The Walking Dead Season Finale Review & Discussion

Published 3 years ago by , Updated December 6th, 2010 at 3:27 pm,

The Walking Dead full cast image The Walking Dead Season Finale Review & Discussion

AMC’s The Walking Dead is officially a hit, and fans no doubt went into the season finale, “TS-19″, with an equal mix of anticipation and frustration; Anticipation to see what Rick Grimes and his fellow survivors uncover in the mysterious bunker at the Center for Disease Control – frustration at the fact that this sixth episode of The Walking Dead is the last in what now feels like a first season cut painfully short, just as  a promising new show is hitting its stride.

Well, “TS-19″ delivered a story that was at once moving, rich with new possibilities, thick on ominous foreshadowing and yes, slightly pointless in terms of its resolutions.

SEASON RECAP

This season we’ve witnessed officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) awaken from a coma after a shootout gone bad, only to find himself in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. After help from a kind stranger (Lennie James), Rick set off for Atlanta to find his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs). Atlanta did not provide the salvation Rick hoped for; instead he found a metropolis overrun by zombies and would’ve perished if not for the help of fellow survivors Glenn (Steven Yeun), Andrea (Lorie Holden), T-Dog (IronE Singleton) and the not-so-friendly Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker). Rick made it out of Atlanta alive, only to find his wife, son, and best friend/cop partner Shane (Jon Bernthal) waiting at a survivors camp in the woods. The happy reunion didn’t last long: Rick’s group was forced to leave a drug-crazed Merle behind in Atlanta, and little did Rick know, Lori and Shane had become lovers since Rick was presumed dead – an affair Lori is having trouble keeping under wraps.

Merle’s brother Daryl (Norman Reedus) isn’t at all happy to hear his kin was abandoned, so Rick takes a group of men back into the city to find Merle. The group doesn’t find all of him, just the hand the hillbilly sawed off to escape. As the Merle search party returns to camp with a fresh supply of firearms, zombies attack, inflicting heavy casualties on the survivors, including Andrea’s sister, Amy (Emma Bell), who Andrea is forced to put down when she rises as a zombie. Andrea is understandably traumatized, with only surrogate father-figure Dale (Jeffery DeMunn) there to comfort her. Rick and Shane have it out about what the next best move is for their group, and after secretly pointing a gun at his best friend’s back, guilt-ridden Shane concedes that the group should follow Rick to the CDC facility in Atlanta in hopes of finding rescue. When they arrive at the CDC, the group is spotted by a lone doctor still operating the facility – the doctor opens the door and survivors enter into the unknown…

“TS-19″ REVIEW (Contains SPOILERS)

The Walking Dead season finale Rick The Walking Dead Season Finale Review & Discussion

“TS-19″ was a fairly good season finale episode. First and foremost, the episode dangled some new plot points to drive storylines for season 2 forward on both the over-arching and subplot levels. What was it that Dr. Jenner (Noah Emmerich) whispered in Rick’s ear just before the explosion? That question will likely keep fans busy for the next year, pitching speculation across chat room forums. (Was it a word of hope or a warning of doom? I’m betting doom.)

There’s also the bubbling, soon-to-be-boiling subplot of the Rick-Lori-Shane love triangle, which took a pretty drastic turn this week during Shane’s drunken assault/attempted rape of Lori. Flashback to one of the first scenes of the pilot – Rick and Shane’s talk about how to deal with women – and the Lori/Shane confrontation becomes an even more poignant foreshadow of what’s to come. We know Shane isn’t a man who gives up what he sees as his territory – and when Rick finds out that his best friend left him for dead (a great scene that kicked off this episode), slept with his wife, and has since tried to sleep with her again since his return… needless to say, the fallout is going to be epic, and bloody.

