Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Walking Dead - "Wildfire"

Andrea (Laurie Holden) mourns the death of her sister as Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) tries to comfort her.
Photo Credit: AMC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'The Walking Dead'
Season 1 - Episode 5

It's becoming harder and harder for me to separate my feelings about this show and those I have for the comic book series. I understand that as a television show, 'The Walking Dead' will handle events from the source material differently and at times add or subtract elements. The ending of "Wildfire" was a very big divergence from the original comic book series, and not in a way that I'm too excited about.

As soon as Dr. Jenner was introduced near the end of the episode, I grew concerned about the direction of the series. For me, 'The Walking Dead' is about the survivors and not about 'how' or 'why' the zombie apocalypse happened. I want this show to be about the characters, I was afraid that Frank Darabont was going to attach a silly conspiracy plot thread to the show.

This doesn't appear to be the case, thankfully. However, next week's season finale feels too predictable. Jenner's non-dead brain samples were destroyed. Now, with the arrival of Rick and Co., he's going to have fresh ones. Can you see where this going? Also, this feels like a plot line lifted from the British television series 'Survivors' (it airs in the U.S. on BBC America). I really don't want to see a similar plot on this show. It doesn't need it.

The rest of the episode was actually pretty good. Jim's situation was very sad and everyone's concerns on how to handle it were completely understandable. We're also starting to see some really cracks in the friendship of Rick and Shane. Rick's return not only took Laurie and Carl from Shane, but has added another person for the group to look to for leadership.

Andrea's vigil over Amy's body was moving. It wasn't until Amy's reanimation that I realized what Andrea was really doing. She wanted Amy to be "alive" so she can apologize to her. Not that Amy could really understand her in her current state, but it did seem to give Andrea some closure.

Rick's calls on the walkie-talkie to Morgan were nicely handled. This was a great way for us to hear what was going on in his head. I have a feeling that Merle Dixon is going to be the person that finds the note and the map on the car and not Morgan. How much you want to bet that the red car pulls up to the CDC at the end of the episode, Rick runs out to greet Morgan, only to find a very angry one-handed redneck in his place?

I've been enjoying the 'The Walking Dead'. Unfortunately, I'm not looking forward to the season finale. I think the show is heading into territory that runs counter to what I've enjoyed so far. Hopefully, Darabont and the other writers will surprise me.

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