THE WALKING DEAD “Wildfire” Review

THE WALKING DEAD Episode 5 Wildfire

THE WALKING DEAD “Wildfire” Season 1 Episode 5 – Five episodes down, only one more left of AMC’s romp into a zombie apocalypse. In some ways it was the best episode, filled with tragedy and changes. The Walking Dead still suffers from a mood so sombre it can be dreary and mostly flat characters who are more often than not dictated by the script. I have watched all five episodes, and I still couldn’t list the characters’ names. Obviously for readers of the graphic novels this is no big deal, but I am not a reader. I still don’t know who all of the characters in the group are, what the dynamics of the group are, and that’s a problem.

With this episode, there were no bad moments, per se, but bewildering ones. The family (whose name I cannot remember) leaving the group. I believe the acronym for that is WTF. What father (I should say “and mother” but this show is still irritatingly sexist in its depiction of a patriarchal group) would ever leave a group of armed allies in order to head to Birmingham. Firstly, how do they know they’ve got family left? Secondly, they’re dragging along two preteens. Thirdly, they’re given a pistol and a half empty box of bullets (Rick was just beig optimistic when he said it was half full) to protect themselves. Clearly the story had no use the family (by the way, where did the kids come from?) but the way in which they left was distractingly clumsy.

Jim’s zombie bite was well handled, and his self sacrifice was a noble end, even denying a gun because the others need it moe. Watching Carol bury a pick axe into her scumbag husband’s skull was worth it for the look on Daryl’s face. Yet Jim and Carol did not have the best emotional punch of the episode.

It was the best emotional scene. Of course, I’m talking about Andrea blowing the brains out of her sister. Last week Andrea and Amy’s sickeningly touchy feely fishing expedition made my stomach churn. This week there was still the same touchy feely moment, but with a bullet to the brain the payoff was more than worth it.

Beyond that, there were many developments. Now that the camp has proven dangerous, Rick has decided to lead the group to the Centers for Disease Control. Shane argued that the group would be better off heading to an army base-catch is its over a hundred miles away. Lori guilts him into following Rick’s lead, and his guilt is amplified when he finds himself pointing a gun at Rick, a la Platoon. Unlike Platoon, Shane did not fire, and he grudgingly followed Rick to the CDC.

We are introduced to Jenner, a man who seems a bit off his rocker in the CDC. He is also the only survivor, until Rick and his cronies come along, begging to be allowed in. There was some great tension built up as Shane and Lori and the rest beg Rick to leave, as the zombies started rising, as the sun started setting, and as Rick started screaming at this Big Brother, god-like camera “You’re killing us!”

Then, the hatch is opened.

It’s still nowhere near great, and the characters aren’t half as interesting as the characters on other television shows. For this show, however, it was a good episode.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below

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