The Walking Dead season finale Shane The Walking Dead Season Finale Review & Discussion

This season 1 finale also touched on a  fantastic theme that I hope becomes the undercurrent of this show: how one sustains the will to live in the midst of hell. As much as I care about these characters, Dr. Jenner’s argument about how and when one chooses to die was deep enough to make me totally understand if Rick’s group just decided to end it all there in the CDC, rather than once again face the hell waiting outside. Total head trip. When Andrea stayed behind to die, broken by tragedy and hopelessness, and Dale plopped himself down in a chair committed to die with her, for a second I thought that Darabont and Co. might actually do the unthinkable and kill off two of the best characters, just as they were beginning to develop. Thankfully that was not the case. While I was sorry to see lovely mother-figure Jacqui (Jeryl Prescott) go, I think that we can all admit by now that Jacqui wasn’t really doing much besides taking up space (you too, Morales), so it’s understandable that she would be written out. I’m keeping fingers crossed that Jacqui’s departure is an indication that in season 2 the African-American female character slot will be filled by a rather popular name from The Walking Dead comic books icon wink The Walking Dead Season Finale Review & Discussion .We’ll see.

The Walking Dead season finale The Walking Dead Season Finale Review & Discussion

Finally, the computer image of “Test Subject 19″ (Doctor Jenner’s scientist wife turned zombie) and Jenner’s speeches about the nature of humanity – while equally hammy and syrupy – made for some compelling television that at least tried to say more about the world than most other zombie tales do. And a big shout out to alcohol, which played a major part in this season finale! It was something that totally felt real to me: if I was stuck in the zombie apocalypse and had one night “off” from scrounging and surviving, I too would be boozing as much as I could. I also liked seeing Rick (in his private confession to Dr. Jenner) be something other than captain positivity and hope; it was good to see that deep down he’s human and real, just a guy scared out of his mind trying to get through each day. That type of complexity is freeing for writers, in that there are no “off limits” areas to explore with a character like Rick. He can truly keep us guessing.

However, for all of its positive aspects, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that  “TS-19″ and the whole CDC detour was a clunky bit of Deus Ex Machina, which didn’t even do a good job of resolving anything. In terms of the overarching story, The Walking Dead still hasn’t really defined itself as anything more than a vague survival story about the human condition – at this point it could be a serialized drama or an episode of the week, major twists at sweeps horror series. This first “season” was truthfully more like one long pilot that left us off in a place where not much ground has been covered, yes, but the road ahead is long, dark, winding and ultimately inviting.

Walking Dead AMC DVD Bluray The Walking Dead Season Finale Review & Discussion

It’s going to be a long wait until The Walking Dead season 2 premieres in Fall 2011, and in exchange for fans’ patience, I hope the writers take time to inject some more objectives into their story, so that we can get more episodes like “Guts”, which feel streamlined, focused and less meandering. However, in turning the zombie-horror sub-genre into the framework for one of the better dramas on TV, The Walking Dead has been nothing short of a miracle, and a refreshing one at that. I may nitpick, but you can be sure I’m one of those Dead-heads already chomping at the bit for season 2.

How did you like the Season finale of The Walking Dead? Have you enjoyed the season/show overall – or was it too short for your liking? What do you want to see in season 2 (which will premiere in Fall 2011)?

If you haven’t already seen it, we’ve put to together an all-star team of TV personalities who could survive The Walking Dead. It’s a great list. If you want to check out the show again in its entirety, keep a lookout for The Walking Dead season 1 on DVD/Blu-ray in the spring of 2011.

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  1. “The Walking Dead still hasn’t really defined itself as anything more than a vague survival story about the human condition –”

    Isnt that what the comic was about? I wont say much about the book and TV show however it is doing everything (so far) the books did for me.

    While some of the scenerios are a little (lot) different we are getting basically the same outcome and the same type of human drama we got in the books. Some of the stuff in the books will not translate well or at all so I dont expect to see them.

    However I expect to see human drama on a real level dealing with the human condition…..with some zombies. So far the show does not dissappoint.

    I guess im agreeing with you except for the wanting to see more “objectives”….. Maybe Im not understanding what you mean.

    • The show is great! Im sick and tired of SPARKLING vampires and sappy werewolves. Im sure they’ll come up against more terrors than walkers in season 2. Maybe a relgious fanatic running a cult of some kind? I havent read the comic(and im sure the comic is 10 times better than the show) but i am looking foward to see what happens to this band of survivors!!!!

  2. just cant seem to wait long enough to see the next episode.the most captivating show since DISCOVERY CHANNELS show (last season)hmmm cant remember the name.but it was about starting over after a dissaster.Ohh
    the name is THE COLLONY.This show really makes me think about wanting to be more prepared.

