The Walking Dead: TS-19


So, it probably wasn’t the point of the season finale, but I suddenly find myself far more interested in the Rick-Lori-Shane triangle than I was previously. The flashback in the beginning of “TS-19,” where Shane saves Rick’s life by correctly guessing that zombies are too stupid to push a cart out of the way of a hospital room door, made Shane about 10 times more interesting. I admit, on one hand, it may be a bit inconsistent after he seemed to consider shooting Rick last week, but I think Shane can hold all of these conflicting feelings — love/lust for Lori, affection for Carl, deep love for/resentment of Rick — in his head at the same time. He did what he could to save Rick, but told Lori Rick was dead in order to get her to leave town — effectively saving her and Carl. In other words, I don’t doubt that Shane loves Rick, but he is also really confused, and with the incredible internal and external pressure he’s under, is making really poor decisions.

But poor decision-making doesn’t include rape. I’m not sure where the producers are going with Shane, but rape or attempted rape is generally considered a sign that a character is irredeemably bad (notable — and still somewhat troubling — exception to this rule: Chuck Bass). After Shane, predictably and drunkenly, tries to rape Lori and she fights him off, there are no consequences for him aside from a couple of scratches. I don’t much care for the rape device because it portrays rape as romantic desperation/desire for a woman who is withholding sex and affection, even though rape is about anger and a desire for power (both of which, granted, Shane is probably feeling). At any rate, I get the impression from my friends who have read the books that Shane is not likeable, so maybe that’s where this is headed.

As for the rest of the episode, I found it uneven, but still interesting. It was good to get some sense of what happened during the days when Rick was unconscious, and to see some science-y stuff. I hated the CDC-will-explode-in-an-hour plot point, and I was disappointed that Jacqui turned out to be a redshirt. Despite being interested in Andrea in the last episode, I found myself not particularly invested in whether she stayed at the CDC and died, or went with the group (though it was kind of amusing that Dale didn’t even bother trying to talk Jacqui out of staying). Watching it with a maritime reporter meant that I found out grenades don’t actually work the way Rick’s did. And my roommate pointed out that if they hadn’t been killed by the huge CDC explosion in their Winnebago that looked like it was only 50 feet away, they probably would have suffocated. So that was stupid.

A strong finish? Sorta. I think last week’s episode was better, but this is a finale that will make me return to the show next fall, for sure.

In the meantime, I’m trying to decide whether or not to read the comics. Conveniently, Scott Meslow has an interview up at The Atlantic with the series’ creator Robert Kirkman, where Kirkman talks a bit about adapting a comic for television. The whole thing is pretty interesting, but one thing I think we definitely need is a better-defined set of rules for zombies. Kirkman is attempting to do that, but I find his vision of zombies conflicts with World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide (which would be my votes for zombie canon). This isn’t bad, necessarily, but Kirkman doesn’t seem to have put as much work into defining his zombies as Max Brooks has. But maybe my preference for having the rules defined before we focus on the stories is making me impatient.



Filed under TV

4 responses to “The Walking Dead: TS-19

  1. Encrazed Crafts

    Generally, explosions are bad news and movies commonly get them wrong just to please the audience/tell a story. I can let it ride because it is so common to expect people to be fine as long as they duck or jump just as the explosion goes off behind them. (Remember the old adage: Cool people don’t look at explosions. They walk away from them slowly.) As the building was underground, I can see that muffling the explosion a lot, but that would open up huge rifts and vents in the ground around the building, which did not happen here at all. The grenade was pretty bad, just because they ‘wasted’ something that strong on a simple glass frame. Yes it was strong, but you could have done *sooo* many things with it. Kinda like how they just ‘killed off’ the Kraken in the Pirates movies. (Not going to continue to critique *that* mess of a trilogy…) I liked this episode quite a bit, but not more than Vatos. This episode was probably my second favorite.

  2. Daniel

    Did you have thoughts on Dr. Jenner?

    • I thought Dr. Jenner was pretty sympathetic in the previous episode when we saw his videologs, but I just didn’t get his decision to off himself. I mean, I get it, but I couldn’t relate. So when he started speechifying about the nature of man and whatnot, I lost interest in him. It’s a shame, though, because I was really craving more science and context and had he been allowed to live, he could have provided it.

      • Daniel

        Exactly! I also like the actor, Noam Emmerich .

        But yes, that was my reaction too. I really liked Jenner in Wildfire. I liked that he seemed like someone carrying on by a maddened desire to find a cure. And I liked that he at first he seemed to have almost given up on everything else (like hoping for companionship) when our heroes made it to the CDC. But then in the next episode his suicidalism seemed…off to me. Like you say, it made sense that since the TS-19 tissue had been destroyed and the CDC was out of power Jenner would want to kill himself but I don’t know. I still had trouble believing it or maybe accepting it. I guess I had trouble believing that if Jenner’s wife is dead, and he has no reason to think anyone else on the planet is alive, and he still decides to live, he would suddenly decide to kill himself once the CDC’s power went out, especially with the revelation (to him) that there are other people out there.

        And I agree with you too about the waste of a perfectly good character. I mean yes, he wasn’t going to be perfect (because nobody on this show is) but having a scientist, even one who couldn’t do much, around might have been a welcome addition to the show.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s