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Episode Five: Wildfire

December 13, 2010

The season’s penultimate episode picks up the narrative at dawn following the disastrous attack at camp. Rick attempts to reach Morgan on his walkie talkie to warn him about Atlanta. As the campers clean up the carnage and attempt to restore order, Andrea mourns over Amy’s dead body, which has yet to reanimate. A group decides to intervene, but when Rick approaches she draws a gun on him.

So he backs off. Turns out Jim was bitten in the struggle. The group discusses what to do with him; unsurprisingly, Daryl says they should kill him, but Rick suggests traveling to the CDC instead. He emphatically states that they “don’t kill the living.”

Andrea’s still off mourning for Amy. Dale approaches and tries to cheer her up by talking about his dead wife. Andrea puts the necklace that was meant for Amy’s birthday – which is that day – around her neck. Totally normal mourning activity. No saccharine platitudes here!

Carol mourns for Ed another way:

Shane and Rick dig together and argue, with Shane claiming that Rick left the camp vulnerable to the attack by going to Atlanta and Rick defending himself by pointing out that without the guns and ammo that they brought back, they’d have been in even worse shape. Jim grows increasingly delirious in the camper as the fever sets in; the camp buries Amy.

Rick asks Lori if she blames him for being absent during the attack, but she refuses to take the side of Rick or Shane. Shane catches her alone and asks for her aid in dissuading Rick of his CDC scheme, then Shane and Rick head out to the woods to sweep them clear of any walkers.  Their argument continues and Rick tosses out “If it was your family you’d feel differently” – probably one of the harshest things he could say to Shane. Shortly thereafter Shane finds himself with Rick in his sights, but Dale comes along and catches him.

Shane must feel bad for considering killing his best friend/partner/cuckoldee, so he stands up for the CDC plan at a camp meeting. The next day everyone gears up to roll out, except the Morales family, who head to Birmingham. Morales family, we hardly knew ye. Seriously though, no character development there at all.

The caravan rolls on, really terrible music plays, the RV breaks down. Jim decides he wants to just lie down and die in the woods, an after some deliberation, everyone is pretty cool with the idea, actually. So that’s what happens.

At the CDC, a lone man records a video log and works in the lab, presumably on zombie brains. The video log is labeled with “Wildfire,” so that must be the source of the episode’s title. Is this a step towards Lost-like conspiracy theory? I sincerely hope not. If this show devolves into a cheap imitation of a successful phenomenon, that will really blow. Anyway, everything goes haywire and his HAL destroys his lab and all samples. Bummer.

The campers arrive at the CDC. Tensions rise as night approaches – they can’t get in, and there are walkers all around.

So they yell at the security cameras for a while, and finally the door opens. And the episode ends.

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