    • @James Courtney
      The colony sucked just b rate actors trying to make a reality show mixing survivor with man vs wild with no story or explanation of what it’s supposed to be
      But regarding the walking dead the finale was dissapoiting to the others the first episode had amazing build up and the finale just sent them on a circle trip back to the beginning except now they have less supplies than before they got there only interesting bit is when Jenner whispers towards the end.

  3. I am hopeing that the series comes back soon i miss it already. The best series in a long time have been waiting my whole life for a great zombie based series.

  4. love the show and so does everybody else i no, looking forward to more seasons in the future.. A++

  5. what did the doctor wisper

    • I believe the doctor whispered something devastating concerning the actual virus causing this hell on Earth. Perhaps there is no cure.

      • i think the doctor knows that Lori is pregnant and either said its Shane’s baby or how long she has been pregnant. Due to the blood test he took, and this could further the triangle story line and drama

        • Close, Im sure. How he would know who the father was is a little too far a stretch. But for me, it was either that she was pregnant, or something along the lines of how the virus started.

          for me the show has a few more “sciencey” things to answer. Like: What happens to the zombies if they never get anything to eat? They obviously dont starve. But dont they still decompose? Are they decomposing? If they are decomposing, shouldn’t insects be making a meal of them? The show has done a pretty good job answering some of these questions, but I think they have a few more to go. Hopefully they wont disappoint.

          • He took shanes blood too didn’t he? Maybe Jenner went Maury Povich and did a paternity test.

  6. My only complaint: the season was too short!! Only 6 episodes ): That’s the one change I want, a longer season! Even if it’s another short season though, I’ll still love it and I cannot wait for Season 2.

    • The 6 Episodes reminds me of the short first season of the the show “Breaking Bad”. That show returned with a vengeance and I am looking forward to this show doing the same in Fall 2011.

  7. I loved this episode! When an TV show makes you feel as much as this show does, its impossible to wait a week for a new episode, let alone a year.

    • Well, we’re gonna have to aren’t we LOL

  8. The best undead story i’ve seen.

  9. nitpicking aside, the first season set the groundwork for a succesful second season. The Season finale lived up to my expectations and offered edge of your seat suspense and excitment.

  10. We need michonne and her samurai sword the walkers and the lurkers

  11. i liked the finale, but i can see the idea getting stale if they just keep running. there is no resolution. no safety. death is overwhelming and there is no hope. after a while, it will be too much and too boring.

    • Check out the TPB covers, they won’t give anything away but can see how they could stop running for a bit.

    • Only to you….

  12. I’m very depressed that they’re going to make us wait a year for season two when season one was only a month long. I’ve become a big fan of the show and I can’t wait that long!

    • season one was six weeks, and yes, you can wait.

  13. I hate to wait. I have got into this show. It leaves a lot of mystery and opens a little at a time. I was like this with another show, Lost… I stayed with it thru all the episodes to try to find out answers. At the end I still had questions. Please don’t leave us like this. I am now interested to see what you will do with next season, and how you are going to explain how all this started.

  14. Good review and I agree mostly with it. I think I liked this season finale more than you did, but I do agree that the season was far too short and I hope they use this time to develop the characters and storyline for season 2. Overall, I think Walking Dead has tremendous potential and I really want to see it grow as a epic TV show.

  15. I had to rewatch the first 10 mins as I missed it. However if anyone has read the comic you know what the DOCTOR whispered to the HUSBAND after taking a blood test…..

    • Well, I’ll just need to read the comic since i cant wait until next season!!!! but I stick with my instinct & it’s telling me his wife’s pregnant with his partners baby!!

  16. The guy knows the place is going to blow up within a day, so why is he testing their blood? What does it matter if they’re all going to die in the explosion? Why is he telling them to watch the electricity if he’s going to die in the explosion? Why does he say he’s going to shoot himself in the last episode if the place is going to explode? Why doesn’t he tell them it’s going to blow up so they have to leave soon? I like the series but this last episode is just bad writing.

    • I think the man wants to finish out his mundane truth of commitment to his job and the belief that his loss of his wife was worth his every effort. Maybe his wife was proud of him checking their blood types…

      • He mentioned that his wife was the genius and he was the worker. Maybe he was just blood technician before everyone off’d themselves and he had to step up. As for not telling them right away that they would all blow up if they stayed … Maybe he didn’t want to die alone.

