Summary: Flashbacks show Shane attempting to save Rick when the apocalypse happens. Jenner lets in the group and they enjoy some luxuries. Jenner explains that all the other scientists are gone and he's alone. He also explains how the infection works. The CDC then runs out of power and is going to self destruct in 30 minutes. Jenner locks everyone inside to give them merciful deaths but eventually lets them leave. Jacqui stays behind and everyone else leaves as the CDC explodes.
The Good: The opening flashback was fantastic. I would love to get a flashback episode detailing the actual outbreak at some point and I think it would also help get me attached to more characters. I thought it really helped humanize Shane and let us know that he did what at the time was the right thing to do. He actually did seem to think that Rick was dead and with the pressure of walkers and military gunners invading the hospital, Shane really needed to get out. It made him a bit more humanized which was definitely needed.
But Shane also gets deepened even more when he drunkenly almost rapes Lori. He came off extremely creepy in that scene and while I initially sympathized with him since he did his best, I quickly turned against him as he clearly is only out for his own interests now. The apocalypse likely changed him now that there are no rules in the world. I really like that these characters are different from who they used to be ad it adds some realism to a show about zombies which I really like.
Jenner was really good throughout the episode. It was nice to see him behaving slightly awkwardly with others since he's been alone for so long. That was a really good little touch. I like that the arrival of a new group didn't change his suicidal mindset from last episode, as it would have made little sense for them to give him hope, especially with his backstory about his wife and the other scientists. His speech explaining the process of zombification (it's what I'm calling it) was very gripping and it felt really good to get some answers about how the apocalypse happened.
The ending stretch was pretty tense and exciting and served for a fun closing stretch for the season. I was very pleased to see the grenade return and have a role in the plot too. Throughout the entire ending stretch Rick really impressed me. Daryl and Shane were pretty rough and overly aggressive which was pretty annoying, but it was nice to see Rick keep a level head and logical thought process throughout the episode.
It's always nice to see the group enjoying some luxuries and relaxing for once. In a dark show like this, these little moments of levity count for a lot.
The Bad: The characters still remain a weak point in this series. They are all extremely shallow and while Shane got some development in this episode, we still don't know a great deal about him. This weakness really affected the end of the episode when Jacqui died and I literally did not care at all. If you were to ask me who Jacqui was I would not be able to answer you, and that's a problem.
The CGI in the final explosion was a little rough and definitely could have been better.
The Unknown: Are the French still alive? Are there any other places not overrun? It seems unlikely now. Is there any chance of a cure?
What did Jenner whisper to Rick?
Best Moment: The explanation of the infection was interesting and gripping television. Getting some answers feels quite good sometimes.
Character of the Episode: Jenner.
Conclusion: This was a solid and enjoyable finale, despite not being particularly special. The focus on the CDC gave the episode purpose and it leaves us on a good note as we don't know what to expect in season 2, and that's pretty exciting.
The season as a whole was really good. It had great moments and a very fun pace throughout all 6 episodes. There hasn't been a bad episode and the action has been great. The biggest flaw so far has been the weak characterization, but with season 2 being 13 episodes long, it builds some hope that we may get more insight on these characters soon. If The Walking Dead can get its characters together, it could really be a fantastic show. I'm looking forward to seeing more.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.