Season 1 Episode 6 “TS-19”
We start with a flashback to the hospital. Here we find out that Shane was the last person to see Rick alive. We get our first glimpse into a pre-apocalyptic Shane. It’s surprising but not exactly unusual to see him trying to save Rick. He was his partner and best friend. But all we’ve really seen of Shane is this whole womanizing, wife-stealing, pushy guy. Now he’s trying to save Rick’s life? I’m emotionally confused!
Flash forward, our new friend at the CDC, Dr. Jenner, takes our friends through the CDC. He gives them hot water, wine, food, everything they’ve been missing! It looks like heaven. But unfortunately our friends only get a brief reprieve from the chaos.
Their first (and only) night, Shane has one of his lowest moments ever when he throws himself at Lori. She fights him off but it’s not pretty. Definitely things are not going in a good direction for those two.
The next morning we learn more about the outbreak as Jenner takes us through a visual of Test Subject 19 (TS-19). The infection from the walker bites causes illness leading to death and then the brain stem reactivates only the most basic of motor skills. Along with a hearty thirst for blood and guts. We also learn that there’s no real cure at this time and that it’s worldwide. Not a lot of hope to work with. As it turns out, TS-19 was Jenner’s spouse. Another glimpse into the tragedy each character has to face in this world.
When Jenner explains that the building is going to explode after running out of fuel, our friends have to evacuate. A very uncooperative Jenner eventually lets them out of the main command center but they have to blow up a window on the ground level floor to escape death.
Jacqui decides she’s “opting out” by staying with Jenner. Jacqui wasn’t a very strong character this whole time we’ve seen her, so I think it was good that she decided to stay behind. Sorry Jacqui. Andrea also wants to stay behind but Dale won’t let her. It’s painful as they literally wait until the last few seconds to get out. I’ve often wondered if Dale did the right thing here. If it was me I don’t think I would have tried to convince Andrea to leave. It was important for Dale to save Andrea but that wasn’t what Andrea wanted. And poor Jacqui is just sitting there, apparently not good enough to convince to live.
So now we wrap up our first season heading into the unknown. What’s next for our little group? Are they heading to Fort Benning? What did Jenner whisper to Rick? And where the heck is Merle?!?!?!
The first season is a short one, only 6 episodes. I don’t recall now what the impact of the show was at the time with viewers, but for me I always felt satisfied with these starting episodes. One big complaint I have with a lot of other zombie genre stuff is the people always felt so clumsy and bewildered by their surroundings. Always doing basic stupid things. I really do not feel those things with the Walking Dead. Yes, they make mistakes and are learning, but it feels much more realistic. They look and act like real people going through a real tragedy. And that is why I kept watching on to Season 2.
Best of the Episode
A personal favorite for me was all the crazy Daryl stuff this episode. First he’s cracking jokes at Glenn, then he’s trying to kick Jenner’s ass after the bad news he gives them. And then, after everyone else has given up on breaking through the command center door (designed to prevent missiles from breaking it), he’s just there whacking at it with an axe.
The CDC explosion was pretty good. Always nice to go out with a bang.
Of Future Importance
“The day will come when you won’t be”-Jenner
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the first season. What were your likes and dislikes when you watched it? Any theories or topics I left out that you’d like to explore? Please comment below!