The season finale of The Walking Dead did something that only one other show that I know of did, and that is not reveal the cause of the “Walkers” because that would be stupid to do so early in a shows history. So instead we are shown the past in one clip to see one character in a fairer light.
We are shown a flashback to when the outbreak occurred, Shane is at the hospital with Rick, trying to get him out of there, but when the power goes out and Shane places his ear to Rick’s heart believing his friend to be dead. Left with no other choice he barricades the door and flees the chaos.
At present day the group enters the Center for Disease Control just to be told there is no explanation for the insanity and no cure. The group decides to enjoy some food, wine and hot showers before the man at the CDC, Dr. Jenner, initiates lock down. The power generators are running out of fuel, and when they do, decontamination occurs. Rick pleads with him to let them go, to allow them to take their chances out in the world. The doctor relents and all but one of the group escape before the decontamination takes place, setting the air on fire (cool right?) and destroying the facility.
TS-19 continues the theme of survival, of choice, of Rick leading the group and holding on to hope. Dr. Jenner believes that holding the group is the humane way to die. Shane tries to rekindle the romance with Lori, almost raping her while drunk. For being the season finale it did not feel like one, which I think is a good thing. There is a moment before the group leaves that Dr. Jenner whispers something to Rick. If you read the comics you know what it is, I’m not going to tell you but it will bring more tension in the second season. So we end with escape and head off looking for the next place that is safe.
In six short episodes The Walking Dead has become a hit show, renewed for a second season and introduced many people to the comics who originally never heard of it. That is the genius of the creators. This season has been so different from the original issues that not even the most savvy readers can predict what will happen in the upcoming season. For example, one of the characters that survived in the TV series would have already been dead in the graphic novel. This tells me Robert Kirkman will keep his promise that things will be different, to keep the fans of the comics in the dark along with new fans. This makes the show not a paint by numbers affair and I applaud his decision in doing so. Now I hope that with the departing of the writing staff it will not send the show into what I call “Heroes Territory” where that show started of okay and the quality went down very fast. I have faith it will not, that Kirkman and Frank Darabont will continue to maintain the high standards of the show.