        • Actually that is basically how it played out… and yes I would tend to agree that he didnt want to die alone given that he was certain that the entire set of options was beyond his capability as did the woman who stayed back with him. I will have to admit to being relieved that someone did stay with him for ‘the humanity’ of it.

          As someone mentions later in this thread I was actually really frustrated that they were not grabbing as they ran… if guns and gear played such a big part you would think that they might have stocked up at some point given the ‘wealth’ of options…

          I guess thats what shock can do to a person. Thats just not my style.

      • I think that’s a stretch. :)

    • I think all of that will be clear in upcoming seasons. I think there was another reason he tested their blood probably something to do w/ what he whispered to Rick at the end.

  17. Love the show, but the only thing that keeps me wanting more is to find out what the Dr whispered to the sheriff, next fall is too long to wait, interest may drop. Out of sight out of mind.

    • “next fall is too long to wait, interest may drop. Out of sight out of mind.”.

      I doubt that. You’ll watch season 2.

  18. Love this TV series.. we just wished it lasted longer than it did, we all looked forward into seeing the next episode. Was very disappointed when the season ended so soon… need to get it back on before fall of 2011.. Can’t wait to see the nxt season. Great job…

  19. The Walking Dead is one of the best shows I have ever seen on tv and that doesn’t just include zombie shows it’s right up ther with CSI, NCIS Criminal minds and many others and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!!!

    • Why did the doctor care to make a blood test for everyone.Why he keep recording himself ,for whom ?Since he plan to kill himself anyway.And am sure the whisper was about her wife pregnancy because he look shaken,only something personal could have that effect.
      If you think walking dead is the best,you should rent HBO’s series OZZ or The sopranos

  20. why do we have to wait a whole year for session 2…. u cant tease us like that… my man said he will help u write at least 10 new eposodes….. i think u should move it up to at least march to show on air… me and my manhave been a faithful watcher of the show…. my man would love to be a new writer and a chance to help on a new hot show…. thanks for your time

    • I agree it was cut a bit short but really gets you biting at the bit for more

  21. The series is good but 6 episodes is WAY TOO SHORT and almost a year (9 months or so?) before season 2? That’s WAY TOO LONG. It’s like they didn’t have faith in the show and didn’t plan well.

    • The long wait for season 2 is AMC liked how 30 days of Halloween led into The Walking Dead. So they are going to do it again. As far as the 6 issue run, it is typical for a mini series.

      • If the wait is because they want to do it at Halloween again, I wish Syfy would take over the show.

      • No, its typical of a show that was being tested, to see if it could find an audience. I bet anything Season 2 will have more then 6.

    • I love this show! I would like to see what happened to Morgan and his son, and of course how bad Merle is going to make things when he finally shows up. But……I cant believe we have to wait almost a year!!! Thats sooooo unfair….I mean what happens if there is a zombie appocolypse????

  22. The series was great! I looked forward to it for months and was not disappointed in the least. However, as most probably do, I have a few things I’d like to see in the second season. I want to know what happened to the man and his son from episode one. I want to know what happened to Darrell’s brother. Naturally, I’d like to know what was secretly whispered in the last moments before escaping the self destructing disease center. Other than that, When season two begins I’d also like to notice the zombies a little more greyish and rotted since of course, time would make the bodies decompose. I would like to see more scenes of hopeless desperation as the characters try and escape enclosed structures such as boarded up windows and furniture propped doors. I don’t know, call me a true zombie fan always keeping in mind Romero’s original “Night of the Living Dead”. ;)

    just another zombie fan,

    Daniel

    • I also think it could have been a bit longer adding one or two more episodes but I also can understand why they would keep it short being that it was the pilot season. Just in case it had been a flop it would have been less money spent (I’m guessing) I’m sure the second season will be longer, in deed, after seeing how season one was a hit.

      Daniel

    • And,,,where the helicopter came from and was going.

