Walking Dead Recaplet: Season One/Episode 5: Wildfire
Episode 5 started off strong but ended on an odd note with lots of plot threads left unraveled and undone, and lots of new mysteries introduced with what seems like precious little time left in a brief first season to wrap them up.
Last week saw the remaining survivors’ ranks decimated by what started out as a pleasant family barbecue but ended with death by a zombie attack that nearly killed them all. Most of the action for the first part of this week’s show centered on the deaths of Amy and Ed and the fatal biting of Jim.
The survivors had different reactions to this chain of events. Daryl wanted to take a pick axe to every remaining undead mofo’s head. While Glenn felt strongly that the group should retain the last of their humanity and bury their dead, because, “that’s what people do.” Rick and Shane on the other hand, responded by developing take charge action plans that left them at odds with one another. Rick insisted they should go back to Atlanta to find the CDC while Shane insisted on going to an army base in the opposite direction.
After much consternation and a group meeting, the survivors decide to follow Rick’s plan and head to the CDC. Along the way, Morales and his familia abandon the caravan to search for their remaining family members in another direction while Jim asks to be left to die by the side of the road. Meanwhile, as the surviving survivors make their way to their destination, the CDC’s last remaining scientist is drowning his sorrows after a lab accident that destroyed his remaining tissue samples and, presumably, any hope for a cure to the zombie plague along with them.
When the survivors show up at the CDC, they find the usual scene of death and decayed flesh. Rick, however, remains convinced that there’s at least one scientist left at the CDC who can give them some answers. He is, of course, right, and after much yelling at the surveillance cameras, the space age doors to the CDC open X Files style.
It almost seemed like there were two different shows as this episode wrapped up. It seemed like there was so much more in the way of intra-survivor dynamics to explore. Merle Dixon remains lost and bleeding somewhere and the whole Lori/Shane/Rick love triangle seems sidelined by the new government response thread that was introduced last night. Perhaps when the episode was first written, Darabont and Co. weren’t sure whether or not a second season would be greenlighted so they were trying to execute a large part of the story while they had a chance to do so. While, I’m still looking forward to seeing how everything wraps up next week, I found myself wishing that the action wasn’t moving in this direction. What did you all think?