'The Walking Dead': Episode 5, 'Wildfire'

I was initially convinced The Walking Dead series was going to faithfully follow the plot of the graphic novels on which it is based, but as some of you may be noticing, it definitely isn't. This is a bit of a bummer, if only because I like to be the obnoxious comics nerd sitting there going, yeah, I totally know what's going to happen next, as would you if you'd remembered volume 2, page 16, panel 3, duh.

I can understand why they're choosing not to copy the graphic novels scene for scene, but I'm not yet sure I'm a fan of where they're taking things. This week's episode was a mixed bag for me: on the one hand, lots and LOTS of great images; on the other, a storyline that occasionally feels paper-thin.

(Warning: spoilers ahead!)


The good:

• Andrea hovering over the body of her dead sister, tearfully waiting with gun in hand for her to reanimate.

• Dale's kindness to Andrea during those moments, and his story of dealing with his wife's cancer (BTW: I LOVE Dale, don't you?).

• Glenn's freakout about what to do with the bodies of their fellow campers ("We don't burn our people! We bury them!").

• The scene when Jim's bite wound is revealed, and his shellshocked "I'm OK. I'm OK. I'm OK."

• The awful tension of Andrea putting the necklace on Amy's neck oh my god ahhhhhhhh.

• Carol, the battered wife, driving the pickaxe into her dead husband's skull over and over and, wow, OVER.

• Amy's eventual gasping white-eyed return to undead-life (random: why do zombies breathe?), and Andrea sobbing, "I'm sorry for not being there," before putting a bullet in Amy's brain.

• Jim's choice to be allowed to zombify, and Daryl's grudgingly respectful head-nod before Jim is left alone next to the tree.

And the "eh":

• Rick's ongoing, kinda-cheesy radio calls to Invisible Morgan.

• Shane grappling with the choice over whether or not to shoot Rick in the woods. Should have been a blow-you-away type of scene, but wasn't.

• Jim being left alone or left with just one caretaker. HELLO HE IS TURNING INTO A FLESH-EATING ZOMBIE.

• Morales and his family leaving. See you, characters we never got to know!

• The thrilling caravan exodus during which no one appears concerned about fuel, what the hell.

• Rick's decision to try and get to the CDC in order to cure Jim, which is ridiculous, but turns out to not really be the reason for finding the CDC, and this seems like Rick's Signature Move: bravely declaring his plan to save someone when his actual intentions are less selfless (see also: the plot to rescue Dixon, AKA the plot to find the bag of guns).

• The fact that there actually IS one lone dude at the CDC, who may or may not be totally cartoonishly evil at this point.

• Dixon? And the van? Did someone fall asleep at the script-writing wheel?

This whole CDC business doesn't really turn me on yet (is Jenner going to infect them in order to keep carrying out his "Project Wildfire" experiments? Do we really need a zombie-virus-transmission sub-plot in a world overrrun by virulent zombies?) — but, of course, you will find me next Sunday glued to AMC as usual, because even if it's not perfect, I'm enjoying the hell out of this show.

What did you think of this week's episode?

Image via AMC

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