      • Omg I completely forgot about this. That is so true. Where was the heli going? See now I’m even more convinced the whisper wasn’t the doc saying that he noticed rick’s wife was prego while he was checking to see if she was infected with a deadly/lively virus. Hmmm safe haven he heard about? Also who was the doc referring to in his videos? He kept saying is anyone still watching this? implying that at some point the video feed was Being watched by someone

  23. LOVE the show! Was very disappointed that the season finale was not 2 hours long and was even more disappointed that the show does not run through until the spring like most other shows!
    It’s going to be a VERY VERY long wait for season 2!!!
    Better be worth the wait :)

    • I agree. The finale should have been at least 2 hours. It’s like the makers of the show didn’t plan well. I don’t think they expected it to be this popular. The season was too short, the shortest I can remember for a show, the finale was too short, and season too is way too far away. The show will probably lose viewers because of the wait.

  24. The whisper….I’m thinking….is that his wife is pregnant with his partners baby & the doctor found that on the test results? Maybe? Just a thought to add a twist?!
    Either way I love this show!!!

    • i totally agree

    • When he walked in the night before to thank the Dr. He asked how the blood was coming and the Dr. responded;”No surprises.” I’m guessing the Dr. saw something in thier blood that caused him to lose what little hope he had left.

  25. I think Dr. Jenner told rick he found out his wife is pregnant in the blood test.

    • oooh! didn’t see that possibilty comming (I thought he might have pointed him to other Dr’s from the center… good call!

    • Very good point, I thought that might just happen. Although it wasn’t a short “your wife is pregnant” it seemed longer than that, so maybe ” you wife is pregnant with your friends baby”? Or even that there is a military safe place but there killing anyone they see (as they did in the hospital)

    • How could both of you posted this at the same time??? Too funny… my guess is that this is precisely the case and this may have been the deciding factor in letting them go as a scientist who knows that all new life holds infinite possibilities… for me the doctor likely knew that telling him this fact might change that internal thought that everyone he knew would die. Great to have the twist of whose baby it will be and also to know that Dale will likely be the man who kills Shane because he knows that in a moment of weakness he is capable of having no feelings when it comes to protecting Andrea’s world. Insert laugh here…

    • Oh, hey! Sillysarah, I think you got it! I think that’s probably what he told Rick, because of the blood tests. D’OH! Good call!

    • Then why didn’t he tell him that the night before when he asked him about the blood? IF that’s the twist, I’ll be disappointed.

  26. loooooooooved the series! came on the first show by accident (had seen comercials for it)by the second show I had talked my husband into watching just the first 15 minuts… he got hooked (go figure) it’s good to watch a show together not in separate rooms. but really? not until fall 2011? guess we’ll have to buy the first season and watch it again. p.s. had no idea it was a comic until tonight.

  27. Loved the series, watched every single one every sunday night with 2 of my buddies…really dissapointed though, that it was only 6 episodes and really bummed the next season is almost a year away…amc sure as hell better know that im going to be watching that season though!

  28. I loved the first season. I would definitely like to see more action than just mourning of deaths. I don’t want the episodes in season 2 to be too much like wildfire or tell it to the frogs which had like only 2 zombie kills per episode. I would also love to see them try to find out more what has happen with Morgan and Duane and more info about the helicopter bit.

  29. While I definitely agree with the author of this review (in that the finale really didn’t leave us, the fans, with a real resolution to anything), I must say that I am impressed with the way the show has presented itself. The Walking Dead has, miraculously, managed to grab even those who are not fans of the survival-horror/zombie as well as those who aren’t fans of the horror genre as a whole.

    Honestly, I have a feeling (could be wrong; let me know if so) that they put this show out without an expectation of it becoming as big of a hit as it is. They did the best they could as far as budget and filming in hopes that it would catch on, but it was really a gamble. Now that it’s obviously a hit (evident by the fact that its pilot drew more viewers than any other show on AMC), I think the writers will take the time to craft out a longer, more complete season 2. I’m sure some things from the first season (The love triangle I’m sure, as well as Merle) will play into the next season, and I’m pretty sure they’ll extend it a bit now that they have the support.

    The wait is going to suck, but I have a feeling they’ll deliver on this. So far, this is the best zombie anything I’ve seen since I was a child and saw Night of the Living Dead (I’m so glad they stuck with slow zombies). I have only good thoughts about the future direction of this show.

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