Thanks for coming back and checking out The Walking Dead on Comic Booked. This issue I am going to be reviewing Episode 5 of The Walking Dead Season One. If you missed some episodes, but sure to check them out here. So, until Season Five comes out in October, please take a read of all my reviews and let me know what you think down in the comments.
Season One: Episode Five – Wildfire
“Do not enter the city. It belongs to the dead now.” This is the way that Episode 5 begins. Rick is out in the field at dawn, trying to raise Morgan on the walkie talkie. He explains what they have found out about Atlanta and his good fortune at finding his family. Back in camp, Amy’s body remains where it had fallen at the end of Episode Four, with Andrea hovering over it in a watchful vigil. Anyone who tries to approach is met with the barrel of the fun that she carries.
Discussion continues about what to do with Andrea and her dead sister. They are very concerned about Amy turning and being a danger to everyone. As the cleanup continues, we see two other important aspects of life post walker-event.
The first is the handling of the dead. The “geeks”, those who were already walkers, are dealt with very simply. Daryl walks through the camp with a pickaxe, spiking them in the head and the bodies are dragged to the fire to be burnt. The survivors who died in the attack are still considered human, so they should be given a different type of burial. Glenn insists that “our people get buried”, showing that there is still that human connection to life and death and reverence for the dead that makes us human.
The other thing is about survival. The lifespan of any survivor is measured by how wary they are of bites, scratches, or potential danger. Jim is working on body disposal and approaches Jaqui to help with one of their own when she sees blood on his shirt. She immediately asks if he has been bitten and he, in turn, denies it, stating the blood is from the bodies he has been moving. Jaqui says that it is fresh and tells him to show her the bite and, when he says not to tell, she yells out right away that Jim was bitten. The survival instinct is strong, especially since they have no cure and one bite can kill and make you into a walker.
Meanwhile, Rick, Daryl, Lori, Dale, and Shane are discussing what to do next, since they know they have to move the camp now that the walkers have attacked. Two options are presented. Either the team moves into Atlanta to get to the CDC to find out what they can, perhaps find safety and some answers, or they can head to Fort Benning, the nearest military base, which is 100 miles in the opposite direction. Neither one is a sure bet at this point.
Daryl blows up and just says, “You go looking for aspirin, do what you need to do. Someone needs to have some balls and take care of this damn problem.” Then he runs towards Jim with his pickaxe. Rick steps in, gun to Daryl’s head and makes a very important statement. “We don’t kill the living.”
Dale takes some time to talk with Andrea about how his wife died of cancer. A touching tale about the pain and anger that he felt in her death and how Amy and Andrea had been the first people that he had really cared for since that loss. Andrea tells about her failures in not being there for Amy’s birthday parties in the past, and she shows the mermaid necklace that she had swiped from the department store and places it around Amy’s neck. Today was Amy’s birthday. As the scene closes, Amy’s eyes open, now dead like the other walkers we have seen, and Andrea takes the opportunity to say “I love you” and “I’m here”, as she has not been on past birthdays. Her final gift to her sister is the gift of death, as she shoots her in the head.
“We need time to mourn and we need time to bury our dead. That is what people do.” Lori’s statement is a truth that everyone has to attend to now. The group is thinking and planning while also dealing with Jim. As Jim lies in his bed, coughing and sweating, Rick sits with him for a minute. Jim spaces out after a coughing fit and says “Watch the mangroves, the roots’ll gouge the whole boat… You’ll watch the boat, right?” and Rick answers “I’ll watch the boat.” Does this have a deeper meaning or allude to something later on? As we saw last episode, Jim had a dream about the walker attack, so maybe he knows something the others don’t.
As Rick and Shane head out into the woods for one last walker sweep before night, they are discussing what to do. Rick wants to head to the CDC, but Shane says that they should instead head towards the military base. As the two separate after hearing a twig snap, there is a moment when Shane sees movement and realizes it is Rick, but he still sights him in and we can see in his eyes that the feeling is that if he could just pull that trigger, then he could have Rick’s life and Rick’s family… But at the last instant he drops his gun and looks over to see Dale staring at him in disbelief. While he laughs it off as just being cautious, Dale is not convinced.
At the decision point the next morning, Morales and his family decide to head to Birmingham where they have family, while the rest of the survivors head into Atlanta to try to get to the CDC. Rick leaves a note and map for Morgan on the Mustang, just in case. Along the way, they are forced to deal with Jim’s deterioration and a blown hose on the RV. Jim can’t take it any more and wants to be left by the side of the road. Everyone says their tearful goodbyes and, for the first time in a while, Jim seems happy.
We cut to a recorded message from a Dr. Jenner where he outlines some timelines for us. It has been “194 days since Wildfire was declared and 63 days since the disease abruptly went global”. This tells us that it has been about 6 months since the first reported case and only a little over two months since a global infection. This is our first hint that things are “changed” on a worldwide scale. The next scene shows him working in a lab in full safety gear, testing brain tissue samples. He falls asleep and wakes up when an alarm sounds to tell him a test is complete. He accidentally knocks over a corrosive liquid on the sample and, in trying to clean it off, his glove is eaten through. Decontamination procedures kick in and destroy all the samples in the lab, effectively ending Jenner’s research and, as far as he is concerned, any hope.
Finally, Rick and the survivors make it to the CDC, only to find it surrounded by rotting dead and the doors locked. Shane pushes for them to leave and head to Fort Benning, but Rick still holds out hope. As they have almost decided to leave, Rick sees the wall mounted camera move toward them and realizes there is someone inside. He begs this person to let them in and yells that if he leaves them out here he is effectively killing them. Finally, the doors open and hope is restored.
Hang in there for the last episode of The Walking Dead Season One. With that review, I will also give you the Official Comic Booked Walking Dead Scorecard. What is that exactly? Come back in a few days to find out. Thanks for shambling by.