(Post by nerdbastards contributor Nick Bungay- Twitter @NickBungay)
Another week of the trials and tribulations living in an undead world, it’s time for this week’s Walking Dead review/recap. After the their return from the city, with no Meryle in “hand”, our band of survivors have alot on their hands. Besides blood, how will everyone be able to move on with their lives? Let’s find out shall we.
The episode starts with Rick calling out on radio to Morgan, warning that the dead now own the city. Back at camp Andrea was still grieving over last night’s death of her sister, a literal “ticking time bomb”. The group tries to talk some sense into her but she’ll have no part in it, no one gets near her or her deceased sister. As Jim continues helping his fellow survivors he gets ganged up over a question her steers clear of. Jim was bitten the night before and is now the biggest risk at camp. Wanting to get the hell out of Dodge as well as find a cure for Jim, Rick thinks they should all go to Center for Disease Control (a.k.a CDC). Shane of course does not agree with this, thinking it’s to dangerous. The power struggle between these two continues. After a very touching scene between Dale and Andrea, her sister begins to show signs of undead life. As everyone watched she allowed her undead sibling to come ever so close before shooting her brains out. A very gross and touching scene all at the same time, well played you twisted writers.
Over by the burial area dug by Jim, Shane blames Rick for their “loss” the night before. With Jim’s condition worsening Rick speaks with him over what would be right for Jim. A extremely personal scene between the two: a man who regained everything and a man who has nothing. Meanwhile Shane gets angry over Lori’s decision to stay together with Rick, asking if “risking everyone’s life” is actually worth it.
Alone with Rick in the woods Shane confronts Rick over his choice of words about protecting his family. Splitting up Shane takes his gun and begins to contemplate killing Rick only to be spooked by Dale, knowing what he would do. Everyone back at camp knows what needs to be done, to stay together and stay alive, so it gets put to an agreement. By morning it’s off to the CDC, for a cure and possibly more survivors.
Morning came and Rick was once again sending out his morning message, telling Morgan he left behind a map of where they were headed. Morales and his family decide to leave for Birmingham, knowing family that may still be there. A touching goodbye between the two and it’s off to darker horizons. After a montage of traveling to the CDC, with Jim’s condition becoming even worse, the van breaks down. How could it get any worse? Well, Jim asks to be left by the wayside, to reunite with the family he once had. Those outside discuss what should be done with their “issue”. They ultimately decide leave Jim propped up on a tree by the side of the road. It’s nothing nobody wants, but they agree that it’s not about them. It’s what Jim wants. Another man down but the group must press on to the destination.
A video recording taken at what may have been during the outbreak comes on screen and shows us that there is another survivor. The tale of the tape is a video log of lone man at the CDC attempting to work on a cure for the zombie outbreak. In the one of the logs and or flashbacks we see him botch a test which sends his research up in flames from containment control. Alone and on the verge of madness the man talks to the camera and contemplates suicide.
Rick and his group finally make it to the CDC, but there is no one there to greet them but a field of bodies. No food, no fuel, and zombies coming at them the group is trapped. Just when all hope is lost Rick see’s the camera on top of the door move. Thinking Rick is crazy the others try to pull him away. Rick pleads with the unseen soul. To every one’s surprise the gate to salvation opens.
A solid episode with deep character involvements and the decisions of right and wrong, fantastic. While it did have it’s low points, like stretching out Jim’s demise. This time could have been spent fleshing out the power struggle between Shane and Rick, which is un-dramatically coming to a final showdown. It also further separates itself from comic book that inspired it. New characters and new situations like the CDC scientist and the CDC itself are changes that I feel are a disservice to the comic. I understand the changes were put in place to bring something new to those familiar with the story, but it’s like going to your favorite restaurant to order your favorite meal and discovering that not only has the recipe changed it’s an entirely new restaurant. While it’s new and could very well be tasty it’s not what you came for. Regardless this was still another top rate episode for everyone involved. It’s another solid 9 out of 10 for The Walking Dead, gripping at your legs and never letting go.
Have they reached their new motherland, their new nirvana? Everything will be answered in the next week’s season one finale “TS-19”.