The Walking Dead: TS-19 Commentary

The last episode of The Walking Dead was the season finale, with the new season apparently not coming until possibly next October – the time went by so fast!  Only 6 episodes to this season… It makes me sad.  Anyway, here’s my commentary of the season finale, TS-19!

I want to preface this by saying I know this commentary is a bit later than my other ones; I had to take my computer into the Geek Squad to get fixed Monday morning and it had broken down enough that we had to get a new one, so it took awhile to get situated.  Regardless, the commentary – even if it’s late – is finally posted!

We start off with what quickly becomes apparent is a flashback of Shane’s shortly after the outbreak of the T-virus – er, wait, wrong franchise.  Anyway, we see him at the hospital trying to find Rick, avoiding the security there as they literally massacre the patients.  Well that’s… erm… thorough.  Shane eventually finds Rick, still in a comatose state, but before he really has a chance to try to save his friend, there’s an explosion in the building the the machines monitoring Rick’s status go offline.  Of course, he immediately panics and assumes Rick’s dead when he doesn’t hear his heartbeat, but let’s look at this again.  He doesn’t hear Rick’s heartbeat – okay, understandabe considering how much noise was around.  But couldn’t he feel it maybe?  Or even just check to see if he was breathing?  What, Shane, you just put your ear briefly to his chest amidst the loud noise all around you that could easily block out something as subtle as a heartbeat, didn’t hear anything, and gave up?  Really?

Moving on, we’re now back to the present, where the group of survivors have met the scientist at the CDC facility – Jenners – who has agreed to let them stay there.  After he gives them all blood tests to be safe, everyone gets together to have a nice dinner.  It’s a time for celebration!  Even if we know something bad is going to happen this happy time.  It is the season finale, after all.  After everyone toasts Jenners for saving their sorry butts, Shane messes up the happy mood when he persists with his question on where all the other scientists are, and why Jenners is the only one there now.  The scientist explains that when things with the disease got bad, everyone either fled the CDC facility or killed themselves.  Ah, gotta love those happy dinner conversations.  It reminds me of the conversations over Christmas dinner with my extended family!  Wait, those are worse.  Nevermind.

After this, Jenners takes them to their rooms, with heating and air, hot water, the works… Happy times once more.  He tells them to conserve on the hot water, but this doesn’t prevent Lori and Rick from having some quality shower time, which really isn’t wasteful when it comes to hot water at all, is it?  Nice guys.  Nice.  You do have a bed, you know.

Andrea, meanwhile, isn’t having nearly as fun a time there as Lori and Rick; she’s in her bathroom puking her soul out.  Dale goes to comfort her, offering her some encouraging words to try to make her feel better after Amy’s death.  The attempt doesn’t succeed as Andra goes on about how everything they’ve known is gone.  I have to say, I really love Dale and Andrea’s relationship; it helps that both characters are pretty likable overall (especially Dale) but their dialogue really is great.  As you can imagine from me saying this, there’s a certain scene later on in the episode that was absolutely fantastic and had me on the edge of my seat the ENTIRE time, but I’ll cover that later on.

After Rick does some drunken soul-baring to Jenners, thanking him once more for everything, Shane (who’s also drunk) seeks out Lori, intending to explain to her why he left behind Rick and didn’t realize he was alive in the first place.  And of course, he also goes on about how he still loves her and she must love him back.  Lori, of course, doesn’t react to much of this well, especially when Shane nearly RAPES her… okay dude, pull it together.  She scratches him, leaving a big gash across his cheek – OH CRAP!  A SCRATCH!  HE’S A WALKER!  SHOOT HIS ASS!

The next morning, everyone gathers around the table once again to have a very, very awkward breakfast.  And lots of people are hungover.

Jenners takes them to the giant computer room in the facility, where he puts on a video they had taken of an infected brain, showing the process of the initial infection, the “death” of the person, then them coming back as a Walker.  We even get to see the bullet from a gun go through the head of the zombie on the giant scanner!  Sweeeet.  This entire “animation” was very well done and overall quite awesome, with the bullet at the end really was a nice touch.  (Why are you all giving me such a weird look?  I just said that I enjoyed watching something get shot through the head.  Sheesh.)

