The Walking Dead – Wildfire Commentary

Continuing my weekly commentary of AMC’s The Walking Dead, we’re now on Wildfire, the fifth episode in the season and the last episode before the season finale – drama lies ahead!

All right, we start off with Rick trying to contact Morgan, the guy in the first episode with the kid, to tell him that Atlanta isn’t safe as they had first thought. Yes, because the chances of him receiving that message at this point is so high. And wait a second, if Rick’s so concerned about the welfare of Morgan – and probably other people, too – why doesn’t he somehow barricade the road going into Atlanta (and don’t tell me it’d be too difficult to do – if he worked with a few other people to push something it could totally be done) and make a sign or something? You know, maybe telling people something to the effect of, “Do not go to Atlanta because it’s now Zombieland. By the way, wasn’t that a great movie? Now that you have all the time in the world to watch movies at your leisure, you should totally watch it. But not in Atlanta!”

Don’t even remind me about the car Rick leaves at the side of the road later in the episode with a LITTLE note on the side of it warning Morgan not to go into the city. Seriously. Not everyone is going to stop their cars to look at a vehicle on the side of the road.

After this, we go to Andrea, still sitting over the body of her dead sister the next morning. Umm… Hold on here. Shouldn’t Amy be a Walker by now? I suppose this worry is reflected by the other survivors, and therefore acknowledged in the show, but I still find it hard to believe that for the entire night the body just stayed that way.

As she does this, other people in the camp work on burning the bodies of the zombies, even if I can’t imagine the logic of this because why the heck would they want to stay there long enough to do that? Bury the bodies of the actual people who have died like they planned to, sure, but don’t bother with the Walker bodies. Get your ass out of there before more zombies come to eat your faces! Anyway, as they do this, one of the women in the group discovers that Jim has a zombie bit and is infected; Daryl (original redneck’s brother) is all for killing him on the spot but Rick manages to stop him from doing so. This kinda sucks, if only because I grew to like Jim in the last episode.

After Jim is taken to the trailer to keep him safe from people like Deryl, Rick discusses going to the CDC (I think that’s what it was) where it was said they’re working on a cure for the Walker infections. Most people aren’t so hot on the idea, causing some friction between Rick and Shane as they discuss it in the forest. Well, that, and the fact that Shane thinks Rick leaving and taking a lot of the manpower with him, feeling that if he hadn’t done so, perhaps everyone would be alive and well at this point. After he and Rick have a little spat about Rick’s family (no reveal of the Lori/Shane sexy-time yet though… I imagine that could come in the season finale? Hmmm) we see how Shane considers… shooting Rick. Erm. Dale’s thought on the matter pretty much echoes my own – “Jesus!”

We go back to Andrea, still sitting over Amy’s body, as she slowly puts the necklace she got for Amy’s birthday on her sister’s body (after some comforting words from Dale).  Only after this do we see Amy finally start to turn, and… she’s an awfully peaceful zombie, considering how long it takes for her to give some half-assed attempt to attack Andrea.  Either way, Andrea soon shoots Amy-zombie, at last giving herself some sort of closure on her sister’s death.

After everyone buries the bodies of the fallen survivors, Carl asks Rick in that naïve child-like way if they’re going to be safe now. Erm… Sorry to break it to you kid, but no, you won’t be. There’s no reason whatsoever to assume that. And Rick, don’t promise him that you’ll never leave his side again. There’s a good chance you’ll have to at some point. It’s a long comic series after all!

After some hesitation from the group as a whole, it’s decided that they’ll go to the CDC to see if there’s some sort of progress on a cure. Before they leave, however, the Mexican family – who I don’t actually know the names of – announces that they’re leaving to try to find family in another location. Well, this certainly doesn’t sound like the most logical move, but I definitely understand their desire to do this.

Moving on, the group is now on the road, but soon enough the trailer breaks down and they have to stop. This coincides with Jim’s condition quickly getting worse. He soon asks Rick if he can be left behind near the side of the road, and despite some hesitation on Rick’s part to do so, he finally gives in, taking Jim to a pleasant-looking forest area nearby where everyone says their goodbyes. Aw… This scene was actually pretty sweet, but sad at the same time. Even if Jim hasn’t had as much screen time as a few other characters so far, the last episode combined with this one have made him a fairly likable character, so it’s sad to see him go.

Immediately after this scene we go to the CDC, where we see a scientist – I think I heard that his name was Jenners – talking to a camera about the progress – or lack thereof – on a cure. We even see him do some actual work on it, but a horrible accident happens and the entire lab is destroyed – or at least, all of his work. After this, he plans to kill himself, which… I can sort of understand. Imagine if you were completely alone, a scientist studying a cure for zombie-ness and you destroyed your entire work by accident and had nothing to work with anymore. Yeah – I would be pretty depressed too.

Rick and the rest of his group reach CDC, but everyone, save Rick, quickly lose hope as no one answers the door. This entire scene was done fabulously – Rick screaming at the camera, Lori pulling him away in tears, and then finally after all that, the door opening in a dramatic show of light. Even if there’s too much light and only done for, “Ooooh, how neat!” purposes. This was the perfect ending to the episode.

All in all, Wildfire was a very well done episode – another one that didn’t focus so much on action, but the character development. Jim’s death was sad, and we can see tension climbing between Shane and Rick – the conclusion to that I’m really looking forward to seeing, but I doubt it’ll be as soon as the next episode. Speaking of that, the next episode is going to be the season finale – such a short season! When I first found out it was only six episode all in all I wasn’t that happy, especially since we’ll have to wait so long to get the next season, but I suppose since we’re getting a second season of The Walking Dead as it is that’s something to be grateful for.

2 thoughts on “The Walking Dead – Wildfire Commentary

  1. I like Dale! He’s turning out to be a really cool dude. If he ever gets killed off I’m gonna be sad. Rick on the other hand jumped from uber-heroic to pansy this episode, asking Lori for her point of view and generally being lead around almost as if on a leash. Him crying to the camera at the CDC was also out of character that might not have been so bad to me if all the other really out of character things he did the whole episode.

    I just heard that the director might have just fired off the writing staff and he plans on writing most of it himself with freelancing writers helping out when needed. Let us hope if this is true that it is a good change. For one, keeping the flow steady instead off “all action” or “all talking” for a while episode. Vatos was the best, in my opinion, as it balanced both new and old characters as well as action paying off right at the end. Excellent episode it was, and to me Wildfire was a bit of a let down in comparison. (But again, Vatos was quite awesome and it would take a lot to top it.) Hopefully the last episode will be awe-inspiring! Thank-you for another great commentary, MizzeeOH!

    • Dale is awesome, yeah. 😀 And I don’t think Rick was necessarily a pansy by asking Lori her opinion, since that’s not a bad thing to do, but him crying at the end I see your point about. I think it’s just that he had invested SO much hope into the CDC lead turning into something, when no one was there and they had no gas, no other option, etc. it broke him down utterly.

      I heard that about the firing of the writers too – not sure if I like that idea, especially using “freelancers”. It would definitely be nice is they could merge the action and character development better though, yeah.

      But thanks! 😀

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