saying that he couldn't figure out how to shut down some heavy amp drawing equipment for a long time....Also, the basement looked like a scene out of Half Life, with dozens of fuel barrels left around...Ultimately, Kirkman said it. "If you're going to have a finale. A big explosion is the way to go."

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While I can suspend belief to accept the Zombie Apocalypse, I can't get my head around irrational characters and story lines. Did I miss the point in the series where Daryl was judged incapable of using a firearm? He and everyone else seem chronically disinterested in bettering their current armament. No M4/M16A2 rifles and/or sidearms (and lots more ammo) were available from all the military flotsam? Or within the CDC? Not one character was INTERESTED in any such weapons. Perhaps the writers have decided the characters are wedded to their weapons - like adversaries in a first person shooter game. Is this is where this series is ultimately going: X-Box? And the CDC only has emergency generating capacity for 60+ days? With fuel from 55 gallon drums?!? OK. I know the government is screwed up. But, to paraphrase Dr Jenner, the CDC is storing Ebola / Smallpox / Bio Agents. Do ya think the G could build, next to their large underground bunker, a diesel fuel tank for base load power - for a long time?

Sp-mckenna

@SeanMcKennaisanimbecile: Everyone has his or her own opinions about “The Walking Dead.� Some choose to stick around and watch, while others simply find a different channel. I’m glad you were able to read my review, but I’d rather you refrain from insulting viewers and myself with derogatory comments. Instead I welcome insightful thoughts and discussion about the episode. I wish you the best of luck in finding a show that you too can enjoy.

Mara-valens

Love this show and my advice to people who don't is, don't watch it.Robert Kirkman, the creator of the comics, has always said he wants how the zombies came to be to stay unrevealed to add more mystery and to let the readers/viewers make their own conclusions. I think Jenner whispered something to do with the blood tests, there has to be a significance for them. Maybe Rick's wife is pregnant, or one of them is infected, or one of them carries some kind of antibody to the zombie virus.

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I think you have to be actually stupid to enjoy this show. So congratulations, reviewers and commentators, you are part of the herd. I mean my god, this show is AWFUL. And I like zombie movies.

Saad-khan

I love the episode but it didn't seems like a season 1 finale...
CDC was cool, I love when they were having the wine, dinner and Hot showers. The only thing came out to weird was the Scientist willing to lock them out and killing all of them Only so he can hear Mr.Rick's speech of giving us a chance? that was little Lame and predictable.
Shane in the beginning was Heart Wrenching and showed he cared about his friend but then later on he says "I love you" to Lori and then tries to Rape her... well that was disturbing & not the move go along with I love you gesture.
I don't know why you didn't get the relationship between Dale & Andrea, in previous episode he said to Andrea that you and Amy was the closest thing to me ever since his Outbreak. plus Amy, Dal and Andrea were together in Atlanta while running so, we don't know how well they know each other so sometime we have to create past for characters we don't know how they met, escaped or survived to be together... Anyways my point is lost in all thing I wrote, I totally get Andrea and Dale father/Daughter like relationship.
Jacqui was left out maybe bx she wasn't signed her season 2 contract :P
Season 2 in October 2011, OMG its really really late.

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All are infected, i guess that's the whisper

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I think what Jenner whispered had something to do with the blood tests. His answer of "no surprises" was really kind of vague. Maybe everyone is infected, just have to have some type of trigger event occur to start the breakdown to death and then zombieville.

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Good review for this episode, I would of liked it if the doc went with them, it would of shown a less bleak world, but with everyone opting didn't show much promise for the survivors(or at least the not so important ones) I was wondering when that Jacqui girl was going to die she was given some lines but you never know much about her personality, or her relation to T dog, I'm thinking after seeing two other black people in the camp in the older episodes (a older big man, and a lady) I'm thinking maybe they knew each other somehow (maybe I'm forgetting but I don't think they ever showed a scene of them being in love so maybe they were related or friends.) What I think is going to happen with Morgan and Merle is they might end up meeting each other maybe at the camp site. It wont be pretty.

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I think what Dr jenner whispered was that ricks wife is pregant

The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

Keep drinking, little man. I wanna see how red your face can get.

Daryl [to Glenn]

Carl [tasting wine]: Eww. That's nasty
Lori: That's my boy.

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