Rick and co make the CDC facility their new home sweet home... but soon get a nasty surprise. WARNING: CONTAINS DETAILED SPOILERS
THE ONE WHERE
Rick and co discover that the CDC facility is not the refuge they’d been dreaming of when Dr Jenner tells them that it’s running out of fuel, a clock is counting down to self-destruct, and they’re all locked in…
A first-class finale to an outstanding debut season, about which our only complaint is that six episodes simply ISN’T ENOUGH! When our heroes rolled up at the CDC base, we feared they were going to hunker down there for an age - there’s not much drama in clean sheets, hot showers and impenetrable shutters. So it’s something of a relief to find that this will be a brief sojourn.
Countdowns are an obvious way to create tension, but hey, it works. There are also some top-notch character moments, particularly the one where the depth of Dale’s feelings for Andrea becomes apparent – something followers of the comic would know about, but that hadn’t really worked its way to the surface in the series.
The way the scriptwriters handle the character of Shane continues to fascinate. Flashbacks to how he came to leave Rick in his hospital bed once again give us cause to consider that perhaps we’ve misjudged him a little; but then we seem him assault Lori, confirming that the guy’s a copper-bottomed asshole. Of course, we’ve suspected that from the start, thanks to some sexist dialogue right at the start of the first episode – an insight into character that some seem to have mistaken for the production team’s manifesto on sexual politics.
I NDUSTRIAL SHITE AND TRAGIC
The explosion of the CDC base is a bit pants, isn’t it? Did they hire the same people who brought us the mining project going kaboom in Doctor Who ’s “Cold Blood”?
Everyone’s very quick to accept Shane’s explanation as to how he acquired some vicious-looking scratches on the face. That doesn’t seem very realistic, particularly for a drama set in a post-apocalyptic world where a zombie scratch means infection, death, and danger for everyone.
Love the moment where Dr Jenner whispers in Rick’s ear – how very Lost In Translation . What could he have said? Well, if you’ve read the comics, an obvious answer presents itself. Maybe Jenner found that someone’s immune to whatever’s causing the outbreak? Or maybe he’s just informing Rick that his flies are open. More likely, he informs him that (select the following text to read a possible spoiler) Lori is pregnant (cue EastEnders drum roll).
The song that plays at the end of the episode (“If today was not an endless highway…”) is “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” by Bob Dylan.
Dr Jenner: “No pain. An end to sorrow, grief, regret - everything.”