All good things must come to an end. So it is with The Walking Dead Season One. Thanks for coming back to see a full episode review of Episode Six. Stay tuned after the review for a scorecard to help you keep track of what is what in each season and maybe I will have a catchy name for it by the end of this issue.
Season One: Episode Six – TS-19
In Episode Five we heard about TS-19 from Dr. Jenner at the CDC. This seems to have had something to do with their naming conventions for tissue samples. But we are soon to find out more. The survivors have arrived at the CDC and have been granted access, so now we hope for answers, but first…
Episode Six starts out with a flashback to Shane in the hospital visiting Rick when there is suddenly a commotion outside. As Shane tries to find out what is going on, he runs into a group of soldiers who open fire on patients and hospital employees. At this point, Shane knows he needs to get out. The problem is, what to do about Rick. He does not know what to do. He asks for a sign and he gets an explosion and a total loss of power.
Shane checks Rick and does not hear a heartbeat, so he assumes, at this point, that Rick is dead. He exits the room, slams a gurney up against the door and runs. Not once does there seem to be any sense that Shane was aware that Rick was not dead.
Back to the present, Dr. Edwin Jenner, ever cautious, tells the survivors that they must submit to a blood test. He locks the doors, shuts down the power, and escorts the group underground. “Welcome to Zone Five.”
Jenner explains that he is the last one left. All the doctors and staff are gone. All that Jenner can offer to the survivors is food and drink, but to them that is like winning the lottery after not having eaten for days. The party begins and everyone has a short time to celebrate and enjoy some peace. That is until Shane pulls them back to reality with questions about what happened.
Jenner tells the survivors that the CDC staff were working there until the event and then many left to go be with their families. Others “opted out”. Jenner says “There was a rash of suicides.” He stayed “hoping to do some good.”
Jenner shows them to a place they can stay and there are the scenes of each member enjoying, or not so much in Shane’s case, the hot water that they have missed for so long. Andrea is not having such a good go of things, still in mourning for her sister. Dale is there to comfort and support her. Andrea is at the bottom of a pit of depression now. She has lost everything and the words from Jenner were the cap to that well. All hope, for her, has been extinguished.
Rick is on the opposite side of things as he tells Jenner what he feels they were all saved from. The fear that they have all lived in has finally, at least temporarily, come to an end. Jenner’s face still tells a different story. With hollow eyes, Jenner says “It’ll all be okay.”
Meanwhile, Shane and Lori have a confrontation. Shane explains what happened in the hospital, although a bit slurred as he is deep into his cups. He tells Lori that he would have traded places with Rick if he could have and that he would trade places with him now because he loves her. He tries to force himself on her, and she scratches Shane. This should be the sign that Shane needs to know that things are over.
The morning is a cold place for some and a warm and welcome time for others. It all ends again with the questions. So, Jenner takes them to the big room and shows them the films of the MRI of TS-19, the last test subject that the CDC had. This person, Test Subject 19, was bitten, infected, and volunteered to have the CDC record the whole process. They watch the death, the deactivation of the brain, as the light is snuffed out. But, it is the second event that has everyone interested. TS-19 took 2 hours 1 minute 7 seconds to resurrect.
“It restarts the brain?” Not exactly, just the brain stem, as Jenner explains. The body is reanimated, but the person is no longer there, only basic instincts. Still, Jenner has no idea what this infection could be. There is a lot of speculation, but no facts.
The colors, the darkness, of each scene at this part, is very illustrative of the lack of hope of the survivors. The nail in the coffin is finding out that they only have about an hour before the generators run out of fuel. At that point, according to Vi, the computer system, facility-wide decontamination is the next step. This cannot be good.
Always the leader, Rick tries to find a solution. But, there is no solution to this problem. The system is shutting down to conserve energy, and the survivors have to make a choice. Jenner’s last words are that the French were the ones closest to a solution. They were the last holdouts.
As the countdown hits the 30 minute mark, Jenner locks them into the big room. There is no way out. The system was designed to contain the worst of diseases, weaponized smallpox… things that the CDC protected the public from. Jenner explains that the weapons that will be deployed “set the air on fire”.
“This is what takes us down.” Jenner has locked them in and seems unwilling to allow anyone to leave. He has resigned himself to this death. The survivors want out. They want their own choice to live or die on their own terms. Rick is once again the voice of reason. Because of this, we find out that TS-19 was Jenner’s wife. He made a promise to her. Rick says, “You’re wife didn’t have a choice… we do.”
As Jenner agrees to open the doors and the survivors run for the surface, Rick stops to tell Jenner that they are grateful, but Jenner says “The day will come when you won’t be.” Then he leans in and whispers something in Rick’s ear. Lori runs to him to make sure they get out. Jaqui decides to stay. She does not want to end up like Jim and Amy, so she decides to stay behind and face death her own way. Andrea also picks this way out, but Dale stays to try to convince her to go.
Rick and the gang are anxiously running to the front doors only to find them locked and the glass of the windows designed to withstand anything they can throw at it… except maybe a grenade. Remember that Rick had picked that little souvenir up in Episode Two. Carol had found it in his uniform that day he arrived when she was doing his laundry.
Downstairs, Dale decides that if Andrea stays to die, he will, too. He does not want to face the fear, the danger, without the one person left in the world that he cares for. Outside, the rest of the team runs for the caravan. Dale and Andrea get out just in time, having realized that at least they have each other. The building explodes. So, what next? As the survivors drive off, their numbers dwindled even more, the future looks uncertain at best.
The odds do not look promising. But find out for sure this week when I debut the Official Comic Booked Scorecard for the Walking Dead. This will be a new image that you can share with your friends and anyone else who is a fan of this awesome show. Be sure to stay tuned to Comic Booked for any news and reviews.
Come back soon for the next installment of The Walking Dead on Comic Booked. Next will be an episode by episode review of Season Two. Hope to see you there. A big shout out to all the Facebook groups that support us, especially The Walking Dead Talkand their great Q & A’s with actors from the show, The Walking Dead Fan Base, The Walking Dead Social Group, and The Walking Dead, a page just getting started, but growing fast. Check them out, join up, and join in all the fun, but don’t let the walkers bite.