After they see this, they start grilling him about the status of… well, the rest of the world.  Like he’d know.  I think he’s been concentrating on other things, guys.  LIKE A CURE.  He doesn’t have much of an answer for them, except to say that France is the last country that held out.  You know, I could make some sort of joke about this, but it’d probably be too easy.
This is when the group notices for the first time the giant countdown in the computer room; they ask Jenners what it’s counting down to, and when he doesn’t respond, they ask the computer… er… person… in the room.  I think the name is like Bi or something.  Sure, I’ll go with that.  Anyway, Bi responds that when the clock hits zero, the facility will be decontaminated, but the computer refuses to divulge anymore details.

DAMN IT WRITERS!  You missed such a golden, GOLDEN opportunity here to have Rick ask it to tell everyone what decontamination means in this situation, zoom in on one of the computer screens, and have Bi reply, “I’m afraid I can’t do that, Rick.” That would’ve been epic.  EPIC.  And they ruined that perfect chance.  Shame on you, writers!

Panicking at what “decontamination” could be, Rick, Glenn and… someone else, I can’t remember who exactly, investigate the basement (I guess) of the facility to try to find what’s going on.  Soon after, the entire building starts failing; the heating and air is gone, the lights are going off, etc.

Jenners explains to everyone that the building was trying to conserve energy by fueling only the most important things now that there was less than an hour until decontamination.  This is when the alarms go off and Jenners reveals that when the countdown reaches zero, the facility will explode, destroying its contents.  And here’s where people panic.  Seriously, dude, you couldn’t have told everyone about this before you literally locked them in?  And in case you’re confused by that, the facility apparently can’t open its front door now, and the scientist has locked them all in the computer room.  For no apparent reason.  Right then.

Obviously, no one reacts to the news well, but Jenners goes on to try to give them some encouraging words; that their deaths in there will be better than on the outside.  Ah, yes, that really helps Jenners.  Thanks.  Funnily enough, though, I… actually understand his point there.  I mean, I wouldn’t choose to stay in there, but I can see the reasoning behind what he’s saying.  Anyway, a couple people try to kill him, with Shane shooting up some of the computers in anger (HAL!  NOOOO!).

The next few minutes is basically Rick and a few others trying to convince Jenners to open the computer room door so they can at least attempt to get out of the facility, even if the scientist feels the attempt is futile.  This is also where Jenners also reveals that Subject 19 (the Walker whose brain was put on the scanner earlier) was his wife, and this is the reason he’s still at the facility.

Rick finally convinces him that they at least deserve the option of being able to choose whether they live or die, and Jenners opens the door, letting them all go out to try to escape.  This is where the episode gets absolutely brilliant – the last ten minutes of the whole thing.

Andrea and… the black woman (yeah, sorry, I can’t really remember her name) announce to everyone that they would rather stay there with Jenners and die in the facility, rather than face the outside world any longer.  Dale sees this and tries desperately to talk Andrea out of it (I did sort of notice how he totally ignored the black woman here… Nice Dale.), but to no avail; she refuses to go.

Meanwhile, the others are at the front door, trying to find a way to get out of the facility before it blows.  They try everything they can think of – throwing things at the glass windows, shooting them, etc. but nothing works.  Finally, er…  The one woman with the daughter and the dead abusive husband tells Rick she found a grenade in his pack, and he uses that to blow the window open.  Success!

Back in the computer room, Dale realizes Andrea isn’t going anywhere and makes a huge decision; he simply sits next to her, knowing that through this he’ll at least die with her.  Andrea doesn’t like this, but now it’s Dale refusing to leave.

Back with the rest of the group (yes, they cut the other scene off at that point – DAMN YOU WRITERS!), they’re now RUNNING for their cars, with only a minute or so left before the facility detonates.  GAH…. SUSPENSE…. I’m not making a joke here with that either, I was seriously on the edge of my seat for this entire time.  They finally make it to their cars, where Rick goes to start the main one up, but Lori (I believe it was her) interrupts him by pointing to the facility where Dale and Andrea are running out of the broken window.  This was a serious moment of relief for me; as I mentioned before, these characters are both great (mostly when they have scenes together) and this entire scene with them, from the time Dale went to try to talk her out of staying to them running out, is simply brilliant and very emotional.

