The Walking Dead Review: “Wildfire”

The penultimate episode of the first season proves perhaps the most intense since the first.

Title: “Wildfire”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson

Written by Frank Darabont and Robert Kirkman

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
IronE Singleton as T-Dog
Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes
Steven Yuen as Glenn
Jon Bernthal as Shane
Andrew Rothenberg as Jim
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale
Jeryl Prescott as Jacqui
Norman Reedus as Darryl Dixon
Emma Bell as Amy
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Melissa Suzanne Mcbride as Carol
Adam Minarovich as Ed
Juan Gabriel Pareja as Morales
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Noah Emmerich as Dr. Jennar

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

The group addresses the consequences of last week’s invasion. They move on to the CDC, where a disturbed scientist continues a lonely vigil.

High Point

They handled the combination of shell-shock and grief very effectively.

Low Points

Walkers. Geeks. Infected. We’re almost at the end of the first season. Could somebody please use the z-word?

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6

Effects: 5/6

Story: 5/6 After last week, we’re back to having a clear plot within the season’s arc.

Acting: 6/6. This episode’s script demanded much of the actors, and they met the challenge. We also receive the promise of learning more about the world situation next week.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 6/6 They get extra points this week for the degree to which theyve been willing to follow their premises to unpleasant conclusions.

In total, “Wildfire” receives 35/42

5 replies on “The Walking Dead Review: “Wildfire””

  1. rickyjames says:

    This was the best episode yet. Just about every single character has gotten to “grow” in a realistic and interesting way from when we first saw them. Shane looking down a gun barrel (without being aware of his surroundings) is a difficult line to walk. Rick just about broke down in tears at the end in desperation. The scene with the sisters is an instant classic.

    This show is totally awesome. Death is so isolated from reality in our society it takes a show like this to show its raw and primal power over us. I can hardly wait for Season Two and beyond.

  2. paradroid says:

    Major disappointment. They are bottling out of including all the issues that made the comic great. So far the things they should have included but didn’t:
    1. Andrea & Amy giving Dale threeway sex in order to be allowed to sleep in the RV.
    2. The debate over whether the children should be given guns. In fact the children are hardly treated as proper characters at all.
    3. Shane trying to kill Rick. They did the lead up… and then Shane changed his mind at the last second.
    4. 7 year old Carl killing Shane in order to save Rick.

    I dread to think how much worse it’s going to get as they reach the later issues of the comics which are much much darker, if they couldn’t even do this stuff.

    • rickyjames says:

      Um, spoiler tags perhaps? I haven’t read the comic and don’t intend to anytime soon…

      They’ve only got six eps total to work with and didn’t know it would be a hit or renewed so I think they were shooting for a self-contained mini-series feel. My understanding is that they’ve introduced several new characters (Daryl) and scenes (the tank) that aren’t in the comics at all. Overall, I’m not complaning at all about the plotting or arc choices that have been made so far. The original creator is an executive producer and he’s getting a chance to fill in his early works with more depth – what a rare and wonderful opportunity!

      Given that they’ve only had five eps to work with so far, I think they’ve done a tremendous job at character development. With Amy being killed at the end of ep 4, they did well by holding off on making her a slut so we could actually feel some sympathy at her remarkable death (and rebirth) scene. I think there’s much more potential in a surrogate father / daughter relationship between Andrea and Dale continuing into the bleak darkness they are plunging into.

      As for a deathmatch between Rick and Shane and kids with guns… ep 7 is coming, and could very well have that, or worse. I read someplace that their goal is to make their AMC brethern in Breaking Bad “look like pussies”. Gulp.

      Give them time. They just pulled the cork, let the wine breathe a little before spitting it out.

      • paradroid says:

        Um, spoiler tags perhaps?

        They are not spoilers for the comic because they happened years ago there. They are not spoilers for the series because they all happen at the camp outside Atlanta. The series has now left the camp, so obviously they aren’t going to happen at all.

        I haven’t read the comic and don’t intend to anytime soon…

        Then you have no business commenting. Everything you say could be rebutted easily by anyone who has read the original.

        • JD DeLuzio says:

          Not everyone has read every graphic novel, seen every movie, or experienced every book. There may be a time-factor after which you don’t need to worry about spoilers, but this isn’t Jekyll and Hyde. The spoiler tags would be appreciated.

          He has every business commenting. The tv show may be more moderate than the source– and I’m not certain that a show that has intestines snapping as zombies chow down needs to be more gritty– but “darker” is not instantly better. Whatever merits the source may have, this is an adaptation. I think the Andrea/Dale relationship works for what it is.

          I would agree that the kids haven’t been handled terribly well. Difficult to depict actual kids in certain situations on television.

          I’m enjoying this on its own terms.

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