AMC’s “The Walking Dead”: Season 1 Recap and Spoilers – E06 December 14, 2010 This article is about AMC’s

“The Walking Dead” Season 1 Episode 6 and is Part 6 of 6 articles. “Previously on AMC’s “The Walking Dead...” For a week I yearned for those words. Episode 6 of Season 1 of “The Walking Dead” was set to be the season finale. Due to the fact I was an avid reader of “The Walking Dead,” I was very eager to find out what happens at the end of the first season. The entire first season follows the comic books to a large extent, but the journey from camp to the Center for Disease Control was not covered in the comics. The episode starts with a flashback of the hospital that Rick was confined to in episode 1, after he was shot in the line of duty as a police officer. All hell was breaking loose; SWAT members were combing the hospital and killing everyone. Shane, Rick’s partner, was in the hospital trying to figure out how to get Rick off of the machines and out of the hospital to safety. After some struggle and commotion, Shane realizes that he is unable to save his friend. In a last bid to save Rick’s life, Shane presses his ear to Rick’s chest and listens for a heartbeat. Nothing. Giving up, Shane leaves the room, and blocks off the door with a gurney. This is a very powerful scene. The comic book, nor any previous episode give any inclination that Shane attempted to save Rick’s life. The addition of this back story into the series is very emotional, because it shows how much Shane really does care about Rick. After leaving the hospital, Shane feels as though he had lost his best friend. As a result, Shane cared for Rick’s wife and son as though they were his own. He had to tell Lori and Carl that Rick was dead. When Rick returned, it was as though Shane had his family ripped from him, and that he had lost everything because Rick had ‘returned from the dead.’ Because Shane sees Rick as somewhat of a walker himself, he resents him and even shows signs that he is willing to kill Rick. This also shows that Shane is becoming less of a human and is succumbing to his natural instincts to protect his ‘family’ at all costs, showing that even he is being reduced to the state of a walker. After the flashback, the episode begins where it had left off on episode 5. Rick and the other survivors have found their way to the Center for Disease Control where they have been let inside after pleading with the security camera. After going inside, they discovered the CDC was abandoned by all except one researcher, Dr. Edwin Jenner, played by Noah Emmerich. Dr. Jenner showed the survivors around, and gave them all of the accommodations they could desire, including hot showers, food, and of course, wine. After a night of heavy drinking, the survivors are ready to get the answers to the questions they have come to ask. The Doctor describes how everyone had deserted the Center except for him, who has been continuing his research. To demonstrate what the virus does to the human body, Dr. Jenner showed the survivors a video of a human infected with the virus. The video showed a brain scan of a living human being as it succumbed to the virus, passed away, and was inevitably resurrected. The video showed the normal, functioning human brain and then the active brain of a walker of who he referred to as TS-19; test subject number 19. The subject’s brain after reanimation showed activity only in the hindbrain, the most primitive portion of the human brain which regulates hunger and aggression. This scene remarkably depicted the “brain science” behind whatever is responsible for the walking dead in the show. Many pieces of zombie literature simply forego explaining the science behind the outbreak, and simply say that “no one knows” or “there is a blackout of communication.” This episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” does not fully explain the virus, but demonstrates as clearly as

possible what is happening to the people who are infected. On a deeper philosophical level, this shows that the walkers are not the same as the people they once were; the brain scan shows that the areas in the cerebral cortex that give a person their humanity are no longer functioning. The only areas that are functioning are the most basic parts of the brain, similar yet more primitive than even a crocodile. The video of TS-19 continues with their reanimation, and abruptly ends as the brain matter is destroyed with a gunshot to the head. Later, Dr. Jenner reveals that TS-19 was actually his wife, thus increasing the emotional impact of the footage. Dr. Jenner explains that this footage is the only scientific evidence they have of what the virus does to the victim. He had no further explanation, and further yet, no cure. All of a sudden, power begins to shut down. The computer system that operates the Center for Disease Control is running out of fuel, and in order to prevent the spread of any of the diseases contained within, a thermal incendiary device has been employed automatically by the system to detonate, thus destroying every living organism contained within the building. Dr. Jenner informs Rick and the others that they would not be leaving, and locked the only exit from the chamber. This whole scenario created immense ticking-clock tension. Even though it is understood that these characters carry on for much longer, could their lives possibly be at stake? After much struggle and many attempts and pleas to free themselves from the CDC before its self-destruction, Dr. Jenner finally decides that the survivors deserve a fighting chance. He opened the door, allowing the survivors to escape. However, Jacqui decided that there was nowhere to run to, and elected to stay with Dr. Jenner through the explosion. Feeling the same way after the loss of her sister Amy, Andrea decided that she too would stay behind. All of the survivors except Dale had left in search of an exit. Dale, who deeply cared for Andrea, stayed and pleads with her to come with him. When she refused, Dale told her that he loved her and had nothing else in the world to care for if she was gone, and that he would be staying as well. Sensing Dale’s genuineness, Andrea decided to leave with Dale. After destroying a bulletproof window with a hand grenade, the survivors had made it outside and to the RV. Dale and Andrea charged after them, making it nearly to the RV before the CDC detonated. After regaining their composure, the survivors turn around and drive down the road, thus ending the first season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” I thought this series was incredible, and I can see exactly why it received a Golden Globe nomination for Best New Series. The television adaptation of “The Walking Dead” was a success with over 5 million active viewers during its airing. Although it did not completely match up with the comic book series, the television adaptation included new characters who absolutely belong in this show. They also included more drama, more tension, and great scenes of zombie brutality. I definitely give the highest ratings to this program and I greatly look forward to the start of the second season in 2011 on AMC. References

Title: Shane checking Rick’s pulse in the hospital Description: Shane checking Rick’s pulse in the hospital after his monitors have been shut off in AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Tags: Shane, Rick Grimes, AMC’s The Walking Dead

Title: Glenn Hung Over after his first night at the CDC Description: Glenn hung over after a night of heavy drinking after arriving at the Center for Disease Control in AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

Tags: AMC’s The Walking Dead, Glenn hung over

Title: TS-19 immediately after resurrection Description: A brain scan of test subject 19 after the moment of resurrection and before the moment of termination (note the gun barrel aiming at the head) in AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Tags: TS-19, AMCs The Walking Dead, Center for Disease Control

Title: Explosion of the Center for Disease Control

Description: The self-destruction of the Center for Disease Control in AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Tags: Explosion of the Center for Disease Control , AMC’s The Walking Dead