We see one last scene with Jenners and the other woman who stayed behind, holding hands and simply smiling; while this was just a very short shot, this was also pretty emotional.
The facility explodes, and everyone starts their cars to go… Well, we don’t know yet, I suppose.  At least, not the TV viewers only; people who read the WD comics would know, but seeing as how I haven’t read the comics, I don’t know.  Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until October to find out.  *SIGH* Too long, damn it!  Either way, however, I thought this was a great episode, with a very emotional last ten minutes or so.  I do wish there was a bit of action to it, but it’s not a huge complaint.

That concludes my commentaries of The Walking Dead; I’ll certainly be resuming them once the second season starts up, but until then, there’s nothing to comment on (though I may be doing a vlog on things having to do with WD in the future, but we’ll see).  I hope you enjoyed my commentary of each episode of The Walking Dead!  Seeya guys again (well, with these at least) next season!

3 thoughts on “The Walking Dead: TS-19 Commentary

  1. Oh, don’t be so hard on Shane in the flashback. The dude was under a lot of stress, didn’t run after the military dude entered the room, and genuinely wanted his friend to make it out. I thought him listening to to heart was believable, and it could very well have not been beating. The power went down and did not come back up in the clip we saw, yet the lights were flickering when Rick came-to in Ep. 1. Something happened in between there, either a plothole or otherwise.

    I kinda snorted when I read that you said Andrea was likable, though. Dale totally is, but Andrea? She is in the same boat as Merle as far as I’m concerned. If Dale did not go back with her I would have been glad when that building blew up, but methinks the writers knew that which is WHY Dale went back to get her. (Just as a recap, the very first time we see Andrea she pulls a gun on Rick’s head. Then she cries and whines abit about a room they could have blocked off to avoid being seen. We are then treated to more crying when Amy meets her, and yet more crying when Amy departs the show. She then ignores all sources that are trying to help her cope with her fallen sister, and then pulls a gun AGAIN on Rick, topping it off with a smarmy-pissy line that translates to “this time I WILL kill you.” Yeah. Life of the party that woman is >.> If she had fifty cats living with her before the zombie outbreak, I would not have been surprised.)

    I too thought the CGI TS-19 video was awesome! The gun blast caught me off guard with how cool it was, and I want to go back and see that bit again, actually.

    One thing you did not mention in this recap, and the emphasis on Dale and Andrea not willing to leave right away suggests you may have missed it, but do you recall Jenner’s whispering something to Rick? No predictions as to what that was about? Personally I think it went something along the lines of:

    “I hated that one part in Lost in Translation when Bill Murray whispers to the chick at the end…”

    • Well, I do definitely understand that Shane was under alot of stress and could’ve missed something – I like his character and I believe he genuinely wanted to save Rick. I didn’t have any complaints with the scene until he was later talking to Lori and implied the only reason he left was because he didn’t hear a heartbeat; if the writers had had him say something like, “He wasn’t breathing.” then that would’ve been a whole different situation, but with this I think it was a slight… Not quite plothole, but slightly annoying thing, at least.

      Andrea isn’t one of my favorites, but she’s had her moments that have portrayed her in a likable light for me – trying to find wrapping paper for her sister’s present, the scene with her and the other women at the lake in… Vatos I think it was? And the scene with her sister’s death was pretty sad. It’s understandable how she’d cry then. 😛 I mostly like her scenes with Dale, though. If she had been killed off with Dale living, that would’ve taken a good dynamic out of the show.

      And I think I might actually have missed that part with the whispering – very interesting. Dang it though! Someone called me right at that part and I was like, “DAMN IT the Walking Dead season finale is ending, I will call you back!” 😛 So that might’ve been right when that came on, lol. Hmmm…. I might try to watch that part again.

      • Ah, I gotcha about the Shane bit. I have to admit anytime I see someone listening to someone’s heartbeat I flash back to Scuttle in Little Mermaid listening to the Prince’s foot haha

        I’ve heard from quite a few fans of the comics that Andrea is their fav, but the show has not shown me any reason as to why that is. Gun tears gun tears raaaaaage. And then she sits in the shower wasting hot water for a good ten minutes plus. She was killing everyone slowly, draining the limited gas supply as she was busy being a depressed bump on a log >.<

        No way! You poor thing! That whisper part was one of the highlights of the episode for me! Re-watch that show ASAP, it has a nice forboding thang' going for it. I really liked Mr. CDC, and it showed he can act outside of Truman Show, which is great for him. Hope he gets more work because of this.

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