THE WALKING DEAD SEASON FINALE RECAP: Brain Games Is Now Over!

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This is a Recap of The Walking Dead Season 1 Finale, entitled “TS-19″, originally airing December 5, 2010. It contains spoilers, such as the huge twist that Nucky Thompson was a zombie. And more!

It’s Season Finale time! Time for some crazy twists, character deaths, and some hot (water) softcore shower porn:

The episode opens with Shane, in a flashback, frantically trying to save Rick from his hospital bed using a series of well-conceived plans:

PLAN A: Just grab Rick. Oops! All that hospital sh*t is keeping him alive.

PLAN B: Hope Rick wakes from his coma at that exact moment. Rick doesn’t. Whatta sleepyhead! Were you staying up late watching Unwrapped again, Rick? Don’t sleep the day away, there’s zombies out there to be run away from!

PLAN C: Put a gurney in front of the door and hope none of the million relentlessly feeding zombies — who we’ve already seen using rocks to smash a department store window in pursuit of food — manage to nudge it out of the way and devour the helpless RIck. Looks like we’re gonna go with Plan C…AND IT WORKS!

Meanwhile, back in the present, we finally learn what’s inside the hatch(ed shut door leading inside the CDC):

Why it’s just the thoroughly unshady Dr. Jenner!

Dr. Jenner reluctantly welcomes the group into the CDC on the condition that they submit to a blood test, and when everyone agrees, he takes them all onto an elevator:

Jenner explains that the only people left are him and “Vi,” the female-voiced computer who he begrudgingly masturbates to. Jenner’s like, “Say ‘welcome’ to our visitors, Vi! Now say ‘I’m stupid.’ Haha – she said it. Still keeping me sane for one more day.”

Jenner administers the blood tests, and finds nothing except a severe case of the mopes in Andrea:

After his initial precautions, Jenner grows extremely welcoming, and gathers everyone downstairs for a big liquor-filled meal:

They even force Carl to try some wine, which Lori isn’t wild about, but Rick’s like “Hey, it’s the zombie apocalypse, what’s the worst that can happen? He’ll get drunk and go out and get bit by a zombie?”

Carl gags on the wine, although, it’s tough to tell if he actually hates it, cause that’s the same face he makes whenever anything happens.

Still, the meal gives the characters a rare opportunity to kick back, forget about the zombie apocalypse, and regain a semblance of their past humanity, if only for a brief, fleeting GOD DAMMIT SHANE:

Shane ruins everything by asking Jenner “What really happened here,” and Jenner explains that the doctors and staff all fled to be with their families, or committed suicide in the CDC, leaving only him to continue his research to re-prove that the triceratops was real and also find a zombie cure. Shane then wets a huge blanket in a bathtub and drapes it over everyone at the table. As we find out later, Buzzkillin’ Shane is just warming up.

Jenner takes everyone to the sleeping quarters and tells them to go easy on the electricity and hot water, which is followed by shots of every character wasting the sh*t out of hot water, including Rick and Lori having shower sex, Shane drinking liquor in the shower, and Amanda sitting there depressed. So basically, they’re all a bunch of d*cks who don’t listen.

Rick drunkenly stumbles into Dr. Jenner’s quarters to thank him again, but admits he knows the group was running out of options. He also tells Jenner “you have no idea what it’s like out there,” to which Jenner replies, “I’ve seen 28 Days Later, I assume it’s exactly like that?” Rick’s like, “WRONG – these zombies are slightly slower and not British.”

Shane then drunkenly stumbles into the library to confront Lori, re-iterates that he thought Rick was dead and everything he did was to save the family, then immediately discards this good will by basically trying to rape her. She scratches him in the neck and he stops, then the next morning tells everyone “I must’ve done it in my sleep.” At this point, if Rick isn’t suspecting anything, he should just turn in his badge to his supervisor, who is also a zombie and then instantly bites him as he’s doing it because he’s a f***ing moron.

