Words: Jake Tobin
'The Walking Dead' Episode 5: 'Wildfire'
SYNOPSIS: "Rick leads the group to the CDC after the attack. Jim must make a terrible life and death decision." (fxuk.com)
As dawn breaks at the start of 'Wildfire', the penultimate episode of the first season of 'The Walking Dead', we are forced to recall Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) promise to Morgan (Lennie James) in the pilot, and the rest of the episode calls back to many aspects of that episode.
Andrea’s (Laurie Holden) emotional attachment to Amy (Emma Bell) lingers after her sister’s death, while the rest of the survivors clean up dead bodies from the "walker" attack which occurred at the end of 'Vatos'. This mourning has many parallels in Morgan’s story of how his wife slowly died, like Jim (Andrew Rothenberg) does later in the episode, and became walker; but unlike Morgan, Andrea has the strength of character to put Amy out of her misery and kill her once she becomes a zombie.
The emotional effect of 'Vatos'’ finale is seen throughout the episode, and the show continues to develop the peripheral characters in their attachment, or lack of it, to the recently deceased or dying. This episode manages to build upon the dynamics of the group, despite reducing their number, and the finale scene points towards an interesting season finale which will hopefully develop the mythos of the series and set up the longer second season.
With only one episode left of 'The Walking Dead' first season it has been revealed that Frank Darabont has fired the other writers on the show and the reason for this seems to be that he hasn’t used them. Other than what I felt was a one episode blip in 'Guts', the other episodes so far seem to have been well written and interesting, so this is perhaps a good move for the show.
Friday’s season finale should be interesting viewing, written before a second season was confirmed meaning it will have to serve as both a conclusion, so a probably return for Morgan, and a stopgap, leaving a few loose threads or and room for the additional characters we can expect to turn up in season two.
The season finale airs this Friday at 10pm on FX in the UK and will be repeated throughout the week. Viewers elsewhere should go here to find out where they can watch the series.