The next day, Jenner explains to everyone how the zombie disease affects the brain, showing them a time-lapse of an infected brain as it loses function. As the zombie disease sets in, only very basic brain function is restored:

When the color re-appears, Glenn goes, “What’s that?” Seriously, Glenn? It’s the zombie disease. Did you think he was just showing you an informative time-lapse brain map warning against the affects of designer drugs?

After a series of questions, Dale finally asks, “What does that clock mean?” Jenner explains, “Oh, no biggie, that’s just when the generator fuel runs out and the entire CDC explodes.” Oh, hello there Mr. Stakes, nice to see you! Not sure where you’ve been the rest of the episode, but now you’re super dooper here.

Dale is shocked by this news, and also, everything:

The group panics, searches in vain for additional generator fuel, and finally gets sealed inside the deck by doors that are “built to withstand rocket launchers.” That doesn’t sway Shane, though, who has yet another brilliant plan for escape:

Quick, hit the indestructible door with axes! I love in that pic that T-Dog is racing up the stairs to help them, like “Don’t worry, a THIRD axe is on its way, boys! Freedom here we come!”

Jenner explains that he’s doing them all a favor by giving them a quick and painless death so they don’t have to face the outside world again, but Shane isn’t buying it and tries to rape him, gun-wise:

Jenner explains that all the locks are computer-controlled and he couldn’t do anything even if he wanted to. This news also shocks Dale, because it’s anything:

The news doesn’t shock Carl, who secretly wants to die (this explains so much):

Rick finally steps forward, and, remembering “you catch more zombie doctors with honey” from his Specific Phrases page-a-day calender, he pleads with Jenner that they’re all just looking for a chance, just like Jenner was when he stayed in the CDC alone to continue his research (and finally live out his dream of using the lab eye wash while pantsless). Jenner finally relents, and manually overrides the door, giving everyone a chance to escape.

On his way out, Rick is pulled aside by Jenner, who whispers something secret and alarming:

What was it? Did he see Shane molesting Lori on a security camera, and feel obligated to let him know the truth? Or was he like “Just so you know, Andrea was super uncool about wasting hot water after I asked very nicely.” Or maybe he explained what was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction? My prediction: All three. Except the first one.

Jacqui, realizing she’s useless, declares that she’s staying behind. This shocks T-Dog, who does his best Dale impression:

Poutypants Andrea whines that she’s staying behind too, but Dale goes and sits next to her and says he’s not leaving without her, which guilts her into finally deciding to live. They leave Jenner and Jacqui behind to hold hands and discuss their character-actor agency representation.

The group leaves the lab but they can’t penetrate the outer wall of the CDC, leaving them trapped forever. Show’s over, people, let’s just pack it up and wait for Breaking Bad to come back. WAIT!!! Wifey Shorthair to the rescue!

The group sprints out of the CDC, kills another handful of zombies (remember them??), and reaches their vehicles to drive away just as the building explodes. Frankly, I thought the “de-contamination” meant that everything inside the building would be incinerated, not that the entire structure would completely blow up action-movie style. Seems like an awfully inefficient process, especially when having the outside blow up probably makes it even more likely to spread diseases. Ah well, now’s not the time to discuss disease center architecture. I’ll save that for the Boardwalk Empire Recap.

I will say, after seriously questioning The Walking Dead in Episodes 2 and 3 (and 3/4ths of episode 4), the last couple really picked up. Some of the individual acting moments are distracting, but the show is finally becoming the interesting, attractive proposition it was advertised as: an in-depth exploration of a zombie apocalypse’s effect on humanity and individual humans to a longer, more thorough degree than a 2-hour movie would have time to provide. I was also extremely happy that Merle and Morgan didn’t return to implausibly save the day in any of the episodes (yet), but were just completely estranged from the group, which is probably exactly what would happen in an actual zombie apocalypse. I learned that from Dr. Jenner’s science board.

The Walking Dead Season One? A walking success. Season Two? Well, they already fired all their writers, so we’ll wait and see:

The Walking Dead Finale and Season 1 thoughts? Predictions for Season 2? What did Jenner whisper to Rick? Comment away in the comments, where that happens.

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